Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Online Gallery

I am happy to announce the launch of a new online gallery called Spa City Fine Art.  This is a new venture that will feature the work of regional artists in the upstate New York area.  All the work included on this site is available directly through the respective artist.  These are paintings not offered at other galleries or venues so check here frequently for new work!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Happy November

"Rain on the Horizon", 6 x 6 , oil on panel

Wow!  I didn't realize I had been absent so long!  I have been working daily and posting pieces as they are finished on Instagram where there is a great community of like minded artists who do some incredible work.  (You can follow along on instagram at if you are interested.)  It is tiny painting season again and I have lots of little works in progress for the holidays.  Some will be available at Sorelle Gallery in Albany and some will be available at a new online gallery called Spa City Fine Arts.  I will do a post on Spa City Fine Arts tomorrow.  Hope everyone is enjoying the Fall which seems to be turning prematurely to winter already.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Summer Trees

Summer Tree Study, oil on panel, 8 x 8

It's hard to believe summer is over!  It is warmer this weekend in upstate New York than it had been all summer!   Anyway, this is another study for my field note collection.  It was done from a quick pencil sketch in Newport this summer.  I would like to build a large library of these kind of references for my larger paintings.  I am working on a couple of larger pieces and hope to post in the next few days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Urban Beauty: Not Just Another Pretty Picture

"After the Rain Tortola", 9 x 12, oil on panel

I am pleased to announce that "After the Rain Tortola" has been accepted into the "Urban Beauty" show at the Randy Higbee Gallery in Costa Mesa, California.  The paintings selected for this national juried show will focus on the "unusual beauty and sometimes darker side of our cities."  It will run from October 4th through the 17th.  I wish I could attend the reception on the 4th but it is a long way to go for a party!  But you should go if you are in the area!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lingering Mist

Study for "Lingering Mist", 8 x 8, oil on panel
Click Here to Bid at Daily Paintworks

This started as a plein air piece done in the middle of a summer day.  I decided it needed a little more mood and changed the time of day to early morning.  I like it much better.  I am going to start putting some of my studies on the Daily Paintworks auction page - starting with this one!  I will also be selling some of my smaller studies and paintings through an online gallery this Fall.  Stay tuned for details!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Twilight at the Lake in Cape Cod

"Twilight at the Lake", 11 x 14, plein air on panel

This photo is picking up strange accents but it was taken with an iPhone so that's about it.   I think the contrast and the purples are over emphasized.  This was a painting started on location at a lake near Dennis on Cape Cod.  It was the end of a beautiful day on the Cape.  I was initially taken with the shape of the trees against the water.  I did a lot of work in the studio on this.  Maybe too much.  I will leave it for a while and look at it with fresh eyes in a couple of weeks.

Friday, September 5, 2014

New Cityscape Study

Study for "Broadway Drizzle", oil on linen panel, 8 x 8

The reds are a little over saturated in this photo.  This is a study for a larger painting that I am starting today.  The larger piece will be 20 x 20.  I am going to emphasize the glow from the windows with a lot of glazing and transparent layers.  I will post a progress shot this weekend (hopefully)!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cool Morning

Study for "A Cool Morning", 9 x 12, oil on linen panel

This is a plein air piece started in Newport a couple of weeks ago.  I did not spend enough time working out the composition before I started so I have struggled with it for the past week or so.  My main area of concern was the bottom right corner.  I had to make up the rocks and tree there so that the composition was more than just three horizontal bands.  I think I will let it sit for a while.  Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday weekend!

Revised painting as of 9/3:  I had to move that big boulder in the right hand corner.  It was heavy ; )

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Breeze on the Water

Breeze on the Water, 9 x 12, oil on panel

It's been a busy couple of weeks.  We just finished a nine day charter which was good but exhausting!  I am finally finishing some of the plein air pieces started a few weeks ago.  This was from a plein air trip to Cohasset in July.  It may need a few more tweaks but I'm calling it finished for now!

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Summer Day

"A Summer Day," 9 x 12, oil on linen panel

My friend Denise and I had a beautiful day in Cohasset last week.  It was the perfect summer day!  The colors are little saturated in this photo but it was taken with an iPhone so it is what it is.  I have decided to stop naming locations in my painting titles.  I recently had an email from an internet troll that demanded all copies of one of my plein air sketches of a Connecticut beach because he apparently owns a house which is barely recognizable in my sketch.  He threatened to sue if I didn't send the painting in 50 days!  As my mother said, "I wonder how his lawsuit against Google Earth is going?"  Hmmm.

You may notice that I have been trying out different templates from blogger in the last couple of days.    The blogger templates allows for a myriad of different color combinations but there are some areas that you can't adjust so I am still working on it.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Morning on the Marsh

"Morning on the Marsh", 9 x 12, oil on linen panel

This is still a work in progress.  The building is an old convent in Newport.  The actual scene had a road running straight to the convent with the marshy area on the side.  It wasn't that interesting so I used my artistic license to change it (thank you Donald Jurney for that license)!  I have been trying to use instagram more often because it is easier to post images from my iPhone.  I will try to remember to post here when I post on instagram as well.  Or just come over to IG and follow me!

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Rumor of Autumn

Study for "A Rumor of Autumn", 9 x 12, oil on linen panel

Don't Panic!  It's not Autumn yet!!  It's not even close.  I painted this study plein air in the Blackstone River Valley last week with Donald Jurney and a few other fantastic painters.  You can follow all of them on instagram (@donaldjurney, @paulbatch, @briandmartin - I know I am missing a couple but you will see them on Donald's thread).  The orange colors in the foreground are the underpainting showing through.  I actually did not intend to make the scene look like Fall but Donald suggested the name and I decided to let it stay Autumn.  I still have work to do on the water and the tree on the left but I am going to put it aside for a while.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Salmagundi Club

"Cinemas", 18 x 24, Oil on Linen

I'm pleased to announce that my oil painting "Cinemas" has been accepted into the Salmagundi Club's Annual Juried Painting & Sculpture Show.  It will be on view in the main gallery of the National Arts Club in New York City from July 28th to August 8th.  Stop by if you're in the city!

UPDATE:  After standing in front of the dark, closed National Arts Club Saturday morning, I read my instructions for drop off to find that the exhibit is at the SALMAGUNDI CLUB on Fifth Avenue. So, it is 47 Fifth Avenue, New York City.  (The same show was at the National Arts Club last year so it was an understandable mistake . . . she said).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Humid Day in Newport

"Humid Day in Newport", 8 x 10, oil on panel

It's been a long time since I have posted here but I have actually been working!  As I have mentioned here before I am working in an indirect manner which takes much longer than painting all prima (in one sitting).  I am also still trying to paint without photo references for at least three months to see if I can improve my memory skills.  This painting was started on site and finished over a few days in the studio from memory.  To make things even more challenging, I am using a new palette which I am still trying to get a handle on.  It is based on Donald Jurney's palette.  He is a New England based painter who does stunning work mostly from his imagination.  He does paint a lot plein air and his drawings are exquisite.  I had the opportunity to meet him in Ogunquit a few weeks ago and I hope to be able to take another workshop with him sometime.  You can see some of his work here.  The palette is unique in that there is no cadmium yellow or red which makes for a softer and more natural color harmony.  He also uses premixed greens which I have never used before.  I'm working on it.  I have a few more pieces in the works.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer is Here

"Newport Summer" study, 6 x 8, oil on panel

It finally feels like summer!  The boats are out and the sun is shining.  This painting is much lighter and cooler than the above jpeg.  I can't seem to get a decent photo because it is so bright outside.  I will try to get a better picture later if I can.  I am announcing a new sales policy regarding my small studies and pastels that are featured on my blog and Facebook.  Starting this week my new 6 x 8 and 6 x 6 studies will be available via the Daily Paintworks website.   I will not be selling these small pieces through the galleries any longer so if you are interested in a small painting please either email me or just click on the Daily Paintworks widget on my blog.  Larger paintings will still be available through the galleries.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Steaming Sidewalk Study

"Steaming Sidewalk Study",  8 x 8, pastel on paper

I have had this reference for a long time and just now decided to tackle it.  This is the preliminary study on sanded paper.  I really like the way the texture of the paper makes the colors in the steam sparkle.  I  am going to do a couple of oil color studies because I think the red sidewalk is a bit saturated and makes the whole painting too warm.  I am trying to avoid using any photo references for my landscapes these days but cityscapes are a different story.  It's too hard to remember all the perspective issues and architectural detail without a reference.  More on that in another post!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Gallery in Connecticut

"Sunday Afternoon NYC", oil on linen, 24 x 24

My gallery in Albany, NY has just opened another gallery in New Canaan, CT.  Sorelle Gallery will mark its official opening with a reception on Friday night, June 6th, from 5 to 8 p.m.  There will be many of the gallery artists on hand to discuss their work on Friday as well as during the open house on Saturday.  There should be some of my cityscapes as well as recent landscape work but there will be a lot of diverse work from 20 or 30 artists for people to enjoy.  So stop by if you are in the area!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mist Along the Canal

"Study for Mist Along the Canal", 9 x 12, pastel on hand made sanded paper

Yes, another misty painting.   I like fog (unless we are sailing in it).  This is going to be a larger oil painting.  I think I will be able to refine the shapes of the trees a bit more when I do the oil version.  This paper has a lot of texture so it can be hard to get really refined edges.  I like the feeling overall but will probably do a small version in oil before I tackle the larger one.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Maine Fog Color Study

Maine Fog Color Study, 6 x 8, pastel on sanded paper

I made a new batch of pastel paper today and wanted to try it out with some color studies.  I actually didn't plan this one at all but I like it.  It has a kind of "japonisme" feel to it.  If I were to do it larger, however, I would really need to work out the shapes of the foliage beforehand. We'll see.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

"White Umbrella"

"White Umbrella", 9 x 12, oil on panel

This is an oil version of a pastel painting I did a long time ago.  I've always loved this image.  I hope to make a trip to New York soon to collect some more cityscape references.  In the meantime, this painting as well as my recent cityscapes and tonalist landscapes will be on view at Sorelle Gallery starting this evening.  There will be a reception starting at 5 p.m. so if you are in the upstate New York region please come by!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Mist

"Spring Mist", 8 x 8, pastel on sanded paper

The mist and fog theme continues . . . This work will be shown at Sorelle Gallery starting Friday, April 25th.  There will be a reception on Friday evening from 6 - 8p.m.  Stop by if you're in the area!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Moonrise Over The Stables

"Moonrise over the stables", oil on panel, 9 x 12

I have been busy painting and getting ready for the trip back to the US next week.  I will have several new paintings of cityscapes and tonalist landscapes like the one above on view at Sorelle Gallery next week.  I will post opening times and schedule tomorrow.  This painting was inspired by some sketches of the stables across from the racetrack in Saratoga Springs.  There is a timeless quality to the old barns where they keep the horses in the summer.  I may do more paintings from here if I can get them to let me past the security gate!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Foggy Afternoon

Study for Foggy Afternoon, oil on panel, 6 x 8

This little study started as an exercise in atmospheric tonalism.  There are two key ways to create atmosphere:  close values and low chroma color.  I picked one color (green) to use as my jumping off point for all the values and masses in the painting.  All the colors are mixed off of the one green puddle of color.  I was careful to keep the values separate but close.  I like the brushwork in this study.  I also like the underpainting showing through in the foreground as it adds a little sparkle and interest.  After spending the last several months painting in an indirect manner (lots of glazing and waiting) it was liberating to start and finish a study in one sitting.  I used a larger pastel painting of this scene from a few years ago as my guide to composing the sketch.  I may take it a bit further and create a new composition for a larger oil.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sunset Along the Shore

"Sunset ALong the Shore", pastel on sanded paper, 6 x 6

I finally broke out my pastels to do a few studies today.  I usually can't use my pastels on the boat (too messy!) but we are on land for a couple of days so out they came.  We can't see the sun set because of the mountains so it is really more about trying to capture the way the changing sky affects the colors of the trees and land.  I like this piece and may work it up into a bigger size lair.  The back mountain probably needs to be darkened a bit to push it back.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Think Green

"Spring Greens", 12 x 12, oil on panel

I don't usually post works in progress but I felt we needed a little break from the rain and snow!  This painting is based on several sketches and some photo references of one of my favorite spots in Ridgefield, CT.  It has some great trees.  This was a misty morning in late spring/early summer.  This is an example of the indirect painting process I am using in some of my landscapes now.  It has several layers of glazes, scumbles and opaque and translucent passages.  At this point it is a matter of adjusting the values of the rocks and emphasizing the misty quality of the atmosphere which I will do with more glazes and probably some opaque areas to tone down the bright green areas down a bit.  As I've said before, it is a time consuming process!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Annapolis Rain

"Annapolis Rain", 9 x 12, oil on linen panel

I've been working on several rainy day scenes and cityscapes over the past few weeks.   I haven't been able to post anything because they have all been in different stages of development.  This process just takes a lot longer than direct alla prima painting.  I am trying to create a mood with these paintings rather than just presenting a scene.  I like all the different textures of a rainy day in the city:  reflections, wet pavement, misty atmosphere and the patina of old buildings.  It's a struggle to suggest all these different textures but that is part of the process.  So I guess these paintings are as much about the process as the actual subject matter.  Hopefully there will be a couple more paintings ready to show by the end of the week.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Beach Dune Study

Beach Dune Study, 6 x 8, oil on panel

This is a quick study for a larger painting that I am planning when I get back to my studio in Saratoga.  It is based on sketches and photos of the dunes in Cape Cod.  They are really very soft and gray in color when you look at them closely.  I will do a larger pastel version and then decide how much bigger I want to go with the final painting.  A larger version will require some refinement to the composition particularly in the foreground area so I have some work to do before I attack this project!  I'll keep you posted.

Monday, February 24, 2014

View From the Cockpit

"View From the Cockpit (BVI)", 6 x 8, oil on carton board

This is the view from the cockpit of the boat in our marina in Tortola.  The islands in the background are St. John.  Sorry to rub it in to all you snowbound people up North!  This is a quick oil sketch done on carton board which is a substrate that the European Impressionists used for their studies.  It is ultra absorbent and a little scratchy which makes it a little challenging to paint quickly.  I like the warm undertones that show throughout the sketch.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

After the Rain

"After the Rain" (Road Town, BVI) 9 x 12, oil on panel

I had a fairly unproductive month due to the fractured foot incident but things are on the mend!  I have been working on some small pieces while laid up on the boat.  This is one of a few paintings currently in progress though this one is pretty close to finished.  There may be a scumble here or a glaze there before it is all done but I am leaving it for now.  I will post the remaining few pieces as they get closer. . .

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Rain On Broadway

Rain on Broadway, 9 x 12, oil on panel

Forgive the bad photo here.  I only have my iPhone and it really does not seem to take decent pictures of artwork for some reason.  It feels a little strange to be painting cold, rainy street scenes when I am sitting in 85 degree heat in the Caribbean!  Unfortunately, my plans to paint some tropical townscapes have been postponed due to a sailing accident.  I missed a step and fractured my foot!  So, no plein air for a while.  It has been 10 days so far and I am able to walk short distances but am otherwise boat bound at the dock.  So, for now I am working from sketches and references I have of both New York and Saratoga.  Some of the Saratoga paintings will be included in my two person show in Albany later in the Spring.  More details to follow. . .

Monday, January 20, 2014


"Illumination", 16 x 20, oil on linen

This is another Saratoga rainy day scene.  I am happy with it overall but need to let it sit for a while before declaring it "finished".  This will probably be the last cityscape I post for a while since I am in the Caribbean now. It's hard to paint cold rainy days when it is 90 degrees and sunny!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rainy Day Grays

"Rainy Day Grays", oil on linen, 18 x 24

This is one of 4 large (for me) paintings that I have been working on over the past month or so in my studio.   I was not sure it was finished but I found myself doing lots of pointless noodling and it finally had to go - ready or not!  I am dropping this piece off at the gallery tomorrow so it had no choice but to be "finished."  The downside to working in an indirect manner is not only the amount of time it takes to complete the painting but how much that extra time creates and enables doubt and uncertainty to creep in at each stage. When painting directly, either in the studio or plein air, you have to make quick decisions and stick with it.  But, when working in layers you can glaze, scumble, have a snack, paint the whole thing over again, question the color choice, glaze, scumble, change the palette, throw your brushes, have another snack . . . well you get the picture.  I am satisifed for now.  It has a quiet kind of Hopper feel to me (though with brighter colors obviously).  Two of the other paintings were not allowed to leave the studio.  They are being punished.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Essex January Invitational

"LobsterFellas", 8 x 10, oil on panel

Two of my lobster guy paintings have been accepted by Art Essex Gallery in beautiful Essex, Connecticut.  This is a national show and will be covered by Art Collector magazine.  The show opens January 15th and runs through February 15th.  There is a reception on the 17th which I will have to miss since I will be on my way to the Caribbean.  But you should go!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chinatown Market

Chinatown Market, 11 x 14, oil on canvas

All four of my large paintings are still wet so I could not work on them today.  I found this older painting in my "discard pile" and decided to rework it.  I like it much better now!  I think some of the values in the original painting were off and the colors were over saturated.  Looks like I still have a couple of minor perspective corrections in this but I will have to wait a couple of days.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Belated Happy New Year!

"Study for Rainy Saratoga", 5 x 7, oil on paper

Hope everyone had a great holiday!  I'm off to a bad start with New Year's resolutions one of which was to post my paintings in a more consistent and timely manner.  I am currently working on four large (for me) cityscape/rainy scene paintings which will hopefully be ready for viewing in the next week or so.  My process has gradually shifted over the past year to a more deliberative approach which can be quite time consuming.  It is a combination of indirect and direct painting techniques involving layers of glazes, scumbles and often lots of scraping off and repainting! I now do more sketching than painting on location and use those sketches and value studies for the subsequent paintings.   Stay tuned!