Friday, December 21, 2007

New Hope Arts, Inc.

My solo show at the Triumph in New Hope is over, but the sponsors of that show, New Hope Arts, Inc., wanted to hold onto a few of my paintings to show in their permanent gallery space across the street. So I'll have about 6 paintings there for a couple of months at least.

New Hope Arts mainly shows sculpture in their gallery but fortunately there is some wall space for a few 2 dimensional works. The show going on now through Jan 12, 2008 is "Works In Wood" - a national juried show that is well worth seeing.

New Hope Arts is located at 2 Stockton Street, New Hope, Pa - it's on the corner of Bridge and Stockton Streets.

One of the paintings I'll have over there:

"Larsen Road Barns"
11x14 oil on panel

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Poets and Artists Reception RESCHEDULED

Due to inclement weather, the Poets & Artists reception for "The Road Not Taken" which was schedule for tonight, has been postponed until Tuesday evening, Dec 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

It's been a mix of snow, sleet and rain all morning, and ice is starting to build up on the trees and wires - a good night to stay home!

Just a reminder, that the show runs until Jan 11, 2008 at:
D&R Greenway Land Trust
at the Johnson Education Center
One Preservation Place
Princeton, New Jersey 08540

"Winter Over Amwell Valley"
12x24 oil on canvas

Monday, December 10, 2007

Starling Migration

Totally unrelated to painting, but I was pretty amazed by this: If you've ever seen a mile long cloud of birds migrating in the fall, I felt like I was in the middle of one of those migration paths the other day. I noticed the light flickering outside my window, which was odd because there are no trees there to cast shadows. I looked outside and like in a Hitchcock movie, my yard was being invaded by birds - European Starlings, I believe. They were streaming in from north to south, and stopping in my back yard for a break. I've never seen so many birds in one spot before. This kept up for about a half an hour, then it was quiet again. These photos are from my dining room window:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Holiday Show at the Artists Gallery

At the Artists' Gallery, we're doing our usual group show - instead of using the front room for a 2-person show, we're using that space so that all gallery members can show their work for December, January and February. Our December group show is titled:

Of Art and Ornaments
Hot Art for a Cool Season

In addition to the usual artwork we show, gallery members have created Holiday ornaments - all original artwork at very reasonable prices. My contribution will be some handmade porcelain ornaments that I made quite a while ago. I used to do a lot of ceramics back in the early 90's and I still have a few of these on hand - I think they look good hanging in the house year round, so they're not just Christmas ornaments:

Besides the ornaments, I'll have some new, very small paintings up. I did a series of 5x7" works recently, and since our Holiday shows usually feature smaller works, it seemed like a good time to bring them out. Here's one:

"Ridge Road, October"
5x7 oil on panel

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

From Plein Air to Studio

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I was busy working on 2 large paintings inspired by 2 small plein airs that I did over the summer. I know that 24" x 30" isn't large by some artists' standards, but for my current mode of working, it really is.

"Stockton Bridge"
8x10 oil on panel
Here's an 8x10" painting I did on location back in August. I'm standing below the Prallsville Mills, looking down the Delaware River towards Stockton, NJ and Center Bridge, Pa.

Often when I do a larger studio painting from a plein air, the studio work takes on a life of it's own and comes out quite different. You think I'd be in complete control of this but that's not how it works for me. Sometimes I think it's good that they're so different but this time I was really happy that they're not. I think (I hope) that the larger version captures the same beautiful summer day feeling that the smaller version has. Here's the studio version:

"Stockton Bridge (large)"
24x30 oil on canvas

My second subject
"Under Stockton Bridge"
8x10 oil on panel
was based on a plein air that I did in early September. At the time I painted this one, I really wanted to be higher up on the river bank, but street level wasn't a good place to setup, and part-way down the bank was simply way too steep to stand on so I painted down by river level. Which was a nice place to be, but not exactly what I had in mind. The painting did capture the feeling and colors of that day, but in my studio version, I used some photographs in addition the plein air painting, to do the painting that I really wanted to do that day. The plein air painting was my reference for color and mood but the photographs were necessary for the big change in perspective. This is what I came up with:

"From Stockton To Center Bridge"
24x30 oil on canvas

Stockton is a nice little river town, and the Stockton Inn is good stop for food & drinks. The iron truss bridge I painted here was the site of Edward Redfield's famous painting "The Burning of Center Bridge", where the wooden covered bridge on this spot went up in flames one night in 1923. (Center Bridge, Pa is the town across the river from Stockton, NJ.)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Garden State Magazine Winter 2007/08

Garden State Town & Country Living magazine has an article about me in their Winter 2007/08 edition, out on newsstands now through the beginning of March 2008.

Every issue features an artist in their Gallery section, and of course it was quite a thrill when they contacted me and asked if I'd be interested. Arts reporter Cathie Viksjo felt that my work has "a beautiful realism that our readers will like very much".

Since it's the winter issue of the magazine, one of my snow scenes was chosen to accompany the article - Amwell Valley Winter - a painting currently hanging in my solo show at the Triumph Brewery in New Hope, Pa., which runs until Dec 17.

I must say that I thought the article was a bit too flattering, but a friend said it describes me perfectly. One minor thing I'd like to correct though, is that when bicycling across the country, I rode pretty much straight west from Virginia to Colorado - not to Chicago as stated in the article - that would be crazy! From Colorado, we followed the Rockies north to Montana, then west again to Oregon. And it was a road bike, not a dirt bike. Other than those very minor points, I suppose the article sums me up pretty well:

You can read the rest of the article here on my website.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cloudscapes and Roadways

Here's a return to one of my favorite subjects - roadways. But instead of quiet country roads, how about a 4 lane divided highway:

"Route 202 Cloudscape"
16x20 oil on canvas

This is a drive I take very often - Route 202 approaching Lambertville, NJ, right before the highway descends into the Delaware River Valley. And needless to say, it's not plein air!

I've been so busy with my shows and other things lately that it's been a while since I've painted, so it was nice to get back into it and I had a lot of fun doing this one. Here are some closeups for the painters out there who like to see brushwork / knifework:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Images of the Mills 2007

I have one painting in this year's "Images of the Mills" show at the Prallsville Mills in Stockton, NJ. The main criteria for entering this show is that the work be an image of the mill or the area immediately surrounding it. Here's my entry, a scene looking down the D&R Canal towpath behind the mill:

"Prallsville Sunset"
18x24 oil on canvas

The show runs Nov 14 to 21, 2007 and is open daily from 12 to 5 pm.
Opening reception: Friday, Nov 16 - 6 to 9 pm.
Prallsville Mills is along Rt 29, on the northern edge of the town of Stockton, NJ.

20% of all sales go the the Delaware River Mill Society to aid in the preservation of the historic Prallsville Mills complex.

It occurs to me that between this show, my solo show at the Triumph, "The Road Not Taken", and my 3 regular galleries, I have 56 paintings hanging out in public right now - I think that's a record for me. I've heard some artists talk about the difficulty of simply keeping track of where all of their paintings are, and I'm beginning to appreciate that problem!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Views Of The Valley

I'm having a solo show entitled "Joe Kazimierczyk - Views Of The Valley" running from Nov 6 until Dec 17, 2007 at:

Triumph Brewing Co.
400 Union Square
New Hope, Pa 18938
map & directions

Opening reception: Wednesday Nov 7, 5:30 - 7:00 pm.

The Triumph is a brew pub with good food and beer, and they will be providing some beer and hors d'ourves for the opening, so it's worth stopping by for that alone. :-)

I'll be showing about 35 paintings - my biggest show to date. It'll be a mix of older work and some very new work. Here's a new one I'll be showing for the first time - a scene behind the Prallsville Mills in Stockon, NJ:

"Behind The Prallsville"
10x8 oil on canvas on panel

This show was arranged and sponsored by New Hope Arts, Inc., and I thank them for this opportunity to show! New Hope Arts is running a national juried exhibition entitled "Works In Wood", just across the street at The Center, and they felt that my natural and structural landscapes would nicely compliment the Works In Wood sculpture show. Visit their web site for more details on that show.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Captive Audience - A Halloween Story

This has very little to do with painting, but the story takes place in my studio:

I live in an old house and my painting studio is a roughly finished upstairs attic. I was painting in my studio the other night and I heard a chirping sound behind me. My first thought was that it's a bird in the chimney which runs through that room. But I turn around, and see a bat squeezing himself through a gap in some loose ceiling tiles.

I yelled and told him to "Go Away!" But he just screeched back and kept working his way out.

I quickly grabbed a 5 gallon plastic bucket and trapped him against the ceiling. So there I was, standing with one arm pressing a plastic bucket against the ceiling, a wildly screeching bat trapped inside, wondering what the heck do I do now...


What now...

With my other hand, I pulled some nearby shelving over a little closer and started building a tower of boxes and turpentine cans - anything within reach until I eventually wedged the bucket so it would stay in place. It seemed secure and I was out of ideas, so I finished my painting, and then went downstairs to watch the American Masters special on Bob Newhart.

The next morning, the bat sounded like he was tired out, so I carefully and every so slightly pulled the bucket away from the ceiling, and quickly slid a lid over it. I took it outside, and set him free, but Mr Bat just sat there with wings spread out on the lawn.

I thought maybe I injured the poor thing but didn't know what else to do. So I went back into my house, and turned around just in time to see the bat flying straight for my open door! He wasn't injured, he was just waiting for his chance to get back inside. Sneaky! But I closed the door just in time and he sat on the side of my house screeching for a while. Later I saw him flying laps around my house. Chances are that he's back inside my attic already, but I'm trying to fix all of the gaps where bats might get into my living space again.

So that's my tale of painting for a captive audience, a bat in a bucket, a few days before Halloween.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Benefit Weekend!

Saturday, Oct 20 is the big day for 2 benefit events that I participated in this year:

"Hidden Gardens Revealed"

at the Artists' Gallery, 32 Coryell St., Lambertville, NJ

"The Art of Conservation • Landscapes as Inspiration"

at the Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ

First: Back on June 9, Artists' Gallery members joined the annual Hidden Gardens of Lambertville tour by setting up and painting in the gardens during the tour. The artists "added a wonderful compliment to our event" said Fran Bardusco, Garden tour chairwoman, "and now these beautiful paintings are going to be offered for sale with half of the proceeds being donated to the Kalmia Club to help benefit the club's community efforts."

The exhibition and sale of the paintings that we did runs from Saturday, October 20 to Sunday, October 28 at the Artists' Gallery located at 32 Coryell St., Lambertville. Opening reception for Kalmia Club's "Hidden Gardens Revealed" is on Saturday, October 20th from 4:00 to 7:00. Kalmia Club members will be handling the food and refreshments, and I'm told that they're all great cooks.

Second: On Sept 23, I joined 26 other artists in "A Day At The Farm", a paint-out at the Dvoor Farm in Flemington, NJ. We all donated our paintings from that day to the Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance. This Saturday Oct 20, beginning at 7:30, they'll be auctioned off at the Land Trust's Fall Gala at the Hunterdon Museum of Art in Clinton, NJ. This should be a pretty nice affair too. More details can be found on their website, along with a preview of all the art work to be auctioned off.

That gives me 1/2 hour to get from Lambertville to Clinton. It'll be a busy day for me!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

On the Wing Dam

Yesterday was an incredibly beautiful day around here and I headed into Lambertville to do another painting along the river. Just south of the Lambertville boat club which I painted recently, there's a wing dam across the Delaware River. You can walk out on the dam to almost the middle of the river - it's a wide dam so it's pretty safe, and it's fun standing out there completely surrounded by the river, peaceful above the dam, roaring rapids below.

This first painting is from the New Jersey shore, looking across the wing dam toward the old mill works and new townhouses in New Hope, Pa:

"Lambertville Wing Dam"
8x10 oil on panel

I finished the first painting but it was such a nice day that I really didn't want to leave. So I turned 90 degrees and painted the view looking downstream. There's a small island on the right, and this channel joins the main river in the distance:
"Below the Wing Dam"
8x10 oil on canvas panel

Just for kicks (and if this works right) here's a satellite view of the wing dam. Lambertville, NJ is on the right hand side:

View Larger Map

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Road Not Taken

I have 3 paintings in a show called
"The Road Not Taken" - Journeys into Nature

It's organized by the D&R Greenway Land Trust and will be held at the Marie L. Matthews Gallery at the Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, Princeton, NJ (off of Rosedale Road). The show opens October 15, 2007 and runs until January 11, 2008. 35% of all sales go to support the D&R Greenway’s land preservation mission.

Meet-The-Artists RECEPTION: Thursday, November 8, 2007: 5:30 – 7:30 pm

POETS’ & ARTISTS’ RECEPTION: Thursday, December 13, 2007: 5:30 – 7:30 pm

The poets' reception is an interesting twist on an otherwise typical art exhibition. Because of the Robert Frost connection in the show title, poets are invited to visit the exhibit and choose a work of art to inspire their own work. At the December 13 reception, poets will be reading these poems. If you're a poet and you're interested, more information on how to participate can be found the Land Trust's website.

The theme of this show, land preservation and pathways into nature, is right up my alley, since I do a lot of painting on preserved land. These are the 3 paintings I have in the show:

"Winter Over Amwell Valley"
12x24 oil on canvas

"Towards Stanton Mountain"
8x10 oil on panel

"Pine Tree Trail"
11x14 oil on canvas on board

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Third Annual Hillsborough Art Show

Hillsborough, NJ, my township of residence began an annual art show for township residents a few years ago. So far, I hadn't entered because it didn't seem right for a person who shows in art galleries, like myself, to be competing with local kids and such. I guess I wasn't the only one thinking that, and in the interest of fairness, this year's show has separate categories for professional, non-professional, and students (through grade 12). So I'll enter a painting this year. (I haven't settled on which one yet). It's a one day event:

The Third Annual Art Show and Cultural Fair
sponsored by the Hillsborough Cultural and Arts Commission
Saturday, Oct 13, from 10 am to 3:30 pm
Municipal Complex
379 South Branch Road
Hillsborough, NJ 08844

Besides the arts show, over 60 different cultural organizations will be showing off their goals and activities. Music will be provided by the Raritan Valley Symphonic Band. It should be fun!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Lambertville Boat Club

"Lambertville Boat Club"
8x10 oil on linen panel

My 2-person show with Carol at the Artists' Gallery is over - we both did well, and it was fun while it lasted. Yesterday I took down my half of the show and while I was in town, I did this painting at the boat launch area, just behind the Lambertville Station. I think it's my first painting of boats. These pontoon boats are mostly straight lines - much easier to draw than the curvy lines in other boats. But I did have one big challenge: I have a checklist which I check before heading out to paint - it's frustrating to setup somewhere and realize you forgot something. This time I forgot my big tube of titanium white. All I had was a tube of zinc white. Non-painters are probably thinking "so what - white is white!". But that's not really true with oil paints. There are several varieties of white paint, all chemically different, all with different handling characteristics. Titanium white is very opaque and has great covering power. Zinc white is the most transparent white - it's great for mixing with other colors to lighten them without making them look chalky as titanium white can do. But, that transparency is a problem when you want to cover something up, and titanium white would have made certain parts of this scene much easier to paint. Still, I'm happy with how it turned out. And a little extra challenge now and then can't be a bad thing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Dvoor Farm Paint Out

Well, I went to the paint out at the Dvoor Farm and it was a heck of a lot of fun! I knew 6 of the 27 artists who were out painting that day. (There is safety in numbers!) There was live music and a big crowd of people wandering around the farm. The smell of buffalo burgers and freshly baked pizza was wafting through the air all day. Patricia, an artist painting with acrylics near me kept saying how she loved the smell of my oil paints and turpentine. Me, I much preferred the smell of those buffalo burgers.

Here's the scene I chose to paint - at the start, the wall was getting full sunlight:

By the time I finished, that wall was completely in shadow. That's just one of the big challenges of painting on location, especially with buildings - the light changes so quickly, that after a certain point, you're really painting from memory. I don't have a good image of my finished painting, but the Land Trust will be proving me with one:

I took these pictures at the end of the day when the crowd was already winding down, but it was a lot more lively earlier in the day:

I used to be a pretty shy person - still am, I guess - but my recent adventures in the art world have certainly helped me make progress on that front. The paint out really was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to attending the Fall Gala on Oct 20, when the paintings will be auctioned off.

The Dvoor Farm is a really incredible property, and I'm so happy to know that it's being preserved. I'm pretty sure I'll be painting back there again.