Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Painting In The Dark

Last night I was painting another view of the Kingston lock keeper's house. The one I did last week was painted on location. This one I was doing from photographs in my studio. Halfway through the painting, the power went out and I was in the dark. The painting had been going so well... I felt I was on a roll and didn't want to stop, so with a flashlight in my left hand, paintbrush in my right, I kept going. Then I remembered that I have a lantern - I lit that but it didn't give off a very bright light, and the color was very un-daylight like. I painted this way for about 45 minutes until the power came back on. What a comical sight I must have been, but it did turn out well:

"Lock #8, Kingston"
5x7 oil on wood panel

Actually, I think the unusual and dim lighting helped me to see the big shapes and values better, and this might have actually helped me to concentrate on the important things (i.e. the big shapes and values). Maybe I should do more painting in the dark!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Old Haunts

When I was a kid, I used to go fishing with my father near this spot in Kingston, NJ but I probably haven't been back here for about 30 years. This week I had the urge to visit and check it out for painting. There's a lot of good subject matter nearby: the canal, the Millstone River, Carnagie Lake, and old mill, a few old bridges... I ended up painting another in my series of white buildings:
"Kingston Canal House & Lock"
11x14 oil on linen panel

This is a lock on the Delaware & Raritan Canal. The house was for the lock keeper / bridge keeper who had to work the lock and swing the bridge open for passing barges. The D&R Canal used to have 'swing bridges' that could pivot horizontally to let ships through, but I don't think any of these still exist. Here's the park plaque with a bit of the canal history:

Monday, July 23, 2007

Coventry Farm

This painting was done on a trail bordering Coventry Farm in Princeton Township, NJ. It's the J. Seward Johnson, Sr Trail, and the long wooden boardwalk that I'm standing on bridges over some wetland. I liked how the hard geometry of the walkway contrasts with the softness all around it. And, it was a nice change of pace from all of the buildings I've been painting lately:
"Coventry Farm Boardwalk"
8x10 oil on panel

One thing I have to remember is that while my umbrella provides a nice spot of shade for my paintbox, it doesn't do much for me. It was a hot day and I was roasting in the sun when I did this one. And I also have to be careful not to bump my tripod when standing on elevated walkways - I almost sent everything tumbling off the edge, but managed to recover with only getting a little bit of paint on my shirt. One of the many hazards of painting en plein air.

Coventry Farm is a beautiful piece of preserved farmland which borders a few other parks - together they form a very big chunk of preserved land in an area that really needs it. I'll have to explore some of the more wooded trails next, so I can find a shady and cooler spot to paint.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The 1860 House - 2 views

"1860 House, Front Porch"
8x10 oil on board

This weekend, I was painting at The 1860 House - the home of Montgomery Center for the Arts in Skillman, NJ - a classic white clapboard farm house which now has some nice gallery space inside. I finished painting the front of the house and I started packing up to go back home... but then I walked around the side of the house saw another intriguing view. Since my palette was still covered with the right colors, I decided to paint the side porch too. This is a view I painted before, but I had the urge to try it again:

"1860 House, Side Porch"
8x10 oil on linen on board

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Web Feed for my Paintings and News

I've added a web feed to my main website, joekaz.com, to list my newest paintings and occasional newsletters. It's way for you to easily know when I've added a new painting there. I post more paintings on my website gallery than I do to this blog, so there really won't be much overlap.

Rather than go into any more detail here, I'll refer you to this article on how to subscribe to my web site feed where I also try to explain what a web feed is in case you don't already know. It's a pretty cool web feature that many people don't know about, and you may find the information useful for other websites, not just mine.