Monday, August 16, 2010

August Sky / The Visitation

"August Sky"
11x14" oil on linen on board

I painted this one recently at a farm near Skillman, NJ.   It's township-owned land that someone still farms, but no one lives here anymore.   I almost never see another soul at this farm and there's a very lonely feeling to the place.  The day I painted this was hot, the sun was brutal, and a strong wind was picking up.

So there I was, painting, and I see a figure way in the distance on the other side of the field - a long way off but it seems to be walking towards me.   I keep painting, watching this figure approach, and holding my easel with one hand to keep it steady in the wind.  It seemed to take forever for that person to reach me - it's a pretty big hay field, but eventually I could make out some details:  a tall, thin, older fellow.   Long gray hair flowing down his back.  Blue jeans, no shirt, great tan.   Standing there in that big open space, hot wind a-blowin', being approached by this stranger, I felt like I was in a scene from High Plains Drifter.

Fortunately he was no outlaw or gunfighter, he just wanted to see what I was up to and he sat down on the ground to chat for a while.  His son used to paint.  We talked about the hot, dry summer we've been having and he said that the spring on the farm has dried up and that that almost never happens.  He told me about the farmer who used to live there - after being seriously gored by one of his bulls, the farmer gave up farming and sold the land to the township - that's how it became Montgomery Township Open Space.  After some more chit chat, he said farewell and walked back across the field.    I was alone again under that hot August sky, listening to the music of rusty sheet metal roofing flapping in the wind, and thinking of High Plains Drifter and the mysterious stranger.  And moments like that, I wouldn't rather be anywhere else.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Visions of Summer

This month at the Artists' Gallery, we're celebrating summer by having a group show with work from all 18 gallery artists. I'll have 8 paintings on display, including these:

"Adirondack Chairs"
11x14" oil on board

These chairs were beside a big old hedge at the Woolverton Inn in Stockton, NJ, and I thought that made the perfect backdrop for this painting.

"Stockton Bridge"
24x30" oil on canvas

This painting is looking south on the Delaware River from behind Prallsville Mills.  The bridge connects Stockton, NJ (on the left) with Center Bridge, PA (on the right).

"Along the Raritan"
8x10" oil on board

To be perfectly honest, this painting was done in the spring but I think it looks summery enough to fit the Visions of Summer theme.   This is the Black River and Western railroad bridge over the South Branch of the Raritan River about midway between Flemington and Three Bridges, NJ.

"Visions of Summer" runs Aug 8 - Sept 5, 2010 at:
Artists' Gallery
18 Bridge Street
Lambertville, NJ 08530
map & directions

Opening reception is Sunday, August 8, 2pm to 5pm.

(Note that we're not doing our usual Saturday evening reception this month).

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Images of the Mills 2010

"Prallsville Winter"
8x10" oil on board

My painting of Prallsville Mills in winter will be part of this year's "Images of the Mills" annual juried show at Prallsville Mills in Stockton, NJ, just north of town on Rt 29 (map & directions).  As always, this show features images of the Prallsville Mills complex and the immediate surrounding area.  This year it's being held in the newly renovated Sawmill Gallery.

Opening reception is this Friday, Aug 6, from 5-8pm.

Show dates:  Friday, August 6, 2010 from 5 to 8pm;  Saturday, August 7, 2010 to Sunday August 29, 2010: open Fridays to Sundays, noon to 5pm; also available to be seen during docent tours, Mondays to Thursdays, 1 to 4pm.