Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Diamond Hill, Spring

This was my favorite plein air outing for 2009. Diamond Hill is an elegant historic district in Lynchburg.

Diamond Hill, Spring, Oil on Panel, 8x10

No sooner had I gotten set up than a swarm of mystery bugs descended upon me and my gear, nearly forcing me to bail before the first brushstroke. Fortunately, they left as quickly as they came a few minutes later. I was set up behind my parked car in the street, which was nearly empty, so I was rather surprised when a car pulled up and parked just a couple of feet behind me, the engine heat radiating on my legs. I think I may have been occupying his usual spot. The guy got out and cheerfully joked about how my painting will be worth millions like a Monet. Ha ha, sir! No more backing up to check my progress I guess. Lovely day, though, and I was glad to wind up with a painting I liked.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sunlit Sedalia

The annual Lynchburg Art Festival was held last Saturday. 132 artists, beautiful weather, and a lot of great art. This was my fourth year, and I finally achieved a personal goal: winning one of the 25 awards. I got the C.B.Fleet Award, which, as far as I can tell, translates into sixth place, for my small piece, 'Sunlit Sedalia.' The judge was Richard Crozier, noted landscape artist and University of Virginia art professor.

Sunlit Sedalia, Oil on Panel, 8x10

Sometimes my paintings lack a proper focal point, but there's no mistaking it with this one! I was immediately happy with it upon completion, and that's certainly not always the case with me. This is the only festival I do at this point, so it was gratifying to get the recognition, especially in a tough year for art sales.

A woman approached me at the end of the show as I retrieved the painting from the judge's fence and asked what my 'absolute best price' was for this piece. I appreciated the interest, but quickly decided not to reduce my asking price. It just didn't sit well with me to let an award-winner go for a bargain price. Was it the right call?

For anyone interested, the scene is from Charlemont Rd, looking toward the little town of Sedalia at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains (map).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A little bit about myself...

At long last I'm joining the ranks of the many fine art bloggers I've been following for some time. I can't claim to be in the same league as the folks on my blogroll, but I do like the idea of actually participating in this online community of artists rather than just silently admiring what others are putting out there.

I'm a self-taught artist, having first tried painting about 20 years ago. I painted sporadically and poorly for many years, making little progress, until 2004, when I finally made some studio space in the basement and started painting regularly. I really enjoy painting outdoors on location whenever possible, but with a full-time job and a toddler at home, time for such adventures is severely limited.

Before I start posting my most recent work, I'll post one from my favorite plein air session from last year, when I took a terrific workshop with Ken Dewaard in Charlottesville, Virginia. We had a rare opportunity to paint at Monticello.

Monticello Morning, Oil on Panel, 8x10 (sold)

Painting at Jefferson's Monticello, September 2008

I think I'm somewhere between hobbyist and 'emerging artist.' My goal for the coming year is to pursue some gallery representation. This fall I'm taking a landscape painting class at a local university since the class is being taught by my friend and mentor, Paul Dinwiddie. I'll be posting work from that class in the weeks ahead. Feel free to offer honest critiques of the paintings I post here. It's hard to improve if nobody points out what you're doing wrong!