This summer finds me moving forward in life as well as in art.
Treating myself to a beautiful gift of nature and painting, I revisited the place of my teenage summer stomping grounds… Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.
I spent a glorious week painting in Cape Cod in the company of my pleinair painting buddies, Laura Levine and Clay Fried. Inspired by one another and the illuminated light, we painted along the shores in Truro, Wellfleet and Provincetown. We especially enjoyed finding that ‘golden hour’ when the lower angle of the sun sets the landscape ablaze in rich light and elongated shadows. Our painting retreat was filled with pleinair painting, discussions about art and artists, figure drawing in Provincetown, and soaking up the mid-day rays on the beach.
I then ferried over to Martha’s Vineyard where I met with family and friends to embrace the island magic along the beaches and lagoons. Returning to nature as inspiration, my paintings reflect the color and light of the east coast summer shore line.
Lucky me! I spent a week recently during my winter break on my beloved Big Island of Hawaii. I was lucky to be invited to paint along the black lava coast with my friend and esteemed Hawaiian artist Arthur Johnsen. Pele was kind to us. The road to lower Puna was still open and the weather was beautiful. Rain left rainbows and we painted the light along the coast among the graceful ironwood trees. Arthur painted me painting the coast and surf.
My first semester of my MFA program begins with structured class time painting pleinair landscapes. Its not random that I chose this school for myself.
This group of paintings were all done at the Danbury cemetery near campus. We’ve been blessed with spectacular fall weather and the foliage is almost at its peek now. I love being a full-time student and the faculty at WestConn (WCSU) is fabulous. I don’t know how this amazing MFA has gone under the radar for so long. I think of it as 0ne of Connecticut’s best kept secrets.
These are all small studies. I have been using a limited palette as I refine my color choices but I’m ready to burst into a fuller color range soon.
Lately my dad and I have been spending a lot more time together. I’ve been inviting him on drives, museum visits, and also upstairs to hang out with me in my studio. We’ve been remodeling downstairs and he needs to escape the clamor and dust from the construction. While I set him up to watch a tv series on my kindle,Â I couldn’t resist painting this quick portrait. Harold has always been one to express a full range of emotions on his face, especially watching movies. He must’ve been watching a happy scene here. Even though he doesn’t paint any longer, I still benefit from his insightful eye and feedback on my paintings. Thanks dad!
Me painting Harold
Harold, oil on canvas
First Snow, oil on canvas. 24″ x 36″, $1200
After hurricane Sandy blew through Connecticut we were left with 6 days without power and just about every leaf had blown off the trees, leaving the skeletons of bare trunks and tree branches. The weather was bleak and I was day dreaming about colorful days, longing for sunny California and wondering what to paint.
That’s when the the flurries first began. One just followed another and the snow just kept piling up, all day! The enchantment of the first snow fall was so beautiful. I had forgotten how magical the outside world becomes as it is slowly cloaked and layered with soft whiteness. It was a gift of beauty and inspiration from the Lord of Winter.
Hello from the blustering New England countryside.
Before we lose power entirely I want to post my latest artistic adventures. This October I returned to live at the home where I was raised in rural Bethany, CT. I’m now perched in a glorious live/work loft extension in the large house my parents designed and built themselves. My live/work studio is large, the light is great and the views of the woods outside reflect the daily change of the seasons. I’m planning to stay awhile, paint and keep an eye on my folks.
Here I am painting the view out my window..Â the sienna and ochre colored foliage before the leaves dropped. We’re waiting out hurricane Sandy now.
Exciting and powerful.. nature is a humbling as well as inspiring experience.
I will miss my fabulous poolside studio in the hills of Marin. This still-life composition was compiled by objects found around the home… with a few traces of Hawaii to keep the memory alive. I’ve had the good fortune to stay at the Nottebohm mansion in San Rafael this past summer where I found inspiration in the exotic collection of art and chatkas of all kinds.Â Being the traveling artist that I am, my adventures continue as I head east to my home of origin in rural Ct. The New England fall colors await!
Split Leaf and Hula Girl, $2500
oil on canvas, 24″ x 36″
Maui!?! How could I have forgotten the soft sandy beaches and dazzling colors of this valley isle? I was blessed to have had the chance to visit Maui once again. Every night I enjoyed a prolonged and stunning sunset. I managed to do some painting on the beach before the afternoon winds kicked in and before sand found its way into every nook and cranny on me. Ulua Beach in Kihei was the theme of the week and also where I bumped into my friend and painting buddy Tuko from the Big Island. I missed her on my trip earlier this year so we made up for lost time and managed to set up a painting date on Ulua Beach my last day on the island.
New Pleinair Seascapes from Big Sur
Just back from a week long art retreat at Esalen hot springs in Big Sur. Painting, soaking, eating and then… painting, soaking, and eating. Everyday! I was blessed once again to be teaching assistant for Adam Wolpert’s Painting the Inner and Outer Landscape workshop. The weather was iffy but our group managed to paint outside everyday. I focused on shimmering water reflections in the context of small paintings with expansive views.
Aloha! I recently returned from a month long visit along the Kalapana coast on the Big Island of Hawaii. I was hosted by Arthur Johnsen, island painter extraordinaire, and my dear friend Lorn. Lorn built a gorgeous new ‘guest’ house where he now displays his lovely art collection; he’s got a great eye. He hung both my Ganesha painting and also myÂ Lovers woodcarving…tastefully framed into a sliding door. Arthur Johnsen, whose brilliant paintings are also on display on Lorn’s walls, honored and hosted me for 10 days, where I had fun exploring his exquisite tropical gardens along the lava field. He let me use his studio to paint and I attended the life-drawing sessions weekly in his cathedral-like studio. I invite you to see more pics and videos on myÂ facebook page: www.facebook.com/AbbieArtist