Friday, March 19, 2010

Week 8 at the Studio

What a busy week this has been in spite of spring break for both ACCC and Princeton. Between working out at the gym with my brother who is training for a triathlon to my wonderful afternoons in the studio it has been very full and fulfilling. This is good! It has been a joy to spend time with my brother and his family even though I am far below his level of fitness. Let me step back a minute to last weekend and get to the art.

If you read last week's blog, I noted I was going to be at ACCC's Studio Art Workshop (Painting Mist and Fog in Watercolor) with Barbara Cox. It was an interesting workshop. I made three small studies on scraps of watercolor paper from provided references. (These are above, right, and below.) The gray you see is called Getz Gray made by Cheap Joe's Art Stuff (American Journey brand) and though an opaque color, it is very beautiful. I added a few other subtle colors to achieve that wonderful, wet, misty feeling you get in the morning or on the beach. In the one of just clouds I added some white gouache.

What was really ironic about the workshop was that the weather was horrible. It was a perfect day for mist and fog as the winds rattled the classroom windows and we had thunder and rain in the morning and downpours in the afternoon. As I left campus feeling really good about my little paintings, I noticed that ACCC lost another pine tree; it toppled over onto the area where a new building is to go so I guess it sacrificed itself before being taken down. We lose about one a year due to the short root system. The nice thing is that the weather has cleared but I did not do any plein air painting this week but that is coming soon. Read on...

In the studio I made a watercolor and gouache painting called The Crab Shack (above). The building is gone but years ago this shanty was several yards out in the marshes at Morris Beach on the curve of Jeffers Landing Road in NJ where I used to live and consequently where I met John. (Morris Beach was also the theme of my first one woman show in Philadelphia in 1990 so historically speaking, this place has been very inspiring.) The shanty was a place where the crabbers would rest and get shelter from the sun, rain, and any of the elements. It slowly crumbled with each season and was gone by the time John arrived at the beach.

Recently, John and I have reunited with some of the Morris Beach islanders. In fact, my painting on the landscape project for my class at Princeton was held at a property adjacent to Joe and Marge's homestead (who you see in the Web-based photo show-link below in Weeks 4 & 5). I do plan on returning there to paint plein air as soon as the weather stabilizes even more.

At the studio on Thursday I also did a small 2 hour study of two garlic heads and an onion. This painting was drawn in charcoal (contour only) and then painted with transparent darks and opaque lights. I was careful to soften edges like the master painter Vermeer as I am still exploring how he painted so beautifully. I think this painting is done but I am not sure if the painting of the shanty is. I need to think about that.

I return to the studio tonight for the monthly Third Friday celebration. I expect us to be very busy as the weather has kept everyone away and this evening's gallery walk promises to be absolutely beautiful and crowded. If you have never been to Third Friday in Millville's Glasstown Arts District, give it a try. My studio will be open until 8:30 PM. It is Studio 3 in the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts and I am sure the restaurants, bars, shops and galleries will be bustling.

Next week I return to Princeton on Monday only as we move forward with my Uncreative Writing class. I expect to get my time in at the studio, move my research paper forward towards completion.  I will spend another day with my brother as he prepares for his big race. More next week! Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Cheryl --- let me know when you may be plein air painting at Morris Beach. I'd love to join you if you like.