Living in Cambridge and working in Boston, Nicholas Read was educated in both art and law. Since 1995, he has painted, primarily in oils, and exhibited consistently. Landscapes are a major focus, including roads (Coolidge Hill Road, above, 8″x10″) and shorelines (Rocks in the Mist, Monhegan Island, below, 9″x12″). Other subjects include cityscapes, trees, boats, cows, flowers, still lifes and portraits.
As much of the country is suffering an intense cold snap, it’s a real inspiration to see Stephen Magsig’s blog, Postcards from Detroit. This visual diary of 5″x7″ oil on linen paintings was inspired by Duane Keiser‘s innovative A Painting a Day blog, and Julian Merrow-Smith’s Postcard from Provence. He has completed more than seventeen hundred paintings of Detroit since 2007.
“My Detroit paintings capture scenes of daily life and reflect a distinctly American landscape where industry, urban and nature collide. They are a visual record of the quiet beauty in the everyday scene. Portraits of forgotten and neglected spaces. Places that exist in silence, unrevered and waiting to be discovered.”
The paintings are also available in book form in four volumes. The four shown here are from this January and February. He also has a page of paintings from Italy on his website.
Based in the Washington DC area, Loriann Signori is what you might call an inter-pretive plein air painter, looking to capture the poetry of the landscape by creating different versions or “rewrites”.
“For me these new pieces, color harmony studies, work to help me understand the possibilities of color. Like a writer composing a poem, the colors are my words, and when I rearrange these words I hear/see a different experience.”
Working in both oils and pastel, she often partially wipes out the work in order to make it less descriptive and fresher. Her blog is a great resource, not only for her newly posted thoughts and images but also for the long list of links to other artists’ sites…there must be sixty or more!
“The landscape and emotion are one. It’s as if emotion makes me see differently and/or respond differently.”
She will have a solo show in Bethesda, MD from April 1-25.
Another long-time customer, artist/naturalist Carl Ramm, has an interesting post about bear awareness for artists. He’s talking about brown bears, or grizzly bears, though it would also apply to the black bear which is more common. It seems that paint, whether oil, watercolor or acrylic might actually be an attractant.
“Think carefully about where you stop to paint or sketch. Generally we chose a spot with a fairly open view ahead of us. This is good as far as it goes, since it allows us the opportunity to spot any bears coming toward us from our front. What about behind us, or to the sides? How close are we to the trail we just arrived from? What we want to avoid is being in a location where it is easy for a bear to walk up on us accidentally.”
“We should never abandon gear to bears. Even if the bears do not eat the paints, having something new and interesting to explore and play with (i.e. chomp on and toss around) is always a welcome break for a bear. This only encourages more such behavior, with obvious dangers to humans and the very real possibility that the bear will eventually have to be shot. Eating or licking paints is something a bear may well do, and if lead white is on the palette this could poison the bear. Even if all pigments are non-toxic it nonetheless encourages similar future behavior.”
We enjoyed a conversation recently with one of our long-time customers, portraitist Johanna Spinks. For the past several years, she has been doing public portrait projects of remarkable people in her town, first in Ventura (where Kevin Costner was involved) and now in Malibu. People from all walks of life sign up to sit for an alla prima portrait, and their life story is published in the local paper along with the portrait.
The Face of Ventura (above) is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Ventura County.
Spinks studied with Raymond Kinstler, portraitist of seven U.S. presidents, as well as Morgan Weistling and Jeremy Lipking. She offers classes and workshops in various locations in Southern California.