Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Lake House

Sketched in my 5x8 Moleskine journal. I'm determined to do portraits in this landscape book!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Monhegan Island - Day 4

This day we started on the Cathedral Woods Trail. I posted my first sketch of the day here. I went right from that sketch into this oil painting. The colors aren't quite right here. I need to figure out how to photograph these oil paintings better. I was pleased with this little 6x8 study. It was quick but caught the scene pretty nicely.

In the afternoon we hiked over to Squeaker Cove and I climbed over some difficult terrain to paint Blackhead. Again, the colors are agonizingly off from the actual painting. Not really any better or worse - just off.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lunch Sketching

A lunchtime sketch at Paolina's Way - a restaurant here in Camden that serves great local, organic food made with love. Valerie and I shared a Potato & Rosemary pizza. Very good...

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Waiting for Alex to come out of tennis, I sketched this scene quickly in my moleskine journal. 3 1/8 grip refers to the size handle Alex needs for his tennis racket...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hubbard Hall

This past weekend our painting class met at the Museum of Art on the Bowdoin campus and saw the "Edward Hopper in Maine" exhibit. All I have to say about that is if you can go, you should go.

I decided to go early and paint near the museum. I don't usually work this large but I've been enjoying working bigger lately in oils so I wanted to bump it up in watercolors. The actual size of this is 9"x15". I fussed with it a bit too much to be completely happy with the end result but I think the fussing actually goes in as part of what is learned for the next time.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Petition for Portrait Watercolor Moleskine!

I've been drawing in a 5x8 Moleskine journal lately. And while I love the paper, I'm not real keen on the landscape format and it's amazing to me that Moleskine doesn't make this size journal in a portrait format with watercolor paper. I sent an email with this request to them 2 years ago and here is what they said:

"Dear Mr. Foster,Thank you very much for your mail and suggestions. We really appreciate the ideas of Moleskine's users. We will keep in mind your ideas for future updates.
Kindest regards,
Vittoria Cleva"

Not very promising is it? If you have time and you want this as much as I do, please send in a request. They just might do it if enough people ask.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Monhegan Island - Day 3

Day 3 was another beautiful day on Monhegan. The top painting is 8x10 from Little Whitehead looking toward Blackhead. I was on the edge of a cliff while painting this scene. I had the idea to repeat the shapes of the tree in front of me along with the shape of the coastline. At about 2 in the afternoon the updrafts started, which threatened to pull my umbrella inside out, so I had to close it up and paint in the strong sun.

The bottom painting is 6x8 looking toward Manana (The small  island adjacent to Monhegan). A storm was coming in and it got pretty exciting as the wind kicked up, the temperature dropped about 20 degrees, rain blowing in my face, lightening flashes in the distance, seagulls flocking and flying around me. Painting is cool.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thought for the Day

"The energy conveyed in a quick sketch far outweighs accuracy...in my humble opinion.
Curious how more diligence can be less productive."
John Wright     
"It ain't sophisticated, but somehow it's exactly what sketching is supposed to be - fast, impressionistic and less than perfect."
Roger O'Reilly

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monhegan Island - Day 2

This is "Washer Woman" near Lobster Point. Oil on 8x10 panel. I thought the horizon line turned out nicely and I had fun abstracting the rocks in the foreground. Beautiful day.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Painting Class - July 20th and 22nd

This is a copy of a William Merritt Chase painting I did a couple of weeks ago. That Ron actually has a Chase painting is pretty cool and that he would bring it in to class for us to copy is beyond cool. I'm not that good at photographing these oil paintings but I think I actually like the photograph better than the painting in this case! I probably shouldn't admit this but the colors are warmer and richer in the photograph and I like that. However, in my defense, my painting is much closer to the original. Anyway, I like the thick/thin contrast of paint and feel like I'm making good progress. This is on a stretched 18x24 canvas. I didn't measure the original but it was more like 22x40.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monhegan Island - Day 1

Both of these paintings are small - 6x8 "studies" I will call them. I went to Colin Page's studio last night with a group of folks from my painting class and someone made the comment that "studies" are simply unsuccessful paintings. I thought that was funny/true.

These are my first paintings from Monhegan. We went to Fish Beach and set up our stuff and watched while Michael (Michael Vermette) did a painting demonstration with a palette knife and introduced us to Black Oil Wax medium. I did the top painting there and I was slipping and sliding all over the place using that knife. What a mess. Oh, and I should point out that we only had 20 minutes to do these "studies"!

The bottom painting was done after dinner. I went down to Lobster Cove at sunset and tried to integrate some palette knife with brush. The cool thing about that painting was the experience of doing it. The wind was intense and blowing me all over the place. I couldn't make a straight line to save my life. This is a life ring on a post. They have these at various places on the island because the currents are so strong they can sweep you out to sea. The photo to the left I found on the web - taken by TR Smith. That's what it looked like in real life.