Learning to Paint


Friday, November 11, 2016

"Small Treasures" Pop-up Gallery at UCC Southbury 50th Holiday Fair 11/19

"Tom & Jerry" Turkey Painting by Ellie Boyd in Oil 8" x 8" $350

Southbury, CT -- For the final year, more than 16 artists in paint and wood will bring their creations to UCC's Fiftieth Holiday Fair, Saturday, November 19th from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Artists from Pomperaug Outdoor Painters and Hat City Carvers are again setting up a pop-up gallery to showcase and sell small plein air, still life, and studio paintings as well handcarved wooden gift items.   

Following in the footsteps of the French Impressionists, John Singer Sargent, Homer and others, painters have taken their easels and paint outside to capture the beauty of the landscape.   Some painters paint only “plein air”. Other painters work in the studio to create universally beautiful scenes of still life, flowers, people, favorite memories.  This year's show will feature small collectible original oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings by:
  •  Zufar Bikbov, 
  • Ellie Boyd, 
  • May Phillips, 
  • Linda Salvagne, 
  • Arline Corcoran, 
  • Anita Gregorski, 
  • Carolyn Bucha, 
  • Shirley Michaels, 
  • David Merrill, 
  • Diane Dubreuil, and 
  • Sandra Wakeen.  

Hat City Woodcarvers will bring carvings of Santa ornaments, wooden jewelry, small Santa statues, bottle stoppers, and other decorative collectibles.  Traditional woodcarving techniques are passed down from carver to carver and encompass many styles from Norwegian flat plane carving to relief, chip carving and carving in the round.  This year pieces will be shown and sold by Ellie Boyd, Marty Sprock and Dennis J. Taylor.

In addition to the popup gallery, the event offers 
  • unique shopping opportunities--crafts, homemade baked goods and jams
  • live and silent auctions with 100+ items (Silent Auction closes at 12:00) Be sure to bid on a $500 Gift Certificate toward the portrait of your choice by Ellie Boyd (Silent Auction) or a "Sip & Paint" Class for Four Friends, Project:  Handpainted Christmas Balls.
  • a great raffle (1st Prize --handmade quilt "Women of the Bible"; 2nd Prize --Microsoft Surface Tablet; 3rd Prize --Amazon "Echo", 4th Prize -- $75 Gift Certificate to Newbury Place.  Raffle tickets are available for $2 each or a book of 10 for $20.  Only 2,000 will be sold.
  • a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and 
  • a delicious luncheon.  
A portion of all sales support UCC Southbury's wider missions.  UCC Southbury is located at 283 Main Street North in Southbury.  For more information call Ellie Boyd (203) 429-4356.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

CWA Show 8/20 - 9/23 Slater Museum

 "Wish You Were Here -- Lilies"  24" x 24" OIl on board. $1,200
Paddle on over to the Slater Museum, in Norwich, for the Connecticut Women Artists juried show Saturday, August 20- Friday, September 23.  My painting, "Wish You Were Here -- Lilies"  24" x 24" OIl on board, will be included in the show.  Juror of selection and awards:  Min Jung Kim, Director of the NBMAA.  Come take in the show!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

"Painters 3" Pop-up Gallery at UCC Southbury Strawberry Festival Sunday 6/12

"She's A Beauty!" 8 x 10 Original Oil Painting by Ellie Boyd
"She's A Beauty!" 8 x 10 Original Oil Painting by Ellie Boyd, $375

Three area artists, Linda Salvagne and Ellie Boyd of Southbury and Diane Dubreuil of New Milford are hosting a popup original art gallery at the 40th annual UCC Southbury Strawberry Festival, Sunday, June 12th, 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at 283 Main Street North on the green adjacent to the church.  Art collectors of all ages are welcome to stop by to view work fresh off the easels as they savor the church’s homemade strawberry shortcake, and listen to the live music of the Fairfield Counts.  The festival offers a host of activities for all ages.  

The three artists met out in the fields at Pomperaug Outdoor Painters (POP) local  “paintouts.” POP is a small group devoted to promoting landscape painting, camaraderie, and the preservation of natural landscapes.  Each artist brings a unique perspective and personal experience to their artwork, and all share the common thread of colorful representational themes.  #strawberry, #uccsouthbury #tractor #red

Throw Down the Brushes -- Strawberry Pie Bakeoff!

Painting is great, but strawberry pie is greater!  UCC Southbury is having a strawberry pie bake-off as a new feature of the 40th Annual Strawberry Festival. So join us in celebrating all things strawberry.  Your pie could be the winning entry!  See rules below.

Piemeister Doug Boyd knee deep in strawberry pie fixin's.
Piemeister Doug Boyd knee deep in strawberry pie fixin's.

#strawberry #uccsouthbury #bakeoff #strawberrypie #southbury

Bake-off Rules:
  • Donate two (2) identical STRAWBERRY PIES (9” minimum) to United Church of Christ Southbury, 283 Main Street N, Southbury, CT. between 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in a disposable tin or pie plate marked with your name.
  • The contest is opened to the public. Anyone wishing to bake can enter.
  • All pies must be homemade. No bakery or store bought pies/fillings can enter.
  • All varieties of STRAWBERRY pies are welcome.
  • Pies will be scored based on appearance, crust, filling and overall taste by a panel of judges.
  • Public can also vote by sample tasting ($1 per vote/$5 minimum). Voters will receive a certificate for a free cannoli from Bakes N’ Cakes Café 
  • Judging begins at 11:00 a.m.  Winners announced at 2:15 p.m.
  • 2 Prizes:  
  • Judged Vote: A cake of your choice every month for one year from Bakes N’ Cakes Café (value $300); and
  •           Popular/Public Vote:  An Elegant Pie Plate with Server together with a $20 Gift Card to Bakes N’ Cakes Cafe.
  • Please provide your name and phone number when entering pies.

Painters 3 -- Strawberry Still LIfe

How did the "Wimberly Plamp" work out?  Pretty well, actually.  Too bad there is not a frame like that for zeroing in on what matters in life.  I used it indoors to capture a still life idea.  You can see the arm of the plamp in the upper lefthand corner, holding the square mat that "frames" the still life I wanted to paint.  You can see how it developed in each square.  This painting will be available at the UCC Southbury Strawberry Festival, June 12th, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Come visit my booth.  I'll be there with Linda Salvagne and Diane Dubreuil.  Together we make "Painters 3". $275.  Call or email if you are interested in purchasing.
#strawberry #uccsouthbury #originaloilpainting

"Three's A Crowd?" 6 x 6 Original Oil Painting by Ellie Boyd
"Three's A Crowd?" 6 x 6 Original Oil Painting by Ellie Boyd

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Better composition -- a painter's goal for 2016

Wimberley Plamp holding Carol Marine-style viewfinder.
Wimberley Plamp holding Carol Marine-style viewfinder.
I recently came across Carol Marine's book Daily Painting in Dick Blick, and decided to finally get it and read it.  Her style of writing is very open and engaging, and the quality of the "lessons" is very good and well illustrated.  It was a good investment.  
So back to 2016.  It is hard to resist the temptation to jump in and start painting without much of a plan, so any little thing that will help might go a long way towards a more engaging piece.  Here are some of Carol's tips that I have pulled out and pasted to my easel.  For a better description with plenty of good photos, see her book.

Composition checklist from Carol Marine's Daily Painting

1.  No two intervals of space or shape the same.  ie. 3 tomatoes in a row of equal size, spacing.  [Ever done this with trees? Clouds? Rocks? etc.  Boring.]

2.  Don't cut panel in half at horizon. [Equally boring.]

3.  Objects should not touch sides of panel. [OK to go completely off, just not kiss edge.]

4.  Rule of Thirds.  Divide panel into 3's.  Place center of interest at intersection.  

5.  No kissing objects. [Overlap, OK.]

6.  No rows of objects.  (i.e. tomatoes in a row)

7.  Check corners for runoffs.  (i.e. fork leading directly to corner)

8.  Unfortunate tangents:  objects touching a line (apples on edge of paper), objects in line with each other (top of glass same height as top of vase.)

9.  If object flawed, pick something else. (Cherries with blight.)

She advocates using a viewfinder with the middle of each side marked (helps avoid the horizon issue, and helps locate masses in space.)  I've taken it a step further, and made little notes about things to check as I am composing, and have invested in a Wimberley "Plamp"   http://amzn.to/1TasViJ  to hold the viewfinder clamped to the easel at the start of the painting.  It all just might help!

Wimberley Plamp hooked on door frame.
Wimberley Plamp hooked on door frame.

Love Vermont? Want to Paint Outside July 16th in Jericho?

Jericho Farm, a sample of local landscape waiting to be painted
Jericho Farm, a sample of local landscape waiting to be painted,
offers certified organic produce.

Then by all means contact Barbara Greene, the organizer of the 6th Annual Jericho Plein Air Festival. The festival is a one-day program with a cap on the number of participants, affiliated with the Emile Gruppe Gallery.  Click this link for the registration form. http://bit.ly/1TBcGcA   Please direct all questions to Barbara. #pleinairvermont #pleinairpainting

Here is some info I have just received:

In 2016, the Annual Jericho Plein Air Festival will continue what's become a tradition since it was first established in 2011: The event provides a terrific opportunity for the participating artists to share the joy of painting without pressure and presents an invitation to the public to meet the artists and learn about plein air painting.

Unlike many of the plein air festivals that have blossomed across the country, however, the Jericho Festival is totally non-competitive and low-key; there are no juries, no contests and no prizes are awarded. (Actually, though, we’ve been told by participants every year that there are indeed prizes: the camaraderie and fun and energy shared by painters and the public alike, as well as the opportunity to exhibit in a well-known gallery.) Anyone at any level of experience and expertise can participate, and both award-winning, recognized artists as well as amateur hobbyists participate every year. There’s no pressure to paint a masterpiece (though that’s not prohibited!), and both plein air painters and folks who haven't painted outdoors before participate.

This year the Festival will take place on Saturday, July 16, 2016, rain or shine. Headquarters for the event will once again be the Emilie A. Gruppe Gallery at 22 Barber Farm Road in Jericho Center, Vermont. From Sunday, July 17, through Sunday, August 7, there'll be an exhibit at the Gallery of the work created during the day on Saturday. And on the 17th, there will be an opening reception at the Gallery for the artists, their friends and family and the public from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

As usual, the day will start at 7:00 am with a continental breakfast at the Emile A. Gruppe Gallery. By 7:45 am, the artists will set up in any of eight to ten sites which the organizers pre-selected to offer a range of subjects, from spectacular vistas to working farms, the historic village green to beautiful gardens, and water, woods, pasture and mountain views from a variety of perspectives. The public is invited to wander around the sites, watch and talk with the painters. At 3:00 pm, the artists gather back at the Gallery to frame their work and share their experiences of the day.  

Approximately 75 artists from all over Vermont and from several other states have participated in the Festival each year. However, for 2016, in order to accommodate everyone comfortably, we're limiting the number of participants to 65, and expect that, as in every previous year, we'll have a waiting list. (We reached capacity within 2 weeks of announcing the event last year.) Oil, watercolor, acrylic and pastel artists are all represented, as well as folks who work in colored pencil or charcoal.

The Festival’s provided an extraordinary opportunity for the artists to meet new acquaintances and renew old ones, to share the excitement of creating art, and to connect with each other and the public in many different ways. And, of course, the public has a chance to meet artists whose work they admire, to see how artists captures on canvas or paper what they’re seeing outside and to purchase work they watch being created.

The Festival founders/organizers are Emilie G. Alexander, the daughter of internationally known artist Emile Gruppe; and Jane S. Morgan, of Milton, Vt., and Barbara L. Greene of Williston, Vt., both of whom are exhibiting painters.