Sunday, June 29, 2014

Montague, Prince Edward Island, Plein Air Festival - Final Day



Saturday, the last day of the Montague "Paint It Beautiful" Plein Air Festival, dawned clear and cold.  I'm sure the lobstermen were glad; lobster season ends in PEI at the end of June, and it was a great morning for hauling in traps.  I heard the first boat leave the wharf right around sunrise, at 4 a.m.  All morning, boats were chugging back and forth, going out empty, returning piled high with wooden traps and riding low.  If any of the painters today were thinking of painting lobster boats, they were going to have to paint fast.

Fortunately, the harbor here in Montague also has pleasure craft, and I think all the boat owners slept in until noon, because there was very little activity among the Maxums and Larsons.  Like these recreational boats, we painters had a more relaxed morning.  No event was scheduled until 11, when a representative from Endeavours Art Stuff in Fredericton, NB, gave a well-received short demonstration on several brands of paints and brushes.  So what's a painter do with his free time?  Paint, of course.

Working Boat, Montague 9x12 oil (SOLD)

I headed down with my gear to the waterfront and decided to paint a scene that included the Garden of the Gulf Museum, that beautifully-proportioned Romanesque structure on the hill, some of the fish houses at the harbor and, yes, a boat.  Because I'd had such a rough time with a boat the day before, I decided to focus on the boat first, rather than rush through it at the end.  I knew I could block in all the other stuff fairly smoothly.  (Painting is sold.)

At 11, I headed back for the demo.  I also stopped into the exhibit and discovered that my bridge painting, "Bridge Over St Peter's" had won an honorable mention.  That was a pleasant surprise.  I also took some time to visit the other work and saw that the other artists had painted some very nice pieces.

Another Working Boat, 5x7 oil (SOLD)

At noon, we had to start painting a 5x7 for a silent auction that benefits Artisans on Main and Montague arts programs.  I went back down to the waterfront and this time chose to focus on a single boat.  I really liked the relationship of light and shadow in the scene.  Several people stopped to talk to me while I was working on it.  One lady had a lobsterman for a husband and knew her boats, so when she complimented me, I knew it was high praise indeed.

Paintings had to be delivered by two, and I made it just in time.  (I spent more time talking than I usually do in the field.)  My afternoon break consisted of brush-cleaning and palette scraping, organizing and packing, and a much-needed shower.  It had been a hot day - we'd gone from spring rains to summer in 24 hours, and yes, painters do sweat when they work.



At 5:30, everyone gathered at the Riverhouse Inn for the evening festivities.  We were joined by many from the public and also His Worship, the Mayor of Montague.  At seven, after a nice period of looking at artwork and chatting, we headed into the auditorium for the awards.  Awards included the Grand Prize and nine (I think I counted that many) Honourable Mentions plus Mayor's Choice, Artist's Choice and  People's Choice.  I've not participated in an event that didn't have a First and Second and possibly a Third Prize, but having been a judge myself I like the idea of not having them - it makes things clearer for everyone.  It says, "Here's a really nice painting, and here are several other paintings that are pretty darn good, too."  Often there's not much of a discernable quality difference between all of these prizes.  And no, I'm not saying this just because I won "only" an Honorable Mention.

The artists then presented Audrey Bunt, the driving force behind the festival, with flowers for her work.  She, along with Artisans on Main and all the other volunteers and supporters, did a fantastic job.  For a first-time event, things went very well, and next year will be even better.  If my schedule allows it, I will certainly participate.

Dawn is breaking this Sunday morning.  It's time to pack up and head out.  On the way home, I'll be dropping off some work at my new gallery in St Andrews, New Brunswick, Symbiosis.  I'm excited to be in this gallery, and if you're visiting this lovely, historic town, I hope you'll stop by 157 Water Street, right next to Honey Beans Coffee.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Montague, Prince Edward Island, Plein Air Festival - Day 4

Cape Bear Lighthouse

And the rain...stopped!

Low, scudding clouds accompanied the sunrise, promising a great day.  It was such a nice start that I celebrated by taking a long walk down the Confederation Trail, which runs right past my hotel.  This rail-to-trail project runs the entire length of Prince Edward Island with several spurs here and there.  The gravelled path promises no roots, no stumbles - it's a great for walking fast and clearing the mind, plus it takes you past some pretty nice scenery.

After breakfast I drove over to Murray Harbour.  I'd used Google Earth earlier to take a look at the possibilities for the day; one thing I like about this tool is that it lets users share photographs and locate them on the map.  I found some nice shots of the nearby Cape Bear lighthouse, and wanted to check it out.

At the canvas-stamping, I heard that the lighthouse was closed because of bank erosion, but I found I was able to drive right up to it.  The lighthouse is indeed perched about ten or twelve meters from the edge, and a volunteer who came later to open it up for tourists told me that the group responsible for the structure had purchased 120 acres nearby, and that later this year it would be moved onto that parcel, safely away from the banks, which are eroding about one meter a year.

It's definitely a structure worth saving.  Built in 1881, it housed a Marconi wireless station that was the first to receive a distress call from the sinking Titanic.  Although the station has since been moved to a different part of the island and turned into a private home, the lighthouse itself has that historic association and now contans a Marconi museum.

I backed my car up to the best view point and set up.  Except for a few tourists who arrived to take photos, I had the lighthouse to myself the whole morning.  I didn't have much sun, though, but I actually preferred it that way.  Fog offshore and low clouds shed a moody light over the scene.  The few times the sun came out, it bathed the lighthouse in a strong, shadowless light and made for a less interesting moment.  Also, the overcast gave me more consistent lighting and allowed me to complete the 12x24 panel before lunch.

Here is the painting as it progressed.  You'll note that the panel is toned bright yellow; I toned all my panels this way for my "Fifty Paintings for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Roosevelt Park" project and liked the effect, so I decided to do it for this one, too.

How close to the edge should one set up?









Cape Bear Lighthouse, 12x24 oil

None of the other painters showed up at this very paintable lighthouse, which surprised me.  After a quick sandwich, I headed over to Murray Harbour - and there they were.  The boats and waterfront had won out.  I still had some time before Poppy Balser's two o'clock demonstration, so I decided to  paint a boat, too.  Usually, after painting a 12x24 I'm tuckered out, and if it turned out well I don't feel I need to paint anything else that day.  But I set up to do a boat, anyway.

This was a mistake.  When I got to "rendering" the boats - well, let's stop right there, because that's actually two mistakes.  "Rendering" is always a mistake, because for me it means I'm putting in more detail than I should.  The second mistake is boats plural.  For a 9x12, focusing on one boat is plenty.

Poppy Balser Starting Her Demonstration

As I found myself wrestling with the painting, I suddenly realized it was time for Poppy's demonstration.  Poppy is a very accomplished watercolorist, and I always enjoy seeing a demonstration in a medium for which I consider myself an amateur.  But my painting of the boat kept gnawing at my mind, and after an hour I sneaked away and went back to it.

My first act was to scrape out both boats.  Next, I redrew my main boat with a brush, paying special attention to proportions, and blocked it in with the same tool.  Then I moved on to my knife.  You can't "render" with a knife.  I was much happier with the outcome, and I felt free to enjoy the rest of the day.


Murray Harbour Boat, 9x12 oil

That night, we all met for a lobster feast at a local restaurant.  Bruce Newman, who would be judging the show and presenting awards Saturday evening, also arrived and joined us.

Now it's Saturday morning and our last day.  Today's events include an art material demonstration in the morning and a "Quick Draw" event in the afternoon.  For the Quick Draw event, artists will be given a 5x7 panel or paper to create a piece for a charity auction.  The auction, exhibit sale and awards ceremony will be at 5:30 at the Riverhouse Inn.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Montague, Prince Edward Island, Plein Air Festival - Day 3

Panmure Lighthouse and Fog-Horn Building

And it rained.  (There, I got that out of the way and don't need to mention it again.)

For our third painting day, we met at the Panmure Lighthouse on Panmure Island.  Rather than take the provided shuttle, I drove my own car as I planned to paint out of the back of it, hoping for more shelter.  First stop was the lighthouse itself to get some panels stamped.  The lighthouse, built in 1853 and 19 meters tall, is Prince Edward Island's first wooden one, and like many in Canada, had been sold to a private organization that agreed to maintain it.  A group of volunteers was busily doing some repairs.  They told me to take a tour to the top, so I did.  I had a fine view of Cardigan Bay and the sweeping curve of the shore.  When I came down, the volunteers offered that I could paint in the lighthouse if I wanted.  With the weather forecast, it was tempting.


As much as I love old structures, I couldn't get the angle on the lighthouse I wanted, so I drove down the road to paint a little wedge of St Mary's Bay that had some nicely storm-crafted trees along it.  The rain had slackened a bit, so I only needed one umbrella.  But by the time I'd finished and had moved up the road to paint a view of Cardigan Bay, the rain had renewed strength.  I pulled out my Jullian umbrella.  I already had my Best Brella clamped to my tripod, and the Jullian had a clamp that wouldn't fit that, so I clamped it to the Open Box M itself.  The Jullian's clamp is huge, but it managed to fit on the box's thin lip.  I adjusted things so I had a nice shelter that didn't drip water on me or on my palette.

Panmure Island Firs #1, 9x12 oil

Panmure Island Firs #2, 9x12 oil

For both of these paintings, I made good use of Gamblin's Portland Greys.  One might call these "convenience colors," since you could mix three values of grey yourself, but it's mighty convenient to have a lot of it pre-mixed when you're painting rain.  These are also perfectly neutral, and I find it difficult to mix a perfectly neutral grey.   Although they hail from Portland, Oregon, they worked well as Prince Edward Island Greys.  I would mix a color that I thought was close to what I saw, and then add a dab of Portland Grey to knock down the intensity.

Afterward, I sat in my car, ate a late sandwich and pondered my next move.  The rain was getting heavier.  Environment Canada warned us it would get worse before it got better, predicting up to 50 millimeters (nearly 2 inches.)  I already had two good paintings.  But I had been asked to donate a 5x7, on a panel provided to me by the lighthouse group, so I painted a quick view of the fog-horn house.  The building had been decommissioned in 1980 and moved onto some adjacent property that was now horse pasturage, so I managed to get a couple of horses into that little painting, too.  That's a lot for a 5x7!

Panmure Island Firs #2, 9x12 oil - framed and ready

Now the rain was really coming down.  I packed up and headed for Murray River.  Friday's location will be in nearby Murray Harbour, and I thought I would scope it out.  But the rain was so heavy that it was ponding up on the road, and I looped back to Montague instead.   Because I stopped painting early, I had extra time to give my brushes and palette a good cleaning - something I always like to do that about midweek in a painting event.  I also delivered my third painting to the exhibition space.

This morning, there is a 20% chance of showers.  Although they are reporting dense fog, I can see just fine out my window.  Maybe the sun will pop out and I'll have enough time to paint that 12x24 I've lugged along.

Some painters found a nice tent to paint under


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Montague, Prince Edward Island, Plein Air Festival - Day 2

Georgetown Fish Shacks 9x12 oil

Radar at sunrise showed showers moving over northern New Brunswick, heading east.  By the time I was ready to catch the shuttle to our second day's painting location, the rain had reached Montague.  It came down so steadily that I wondered if I should take my own car, which would allow me access to all my umbrellas.  (I brought two others in addition to my usual Best Brella; one was a golf umbrella.)  I didn't know Georgetown or what kind of shelter it might have.

I decided to take the shuttle, anyway, and threw on my Gore-Tex coat.  I left behind the golf umbrella but crammed my little Totes umbrella into a bag along with an extra jacket.  Before the day was over, I'd need both of these items.

By the time we got to Georgetown, just a short drive from Montague, the rain had stopped.  I learned from our driver that the town, which is PEI's only deepwater port and shipyard, is rich in history.  I would have loved to have spent some time exploring the streets, but the weather was still very threatening and I was on foot with a lot of gear.  Plus, I needed to get painting.  I didn't want to waste this unexpected dry moment.

Let me take a break to reflect on plein air event strategy.  Ideally, you should explore an area before you start painting.  Drive out, stroll a bit, take some photos, think about subject and design.  If I had followed my own advice, I would have driven out to Georgetown the other evening when the weather was good to make a plan.  But I didn't.  So, when I arrived at Georgetown yesterday, I felt like a paratrooper dropped behind enemy lines without a map or plan.



Still, I'm pretty quick to size up a location.  Volunteers at the registration tent pointed out strategic locations such as restrooms, sheltered porches where we had permission to paint and coffee shops.  Then, I stuffed my bags under the registration tent and went for a quick walk with my Totes.  I naturally headed down to the waterfront and found my subject matter.  (Actually, there was a line of us painters heading that way, so I followed my herd instinct.)  Georgetown had some nice, picturesque fish shacks and, of course, boats.

I went back, got my gear, and then set up to paint the fish shacks.  I'm sorry, but I really do love these old-timey clichĂ©s.  (Should I mention that I like to paint barns, too?)  There's something about the weathered wood and architectural wonkiness and overgrown weeds that attracts me.  But about five minutes into painting, the rain began - and it got heavy.

I had to set up my Best Brella, and when rain began to blow sideways, I had to open up my Totes umbrella, too.  I no longer had enough free hands to paint.  I also got chilled, so I had to put on the fleece jacket under the Gore-tex coat.  And then the rain stopped.

That's the way the day went, on-and-off showers.  You'd paint a bit when it was drier, open up all the umbrellas when it rained, and then go back to painting when it stopped.  It was too late to head for a porch since I was deep into this one painting.  Plus, I liked the rain - it made for a moodier piece.

By the time I finished, the weather seemed to be changing.  The sky was lighter, and it hadn't rained for a bit.  I put my gear in the shuttle so it wouldn't get wet when it rained again, and then walked over to the Maroon Pig Art Gallery & Sweet Shop with some of the other painters.  The Maroon Pig was offering an "artist's special" for lunch - scalloped potatoes and ham, plus coffee and a cookie, and that was just the right thing for a cool, rainy day.  Thank you, Maroon Pig!

After lunch, I decided it was time to do a boat painting.  Because it was starting to spit rain again, my choice of location was forced by circumstance.  I wanted shelter, and I found a little kiosk with a roof right by the docks.  It was getting windy, too, so I set up on the lee side.   As the wind blew and the rain came and went (and came again) I stayed dry.  But although I'd found a nice work boat to paint - the "Git-R-Done" - I had trouble and ended up cutting my losses and scraping it down.  Still, I very much liked the "bones" of the painting, so I moved into an edgier, more modern mode and did some knifework over this deconstructed  piece.  I like the way the piece turned out, as it preserves and showcases my favorite parts of the scene without being fussy, and the active surface captures some of the weather's energy.  I wasn't going to post it, but the vote is that I should.

The Git-R-Done, 9x12 oil

By three, the rain was falling steadily.  I packed up and hitched a ride back with another painter.  I had to frame a couple of pieces and deliver them to the exhibition space in the Riverhouse Inn.  The idea with this festival is to have an on-going exhibition, so painters are asked to bring in one painting a day for display.  By Friday evening, we should have four paintings each.  Here are my two pieces so far, framed.  We have the option of swapping these out as the week goes on, but by Friday we need to have finalized our choices for the awards evening, which will be on Saturday.


Georgetown Fish Shacks, 9x12 oil framed
Bridge over St Peter's 9x12 oil framed

Despite the weather, everyone is all smiles this week.  If you're prepared for it, you will always have a good day.  Plus, the townspeople are very welcoming and even stop by to visit.  The organizers and volunteers are very helpful this week, too, making sure we have what we need and smoothing the ride for us whenever possible.

This morning  as I write, the rain is still falling.  Today, we're heading off to Panmure Island.  I may even bring the golf umbrella.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Montague, Prince Edward Island, Plein Air Festival - Day 1

Starting the Demonstration (Photo by Audrey Bunt)

It's a little after 4 a.m., and I'm sitting in my cottage suite, drinking coffee and looking out the window, wondering what the weather will do.  The sun has risen - yes, it rises early here, too - somewhere behind the thick clouds, and they're predicting showers.  I'm supposed to create an award-winning painting today for the Montague "Paint It Beautiful" Plein Air Festival.  I'm sure every painter is hoping the showers will hold off until late.

Montague, Prince Edward Island


From my room at Riverhouse Inn here in Montague, PEI, I have a fine view of the Montague River's waterfront and, perched on the hill on the opposite shore, Prince Edward Island's first museum, the Garden of the Gulf Museum, a beautiful Romanesque structure built in 1887.  We'll be painting in Montague on Saturday, and I'm considering the museum as a subject.

But that's not for a few days yet, so I'll back up.  I was invited as a guest of the event some time ago, and having never been to PEI, I eagerly accepted.  Even though I've been living in Canada for several years now, I've scarcely made it out of New Brunswick.  (I did manage to get to Nova Scotia last summer.)  PEI was on the list of places I very much wanted to visit.



I drove up from Campobello Island on Monday.  It was a beautiful drive with two ferry crossings and then, of course, the 13-kilometer-long Confederation Bridge that connects PEI to new Brunswick.  The drive across PEI to the eastern end was beautiful, too.  It reminds me so much of Vermont's Champlain Valley with the rolling hills and farms.  (I even saw a few Holsteins.) The dirt is a deep red, though, so add a little bit of Sedona, Arizona, to that description.

St Peters River, 9x12 oil demonstration

This is the first year of the plein air festival, and it coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference and the Confederation of Canada.  The province is celebrating this anniversary all summer, and the plein air festival is part of it.  The festival is being organized by Artisans on Main, a collective of local artists based in Montague, and consists of five days of painting culminating on Saturday in a charity "quick draw" and auction plus awards.  Over the week, we'll be painting all over the eastern end.  Yesterday, we painted in St Peters; today, Georgetown; then Panmure Island, Murray Harbour and, finally, Montague.  The exhibit and award ceremony will be held at the Riverhouse Inn here in Montague.  (For details on the event, visit www.montaguepleinairfestival.com.)

The festival is offering a shuttle from Montague for artists who don't want to drive.  I took the shuttle yesterday to St Peters, where I was to give a painting demonstration.  It was a beautiful day with plenty of sun, but it also was a bit windy.  For my demonstration, which was a painting of St Peter's River, the wind wasn't too bad, but as the day progressed, it got worse.  They'd predicted 50 km/h gusts, and I'm sure we hit that.  At least two easels blew over.  Some of us found areas that were more protected from the wind, but I felt the better views were out in the open, so that's where I positioned myself later.  I was using my Open Box M on a tripod that can extend to a large footprint, so I didn't lose my easel.  I did, however, have to spend some time at the end picking up the litter that escaped from my trash receptacle.

Today, we're off to Georgetown, shiretown for the county and PEI's only deepwater port.  Stay tuned!

Bridge Over St Peters, 9x12 oil

Friday, June 20, 2014

Montague Paint It Beautiful - Plein Air Festival



Since I've worked so hard on the painting phase of my Kickstarter project, I'm going on a deserved holiday - but it's a sort of "busman's holiday."  I'll be painting!  Next week, I'm going to Prince Edward Island for the Montague "Paint It Beautiful" plein air festival as an invited guest.  I'm really looking forward to this, as I've always wanted to visit and paint in PEI but just haven't had the chance.

There's a full schedule of events for this festival, which runs June 24-29.  Besides the six paintouts, each at a different location, I'll be giving an oil painting demonstration at 10:30 on Tuesday morning.  There's also a lobster dinner on Friday evening and a public "quick draw" on Saturday that will end in a charity benefit auction and concert.  The awards, which are substantial, will also be given out Saturday evening.

For a full schedule of events, visit either the Facebook page or the website:
https://www.facebook.com/montaguepleinairfestival/info
http://www.montaguepleinairfestival.com/

I'll be staying at the Riverhouse Inn, where the exhibition will be located, and if my wi-fi access is good enough, I'll try to blog daily on the event.

Stay tuned!
(Both photos from the Montauge Plein Air Festival website)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kickstarter Update: Final Batch of Paintings Posted - and a Workshop in Acadia National Park

Duck Pond Fog, 6x6

I'm done!  Or at least the painting part of this project is done.  I still have to frame for the exhibition and hang the work, then create the book of fifty paintings, plus a calendar and notecards.  I'll be framing over the next few weeks with a goal of hanging the show the morning of July 19.  The other items I will work on as I have time this summer, with the goal of getting all that done before I leave for the Grand Canyon painting event in early September.

So how's it feel, being done? you may ask.  I really have enjoyed sitting at my easel and working each day on this project.  These little paintings have been a lot of fun to do.  Plus, I think I've made some discoveries about paint application that will serve as grist for my blog mill.  (Stay tuned for posts on that!)  But it's hard to stop.  I'm going to wind down slowly by painting a few more of these.

You can see all the work at http://www.michaelchesleyjohnson.com/html/50450.html.  And, of course, at the exhibit at the Roosevelt Campobello International Park's new restaurant, The Fireside.  The dates are July 19, through August 16.  I'll be giving a free plein air painting demonstration outside the restaurant (weather permitting) on Sunday, July 20, from 2-3 pm Atlantic Time.

Painting in Southwest Harbor

By the way, I still have space in my workshop on Mount Desert Island at Acadia Workshop Center in Maine this fall.  I've been teaching this plein air workshop since 2005, so I consider myself an expert of sorts on locations.  I'd love to share my knowledge and my special spots with you.  The workshop, based in Bernard on the "Quiet Side" of MDI, runs September 29-October 2.  This is my favorite time of year there.  The summer crowds have gone, the fall weather is typically crisp and dry, and if we have an early foliage season, the color can be spectacular!  For this workshop, the AWC owner is offering specially-priced lodging at her Bass Harbor house, just down the road and across from the ferry landing there.  For details and to register, see http://www.acadiaworkshopcenter.com/MCJohnson.html  I  hope to see you there!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Kickstarter Update: Sixth Batch of Paintings Posted - and Exhibition News

Friar's Bay, Painting Day - 6x6 oil

Despite the rain, we've had some good drying weather lately, and the paintings are drying nicely.  I've been able to scan in the next batch of seven paintings sooner than I had thought.  To see all of the latest paintings, including this recent batch, please visit my "Fifty for the Fiftieth" page:

http://www.michaelchesleyjohnson.com/html/50450.html

As always, scroll down to the bottom to see the latest.

The work has gone so well that I expect to finish the fifty this week.  Since I've got a good head of steam built up, I will do a few extras.  I'll post these, as well.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the paintings will be on exhibit at the Roosevelt Campobello International Park's new restaurant, The Fireside.  The dates are Saturday, July 19, through Saturday, August 16.  Rather than having an opening reception, we are going to give a free plein air painting demonstration outside the restaurant.  (Weather permitting.)  This will be on Sunday, July 20, from 2-3 pm Atlantic Time.  If you're in the area, come and have brunch and watch the demo!  I'd love to meet you all.

And again, I want to thank all my supporters.  And for those of you who haven't supported yet, only 28 of these 6x6 pieces are sold.  There will be plenty left for the rest of you!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Kickstarter Update: Fifth Batch of Paintings Posted

29 - Liberty Point Snags 6x6 oil

The lilacs are now in full bloom, and the lupines are starting to spike.  With today's rain, the colors are particularly lovely.

I've now posted my fifth batch of paintings, making a total of 35.  I think I've got some really nice pieces in this batch, and I'm having fun exploring color and playing with brush work.  So you can see a little of what I have been doing in the studio, I've made a short video that takes you to my easel.  (For those of you who can't see the embedded video, you can go directly to my Youtube video here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLNOaMhbdK0)



To see all the paintings, including the new ones, please see my web page:  http://www.michaelchesleyjohnson.com/html/50450.html.  New videos are added to the bottom.

Again, I want to thank all my supporters.  And for those of you who haven't supported yet, only 28 of these 6x6 pieces are sold.  There will be plenty left for the rest of you!  You can see the finished paintings on my website.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Kickstarter Update: Fourth Batch of Paintings Posted

24 - Farm Feeder Boat (Off Friar's Head)

It's hard to believe we are drawing near to mid-June and the longest day of the year.  Yes, I know, the summer solstice is still eleven days away, but time is passing quickly.  The apple trees have bloomed and will soon be only a memory; the lilacs will bloom any day now, and on their heels, the lupines.  Although I've been working on my paintings in the studio, this week I did take a break and went out.  I painted a 6x6 of the apple blossoms.  I'd like to do more of these, but there is much more time involved in painting outdoors, what with the gear, finding the right location and so on - and I do have a deadline!  Maybe lilacs and lupines will be my next subjects.

Here's the apple blossom painting:



I've scanned in the fourth group of seven paintings - making a total of 28 - which you can see on my web page:

http://www.michaelchesleyjohnson.com/html/50450.html

By the way, the frames I've ordered have arrived.  They are custom frames, and beautifully done.  The dark barnwood really shows off these little paintings.  Here's one in its frame:

13 - Liberty Point Rock

I have news about the exhibition.  The paintings will be exhibited at the Roosevelt Campobello International Park's new restaurant, The Fireside, from July 19 until August 16.  The Fireside is in the old Lupine Lodge, a historic set of buildings that was donated to the RCIP by the Herring Cove Provincial Park.  Many bemoaned the loss of the Lupine Lodge when it closed several years ago, so it's great to have this building revitalized and serving the public again.  (However, they aren't offering lodging at this time.)  I'll post more details about the exhibit later.

Again, I want to thank all my supporters.  And for those of you who haven't supported yet, only 28 of these 6x6 pieces are sold.  There will be plenty left for the rest of you!  You can see the finished paintings on my website.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kickstarter Update: Third Batch of Paintings Posted

#16 - The Ice House

It's raining here on Campobello Island so it's a good time to scan and post the next seven paintings in this series.  This makes a total of 21 for my Kickstarter project, Fifty Paintings for the Roosevelt Campobello International Park's Fiftieth Anniversary.

Yesterday, I finished #25 - with a goal of 50, that means I'm halfway through the painting part of this project.  I feel like I'm hitting my stride now.  The paintings are never quick, but I find that I am making the right intuitive decisions.

For the piece above, I thought it'd be fun for you to see some of the steps involved.  I start each painting off with a 6x6 square of hardboard that has been sealed with PVA and then gessoed to give a nice, white background.  Next, I tone it with Indian Yellow, then block in the painting, and finally bring it up to a finish.

Starting off by toning with Indian Yellow and then sketching in
shapes with a pastel pencil

Block in with red.  I don't always start with such a strong color.

Almost done - see the top of the post for the finished painting.


Thanks again so much everyone for your support in this!  For those of you who haven't supported yet, only 28 of these 6x6 pieces are sold.  There will be plenty left for the rest of you!  You can see the finished paintings on my website.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Kickstarter Update: Second Batch of Paintings Posted

Liberty Point Rock, 6x6 oil

Today I finished painting #21 for my Kickstarter Project (50450) and the sailing is smooth. I'm really enjoying this process of painting little square paintings. I head for my studio with a cup of English Breakfast tea, turn on my Sansa Clip MP3 player and go to it. I usually play music when I paint in the studio. Today's soundtrack included some old bootlegs (now widely available on the Internet) of Grateful Dead concerts.

I've scanned in the second batch of 7 paintings and now have a total of 14 available for you to view. One from that batch is posted above. You can see them all in a larger size at:

http://www.michaelchesleyjohnson.com/html/50450.html

When the next 7 are dry, I will scan them, post them and announce it.

I may take a short break from studio work soon. My apple trees have just begun to bloom, and I always like to get out and paint them before they pass.