Monday, December 31, 2012

Landscape: Snow on Abbott Blvd. Fort Lee, NJ

The sidewalk was slippery on some spots where the house owners on the street didn't clean the snow. If no one had walked on the snow and it wasn't that bad. However, if there were people who had already trodden on the snow, it was pressed into ice. Therefore, I had to be careful walking on it while pushing the shopping buggy with my painting kit in it. I liked Abbott Blvd. It was broad and the two ways were divided by a long stretch of grass with boulders on the edge of the grass and large trees of different kinds. In summer, the whole street was covered by the shady foliage, making it very pleasant to walk there. Even on the snowy day like this, I saw people jogging or walking their dogs there. The views were different along the road; at some places there were concrete tables and benches. I saw people play or gather together there like in a park before. As a matter of fact, it was. At one of the crossroads, I saw a small stone Korean War monument with flags of both countries flying there. There also erected a sign which said Korean War Memorial Park. I didn't read in detail but guessed it was in memory of local veterans who fought in Korea in 1950s.
I was standing on the street corner of Abbott Blvd. and Bridle St. I hated myself for forgetting to bring paper towel. Luckily, the lady living on the street corner came home and I bumped a stack of napkins from her. Otherwise, I didn't know where to wipe the brushes when I needed to. I had to include in my picture the lady in red who was walking her dog. Hope you like the picture.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Landscape: A Crisp Morning After Snow and Rain

It is really good to have a bright crisp morning after more than a week under an overcast sky no matter where you went. It was cold but didn't feel so bad 'cause there was no wind. I didn't walk very far from where I lived before I found what to paint. The scene was at the crossroad of Deerwood Rd. by Keswick Pl., Fort Lee, NJ. In fact, I was standing on a hilltop, watching down the slope of Deerwood Road. The morning sun shone from my left-hand side, dragging the dark shadows almost across the street. The small white house glared in the morning sun. From where I stood, I could see the purplish highland beyond the edge of the city. The whole view provided a good variety in color, shape, and value. The painting took an hour and a half. The whole process was simply a total sum of my emotional response to senses but very little redundant wishwash in terms of strokework. Part of the reason might be the cold. Even though I didn't feel it while painting, I believe it was because of my focus on painting and very little attention spared to the cold sensation. Toward to the end, I did feel my muscles in one foot became stiff and I had to jump up and down a couple of times to get off the kinks.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Drawing: From My Window

It snowed yesterday evening. I was thrilled, thinking I could go out to paint a snowy view today. To my disappointment, the snow was followed by a heavy rain which melted all the snow away. The rain lasted till noon today. I made a drawing from my window. As you can tell, there is no snow left.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oil Sketch: Young Pianist Christine

I was thinking of going out to paint here in Fort Lee, NJ this morning but my daughter warned me that it was very cold and cloudy outside and themperature was freezing. It went from bad to worse in the afternoon and began to snow. Maybe I should wait till the snow stopped, I told myself. Then it got so dark outside that I could not go on reading by the window at 2 PM (If possible, I always prefer natural light over lamp. It happened that my granddaughter Audrey and her cousin Christine came back home from outside. Christine was a well-trained young pianist. She had to practice three hours everyday. When I saw her playing the piano, Quang Ho's oil sketches of musicians popped into my mind. Immediately I set up my kit and did this sketch.It was really a pleasure to paint while listening to classic music. It took me only an hour and a half. As a matter of fact, I did very few oil figure sketches before even though I had painted numerous head studies. Overall, I felt good with the process. I didn't use many colors.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cityscape: An Old Rusty Railroad Bridge over Metropolitan Ave. Queens

Yesterday I went there. It was a sunshiny afternoon. I clearly saw the rich contrast between large dark blocks of shaded spots and sunlit part. That was what I planned to do today. However, it turned out to be another cloudy day today. I waited till after lunch, the sky still didn't clear up. I didn't want to wait any longer, so I put my kit in a shopping buggy and pulled it all the way to the place. It is hard to believe that the scene you see is only a few blocks from the beautiful Forest Hills Garden. It was Christmas Eve. The traffic was heavy. I stood on the street corner of Michael's parking lot. Since it was one of the shortest days in a year, I had to rush and exclude things that were not "necessary."

I just want to share with you the award I won the day before I left for New York for my painting Metro Extension Bridge under Construction at Sanibel Captiva Art league show with the theme: Shadows and Reflections. Unfortunately, they misspelled my name in the paper.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sketches: New Ear Mufflers

It was colder than yesterday. My wife said it was time to do some grocery shopping. We took F Train and switched to 7 Train to Flushing. On our way there I did two quick sketches. The above is one of them.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Landscape: A Wintry Afternoon at Forest Hills, New York

It is the second or third day of winter. It rained hard through the most of the night and this morning but stopped by 10 AM. I checked on the weather forecast and it didn't seem to too bad for the rest of the day. Tempreature-wise, it was not very cold. However, it could be windy. Originally, I planned to paint an old rusty railroad overhead pass near the Michael's on Metropolitan Ave., Queens, but by the time I was walking through Forest Hills Garden, it became so windy and the sky so overcast that I didn't think it was wise to keep walking another half hour before settling down to paint, so I decided to find a spot as soon as possible. I turned into Greenway Terrace and found the view attractive. Quickly I set up and got started. There were many English-style houses with big roofs. The yellowish stone church, which I found later was the First Church of Christ, Scientist, provided variety in color. I didn't realize till then that Christian Science Church had such deep roots in the neighborhood.

It was so windy that a gust of wind suddenly turned around the corner and blew away my palette. Fortunately it went sidewise and didn't come to my chest. I wore only the vinyl gloves. In about a half hour, my fingers felt numb, so I had to hurry. The whole thing took me only an hour a dna half. I like this old beautiful residential area and will come back to paint more.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Landscape: The Fosters' Private Boat Ramp

I went to the Fosters again this morning. It was very cloudy but not raining. Everything in nature looked true to its local color. At first, I meant to paint the animals. There were two cows and a horse behind the fence and they were very friendly and curious. The horse liked being touched by people. While I was setting up my easel, I saw Janet Foster's daughter Dawn drive up to me and stopped her trunk next to the fence. She apologized to me by saying, "I don't mean to cause you trouble but it is their eating time and I have to feed them." I said that there was no problem and I hadn't started painting yet. However, the cows and horse simply followed her to the shack and started helping themselves to the brunch there. They didn't seemed to come back out within a short period of time. I didn't have a choice and needed to think of something else to paint. It wasn't very difficult to decide. I turned my easel a 60-degree angle to the left and faced the scene now you see in the picture. Between the Fosters and their neighbor, there was a dug-up canal. They each had a boat ramp leading into the canal. As you can see, there was an overturn flat-bottom boat nearby under the tree. I also saw a motor boat in the shack. Obviously they were not used for quite sometime because they were either overgrown with moss or covered with dust. There was also a towing carrier not far from the boat. Hope you like the painting.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Landscape: Floridian Clouds

If you drive westward on Highway 78 from the small town of Alva, after passing the winding part between a few horse farms and beyond Old Olga Road, you will notice the fields suddenly spread out and the land was kind of open and hilly. The large space reminds me of Montana which people, sometimes, call Big Sky state. However, that part of Florida happens to have a big sky, too. I am not sure if today's clouds were seasonal. Usually I saw those clouds more often in August. They were what meteorologists called cirrus or cirri (pl.) with wispy filamentous tufted streaks hanging in the air. Anyway, the view looked paintable. So today I simply stopped my car there on the road shoulder and took the kit from the trunk. Quickly I set up and started to paint. I did it really fast, not even two hourse including preparation because I noticed the dark clouds were rolling over from the east and remembered the weather person said we would have PM rain. I had good luck. Right after I packed up my stuff and hopped into the car, it began to sprinkle. By the time I was on SR 80, it was pouring. I smiled to myself and realized that the rain helped me avoid digressing from my focus. Hope you like the painting.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Landscape: Miromar Outlet

We had our last class today. Carl made comments on each student's major projects and then assigned a letter grade to him or her. Since I was one of the two auditor in classs, we were told to spread our works on the table instead of posting them on the wall. The class began earlier than usual, so we called it a day by noon. After class I drove to Miromar Outlet to make this painting. It was cloudy today. The sun peeked out intermittently and shone only for a few seconds each time. Therefore, I had to hurry and catch the light quickly. I also had to remember the difference when the sun was gone. Even before I finished it i realized the building was leaning a little. Well, just a study, I didn't bother to change. Maybe someday, I will repaint this scene. It is very colorful.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sketch: Chatting with the Clerk.

Chatting with the Clerk
Feeling Bored at Mall
At T.G.I. Fridays
Today I went to Sanibel to submit my two entries for the "Shadows and Reflections" Show organized by Sanibel Captiva Art League. At first I was thinking of doing some plein air painting there. However, I was told that unaccepted submissions had to be picked between 2 and 4 PM. It was a time dilemma. I didn't like the waiting, either. Fortunately, I had a friend Pam working there. Pam was willing to take care of it in case my submissions were not accepted. I thought I needed to do something else for the trip. I had my sketchbook with me, so I went to the Edison Mall and did some sketches. Above are three of them.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Study: The Fosters' Farm and Cow

I called Mrs. Janet Foster this morning but she didn't answer the phone. Therefore, I left a message and simply drove there to try my luck. I didn't think she was napping at 9 AM in the morning. When I got there, she was already outside of her house, which was on the Caloosatchee River, watching her daughter planting some tropical plants in some large plastic containers. She explained to me that those large containers were actually used for growing tree saplings and her family was in the green nursery business.

In the picture I tried to express light as the major subject. I believe I had everything under control in the beginning. However, when larged blocks were laid out, I realized I kind of deviated from my original approach. One thing I felt strongly from this experience was that as an artist we could not be too miserly with paint. Sometimes, we do need to apply paint profusely to achieve the effect.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Landscape: The Cabin on the Water

This is what I did this morning. Personally, I felt good about the painting process. The morning sun made it easier to block in large space with dark value. Even though I painted the picture on a 8 x 10 panel, smaller than my usual 9 x 12 size, I didn't feel it was difficult to include the details I wanted to. I made the selection because I spent quite some time recently on Peter Fiore's website and was very much amazed by his capability to depict minute details in 8 x 10 size. So I decided to challenge myself. I liked the compostion with objects naturally laid out there. Everything is very much the way I was it except the fact that I reduced the number of boats which stood in the background. Hope you like it.