For the past ten weeks Amy and I attended an introductory art painting class at the Yard School of Art in Montclair (NJ) Art Museum. Students were given the choice to paint with oil or acrylic paints. Both Amy and I decided to work with acrylic paints mostly due to the easy clean up in comparison to painting with oil. Being a newbie to the official process of painting was challenging and fun.
My prior color mixing experience is in the RGB realm of digital art; mixing paint colors is a very abrupt step into a new realm of creating colors. At first I approached mixing color in a very scientific and astute manner. Surprising to me, this proved more frustrating than helpful. Focusing on light / dark value while maintaining a relaxed attitude on hue yielded a more successful result.
The first class painting was a still life of various white boxes placed on a table. Building on the rudimentary skills learned in the first painting we painted an autumn still life of an arrangement of gourds. The third, and most challenging painting for me, was a rocking horse. Most students completed their rocking horse painting in three classes while I required four classes to wrap it up. The fourth and final painting was a landscape painting picked by each student.
We look forward to attending more classes at the Yard School in the future.
Amy and I have recently returned from two weeks on the Hawaiian Islands: Oahu, Big Island, Maui and Kauai. Although we kept a fast paced schedule, we found time to relax and enjoy the sights, sounds and sensations Hawaii offers. On the Big Island we had the pleasure listening to Kai Hoopii play ukulele while singing Hawaiian falsetto during a performance at Volcano National Park. I recorded the show and in time I plan to prepare the recording for download. I did find time for a few creative endeavors. I painted a few watercolors and I worked on a much larger ongoing project (more on that in future posts).
While driving in Kauai we picked up a hitchhiker. To our surprise our passenger turned out to be Donny Pike of the classic vocal group The Lettermen. As if that brush with fame wasn’t enough we also learned of a secret surprise Neil Young concert that evening in Paia. Amy and I decided to stand in line and take our chances since our lodging was across the street. In short we waited four hours, didn’t get in the venue but made new friends. We did have a chance to watch through the windows and listen in the parking lot. Which was pretty cool anyway.
I had a great time appreciating the local art and wooden tiki carvings. The luau at Kilohana Plantation was a lot of fun. The open bar and buffet provided a solid foundation to enjoy the (touristy) program of singing and dancing. The great people at Kauai Backcountry Adventures hooked us up with a fun day of tubing and zip lining. For me, the highlight of the trip was hiking the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali coast. The dramatic scenery and strenuous trail is spectacular. All in all Hawaii was a great time.
I’ve just returned from a two-week Grand Canyon O.A.R.S. Dory Boat vacation on the Colorado River. I had an outrageously awesome time making new friends, gawking at the stunning scenery and taking in everything Mother Nature has to offer. I stole a few solitude moments to plein air watercolor sketch the enchanted surroundings. The canyon seems to nurture creativity providing intoxicating landscapes full of inspiration.
Being in the canyon on the Colorado was a thrilling experience. New friendships were formed as well as great memories. Words and photographs cannot describe the Grand Canyon; the canyon must be experienced from within to be truly appreciated. I am thankful for the privilege of two weeks in the good hands of O.A.R.S. on the water and in the sand, sleeping under the Milky Way.
Please check out more of my Colorado River watercolor sketches in my art gallery.