Copper Paintings by Renee Lammers
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"Monhegan Bell" 6x8 Oil on Copper panel. I sold this painting this weekend to a collector who saw my work first on Facebook. I am really thrilled to sell paintings in the Winter here in Maine. Normally Maine is very quiet for six months out of the year. We usually rely on June thru October to make any painting sales. I know a few Maine artists who have sold so little paintings this year, they are trying to work other jobs to be able to eat. Very sad. I am so appreciative to have a painting sale. It makes me feel so appreciated! It is a great joy!
Today instead of packing for my Florida trip, I went to Rockland. We were walking on a granite pier to Breakwater Lighthouse a mile or so out into the ocean. This bird had a giant fish he had caught. He was having a difficult time getting control of this fish.
Finally the bird swallowed this fish. He stuck his neck out trying to further swallow. Finally he gulped. Then went down into the water again.
This was the long granite pier we were walking on. Robert was walking infront of me. I bought him that red plaid wool coat so he would look great for painting. He laughed one day looking at himself wearing tall black boots and this jacket. He called this getup his "costume". I hope you enjoyed my blog today! Get out there and paint!
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"View of Monhegan" 8x10 Oil on Copper Panel. I finally finished this painting today. On my first trip to Monhegan in 2007, I went to Manana Island. Russ ferried people from Fishbeach on Monhegan in his dory over to Manana Island. Russ only charged 10$ for this trip. This painting shows him pulling away from Manana Island after he dropped me off. I usually never ever paint from photos, but could not resist painting this scene. There was something magical and exciting being left all alone on Manana Island. I could see Monhegan Island in the distance. I didn't know I would dream of Monhegan each day after returning to Florida. I was just enjoying myself on my 10 day vacation. I hiked all over Manana Island taking photos. I painted two paintings from the small dock at the landing. I was only on Manana for five hours before Rusty came back for me to return to Monhegan. He told me not many artists go to Manana Island to paint. He said he wished more artists would paint there. It was worth the trip.
"Ice Fishing on Eagle Lake" 8x10 Oil on Copper Panel. I have always loved the movie "Grumpier Old Men". Finally living here in Maine, I can see ice shacks and men fishing. I painted this painting on location in 32 degree weather. Men were saying there was no fish today. I enjoyed watching them drilling ice hole, using a ladle to clear ice from holes, using a small rod to fish, carrying around their equipment on a sled, and keeping an eye on their flags.
Here is a man ice fishing on Eagle Lake. I was going to paint him my painting "Ice Fishing on Eagle Lake" on the left hand side. But the man saw me, got up, and went into his ice shack. Ah well.
Here is a Loon I saw today at Bernard down at Tremont Wharf. In the Winter, Loons look greyer. Then when Summer arrives they have beautiful black bodies with white spots. There were several Loons in the water. They seem to make their calls during the Summer months. Beautiful to listen to.
Here are a few Snowgeese swimming in my backyard on the East Pennobscot Channel. You can see it was snowing. They are from Canada but sometimes vacation here in Maine. There were 20 Snowgeese sitting on the mud flats, eating, and swimming for a week before they flew home.
March 1-7 I am attending the Wekiva Invitational Plein aire Paintout. Florida Artists will be painting the Wekiva Spring Preserve each day, framing, and displaying our works. There are some amazing artists attending. We are camping in cabins and food is provided to feed the artists. Many art collectors and patrons of this event attend. I am excited to included in this amazing event. I am getting ready to drive from Maine to Florida February 22, Monday. I just picked up my large copper order. My frames are here looking nice. All I need to do is pack. Should take me 25 hours of driving. I will stay with my parents in Winter Park a few days to visit them. I will start painting Florida as soon as I arrive! I need to get use to all of the greens again! I have been painting beautiful snow lately. I hope you enjoyed my blog today. I will be blogging about this Florida plein aire event! Stay tuned! I hope the event is disaster free for me!
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"Winter Thaw near Duck Trap Pond" 8x10 Oil on Copper Panel. I had a great day today painting outside next to a creek. Duck Trap Pond is in Acadia National Park near a big stone triple bridge. The pond becomes a creek and flows under this great bridge. Many artists paint the pond or the bridge. I liked this scene. The White Pine was such beautiful warm colors nestled in golden pine needles along this creek. A perfect spot for a White Pine to grow. The sounds of the water rushing by me as I painted really relaxed me after giving a large amount of blood at the hospital today. I was giving blood for a complete physical. Luckily the nurse was very efficient and the blood being drawn was a easy. My reward for being so medically responsible was to paint outdoors! It was only 32 degrees. Pretty warm to me! The coldest I have ever painted was in -10 degrees below zero with winds! This was almost like a Spring day! I loved this warm toned Winter scene infront of me. It was very challenging painting moving water.
I started on the White Pine first. Then I started on the water, then the snow, and pine needles. I left the background for last. I was working all around. The light seemed to be changing. It was at first very sunny around 1:30 pm when I started painting. I was having a hard time believing we would have a snow storm tonight. Around 3:00 pm the sun was gone and dark lavender sky appeared. Then the texture of the sky changed to a blotchedy snowy sky. About 4:30 pm I finished working on this painting. I walked out of the woods carrying just the painting. I do this most of the time. I don't like to balance a fresh wet painting while carrying lots of heavy painting equipment. I have lost too many nice paintings carrying the painting and the equipment. Best to walk the painting safetly to the car and place it inside a wet painting carrier.
Once I was in Florida painting by myself along side of the Little Econohatchhee River. I was working on a huge 24x36 3/4 inch Birchwood gessoed panel of wood. (I don't paint on thick birchwood gessoed panels anymore.) I have painted for six hours far away from my car. I had made several trips carrying easels, huge umbrellas, radio, ice chest, painting equipment. You would have thought I was at the beach if you were canoeing down the river! I had a nice little painting station set up. The sand was powder white. There were bushes and palms. The river was very amber browns and dark. I could see little bubbles everywhere. The bubbles were signs of alligators resting on the river's bottom because it was a very hot day. It was probably in the high ninetys. Under all of the floridan fauna it really was not as hot. I was very satified with my painting. It was of the river with the white sandy banks and palms surrounding the meandering river.
When I finished painting I started to hike back to the car. I was carrying this huge painting out infront of me. I had managed to put all of my gear in a napsack on my back. It was really heavy, maybe over fifty pounds. The painting was really heavy too. I could bearly stand up with all of this load! But I was thirsty and tired and wanted to get home. I was walking up and down this sandy hills on a path. I tripped on a small twig and down I went on top of this wet oil painting. It was a tall vertical painting, and so when I landed on it, I was covered from my neck to my hips. I could not get up! I had the weight of the nap sack ontop of me! I had to roll over onto my back. I felt like a turtle. I had now noticed all of the oil paint covering my front body. I had to get my arms out of the nap sack to get up. My painting was a total loss. I was a total loss. I am suprised I painted again after this little episode. I left the painting there and took my equipment back to my car still covered in paint. I was almost to the car when a group of school kids with their mentors come around the path towards me. I did get some strange looks coming out of the jungle with paint all over me. I am sure they passed my painting laying there still on the ground. Story of my life! It has taught me to be humble and have a better attitude. These painting disasters just seem to roll right off my back. It is the actual act of plein aire painting I love. If I am rewarded with a beautiful painting, I am even more happier. Painting outside relaxes me. I feel rewarded with or without a painting. I hope you enjoyed reading my blog tonight. Have a great night! Get out there and paint!
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This is "Monhegan Artist Studio" 6x8 Oil on Copper. I sold this painting tonight to a super nice man who saw my art work on Facebook. How amazing! Here it is on a cold February night and I am selling paintings! I sold three paintings two nights ago and now a painting again tonight! I have to give this great Fine Art Studio On Line Website some credit. I am glad to have such a great website. I am not in any Galleries. I hope to open my own Gallery soon in June of 2010. I have no experience operating a Gallery. I will learn as I go.
So now I am going to frame this beautiful painting in a nice gold wood frame and ship it the a new collector. There is something really energizing about making a sale. I am just so appreciative!
I am getting ready to drive from Maine to Florida to paint at the Wekiva Invitational Paintout. I hope to stop at a few of my favorite museums, Boston Museum of Fine Art and National Gallery of Fine Art. I always love to look at paintings. I come away with new thoughts or ideas. The surfaces of paintings facinate me. I love to look in particular at oil paintings on copper. The Wekiva Paintout will be fun. I know many of the artists participating. Linda Blondheim, Elizabeth Ferber, Marge Drew, and so many other great plein aire artists. We are staying in cabins. I am lucky to borrow my parent's Roadtrek. The Roadtrek camper will be a nice escape incase it is too noisy in the cabin. I really need my sleep. I will have a nice place to decompress. The refrigerator even will provide a cool Diet Mountain Dew. Love this drink. Many times I don't think I would have made it back to my car while I was painting without the extra caffine from Diet Mountain Dew! So we will be painting the Wekiva Springs area for five days. They will have a few social events with fantastic food I here. They also will have contests for the artists. One of the contests will be for the smallest painting, largest painting, and most paintings created. I am thankful to be invited to this event. My parents live near by and I will be able to see them again. Moving to Maine has been incredible but I do miss my parents.
I am sooo thankful for the sale of another painting tonight. Have a great night! Get out there and Paint!
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This paintings is called the Oar House. It is a tiny miniature 3x4 oil on copper finished on location at Fishbeach on Monhegan Island. I was sitting in the shade on a hot August day painting away for four hours! I sold this painting and three others last night! An art collector of mine from this last year called me up last night! On a cold February night Lisa calls and asks, "Renee I want to buy three of your paintings!". I don't think people realize how amazing this makes an artist feel! It is such a validating feeling. Especially in the middle of Winter here in Maine. The population of Maine decreases by over 50 percent. Probably the percentage of Maine residents decrease even more than 50 percent. Most people leave Maine for warmer climates in September or October. Once when Robert and I were hiking in Lubec one Winter, a Lubec resident claimed there were only 5 people who remained in Lubec this year. So it is extra amazing to make a painting sale in the Winter. Thank you so much Lisa! I am going to send Lisa an extra surprise! I bet she won't believe her eyes when she opens up the box with her paintings inside! I am going to send Lisa a little Valentine's present!
This is "Fishhouse" another 3x4 miniature oil on copper painting I sold last night. I painted this one on location at Fishbeach on Monhegan Island. These little houses on Monhegan were used by lobsterfisherman to store their herring, buoys, ropes, and other important gear. Love these houses and will continue to paint them each Summer. I can't seem to paint them from photographs. I can only get the feeling of these houses on location.
This is "Winter Fallen Spruce" 6x8 Painted in Acadia National Park on Park Loop Road. It was only 30 degrees when I stood on location and painted this painting. I was testing out my painting equipment and Winter attire geering up for a Stapleton Kearn's snow camp workshop. I wanted to show you the paintings I sold to Lisa. It is interesting to other artists what paintings sell. I also think it is very important to share the joy involved here!
I have two other ideas to share: Women should purchase paintings from women artists! What better way to show another woman you appreciate her efforts! If you buy one painting a year, in twenty years you are going to have one fantastic collection of paintings! Each of these paintings will appreciate in value and enrich your life! You may sell off couches or chairs or throw away clothing, but a painting you will keep and admire for the rest of your life!
Here is a picture Robert, my husband took of me the first Winter I was here.
I had fallen down these little steps a few times in Lubec. So here I am climbing like a little bear. Robert laughed his head off! I was not used to my LL Bean Wildcat boots. I did make it up that hill eventually.
Here I am in Lubec, Maine my first Winter here. It was snowing although you can not see this! It was freezing cold! We hiked for five hours or so. Anywhere in Maine is so beautiful! I am so greatful to be living in Maine. I am also so thankful to make three Winter painting sales! Yahooo! Have a great day! Get out there and paint!
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It was snowing today at Jordon's Pond in Acadia National Park. It was so beautiful. There were two icefishing huts on the frozen lake. The bubbles were in the distance. The blueberry fields in the foreground were covered with snow. I marched out to this spot, set up my easel, drew out my drawing. Then I placed my pallete on top of my easel getting ready to paint. I was mixing some sky color when a big gush of wind just blasted me. My pallete with my oil paints went up into the air and into my face.
I thought about not showing you this photo as it is really not flattering. But sometimes painting is not flattering. Plein aire painting has it's disasters. Nothing about painting in 30 degrees with twenty mile an hour winds is easy! Even with the proper equipment, the most perfect Winter day, things just happen. Well after the initial shock wore off, I went looking for my entire wax pallete paper pad. I found two pieces of it. Not the piece with all of the paint though. I looked for a long time and just gave up. It is probably on top of a Spruce tree. An eagle will be spotted this spring with multicolored babies. It will be my fault.
This is Sieur De Mont Springs in Acadia National Park. I decided to try a more sheltered location. I love to paint water, and I knew this Spring would be unfrozen and beautiful. I set up and started to paint. I was pretty warm. I have figured out how to dress appropriately. My North Face black show pants were great. My legs were warm and comfortable. My Cabela's Trans-Alaskan III Boots were keeping my feet warm and cushioned. I had two layers of polartec and wool liner gloves as well as a heat pack in each hand. I had two layers of polartec shirts on and a North Face 600 down trench coat on. I wore a face mask. My oil paints were working fine. I was using Liquin. I was really enjoying Cobalt Violet for shadows as well as Utramarine. The Spring was amazing. I think I was identifying with this Spring. I was the Spring, warm and flowing but surrounded by snow. I could not decide whether this was a low key or high key. I think I try to just paint when it is this cold. I am really not able to think too much yet about my snow painting process. Maybe I will be able to plan and analyze while I paint later. I have only painted outside in these conditions for maybe five different days.
This is my painting guerrilla taped to the lid of my cigar box guerrilla painter easel. I have my pallete sitting on top of the easel. You can see the Spring behind I am finishing up painting.
I tried really hard to take this photo. I put my camera on a branch and set the timer. You can see all of my Winter clothing and gear I have to wear.
"Sieur De Mont Springs" 6x8 Oil on Copper Here it is the painting I painted today. It is an interesting composition. I like the colors. I am pretty pleased with this one.
I learned something today. I really need my glass pallete I have ordered from ASW express. Wax pallete paper does not work. It is difficult to mix paint which you need to do in cold weather. Wind also is constantly trying to blow this paper around and as you saw up into my face. I think I am pretty much through with this type of paper pallete. I learned also to try not to pick a spot where wind is blowing down from mountains and off the lake. I was just really wanting to paint the bubbles. Nature said not today! Have a great night. I hope you enjoyed reading about my crazy Winter plein aire day! Get out there and paint!
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"A Winter Nocturne" by George William Sotter 1942 22X26
An artist recently asked me what Artist I admired for Winter scenes. I thought about this. I do admire Stapleton Kearns Winter scenes. I also love George William Sotter. His night scene facinate me. I am amazed at the beauty of the snow at night. I was fortunate to see one of these painting at a Gallery in Blue Hill. It was 5:00 pm and he was closing. I stood there and looked for a long time at one of George William Sotter's paintings. I could feel the Winter quiet and the coolness. It had a magical feeling. The gallery owner said he would sell this painting to me for 95,000. Believe me if I had this money I would have bought it. He was ready to close. So I left. I was thinking for days about this painting. The sky of this painting was a warm blue. There were some translucent greens too. Beautiful colors Sotter used. This is a different painting than the one I saw. I like this one very much too. I wonder if he stood out there on a very cold night to paint this. There is a lot of detail.
High key is a painting with very little darks. The painting, "A Winter Nocturne" is a low key painting. Low key is a painting with very little lights. When I was taking Stapleton Kearns's Snow Camp class he was talking to me about avoiding Middle key paintings because they are boring to look at. Middle key paintings are monotonous. There is nothing to grab the viewer attention. All of the values are in the middle, such as value of 4, 5, 6. He also said most artists paint with six values. He said to paint in all values. This amazed me. At Stetson University, my art professor commented artists should not use a one value, or white, in their paintings. He said he did not think it existed in reality. Watercolorists were flawed by allowing their whites to be untouched. I never used straight whites because of this. Hmm. Now I am going to reconsider using a very light value in my paintings. I am also going to make sure I do not paint boring middle toned paintings. I am going to paint either high key or low key works.
How am I going to paint nighttime snow scenes? Stapleton Kearns has painted a few night time snow scenes looking down at a village. Very beautiful. He described his process. He would go out during the day to paint the scene. Then he would paint a smaller painting of this and turn it into night scene. He then would paint this smaller scene again on a larger canvas.
One time on Monhegan Island I walked down to Monhegan School house. There was a dance going on inside the school house and so there were lights luminating from the building. I started to paint using a little flashlight as a guide. I only used a few colors. I used a warm blue for the sky, Phalo Blue. I used a darker purple for shadows. I used titanium white mixed with Cadium yellow for the highlights. It was very different. I think it was August. I remember mosquitoes surrounding me but I had sprayed down the top of my hat and entire rest of my body with deet 40 bug spray. I was almost finished when it started to rain. I quickly put on a rain poncho and continued painting. Once you have oil paint on the wood substrate rain doesn't interfere with the painting. So here I was at night in the rain painting away. There was nice music coming from the school house. I looked up and there was Caleb Stone. He didn't know me, but I was aware he was Don Stone's son. I was embarrassed somewhat. He seemed fine with the situation. I asked him if he ever painted at night. He answered yes many times. He loved painting at night. So I finished my painting. I still have this night scene of the monhegan school house. There are a few mosquitos squished into the paint by accident. It is pretty raw! I have never showed anyone this painting. Sometimes I just paint for the experience. It did seem like the values were very narrow, 6,7,8,9,10. Maybe a 3 value for the light. When I finished my painting my flashlight went dead. I had to walk in the dark with all of my painting gear back to the Trailing Yew hotel. What an adventure!
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"Minus Ten Degree Below Zero" 11X14 Oil on Claussens mounted on board.
Here is the first painting I painted at Stapleton Kearn's Snow Camp workshop. This is the first painting I ever painted of snow outdoors in such extreme conditions. It was so cold, -10 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. I just did the very best I could do. Everyone else was painting this enormous and beautiful mountain range. I looked at the mountains and it just exhausted me. Too much! So I concentrated on these ladies painting. I have never seen a painting of ladies painting snow. I thought I might never get another opportunity to paint a scene like this! I like the feeling of this painting. I didn't like Gamblin's Titanium white. It was not really white as Lefranc's White. I had dirty turpenoid so that made the white I was using even grayer. But here it is for your inspection.
"Apple Tree" 6X8 Oil on Copper Panel.
Here is the second plein aire snow scene I painted the following day of snow camp. It was supposedly warmer that day. But it felt colder to me because of the wind blowing like crazy. Stapleton let me have a large squirt of his Lefranc White. What an amazing difference this made. This white is juicey without any medium. Stapleton came over and painted some on this painting. He added some dark green in the shades of the red house. He painted some highlighted snow by the apple tree. The copper panel worked out fine in these cold conditions. I was worried somehow the paint would not adhere because the copper was so cold.
"Ten Minute Painting" 6X8 Oil on Copper Panel.
After I painted the "Apple Tree" for four hours, I started this painting. I was really cold by then somehow. I was trying to be productive! I was painting away on this painting. I realized I was not really painting what I was looking at. I was so cold at that point I was mixing and painting. So I packed it up. My finger tips were burning like crazy. Took several minutes to warm them up. After this I started putting a warm pack in my gloves. The heat seem to travel to my fingertips.
"Lancaster Mountain and Franconia Notch" 11X14 Oil on Copper Panel.
This was the last painting I did at Snow Camp. I was really exhausted by this point. We were together talking from 7 am till 12 am each day. I was worried about Robert being sick at home. He also didn't want me to drive in the dark home for fear I would hit a moose. The hotel was having boiler problems. It was time to go home! I noticed I have not the same manual dexterity when painting out in these conditions. I also noticed I really needed a large amount of medium to work with. Liquin was working the best so far. Light Drying Oil by Webber was not working here. I drove 5 hours home. So nice to be home again.
"Megunticook Lake at 23 Degrees" 11X14 Clausen's mounted on board.
I painted this at Megunticook Lake. I think the mountain is Camden Hill. Stephan Pastuhov was painting next to me. I was telling him stories of Edgar Payne making onion sandwiches for his students. We were talking about many artists we were fond of. His painting was turning out great! He told me about a few snow painting tricks. The scarey part was walking on the iced lake. Sometimes the ice cracked. At one point when we was walking infront of me, there was a huge crack sound. His feet seemed to sink into the ice a inch or two. I stopped walking. I decided to not follow him anymore. Better to make my own path. I think I was trully terrified but only briefly. It was exciting day to be painting with Stephan. Snow camp was continuing!
Maybe none of these painting are very good yet. I hope to improve each time I go out and paint snow. I think if I just get use to being outside during the Winter, I might calm down and be able to concentrate. I am waiting on an order of Lefranc white and a glass palette. I think with a glass pallette I will be able to "beat my whites". The wax paper pallette moves around too much when I am trying to mix colors. We shall see!
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This is Stephan Pastuhov painting on Megunticook Lake. It was only 23 degrees with a wind chill factor for sure! My morning was incredible! I awoke to my phone ringing downstairs. I ran down those stairs quickly to discover Stephan Pastuhov on the phone asking me if I wanted to paint plein aire today! I had been waiting for this opportunity since returning from Stapleton Kearns's Snow Camp in New Hampshire. I took my golden retrievers, Daisy and Duke for a quick walk and fed them. Luckily all of my painting gear was packed ready to go. I put on two layers of snow pants, two layers of polartec shirts, my thick wool socks, my wool scarf, and grabbed my Cabela's Trans-Alaskan III Boots! I put on a 600 down North Face trench coat. I also grabbed an auxillary 700 down North Face coat just in case! I put on my wool "Aldro Hibbard" cap and grabbed my polar face mask! I was out the door less than twenty minutes. I grabbed an egg sandwich and two coffees at Dunkin Donuts. I paint so much better if I eat a few eggs in the morning. This is my only secret weapon.
Finally found Stephan's house. Met his wife. We were off in my car to Megunticook Lake. He had previously checked with a few ice fisherman for safety of walking on this frozen lake. We unloaded our gear and hiked for about a mile. It was 23 degrees and the wind was kicking. Snow stung my face as I carried fifty pounds of painting equipment. I slipped on the snow covered ice lake more than a few times. The first time I landed clear on my back! I was wearing very very large Trans-Alaskan boots sized men's 12! It was difficult walking on this snow which slid away and exposed slippery ice. Luckily I was able to get on my feet again without Stephan's help! The wind was blowing so hard we could not paint where he really wanted to paint. We had to settle in an area sheltered from these winds. After I set up I had to take off all of my coats and mask. Later though I had to put it all back on. We painted for about six hours! We took a couple of breaks but not long. He told me of a very successful artist who thought it a good idea to put sky color on the snow under the mountains. I also allowed my tree line to run up into the mountains to prevent stripes. Stripes are really bad for a painting design. They cause the viewers eye to go straight to these "stripes". I was using lots of broken color. I still did not have a grip on painting snow, but I was trying hard!
This is the view at Megunticook Lake we were painting. He told me of a story of a little girl who lost her life on this mountain. They placed a cross in her memory. I think the mountain is Camden hill...but not sure.
I told Stephan all about my "snow phobia". I had moved to Maine three years ago from Florida. The first time it snowed was late November the first year I had moved to Maine. I was sleeping in a 2007 25 foot Airstream International Seabreese Model RV Trailer at Bass Harbor Campground. This was our new home. We were making the best of our situation. My golden retriever Daisy was the first to alert me something new was happening outside. I looked out to see snow! My first reaction was to cry. I felt fear and anxiety. Somehow I felt snow might be dangerous for us. I called my husband Robert to tell him about snow. I wanted him to come home to the Airstream. He thought my reaction was funny. He said not to worry. To go out and enjoy it. I did go out. It was sort of fun. The dogs loved it. I was more apprehensive. I had not been around snow before.
The next few Winters I stayed inside most of the time. I would plein aire everyday Spring, Summer, and Fall. When Winter came around, I was a bear. I would hybernate. Stapleton's Snow Camp was the answer!
Here I am all bundled up at Stapleton's Snow Camp. The face mask really helped. I had to wear two down coats. Maybe because I am from Florida, my body does not tolerate cold well. I seem to need more Winter gear than other artists wore. I was not worried or fearful of freezing to death after a day or so at Snow Camp. I enjoyed myself in many ways. I was thrilled with being able to be outside during the Winter. It is so beautiful.
This is a scene at Franconia, New Hampshire from my hotel window early one morning.
Here is Stapleton with many students watching. I have not figured out to copy and paste a link yet. Check out Stephan Pastuhov's paintings on the web. Also try to check out Stapleton Kearns's blog and paintings. You can google their names. Have a great day! I had such incredible day. I could not thank Stephan enough for this opportunity. Thank you!
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January 31, 2010 I attended Stapleton Kearn's Snow Camp Workshop. This is another photo of Stapleton painting behind the Sunset Hill Inn. There were a total of nine brave students at this first of it's kind painting event. I don't think any of us students thought we would be out painting in below zero temperatures with winds! I personally thought temperatures would be in the 20's or 30's. We seemed to all arrive at the same time on Friday afternoon. We gathered in the livingroom by the fire and started to talk about our expectations. All of us had purchased new Winter clothing and gear to be comfortable painting. About half of these students had purchased Cabela's Trans-Alaskan III boots good for temperatures -135. Impressive boots. They did live up to these expectations and my feet were very warm. We told painting stories, shared about our personal lives, and discussed our apprehensions of painting in the snow in -10 below. We ate dinner together at a big round table at 6:00 pm. The food was delicious. The view from our private dinning room was of the Lancaster Mountain and Franconia Notch. All of the artists in the group were at professional or intermediate level. The ages of these artists were 45 years old and up. There were about the same number of men as there were women. One man drove all the way from Ohio. Some artists were from New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Maine. All of these artists had the common interest and determination to paint great snow paintings.
Here is Stapleton with his students. Each morning at 8:30 am Stapleton would start his demo. He talked while he painted and we were able to ask him questions. He patiently answered all of our questions while he painted without any irritation. At dinner I asked him how many different types of boots he had. He said, "Three" "One for snake bite prevention for Texas, one for painting snow, and cowboy boots." I asked him if he collected art? He said that he did, mostly etchings. I asked him if plein aire invitational events helped an artist's career? He said just worry about painting great and that would help an artist's career. Someone else asked him if people really bought snow paintings? He said yes, some people did.
This is a full moon view in Franconia, New Hampshire from the back of the Sunset Hill Inn.
The night before it was 90 degrees in my room and I had opened my window to cool it off. I woke up at five to close my bedroom window and this was the scene I saw!
They had boiler problems but we were all pretty warm inside. Sometimes it was extremely hot inside. Sometimes the boiler stopped working, twelve heaters were carried into the lobby, and there was talk of us evacuating! It added to the mystery and excitement of the weekend. This hotel was very clean and nice! A perfect location for a painting workshop. We were able to come inside to a private room where there was a fireplace, hot cocoa, and hot tea.
Even though we were having so much fun, there was some much information discussed during these demos. I wrote a few notes down and now I am glad I did. We talked about "rocker points", "anchor management", and boxed pressed madoro cigars hand rolled in a box. We discussed "smuggling colors", "joyous feeling in a painting", A & D skin protection, "tree limb painting". I asked him if he was more of a color or value artist? He said "I am a full service artist!". We talked about "coat hanger" concerning art. Aldro Hibbard added the "coat hanger" after he finished painting. How this "coat hanger" was Hibbard's style but not a way he saw objects. Stapleton had a nice line about painting, "Start out with a shovel and finish with a needle." I was sitting down painting the second day because my back was sore from carrying luggage up to the third floor. I laughed so hard during this workshop. Sometimes he had the funniest comments!
I made notes of personal observations while I watched Stapleton paint. He used a rag sometimes as a watercolor artist also does to lift up areas he wanted to keep lighter. He used his white paint only at the end of his painting. He made the most amazing warm sky color for the horizon at the third demo consisting of LeBlanc white, Viridian, and a touch of Cobalt. He used lots of pure color. He even put some yellow ochre into his sky after he was finished. He had an interesting way of holding his brush. His knuckles were toward the canvas with his thumb was pointing to the ground facing him. It looked like his hand was upside down. I noticed he kept his values very light concerning the painting of the snow. It looked to me as if the value range was between 1 and 3.
He told us he was not a strictly plein aire painter. He finished his plein aire paintings in his studio. He told us R.H. Ives Gammel, his teacher, had always told him, "There is only one way a painting should be done. A painting should be painted well." Craftmanship and much time and effort should be made to create a great painting. Stapleton made a comment, "Museum paintings are painted well. These paintings are not sloppy or half finished."
I will post more photos of the Stapleton Kearns Snow Camp. It is snowing heavily outside. Snowing hard. Good I need new snow to paint! Take a look at Stapleton Kearns blog. You can google his name to find this blog. I would advise any artist or collector to check him out! Have a great day!
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This is a photo of me at Stapleton Kearn's Snow Camp Workshop in New Hampshire this January 30, 2010. I was wearing many layers of warm clothing because temperatures were minus ten degrees below zero Fahrenheit. To be able to function in this severe weather I had to purchase and wear special clothing and boots. I purchased Cabela's Trans-Alaskan III Boots. These incredible boots kept my feet warm. I had on wool glove liners and polartec gloves with handwarmers in between these layers. Still I had to come inside of the hotel to warm my hands occassionally. I wore two layers of polartec shirts and two 700 down trenchcoats. Not one coat but two! I had three layers of pants on. I had to wear a face guard and then a wool cap on my head. I pulled up one of the trenchcoat's hood over all of my head gear. Besides there being very cold weather, there was wind.
This is a photo of me and Aline Lotter. She had forgotten her coat. She was forced to wear all of her fleece sweaters. Still I do not know how she was able to paint as well as she did! You can see my Cabela's Trans-Alaskan III Boots I am wearing. I am very proud of those boots. I was going to just wear some shoes I had. In the middle of the night, I woke up, realized I needed these special boots he had suggested we buy. No one would suggest something unless they were crucial to succeed in painting during the Winter. I overnighted them! We were painting on the veranda of the Sunset Hill Inn in Franconia, New Hampshire. To be honest, I thought we would be painting in 20 to 30 degree weather.
This is Stapleton Kearn looking for a place to paint. He calls this painting spot "the power spot". At first we were all following him around while he was looking. Then we realized we should give him a little space to think about this. We stood back while he paced around looking carrying all his equipment. I took photos of him doing this. I thought how special it was to be watching a great artist. You may want to start reading his blog at Http://www.StapletonKearns.com
I think you will learn about art if you are an artist or a collector.
This is a photo of Stapleton Kearns painting behind the Sunset Hill Inn. All nine of his students are standing watching carefully. We were watching him for three hours in freezing temperatures and winds. He was painting the mountain range of Franconia Notch and Lancaster mountains.
I first learned of Stapleton from reading his blog. I was reading the blog often and found myself learning a lot of good information. He studies old master paintings. He shares how to paint each day. Sometimes he has unusual posts keeping us wondering what on earth will be next!
I learned a lot from attending this workshop. I am going to try to paint more lighter paintings. I really liked his Le Franc White oil paint. I was using Gamblin's Titanium White. I compared these two whites and was amazed at how much whiter his Le Franc White was! My Gamblin White was almost a whole value darker and grayer.
I learned how to "smuggle colors". I learned how Impressionist Artists from years ago use a technique called, "broken color" to enhance the feeling of a painting. I watched closely how Stapleton painted. I wrote many short notes because I was afraid the cold air might be effecting my mind. I didn't want to forget what I was seeing. I am really glad I did this now. I wrote down fun saying. I wrote down observations.
One thing I noticed him doing was painting a value or two darker so he could lay lighter different values and colors on top to lighten the entire painting. I admit I think when I was plein aire painting, in a hurry I might mix up an appropriate color and value and lay it down in the right spot. I would do this for fear the scene would change and I would fail at the painting. But by sneaking up on the image and layering more, he achieved a more complex, more colorful, and more feeling painting.
He would not set up his easel infront of the scene he was going to paint, but at a 45 degree angle from the scene. Sometimes he would have to really turn around to see what it was he was painting. I would just look up and down at the panel infront of me. He was completely turning and then turning again. I think he was doing this to not replicate the scene but to capture the feeling and simplify the scene. He was relying on his memory more. He was really amazing to watch. He demos turned out great! Every single painting was great.
We asked him questions and he was able to nicely answer while we painted. He never seemed to tire at all. I was really exhausted. After his first demo, I told him I was going to take a nap. Two other guys took off and took naps. I just wanted to be polite and tell him I would be back. He said something like, "No nap! Get out there and paint now!" I got up without hesitation and started to paint. I later thanked him for giving me a push. I might not of painted at all that day. I was just dazed from being outside in minus ten degree weather for three hours! I went out then and painted from 12 pm till 5 pm.
I was not cold at all. Towards the end of my first day painting just my finger tips were freezing. I painted the three ladies who were painting infront of me in the snow. I thought how unique this opportunity was to be painting ladies painting. I will take a photo of this tomorrow to show you. It is not too bad! My first snow painting was in minus ten degrees Farenheit! I survived my first day! I will tell you about day two tomorrow.