I was contacted by the Vermont Council on Rural Development who wants to use one of my paintings on their brochure for  the Newport Community Visit program.  Margaret, the office and communications officer of Vermont Council on Rural Development, stated that my painting stood out as a beautiful representation of a part of Newport.

Newport Flyer

I was honored was pleased to offer the use of my image for  flyer they are creating even though they were offering modest compensation for the rights to use the image.  They are a neutral non-profit organization dedicated to the support of the locally-defined progress of Vermont’s rural communities. They are  bringing our Community Visit process to Newport over the next 3 months.

The painting is one I did of Newport from Brownington lookout.  The original is a 20 x 16 watercolor which is available.

Newport from Brownington Lookout

 

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Grand Re-Opening of Cornell Museum

The Cornell Museum at Old School Square has recently undergone a million dollar renovation and if it looked like an old school before it certainly does not now.  I attended the Grand Re-opening of the Museum on Nov 8th which was also the opening of the latest exhibit “Looking Glass”.  The atmosphere was joyous and electric.  While it retains the charm of an ‘old school’ the space is bright and open and will well serve the innovative and contemporary exhibits that curator Melanie Johnson is becoming known for.

Looking Glass Exhibit Nov 9 – Feb 25

Looking Glass, a group exhibition featuring contemporary artwork that immerses the viewer into the piece by creating their own reflection. The viewer and the space around the piece become a part of the work itself.  It was fun to view the exhibit with so many other artists and art lovers.   The exhibit will be there until Feb 25, 2018.

The opening was very festive and fun.   As a resident of Delray Beach, I felt proud that museum in the heart of downtown Delray is so progressive and attractive.  I was not too thrilled with their new policy of not serving red wine at the reception.  Really, they could just get some Mr. Clean magic erasers to clean up a spill.  This will not keep me from attending future reception there because it really is a gem of a museum.  

 

 

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Went to see Loving Vincent this week and it lived up to the accolades it has received. The movie is an animated hand-painted movie about the last days and death of Vincent van Gogh by the movie-making team Dorota Kobiela and High Watchman. They employed 125 artists to recreate van Gogh’s works to create the animation. It is technically brilliant and captivating to watch the works of van Gogh come to life. The plot is a police procedural of the death of Vincent van Gogh with Armand Roulin played by Douglas Booth tasked by his postmaster father, played by Chris O’Dowd to deliver Vincent’s final letter. The story line is simply platform for the mesmerizing animation of the paintings.

I was especially intrigued as part of my own artist path I have recreated famous works of Impressionist artists. Vincent van Gogh was particularly interesting to do in paint as I felt like I had my hand on the paint brush as he was painting and could feel the emotion and tension. So I felt a kinship with the artists who worked on this animated movie and with Vincent van Gogh himself. Here are some of my homage to Vincent.

My rendition of van Gogh’s Starry Night in watercolor.

My rendition of van Gogh’s bedroom in Arles in watercolor

My rendition of van Gogh’s 12 Sunflowers done in watercolor

I’m glad I made the time to see Loving Vincent, definitely worth it and has got me thinking of new ideas for my own art as well. I recommend seeing it. Take a look at the trailer to get a glimpse.

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This year we stayed in Vermont a little longer in order to see the fall foliage which fell short this year of a usual spectacular display.  But here is a view of my last week there.  On the last day of the Craftsbury Farmers Market, the artists of Plein Air Northeast Kingdom exhibited their plein air paintings at the Market (slide 1).  It is a great typical Farmers Market (slide 2) and the area surrounding the common quintessential Vermont (slide 3)   

A few days after the exhibit we were all packed up and ready to go and I took one last picture of the yard (slide 4).  As we headed down the road I  noticed frost on the fields near by where we live (slide 5).  There was also frost on the windshield, something we have not dealt with in quite some time.  We did leave before any snow.  I miss sleeping in the cool nights, now I have to reply on AC.  As we headed out of Barton we saw the mist in the valley  (slide 6).

I had a good season of painting while up in VT, both plein air and studio.  The natural beauty of the NEK so inspires me.  I have updated my website on FAA; it now has all the originals for sale, along with prints and cool merchandise.   I really believe in affordable art and it thrills me to no end when someone wants to live with some of my artwork.  So take a look.

 

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“As the nature.com study acknowledged, scientific analysis can’t account for artistic creativity.”

This graphic from foodpairing.com suggests compatible flavors for pumpkin. (Photo: The Foodpairing Co.)

As many of you know I love the fusion of Science and Art. I came across this article that looks into the Science and Art of food pairing. It is quite fascinating. But still there are factors as in ‘just like my mom used to make’ that indicate we also taste with our hearts.

I recently had a very interesting food matching, maple pizza served by Jed’s Maple this past weekend. OMG was it good. I got the recipe card from them. It will make a great appetizer or dessert.

Thoughts on unique food matching you care to share?

This fall soup successfully combines pumpkin, Gruyere cheese and sesame seeds. (Photo: Amy DeWall Dadmun)


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The summer has been good for plein air painting here in Vermont.  I organized a group of painters this summer to create plein air paintings for an exhibit held at the MAC Center for the Arts that was done in collaboration with Memphremagog Watershed Association and the Orleans County Natural Resources Conservation District (OCNRCD).  The final exhibit not only had lovely plein air paintings but also lots of educational material from OCNRCD about the conservation practices such as grass waterways, riparian buffer planting, strip cropping and pasture rotation.

On the last day of the exhibit the artists gathered for afternoon tea and an Artist talk where we shared “The Joys and Challenges of Plein Air Painting”.  There was a lot of enthusiasm for this and we had a proper tea party with china tea cups, cucumber sandwiches and scones with strawberry and cream.

Afternoon Tea all set for Artist Talk

Drinking tea an d talking art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, you know how I enjoy the fusion of science and art.  In the process of preparing for this talk I found out that it was a few technological advances that gave a boost to plein air painting.  First in was availability of paint that could easily be brought into the field.   After setting up shop in 1766 William Reeves (UK) began selling the first water soluble dry cake watercolors. By 1780 a bit of honey was added to the formulation to make the paint pliable for manufacture in various ways. Honey is a natural humectant, attracting and retaining moisture.

Secondly and perhaps most importantly, John Goffe Rand (1801-1873) patented the first collapsible metal tube for artist’s oil paint on September 11, 1841. He had traded off his European patent for the tubes to appease creditors.  At the time, the best paint storage was a pig’s bladder sealed with string; an artist would prick the bladder with a tack to get at the paint. But there was no way to completely plug the hole afterward. And bladders didn’t travel well, frequently bursting open.  I must say that would be enough to keep me from plein air painting.  Now the impressionists could abandon the studio and its confining academic painting techniques.  This gave a big boost to plein air painting and certainly one of the reasons the Impressionists are credited with championing plein air painting.  Pierre-Auguste Renoir said, “Without colors in tubes, there would be no Cézanne, no Monet, no Pissarro, and no Impressionism.”

Finally, it was during the mid-19th century that the box easel, typically known as the French box easel or field easel, was invented. It is uncertain who developed it, but these highly portable easels with telescopic legs and built-in paint box and palette made it easier to go into the forest and up the hillsides.  In present time, there are many variations of this portable easel.

 

Contemporary Plein Air painters live in a great time.  To say plein air painting is ‘catching on’ is an understatement.  This, I believe, is the golden age of plein air painting.  In a world of forgeries, cheap knock off from China and ‘anything is art’, plein air paintings have a unique authenticity and freshness.  I am now energized for the season of plein air with the Plein Air Palm Beach group of artists.

Interesting article, Water and Light about John Singer Sargent, the famous watercolorist and plein air painter and his use of photography. I’ve always maintained that artists of all eras used what ever tools were available to them. Some contemporary artists disdain the use of photography as a tool painting. Or claim that the camera gives a flattened image, but of course never explain this statement. In reading this article I imagined that Sargent was making small watercolors in his travels and wondered if he would have used a cell phone camera instead if he had one available. What are your thoughts as painters or photographers about the art of photography and painting and the fusion of both. 

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September 30th, 2017 2-4 PM

Meet me at the MAC and join me for Afternoon Tea and an Artist Talk.
Join Donna Walsh and the artists of Plein Air Northeast Kingdom for an Artist talk with panel discussion and Afternoon Tea. You will find the plein air artists to be quite a social bunch so even our talk will be a social event.

Free and open to the public at MAC Center for the Arts, 158 Main St. Newport VT 05855

Here is some info about the exhibit:

The MAC Center for the Arts and the Memphremagog Watershed Association will host an art exhibit featuring farms and waters of the Memphremagog Watershed. Resident artists and visiting artists at all levels are painting at many sites around the Northeast Kingdom through the NEK Plein Air painting group to document today’s landscapes that contribute to tomorrow’s history. Painting sites include views of local waters and views of soil and water conservation practices at four farms that are working with the Orleans County Conservation District.

This exciting art project includes highlighting strip cropping and grassed waterway in corn fields, grazing and laneways in pastures, and Riparian Forest buffers conservation practices that reduce soil erosion by water; increase infiltration and available soil water; and improve habitat, water quality, visual quality of the landscape and farm community relations.
Strip cropping is arranged on cropland across the general slope so that equal widths of grass strips are alternated with annually tilled cropped strip. Grassed waterways are generally planted to perennial grass in annual crop fields and are constructed to convey runoff from low spots where concentrated flow areas where ephemeral and gully erosion control is needed. Artists and community members will learn about these local field based conservation efforts and all the participating farmers will receive a framed print of one of the paintings.

John & I went to Paris June 3-1120160607_14494720160604_185056

We stayed in a very nice studio apt we arranged through Airbnb.  It was in the heart of Paris in the 13th and close to the metro.

Just before we left there were reports of flooding in Paris with the Seine near overflowing.

 

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

John & I

John & I

The Louvre and the Dorsay were closed until Wednesday so we decided to take the Hop-on Hop-off bus for two days.  These always work well for us when we travel.  We hopped off at the Eiffel tower and had lunch at one of the near by bistros.  On the second day of the Hop-on Hop Off we went to Montmartre.  It really is a tourist trap.

 

I had hopes of doing some plein air painting there but the energy just was not right.  We did pass the Moulin Rouge on the way to Montmartre and afterwards stopped at the Erotic Art Museum which was quite a nice exhibit.

Basilica of Sacred Heart

Basilica of Sacred Heart

Paris from the steps of the Basilica

Paris from the steps of the Basilica

 

 

 

 

 

 

The famous Moulin Rouge

The famous Moulin Rouge

Scenes from Montmartre.  We did take the funicular up so

Museum of Erotic Art

Museum of Erotic Art

we did not have to climb all the way up.  With careful planning, we got to see the Rodin museum, the Hotel des Invalides (the military museum), Museum Orangerie. Musee de Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, Versailles and Isle de Cite

The Dorsay used to be a train station.

The Dorsay used to be a train station.

Monet's waterlilies at Musee L'Orangerie

Monet’s waterlilies at Musee L’Orangerie

John in front of the The Grande Obelisk at the Louvre

John in front of the The Grande Obelisk at the Louvre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rodin's 'the Thinker

Rodin’s ‘the Thinker

Venus de Milo at the Louvre

Venus de Milo at the Louvre

The Dorsay used to be a train station.

The Dorsay used to be a train station.

Monet's waterlilies at Musee L'Orangerie

Monet’s waterlilies at Musee L’Orangerie

 

When we drive north we take advantage of Trip Adviser to find good places to eat.  This time we stopped at an authentic Southern Fried Chicken place.  It was the highlight of the trip.  Three generations of women serving up the best fried chicken I ever had.  We will definitely stop there again.   20160525_115234 20160525_115944 20160525_121331 20160525_121339

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