Monday, September 30, 2019

A really good weekend in New York

with my piece, Texas Trifecta, at the opening

With family schedules and artists' balance sheets, it is hard to take advantage of many of the opportunities associated with various art associations' national shows. They never seem to be nearby, so I don't typically attend even if I've been fortunate enough to have a piece juried into one.

The American Impressionist Society's 20th Annual National Juried Show was different. My husband and I are living in New York this fall (long story), and the show was held at the historic Salmagundi Club minutes from where we are living. I applied and held my breath. And got in.

I immediately registered for everything AIS offered for attending artists, and boy, did it pay dividends! I knew this would be a popular show--who doesn't want to spend a fall weekend in NYC? And Kevin Macpherson was the judge and was doing a demo one night. Derek Penix and Michelle Dunaway did demos as well--we had a tour of the Utrecht paint factory, a presentation on the history of British Impressionism, and a paintout in Central Park, not to mention several cocktail receptions at the club (always a hit). 

Bottom line, and this may seem obvious, but you get out of art associations what you put into them. I met artists I'd known only over social media, and made new acquaintances with whom I know I'll keep in touch. One of my biggest supporters and NYC resident, collector, and photographer Ken Ratner, even came to the reception--Ken--your support means so much!

The best part? Receiving BEST IN SHOW for the plein air paintout competition among AIS members in Central Park with "Signs of Fall!" A complete surprise and a huge honor!!!

Signs of Fall, 8 x 10, oil on panel

Painting at the Bow Bridge in Central Park, NYC

Panel discussion at the Salmagundi Club with Derek Penix,
Michelle Dunaway, C.W. Mundy, and Debra Joy Groesser

Barrels of oil paint at the Utrecht paint factory in Brooklyn

Cerulean Blue...

Gesso being mixed -  biggest mixer I've ever seen

Peter Trippi's presentation on British Impressionism

In front of the Salmagundi Club

Derek Penix and Michelle Dunaway doing demos for the attendees

Some old palettes and a piece from the club

Awards night--truly a great weekend!

-julie davis

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Rooftop process

I've got to figure out how to share video on this platform. Suggestions welcomed. I tried the built-in uploader, but it did not seem to like my iPhone videos, and wouldn't play once uploaded. So these stills will have to do!

Monday I set up on the roof with a little 8 x 10 panel. It was really overcast all day, which was great because the light didn't change much, and the grays of the buildings were pretty saturated. I almost always begin a painting with a wash of color--from a simple neutral to Transparent Red Oxide to whatever this was--I think a mix of TRO and Cad Red Light. I use a paper towel to wipe away the lights until I see the shapes I want. This is a fairly quick process--maybe 5-10 minutes tops. It gives me a sort-of Notan look, so I can judge design and value before I start. (This is after I've done a thumbnail sketch or two, which I tuck behind my panel on my easel while I paint).

I then work primarily dark to light. Someone on my Instagram post about this piece asked if it was hard to work around the supports of the towers--and the answer is yes--it is tedious, but I really can't get the darks like this in after lights are put down. I find it best to put them in, work around them, then  touch up the darks if I need to near the end. 

Next, the background and the foreground. Lots of shapes and perspective to contend with!

Last, the sky. It's hard to tell in this photo, but there are some super subtle value shifts in the sky. I love those, as well as the fun subtle hue and value shifts on and among the tall buildings in the background. This is New York, after all, and the buildings go way, way back, so there are lots of depth (= layers of atmosphere) even between the background buildings.

That's it! Wish I could've shared video of the view; hopefully, I can figure that one out before long. If you follow my instagram account, you'll see me post video in my story quite often. meanwhile, let me know if you know how I can do it here!

-julie davis

Thursday, September 12, 2019

More than an "annual thing"

If you notice these things, it's apparent I've ignored my blog in favor of Instagram for the last long while. I apologize if that's been a issue, but encourage you to get on Instagram just for the art if you've been hesitant to move your attention to that platform. It's even more nimble and immediate than blogs, and you can visually devour art much more quickly!  (@juliedavisstudio is me)

That said, there is obviously a massive and receptive community for art in blogging, and there is more "meat on the bone" in this format. That's why I've chosen to also share this latest venture here, where I can write about it and share groups of photos to "journal" my time here. Even though after almost a year of absence I may be blogging to an audience of exactly one....!

First, you're noticing this isn't the Texas Hill Country, or Austin. Yes, it's New York. My husband and I leased a place in the city for two months this fall. Our daughters are in college and beyond, and my husband is fortunate enough to be able work wherever he is able to drag his laptop and cell phone, and I'm able to work wherever I can drag my easel, so this happened. And I've found my happy place here among the water towers on the rooftops of the city.

I typically begin by wiping away a very thin
mixture of paint and Gamsol into shapes.
Great skies, first sketch in the books.
This week I climbed to the rooftop of our place, and it was like a stairway to heaven for me. If these paintings aren't for you, ignore me for two months, because this is the direction I'll be taking while we're here. The roof is perfect for the introvert in me, because the only people around are on other rooftops, generally far away enough where they don't notice me. Don't get me wrong, I like people! Just while I'm painting, it's great if I don't feel on display, and I was really concerned about that for this New York stint. But up there, I'm alone, with endless viewpoints and subject matter and light's fantastic. And I can run downstairs for lunch or a refill of coffee. I'm not sure I've ever painted in a more convenient setup, actually.

start #2
Pulled this shot from my insta-story.
Got a migraine mid-painting. When
I came back to finish, the light had
changed completely.
Sunset provided this wonderful, pink
 light, but it changed 
Finished this fourth study the next morning.
Fresh light, great skies.

Now I've got these four under my belt, I may move to individual 8 x 10 panels, to fit a little more information on each one. I can't wait to get back up there. Have a good week and a great weekend, and thanks for reading all the way to the end if you've made it this far. I'm planning on these blog posts being more than an "annual thing!"

-julie davis