Thursday, August 30, 2007

Working vacation in Maine

I could have called this a "busman's holiday" but it sounds un-artistic. Plus, I had too much fun to claim that the work overtook the play. Most of my two weeks was spent on Mount Desert Island. Here I am on top of Beech Mountain with my friend Diana Cobb Ansley. Diana and I have known each other since our early teens, and we actually met in Somesville, a small village in the center of MDI that was settled by our common Somes ancestors. Diana is a painter, as you can see. Yes, I know my eyes are closed AGAIN--but you can't ask a passing hiker to take tons of photos just to get one of me with open eyes.

When I am in Maine I pay a pilot to fly me around in a single-engine plane to take reference photos that I later use to develop my aerial paintings. This year I flew over Rockport Harbor, Vinalhaven and North Haven, Deer Isle, Isle Au Haut, and Mount Desert. The weather was beautiful and it was exciting to see the light, the colors, and the endless forms of land and water.

Sometimes I fly out of Bar Harbor, but my favorite pilot is Sandy Reynolds of Maine Scenic Airways. Besides being an expert pilot, he understands artists and photographers. He operates out of the airport in Belfast, ME. For anyone who is interested in flying wth Sandy, his website is: You can reach him by phone at: 207-338-4736.

This year I also fit in a short visit to Indian Island, off Rockport, with my lifelong (and multitalented) friend Linda Vizi. This was Linda's second visit to the island; we had gone there together after graduating from high school in 1971! On the island, Linda worked on her applique while I painted a portrait sketch of my brother's mother Harriet and a plein air sketch of the lighthouse and house.

Altogether it was a great two weeks, and it has been a difficult transition back to the regular work schedule.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Summer Show at Gross McCleaf Gallery

If you are in Philadelphia in the next few weeks before Labor Day, the Gross McCleaf Gallery is having a summer group show of works with a summery theme. The air-conditioning is great, and lots of galleries are closed, so it's a perfect place to stop in when you are suffering in the heat and humidity of downtown Philadelphia and you want to look at a refreshing variety of art that reminds you of the nice things about summer. I've got two paintings in the show (photos soon) and there are a lot of wonderful ones by all the other artists in the gallery.

The gallery is located on 16th Street between Sansom and Walnut Streets. Their summer hour are Monday through Friday, 10-5.

Their website is:

Artist's Magazine finalist

Just heard that one of my portraits, Young Harpist, was named as a finalist in the Artist's Magazine 24th Annual Art Competition. The actual winners have already been chosen, so this means it has no chance of a prize, but hey, I'm happy with this much. A couple of years ago another painting of mine, Becca in Prom Dress, was a finalist in the same competition. It sure seems as though the judges are preferential to my paintings of young women in long, flowing, formal dresses! I'm not sure whether that's a good or a bad sign, because in both cases the concept of the portrait was not really about the dress or about young female beauty.