Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Painting Progression: Distant Vista on Shirley Road

When I was contemplating what to paint, I had just finished an intensely detailed commission, "One of a Kind", and wanted to paint a subject that was less structured. After looking through my reference pictures, I decided to call upon my photographer friend, Don Macavoy. He takes amazing photographs and happened to have a beautiful sunset of a local scene which he granted me permission to use.

I was attracted to the color shifts in the sky as well as the varying shades of blues in the foreground. The barn and silos' shilouttes against the vibrant sky depicts Salem County's magnificent, unobscured sunsets that regularly occur. I enjoy photographing and painting sunsets because I am always amazed at not only the range of colors but how quickly they can change! If you take the time to watch, in a matter of moments you can witness the dramatic display of the color spectrum as well as the glistening glow of the sun as it descends into the horizon. I hope this painting inspires others to pause and experience this beautiful phenomenon that happens everyday.

"Distant Vista on Shirley Road" - 11" x 14" - Acrylics on Gessobord by Kimberly English © 2017

Painting Progression Video

Monday, May 22, 2017

Arts in Bloom Site #6

This past weekend was my 5th year exhibiting in the Salem County Arts in Bloom Studio Tour. This year was special because it was the first time I was at my house as my own site location. In previous years, I have exhibited at my workshop studio at A Whole New Light, and at Janice Chassier's Gallery Under the Oak Tree.

I began setting up my display on Wednesday. I wanted to use the display system I purchased from a Massachusetts photographer (read more about it here) inside our garage. I first had to shift things in order for the display to fit. My goal was to have the display components setup by Wednesday, hang all of the artwork and stage the setup by Thursday and tie up any loose ends (print out missing tags, price items) on Friday.  Despite the heat, everything went according to plan!

Friday evening I held a preview/opening reception event where I invited a few clients and friends to attend. It was a relaxed gathering where visitors could look at the artwork, talk, and enjoy some wine and desserts. We lounged on the straw bale couch and watched a distant lighting storm. It was the perfect way to start the weekend!

Saturday morning as I began to set up, visitors started to arrive around 9:30 AM. There was a constant flow of tour goers throughout the day including neighbors, farmers, friends, students, and art enthusiasts who I hadn't met before. I had so many wonderful conversations and even witnessed one of my paintings captivate and move someone so much, they cried. It was a powerful moment. I even sold my painting, "The Meathouse". It was an amazing day!

The day started slower on Sunday which gave me an opportunity to take some video of my set up and post on Facebook for Arts in Bloom (I am the Volunteer Social Media Coordinator for AIB). By lunchtime, visitors began to arrive and I was busy for the rest of the afternoon! I had several people return from the previous day to discuss private art lessons and commissioning a piece of artwork. Fellow Pitman Gallery & Art Center member artist, Eileen Meehan Ziegler and Ro Mansfield came to my site. They were so nice and I look forward to collaborating with them in the future! 

My aunt and cousins came down from Kennett Square to see my display. They ended up staying for dinner after the day had ended. It was the perfect ending to a successful event!

Overall, I had a phenomenal weekend! I had over 100 visitors between the two days and sales that far exceeded my expectations. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the support I received! I am excited to get back into the studio and create new works of art for next year's Salem County Arts in Bloom. Special thank you to my mom and student, Audrey, for helping me throughout the week with the kids as I setup for this big event. I couldn't have done it without you!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sharing Another Artist: Bethany Ann Clare Krowsoski

This week I wanted to share another artist: Bethany Ann Clare Krowsoski. I stumbled across her on Instagram a few years ago and have been following her ever since. She is a high school art educator with a Master's in Special Education and is also an avid painter from Erie, Pennsylvania.

When I first came across Bethany she was creating photo realistic acrylic paintings of orchids and koi fish on canvas. She has since expanded her portfolio to oil paintings and trompe l'oeil of Luna moths on classical literary pages.

I admire Bethany's artwork for it's beautiful details, strong compositions and dramatic lighting. Her dedication to her studio painting while working a full time job as an art educator is truly inspiring. I know from experience how difficult that can be. Below are a few examples of my favorite work: 

"Deep Magenta" - 12" x 12" - Oil on Canvas - prints available

"Zen and the Art 1" - 18" x 20" - Acrylics - Original and prints available

"Speckled Orchid"- 12" x 12" - Acrylics - Original & prints available

Luna Moths on Classic Literary Pages - Available at Wicked Pittsburgh Art Collective and Charity

Be sure to follow Bethany with the links and contact information below

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bkrowsoskiart/
Instagram: @bkrowsoski
Website: https://www.bkrowsoski.com
E-mail: bkrowsoski@gmail.com

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Painting Progression: One of a Kind

My newest painting is a commission for a fellow artist, Abraham Warren, who I met through the Salem County Arts in Bloom Studio Tour. Abe is an amazing woodworker and avid art collector.   He contacted me to create a painting for his wife, Bonnie, as a birthday present. He gave me total freedom for the painting and allowed me to pick the subject matter, size, etc. 

Bonnie and Abe have a beautiful, unique home that exudes their personal style. I knew I wanted to use their home as inspiration for the painting because I find it so intriguing. In the fall, I coordinated a visit to take reference pictures. I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking for but knew I wanted to incorporate elements of the landscape into the painting. 

I started by focusing on the buildings in the backyard where they spend much of their time together creating their woodwork. As I was photographing, I came across the handmade sign "Three words.. Two people... One feeling." that adorned their back porch. I fell in love with the sign and took several pictures of it. I framed my composition with leaves and included the chainsaws that sat on the porch railing. I continued on photographing different areas around their home. 

After I got back to my studio and began reviewing the photographs, I was instantly drawn to the pictures of the sign hanging on their back porch. I knew that was what I needed to paint. It was definitely a challenging perspective but thought it would an amazing piece to create for the Warrens.

As I worked on the painting, I thought about Bonnie and Abe and the amazing connection they share that is so evident when you are around them. The painting, I believe, illustrates not only their love for woodworking: the chainsaws and the various grains of wood; it also embodies their love and of the rich, colorful life they have built together. The leaves above the sign, shaped like hearts, and the multitude of colors of the galvanized metal and woods enhance the meaning of the painting.

"One of a Kind" - 8" x 10" - Acrylics on Gessobord by Kimberly English © 2017

Below is the video progression of the painting as well as Abe's testimonial of the commissioned piece.

Customer Testimonial 

"After seeing a variety of Kim's work, my wife Bonnie and I knew we needed a piece for our collection. At a glance, Kim's ability to capture detailed reality is mesmerizing. Upon closer examination and contemplation, her paintings seem to gain depth on all levels.

I contacted Kim to commission a gift for my wife. Being an artist myself, I approached her in the way I prefer to be approached. I offered her freedom to paint the subject of her choosing and gave her my patience... As my wife likes to say, 'Art doesn't follow a schedule'.

The finished piece is breath-taking and worth every moment of waiting. I feel it represents her best work to date, yet, I strongly believe her defining work remains tightly sealed within a tube of paint. When the right client comes along, they will remove the cap together with Kim. Who knows? Maybe the next piece we commission will be that masterpiece?!"

-Abraham Warren

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Finished Live Event Painting

I delivered the finished work of art to Tyler and Taylor last week and wanted to share it with you! After completing about 90% of the painting at their wedding, I brought it back to my studio where I reworked the beams in the ceiling, went over all of the lettering to make them more opaque, and added additional details like shadows, flowers, and of the bride and groom. 

My favorite things to paint were Taylor's gorgeous dress and the beautiful lights that hung from the ceiling and behind the couple. While at the wedding, I purposefully created my composition to include as many of the lights as I could since they provided such a soft, romantic glow. To capture the lights and chandelier, I needed the barn ceiling to constitute most of the composition. I believe the triangles and angles created by the beams and wall create a visually solid design.

The most difficult part was working on the faces of the couple since they were smaller than the size of a dime! The wedding photographer, Dana Zarin, was a huge help in providing different reference pictures of the couple's profile. The photographs were very helpful in obtaining the information I needed in order to create their faces in as a few shapes and strokes as possible due to the limited size on the canvas.

This painting was such a wonderful experience. To be able to attend Tyler and Taylor's wedding and to paint the occasion while it was happening around me was nothing short of magical. I hope they enjoy just as much as I did creating it!

Below is the final painting and Taylor's review of the experience.

"Kim came to our venue (our farm) about two weeks before to meet us and scope out the space. My husband and I decided we wanted the ceremony painted, so she decided where she would set up for the ceremony.

On the day of our wedding, Kim showed up two hours before to set up and get started. It POURED on the day so we had to move the ceremony inside at the last minute. Kim was very flexible and accommodating which put us at ease during a very stressful time. She quickly changed her game plan to paint the ceremony inside in the barn, which turned out beautiful!

Kim stayed most of the reception and was able to interact with our guests. They enjoyed watching the process and transformation of the painting. Most had never heard of live wedding painting before and loved the entertainment it provided. We received so many compliments and they could not wait to see the final product!

After the wedding, Kim took the painting back to her studio to add some final details. She delivered the finished painting, framed and all, in a little over a week. We were so impressed with how it turned out! She captured the beauty and elegance of the ceremony while keeping the rustic feel of the barn.

We could not have asked for better experience. Kim’s professionalism, combined with her talent was a wedding experience we will always remember, and painting we will always cherish."