Sunday, July 30, 2017

Painting Progression: January Blossom

This painting was inspired by a day trip I took with my cousin, Casey, to Longwoods Gardens to celebrate her birthday. It was frigid cold at the end of January 2014, but we enjoyed the tropical warmth of Longwood’s luscious greenhouses. My daughter was just 3 months old at the time and she slept through the entire walk around the greenhouses! After browsing the amazing selection of flowers and plants, we had a lovely lunch at a nearby Olive Garden. The delicious soup and bread sticks warmed us up from the bitter cold.

When choosing a reference picture, I was drawn to this flower for the color shifts within the petals and the vast shapes created by the folds and wrinkles. It was mesmerizing creating the contrasts to show the twists within the petal edges. I also believe, subconsciously, I chose this flower to paint because of the color palette. My last painting, "Distant Vista on Shirley Road", had similar colors which made creating this painting's color shifts rather seamless.

"January Blossom" - Acrylics on Gessobord - 6" x 6" by Kimberly English © 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Woodstown Pop Up Art Show

The Woodstown-Pilesgrove Business Association is hosting the Inaugural Fourth Friday event on Friday, July 28th, 2017 from 5:00 - 9:00 P.M. Businesses along Main Street will be open late, vendors will line the street, along with food, entertainment, music, and fresh produce. 

The Pop Up Art Show will be located in The Historic Opera House. I will be revealing my newest painting at 5:15 P.M. Be sure to be one of the first people to see all of the details in person and hear a brief explanation of the painting! My original acrylic paintings, archival prints, greeting cards, and pillows will also be available for purchase.

Here's a map to show where the Pop Up Art Show will take place on Friday, July 28th from 5-9P.M.
There is ample parking in the municipal parking lot located behind the building.

A preview of the artists that will be exhibiting at the Historic Opera House during Woodstown's Inaugural Fourth Friday on July 28th, 2017 from 5:00-9:00 P.M. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sharing Another Artist: Alisha B. Whitman

This week I wanted to share another artist: Alisha B. Whitman. I stumbled across her this year on Instagram as I was browsing hashtags and instantly fell in love with her work! She is a watercolor and acrylic painter from Oregon who is also a mom of 5 young children. As a fellow mom artist, I was drawn to her commitment to her artistic practice while raising a family. "She credits regular painting time with refreshing and clearing her mind, re-energizing, and restoring some semblance of balance to life".

I admire Alisha's artwork for her choice of bold colors and stylized subject matters. Her first medium of choice is watercolor and I am fascinated with the techniques she uses to capture textures and lighting in her landscapes. She also successfully uses repetition to achieve balance in her dreamy compositions. She creates a new world with her artwork that I'd visit in an instant!

Through the power of social media, I've been able to connect with Alisha everyday. It's amazing to have the opportunity to find another artist in the same stage of life that I am currently in.  Even though we live 3,000 miles away and have totally different artistic styles, we've become cheerleaders for each other and it is so helpful! Below are some of my favorite pieces by Alisha. 

"Crossing Over" 14" x10" Watercolor by Alisha B. Whitman

"High on a Mountaintop" 20" x 16" by Alisha B. Whitman

"Cloud Study I: Cumulonimbus" 18" x 36" Acrylics by Alisha B. Whitman

"Floating the Deschutes" 14" x 11" Acrylics by Alisha B. Whitman

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


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017 Haddonfield Crafts and Fine Art Festival

Sunday was a gorgeous day and I had the opportunity to attend the 25th Annual Haddonfield's Crafts and Fine Art Festival.wanted to do some research to see if this particular festival would be good to exhibit in next year. I am familiar with the town of Haddonfield since I used to work in Moorestown and often had school and union functions in the area. I was lucky enough to get a parking spot right in front of Markheim Art Center, where I have exhibited artwork in the past.

Since it was the last few hours of the show, I stopped at the booths of fine artists to discuss their experiences over the weekend. My first stop was at Dorothy De Matteis. She is an acrylic painter with a whimsical style and bold color palette with subject matter featuring people and animals. She had a similar setup to mine and we spoke about the logistics of setup and take down. It was great to talk to an experienced artist and hear her advice to alleviate some stressful situations during festivals. I purchased a fun print for my daughter (pictured below).

Next I visited Keith Mountford, an extremely detailed, photorealistic watercolorist from Yardley, PA. He had an easel set up with a work in progress he was working on while talking to patrons. It was captivating listening to his story and view his breathtaking artwork. While at his booth I also met a young artist just starting out, Sarah. We talked and exchanged business cards to keep in touch. 

The next artist I spoke with was Majorie Haley. She is a plein air painter and was extremely helpful with sharing which shows in the area she found were best for fine artists. She wrote down a list for me to look into and suggested I visit an artist diagonal from her. I purchased a small 5" x 7" painting from her for my kitchen (pictured below). 

As I continued walking, I found Bill Donnelly. He is an illustrator with current work focusing on close up drawings of the natural environment. He uses wax pastels with gestural lines on black paper to create textural drawing. We talked about getting started, where he has shown and which shows are worth investigating.

The last stop of the day was to Gerry McDonnell of Celtic Hearths Bronze. He creates bronze sculptures of Celtic designs. Being of Irish heritage, his work caught my eye. I had the opportunity to talk to him about his life and my family's names. He showed me on one of his bronze maps of Ireland where those family names are prevalent. He went on to explain his process of carving the design, creating a mold, pouring the bronze and lastly, applying acid and saline to create the unique patinas of his work. Since he travels up and down the East Coast doing a variety of festivals, he shared very valuable tips for setting up and showing solo. I purchased a 8"x10" Celtic love knot which I plan to hang in our living room.

Overall, most of the artists were pleased with the attendance and spending of the patrons. I had a great time talking with the artists about their work and learning from their experiences. I will definitely consider adding this show to my line up for next year's festivals. 

Crowds at Haddonfield Crafts & Fine Art Festival

Print by Dorothy De Matteis

Painting by Majorie Haley

Chestnut, Leaves, Grass by Bill Donnelly

Cold Cast Bronze by Gerry McDonnell

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Finished Live Wedding Painting: Leevon & Daniel

Yesterday I delivered the finished live wedding painting to Leevon & Daniel. After completing about 90% of the painting at the wedding, I brought it back to my studio to add more details and colors to the painting. You can see the progress that was made at the wedding by clicking here. After the wedding, I painted in the arena fence, flowers, lightened the grass and clouds, and added details to the couple.

My favorite part to paint were the beautiful clouds and Leevon's stunning dress! The lighting during their ceremony was amazing which created shadows and glowing highlights on the couple. While I was painting I thought about how perfect the day was for them! It was hard to believe that a severe thunderstorm with straightline winds had gone through just hours before.

As landscape painter, I was excited that their ceremony was outside! I created the composition to include as much of the background as possible. The clouds were perfect that day and I definitely wanted to capture them.

The most difficult part were the couple's hands and faces since they were smaller than the size of a dime! I enjoyed the challenge and worked from reference pictures I took during the ceremony to create them on such a small scale. I focused on the most important shapes to paint them in as few of strokes as possible. 

It was such a privledge to be able to attend Leevon and Daniel's wedding! I had so much fun creating their painting. I wish them many years of happiness together and I hope this painting will also remind them of their special day each time they look at it. 

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

Leevon & Daniel - 16" x 20" - Acrylics on Canvas by Kimberly English © 2017

"I had never been to an event where a live painting was taking place, so I was extremely excited to have this opportunity at our wedding by not only a local artist but a friend. I have known Kim for several years, working with her through various events, she has always been very professional, friendly and dependable. When Kim approached me with her new business venture, I was SO excited and knew I wanted her to be a part of our big day. Kim's artwork is always astonishing and I knew she would do an amazing job!

Kim arrived to our venue the day before the wedding, as she was already very familiar with our venue (Salem County Fairgrounds)- she wanted to meet in person to go over the details of what we'd like to see in the painting, take reference pictures and clarify where she would set up.

Her set up was discrete and clean and our guest enjoyed watching the progression and interacting with Kim through out the evening. After the wedding, Kim frequently posted clips on Instagram of parts of the painting she was working on, which was really exciting to see the progression of the painting and sneak peeks before she was finished, which was just over a week after the wedding.

We were so impressed to receive the painting hand delivered by Kim, packaged and framed beautifully in such a short amount of time. The detail of the painting was amazing and this was an overall wonderful experience that I will highly recommend to anyone looking for something unique for their guest and a painting they will forever cherish of their special day."

-Leevon Lacy Cogdill

Photos courtesy of Tina Jay Photography