Swimming to Dutch Island

Because of my Paint the Bay project, 21 Months-147 Miles-Painting the Bay, I have had the opportunity to dovetail two of my favorite pursuits into a single event, Think, Triathlon or the Nordic Biathlon. I decided to call it Swainting! Continue reading

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The business of procrastination takes a lot of time!

Seriously, it can take me all day to avoid working on a painting that I find daunting.

Take my wave painting.
(this is the sketch)
Wave composite GapAbout a year ago I thought….”Wow, it would be so cool to paint a 24 foot wave for my Narragansett Bay Show.” It seemed like a great idea for the “future me” to do.

Dryden Gallery’s Grand Gallery is a huge space, perfect for a huge piece. I’m an open water swimmer so I know waves (right?). “This is going to be easy!” I thought. “Paint the wave in fog, keep the palette very limited, it will just flow off my brush” I thought.

Flash forward to reality. Waves are not easy to paint, even foggy waves. They are deceptive little buggers full of varying angles and forms that flow into or against each other. There is reflected light and translucency within the form light. There are wind, wave and foam patterns all dancing a complex choreography. Add to that the size of my endeavor. What was I thinking? 24 feet is…. well… t w e n t y-f o u r feet!

The planning part of working large has been kind of fun. For instance, check out this behemoth brush I bought!
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And these tremendous tubes!
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Then, there is the surface…
IMG_1750I am opting for 5 separate aluminum panels to make the piece more transportable. Even so, they are too large and heavy for my easels, and my studio was not designed for producing 24-foot paintings. How and where will I support and prep these bad boys for painting? This seems to be where planning has turned into procrastination.

The future “me”, who I had imagined singing a happy sea shanty while a 24-foot wave flowed off her brush, has turned into a present day “me” who needs to take a nap.

After all, tomorrow is another day.

Celebration to Conservation

170922-0453© A Bofill

A painting of mine called “Perched” is currently showing at MEAM, the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona Spain. The show hosts winners of two international competitions for realistic fine art. I am thrilled to be included in a show representing contemporary realism at its best. Perched is a 36” x 48” oil painting of a pear, quite different from the many gouache and oil sketches I have been doing recently along the Rhode Island waterfront.

Perched,48 x 30, Oil-2Artists may become known for a particular subject matter at which they are adept, or they may have a unique and exquisite approach to their medium. Once an artist has achieved a certain level of mastery, it makes a lot of sense to continuing doing what works so well. What interests me, however, is discovering what I can take from that past success and use in a new area.

At one time I was known as an animal portrait artist. I mostly painted dogs and had a business selling limited prints of my paintings through my company, Purebred Editions.
rapturousI received a number of national and international awards for the paintings and prints and at the time, to some, I was considered one of the top artists in the field. I could have kept painting dogs, but I didn’t.

flameInstead, I became interested in organic form and translucency. For years now, the pear in a produce wrapper has been my muse. Like my dog paintings, these are essentially portraits. I find the pears to be a lovely way to paint sensuality and explore light. Happily, I have enjoyed a positive response to these works, as the recent show in Barcelona attests.

This year however, Narragansett Bay is teaching me to be a landscape painter. It feels so freeing to simply paint what is there in front of me, designed by the sun, wind and water.

I love our bay, and I love exploring and discovering ways to share my experience of this RI treasure.

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As wonderful as it is for me to show my work internationally, I feel it is just as important, perhaps more important, to have my paintings leverage some amount of appreciation and conservation for Narragansett Bay.

To reach that goal I hope to fill the Grand Gallery at Dryden Gallery in Providence with works that range from 4 inches long to 24 feet long. Part of the proceeds from sales will go to Save the Bay to help them continue the fantastic job they have been doing for decades.