Tuesday, August 20, 2013

POP Benefit Show and Sale at the Southbury Public Library September 2013

It's official--come and see the show at the Southbury Public Library and join us for an open meeting on Sunday, 9/15 from 2-4 p.m. to learn about plein air painting by the artists.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kettletown Woods Paintout August 3rd

Join POP painters at Kettletown Woods, home of the Lyons family, 1133 Kettletown Road, Southbury CT 06488.

A beautiful small farm location with a number of interesting outbuildings, cows, pond, rocks, chickens and across the street a vista with a silo, and a renovated cottage and barn. Parking is at the Lyons off to side of semicircle gravel drive. Bathroom available. Bring lunch, meet the Lyons, and with members of the Southbury Land Trust board at 1:00pm, then continue painting. This is our last paintout for new participants to be eligible to enter September show to benefit the land trust. Come and bring a friend!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Garden Painters REJOICE!

Garden Painters

REGISTER to Paint CT's Loveliest Private Garden

Wes Rouse of Pine Meadow Gardens, invites a very limited number of POP artists to register and paint in his private garden Thursday and Friday, July18th, 19th, followed by Sunday, July 21st.   PLEASE CALL ELLIE BOYD TO SIGN UP (203) 264-2313 or shoot Ellie an email.  

Here is how the Garden Conservancy describes Wes' garden:
"features five acres of landscaping including a pond, pool, and specimen trees and shrubs. Herbaceous borders are featured throughout with a blue and white garden and a shade garden as part of the design. The gardens are divided into outdoor rooms for varying uses and many containers are featured year round for architectural interest." In other words, you could just say Wes Rouse is an artist in garden design!

On Sunday, starting at 3:00 p.m., the garden will be open to visitors holding tickets to the Southbury Land Trust fundraiser tour, and painters are invited to paint, show off their work and sell off the easel.  Registered painters do not need tickets, but are requested to donate 35% of any paintings sold  to help support the SLT campaign to rebuild the Phillips Barn.  The barn is being rebuilt to further the activities of the Southbury Land Trust.

Monday, June 24, 2013

James Coe Workshop at Audubon Bent of the River 9/27-9/29

Last Fall I was lucky enough to see not one show but two shows of Jim's work, one in New Milford at the Gregory James Gallery and a second show in Windham, New York.  Jim's plein air pieces struck me as fresh, lively and the work of someone worth studying.  Jim will be teaching a workshop at the Audubon Bent of the River in Southbury CT the week end of September 27th, open to all levels of painters, oil preferred.

The weekend will begin with a meet and greet on Friday, 9/27 at 6:30 then Jim will follow up with a lecture on plein air methods and materials.  On Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, artists will set up outside at the Bent  9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a break for lunch at 12:30 p.m.  Jim will do a demonstration of his approach to plein air to start,  and will then help painters with their chosen subjects.  In the event of rain, students will move inside the large Bent barn and work from photo reference materials provided by Jim or their own photos.  Don't miss this great opportunity to learn and improve your skills with a master.  Limit:  12 artists.  Cost:  $250 non-members, $210 Bent members.  Membership: $35.  Download Info and Form

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Daffodil Hill Growers Paintout: Saturday 6/29 and Sunday 6/30

A rustic working farm awaits with crops in the field, flowering annuals, interesting sheds (some with chickens), and old farm equipment, classic farm trucks, tended by Sarah Blersch and her husband Dan Slywka family. The property is located at 124 Horse Fence Hill Road in Southbury, off Route 172.  At Exit 14 on I-84 in Southbury, travel .6 mile North on 172.  Turn left on Horse Fence Hill and go up a steep hill .2 miles.  Property will be on right.  Pull down dirt driveway past green house on right (don't park there), continue down hill and look for parking on right side in grassy area.  Don't block dirt road please.
Brief slideshow of property:

In addition to Saturday, 6/29 from 9-4, painters and friends are welcome to join the Southbury Land Trust geology hikers and learn about the rocks under our feet, including fossilized wood found near the property.  Please see geology hike info below.

Info for Sunday's SLT Geology hike:

For those interested in local geology, history, agriculture, flowers and plants, this Southbury Land Trust “hike” has it all. 
On Sunday, June 30, Yale Professor Brian J. Skinner will do a walk and talk about the new genus of petrified wood discovered in South Britain.  Dating from the late Triassic age, this silicified conifer wood is unique, impressive and aptly named by Dr. Skinner, Pomperaugoxylon connecticutense, after our wonderful Southbury River.  The Southbury Historical Society has graciously offered to open its Old Town Hall Museum in South Britain for extra hours so participants may see their geology display, as explained by Professor Skinner. 
Next, attendees will car pool up Horse Fence Hill Road to Daffodil Hill Growers Farm.  This lovely hilltop farm is where Southbury’s own petrified wood was discovered.  Daffodil Hill Growers Farm is also fully and permanently preserved and protected.  In late 2010, the Southbury Land Trust acquired the conservation easement on the farm with assistance from a U.S. federal farmland grant and a Connecticut environmental protection grant. 
At this point, hiking will commence on the 15-acre Daffodil Hill Growers farm worked by the Blersch family since the 1940’s.  The hiking terrain is level and gently sloped with verdant woodlands and old stone walls – which are often the host of petrified wood. 
The hike will culminate at the Daffodil Hill Growers greenhouses.  Once again, the Southbury Land Trust has lucked out because the Blersches will open their nursery for participants – perfect timing for polishing off the home gardens and patios with a selection of beautiful Daffodil Hill Growers hanging planters, perennials and annuals.
To be a part of this fascinating journey, participants should meet at the Southbury Town Hall lower parking lot at 1:30 p.m.     From there, hikers will carpool the short distance to the SHS Museum and then on up to Daffodil Hill Growers.  The event will conclude with refreshments around 4:00 p.m.  The Southbury Land Trust welcomes the general public to this free event.  Appropriate footwear is encouraged for the hike.  There is no rain date, heavy rain cancels the event.  For further information, please telephone the Southbury Land Trust office at (203)264-4441.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cricket Hill Gardens, Thomaston, CT--Peony Heaven

Thursday, May 16th, 11:30am to 4:00pm
670 Walnut Hill Road, Thomaston, CT 06787

Walk along mulched paths through a sea of herbaceous and Chinese tree peonies and sniff to your heart's content.  The gardens, owned by Kasha and David Furhman, in Thomaston CT, are a gardener's or painter's delight.  PARKING IS LIMITED.  Please carpool.  POP is invited to paint there 11:30 to 4:00 during working hours of the garden shop.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Who Are Our Art Collectors? The Oil Man Story

The heating oil delivery truck came zipping up the hill, the oil man jauntily taking the curves as he talked on his cell.   We stood our ground, in a cloud of dust. Humph.  Plein air artists get no respect!

Half an hour later after his load was lightened up the hill, he came back down, and stopped to see what we were painting and chat a bit.  Turns out, he is an annual guest to the local nature center gala auction, and he and his wife, the big collector in the family, enjoy bidding on some of the finer pieces and adding them to their expanding collection.  I only know this second hand because I did not take the time to go over and say hello!  My painting buddy doesn't know a stranger, and sells her art widely and often.  I'm taking notes............it was a beautiful day to learn a lesson in sales up at Maple Bank Farm.  Here is my buddy, Karen Cashman, talking to a new friend

James Gurney's "Gamestoppers"--Plein Air Disasters

On the eve of the Chestertown MD plein air event, I share a link to James Gurney's "Gamestoppers" list and video:

"A lot can go wrong when you paint outdoors, but wind is the biggest enemy. Artists at the second annual Plein Air Painting convention share their stories of "gamestoppers," unexpected events that bring a painting session to a dramatic halt.

A few gamestoppers that have happened to me include:
1. Sudden downpour.
2. Painting falls face down.
3. Subject departs.
4. Forgot brushes.
5. Fog covers view.
6. Tide floods painting spot.
7. Cold air freezes watercolor.
8. Truck parks, blocking view.
9. Biting insects unbearable.
10. Automatic sprinklers turned on.
11. Hordes of annoying tourists.
12. Spat on by people above me.
13. Chair collapses in museum.
14. Drawbridge lifts. I’m on it.
15. Donkey rests head in lap.
16. Easel blown into rapids.
17. Jostled by drunk dancers.
18. Menaced by bull.
19. Kicked out by a guard.
20. Ejected by nun."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Resizing Photos for Art Show Submissions: Photoshop Elements

Chris Ivers, of the Connecticut Pastel Society, an accomplished artist and advertising exec gave a workshop in Meriden, Connecticut, for artists who needed help to get the best quality photos for submission to art shows--either online, for emailing or for burning to a disc to mail.  She must have gotten tired of seeing butchered images during the jurying process.  Here is what we learned for Photoshop Elements (note 12 Steps!)

1.  Take painting outside, prop up on wall in sunlight, place a piece of white paper like an index card next to it, take a photo, including the white paper.  Very important!  Use the highest quality resolution your camera allows.  (Check your camera manual.)

2. Come back inside, turn on your computer, open Elements, sit next to painting so you can compare it to what you see on the monitor, in natural light, not florescent and begin adjustment/resizing process.

3. Transfer your photo from your camera card to your computer.  Place it in a new Folder, i.e. titled "CPS Images".   It's easiest to find them if you put it on your Desktop. But later you should move it to the right area on your hard rive.  Don't email yourself the image, because that will automatically generate a small JPEG image.  
4. Make a copy of your original photo, so you are not working with the original--click Duplicate, then rename it

5.  Open the copy, then in top menu, click Image.  Under MODEbe sure RGB is selected.

6.  Under "Enhance" (in PSE) select Adjust Lighting, Levels.

7.  Click far right eyedropper, then click on the white piece of paper you photographed next to your painting in your photo.  The result should look pretty much like your painting now.  If you're still not happy, do any minor tweaks you want on contrast, color etc.  You can also grab the little arrows under the histogram, that represent Shadows, Midtones, Highlights and play around with them.  Click save when you like the results.  

8.  Now to straighten the painting if your corners are distorted:   on the top menu, click View, Grid.  You'll see a grid over your photo.  This is just an aid to straighten out the image.  Now click Image, Transform, Distort.  Grab little handles at each corner until the painting edges are pretty much horizontal or vertical and line up with the grid.  To maintain the right proportions, hold down the Shift key while you do this.    Now you save again, and turn off "Grid".

9.  Click on the Crop symbol on the left, and position the cross bar at the top left corner.  Drag the cross bar from the top left corner of your painting to the bottom right corner.  You should see the painting highlighted with little corner markers.  You can drag those to make the crop area bigger or smaller.  If it jumps around while you drag, try making the picture bigger by clicking the Command key, Shift, + key.  It will be easier to fine tune your cropping.  Save.

10. Now your painting photo is the way you want it, you are ready to Resize!
In the top menu, click Image, Resize, Image Size.  
In the window that pops up next, be sure the bottom boxes are all checked off.
(Scale Styles, Constrain Proportions, Resample Image= all checked.) 
Change RESOLUTION box number to 300.  (If the show calls for 300dpi.)

Then, check your art show submission requirements again, and see what they want the longest dimension on a side to be, 2100 pixels, for example.  If you are submitting a horizontal landscape, that will be wider than it is tall, click in the WIDTH box, and enter 2100 pixels, or whatever they have asked for. If you see the little Locked symbol on the right of the boxes, when you put in one dimension like the width of the pixels, the other dimension should automatically change too, if you checked all the bottom boxes. Click OK. Click Save.

11. Under the top menu, click Save As.  Rename your file to be whatever the competition calls for, i.e., EPB1.  Select JPEG under Format, click on Save button.  A new window pops up, under Image Options, select Maximum.  Then, going down, under Format Options, you click the top button, that says Baseline ("Standard").   This will give you the best image.  Click OK.  Done!  

12.  Now you just go to your new folder, grab the images and either email them, burn to disc, or if you apply online to a show, browse for them and click to submit.  Good luck!

Thanks Chris!!!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

POP and Southbury Land Trust Hike and Paint

Gladys Taber, Nelson and Polly Camp were with us in spirit on this chilly April day celebrating the beauty of CT open space at Stillmeadow Farm in Southbury CT.  The SLT arranged the hike and a bench dedication to longtime supporters Nelson and Polly, no longer with us.  Hikers walked the proposed Stillmeadow conservation property with Joe Ruggiero and other members of the SLT board, while POP painters set up near the Taber homeplace and spent a peaceful afternoon painting.  POP artists attending:  Diane Debreuil, Karen Cashman, Zufar Bikbov, Jill Nichols, Ellie Boyd, Tina Skor, and Dorothy Calio.  Visiting:  Jose Luis Nunez.  Here are a few photos from the event:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spirit of Gladys Taber--Southbury Land Trust and POP Join Forces Sunday, April 7th

POP artists and the Southbury Land Trust folks will meet Sunday, April 7 at the Stillmeadow Farm, Gladys Taber's writing haven, on Sanford Road for simultaneous events--a POP paintout, a SLT hike and bench dedication.   POP members will continue to help SLT with their overall mission to conserve of the natural beauty of Southbury while enjoying being out in the open spaces, and new this year, POP will help raise funds and awareness for the rebuilding of SLT's Phillips Barn.  See the attached flyer for details on the event.

Sunday, April 7th 1:30 P.M.
Parking:  at Phillips Farm
Paint at Phillips or Stillmeadow Farm (where writer Gladys Taber lived and wrote) or Hike Stillmeadow Farm and stay for dedication of the Nelson and Polly Camp bench.  There is no charge for this event.

The POP event schedule for the rest of the season is being firmed up and will be posted shortly along with plans for the September show at the Southbury Library.

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's Pretty Nice Out for January

Karen Cashman, fellow Pomperaug Painter and I headed over to the West side of town to get some sunshine, fresh air, and do a quick study. Limited palette: ultramarine blue, burnt Siena, yellow ochre, titanium white. The Canada geese hunkered down in just a little open water. Feels good to be outside--35 degrees & sunny.  Supposed to be warmer Wednesday.  If you venture out, send me a photo of your painting so I can post it here and share.