Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stowe Vermont Event for Painting New England Preserving the Landscape Project

On February 12 we had our kick off event for the Vermont part of our project Painting New England Preserving the Landscape. We were joined by Becca Washburn of the Stowe Land Trust who arranged for us to have our paintings displayed at The Green Mountain Inn in Stowe.
Becca Washburn with her Stowe Land Trust Info

 It was a beautiful afternoon in Vermont. The Inn had tea and cookies out for their guests and people wandered in to look at the paintings and hear about our project.

I have posted some of the paintings below.

Stowe Village 11'x13" David Lussier

Mt Mansfield 11"x14" David Lussier

After the Sleigh Ride 11"x14" Pamela Simpson Lussier

Break TIme 11"x14" Pamela Simpson Lussier

Bouchard Farm 9"x12" David Lussier

Pleasant Valley 9"x12" David Lussier

Amy Rahn, a reporter for Seven Days Newspaper in Burlington Vermont wrote a great article about our Stowe Event. I have provided a link here if you would like to read it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What Is It About A Mountain?

This morning I woke up with my head in the clouds. Well, maybe not literally, since I live in what's known as Woodstock Valley Connecticut, but figuratively speaking, my mind was thinking about mountains.

Today Pam and I will do all the final preparations of getting things ready for our kick-off in Stowe Vermont on Friday afternoon. Yup, we are headed back to Mount Mansfield. We both need to sign a few of the paintings we are bringing with us and we our both even trying to finish one more painting each before we hit the road. Photographing artwork before it leaves the studio is always a must, so we have that to do today too along with varnishing, framing and packing up the paintings and a suitcase of belongings. Add to that, getting things together for our Nx Stage Cycler and Pure Flow System and I will cannulate Pam's fistula and then we can dialyze her for about 3 hours of this glorious sun filled day. Finding a way to fit eveything into this day is going to be tricky. Especially with my head already in the clouds...

Part of the Lamoille County, Mount Mansfield rises 4393 feet into the air and attracts people to it for all sorts of reasons. This is big skiing country, but for a couple of painters, it is simply a thing to look at with awe and fascination and then make an attempt to capture some part of its majesty on canvas.

With my mind thinking about Vermont, I'm reminded about the town of Jeffersonville on the other side of Stowe. This is where painters like Emile Gruppe and Aldro T Hibbard spent a great deal of their time painting the winter landscape. One of my first real painting trips to Vermont was to Jeffersonville. I made a trip with my friend and mentor, George Carpenter and we spent a week painting all around that area. This is going back over twenty years! I knew right away as we drove thru Smugglers Notch and down into Jeffersonville, that I would be back many times to paint this big and beautiful countryside. George would tell me stories about Gruppe, who was a friend of his and I would also hear a great deal about Tommy Curtin and lots of other painters. Once when we were there, we met up with Paul Strisk and a group of Rockport painters and we spent some time painting with them, dining with them and even celebrating Alden Bryan's birthday with a little dinner party after a full day of painting. These were exciting moments for a young artist in his twenties. They are memories that I look back on very fondly.

Many times since then, Pam and I have indeed been back to paint around Stowe, around Jeffersonville and the different parts of Lamoille County, so going back there as part of the 'Paint New England' project was like going back to visit an old friend. I could go on and on about the fascination that Pam and I both share about this part of New England. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure it will take up most of my thinking moments during the day today!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Painting New England - Preserving the Landscape Stowe Vermont

On Friday February 12th from 3-5pm, we will hold a kick-off in Stowe Vermont at the beautiful Green Mountain Inn. We will have some recent paintings of Stowe as well as other parts of the Lamoille County on view and for sale.  Thirty percent of painting sales will go back to the Stowe Land Trust.

We are doing this event with the Stowe Land Trust  and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to visit and paint some of the land that they have been able to preserve through their great efforts. Their web site is pretty special and well worth taking a good look at.

During our most recent visit to Stowe, we spent a long weekend of winter painting and were blessed with a mix of sun and clouds and therefore a lot of good drama in the mountains. As plein air painters this was exciting stuff and a nice challenge too. We had some great painting time together and also found some time inbetween paintings to gather some reference material.

We stayed at the Stowe Motel, which we really have to give kudos to, as they provided nice accomodations at a most reasonable rate. Our room was an efficiency which gave us the opportunity to make our own meals. After the five hour drive, which seemed rather short when compared to a fairly recent drive to Colorado, we saw a Mexican restaurant across the street which looked like a good place to get some late dinner. We shared some great tasting ribs and had a bit of sangria too.

We ended our excursion with a stop at The Ben & Jerry's Factory for some of that amazing ice cream. You just can't visit Stowe and not have that on your list of places to visit. We will paint in Stowe one more time before this event and probably say to each other what we always say when we are in the Green Mountains 'We should live here in the winter' !

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Capturing Light Workshop

 David recently gave a workshop called Capturing Light. We spent the weekend examining some of the lighting conditions that can occur in nature. With the use of a 9 value palette a 5 value scale and some simple instructional sheets the students were able to learn to get the lighting effects. Working from 1 photo reference David demonstrated sunlight, diffused light and overcast light the first day. Then the students chose their own reference and did the same exercise. The second day David demonstrated backlight, frontlight, and moonlight. We had a great group. Quite a few are professional painters. The intermediate painters kept right up with the more advanced painters. There was such a great energy in the room.

                                           David beginning his demonstration

Sunlight, diffused light and overcast light. Worksheet on the left.

The finished demo including sunlight done in color.

Joe getting to work.

Howard and Gray working on the exercises.

Jen with that great hat.

Mark's finished work. Nice!

Joe's finished work. Beautiful.

Gray's finished work. Awesome!

Second day demonstration.

9 value palette

We are all enjoying the demo. The young man with the camera is our apprentice, Peter.

This is backlight, frontlight and moonlight. Moonlight is in color also.

Jean, Rita and Sharon working.

Peter decided to work really big.

Some of Howard's finished work. Nice job!

Gray putting on the finishing touches.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Composition Workshop

Last weekend David gave a great workshop on composition for the landscape painter. The first day he explained to us that we would be working with small sketches or photo references and turning them into larger paintings, but first we would study different compositional possibilities and pick the strongest one for our piece. David drew many different compositional ideas using one photo reference to demonstrate. Then we took turns doing the same thing. He then did the block-in for his 24"x30" painting. Next it was our turn to do a block-in.

The next day David showed us even more ways to compose a scene. It was fascinating to see all the possibilities that could be painted from one reference. Then we took turns drawing our ideas. This could be a new parlor game for artists like pictionary.  It was really fun! Then David painted his large painting for us. I've posted some photos of the workshop.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Kick-Off Event

On Thursday August 27th we held our first kick-off event for our project at the Town Farm on Drift Rd in Westport MA from 4-6pm. We set up our outdoor display tent and hung fifteen paintings. Five of them were of the Town Farm that we had painted en plein air a few weeks before. During the kick-off, we spoke with people and the press about our project and what it is all about.

Our goal is to work with land preservation groups all over New England and to paint in all 67 counties. We will host kick-off events in all 6 states that make up the New England region; Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Over the course of the next few years, we will also have other small events in numerous counties to enlighten the public about our project. We want to raise awareness towards the continued need for preservation of the precious landscape that many of us take for granted. If we continue to destroy tracts of land to development at the present rate, we will lose the New England that we love along with its vital history.

This project will take a minimum of three years and will culminate with a book titled 'Painting New England - Preserving the Landscape' We will also have an exhibit of the very best paintings completed during this time that will travel throughout New England.

At each kick-off we will work to raise funding for the project by selling paintings and offering incentives for public donations. By doing this we will be able to give back to the different preservation groups that work with us along the way.

At Thursdays kick-off we had our first sales and a nice response from the public. We are excited as we think of the possibilities of the adventure that lies ahead!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Painting New England - Preserving the Landscape

We are embarking on a new adventure called Painting New England - Preserving the Landscape. We will be painting all over New England for this project during the next several years and we will post blogs as we go from place to place.

Stay tuned shortly for more information about what this large project entails and also for our first of many many blogs.

It will be fun!