Wednesday, August 6, 2014


For information about the Plein-air Workshop in Holland, please visit

First some exhibition information:

Seven of the 8" x 12" studies, from this spring and summer have arrived at Quidley & Co, 26 Main Street, Nantucket. They await you.

Fifteen of the the studies are on exhibition at the Newburyport Art Association, as part of the colloborative exhibition with RAW Art Works of Lynn (a previous post about this is here ). The studies will be for sale. The show is now open, at regular NAA hours, and will be up until August 17th. 

Please come to the opening reception, on August 12th, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the NAA, 65 Water Street, Newburyport.  I'll be there, and we expect the young artists, too.
I helped to hang the show yesterday and I can report that the students made some wonderful paintings. So please come and support these kids, and the immense effort they're making to direct their own lives. It's important!

On August 23rd, The Ogunquit Museum of American Art is hosting its 10th annual Art by the Sea gala and auction. Among the auction items is my painting, Rockbound.


A Five-day  Progression

Knowing, as I do, your fondness for progressions, here's a five-day post that started en plein air last Friday at Coolidge Point, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. I had a great time with my IG friend Tony Bevilacqua, at a beautiful spot, on a lovely day. 

Here's my grisaille, where I stopped. The panel was tinted with a pale coat of Old Holland transparent red oxide and was fully dry. As is my custom, the grisaille is done in a mixture of burnt umber and ultramarine. I vary this from warm to neutral to cool as the situation requires. The panel is 24" x 20", 60x50cm.

Knowing, too, that some of you are crazy for details, here's one of part of the grisaille from above.

As you can see, my grisailles are like drawings done with a brush. I mostly wanted to get a grisaille that describes some of the commotion of the tumbled rocks.

Here you can see that I've painted out the sky, added some violet to the water, and begun to think about the rock forms. This stage is very neutral compared with the grisaille It's much quieter. At this point I could decided to do a different sort of painting, one that emphasizes a more melancholy mood.

In fact, I held on to my original conception of a sparkling day, though it's still far from the desired result. Here I'm mostly concerned with the forms of the light-colored rocks. Although you'll see some changes from photo to photo, there were many more chops and changes to the rocks in between the pictures. I considered going insane (please don't say that it's a journey I've already made). 

Because I don't take reference photos, and I didn't make a drawing, what is currently on the panel, at any given moment, is the only reality. I'm thus forced to make a painting, with all the elements contributing toward a particular goal, rather than an illustration in which Mother Nature has done all the arranging part. It's a tremendous freedom, and a daunting prospect.

NĂ©anmoins, allons-y!

Here the rocks have gotten warmer and the sea more blue. Because the two elements are in a warm/cool opposition, they each enhance the other. I spent some time depicting the seaweed on the rocks, wracking my brain to imagine how it would look. And, of course, I played with the light-colored rocks yet again.

Who knows if this is the final rock structure?! 
And I still must paint a sky!!

I have today and tomorrow to whip this into shape. On Friday, I'm back out again with Tony, Paul and Brian, and it will be time for another grisaille.

Here, by the way, is how the previous one at Marginal Way, in Ogunquit, has turned out. 20"x24" 50x60cm.

Marginal Way, Ogunquit

You still have time to sign up for the two-day plein air workshop which I'm teaching in cooperation with the Ogunquit Summer School of Art, next Thursday and Friday, August 14 & 15. Call them if you'd like to join the class: 603-819-9100. We're going to explore painting the coast and sea at Ogunquit, learning ways to manage a complex subject. So come along, it's fun!

For the students in the Dutch workshop, more information will be on the way in a day or so. I'm really looking forward to painting with you!

 Classes and Workshops

Fewer than four weeks 'til Holland! 
Please note, in the section on classes, that there's a class sponsored by the Ogunquit Summer School of Art on 14-15 August. Sign up and paint the sea with us!

The Ogunquit Summer School of Art Ogunquit, Maine
14-15 August 2014
27-28 September 2014
Contact them at 603-819-9100

4-12 September, Alkmaar, NL Contact me about this TWO PLACES REMAINING

Toronto 6-10 October 2014
Contact me about this. ONE PLACE AVAILABLE

Norway August 2015 Contact me to receive information as it becomes  available.

Wales A possible 2015 workshop for the Welsh Academy of Art.   



  1. Great series Donald. How you pull the detailing from your head is remarkable. You must be burning through the sunscreen this summer!

  2. Darn wonderful. I totally agree. Those kids, and their art and lives are more important than almost anything. I will definitely be there. Thanks Donald. Mike d