Monthly Archives: May 2015

Painting in Paradise

My painting of the Dyce Head Light from last year. Because I can count on my fingers, I was distressed to read that artist Bobbi Heath is going to be on crutches for the next eight weeks. That brings us perilously close to Castine Plein Air, where she and 40 other fantastic artists (including me) […]

A disciplined talent

Along the Na Pali Coast, oil on canvas, 48X72, by Brad Marshall. I met Brad Marshall on an overpass in Queens many years ago, on the way to a party at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria. The shindig was drowned by torrential rains but we’ve been pals ever since. Besides being a […]

Last class in Rochester

Nina Koski and Cece Tassone painting in my garden. (Yes, I’m partial to the jungle aesthetic.) There is no lovelier place than the Genesee Valley. From the six spectacular falls in the Genesee River to the Lake Ontario shore to the old neighborhoods of Rochester to our parks and arboretums, our area shines in May. […]

Time like the tide

Pointe du Hoc, Lee Haber, 11×14, oil. Baby Boomers’ youth was shaped by two galvanizing events that were also polar extremes. We were the children of men and women molded by the last heroic war, World War II. Yet we came of age during the deeply cynical and anti-heroic years of Vietnam. Last Friday was […]

Rescuing failure

Ellwanger-Berry Garden, 12X16, oils. This almost got scraped out; it’s ended up being one of my favorite paintings. There’s a view outside my house that has defeated me. It is a sycamore set against a curving street. It’s elegant, architectural, and should be easy enough to paint. But I’ve yet to realize it in a […]

Don’t believe half of what you read

The tail end of the anti-Bill demonstration at the bus headquarters. Yesterday I was driving downtown when I passed a demonstration at the bus headquarters. Union members were protesting the decision to stop busing 9,000 Rochester City School District students on the RTS because troublemakers won’t stop fighting. The move will cost 144 jobs. I […]

The Fine Art of Packing

Texting and falling into a fountain, 6X8, Carol L. Douglas. Artists can justify keeping anything as still life props. Sometimes God likes to remind me that I’m not superhuman. Like this week, when my work has been limited by asthma. The combination of pollen, dust and exertion has pretty much done me in by early […]

Get your hands off our trashy landmark

You call that a highway? We call it a theme park. (Photo by Jim Henderson) The Obama Administration has told the City of New York that Times Square is in violation of the 1965 Federal Highway Beautification Act. Its iconic signage has to come down or the city will forfeit some $90 million a year […]

Some basic color theory

Tilt-a-Whirl, 12X9, Carol L. Douglas. This was a plein air painting. Really. Yesterday I showed you a PDF of a palette chart I like my students to follow. Today I’m going to talk about the basic color theory underlying it. The three primary colors we learned in primary school are red, yellow and blue. Forget […]

How to mix any color

Plastic wrap, by Carol L. Douglas. Red—although a primary color—is largely superfluous on the palette, unless you’re using it to modulate greens. You can get to almost every naturally-occurring red with quinacridone magenta and orange. The last thing I want is to create a school of mini-me painters with a slavish fidelity to my style. […]