Thursday, August 6, 2020

"Photo Shoot, Bethesda Arcade, Central Park" - Manhattan, New York

I miss summers in New York. The city would always get a bit less crowded, as so many of its residents would leave by August to beat the heat.

Coming from the Midwest, Kimberly and I never found the "heat" to be very hot at all, so it became the best time of year to explore the city when we lived there. We would often stumble across photo or film shoots throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan.

For #throwbackthursday, here's my 2013 painting of one such scene at the Minton Tiles in the Bethesda Arcade in Central Park.

"Photo Shoot, Bethesda Arcade, Central Park" • Oil on Canvas • 24" x 30" • Private Collection"Photo Shoot, Bethesda Arcade, Central Park" • Oil on Canvas • 24" x 30" • Private Collection

Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Art Review - "Self-Portrait" by Cecilia Beaux, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.

For this week's #MuseumTourTuesday, I'm studying how simplicity can translate to the portrait with a look at one of Cecilia Beaux's self-portraits at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

Most of the canvas is covered by thin washes of paint, most likely dashed off in the first minutes of painting. Only the face receives brushstrokes of any thicker paint, and yet not thick enough that we can't see the texture of the canvas through them as well.

The handling of the portrait gives it both a ghostly quality, but also a feeling of movement and energy, as if she stepped up to a mirror and quickly moved away. Beaux's skills as a painter shine through the work, as her handling of the medium appears to be effortless. I can only imagine that this was painted in a single afternoon, in between other works.

"Self-Portrait" • Cecilia Beaux • ca. 1889-1894 • Oil on Canvas • 45.4 x 35.2cm
"Self-Portrait" • Cecilia Beaux • ca. 1889-1894 • Oil on Canvas • 45.4 x 35.2cm

Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Plein Air Competition Judging - Driggs Digs Plein Air Award Winners

It was an honor to judge this year's Driggs Plein Air competition with Scott Jones, and I am greatly disappointed that I was unable to do so in person. I haven’t been to the area in a few years, and I was looking forward to not only viewing all of the work by other artists, but painting some of my own in such a beautiful part of the country.

Going through all of the work in the show made this desire to paint on site even greater. I’m inspired and eager to be a part of next year’s event. The best paintings not only work on a level of technical expertise, but tell a story about the artist’s personal experience with the landscape, and many of these works achieved that. So many in fact, that my responsibility as a judge was extremely difficult. I only wish we had twice as many awards. This is exactly what I strive for in my own work and what I look for when evaluating paintings in a show. Tell me your story, set a mood, invite me to explore, and the painting draws me in.


Congratulations to everyone who participated, even in this particularly difficult year where a new approach was required. As artists, your work is a constant reminder that the world is a wonderful place, even in times of hardship. 


Go to www.driggspleinair.org now to see the online gallery of great work available for sale.



Best of Show
• David Marty • "Mustard Fields” • Oil • 8"x10"
Everything comes together perfectly in this painting to give us a story of the beauty, the expansiveness and the awesome power of the landscape.

We are immediately struck with the strong design of the foreground fields. The sharply controlled edges of the yellow suggest the influence of humanity. This is not a wild place, yet as we move up the painting, the brushstrokes become ever more spontaneous.

Once our eyes reach the sky, the chaotic impasto paint of the clouds suggest the unpredictability of nature, even in the face of the familiar fields. This juxtaposition creates a tension that keeps us moving through and exploring the scene.

Congratulations Marty on a fabulous painting. - Patrick Saunders


I find the foreground of the piece to be fascinating. Diagonals, colors, light and shadow is all complimented by a solid backdrop (with just the right amount of complimenting colors) and immense sky. The total package combined in one excellent plein air painting. - Scott Jones
Second Place
• Don Miskin • "String Lake” • Oil on Linen • 16"x20"
 This piece is beautifully executed overall, and the careful balance between the mountain and the line of trees particularly grabbed my attention. The wide variety of subtle greens throughout the foreground of the painting suggest a depth to the forest that is often overwhelmed and overlooked in paintings depicting breathtaking mountain views. Yet the mountain does not lose any of its importance.

The controlled use of value and color temperature changes in the mountain not only hold it together as the monolith that it is, but also add atmospheric depth to the image. The entire scene is tied together by the expert capture of the low sun cascading across the landscape. - Patrick Saunders

Third Place
• Benjamin Walter • "Canyon Glow” • Oil on Canvas • 9" x 12"
I enjoy the scale and atmosphere of this piece. The rear mountain peak and sky work so well together. And create a wonderful visual backdrop to the remainder of the painting. I feel that I am there -- looking up. – Scott Jones
Fourth Place - Plein Air Painters of Idaho Award
• Sherri Carter • "Pastoral Barn” • Oil on Linen Panel • 8" x 8"
The calm and quiet mood of this scene immediately emanates from this painting. While the execution appears simple and direct upon first viewing, if one looks closer, a very deliberate control of color, value and edges is revealed. The expert choice to break the boundaries of the window invites the viewer to explore the rest of the scene. - Patrick Saunders
Honorable Mention
• Allen Brockbank • "North of Town” • Oil on Panel • 8" x 16"
My artist friends know that I often focus my attention on the foreground of a painting. This painting starts so very strong in the foreground and then it compositionally takes you through the remainder of the piece and right back to its strength in the foreground. Good use of color that is not harsh or overdone. - Scott Jones
Honorable Mention
• Kerri Hammond, Kerri Hammond Fine Art • “Resilience" • Oil on Board • 6" x 8"
There is not a single unnecessary brush stroke in this painting, with each mark boldly applied to the surface of the canvas. This confidence in application transcends the paint medium and gives a sense of solidity to the heavy rocks and the single tree that dominate the composition.

When one moves past the rendered scene, there is an abstract beauty within the texture of every brushstroke, making this a painting not just about a representational landscape, but of the beauty of paint itself. - Patrick Saunders

Honorable Mention
• Trish Melander  • "Open Seating At the Rodeo” • Oil on Panel • 12" x 16"

Raw is the first word that comes to mind. Confident is the second. I can feel the heat of the sun. Not an easy day and light to paint this one. I have a hunch I would have learned something watching the artist paint this one. - Scott Jones

Honorable Mention
• Don Miskin • "River View” • Oil on Linen • 16" x 20"
There is a wonderful sense of depth to the piece, and as the viewer's eyes move backwards in space, one notices that while the saturation of colors decreases, the number of subtle color variations does not. This invites us to explore everything about the scene. This is not a painting about a mountain, trees or a stream, but rather the total package. - Patrick Saunders


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Friday, July 31, 2020

2020 Oil Painters of America National Exhibition, RS Hanna Gallery, Fredericksburg, Texas

Kimberly and I road-tripped to Fredericksburg, Texas yesterday to deliver my entry into the Oil Painters of America's 29th National Exhibition, Wet Paint Competition & Program at the RS Hanna Gallery

We enjoy any excuse to visit this charming town with such great art galleries.





“Awaiting" • Oil on Linen • 24”x30" • Available at www.patricksaunders.com


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

July 2020 Newsletter - When Is A Painting Finished?

When is a painting finished?

We are always straddling that line between underworked and overworked.

Read my latest newsletter to learn about the single most important thing for determining when a painting is finished.

Click here to sign up: http://bit.ly/PSFA-Newsletter-Sign-up



© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Art Review - "Round Hill Road" by John Henry Twachtman - Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.

For this week's #museumtourtuesday, I'm continuing the theme of simplicity with a look at John Henry Twachtman's work at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C.

While the overall design of the painting is straightforward, the texture of the paint application and the subtle color choices give the scene a deep sense of atmosphere.

Viewing a scene like this is a welcome relief on such a hot summer day, as one can almost feel a chill from the expert way in which the artist has captured the winter season.


"Round Hill Road" • John Henry Twachtman • ca. 1890-1900 • Oil on Canvas • 30.25" x 30"
Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

"Tulum Tabby" Cat Portrait Painting

It's #Caturday, so here is one of my favorite cat paintings, but also one that represents something that I greatly miss - travel!

Kimberly and I shared breakfast with this handsome fellow in Tulum, Mexico. While neither of us are fluent in Spanish, we definitely spoke his language. He came for the food and stayed for the belly rubs.

“Tulum Tabby” • Oil on Panel • 9"x12” • Private Collection
Reference and painting photos by Saunders Fine Arts

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Bosque Art Center's 2020 Bosque Art Classic

I am honored to learn that four of my paintings have been accepted into the Bosque Arts Center's 2020 Bosque Art Classic juried art show and sale.

This will be my second year at this great event, which will be celebrating its 35th year this September.

"War Dancer" • Oil on Linen • 20"x24" • Available at www.patricksaunders.com
“Tulips Mingling With Daffodils” • Oil on Linen • 16”x20”
• Available at www.patricksaunders.com
“Chester" • 12”x12" • Oil on Linen • Available at www.PatrickSaunders.com
“Tapestry” • Oil on Linen • 12”x16” • Available at www.patricksaunders.com
Painting photos by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Art Review - "Cornish Headlands" - Abbott Handerson Thayer - Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.

As a follow up to last week's #museumtourtuesday, here is another minimalist landscape by Abbott Handerson Thayer at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C.

"Cornish Headlands"
 • Abbott Handerson Thayer • 1898
 • Oil on Canvas 
• 30.125”x 40.124"
At first glance in a photographic reproduction, this might appear to be a small sketch, but it is over forty inches wide, making it a rather large landscape to have been painted so simplistically.
"Cornish Headlands" Detail
 • Abbott Handerson Thayer • 1898
 • Oil on Canvas 
• 30.125”x 40.124"
2) The painting is dominated by a strong movement of warm blue to cool blue within the water. It's not a carefully blended transition. Clearly executed rapidly, the unevenness adds to the energy of the overall piece.
"Cornish Headlands" Detail
 • Abbott Handerson Thayer • 1898
 • Oil on Canvas 
• 30.125”x 40.124"
3) Notice that the land formations consist mainly of thin initial washes of color. If it's the right color and value, there's no need to cover with thick paint.
"Cornish Headlands" Detail
 • Abbott Handerson Thayer • 1898
 • Oil on Canvas 
• 30.125”x 40.124"
4) Even the "details" are simplified. The rock formations are very graphic, consisting of only a few value and color variations.
Painting photos by Saunders Fine Arts.


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

"Prism" Floral Painting

It always amazes me how many colors can be present in a single rose when the light shines through it just right.

"Prism" • Oil on Linen • 9"x12" • Available at www.PatrickSaunders.com
Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Oil Painters of America 2020 Virtual Juried Salon Show

I'm pleased to announce that my painting "Dama De Rojo" has been accepted to the Oil Painters of America's 2020 Virtual Juried Salon Show

 The show will run from August 13th through October 3.


"Dama De Rojo" • Oil on Linen • 15"x30" • Available at www.PatrickSaunders.com
Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.