Friday, August 30, 2019

Oil Painters of America 2019 Eastern Regional Exhibition

I'm pleased to learn that my painting of Hollywood Cemetery, a plein air piece done for Plein Air Richmond, has been accepted into the Oil Painters of America 2019 Eastern Regional Exhibition

The show will be hosted by the Beverly McNeil Gallery in Birmingham, Alabama October 10th - November 11th.

"President Tyler's Eternal View" • Oil on Linen • 16"x20"

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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, August 29, 2019

Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age Exhibit - Hermitage Amsterdam

Today, I experienced the best presentation of paintings I have seen in any museum. 

The Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age exhibit at the Hermitage Amsterdam has an interactive commentary that dims the lights in the room and illuminates specific areas in paintings in order to provide information about the individuals depicted. The commentary plays on headsets, so you won't hear it in the video. Simply awesome.

Click on this link to see the video on my Facebook page:
Hermitage Amsterdam Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age Video


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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.




Monday, August 26, 2019

"Les Halles" - Leon Lhermitte - Petit Palais, Paris, France

It's wonderful to be back in Paris. We visited the Petit Palais for the first time, and as always, I'm in awe of the scale of the works on display. The painting below by Léon Lhermitte is over thirteen feet tall. Kimberly had to stand at the opposite side of the hall to photograph the entire piece.

"Les Halles"
 • Léon Lhermitte
 • 1895
 • Oil on Canvas
 • 404 x 635 cm
The painting was originally created for the Paris City Hall, but was moved to the Petit Palais in 1904. It was rolled up and stored for more than eighty years, and only recently restored after the turn of the 21st century.

It is a beautiful example of a painter using vectors to lead our eye through a cacophonous scene. The vectors are created by many elements in the scene, the direction of arms and hands, the lines of crates and baskets, but especially by the gazes of the individual figures. Each figure looks towards another and slowly leads us through all of the engagements happening throughout the painting.

The canvas is thinly painted and there are areas where you can just barely make out charcoal marks beneath the paint. Lhermitte almost certainly created a number of studies and drawings on a small scale and then enlarged the entire composition by using a proportional grid.


"Les Halles"
 Detail • Léon Lhermitte
 • 1895 
• Oil on Canvas
 • 404 x 635 cm
Look at the thin layers of paint used to describe large passages of the painting such as this figure's shawl. Slightly thicker paint, but still fairly thin has been used in the face and hands. The basket to the right of the face is made up of extremely thin washes of color. If you look just above the center of the apples, you can see one of the charcoal grid lines.

"Les Halles"
 Detail • Léon Lhermitte
 • 1895 
• Oil on Canvas
 • 404 x 635 cm
This figure is striking in its appearance of detail, yet as you move closer in the following images, it is simply and thinly painted.

"Les Halles"
 Detail • Léon Lhermitte
 • 1895 
• Oil on Canvas
 • 404 x 635 cm
The dress is created by utilizing only two tones of paint, and while the face has a more rendered appearance, it is still simply executed and not over-rendered.

"Les Halles"
 Detail • Léon Lhermitte
 • 1895 
• Oil on Canvas
 • 404 x 635 cm
While the basket of chickens appears carefully rendered from a distance, on closer inspection, it is simply thin washes of paint, and like many other areas of the painting, almost the raw canvas. I have to imagine that working at this scale, it takes an extreme discipline to say so much with so little.

Photos by Kimberly at Saunders Fine Arts.
 


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Portrait of Lord Robert Baden-Powell by Sir Hubert von Herkomer - National Portrait Gallery, London

Here is a portrait I found particularly striking at the National Portrait Gallery in London by Sir Hubert von Herkomer of Lord Baden Powell, Major-General and founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides.

The deliberate difference in paint handling between the figure and the background leaped out at me from across the room, providing a wonderful sense of volume to the figure.


"Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell"
 • Sir Hubert von Herkomer
 
• 1903
 
• Oil on Canvas
 
• 55 7/8" x 44 1/8”

First off, I must point out that this portrait was displayed adjacent to John Singer Sargent's portrait of Sir Frank Swettenham, and it definitely held its own in such good company.


The face is beautifully rendered in thick, juicy strokes of paint and is wonderfully framed by the dark brim of the hat. Like most of the paintings at the gallery, this one is under glass.


The uniform is painted with a calculated economy of strokes. While every detail appears correct, there is not a single unnecessary stroke.


The background, in comparison to the figure, is executed in the thinnest of washes and strokes of paint, placing all of the emphasis on the figure. You can even see the initial lines of charcoal through the transparent paint. If it's the right color and value, there's no need for thick paint.

Photos by Kimberly at Saunders Fine Arts.


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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.

Monday, August 19, 2019

John Singer Sargent - "The Black Brook" at the Tate Britain

We arrived in London, and our first stop was the Tate Britain. It was exciting to see this painting by John Singer Sargent that I have never even seen in print before. I love the overall composition of this painting. The abstract qualities of the brook, rocks and grasses behind the figure keep them as secondary. I also love that the figure is half in shade and half in direct sunlight, adding a sense of volume.

"The Black Brook"
• John Singer Sargent
• c.1908
• Oil on Canvas
• 21 3/4" x 27 1/2”

Just look at the way those hands are painted. The strokes are just as juicy and confident as the surrounding fabric of the dress. I feel as though the hands are the true focal point of the painting.



I'm not as thrilled with the handling of the face on the figure. I am not one to generally criticize Sargent, and it is a beautiful painted face, but to me, it feels a bit over-rendered and smoothly painted in comparison to the rest of the piece, making it somewhat flat. When compared to the cool darks in the shadows of the hands, her face also appears a bit too light in value.



Photos by Kimberly at Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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 17, 2019

"The Ameya - A Japanese Candy Vendor"
 - Robert Blum


Here's another jewel from the The Metropolitan Museum of Art that Kimberly and I viewed on our recent visit to New York. Robert Blum was an illustrator hired by Scribner's Magazine. He was able to spend eighteen months in Japan, and the details in this painting show how deeply he was able to immerse himself in the culture over that time period.

 "The Ameya - A Japanese Candy Vendor"
 • Robert Blum
 • 1893 
• Oil on Canvas 
• 17"5/8 x 14”

This is not a large painting (25 1/16" x 31 1/16"), and yet Blum is able to add an extreme level of detail. With the various patterns throughout the painting, the frame itself adds to the chaotic nature of the scene.


The way Blum handled the patterns in the fabric is breathtaking. It's also important to note that he used red on the foreground figure, which makes it pop right out at the viewer juxtaposed against the more muted colors surrounding it, and adds a further sense of depth to the painting.
 "The Ameya - A Japanese Candy Vendor"
 Detail • Robert Blum 
• 1893 
• Oil on Canvas
 • 17"5/8 x 14”
The candy blower becomes the center of interest due to the value contrast and rich color in his clothing, and also the fact that so many of the other figures are focused on his actions.
 "The Ameya - A Japanese Candy Vendor"
 Detail • Robert Blum 
• 1893 
• Oil on Canvas
 • 17"5/8 x 14”

I'm personally intrigued by the block letter "2" on the crate. It makes the scene appear to be almost a hybrid of the historical and the modern Japan.
 "The Ameya - A Japanese Candy Vendor"
 Detail • Robert Blum 
• 1893 
• Oil on Canvas
 • 17"5/8 x 14”

Photos by Kimberly at Saunders Fine Arts.
© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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.
 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

August Newsletter - Direct Observation and Photography

Read my latest newsletter to find out how a good balance of painting from direct observation and photography can enhance your skills in both areas.

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



© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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.


Monday, August 12, 2019

Mark English

I'm so saddened to learn about the passing of Mark English, an undeniably great artist and teacher that I first met as a student at the Kansas City Art Institute

Over the years, Mark's work never stopped evolving as he invented new ways of creating his art. During my art school days, he was known for his oil wash lift-out technique, backed by solid drawing and design skills. As he left his illustration career behind, his paintings became more abstract and even more inspiring. I was particularly knocked out by his graphic landscapes, and it was a thrill to watch him paint one. 

I'll never forget the feeling I had when he complimented me on a drawing - "Mark English likes my work!" Mark will truly be missed, and I'm so proud to have known him and learned from him.

A stunning illustration of Dracula by Mark English. This was the type of work Mark was creating when I first met him at the Kansas City Art Institute.

A later work by Mark English. The abstraction and simplification of the elements took these works beyond a simple landscape scene.


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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 10, 2019

Portrait Painting Workshop - Madeline Island School of the Arts

Treat yourself to a great getaway and join me in September 2020 at the beautiful Madeline Island School of the Arts in La Pointe, Wisconsin, where charming on-campus accommodations and meal options will allow you to focus on this immersive five-day portrait class.

The painted portrait is more than a face, it is a collection of shapes, values and colors. I will teach you to paint what you see, not what you think you see. You'll not only capture a likeness, but create a dynamic painting with expressive brushwork.

Click here to register for my workshop, and to book accommodations and meals:

http://bit.ly/Capturing-Character-MISA



© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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.
 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Capturing Character, People & Pets Portrait Workshop - Lighthouse ArtCenter, March 2020

Florida artist friends, in March 2019 some of you painted flowers with me at my Lighthouse ArtCenter workshop, and you asked for a portrait class next, so in 2020 I'm going to prove that the exact same approach I use for florals applies to painting portraits as well.

Join me in Tequesta March 3rd - 5th to learn to paint portraits of people and pets, capturing a likeness as rapidly as possible. This three-day workshop will focus on the accuracy of drawing, values, edges, texture, and color.


All levels are welcome, even if you’ve never painted portraits before. My simple steps for evaluating your paintings in progress will improve not only your skills as a portrait painter, but your painting abilities in general.


Click here to sign up now:


http://bit.ly/PSFA-Portrait-Workshop-LAC




© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

2019 Pacific Northwest Plein Air - Maryhill Museum of Art

Congratulations to all of the juried artists at Maryhill Museum of Art's 2019 Pacific Northwest Plein Air event for your beautiful work, and congratulations as well to the award winners. I find judging art to be very challenging because there are always many more works deserving of awards than there are prizes to hand out. My thanks as well to the museum - it's an honor to be asked to judge a plein air event.

This was my first visit to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and it was a pleasant surprise to find so many of my first impressions of the landscape captured in paint at #pnwpleinair2019. 


The work created by these artists goes beyond the rendering of the scenes and evokes subtle emotions usually only experienced by visiting an area first hand. The best of these paintings give me a sense of not just the visual beauty, but often the heat of the sun, the coolness of a shadow, blinding light reflecting off of water, or even that sense of awe artists feel at standing in the presence of something greater than ourselves.

Photo Credit: Maryhill Museum of Art

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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 3, 2019

Plein Air Workshop - Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2019

My thanks to everyone in this great group for coming out to paint with me Friday at the Maryhill Museum of Art.

It's truly a pleasure to work with such an inquisitive bunch of artists, and thankfully the wind didn't take any of our paintings down the gorge.



© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2019. 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.