Archive for the ‘Ogunquit Art Association’ Category

Abstract landscape in Blue and orange
Ethel Hills – Bands of Color – Mixed Media Collage on Paper – 7″ x 5″

I posted this image earlier this week to give you an idea of what I’d be teaching at my upcoming workshop. Not all pieces will be this complicated or this colorful, but I wanted to give you at least a bit of an idea.

I started this piece earlier this month with just a hint of an idea. The idea came from an old figure painting that I wanted to reuse.

I loved the blues and oranges in the original, so I tore off a fairly quiet piece for the background/sky and a much busier colorful piece as the “major player” in the painting.

One thing about this piece that makes it a bit different is the use of thinner, lighter weight papers. In the past, I’ve primarily used watercolor paper for the collage elements. Unfortunately, gluing heavy papers like this is time consuming.

For my workshop, I knew that I was going to need to use some lighter weight papers that we could glue and then keep going. For this reason, I have all kinds of alternative papers in my studio. I’ve taken to painting on sketchbook paper, oriental papers, drawing papers, etc.

Turns out that using the lighter papers really helped me out on this one.

I usually try to have a pretty good idea of where I’m going before I start gluing. It doesn’t always work, but it makes it easier if I’m not making major design changes in the middle of the gluing process.

At one point, I decided that I really needed to start on this painting, so I went ahead and glued the first couple of pieces. I still wasn’t sure of the rest, but I knew that the blue that became the horizon line was right – the right color and value, and also the right location. The next piece was the dark red just below it. That was a much larger piece of paper. It’s the dark red just below the horizon line, but also the darker blue at the bottom of the painting.

Now, I just needed to figure out the placement of the rest of the elements. I was pretty sure there would be quieter blue and orange bands to contrast the more complicated blue and orange piece from the figure painting. I still needed to sort out the order, the size, etc. A lot of it is a question of relationship – how this piece relates to that piece – color, value, size, space between elements, etc.

After gluing down one of these pieces, I realized that the spacing just didn’t “feel right”, so I adjusted it by gluing on an extra piece. This was much easier because these collage pieces were watercolor painted on a lightweight drawing paper. It was a simple fix and basically invisible to the viewer.

I finally decided on the final touch. I added two small verticals in the orange band. They’re hardly noticeable because I kept the values very close, but the painting feels so much better with them than without them.

When I finally finished it, I was so excited. The painting has depth that I just wasn’t seeing until it was complete. The whole really is greater than the sum of the parts.

If you’d like to see the original, the painting is up at the Barn Gallery in Ogunquit, Maine until we close on Columbus Day or until it sells, whichever comes first.

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The second exhibit I have coming up next month is at the Barn Gallery, home of Ogunquit Art Association. I will be one of the Showcase artists for our last exhibit of the season. The exhibit runs from September 12 – October 8, 2018. There is a gallery talk on Thursday, September 13 at 6pm and a reception on Saturday, September 15 from 5 to 7:30pm.
I’m very excited about this exhibit. It was a chance for me to take some time to explore and experiment with a few of the ideas swirling around in my head and some already on paper. I’ve been working on my Land Project paintings off and on for a number of years. This was a chance to do some concentrated work on my abstract take on the landscape.
Paintings of my family farm include bits and pieces of family history and make me think of a treasure map more than anything. Other paintings are a combination of aerial view and map view. These depict geographic variances as well as the “imaginary” boundaries of property lines and political divisions. Some are more sketch than anything else. Some are relatively realistic and others are just whimsical.
Although, it’s been fun to just play around with these ideas, it’s daunting to figure out where to go next. I want to explore all these different paths, but in what order and intensity?


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The last exhibit of the season is up at the Barn Gallery in Ogunquit, ME. The reception is Saturday, September 12th from 5 to 7:30pm. The exhibit will run through Columbus Day.

I’ve included two small black & white abstractions.

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As I mentioned earlier, the 63rd Annual Ogunquit Art Association Art Auction will have an on-line preview for the First Time Ever!!! Just got word that the site is up. See my work and the work of lots of other talented artists.

This means that even if you don’t live near by, you can participate in the auction.

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There are two juried art shows in my area this time of year and delivery was last weekend. Good news and bad news. I was accepted into the Prescott Park Arts Festival Open Juried Exhibition at Sheafe Wharf in Portsmouth, NH, but was turned down for Regional Artists: An Open Juried Show at the Barn Gallery in Ogunquit, ME.

For me, one of the fun things is to be able to do some of the behind the scenes “stuff”. On Sunday, I helped with take-in for the show at the Barn Gallery and then stayed for the jurying. Take-in is actually one of my favorite volunteer jobs, because I get to see what everyone’s doing and I get to meet and catch up with fellow artists. Jurying can be interesting or boring, partly depending upon the process and partly depending on the juror. Michael Culver was the juror this year and he did not have an easy job. We had something like 206 pieces, which he edited down to somewhere around 80-85. I’m anxious to see what the exhibit looks like now that it’s hung. It’s a strong show and it’s going to look even better once the official hangers get a hold of it. I can’t make the reception on Saturday, so I’ll have to sneak in some other day to check out the final product.

Today, I’m working on the hanging portion of the exhibit at Prescott Park. This is always an interesting process because of the constraints of the building. Most of the work is hung on movable hinged panels which presents a different kind of visual challenge than a rectangular room. We do however have an excellent “hanging committee”, so I’m sure it will go well.

Want to see what got in and what didn’t? These two pieces didn’t make it into the Barn Gallery Exhibit. One of the advantages of being there at jurying was that I know they weren’t the first ones eliminated. The other thing I noticed is that the piece on the left was eliminated first. Interesting, as I’ve always wondered about the relative merit of the two pieces.

And this is the one that did get into the Prescott Park show. And today I’ll get to see how great this exhibit is going to look.

Ethel Hills - Color Block #13 (8 inch panel) - Mixed Media Collage on Panel - 8" x 8"

Ethel Hills – Color Block #13 (8 inch panel) – Mixed Media Collage on Panel – 8″ x 8″

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Today was a work day for me. I’m a member of the Ogunquit Art Association, OAA, and today was the final day to have work photographed for the on-line preview of our annual Art Auction. So I spent the afternoon moving paintings down to be photographed, checking tags, and then moving paintings back up the stairs to be stored until the end of July when the pieces will be hung up in preparation for the auction on August 2nd. Although a fair amount of work, it was also fun. It’s nice to get a sneak peek at the auction!!!

We have something like 75 pieces that will be online in the next couple of weeks – our first on-line auction preview. I’ll post a link when I have that information.

I’m very excited. I put 3 pieces in the auction. Wish us luck!!!

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The word “serendipity” came up in a couple of conversations today. Wikipedia explains it as “the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it.” In my case, a couple of unrelated things added up to a new piece of art in my life.

When I started out today, I wasn’t intending to buy art. I did intend to go look at some art, but buying wasn’t part of my plan. The Van Ward Gallery in Ogunquit, ME announced the sale of 15 Ed Betts paintings, both acrylic & watercolor. The prices listed ranged from $3250 to $18000, well out of my price range.

Since I bought my first Ed Betts book – Master Class in Watermedia, years and years ago, I have been a fan. I only met him once and that was to take a one day workshop sponsored by the Ogunquit Art Association. I still consider him a teacher and mentor because of his books.

So, here is the strange string of events that brought a new piece of art into my home today. I’m a new member of Ogunquit Art Association, so I’m now on their email list. Through them, I got a notice of this sale going on. (Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have heard about it until it was too late.) I’ve just had a major sale of my work, so I’m feeling very positive about the future. I went up to check out the work this afternoon and found a small gallery FULL of lots of wonderful art, some by artists I already knew and some by artists I hadn’t seen before. I had no illusions of buying any of the Betts pieces. My favorite of those pieces is Sea Movement #7 in acrylic – $9500 (top right on the website)

As I looked around the gallery, I found there were lots of other pieces which I could afford. Thus sprang the idea that it was the perfect time for an art splurge. Why not spend some of my art money on more art? So I figured, I’d look through everything and then go back to look for the perfect piece. When I got to the section that had all of the Betts pieces, I did a lot of mental oohing and aahing. The acrylics were spectacular. According to the website, “High Rim” is 48″ x 60″. Now that sounds large, but when you look at that, it’s huge. That’s 4′ x 5′. Yikes. It certainly is spectacular. There were also some of his more traditional watercolors and oils in smaller sizes. I was kind of looking at everything and noticed a lithograph on the floor in a price that I could afford. I thought about it for probably all of 5 minutes.  So now we have a lovely Ed Betts lithograph hanging in our kitchen. YAY!

Here’s one of the pieces that I just sold.

Ethel Hills - The Edge of Reason - Mixed Media Collage on Panel - 30" x 30"  -   SOLD

Ethel Hills – The Edge of Reason – Mixed Media Collage on Panel – 30″ x 30″ – SOLD

I think Ed would have approved, both of the piece of art and that I used some of the funds to buy the lithograph.

Now what’s the story behind your latest art purchase??

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Ethel Hills - Ocean & Sky #1 - Mixed Media Collage on Panel - 12" x 12"

Ethel Hills – Ocean & Sky #1 – Mixed Media Collage on Panel – 12″ x 12″

This painting is on display in the OAA Expressions exhibit at the Barn Gallery in Ogunquit, ME.  This is the first of my Ocean & Sky paintings and I’m pleased to have it in my first member exhibit with the Ogunquit Art Association.

There are only five pieces in this very short series and this is the only one with color. The others are all black, white & grey.I’m not sure that I can really call this my favorite from the series, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for it. Maybe it’s because it has a little bit of color in it. Or maybe because it was the first and some how defied completion. I was never sure of anything on this painting. Even when I had a piece glued down, I still wasn’t sure. And up until the last-minute, I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to pull it off.

It looked like it was done, but it just didn’t feel right. That was when I came up with the idea of adding that small horizontal strip. That seemed to just pull the whole painting together. Those moments when a paintings turns from something good into something extraordinary are the sweetest in an artist’s career.

Sorry for the delay. Somehow, I didn’t get this posted last week. Oops.

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Well, this week the paintings of the week are the ones that I’ve put in the OAA Annual Art Auction. This is my first time participating in this auction and I’m not sure what to expect. I chose an 8″ piece and a 6″ piece. These are both from early on in my Color Block series. I hope you enjoy seeing them again. And I hope they will find good homes at the auction.

I went to the preview last night. The work is all hung on the walls and it looks great! There are sculptures, photographs, paintings, prints and drawings. From small to large, subtle to bright. I can’t remember the exact number, but I think somewhere around 120 pieces.

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OAA Art Auction this coming Saturday, August 3rd

OAA Art Auction this coming Saturday, August 3rd

Ogunquit Art Association’s Annual Art Auction is on display now at the Barn Gallery. This is my first time to participate in the auction. You’ll find two of my pieces in the auction and several hand painted bid cards.

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