Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Plein-Air Painting This Past Week

Click on Photos for a Larger View

Wow! I've been painting on location twice in the past week! Last Wednesday a group went out with me from my studio to a local park in Blairsville and we had a great time! It was a beautiful day; I couldn't have asked for better weather. Painted one picture in the morning and another in the afternoon, with a wonderful picnic lunch in between! Everyone left with some great paintings, all in oil except mine. I chose to bring pastels with me that day and I must admit, it is much easier than dealing with oils outdoors. I will complete the paintings in the studio and post them at a later date.

Today I went with four other painters to Jackrabbit Mountain Park in the Nantahala Forest to paint on Lake Chatuge. It was a beautiful setting, but we are having what is called a "dogwood winter." It was cold and windy with the dogwoods in full bloom! This was the first paint-out for the Plein Air Painters of Southern Appalachia (PAPOSA), a newly formed casual group of artists who love painting on location. It was a great day and more are planned! If anyone is interested in joining PAPOSA, email me and I will get you the information.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Students Learn About Values in Color

Oddball, oil on canvas, 9 x 12, copyright Pat Aube Gray

One morning each week, two lovely ladies come to my studio for semi-private lessons. Beginners in oil painting, the two are eager to paint more exciting things than four colored balls on a table, but I find that the color of all the values found in a colored object is difficult for some students to see. Mention shadow and they reach for greys and browns instinctively, instead of the darker values of any given color. For example, the form shadow on the yellow ball is a dark version of yellow, not just any grey or brown. So for this painting, I set up four different color rubber balls and all three of us painted them, with mine being a demo for them to watch as they painted. It was a good lesson and they each did a very good job!

Note that since the balls are rubber, they do not have really strong highlights, such as pool balls might have, for example. Hard, shiny objects reflect light and have strong highlights. Think of chrome bumpers, automobile finishes, apples, shiny table tops, etc. Soft objects, like rubber balls, peaches, and fabrics absorb light rather than reflect it, so the highlighted areas are softer and not as dramatic.

I decided to include the sku label on the yellow ball in my painting. My students were timid in that regard and left it off. SO both I and the yellow ball are "oddballs," hence the title for the painting.

Click HERE to bid on this painting

Sunday Greetings!

New Salem NY Rock Fence, Copyright Pat Aube Gray

Good morning! I painted this scene on location in 2006, but without the light. It was my last painting in an afternoon of work at a wonderful farm in New Salem, NY, established in the 1700's. All I did initially was record the shapes of what I saw and just indicate where the sun was hitting and where it wasn't. This week I overpainted my underpainting with color and light. It was a wonderful scene and makes for a pleasant painting, don't you think?

I was in NY that summer taking a portrait workshop for two weeks with the inimitable master, Daniel Greene. A wonderful experience and I left with a definite realization that sometimes I settle for less than I should and could do! An invaluable lesson for me! Over the weekend, between sessions of the weekly workshops, I went out with other artists to paint en plein aire.

Click HERE to bid on this painting

Friday, April 11, 2008

Pat Aube Gray - Art Matters: 2008 Class & Workshop Schedule

Pat Aube Gray - Art Matters: 2008 Class & Workshop Schedule

2008 Class & Workshop Schedule

Enamel Pot & Eggs, copyright Pat Aube Gray 2007

Finally my Studio Class & Workshop Schedule for the balance of 2008 is completed and available for you to download! Go to the very top of the right hand column of this blog and click on the link that will take you to my new website, where you can download a printable schedule! Though the website is still not complete, I am happy to say that this portion is up and running. I apologize for the lateness of this schedule, but there really were mitigating circumstances.

I continue to paint in absolute comfort, though I am still in the demo and small works stage. I have two portrait commissions I must do, one is in progress and the other is at rough-in. I find that my motivation to paint has only just returned since the tragic death of my daughter nine months ago and it coincides well with the now painless use of my right arm and shoulder.

Several months ago I digitally recorded (audio only) a class lecture I gave spontaneously on aerial perspective. The digital audio file has been uploaded to my computer and I am able to email it. If you would be interested in receiving it, just drop me an email at and I will be happy to send it to you.

Hope to see you in the studio!