Sunday, December 4, 2011

Art Makes a Great Gift

Christmas and Holiday Small Works Shows
Five Current Shows featuring Gregory Dunham Watercolors

Shop locally and support the arts and small businesses
1. "Splendid Snow", Patricia Hutton Galleries, 47 West State Street, Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901(215-348-1728). One of my several watercolors represented in this show is pictured below.

"Last Light" 4x7 inc watercolor, $600.00

2. "Holiday Invitational Small Works Show", Tarratine Gallery, 5 Main St., Castine, ME 04421

"Winter Shadows" 4x6 inch watercolor, $600.00

3. "Small Works 2011", Courthouse Gallery, 6 Court St., Ellsworth, ME, (207-667-6611)

"Low Tide, Bailey Island", 4x6 inch watercolor, $600.00

4. "Holiday Small Works", Woodstock Gallery, 6 Elm St., Woodstock, VT 05091 (802-457-2012)
"Split Rail, Fence, Pomfret, VT" 4x6 inch watercolor, $600.00

5. "Holiday Gala Show", Betts Gallery at the Belfast Framer, 96 Main St., Belfast, ME 04915, (207-338-6465)
"Beach Cliff Sardines", 2.5x3.75 inch watercolor, $450.00 (unusual in both size and subject mater for me)

All the galleries listed above have many more pieces of my work, I hope you can stop by one that is near you to view my work and the other artists and craftspeople on display. Art makes a great gift for someone you love or for yourself. One more piece available at the Tarratime Gallery in Castine is pictured below:
"A Victorian Cottage on Thanksgiving Day", 4x6 inch watercolor, $600.00

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Evolution or Reworking of a Painting

Here's a side by side, or I should say above and below comparison of my watercolor "The Straw Hat, Monhegan Island", as it has evolved over time.
"The Straw Hat, Monhegan" as it appeared in 2008

"The Straw Hat, Monhegan Island" as it appears today 2011, Watercolor 16x20 inches

I used to occasionally enjoy watching Emeril Lagasse's cooking show and I always liked his comment "let's kick it up a notch" and that's exactly what I decided to do with this painting from '08. I liked it well enough when I did it, but it was a little bland, needed a bit more spice to satisfy my palate. Where before, it was calm and still and as I said a little bland, today there is movement and maybe even a little drama. This is an example of how some of my paintings evolve and come to life over time with just a few simple changes. Another example of "kicking it up a notch" appears in a post below from Feb. 20th '11.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Two Teachers, A Wyeth Painting and A Partial History of an Antique Cape

This was the house of Alan and Martha Ferguson who were neighbors of ours when we first moved to Castine. They were both artists and retired teachers from Stow, MA. Martha did pastel landscapes and Alan had settled comfortably into making humorous cartoons that focused on the doings and absurdities around town for the local paper.

What follows is a story they once told us, as I remember it:

Shortly after graduating from art school they were walking up Newbury St. in Boston when a painting in a gallery window caught their eye. They went inside to get a closer look and inquire about the artist. They were told it was by an up and coming artist, Andrew Wyeth, whose father was the famous N. C. Wyeth. It was one of Andrew’s early watercolors and they fell in love with it. They decided to splurge and pay the few hundred dollars, even though they were living on the meager salaries teachers received at that time.

For years they lived with and enjoyed the painting, but as Wyeth’s reputation grew and his works increased in value, they felt that perhaps they were being selfish by keeping the painting to themselves and that more people should be able to see it. They decided the best way to do that was to loan it to the MFA, which was only too happy to accept the loan. They both felt very pleased that the painting that gave them so much pleasure could now be seen and enjoyed by others as well.

Then one fateful day, years later, they went to the museum to visit with their painting and couldn’t find it. When they inquired about it, they learned that it was in storage. Well, this wasn’t the idea. They had loaned it to be seen not stored, so they asked to have it returned to them.

Now they had another dilemma. When they visited the gallery where they had originally purchased it, and learned what its value had become, it made them even more uncomfortable. They felt it was absurd to have such a valuable piece of art, uninsured and vulnerable to theft or damage, so they reluctantly arranged to have the gallery sell it. What the sale of that painting enabled them to do, was to buy the lovely antique cape pictured above, where they could spend their summers and in which they would live out their lives after retirement and enjoy wonderful sunsets like that pictured below. A nice story about two lovely neighbors who are sadly missed and what can happen when you invest in art.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Åarhus Gallery Show to Benefit Local Food Pantries

"Dory" 4x6" Watercolor, by Gregory Dunham, $500.00 SOLD

The dory watercolor pictured above will be a part of the 3rd Annual "44N 69W: Radius Belfast" at Åarhus Gallery, 50 Main Street, Belfast, ME.

Please join Åarhus Gallery for an opening reception Friday March 4th, 5-8pm for the third annual '44N 69W: Radius Belfast'. An all encompassing show running from March 3rd through the 27th, of work by Maine artists, living within a thirty-mile radius of Belfast. 20% of the proceeds of sales from this show will go to benefit local food pantries.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When is a painting finished?

A few things were troubling me about this award winning watercolor from '04, as seen in the first image below. So, I decided to take it out of its frame and rework the areas that bothered me. I just finished it yesterday and I'm very happy with the result of the changes I made to it. Let's see if you agree.

"Dory", Watercolor, 19.5x29.5 in., 2004, Amee B. Davis Memorial Award for excellence in painting, Rockport Art Association
The image below is the painting as it now appears.
"Dory", Watercolor, 19.5x29.5 in., 2004-11

I'll let the words of a friend and fellow artist describe my changes. This is from an exchange of notes with my friend Margaret: "I think you changed the color of the hull that is in shadow to be slightly darker and warmer in tone - befitting the warm reflected light from the sandy/gravelly surface. It looks like you've made the shadow of the dory blend more with the surface and the rocks in the foreground. While the light conditions of your reference shot may indeed have made the shadow appear as stark as you initially painted it, in terms of composition, all the elements in the foreground are now more harmonious and pleasing to the eye."

She hit the nail on the head with her comments. All of the changes were made to the foreground and the dory itself. I thought the building, pilings and background were fine just the way they were and the changes to the dory and foreground made the entire painting more harmonious and unified. One small detail she missed, because she was looking at small images was that I also used a razor blade to scrape out the edge of the rope lines to better highlight them.

To answer the question posed in the title of this post "When is a painting finished?", perhaps it is only finished once a collector takes possession of it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Morning Sea Smoke in Castine, 2/4/11

Castine takes on a surreal look as sea smoke engulfs it, briefly, in the early morning.

Glancing out my bedroom window this morning, I noticed a band of sea smoke over the Bagaduce River. I grabbed my camera and headed in town. What a surprise was awaiting me when I reached the top of Windmill Hill. The town was engulfed in a dense fog of sea smoke.

Living on the coast of Maine, sea smoke on cold winter days is not an uncommon phenomenon. What was uncommon about the sea smoke today was that it did not stay over the water, but moved over the entire downtown of Castine, creating a very surreal atmosphere. In the first photo above, the sun is seen dimly through sea smoke as we look toward the post office from Court Street.

Here are a few photos from this morning.
Looking out to the shrouded Bagaduce River, from Water Street

The Town Common and Unitarian Church from School Street as the sea smoke begins to disperse.

Looking toward Green Street from School Street.

Sea Smoke hanging over Hatch's Cove.

The sea smoke left a thick coating of frost or dew on the branches.