Wednesday, November 26, 2008


A lot of what and how I paint is a direct result of my years hand lettering and painting signs, boats, trucks and walls. To be painting outdoors in all types of weather, watching the world around me, whether out in the country or on a busy city street, is something that I came to love. And to mix colors and use bold and confindant brush strokes... more practical learning than any art school could provide.

Click on the images for a better view....

Signs - Carved and gilded, painted and sandblasted

Boat names - 23kt Gold leaf lettering on mahogany transoms

Gold leaf lettering and striping on an Antique Fire Truck

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Art Show in Aiken, Devon Horse Show again

I delivered over seventy paintings to the Aiken Center for the Arts for my show there this month. It opened on Sept 2, and runs through the 27th. An Opening Reception will be held on Thursday, Sept 11 from 6 - 8.

South Boundary St, 18 x 24 oil

Included in the show is an 8 x 10 oil of the Harness Track at Aiken, with Jimmy Larente. A famous trainer, originally from Quebec. Theresa and I met Jimmy when we were down last spring. After talking for a while and listening to his stories, I realized that while he had been racing at Liberty Bell Racetrack in Philadelphia, he was living about a mile away from where I was growing up at that time in Huntingdon Valley, PA.

The painting at the bottom here is a commission of the "Old Times" Coach at the Devon Horse Show. This coach ran from London to Brighton and was famous for making the round trip in one day. I saw the cab of the coach as it is now undergoing restoration. It is small! Apparently, on nice days, the first class passengers road on top while the second class rode in the coach. On rainy days they switched positions...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Blowing Rock Paintings

Here are some paintings from this years Blowing Rock Show.

If you click on an image during the slide show, a new window will open with a larger image.

Now its time to get everything together for the upcoming one man show this September at the Aiken Center for the Arts. If you are in Aiken for the Fall Fling Horse Shows, take a trip downtown visit.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Blowing Rock 2008

Back in Blowing Rock! For two weeks!
Cool nights and beautiful days. It's hard to believe that I'm not on vacation. One of the rewards for all the work we have done to be able to paint for a living.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, cell phones and wireless internet are hard to get at the Horse Show. So I writing this in Boone, NC on our day off. Then off to the art supply store for more canvas and then I am heading out to paint around the area.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lexington, KY

This past weekend, Theresa and I traveled through Lexington KY to be present for the debut of Vicky Moon's new book Equestrian Style. A beautifully created book shows art collections, homes and people inspired by the classic horse motif. Did I mention that we are in it? We had an interesting evening at Gallery B in downtown Lexington. Theresa was inside the gallery, schmoozing with the guests. She met Patricia Green, an "eighties something" as Vicky describes her, who business is creating the "silks" worn by the jockeys. I of course was outside, having a ball painting downtown Lexington and meeting all the interesting folks on the street. Later we had dinner with Vicky and her friend Phyllis who runs the library at the Keeneland racetrack. Many interesting stories about journalists and of schemes to make money in the thoroughbred world. After three years of planning and a year of production, Vicky has already begun work on her next book.

11 x 14 painting of a downtown Lexington store fromt.

Early the next morning I drove over to the Keeneland Race track to watch the morning works. I am always fascinated by the behind the scenes workings at the tracks and shows. I think that some interesting paintings of Keeneland will be coming soon.

Later,Theresa and I were given a tour of Cobra Farm by Marci Durocher, the manager of Gallery B. This was our first tour of a Kentucky thoroughbred farm and it unbelievable how clean it is. If it wasn't for the horses being there, it would be hard to believe you were on a horse farm. Cobra is a breeding farm and we were able to see where Seattle Slew was born. That's a photo of Theresa looking into the stall. One of her portrait client' s horse was a son of Seattle Slew. Interestingly, the schedule at Cobra farm runs from 7 am to 4:30 in the afternoon and unless they are foaling, working at the farm is like a 9 -5 job.

A visit to the Kentucky Horse Park that afternoon rounded off our time in Lexington. Breyerfest was underway that weekend. Needless to say, we went there. In the midst of all the Breyer horses for sales by both independent vendors and the Breyer company, were the horses that were the models for the latest models. I talked with a woman who was a sculptor working for Breyer creating the originals from which the molds were made. In the arena, we watched a demonstration by Icelandic horses. Those little guys can fly. And you can ride them and not spill your beer. The perfect horse?

Back home after what seems like a month but was only ten days and getting ready for two weeks at The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show up in the mountains and painting in some cooler weather.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Between Shows

We have just recovered from the Devon Horse Show / Upperville Horse Show marathon experience. I reached Devon on a cold rainy day, had the heat on in the camper and we left Upperville with 100+ temps and due to power outage no air conditioning in the camper. Thankfully, one of the camper tires blew out about 8 miles from home. I say thankfully, because armed with the information from 20/20 on how to read the code on tires, I discovered that we have the original tires on the camper. About 8 years old at this point. So new tires all around and a higher load rating to boot. A blow out on the way home is inconvenient. On the way to a show, it is downright depressing....

Devon was an interesting experience. Being back in the Phila. area, I was able to eat cheesesteaks for supper and italian hoagies for breakfast. At least until Theresa came up. And I had forgotten about traffic. Here in NC we might complain about the commute. ( Though our studio is about 25 feet from our house ) I was rudely reminded Thursday morning during rush hour when the 20 minute drive turned into an hour and a half.

From the ferris wheel and cotton cany to the skyboxes in the grandstand that are handed down from generation to generation, Devon is a bit different than other horse shows we attend. Did I mention that cheesesteak and hoagies are available on almost every corner on Rt 30? We met some wonderful people, not to mention getting to see old friends again. Breakfast with the Corgis was an unique event. I think it was an excuse to bring your dog to the show and have a couple of drinks before lunch. Later, a whippet escaped from its owner and decided to chase Liza Towell Boyd and Scout around the hunter course. I missed that excitement, but was informed by Liza's Mom, Lisa when she visited our booth. Somewhere on YouTube is a video of part of the chase. After a week and a half of 7 am to 11pm days, I was looking forward to Upperville with its unlighted rings.

Upperville Colt and Horse Show had everything this year. Rain, mud and blistering heat. We arrived Sunday afternoon and proceeded to set up. Since we didn't need a tent at Devon, we left ours at home this year and rented one from VA tent rentals. I probably have my days a bit confused here, Monday was a wonderful day, Tuesday was nice and I was sitting back in the tent watching the show when a nice women said, "Steve, I think there's a bad storm coming" I jumped up, put all the paintings outside inside and closed up the tent. The rain started. Heading back to the camper, I saw the woman from CB's tack trying to load her inventory into her trailer. By the time we finished loading up, the wind was howling, the rain was coming down in a solid mass. We lost power, but thankfully the tornado missed us. No power - no ac in the camper. The horse show got a generator to operate the well so horses could be watered. So we were able to shower. The 2nd hunter ring was moved to the schooling ring. Power was out all over the area.
Then slowly day by day, it got hot. On Saturday afternoon, the power went out again. By Sunday morning, I was ready to go. Thoughts of going on to Loudon for the following week were gone. The van was already at the tent, so in it all went. Any plans of waiting until the Grand Prix started across the street before we tore down were overriden by the thought of getting out with the camper before the mess with parking began. On the road a little after noon and home by seven ( including changing the tire )

This Sunday, it starts again. We head to Roanoke for the Roanoke Valley Horse Show. We are there until Saturday. It is indoors. The arena is air conditioned. The camping area has full hookups, electricity, water and sewer. Home on Sunday and down to the beach on Thursday morning. We will be at an Art Show in Beaufort NC for the 4th and the 5th and 6th also. Just for a change of pace.

The two paintings of the Devon show are from the collection of Lee Kellog I will be posting more paintings of Devon and Upperville.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tax Code, Art Donations and new painting

The last few days have been Great weather and the right timing!!

I went out Sunday morning, did a couple of paintings of some dogwood and crabapple trees blooming. Then on Tuesday, painted a house in Raleigh. (See below) Wednesday, Theresa and I took a ride "out in the country". We happened upon a old mill, Weldon's Mill, in Epson NC. I believe it would be at least 15 years since we last stopped by there. The new owners moved down from Michigan and in the process of restoring it.

Other news:
I will be having a one-man show the month of September in Aiken, SC at the Aiken Center for the Arts.

I will also be represented by the Chisholm Gallery of Piney Plains NY.
I hope to have a page on their website this week.

Updated show schedule:
May, Sedgefield Horse Show, Greensboro NC

Devon Horse Show, Devon PA

Upperville Horse Show, Upperville VA

Roanoke Valley Horse Show,Salem VA

July will find us at an outdoor Art Show in Beaufort NC for the Fourth, then at the end of July and the beginning of August we will be at the Blowing Rock Horse Show, Blowing Rock NC.

8 x 24 Oil on Canvas

The Tax Code..
The is a bill in Congress to allow artists to deduct the fair market value of works that they donate to charity. As things stand right now, if I donate a painting, I can deduct my costs for materials. So write your congressman so we can keep those donations coming!

Devon Horse Show 8x10 Oil on Canvas

Friday, April 4, 2008

Back Home

I got back last night from Aiken, SC, where I delivered the painting of Namon in Hitchcock woods. It was being presented to him after I had left, so I haven't yet heard what his reaction was. The client who commissioned the painting came up with the idea of offering Giclee prints on stretched canvas. The proceeds from the sale of these would go toward Namon's retirement fund. We will be doing it, so check back for the details.

If you saw the video of my thumbnail painting Two Cows in my last post, here is the finished painting 9" x 12", based on the 2.5 x 3.5" painting

The Plein Air Painter's version of Murphy's Law - While you are driving or working in the studio, the sun will shine. When it's time to paint, rain and wind. Tuesday started out cold and rainy, just like Saturday, Sunday and Monday. By the time I had driven to Beaufort NC, through thunderstorms and tornado warnings, it had turned into a beautiful spring day. But... I was in Marshallburg NC on the coast on Core Sound near Cape Lookout to letter boats. 23 kt gold leaf lettering on mahogany transoms of beautiful electric boats made by Tom Hesselink of Budsin Woodcraft. Here is Talley Ho, still in the paint shop

Here are two more, ready for delivery

Wednesday morning, I loaded my paintings, paints and canvases and drove to Aiken. It started out cloudy, then sunshine all the way through SC, until I got of of I20, when the clouds covered the sky. I delivered the painting, stopped at the Equine Divine Gallery in downtown Aiken leaving paintings with them. Ate dinner, found a room and woke up to rain and fog. So off to the old Shooting Club to discuss a commission with the owner, got some coffee and headed down the road. A stop in Camden SC, rain continued, so back home. Today I went to the Village Gallery in Raleigh and worked on the above painting of the cows.

Tomorrow--storms coming through, work in the studio and on our websites....

Here is a painting of Taylor's Creek in Beaufort, NC. Not to far from Marshallburg. Still has some old homes and work boats. On the other side of the creek, is Carrot Island and the Rachel Carson Reserve, home to some of the Wild Ponies of the Outer Banks.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Exciting news...
The Devon Horse Show will be using the abouve painting on the cover of this years program. The ticket committee had contacted me in November asking if they could us it for the ticket brochure and labels. It seems to have become popular up there on the Main Line and will now be on the program. The painting is now in the collection of Bill Schaub.
See you at Devon.
Two projects finished this week. A painting of Namon Corley, who retired as woodsman after 49 years at Hitchcock Woods in Aiken SC. He is pictured with the Aiken Hounds (Namon was the fox) and his Ford tractor.

After one beautiful day, the much needed rain has hit North Carolina. Friday was 82 and sunny, Saturday,44 and rain, the same Sunday and Monday. Since I was stuck in the studio, I videotaped the painting of a small thumbnail painting. 2 1/5 x 3 1/5 inches. These little paintings can become the basis for a larger painting and/or a complete miniature painting in their own right. So here it is.

If you got our email newsletter, you probably noticed that the Barn of the Month was a boatbuilder. Budsin Woodcraft creates fine Mahogany and Ash Electric Boats. For civilized boating. I am going down to Marshallburg NC to put 23kt gold leaf lettering on three boats for him this week, then home, down to Aiken to deliver Namon's painting and paint homes and farms in Aiken and Camden SC. Back to NC for a horse show on Saturday and Sunday... (if it doesn't rain)

Updating this blog....

I have added a slide show on the blog with recently completed paintings. On our portrait website, www.portraitsnc.ocm, we have been adding slide shows galleries to archive your portraits. It seems that everyone wants their portrait on the web so they can show it off. I'm happy to accomodate, but the images were getting a bit overwhelming. At this point, I have the equine portrait page broken into 3 pages, one introduction with a few images and two pages of images. Of course, when setting up the slide show on the web, I realize what paintings aren't there. So go and find the file, ( a laptop crash followed by a back up hard drive crash (one of the dogs managed to get tangled in the powercord and the drive actually the ground.) a while back still has me looking for images on old zip disks and old website files.....

Then the Plein Air Painter Organize the various horse shows into separate galleries and keep Recent Works and Paintings for Sale a little more uncluttered...
Related Posts with Thumbnails