November was juried by Jill Carver and I feel doubly-honored because I've been an admirer of her work for a long time. Colorado painter Josh Elliot received this month's Best of Show for his painting, "Floating Gold", and there are many other outstanding works called out as well, with Randall Sexton and Josh Clare being two painters I know personally. The other artists I hope to meet someday.
And here is my painting:
"Peonies & Ginger Jar"
oil on canvas | 20 x 24 inches | painted from life
November Raymar Finalist
From the Raymar Fine Art Competition website:
Judge's Comments: Thomas cleverly utilizes a rich saturated background to accentuate the beautiful pale subtlety of the peonies. The round red and green objects in the foreground playfully repeat the colors in the background and in the posy. I love the small peony bud at the top-right; how it too mimics the round objects in the foreground; cover it up with your hand and somehow the flow is not quite the same is it? It’s a very cleverly orchestrated riot of color, each section having some dialogue with another piece of the arrangement. Note how he has tempered the saturation of rich color on the left-hand side with nice shadows and warm neutrals that continue and repeat from the cloth all the way up into the petals. Just gorgeous! - Jill Carver
It was executed as an intimate demo for two of my more advanced students. Primarily to show how composing a painting can be organic – and that when we paint from life it is not necessary to always pre-plan or work out everything to the 'nth' detail before jumping in. Many times we can just wing it. I wanted my students to understand they can can the eye by choosing a major wending line to develop, and how modifying a few existing values can push a structural element in or out of the pictorial plane, and how chroma, shape, and paint thickness can be used to harmoniously rebalance an asymmetrical arrangement. (Most of which was articulated nicely by Jill Carver in her excellent summary.)
"Peonies & Ginger Jar" was painted alla prima, and largely completed within a few hours. It just came home from the 2012 American Impressionists Society's National Juried Exhibition last week and it now hangs above my fireplace, above my wife's nativity cresche scene. The red in the background looks festive with our holiday decor.
This means I now have a total of three paintings juried into Raymar's 2011-2012 competition, up for one final round of consideration. Here are the two others...
16 x 20 inches | oil on linen | painted en plein air
December Raymar Judge: John Burton
Painted during the Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational | Sold
"A New Dawn, A New Day"
16 x 20 | oil on canvas | painted en plein air
July Raymar Judge: Jennifer McChristian
Painted during Easton Plein Air | Sold
C.W. Mundy, another observational painter I greatly admire, will be the final juror for the contest. He will make his decisions in January. He has a total of 144 paintings to consider, and twelve awards and recognitions to hand out. Which is one heck of a lot of outstanding art to work through. So if I don't get any further than being a 3x finalist this year, that's okay. I'm fine. Because I know I s in good company.
Reminder: I have three oil painting workshops lined up over the next few months and you can register for any of them now. But don't wait too long to do so as the first two are filling soon...
Essential Alla Prima Techniques | January 25th - 27th, Umpqua Valley, Oregon
(This workshop will be taught solvent-free. If you ever wondered how to reduce your exposure then this is the class for you...)
Essential Alla Prima Techniques | March 1st - 3rd, Portland, Oregon
(A great primer for anyone interested in plein air painting. Learn how to work wet-into-wet oil paint without the stress and pressure of moving light...)
Essential Alla Prima Plein Air Techniques | April 15th -17, Carmel, California
(Along the Big Sur and Monterey coastline, and in conjunction with the Carmel Art Institute)
If you have a question about any of these workshops just send me an email. I will be happy to respond.