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Upcoming Pastel Workshop July 2014

To my blog subscribers and aspiring plein air painters! I am teaching another beginning/intermediate level plein air painting workshop at Dakota in Mt. Vernon, July 12/13 and 19/20 (2 weekends). This workshop still has a few spaces left.

If you've always wanted to take that little step from the studio to the great outdoors, we are looking at near perfect summer weather, some great new painting sites around the fabled Skagit Valley, including the Northern State Recreation Area, near Sedro Woolley (lots of wonderful old abandoned dairy barns set against the mountainous backdrop of the Cascades) old sloughs and boats, La Conner, Edison Slough, Swinomish Channel and estuaries!

The farm fields are now in full summer colors, with ochre and russet tinted grasses among the many shades of warm greens, cut crops creating windrow patterns, tall cypress trees . . . all amidst the glowing light that only exists in the Skagit Valley area!!

Old Friend Connection
Old Friend Connection
I love how the light over there slips through the cracks of old barns, especially where open doors give a little sense of mystique in the shadows, almost as if you are time-warped back into the decades. All great subject matter to paint and I do live demos each day, plus assist all workshop attendees at their easels. Learn to paint with conviction and simplify subjects into great compositions that can be painted within 2-3 hours!

Sign-up here or call me at 360-468-2557 if any questions.
Steve Hill



Agora Gallery June 2014 ExhibitTuesday, June 03, 2014 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events
Morning Light - Santiam River
Morning Light - Santiam River
I am participating in my 5th exhibit at Agora Gallery, Chelsea, NYC from June 10-July 1, with 9 plein air pastel paintings done from locations around the U.S. and Europe. The opening reception for the exhibit is Thursday, June 12, from 6-8 p.m. at the gallery, with food and wine. Unfortunately, my travel and teaching schedule will be keeping me away, but I hope any of you (my blog subscribers now approaching 500) will be able to attend and see my latest work.

This review from ArtisSpectrum Magazine, Volume 31, May 2014.

“Steven R Hill's dreamy pastel on card landscapes offer a sensitive appreciation of gorgeous yet overlooked places. Hill is a master of finding private intimate corners even on a mundane city sidewalk. He frames his spaces tightly, with as little empty sky or ground as possible. Hill is attracted to urban and pastoral settings alike, and manages to find the same sort of peaceful grace in both.

Hill works en plein air to better “capture the more elusive moment-in-time, mood, feel or essence.” His pastel work is gentle but amazingly detailed, with a variety of textures that is difficult to achieve in the medium. His palette is expertly built out of many layers of hue to deepen and fully realize the multiplicity of natural light. Realism and just a hint of romanticism combine for Hill's uniquely nuanced atmospheres. He was born in Boise, Idaho and currently lives in Washington State's San Juan Islands. He spent many years as an abstract painter, and has exhibited widely on both coasts of the United States. His plein air work has won over 18 major awards in national and international juried fine art competitions over the past seven years.”

Agora Gallery - 530 West 25th Street, New York, NY.
View the works





Carmel Paint-outThursday, May 22, 2014 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events

Good weather and great painting sites made the 21st annual Carmel Art Festival a colorful event. I was pleased to sell two of my paintings during the festival, meet new collectors and work mostly around the water and coastal areas near Carmel and Point Lobos.


Painting among a group of diverse and very accomplished artists from around the U.S., always gives me fresh ideas for new techniques and approaches to use when I venture outdoors to paint. While I worked in pastel, a favorite medium, I feel a big urge to start incorporating oil paint in the next few months.





Working in multi - medium gives each one a chance to inform the other, bends the learning curve a little steeper and will give me an opportunity to challenge myself in new ways.









21st Annual Carmel Art FestivalWednesday, May 07, 2014 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events
I have been juried into The 21st Annual Carmel Art Festival, May 15-18 at Carmel-by-the-sea, California. This is one of the premier western U.S. plein air painting competitions with 60 artists coming from all over the U.S. to paint en plein air and compete for cash prize awards.

Beyond the competition, this is a stunning place to paint on-site, at historical places like The Carmel Mission, Cannery Row and Monterrey Wharf, to sweeping vistas along the coast from Asilomar, Point Lobos, Moss Landing to Big Sur, as well as the Carmel Valley with rolling hills, adjacent fields of strawberries, artichokes and large farms to the east.

Somewhere, “out there” will be a perfect place for me to set-up my easel and do nothing but paint the landscape!

Fog Lifting Monterey Bay
Fog Lifting Monterey Bay
"Fog Lifting, Monterrey Bay" (pictured here) was a piece I did at the 17th annual festival at Carmel and has just been released from our personal collection for sale at $1500.

Hope to see many of you at the final exhibit, Saturday & Sunday, May 17 & 18 at Devendorf Park in Carmel. www.carmelartfestivalcalifornia.com for complete event details.



A special Artists' reception at Art on the Boulevard, will be this Friday, March 7th from 5-9 p.m. “The Art of Pastel” features my work with 3 other pastel artists. The exhibit runs through March 29th and we hope to see many of you this Friday!

The original reception was cancelled in early February, due to a horrible snow/ice storm that forced the gallery to close. Much better weather is predicted for the upcoming reception!

Distant Fog, Charles Island
Distant Fog, Charles Island
One of my plein air pieces in the exhibit, painted last October, from the back of a boat in the San Juan Islands, is pictured here. The gallery is located at 210 West Evergreen Boulevard, Vancouver, WA.



I just had to break the ice and go outside to paint today. So, I caught some ice (think winter Olympics - it's that cold here!) and headed to my favorite estuary at Port Stanley, about a mile from home. I loved how the ice formed-up during our recent nor'easter, leaving small, tell-tale frozen layers of salt water in this shallow estuary. That old farm house in the distance has been there for over 100 years and made a nice counter color to the frozen estuary. I think it's finished but will have another look tomorrow, after I warm up! Painting outside also reminded me about the upcoming workshops I'm teaching.






2014 WORKSHOP SCHEDULE.



MARCH 22/23 & 29/30 ~ Half - day sessions (consecutive weekends)
Dakota Art Center $200
Introduction to Pastel www.dakotaartcenter.com 1-888-345-0067 ext. 5

MAY 30 – JUNE 1
Painting the Landscape in Pastels – 3 days. $240 members/$290 non-members
Visual Art Alliance of Springfield (Missouri) www.visartalliance.com to register
Contact Sherri Davis sdavis_arts@hotmail.com

JULY 12/13 & 19/20 ~ Half - day sessions (2 weekends)
Dakota Art Center $200
Introduction to Plein Air Pastel www.dakotaartcenter.com 1-888-345-0067 ext. 5

Korcula Island, Croatia
SEPTEMBER 14-23
This is where you paint, travel, learn and eat in grand style on one of the most stunning islands in the Adriatic Sea! This art trip starts and ends in beautiful Dubrovnik, and there are still a couple of spaces available, as of this posting. $2450 Artists, $2250 non-artist travelling companion - Canadian Funds
Includes all accommodations, food, ground/ferry and boat transportation!
Contact Lynda Milina www.slikamilina.ca for details and to register.



Tonight's reception for the exhibit “The Art of Pastel” where my work is featured with 3 other pastel artists at “Art on the Boulevard” in Vancouver, Washington, has been cancelled due to severe winter weather.

Kevin Weaver, gallery director, just emailed the cancellation notice with apologies for bad weather timing to all. Good call on his part – there was a 28 car pile-up on I-5, just north of Vancouver, yesterday. Round #2 of the storm shows up today.

"The show is hung and beautiful" Kevin says – and can be viewed on-line at www.artontheboulevard.org.

Thankfully, it is a 2 month show and hangs through the end of March. Another opening reception for the artists will be held at the gallery Friday, March 7th - and we'll be there!

Afternoon Break, Dublin
Afternoon Break, Dublin
I am attaching a new piece I had planned to take for tonight's opening, from our recent painting trip to Ireland, which will be at the gallery for the March 7th opening.



2013 RecapSunday, February 02, 2014 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events

What a year! 2013 presented many new plein air painting opportunities, combined with travel to great locations . . . including the stunning San Juan Islands of Washington State, where I live. It's all in a years' work and I'd like to share a shot of one corner of my studio, with some works-in-progress.

The short list includes my home town of Boise, Idaho, last June, then straight to Annapolis, Maryland for a national competition where I won a first place award, then to Ireland and England for the month of August, back to the islands again, a vacation/painting week at Whistler B.C., Canada and the grand finale: Zion National Park for another juried plein air painting competition “In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran” in November, where one of my paintings won an award.

Bridge at Enniscorthy, Ireland
Bridge at Enniscorthy, Ireland
8th Street market, Boise
8th Street market, Boise
On the way home from Zion, a 10 day stop to visit my two beautiful sisters in Goodyear, Arizona, where I gave a live painting demo to 20 members of the Pebble Creek Art Club, then through California to Oregon spending 3 days at Brookings, painting fabulous coastal rocks, surf and breaking waves – it seems almost dream-like now as I work to finish and frame many paintings made during our travels.

Fine November Day, Brookings, Oregon
Fine November Day, Brookings, Oregon
The beauty of travelling to so many really cool places, is stepping into the studio to decide “where do I want to go today?” as I review about three dozen “works-in-progress” pinned to the cork strips surrounding the walls of my studio. At present, two are in progress from reference sketches and photos in Irish and English pubs.

Perhaps it's my own heritage staring back at me, or the ethereal quality of interior lights bouncing off the colorful walls and old woodwork that has focused my attention here . . . but I also know that I'll move on to something new by next week – outdoors, even in winter!

Many of the newest pieces I've done in 2013 will be hanging in a special gallery exhibit, with 4 other pastel artists: “The Art of Pastel” which opens next Friday, February 7th, at Art on the Boulevard, 210 W. Evergreen Avenue, Vancouver, Washington.

Opening reception for the 4 featured artists is from 5-9 p.m.
To view the exhibit: www.artontheboulevard.org Hope to see some of you there!



Zion ExperienceMonday, November 11, 2013 by Steve Hill
Filed under: USA

Painting for the past 10 days at Zion National Park amidst the most stunning landscape and ethereal colors I have ever experienced, can best be described as immersion into another world. Even this view, painted at sundown yesterday from our host-provided casita has infinite possibilities for further exploration in pastel, oil and watercolor – all mediums I will be employing in the next several months. A special journey has begun here, one I plan to re-visit many times!



Zion Exhibit openingSaturday, November 09, 2013 by Steve Hill
Filed under: USA
My painting “Virgin River Guardian” won a top purchase award of $1600 at last night's opening reception for the Zion National Park Plein Air Painting Competition.

The event was attended by several hundred guests who enjoyed seeing the results (@150 paintings from 24 artists) from the week-long paint out in this spectacular national park.

I am posting my unsold (and favorite) pieces still available during the exhibit, which ends Monday at noon at the Zion Nature Center Gallery. I will continue to paint Through Monday . If you are interested in purchasing any please email znha_jillb@yahoo.com

White Temple $1600
White Temple $1600
Virgin River Trilogy $800
Virgin River Trilogy $800
Sinavava Entrance $1200
Sinavava Entrance $1200
Morning Shadow $1600
Morning Shadow $1600

Eagle Crag Morning $1600
Eagle Crag Morning $1600
Deer Crossing @ $1200
Deer Crossing @ $1200




Painting Zion Day 4Thursday, November 07, 2013 by Steve Hill
Filed under: USA
Painting a sun moment.
Painting a sun moment.
I had an early morning start at around 31 degrees to catch a sun moment at "Big Bend" in Zion National park. Day 4 painting and I have never enjoyed painting this much. Everywhere I turn I see another painting. And guess what I'm becoming really good at painting rocks.



Painting Zion day 3Wednesday, November 06, 2013 by Steve Hill
Filed under: USA

Tuesday still chilly but with sunlight. Every artist here took to finding the shadows. With 24 painters here you would think you would bump into one now and then. But then thinking about the expanse of this place I can see why we didn't. Hundreds if not thousands of photographers gather here. One photographer who observed me painting said, "Now that is a slow shutter speed."





 
© Steven Hill - Windswept Studios