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Havana Traffic Jam
Havana Traffic Jam
The 20th Annual 2016 Annual Lopez Island Studio Tour - Preview Week

New this year, preview week! View my newest works done this past year from Cuba, Belgium, Holland, the San Juan Islands and all over the U.S.!

Canal and Windmill
Canal and Windmill
I'm offering 15% off any purchase in the gallery during the preview week (Monday Aug. 29 - Friday Sept. 2 only) The gallery will be open: 10am-5pm daily.

Windswept Fine Art Gallery
783 Port Stanley Rd.

Perfectly PastelSaturday, July 02, 2016 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events
Cojimar Village In The Morning
Cojimar Village In The Morning
I will have 5 new paintings in an exhibit titled "Perfectly Pastel" at the Cynthia McBride Gallery at 215 Main St., Annapolis, MD. Two are pictured here - one from Cuba and one from Carmel, California. Hope any of you visiting Annapolis can see the show!

This summer exhibit runs from July 3-31. For this show, there will not be an artists reception, as most of us are out painting somewhere in the world this time of year!

New Day - Carmel River Estuary II
New Day - Carmel River Estuary II
For me that "somewhere in the world" is Bruges, Belgium, where I am leading a plein air painting workshop with Jackie Grandchamps, owner of French Escapade from June 30-July 7. We will be painting and touring around Bruges, Damme, Flanders, the North Sea beaches and Brussels for 9 days.

Announcing “Paint Cuba” special gallery opening Memorial Day Weekend!

Cojimar Marina
Cojimar Marina
We are hosting our First Annual Memorial Day Weekend Gallery opening at Windswept Fine Art Gallery, showcasing my paintings from our recent and historic painting trip to Cuba last February, with Plein Air Magazine’s publisher’s invitational.
Nearly 100 artists from the U.S. were invited to Paint in Cuba, before the inevitable changes that will take place, now that we have an open door policy with a country that has been locked-in-time since 1959!

I will have many framed originals from the Cuba trip, plus more than 150 originals from 9 European countries and all around the U.S. Hope you can make it to the island and see these works this coming weekend.

SPECIAL NOTE: Many blog subscribers are also collectors and patrons of my work. Two weeks ago, we mailed postcards for a special patrons and collectors “Paint Cuba” preview party, Friday, May 27th 6-8 p.m. at the gallery. In an effort to merge our “snail mail” list and blog subscribers we would like to hear from you only if you did not receive a postcard for the preview party in your mail box, to help us update.

Contact me

Memorial Day Weekend Gallery hours and location:
Saturday-Sunday, May 28-30, 11-5.
783 Port Stanley Rd. Lopez Island, WA 09261

Obispo Street Corner II
Obispo Street Corner II
I have 3 paintings form our recent “Paint Cuba” trip with Plein Air Magazine publisher, B. Eric Rhoads in this exhibit at Art on the Waterfront Gallery in Apalachicola, FL, including “Obispo Street Corner II” pictured here. Hope any of you can make the reception Saturday, May 7 from 5-7 p.m. The show runs through June.

New Gallery OpeningsSaturday, April 30, 2016 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events
I am pleased to announce participation in two special exhibits back east with 11 of my paintings from Cuba.

Red Orange  54 Chevy
Red Orange 54 Chevy
The Cynthia McBride Gallery 215 Main Street, Annapolis, MD is having an opening reception for sixteen artists invited to exhibit with works from the recent “Paint Cuba” Invitational plein air painting event hosted by B. Eric Rhoads, publisher of Plein Air Magazine. The opening is this Sunday, May 1, from 1-4 p.m. I have seven paintings at that gallery and am picturing two here. The show runs through June 24th.

Plaza De San Francisco I
Plaza De San Francisco I
McBride Gallery to see some of my other pieces in this exhibit “Cuba Today: from studies to studio”. Each artist has a couple of plein air paintings done in Cuba, together with larger similar studio paintings.

Art on the Waterfront Gallery in Apalachicola, FL is also hosting artists from the same plein air painting trip to Cuba, with an opening on May7th. That show also runs through the month of June. I have three paintings from our trip at that gallery, with one pictured here. The gallery is located at 117 Market St and is open from 11-5 daily.

This was an historic plein air event and I am still working feverishly on new pieces done from studies in Cuba at my studio on Lopez Island, WA. The most amazing thing I felt about this painting experience was the half-century “time warp” that exists in Cuba! Not just the old cars which number in the tens of thousands just in Havana, but the entire country, it’s people (very friendly) and culture which has developed distinctive styles of music, art, dance and drama, like no other place I have ever travelled!

Plaza De San Francisco II
Plaza De San Francisco II
My paintings done from this trip reflect that unique sense of time and place . . . we will be having our own special opening at Windswept Fine Art Gallery on Lopez during Memorial Day Weekend. Watch for details and invitations to our preview celebration, Friday May 27th!

Lovric's Marina
Lovric's Marina
Art on the Boulevard Gallery in Vancouver, WA, is celebrating ten years with a special anniversary gallery opening, Friday, April 1., from 5-9 p.m. This is one of seven of my new paintings titled: "Boat Maintenance, Lovric's Marina", at the gallery. I hope you can attend the opening, have some champagne and hors d'oeuvres and see my latest works. With my left hand in a cast from a little carpal tunnel surgery two days ago, I decided not to drive down from Lopez Island. I am, however, still painting with my right hand! The best gallery director in the Pacific Northwest, Kevin Weaver, will be there to greet everyone and showcase all new works by 27 of the gallery's artists! to preview the show.

Reminder – there are still spaces available in both of my overseas plein air painting workshops, Korcula Island, Croatia June 5-14 and Bruges, Belgium June 30-July 7th. Click links to register

Paint Cuba!Sunday, February 28, 2016 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events

The invitational one week plein air painting event, organized by B. Eric Rhoads, publisher of “Plein Air Magazine”, in and around Havana, Cuba was nothing short of fantastic.

There were over 70 artists plus 35 spouses, collectors and patrons on this historic trip to Cuba, February 6-13. We all stayed at one hotel and bussed into the old city of Havana to paint on – site. Also to small fishing villages, like Cojimar, immortalized first by Lord Albermarle, in 1678 when the huge British war fleet invaded Havana though the back door, then much later by Earnest Hemmingway (1898-1961) who’s house (and boat, “Pilar”) there has become a museum. We visited many of Hemmingway’s haunts on this trip and you can still feel his presence. “The Old Man and the Sea” was written with Cojimar as the setting.

But beyond all that is modern day Cuba, still struggling with economic realities that make it seemingly impossible to exist in this beautiful Caribbean paradise. The people were so friendly, helpful and always giving more than they had to all of us on this trip, as we painted their culture. Those famous 1940’s-50’s cars have been kept running by hook and crook – shear mechanical genius, in fact. Look at it this way – the warranty, on say a 1948 Chevy, was never intended to go over one million miles, but it does in Cuba! The cars have become part of the Cuban’s legacy and according to our guide, are forbidden to be sold outside of Cuba – they are icons of their modern history and must be preserved. We are talking tens-of-thousands of these colorful old cars, just in Havana.

Never in the history of Cuba have so many artists arrived at the country just to paint and record our impressions of a place that has been locked in time for over a half century. It was truly a “time warp” for all of us and we knew that history was being made through paint brushes, pastel sticks and drawings that have captured the look and feel of this incredible place – all before the inevitable changes that will be made as the country steps into the modern world economy. Music, colorful clothing, the old cars all add into their daily lives that are wrapped around family and a sense of sharing.

I am sharing six of the eleven plein air paintings I did there in this blog and hope you enjoy. Some are more finished than others (time was a limiting factor) but I have enough visual information to work on hundreds more, from reference photos and field studies (sketches) that I did in Cuba!

Malecon Afueres II
Malecon Afueres II
I have, in-fact, done a larger more finished version “Malecon Afueres II” from the smaller version you see in my grouping of paintings. The Malecon is a 4 ½ mile sea wall that protects Havana from the ocean to the north. My painting was done at daybreak, with soft warm light flooding over the wall at low tide, giving a rather pleasing contrast to the very active waves and water crashing on the beach. A Havana fisherman helped me with the title, when he saw my painting. “Afueres” means outskirts or along the edge in Spanish. At high tide, those same waves hit the wall full force and spew more than 40’ over the top. I’ll be working on some of those pieces next!
Note: one of our group, Turner Vinson, has made a short video during this trip:

Cuba!Saturday, February 06, 2016 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events
Cuba Palette
Cuba Palette
Somewhere in this wild palette of colors are paintings I will be doing in Cuba!!
On February 6th, one hundred plein air painters, mostly from the U.S., will be arriving at Havana, Cuba for a week long special painting trip to the “forbidden island” . . . and I’m totally excited to be one of them.

“Paint Cuba” is an artists’ invitational and historic painting event, organized and led by B. Eric Rhoads, publisher of Plein Air Magazine. No group of painters this size has ever been allowed to visit Cuba, in the history of the island. We will all be focused on recording our impressions in a country that has been standing still in time, preserved as though forgotten for five decades.

I will be posting some images of my artwork done in Cuba, after Judy and I return (there’s no easy way to do that from Cuba). I look forward to having a special showing of the works, when we return. I know that every artist going over is already feeling an historic connection and will be producing some incredible work.

2016 Workshops have startedWednesday, January 27, 2016 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events

2016 Workshops have started – the photos here are students from my Pastel Workshop taught at San Juan Islands Museum of Art in Friday Harbor, January 16-18

I had twelve very enthusiastic students who all produced some incredible landscape paintings, once we got through the “basic pastel stroke exercises” the first day. There are now some painters honing their new skills and headed for their studios in the San Juan Islands! This was the first full-capacity art instruction workshop at this beautiful new museum and I was very honored to have been selected to lead it!

Oyster Man
Oyster Man
The painting pictured here, is one of my live demos titled “Oyster Man” done from reference photos and sketches at the estuary between Shoal and Swifts Bay, near our home on Lopez Island. It is available at my gallery for $900 framed. Spencer’s Landing Marina and Shoal Bay form the background, at low tide.

My next local workshop will be at Dakota Art Center, Mt. Vernon, March 18/19 & 25/26. These are half-day sessions spread over 2 weeks to give extended learning time for everyone. We already have 5 sign-ups and it’s limited to 14 total. for details and to register for beginning/intermediate level pastel with Steve Hill.

A reminder for those who have indicated an interest in traveling to Europe with me in June/July, there is still space in my two workshops.

Korcula Island, Croatia June 5-14 for full info and to register

Bruges, Belgium June 30-July7

Check-out both web sites and start planning your European painting adventure now. Both are limited to 14 total and are incredible deals with food, ground transportation, lodging and painting instruction from me.

Plein Air Magazine Award Saturday, December 19, 2015 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events
Sol Duc Morning
Sol Duc Morning
I have just been notified by Stephen Doherty, editor of Plein Air Magazine my painting “Sol Duc Morning” has been awarded “Best Overall Pastel” in the October/November bimonthly Plein Air Salon competition. The jurist was Jim Peterson, owner of Mockingbird Gallery, Bend, Oregon.

It was painted en plein air during the “Paint the Peninsula Invitational Juried Competition” held at Port Angeles Fine Art Center last September. The same painting won an honorable mention at that event, by jurist and noted plein air artist, Gil Dellinger and now resides in my permanent collection.

It will be printed in Plein Air Magazine – Salon Winners, February/March, 2016 issue. This painting is now a semi-final winner and will be considered for the cash awards which will be announced during the PleinAir Convention in Tucson, AZ in April 2016.
View the on-line announcement and other paintings here.

2016 Pastel WorkshopsTuesday, December 08, 2015 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events

2016 Pastel Workshops with Steven R Hill

To my regular Art blog subscribers: This is a list of the 5 workshops (pastel and plein air painting) that I am giving in 2016, together with links to the various organizers and trip guides. I hope some of you can attend and please feel free to forward this to your artist friends!

Beginning/Intermediate level Pastel Workshop - Islands Museum of Art

Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA

January 16-18 I will be teaching the basics of the pastel medium in a very comprehensive manner. This one is already starting to fill – limited to 12 total. to register and for more information.

Two Art Experiences scheduled in Europe June and July 2016

Korcula Island, Croatia, June 5-12
Needs a few more sign-ups to fill. 8 - 14 total participants. Deadline: March 5, 2016. This is a 10 day travel holiday/art workshop in the Adriatic Sea, which starts and ends in beautiful Dubrovnik! This will be my 3rd Croatia workshop with Lynda Milina, whose friendly and accommodating part-Croatian heritage shines through, as she takes us all over the island to paint at the many gorgeous seaside and mountain village sites – including a private boat trip to a nearby island, to paint at a monastery. Cultural walks around the neighboring village of Lumbarda, wine tastings, even sword dancing (Korcula City) plus shopping at the ancient cities of Korcula and Dubrovnik! All mediums welcome- Steve will be doing daily live painting demos in pastel and will provide help at your easels, plus positive, helpful group critique sessions each evening. For complete pricing info and to register for this all inclusive tour (lodging, ground transportation, & local gourmet meals) :

Bruges, Belgium, June 30-July 7
Only two more sign ups will make this one a “go”!
Bruges is the “little Venice of Belgium and the medieval capital of the Flemish Painters”! Jackie Grandchamps, our bi-lingual tour leader and Belgian native, provides expert hand-guided excursions where we will paint medieval towns, canals, mills, beaches & countryside, plus enjoy the gourmet foods and chocolates that have made Belgium a culinary landmark. A visit to the Flemish Painters Museum, lace making demo, boat rides in Bruges and a visit to Brussels included. Click for pricing info and to sign up. All mediums welcome – live daily pastel demos and help at your easels, led by Steve. 8- 12 participants. Jackie Grandchamps, organizer. 510-483-5713. Lodging, comfortable ground transportation and most meals included!

Two Dakota Art Workshops in Mt. Vernon, WA

my 5th year teaching at Dakota!

March 18/19 & 25/26 beginning level pastel (two weekends-ltd to 14 total)

September 22-24 Intro to Pastel Plein Air (3 day workshop) for full info and to sign-up. These classes fill quickly, so register early.

Steve Hill - 360-468-2557 for any other questions - Happy Holidays to all!

Worthington GalleryFriday, November 27, 2015 by Steve Hill
Filed under: Exhibits and Events
Virgin River Action
Virgin River Action
I am very excited and honored to have my paintings from Zion National Park represented by Worthington Gallery in Springdale, Utah. In business for 40 years, Worthington Gallery is one of the premier fine art sales galleries in the southwest. This newly expanded gallery offers high quality artwork in many mediums, from pottery, sculpture and glass to oils, watercolors, acrylics and pastel – all underscoring the gallery’s deep commitment to exhibit artwork influenced by the vast desert and canyon lands of southern Utah, especially Zion National Park.

I have eleven pastels done from my past three years of plein air painting trips to Zion, now at the gallery, and continue to work on larger Zion pieces from my studio.

“Virgin River Action” (pictured here - 18x15 framed) was completed November 7, 2015, near the entrance to the narrows canyon and is priced at $800.

Stop by Worthington Gallery at 789 Zion Park Boulevard in Springdale, Utah (open daily year-round) and be sure to visit their web site for updates and images of my work at the gallery. Artists are listed alphabetically by first name on the gallery web site.

© Steven Hill - Windswept Studios