This upcoming class has a full roster, with one student coming all the way from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I have done many others for the past twelve years, here in the islands, where I live and invitational classes all around the U.S. and Europe. One of the joys of traveling and painting is having an opportunity to explore some pretty exotic painting sites and working with other artists who share a passion for learning.
Whether I’m teaching in Croatia, Belgium, Missouri or the nearby Skagit Valley, there is still something magical about stepping right out my front door and painting in the San Juan Islands! Pictured here is a painting I did just two weeks ago at a favorite site on Lopez Island, Fisherman Bay Peninsula Preserve.
I will end my teaching year with a 2 day beginning level pastel painting technique class at Winslow Art Center, December 3-4 on Bainbridge Island near Seattle. For a full class description and to register go to www.winslowartcenter.com
We had a record in art sales for this year’s tour, thanks in large part to two new collectors, one who purchased 4 larger originals and another who purchased two, including my award winning painting “Moody Sol Duc River” mentioned in my previous blog. I will re-visit the Sol Duc River, on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, just to paint. It’s a very special place to both Judy and me, in so many ways.
I have also been working on new plein air “water-in-motion” pastels from a recent trip to my home state of Idaho. One of those “Fire in the Water” - done along the Boise River 3 weeks ago, is pictured here. The atmosphere around that river was charged with an orange/yellow cast from an 85,000 acre wildfire that was 80 miles north of this spot! I have worked from that exact same river bank on bluer sky days, but that’s what painting on-site gives you . . . a chance to be surprised.
I was just notified by North light Books that all 3 of my entries this year were selected for “Strokes of Genius 9, Creative Discoveries” international contest from more than 1300 entries (33 foreign countries and the U.S.) in the finals round. Moody Sol Duc River and “Rain,Sun,Rain, Havana” made the winners circle and “Sol Duc River Morning” made the runners-up list. The field was pared down to 475 semifinalists, then to 128 artists selected by Rachel Rubin Wolf, awards juror.
“Rain, Sun, Rain, Havana” priced at $3000, is available for purchase at my Vancouver, Washington gallery, Art on the Boulevard, located 210 W. Evergreen Boulevard, Vancouver, WA. www.artontheboulevard.org
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.!
Windswept Fine Art Gallery
783 Port Stanley Rd.
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!
Announcing “Paint Cuba” special gallery opening Memorial Day Weekend!
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.
Memorial Day Weekend Gallery hours and location:
Saturday-Sunday, May 28-30, 11-5.
783 Port Stanley Rd. Lopez Island, WA 09261
I am pleased to announce participation in two special exhibits back east with 11 of my paintings from Cuba.
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!
www.artontheboulevard.org 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 www.slikamilina.ca and Bruges, Belgium www.frenchescapade.com June 30-July 7th. Click links to register
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!
Note: one of our group, Turner Vinson, has made a short video during this trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=617LgZdfzVk
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. www.pleinairmagazine.com
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.
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!
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. www.dakotaartcenter.com 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 www.slikamilina.ca for full info and to register
Bruges, Belgium June 30-July7 www.frenchescapade.com
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.