Today it's the Blog Hop

I was invited by the talented fellow Maine College of Art alumna Giselle Gautreau to join the Blog Hop project and it is a fun way to share the blogs of artists and to do some thinking and writing about my work. Thank you for inviting me Giselle! The first part of the project is to answer some questions about my work.

1. What am I working on?

Right now I have two shows in two weeks to prepare for!!! One at Saccarappa Art Collective in Westbrook, Maine and the other at NW Barrett Gallery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The SAC is a collective that I have been part of for two years, every six weeks we hang a new show and every three months we rotate walls for our work. This time my wall will be a perfect wall that visitors see as they enter the gallery. I have just decided to all new work for this show, some larger paintings in acrylic, maybe a diptych...the other show is a pastel show held annually at NW Barrett, I will be selecting and maybe framing work for that show. Then I'm off to a plein air event in Millinocket, Maine sponsored by North Light Gallery to celebrate the Trail's End for AT thru-hikers!

2. How does my work differ from others in it's genre?

I am a landscape painter and there are so many of us who love to base our work on what we see. I think that the vibrancy of the color in my work and that it falls somewhere between realism and impressionism makes my work recognizable and distinctive. Viewers and collectors of my work also has a sense of calm and discovery of the places that I paint.

3. Why do I do what I do?

I didn't paint for twenty two years after art school. Family and work commitments really didn't allow me to pursue painting as I wished. I was happy doing those things, but now I've been painting full time for fourteen years and I can't imagine not painting!

4. How does my process work?

I paint both plein air and in my home studio. I try to get out to paint as much as I can and I spend a lot of time photographing the landscape for studio paintings. All of my paintings start out with a medium magenta under painting and I build up layers of under painting as I go. I paint in acrylic on canvas or pastel on paper or board. I spend about four weeks painting in the wild North Woods of Maine in the Baxter State Park area, the rest of the time on the beautiful coastal areas of Maine. When painting plein air, I begin the painting with a loose drawing of paint or pastel and usually start with the sky and work forward, mostly concentrating on what I am seeing or visually remembering from a photo. I work very quickly, usually finishing on location in three hours or less, rarely going back to work on the painting in the studio. The most exciting time for me is when all the elements are on the canvas or paper and I stop, evaluate, and make decisions...the time to make what I have in front of me a painting! Also exciting can be the challenge of the outdoors, wind, rain, hot sun, bugs, creatures, chatting with onlookers, forgetting crucial supplies and more!

In the calm of my studio, I usually work on multiple paintings and enjoy not struggling with all of the challenges of location painting. But fighting the challenge of distractions at home is also hard, on location the only choice is to paint! I love to paint with my music very loud. I do keep focused by having deadlines for shows and projects and do my best work under pressure of deadlines.

In the studio I also work in acrylics on paper, a series called "Painting Edges." This is a more abstract body of work based on the gallery wrapped painted edges of my acrylic paintings.

Now it is my turn to share and invite three artists to answer the same questions.

The first is the artist who asked me, I love her work and admire her dedication to her work even with a young family.

Giselle Gautreau

Giselle Gautreau is an artist who works in oil and encaustic paints. Influenced by personal observation of the landscape around her, Giselle's paintings are atmospheric and luminous.

Giselle works in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. She lives with her family, dogs, chickens and is a backyard beekeeper. Bees, nature and landscape are recurring themes in her work.

Born and raised in Massachusetts and Vermont, Giselle is from a French-Canadian family. She studied painting and printmaking at Maine College of Art, where she received her BFA, Giselle went on to obtain her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts.

Giselle has received awards for her work, including a Professional Artist Fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Her paintings are included in private and corporate collections and has completed many commissions. Giselle's work is currently represented by Hang Art Gallery in San Francisco, CA. She's currently working on a solo exhibit at Hang Art scheduled for January 2015.

I'll soon share two more artists blogs....