Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Orleans

The first time I traveled to New Orleans was in 1991. I just returned from my second trip. I saw the city differently during this week-long visit. Post-Katrina has changed it. Although it was actually nice to see lines for many restaurants and construction throughout the city. This time, I saw the city with a full-time artist's eyes. The weather was perfect which plays well in a composition when shadows fall just right. You can't escape the energy, music, and color that abounds throughout the French Quarter. I love the architecture with hanging flower baskets over rod iron balconies. I'm not too interested in being around a lot of people, but it was easy to get caught up in the way people walk freely up and down Bourbon Street without a care in the world. This painting depicts some of the liveliness from one of the hot dog carts that are common fixtures.

Nova Scotia

It has been awhile since I posted as I took two painting trips. One to Nova Scotia and another to New Orleans. This post will focus on my Nova Scotia experience. For several years, I have taken annual paint trips to Maine. I feel an affinity toward the fishing villages and historic architecture found throughout the New England coast. Years ago, I heard that Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia was a painter's paradise. So this year, I decided to venture to Canada and explore the Meritimes. I found it to be even more rustic than Maine. Weather can be an artist's friend or foe and unfortunately, it rained too often during my visit. I still found many opportunities between downpours to paint. In addition to Peggy's Cove, I painted at Blue Rocks, Chester, and Lunenburg. Paint trips are great, not only for what you accomplish during the trip, but the studio pieces that are created long after returning home.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I learned about Honfleur from my art studies in college. This fishing port in France's Normandy region was a favorite spot for the Impressionists to spend their summers. Eugene Boudin grew up in Honfleur and has a remarkable museum in Honfleur with many of his masterpieces. Although Claude Monet is popularly thought of as the father of Impressionism, Boudin was painting plein air (outdoors) well before Monet. In fact, Boudin was outside painting when Monet saw him and became a mentor to Monet.

I had wanted to visit this idyllic city since first studying about it. In May 2006, I rented a car for two weeks and painted my way through Normandy. Unfortunately, I first drove through Honfleur on May 1, a French holiday. Because of the masses of people, I kept driving knowing I would return when I could experience it without the crowds. When I returned a few days later, I spent two days paintings various harbor scenes. The painting at the top of my blog is one of the paintings from that trip. Two other Honfleur scenes from that trip are in this post. It was surreal thinking that one of the original Impressionist might have set his easel up at the same location where I painted.