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Once again, in July I had the great fortune of being invited to spend 2 weeks at an informal artists residency in Woodstock, NY. I arrived completely spent from having put up yet another show at Purume Gallery where I’ve been curating a variety of art exhibits, putting up and taking down a 2-person show at St Francis College with my wonderful painter friend Mary K. Connelly, painting and delivering 6 new paintings for the annual Windham Fine Arts plein air exhibit (see post below), working on my apartment building’s garden, and the rest of my life! After a couple of days in recovery, I went out and painted a few studies, oil on paper:

It was so much fun working alongside the stream, that I ended up turning this study into an 18″x24″ painting:

This lead to inspiration for another finished painting done from nearby:

These were fine mornings – quiet, except for the burbling of the stream behind me, the sun filtered by all the trees that managed to take root in the rocky stream bank, and a nice breeze keeping everything cool.  Until around 11:30 when all the families or camp groups descended to swim in the large swimming hole nearby.

To see more sketches from this escape, visit my Facebook page: (you don’t have to be a FB member to view the page). I’ll add more here, too…. eventually!


I finally finished this painting (and posted in on my website), Regina Painting Church Garden, after working on it off and on since late June. I usually don’t do this with paintings executed on site, and for good reasons, which I experienced with this one! The sun’s angle became steeper, most of the flowers had finished blooming, and I never got to coordinate with Regina (one of my studiomates) again. However, that bright blue bicycle was there every time I went!

Regina Painting Church Garden.500

Regina Painting Church Garden, oil on canvas, 16"x20"

This two-day workshop will introduce intermediate and advanced artists to an exciting approach to painting the landscape. Working on site in the diverse landscape of Central Park in New York City, artists will learn how to quickly launch into a plein air study in a bold, abstract way, and then develop refinement, subtlety and finish. Form, light and shade, paint handling and color will be discussed through one-on-one critiques and demonstrations.

Instructor Christopher Gallego has been teaching group and private classes for over fifteen years. Gallego’s work has appeared in over a dozen major museums and many more gallery exhibitions nationwide, and has been featured in Art in America, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Veranda Magazine and American Artist. He has received awards from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For more information, please visit

I will be assisting Chris during this workshop. Please be sure to mention that you heard about the workshop from me when you register.

Number of participants limited to 15.  Sign up today!

Workshop Fee: $250 through 9/20/09; $275 after 9/20/09

To register or for more information: please contact Christopher at, tel. 845.532.4509; or Ella at

This summer I decided to try doing some loose, relaxed oil sketches of scenes that strike me in some way as nice, and maybe possibilities for bigger, more finished paintings.  These are all 9×12 inches mostly on archival plein air painting panels from ArtBoards, a Brooklyn-based company. I’ll be adding them to my website soon – they’ll be well-priced, so stay tuned!

I painted these in the Catskill Mountains:

Red House by Woods

Red House by Woods

Lake Beach

Lake Beach

And these I did in my neighoborhood in Brooklyn:

botanical garden

Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Path in Prospect Park

Path in Prospect Park

Thanks to Passport & Palette (an art education series on PBS) and many forwarded emails and phone calls, some 50 plein air painters showed up at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park today, including me.  We served as sort of a performance for the 1000s of Park visitors who were either bewildered by the presence of all the artists (“is this a class?”) or took on inspecting each artist’s work as a cultural obligation (albeit an enjoyable one). Luckily it turned out to be a beautiful day to spend in the Park. Here are my two paintings:

Morning at Bethesda Terrace, Central Park

Morning at Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, NYC

I’m going to add some figures into this scene to make it more realistic!

In the afternoon I worked on this view from a western path away from the Terrace:

Late Afternoon at Bethesda Fountain

Late Afternoon at Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, NYC

Finally, we’re having June weather and it’s a delight. I returned to Clinton Street (I think it’s north of Degraw), to this church and its garden. I’ve been going a bit past mid-day, which means the sun is high and a bit behind the scene. It makes for some fabulous shadows.  It was a little slow going yesterday because as soon as I got there clouds kept coming and going. And, I forgot my big floppy hat. So, I had this odd combination of waiting for the sun to come back out and then having to shield my eyes when it did.

Here’s my set-up:

Easel set up on Clinton Street

Easel set up on Clinton Street

And here’s how the painting looked at the end of the day:

2nd pass at painting the scene

2nd pass at painting the scene

Will have to get back there soon, cross your fingers for more great weather (that’s my painter friend and studiomate, Regina!).

It was an all day road-trip to deliver seven paintings to Windham Fine Arts yesterday. Luckily, most of the drive was absolutely beautiful. The several inches of rain we’ve had these past few weeks have made northern Westchester and Greene Counties more verdant and alive than ever. I almost expected to see chimps and macaws peep out of the dense, steamy woods! But I digress. Visit my website,, to see the six new paintings. Here are a couple:

Peekskill Landing, 16"x20" oil on canvas

Peekskill Landing, 16"x20" oil on canvas

Riverside Park Morning, oil on canvas, 12"x16"

Riverside Park Morning, oil on canvas, 12"x16"

Thanks to an invitation to participate in a show at Windham Fine Arts, a gallery in upstate New York, I’ve been hunting views of the Hudson River – the theme of the show is the River as 2009 is the 400th anniversary of its discovery by the Dutch. In between setting up my show at the Salmagundi Club and gallery-sitting, I’ve been painting outside. I first tackled some spots in Manhattan. Riverside Park, by the boat basin was a nice spot.

Set up at Boat Basin

I also ventured to Battery Park with my pochade box. These last few days I’ve ventured further north into Westchester County, and discovered a lovely park in Peekskill.


I was tempted to paint the ice cream truck, but was unsure how long it would stay.  Besides, it was playing Christmas tunes for some reason and was very annoying!  I even found a tiny town park in Buchanan, and a great spot by a marina in Tarrytown.  So, I now have several paintings I’ve started. Stay tuned! These paintings are due to be delivered by June 22, so I haven’t got much time…. except to get back to work!

For an outdoor painter, I’m considered a bit of a cold-weather wimp. Finally, tomorrow’s forecast sounds inviting and I will venture up to the Marina in Riverside Park.  I am hugely motivated because I’ve been invited to participate in a group exhibition at the Windham Fine Arts Gallery in upstate NY, the theme being Hudson River painted “en plein air.” And, as of this moment, I have no paintings that meet that description. Wish me luck!!

I’ve been painting a bit more slowly than usual; my time has become highly divided between artwork and my volunteer duties for the Salmagundi Club.  (Note to self: must limit time away from painting. It has been painful, not to mention it makes me very cranky!). Here are three new paintings I’ve worked on for my upcoming show with Mary Connelly. I’ve been focusing on small works because the gallery we will be showing in is very small. There are others underway.

cafe bar

“Cafe Bar”, oil on canvas, 9×12 in.

I’ve walked by this block on 5th Ave in Park Slope a gazillion times on my way to my studio.  One day this view struck me – such a typical Brooklyn street scene, on a quiet weekend morning in Park Slope before the hordes hit the streets.

abc construction co.

“ABC Construction Co.”, oil on canvas, 12×16 in

I’ve looked at this view even more than a gazillion times… it’s a scene from my studio window! A typical Gowanus neighborhood view.  For the last couple of years, I couldn’t quite figure out a composition (see “works in progress” for a painting I never did finish because it just wasn’t working for me – a view mostly of a cloudy sky above this view). It finally hit me this spring when the guy started to sweep the driveway, the truck was pulled out front, the shadows hit just right. I like how it captures the feeling of all the “layers” of urban space receding back and away.

little owl cafe

“Little Owl Cafe, West Village,” oil on panel, 9×12 in.

I started this painting using my pochade box after walking around quite a bit in the West Village (yes, I ventured into Manhattan).  I realized that one down-side of the pochade box is that you need to be able to sit somewhere to paint with it. I ended up perched on the edge of a narrow tree-well “fence” with my pochade box on my lap. It was precarious and definitely not comfortable. I got a good part of the painting done while there (the gentleman in the painting sat for a few minutes, walked away and then miraculously came back so that I could finish getting his likeness!), but finished it up back at my studio.  I enjoyed working with the shaded areas in the foreground and the sun sneaking through between the shadows of buildings and the cafe’s awning, but the background buildings are lit up… sort of a reversed lighting set-up.

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