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    ------------------------------------------ If you haven't seen the two-DVD set, "The Impressionists", you don't know what you're missing!


    I rented it from Netflix and absolutely loved it. It is an enactment of the lives of Monet, Renoir, Manet, Cezanne, Degas, and other Impressionist painters living at that time around Paris. Fascinating and eye-opening!

Archive for the 'Demos/Work in Progress' Category

Day Two at the Top of Kaaterskill Falls

Posted by Jamie on June 17th, 2014

Click image to enlarge.
12×16″, oil on Ampersand Gessoboard

I made a lot of progress today, but by 9:30am, the sun had come around the tree line and illuminated the foreground. I am determined to catch it in shadow in the painting, but it might take one more visit to be able to finish this off so early in the morning, unless I finish it from a photo. The scene beyond the painting is bleached out because the painting was upright and not catching as much light as the vista beyond. But notice how light the foreground is in the actual scene above, which was photographed around noon. Now compare it to the image below, which is how I find the view early in the morning, with the dark foreground I crave!

So I guess it will be awhile longer before I can post the finished painting. But I’m determined to get it done this week!

If you’d like to see what it looked like after my first session, click here to see my previous post.

Work in Progress at the Top of Kaaterskill Falls

Posted by Jamie on June 16th, 2014

Click image to enlarge
12×16″, oil on hardboard, work in progress

When I arrived at the top of Kaaterskill Falls early this morning, the scene looked nothing like it does in the image above. In fact, the values were completely reversed, with the foreground completely in shadow! Heres the view I started with:

(Click image to enlarge.)

I really liked that dark foreground pulling the viewer into the light beyond. Within a couple of hours, the sun poked above the tree line and spilled light all over the delicious darks. It happened in an instant, and although I like the light foreground too, I decided to stick with my game plan, and return early tomorrow morning to complete the painting the way I had intended. The light foreground painting will have to wait for another day! With a little luck, this one will get finished tomorrow.

Click here to see the following day’s progress on the painting.

Path to the Cozy Cottage

Posted by Jamie on August 29th, 2013

8×10″, varnished acrylic on sealed, archival artboard (frame without glass like an oil painting)
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

This is a painting I did as a plein air demo during the three day workshop I taught at Olana a couple of weeks ago. I did it to show participants some indirect painting techniques. The path was actually paved, but I wanted to turn it into an inviting path through the trees that was more welcoming for a lazy afternoon walk than a drive along a paved road. The scene was overwhelmingly green, which is another reason why I wanted to have a warm-colored path.

We were using a three color palette of slow-drying Golden OPEN Acrylics, so I mixed the basic color for the path from the three primaries, then used OPEN Gloss medium to create a glaze. I laid down a thick layer of the orangy glaze over the whole panel, and sketched in my composition by drawing in the glaze with the wooden handle tip of a brush. I then pulled out lights and added darks, subtracting and adding paint until I was done.

Below is an image that you can click on for a larger, clearer view:

We’re into Labor Day weekend, so I’ll resume posting on Tuesday. Best wishes for a wonderful weekend to you all!

Some Paintings are Like That

Posted by Jamie on June 21st, 2013

20×14, Acrylic on Arches Rough 140# watercolor paper
Price unknown, since it’s still not finished!

Some paintings almost paint themselves. They are Gift Paintings. If several of those happen in a row, you may even start to feel like you’re getting a grip on this “painting” thing. The painting above is not one of those.

Most paintings present enough challenges to me to not fall into the Gift Painting category. They are satisfying puzzles to solve, that leave me hungry for the next challenge. This painting is not one of those either.

Then there are the paintings that totally humble us. Now we’re talking about this painting! They are also tremendous growth opportunities. Whether they end up in frames or not, they become their own reward through their ability to teach us something new, and it doesn’t come easily!

This painting began one recent afternoon at Manitoga in Garrison, where I sat at the base of this massive waterfall. I have painted more waterfalls than I can count, but I didn’t count on the number of challenges this particular one would present. This series of cascades is is more like 100 waterfalls than one waterfall, and I have never painted 100 waterfalls in a single painting. Plus:
1. I had already done a painting in the morning;
2. It was hot out;
3. I was short on time;
4. I had a broken toe to contend with;
5. There were massive numbers of biting Black Flies. (Two days later, I counted 72 black fly bites on my arms and legs!)

So, why did I take on such a complex scene that afternoon? I have no idea. Not only did I take on a complex scene in a short time frame, but I had to go and do it 20 inches tall! What was I thinking?

I did what I could on location, shot a couple of reference images, and figured it would go in the large Unfinished pile at home, many of which never again see the light of day. But this one kept beckoning to me. It’s on a watercolor block, so I can’t use the rest of the block until I finish the darn thing! I pulled it out one day and decided some areas needed to be totally repainted, and some shadow areas better unified. I took out a container of white Gesso, and painted over the shadow areas that were bothering me. That way, I could rework them with transparent color, and better unify the shadow sections that I didn’t like. I put the painting away for the gesso to dry, and that was that.

Until today! It beckoned me again. I reworked some of the shadow areas, better defined some of the rocks, got some forms to turn, and resolved what I was going to do with the bottom section of the painting, even if I didn’t wrap it up yet. My daughter thinks it’s coming along, so that gives me hope. I’m thinking one more day just might do it for this one. Or not. Here’s where it stands now:

This is a battle I’d really like to win. While painting, I think about ways I could have approached this subject differently. Perhaps with a different game plan, I could have gotten to this point much sooner, without so many detours and reroutings. These paintings that make us think outside of the box, and force us to look at our subjects or techniques in a different manner, are the best learning opportunities and experiences that we have. This one may never go into a frame. It might be one of those paintings that I pull out every couple of months or years, and work with a bit more, to see what I can gain from the experience, and learn what the painting can teach me about the process.

I have paintings that have been in that pile of unfinished works for years. Every so often, I pull one out and I’m able to do what the painting needs right away. That tells me how far I’ve come, while some of the others in the pile remain an enigma, and tell me how far I have to go. I continue to let them teach me as I try to solve their mysteries. I think it’s a good idea to always keep a pile of mysteries in the studio.

Firey Sunset Over the Hudson and some glazing tips

Posted by Jamie on June 20th, 2013

5×7″, acrylic on archival rag board
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

This was painted 99% on location at Olana, the estate of Hudson River School artist Frederic Church. Often after plein air painting, I get the painting home, and when I see it with indoor lighting, there is something that needs adjusting. Initially, the yellows in this painting were too cool compared to what the painting and scene looked like on location. It needed a glaze of warmer color. The image below is what it looked like when I brought it home. It looks a little anemic, don’t you think?

Glazes are quick to do, but can be tricky. Because acrylics dry so fast and cannot be removed when dry, laying on too much color while working transparently can suck all the light out of a painting. To be certain that I laid down the right color in the proportions I needed, I first covered the painting with clear plastic food wrap, and set it on the easel. With a mixture of Acrylic Glazing Liquid and transparent color, I tested the glaze color and result on top of the plastic-covered painting. If I wasn’t happy, I wiped it off and tried a different proportion or mix, until I got it looking the way I wanted while it was covered in the plastic wrap (click to enlarge):

Then I removed the plastic wrap from the painting, and set it against a white surface. This gave me a guideline of color and proportion of paint to glazing liquid, in order to achieve my desired result. It always surprises me how little color is needed when I see the glaze I used against a white surface! This is all that was needed to glaze this particular painting, so you can see how easy it would be to mix in way too much color (click to enlarge):

I then mixed the color and glazing liquid on a white paper palette to match the color on the plastic wrap, and painted it over the surface of the actual painting. It’s a pretty foolproof way to get exactly what you want! All that was left to do was to sign my name. Testing the glaze layer this way does take a few extra minutes, but it is well worth it in the end. It enables me to test many different options before making a commitment.

Acrylics have some truly wonderful properties, and definite advantages over oil paints. If I want to glaze an oil painting, I have to wait until the paint is quite dry. That’s a long time compared with the nearly instant glazing capability of acrylics. Plus, each additional layer of oil glaze is problematic. Oil painting mediums can darken, yellow and crack over time. The more oil and resin enter the paint film, the worse it is for the painting. One only needs to stroll through a museum to see first-hand how true that is. Restoration is expensive, and most private buyers don’t have a huge art conservation budget!

Acrylics, on the other hand, can be glazed forever with no compromise to the paint film. The acrylic medium is flexible and archival, and will not yellow, darken, nor crack over time. That means that if I decide to darken or intensify a glaze, I can always add another layer.

Here is an image of the finished painting that you can click on for a slightly larger, clearer view:

Work in Progress by the Waterfall

Posted by Jamie on June 9th, 2013

15×11, Pastel on Rives BFK Tan
Email me at JamieWG@aol.com if interested in this painting.

I started a large painting on paper, and while waiting for my first layer to dry, I decided to do a monochrome sketch using some Cretacolor Sepia Powder. This just arrived with my last art supply order. It looked like lots of fun and I couldn’t wait to give it a try! I started laying in tone by brushing the powder onto the surface of a pristine sheet of beautiful Rives BFK — a 100% cotton rag paper that is one of my favorite toned surfaces. It wasn’t long before I needed to work in some lights, and realized that I didn’t have a white Conte in my sketch box with the powder! Uh oh!

I remembered that I had some pastels in my car, so I figured I’d take the white from that pastel kit. Well, you know me — the color junkie! With all those gorgeous pastels in front of me, there was no way I was going to resist adding some splashes of color, and then some more. Before I knew it, I was way engrossed in creating a pastel painting instead of the monochrome sketch I’d intended as a time-filler while my other painting dried! I wasn’t all that happy with the way the other one was turning out, so I persevered for awhile with this one and really liked where it headed. I went back this morning and tweaked it a bit to finish it off. I’ll post that image as soon as I can get a photo of it.

As for the other painting, it only went from bad to worse. I went back at it again today, but couldn’t save the beast! Plein air painting can be a very humbling experience. However, I’m pleased with this one. I never would have thought to use Rives BFK for pastels, and I hadn’t initially intended to do this as a pastel piece. It turned out to be a pretty awesome pastel surface. I might even do it again on purpose sometime!

Occasionally, a painting or a sketch will go in unexpected directions due to unforeseen circumstances. When that happens, it can be disastrous. But sometimes, when we get lemons, we can make lemonade. I’m really glad that I let this become a pastel painting instead of a monochrome sketch. (And to make up for that, I did monochrome work in the afternoon.)

Waterfall Wonderland

Posted by Jamie on May 25th, 2012


16×20″, Oils on archival linen panel
Email me at JamieWG@aol.com if interested in this painting.

This is a painting that I’m still working on, but it’s nearing the finish line. I spent two days working on it out on location, hiking 3/4 of a mile back into the woods with my painting gear. The light changed quickly. I think what I’ll have to do at this location in the future is to work on several paintings over a period of several days, so each time the light changes, I can switch to another painting done during that time frame. I’ll either finish this one up in the studio, or make another return trip to the falls.

It was great fun to paint this, using transparent layers, pulling out lights and adding darks, then building to opaque sections. I love painting this size and larger. It’s mainly transporting all that gear, plus the limited time factors, that keep me painting smaller on site most of the time. I’ve resolved most of the setup issue by using light tripod easels and clamping a light palette to the easel itself, rather than carting my Soltek easel (which weighs a ton but handles large panels with ease) or one of the popular box/tripod solutions. Although the box/tripod setups are touted as being “light”, they aren’t light for me! I guess “light” is a relative term.

I’ll be reposting this once it’s finished. With all the rain expected over the next week, it might be sooner rather than later if I have studio time to fill!

Side View of Hidden Falls

Posted by Jamie on March 27th, 2012


16×12″, Oil on archival linen panel
$535.00 plus $25 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

I went hiking with my friend Gretchen to this spectacular waterfall. The light was perfect and conditions ideal, with record-breaking March temperatures and no bugs! I found a spot to set up my easel that was high up, next to the falls. Generally I view it from below, so it was great to find this additional vantage point.

Here’s a photo of my painting in progress at the scene. You can click the image to enlarge it if you’d like.


It’s been so warm this winter that I’m getting concerned about the potential for drought. That could mean a severe waterfall shortage for my paintings too! I’m trying to get in as much water painting as possible before all the streams and creeks coming down from the mountainside run dry. Hopefully we’ll get abundant rain in April and that won’t happen, but just in case, at least I’ll have gotten in a few of them early on this season.

Hudson River Work in Progress

Posted by Jamie on March 5th, 2012


18×24″, Oils on archival linen panel

This is a studio painting I’m working on of the Hudson River and Palisades. It’s being painted using some plein air watercolor sketches that I did on location in the fall as references, combined with some photos. Not too much farther to go on this one, so I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

[Edit: You can click here to see the finished painting.]

The Road Home in Fall

Posted by Jamie on October 8th, 2011


12×9″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard

SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

I set out on a beautiful sunny day with my easel. When I came to this gorgeous spot, I set up in the middle of the road to paint.


As soon as I had my easel out and started to lay in color, the clouds thickened, shadows vanished, and colors changed!


I decided to stay with the moody, atmospheric day it had become. Most of this painting was done on location. I had plans to paint with a friend at Olana that afternoon, so I had to pack up before I was quite finished, and added the finishing touches in the studio today.

Water Media and Life’s Tough Choices

Posted by Jamie on February 26th, 2011


You can click the image above to enlarge it.

These days, there are so many fabulous options for painting with water, if one doesn’t wish to use solvents. A reader made a comment on my blog, asking a question about these choices which I thought would make an interesting blog post.

From Dennis (Edited a bit for brevity. You can see his full comment in my February 25 post.):
….I am curious as to which paint you prefer to work with-artist grade water mixable oil colors or the Open acrylics by Golden? They both seem to be able to allow you the time needed to blend color. ….although I enjoy using Golden Heavy Body,{one of several brands in my paint box} for now when I need an acrylic with more open time I choose Atelier. What brand of water mixable oil do you prefer? Several years ago I tried the Artisan by W&N for plein air, and after two painting sessions, I went back to acrylics. At this time for plein air I am using pencil and/or colored pencil and those wonderful Pitt brush pens This year in addition I may choose to also use oil pastel and watercolor.

Thank you for the thought-provoking post, Dennis. My favorite medium is actually traditional oils, and I don’t mind using odor free solvents in and out of the studio. That being said, there are times when it is either wiser, or more convenient, or both to avoid solvents completely. There are also times we need other advantages of faster drying, easier to transport, quicker to work with, able to paint in a sketchbook, etc. One of the things I love about being an artist is the seemingly endless exploration of mediums, materials and possibilities. Let’s examine some of these other options.

Water mixable oils, even those labled “Artist Grade,” are never as pigment-loaded as traditional oils. They also do not handle exactly the same way. I feel I am already giving something up when I sacrifice pigment load. This is why I don’t use them all the time; I need to get something in return for what I give up — that is, the ability to paint in a place or situation where I would not be able to use traditional oils. The highest grade H2O oil paints I’ve found so far, that are of a consistency I like right out of the tubes, are Holbein Duo and Cobra. I have tried a few other brands, but these are the ones I try to keep stocked in my 5×7″ painting box, which travels with me all the time. I know I can use them anywhere, and can use my drinking water instead of a solvent.

Fishing at North South Lake
Water Mixable Oils, 5×7″


Golden Open Acrylics are also excellent for these situations where you need longer blending time and workability, and cannot use solvents. Again, I have to sacrifice significant pigment load compared with my traditional oils, but the acrylics have the advantage of drying faster, and being able to get varnished and out to buyers sooner. Disadvantage: the larger tubes and jars that acrylics come in don’t fit in my 5×7″ paintbox! Also, I need to use about three times the amount of paint compared with my oils. The small palette in my 5×7 box just isn’t big enough for the amount of paint I need to mix, even for a tiny painting. For these reasons, my little box is stocked with the water mixable oil paints.

Golden OPENs still have a place in my life. They’re wonderful in the portrait/figure studio (especially short pose sessions which generally do not allow solvents). I love painting on sized matboard, which I cannot do with oils. Golden OPENs perform very well for plein air work on hot sunny days when I want to use acrylics. I can mix my colors, and they remain workable throughout a painting session. They don’t skin over on the palette, yet thicken to the point where when I reach the end of an outdoor session and it’s time to lay on the highlights, I have nice thick paint to do so!

Old Truck at the Farm
8×10″, Golden OPEN Acrylics
Painted on a blazing hot day in the sun, these acrylics performed miraculously!


If it’s not too hot outside, or if I’m in the studio, I can use my all-time favorite acrylic paints —- Golden FLUID Acrylics. When you dilute heavy body acrylics to a more fluid consistency, it dilutes the pigment and the paint goes streaky. Golden FLUID Acrylics are made with a much higher pigment load than a diluted heavy body paint. I find them to be the perfect consistency, and combined with the use of Golden’s Acrylic Glazing Liquid, the drying time is extended so that they are perfectly blendable, yet tack up fast enough to overpaint. The 1 oz. bottles are a perfect size to take out in the field with me, and I refill them from large bottles that I leave in the studio. For plein air work, I get to travel home with a dry painting, so I don’t have to bring a wet panel carrier out into the field. They dry and cure so quickly that I can have them varnished and out the door in a week. They are also wonderful for underpainting, then using Golden OPENs over the top, and the underpainting stays perfectly in place. Disadvantages: They will dry out on your palette and on your brushes if you’re not careful. You need to be able to work quickly and mix on the fly, and spray the palette frequently to keep the paint wet.

Under the Bridge at Devil’s Kitchen
16×20″, Golden FLUID Acrylics


You mentioned the Atelier Interactive Acrylics in your comment, and as you can see from the photo, I have a set of my regular colors in that brand as well. I think they are very nice paints —- high pigment load and reasonably priced. As the Chroma company explains, these paints “interact” with the artist through a series of mediums that you can also see in the photo. These mediums can increase or decrease drying time of the paints, or even unlock dried paint to a workable consistency. What I’ve found is that without the mediums, the paints behave just like traditional, heavy body acrylics. I need to thin them to the consistency I want, and they skin over on my palette and dry quickly. No amount of spraying with water revives the dried paint, just like regular acrylics. Even though I could alter that with the Interactive mediums, I’d rather use paints that have the characteristics I need right out of the tubes. When painting out on location, the less I need to cart around with me, the better off I am. Those of you who work in the studio may find it’s no problem to deal with the adjustments of the paint.

The Phantom Tollbooth — Fall at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
7×5″, Atelier Interactive Acrylics


This brings us to another option…..Gouache! Using just a watercolor palette, sketchbook, and a few small tubes of paint, gouache enables me to paint with all the opacity of oils and all the transparency of watercolor, in a fast-drying, water-based medium that illustrators have used for generations. Companies like Holbein and Winsor Newton have been making more lightfast, archival, artist grade versions of these paints, and they have gone from the illustrator’s desk to a fine art medium in a very short time. Disadvantages: Artist grade gouache is very expensive. When working in an opaque manner, it’s possible to go through quite a bit of paint in a short time. Although it shares the same binders as watercolor, gouache does not rewet easily. When the paint dries out on the palette, it cannot be revived to the juicy, creamy consistency necessary to work the same way as with paint just out of the tube. Some of the new palettes with seals around the edges do a pretty good job of keeping the paint moist and workable. A damp sponge left inside the palette helps to maintain the moisture.

Garrison Castle and the Hudson River
5×7″,Winsor Newton and Holbein Gouache on Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper


Watercolor remains the ultimate sketching medium for the artist on the go. Although most of us prefer fresh paint from tubes out on the palette, watercolors revive quite well if not left sitting too long. A small pan set can go anywhere, and tucks inside a purse or shirt pocket with a small sketchbook or watercolor block.

Leaning Toward Breakneck Ridge
11×15″, Winsor Newton and Holbein Watercolor


In Dennis’ post, he brings up colored pencils and Pitt pens as ideal plein air mediums. I agree with him! In addition, there are water soluble colored pencils that can bridge the gap between watercolors and colored pencils, Cretacolor color sticks in sepia, white and black for sketching on mid-tone paper, charcoal, inks in many colors, and marker sets. It seems that every time I turn around, there is something new and exciting to try in my sketchbook!

The Hickory Tree
Sepia and White Cretacolor leads in a 10×10 kraft paper sketchbook


I hope this post has left my viewers inspired to try something new, or to pick up an old favorite you’ve left by the wayside for awhile. There are so many fabulous choices out there, and each has unique benefits and possibilities.

Now, go paint! 😀

Sunset at the Beaver Pond — Work in Progress

Posted by Jamie on January 25th, 2011


16×20″, Oils on archival linen panel
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

To see the completed version of this painting, click here.

I liked the little square 6×6″ Beaver Pond Sunset so much that I did a few days ago, that I decided to do a larger, horizontal version of the painting. Above is the work in progress. You can see my photo reference taped to the top of the easel, and the small 6×6 painting on the lower left. There’s still lots more to add and adjust, but it’s off to a good start.

Below is an image showing the way I started this painting. The underpainting was done just with burnt sienna, beneath where the greens would go, and following the values and brushwork that I’ll be laying over the top with different colors.


First Warm Day at the Falls

Posted by Jamie on November 11th, 2010


12×12″, Acrylics on canvas covered hardboard
$425.00 plus $20 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

“First Warm Day at the Falls” might sound like a funny title for a painting that I’m posting in late autumn. This painting was actually started in the spring, on location. It needed a few touch-ups in the studio, so finally that’s been done and it’s ready to be revealed at last. It so nice to see it finally finished up. This painting will look fabulous in a warm-toned, wood frame. I have just the one!

Here is a photo of the work in progress on location:


Autumn at Tioronda Falls

Posted by Jamie on November 10th, 2010


12×16″, Acrylics on sealed, primed hardboard
$525.00 plus $25 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

This painting was done at Tioronda Falls in Beacon, New York. There is a beautiful park there where the Fishkill Creek empties into the Hudson River. This waterfall is conveniently located very close to the parking lot, making it an ideal painting location!

Here’s an image of the painting in progress, on location:


If you’d like to see it a little larger, you can click on this image to enlarge the photo:


Hudson River from Cold Spring — Work in Progress

Posted by Jamie on November 4th, 2010

Click image to enlarge:


30×20″, Oils on stretched canvas

Whew! This has been one heck of a long day. I’m calling it a night and will continue with this painting in the morning, with a fresh eye and more energy! You can see next to the painting that I set my reference images on a music stand. They are light and take up so little space, and are easy to reposition as needed. This 30×20″ painting is being done from both a small watercolor painting I did of the scene, and a photo reference. Stay tuned for the finish!

Almost Done…Path to the Beaver Dam

Posted by Jamie on August 8th, 2010


16×20″, Acrylics on canvas covered hardboard

This was painted on location in my back yard. There’s a little path beyond the tree line that leads back to a beaver dam and pond — now almost dry due to the fact that we’ve had so little rain this year. This needs some studio work before I can call it finished. I’m going to put it aside for a week or so and then decide how much further I’m going to take it.

Pond and Mountains with a Limited Palette

Posted by Jamie on August 7th, 2010


6×8″, Oils on sealed, primed hardboard
Email me at JamieWG@aol.com if interested in this painting.

After painting the pond and mountains in monochrome, which you can see in yesterday’s post, I did painted it again using a limited palette of colors. This was done with just Transparent Yellow Oxide, Transparent Red Oxide, Ultramarine Blue, and Titanium White. Most of the lights were pulled out with a rag rather than painted in with white or a tint. Light colors portrayed this way have more luminescence.

I’m looking forward to revisiting this scene for a full color version, especially in fall!

Update on New Studio Construction

Posted by Jamie on July 30th, 2010

Things are moving along here with the construction of my new studio, and I think I can see there will be light at the end of the tunnel! The ceiling has been insulated, wired for lighting, and sheetrocked:


Electric lines have been run to the far wall, and there will be outlets between every window:


Wall insulation is underway too:


Work in Progress — Gulf Shore Sunset

Posted by Jamie on June 15th, 2010


8×10, Oils
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

I didn’t quite have time to finish this today, but should be able to wrap it up tomorrow. This was painted from a photo taken along Florida’s Gulf Shore by my daughter, Sarah. It’s one of those paintings that I thought wouldn’t take nearly as long as it’s taking, but it will be worth the struggle in the end! With a little luck, the completed painting will be posted tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Tulips By the Fountain

Posted by Jamie on May 20th, 2010


7×5″, Golden OPEN Acrylics on sealed, primed hardboard
$125.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

This is a painting I did some time ago. It is seasonal and has always been one of my favorite little garden/fountain paintings, so I am reposting it today.

Although this scene was an enormous challenge to paint, I think I had an even more difficult time trying to get the photo right! I can’t seem to get the dark trees in the background light enough without bleaching out the foreground flowers. This painting will be available here on my website for only a couple of weeks.

Since this scene presented so many interesting challenges, I decided to take a few extra pictures to share.

Here is a photo of the scene:


I was immediately drawn to the strong contrasts, and the L-shaped composition created by the flowers, fountain and figure. I also love painting stone walls, so it was a plus to have that in the composition as well. Fitting all this onto a 5×7 panel didn’t prove to be easy.

Here’s my pack stool and lightweight painting box. The umbrella clamp is affixed to my stool. I was using a Pittman bag, which can hold my box flat so the paint won’t shift as I change locations. My panel carrier and extra paints fit in there too, and even the umbrella.


Here’s a closeup of the box, ready for paint. The panel is affixed to the box lid with blu-tac. It works great. The panels and paper stay put, and there are no clips or clamps obscuring parts of the painting surface. My paper towel is clipped onto the box lid to allow more room alongside the palette for paints and my sprayer.


The plastic paint storage containers were purchased in the camping section of Sports Authority. They have a rubber seal around the outside so the paint stays fresh. I find it much easier to set out paint this way, rather than having to search for a tube and open caps.


The box further to the back contains my standard plein air palette:
Cadmium Yellow Primrose
Pyrrole Red
Transparent Red Oxide
Phthalo Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Titanium White

The box in the front contains add-ons that I use in the figure studio. I bring it along for plein air too, just in case….It has
Naples Yellow
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Cadmium Red Light
Oxide of Chromium
Cerulean Blue Chromium hue
Permanent Alizarin
I also carry quinacridone magenta with me for these garden scenes.


Whoever said that every painting has to have an ugly stage sure knew what they were talking about. There’s mine! I toned the upper part of the painting with transparent red oxide, and painted the figures a dark, greyed blue. That way, even in the underpainting, I could judge the figures more carefully. Then I worked in the green background. I blocked in the area of strong yellow below to reserve it—-a useful tip given to me by wonderful plein air artist, Lee Haber.

From there, it was lots of fun getting the painting to emerge. I feel like my painting process doesn’t really get underway until after this block-in step is done and I have a layer of paint down. Getting this much done didn’t take all that long, but I forgot to stop and get more pictures once I got past this beginning stage. It did eventually get done.


I started another painting later in the afternoon, but it started to rain and I had to pack up. I’ll finish it from a photo on a rainy day later in the week. I hope you’ve enjoyed these extra photos!

View from Hunter Mountain — large oil painting

Posted by Jamie on March 27th, 2010


28×42″, Oils on stretched canvas
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

Finished at last! This was such a great painting to work on. Those of you who have been following along may remember that my client for this painting sent me samples of her carpet colors to work into the landscape. They were gorgeous rusts, ochres and muted greens. Selecting a specific color palette is a great way to commission a painting that you know will go with your decor!

Here’s a link to the painting’s beginnings, if you’d like to see how I started it.

Here is a link to the color/compositon study for the large painting.

Lastly, here is a link to the plein air painting I did on location. I took my painting gear up on the chair lift!

Nearing the finish line on Hunter Mountain painting

Posted by Jamie on March 1st, 2010


I’m nearing the finish line on this 28×42″ oil painting of a Catskills vista from the top of Hunter Mountain. The colors are actually a bit warmer than they appear in the image above. When I finish the painting, I’ll get a more accurate image of it. You can see how much I’ve done on it by viewing this previously-posted version of the work in progress.

Love is a Canvas

Posted by Jamie on February 7th, 2010

Love is a canvas, furnished by Nature, and embroidered by imagination — Voltaire


4×2″, Golden Acrylics on gallery wrapped canvas, miniature easel included
The quote above is inscribed around the stretcher bars on the back of the canvas. Quarter is in the image for size reference only.
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

I immediately thought of this quote when I set up to do this painting. The canvas is gallery wrapped, and the image is painted around the sides of the canvas, so that it can be viewed from all sides. The miniature easel will be shipped with the painting.

It is so difficult to get good photographs of miniatures. They always look much better in person. This one has a fairly dark background with some sheen, so it was impossible to get rid of all the glare from the lights when I took the photo. Here’s another image of it, with a Coke can for additional size reference:


For such a little painting, I used a tremendous palette! Colors:
Cadmium Yellow Primrose
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Red Light
Pyrrole Red
Cadmium Red Medium
Alizarin Crimson hue
Cerulean Blue hue
Cobalt Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Oxide of Chromium
Jenkins Green
Titanium White
I had a few other colors out there as well, but the ones listed above were the ones I used.


I toned the mini canvas and the sides with a mix of Transparent Red Oxide and Ultramarine Blue Golden Fluid Acrylics. Those dry quickly, so with a little help from my hair dryer, I was then able to use Golden OPEN Acrylics to paint the rest over that toned canvas.

I started working on the basic placement of shapes, and then worked more and more toward contrasts and details. I use blu-tack to adhere the mini canvas to a larger piece of foam board. That way I can hold it securely in one hand when necessary, while painting with the other.


Work in Progress — Hunter Mountain Commission

Posted by Jamie on January 29th, 2010


This is a progress image of the 28×42″ commission I’m working on. It all started when my client and her dear hubby met at Hunter Mountain in New York State! She saw this painting on my website, which I did from the top of Hunter Mountain, and purchased it through RiverWinds Gallery, where I had it displayed.

She decided that she wanted a large version to take up a wall of her dining room, and wondered if I’d be willing to incorporate some of her room colors in the painting, and omit some of the colors of that smaller version that didn’t go with her decor. She sent me these color photos of her carpets which displayed rich earth tones perfectly suited to landscape work, but far different from my usual palette.



Because both the color palette and proportional ratio of the painting were to change for the commission, I decided to do this third painting using the same ratio and colors as the commisioned work, which I posted the other day. (See below the previous post below or click the link.)

From there, I moved onto the full size version of the painting. Here’s the large, white canvas looming before me in the studio:


The first steps were to tone it, place the compositional elements, add the dark areas and pull out the lights.


Then I started going in with color. The first photo in this post shows the current state of the painting. From here I’ll be pushing the lights and darks, adding in more of the colors from my client’s samples, and making adjustments as I go. I’d like to drop that foreground horizon line a touch too….It keeps on creeping up all by itself when I’m not looking!

Work in Progress — The Road Home in Early Winter

Posted by Jamie on January 19th, 2010


Some of you may recall my recent painting, The Road Home in Fall. I liked that painting and the location so much that I’ve decided to make a series out of it. My plan is to do a 12×9″ painting in each season, possibly selecting one or two of those to do larger paintings as well. I am calling this “Early Winter” because I hope to do a late winter version too. I just can’t seem to get enough of this magical location! The winding, uphill path, evergreens on the right, and steep hill on the left offer a good composition with lots of variety.

This one is not yet completed, but shouldn’t take too much longer. I think I’ll have a finished version up this week.

How to Tube Paint — Demo

Posted by Jamie on November 8th, 2009

Since my post about tubing my own paint, I’ve received many requests for instructions from viewers. Hopefully this demo will answer most of your questions. Many thanks to Marc Hanson for his paint-tubing advice as I got started with doing my own.

There are many reasons for tubing your own paint:
Mix leftover paints when a session is done and save it as a neutral “mud mix” for future paintings;
Make your own paints out of binders and pigments;
Mix various values of grays and tube them;
Premix favorite color mixes;
Purchase quality paints that come in jars, like RGH brand, then tube them yourself;
Buy your favorite paints in very large tubes, and transfer to smaller tubes for travel/plein air work.

I made up a dozen tubes yesterday of various reds, taking photos along the way to show you how to do it. Most artists will find that they already have most of what they need, except perhaps the tubes themselves! Those can be ordered from online sources such as Dick Blick, Jerrys Artarama, and ASW.


Supplies I use are:
Paint tubes (of course!)
Long, straight palette knife. (Width depends on your tube size.)
Pre-cut strips of paper towel
Rubber gloves
Wooden craft sticks
Tube wringer
Canvas pliers
Sharpie marker/marking pen
Packing tape
Little colored dots (optional, but really handy)


Put on your disposable gloves. Holding the open end of the tube upright, transfer paint into the tube with the palette knife. Place it as far down into the tube as you can. Tap several times as you transfer, so that the paint settles down in the tube and you don’t get air down there. Try to keep the sides of the tube free of paint. When you get 1.5-2″ from the top, scrape out around the side of the tube above the paint level to remove as much paint as possible.


Squeeze the end flat with your fingers, making sure you get out all the air. Use a wooden craft stick on a small piece of paper towel to press out as much paint as you can that remains in the flattened section of the tube.


Next you’ll use the tube wringer to crimp that end and prevent paint from escaping. I find that by folding a few thicknesses of paper towel over the tube end first, I can avoid a lot of mess on my tube wringer! That saves me a lot of cleaning time too. If you do happen to get a lot of paint on it, just fold a piece of paper towel and wring it through a few times to remove the paint.


Fold the tube end tightly with your fingers, crimping it with the canvas pliers as you go.


I like to use these little labels on the tubes that I can prepare in advance, but if you prefer, you can just write the color directly on the tube with a sharpie. The little colored dots make it easy for me to recognize color family when sorting quickly through a bunch of tubes in my box. I put a small dot on the back side of the tube as well.


Surround the label and dots with clear packing tape. That will prevent the name from coming off. If you’ve written the names directly on the tubes with a Sharpie, it will protect it from rubbing off.


All done. It’s a cinch!

Tubing Paint

Posted by Jamie on October 12th, 2009


Every so often it’s good for viewers to see into our studios at what goes on behind the scenes in addition to painting. For the past few days, I’ve been spending some time getting oil paints from jars into these tubes. Many thanks to my friend Mary and daughter Sarah, who lent a helping hand (or two!) while my right hand recovers from surgery.

Most of these tubes are small to fit easily into my pochade boxes and not add much weight. Usually I carry two tubes of white with me and mix my titanium white oil paint half and half with Griffin alkyd white to speed drying time. So, for the white tubes here, I mixed the two whites before tubing them. Now I’ll only have to carry one tube of white with me. (Actually, my “Studio Assistant” daughter measured, mixed and tubed most of the white.)

Nine jars of various colors down, three to go! That translates to about another 12-14 tubes of paint.

Fall Stroll in Garrison

Posted by Jamie on October 8th, 2009

36×24″, Oils on stretched canvas, unframed
$3,500.00 plus $125 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

This large oil painting is a scene painted from a photo I took on Indian Hill Road in Garrison, New York. It is a mostly-unpaved road that leads down to Constitution Marsh. The fall foliage there is always the best anywhere!

For those who like to see things in progress, below is an image of how things began. I worked off both a computer monitor and printed photo, and used them more or less as a springboard to create the painting. I washed the background with yellows to start. This would give the feeling of the light filtering through the fall leaves as I added more layers. Once that yellow wash was on the canvas, I went right to the darkest darks and mapped out the painting in light and shadow.

The image below gives you an idea of how I go about laying in the leaves and colors.

Chinese Friendship Pavillion — work in progress

Posted by Jamie on September 29th, 2009


18×24″, Oils on stretched canvas

This is a work in progress that was started on location today. I’d like to get in at least one more plein air day with it, and a third day in the studio should finish it up.

You can see how much the light and colors changed once that thick cloud layer rolled in!


12×15″, Oils on sealed, primed hardboard
Framing available upon request at additional price
$500.00 plus $30 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

Today I brought my new Beauport easel down to the beaver pond. I tried to send progress images to my Facebook page from the painting location, but it doesn’t look like they arrived there. I’ll have to get help from my daughter the expert! I don’t have my imaging software here, so the photo above is shown without any adjusting of the image.

Below are images I took with my camera phone and attempted to email to Facebook. It’s not the greatest camera, but at least I remembered to take progress images this time! My viewers are always asking for them, and I never remember to take them.

Just as I got this easel set up, it started to sprinkle. The Beauport sets up easier than you’d think. It can hold a really BIG canvas! Look at how small this 12×16 looks on this big easel! LOL


Fortunately, the sprinkles were short-lived. The sky was looking better and better, though it doesn’t show up in the photo. That’s one of the wonderful things about painting plein air. We see so much better than a camera lens. I started blocking in my darks and then local color.


I waited to put in the sky because it kept on improving. I was glad I waited, because by the time I decided to put it in, it was much better than it was when I started the painting. I was surprised by how much fall color there was out by the pond. The rest of the property is barely showing hints of fall. Here is the painting nearly finished.


I am really loving this easel. I used a covered Masterson palette with a pad of 12×16″ palette paper in it. That and a 12×16″ panel carrier fit into a Creativo backpack, along with my paints, brushes, camera, paper towels, and brush washer. I was surprised by how quickly and easily the easel set up and broke down. The lid of the Masterson palette worked out well to hold my turp container and some paper towels. I found the holes in the easel legs to be handy brush holders!

Posted by Jamie on August 30th, 2009

This is my first-ever video slide show! I hope you enjoy this display of some of my paintings that have been done with the slow-drying Golden OPEN Acrylics.


Gateway to Storm King Mountain

Posted by Jamie on August 18th, 2009


16×20″, Golden OPEN Acrylics on sealed, primed hardboard
$800.00 plus $35 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

Below is the painting in its initial form, as it came home from my plein air expedition. I was always bothered by that large piling so close to the center of the painting. Adjusting the composition, in this case, was very simple. By enlarging the piling to the right, I was able to remove that focal point in the center, rebalancing the painting. I think it works very well now! Below is the original, so that you can compare. Color and value differences that you see are due to the paintings being adjusted on different computers. (That gives you an indication of how different paintings can look from one computer to another, depending on our monitors and settings.)


This was painted on location in Cold Spring, New York, facing Storm King Mountain. I paint all over the Hudson River Valley, and the Hudson Highlands region certainly rates as one of the most dramatic along the river. I had to wait a long time for the clouds to break before they struck the mountain, but once the sun broke through it was quite spectacular.

For those who like to see some of the process, here is a photo of the Quinacridone Gold underpainting that I did for this one:


Happy Days

Posted by Jamie on August 10th, 2009

$115.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

7 x 5″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard, unframed
Painting flowers always cheers me up. These should get some kind of a longevity award, having survived several days already and they’re still looking great. There’s a setup picture below for those who like to see what I’m working with. It’s a good thing you can’t see the rest of the studio; what a mess!

Sunbathing — Gourds Series No 4

Posted by Jamie on June 26th, 2009

8 x 12″, Pastels on Wallis professional sanded paper, unframed
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

Below is a picture of my setup, with the painting in progress.

Kaaterskill Clove from the Beaver Pond

Posted by Jamie on February 27th, 2009


12×16″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard
$440.00 plus $20 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

Kaaterskill Clove was one of the favorite painting locations for many of the Hudson River School artists. Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsey and many others painted these mountains in centuries past. It’s easy to see why they were drawn to this dramatic location. The Hudson River provided easy access upstate from New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley. The mountains are only 10 miles inland from the river.

Here is an image of the work in progress, after the underpainting and initial color layer:


Here’s how I set up to paint from the computer for works larger than 8×10″. I prefer this to using printed photos.


The colors I used are:
Titanium White
Cadmium Yellow Lemon
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Raw Sienna
Cadmium Red
Cerulean Blue
Cobalt Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Ivory Black


These are the mediums I planned to use for the painting. It’s the first time I tried the Weber Res-n-gel, but it didn’t tack up as quickly as I’d hoped. I think I prefer just turp, or turp and a tiny bit of Liquin for the underlayers.


I use a glass palette in the studio with a sheet of brown kraft paper below it. It is so easy to clean. I had a glass store cut this 16×24 piece of 1/4″ glass for me and grind the edges.


I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the steps and materials used along the way.

Winter Moonrise

Posted by Jamie on February 15th, 2009

$115.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

5 x 7″ beautifully double matted to 8×10″, Gouache on Fabriano Artistico 100% rag paper. Painting with mat will fit into a standard 8×10″ frame, or without the mat in a 5×7″ frame. Price includes double mat.

Many thanks to Connie van Winssen for use of a photo reference for this painting from her villiage of Westbroek in The Netherlands. I don’t generally paint from photos other than my own, but I was so captivated by the colors and mood of this scene that I just had to paint it!

I selected a warm, limited palette of colors: Yellow deep, Venetian red, Ultramarine blue, and white to bring out the rich warmth and glow of the scene.

Below, you can see what my palette ended up looking like when I was finished! I did wipe it off once during the painting process, after laying in the initial colors. When a palette gets too muddy, that mud starts making its way into the painting.

Here’s how it looks with the mat, ready for a standard 8×10″ frame:

Studio Tour—-Getting ready to get ready to paint….

Posted by Jamie on February 5th, 2009


Sometimes I just can’t seem to get ready to paint. I use so many different mediums, and paint such diverse subjects, that my studio is forever littered with acrylics, gouache, watercolor palettes, sketchbooks lying around, canvases stacked up against the walls, still life objects lining the window ledges, and dirty water containers, not to mention all the things that end up in my studio that don’t even belong here!


I woke up this morning thinking about starting a large painting. When I got to my studio, I took out a 24×36″ canvas and put it on the easel. All the furniture is on wheels, so I started thinking about doing some “easy” rearranging. Hahaha! It never works out that way. I was putting things away and moving things around, and by the time that was done, it was way too late to start something big.


Here are my studio mascots, collectively known as Double Trouble!


Even Lulu and Lucy thought I was crazed. They were very curious about the changes in their surroundings, and wondered what Mom was up to.

I figured I’d set up a still life and paint in watercolors instead, since I’d lost the morning already. Even that process seemed to go on forever today. Blue cloth or striped? Two clementines or a little blue and gold box? Brass bird or horse sculpture?


I finally made my decision on the still life setup, but now we were already into the afternoon. The phone started ringing. My daughter came home from school. I have a meeting this evening and had to get dinner underway. The day was slipping away. It seemed the best choice was to take some more photos to share with my viewers.


The image above shows the area where I have my computer and do many of my small paintings. If I’m not working from life, I look at the images on the computer monitor instead of printing out photos. The color is so much better, and I can zoom in as needed and make color/value adjustments. Plus, it saves all that ink and paper!


My sister gave me this hanging storage device. I think it was designed to hang in a closet and store jewelry, but it’s perfect for paint tubes. My most-used colors are in a box near the easel, so this holds mostly tubes of less-used oil paint colors that I need only on occasion, and keeps them easy to locate, yet out of the way.


My brother-in-law built this beautiful spice cabinet. It has a glass door with a key lock. When he moved to California, he didn’t know what to do with it, so I promised to put it to good use. It serves as a display/storage cabinet for my small still life objects and some smaller jars of mediums and pigments.


Some time ago, I made and installed these drying rails in my studio for my small paintings. They can hold paintings up to 16×20″ in size. I bought the molding at Home Depot, painted it, and secured it into the wall. If I were to do it again, I’d add a 1×1″ strip behind it to make the shelves a little deeper, and the paintings more secure. I use a dab of blu-tack on the backs of the paintings near the top to be sure they won’t topple over, since my rails are so narrow.

Tomorrow morning I will have that nice still life setup and my watercolors all set to go, plus a large canvas ready and waiting. At least I won’t have to clean again!

Some viewers have emailed comments and questions.

Hi, Jamie,
Thank you for these wonderful pictures of your painting room. There
are wonderful ideas in them, and hopefully one day I can implement
one or two of them. Right now my studio is too crowded to even work!
It’s an extreme project.
You are inspiring and refreshing to see!
PS I love your two birdies. It must be nice to have them and their
chatter in the creative process.

Marilyn, thank you for your comment. Have you ever heard that annoying sound that a crow makes? Well, imagine that fifty times louder. And imagine two of them. Then imagine it in an enclosed room with little sound absorption. That’s what Lulu and Lucy sound like when they get on a rant! They do make cute sounds too, like a gurgling sound when I give them peanuts, and a purring sound when they sit on my shoulder sometimes. They make kissing noises and say “Kiss?” when they want me to come over. So, for anybody who’s thinking they are so cute and they should run out and get some Jenday Conures, be sure your neighbors live far away, and that you have earplugs within reach!

Thanks for sharing your studio.
I have a couple of otherwise decent universities that say I am a sculptor. Lately I have been working on my studio. Sculpture studios never look as nice as yours, ever.
Thanks again

Dave, I knew there was a reason why I decided to be a painter! 😉 I have to say though, mine rarely looks this neat. That’s why I had to take the pictures—so that I can remember it was once this way!

Jamie – Your studio looks great. I feel inspired. Right now I can’t walk in the room.
How long did it take you? Do you keep all the mediums in separate places?

Kay, it took a whole day. Yes, I do keep my mediums separate, and I keep my main colors separate from my extra colors, for the most part. I generally keep my main colors in a zip-lock bag, one for each medium. The bags are great because they take up the least amount of space, and I can just grab the bag labeled “main colors” when I’m on the run to go out painting. Extra oil paint tubes are stored on shelves in the garage, since they can endure cold temperatures easily.

Red Blue and Green

Posted by Jamie on January 21st, 2009


5×7″, Oils on Ampersand Gessoboard

$140.00 plus $12 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

These three, small vases were made by my favorite potter, Marilyn Price. Her work is at the RiverWinds Gallery in Beacon, NY, along with many of my own paintings. Very often when I go to the gallery, I see something Marilyn made that I just can’t resist. My latest acquisition was made last Saturday, when I purchased the blue vase in the back of this painting. I set it up with two of her other pieces and played with using a lot of strong, pure color.

Cadmium Yellow Medium
Raw Sienna
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Red
Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Cerulean Blue
Cobalt Blue
Ultramarine Blue Deep
Ivory Black
Titanium White

Making Oil Paint

Posted by Jamie on January 14th, 2009


I started making some of my own oil paint a few years ago when I was in search of a higher quality Ultramarine Blue. In using a limited palette at that time, I was dependent on the ultramarine for providing the basis for the dark side of my palette. I needed the deepest, darkest, most heavily-pigmented ultramarine I could find. The best solution to my problem was to make my own. I stay away from cadmiums and toxic pigments, and just buy those in the store. Some pigments mix up easier than others. Ultramarine is a cinch!

The photo above shows the materials I use for paintmaking. I made this batch of Ultramarine Deep today and took these photos as I went to show my process. Making paint is my version of playing in the sandbox.


I begin with a nice big pile of pigment (above) on a 1/4″ glass slab, and make a crater in the center. I fill the crater with alkalai-refined linseed oil.


I work the oil into the dry pigment particles. I add more oil a little at a time as needed. I suppose I could do this more scientifically by taking careful measurements, but as in cooking, I prefer to adjust as needed rather than following a recipe. Now it’s time to take out the glass muller.


Contrary to what you might think, the paint becomes runnier as it is mulled. The glass muller crushes the clumps of pigment particles apart, so that the individual particles will be surrounded by the oil binder.


Since the paint tends to liquify as the oil surrounds the individual pigment particles, you may find it gets too runny and you need to add more pigment. There is actually quite a fine line between too much and not enough.


You may think you need quite a bit more pigment to increase the body of the paint, and then in a flash the entire mass becomes dry and unworkable. (above) A little more oil does the trick.


This is what I consider mulled to perfection. The pigment is well mulled into the oil. You can tell from the sheen that there is enough oil so that the paint won’t be underbound. If I add more pigment at this point, it will likely clump together again.


I’m done! I store these small containers of homemade paint in the freezer, and clean up the implements with mineral spirits or Windex. The paint containers will keep in the freezer indefinitely, as the cold slows the oxidation of the paint and the containers are airtight. I could put it into tubes if I preferred. Ultramarine pigment can get stringy when left sitting in oil, and since I don’t use wax or other additives in my paint to counteract that tendency, I find it keeps a better working consistency in the freezer.

Now it’s time to go paint!

Edit: I have removed the step of adding any mineral spirits at all, even in small amounts. I have done it both ways, and I think it is easier to gauge the proportions of oil and pigment without additional ingredients. Mineral spirits can result in underbinding of the paint, and it’s better not to take that risk.

Watercolor Wednesday—work in progress

Posted by Jamie on October 15th, 2008


I know this looks like some kind of strange abstract in its infant stages, but stay tuned! Watercolor Wednesday will continue on Thursday this week, and I’ll post the finished painting tomorrow.

Finished painting can be seen by clicking here.

My Favorite Tree

Posted by Jamie on October 13th, 2008


6×8″, Oils on sealed, primed hardboard
$150.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

. Special: Free shipping within the Continental US until 10/16/08

This is my favorite tree along the lakeshore here. It turns this bright crimson color in fall, and I love the twists and turns of the trunk.

I painted this with my new little pochade box! It is the Guerrilla Painter Thumbox with the palette extension and watercolor palette. I filled the watercolor palette up with oil paints. That palette gets covered with the mixing palette, so the paints stay wet and it’s really fast to set up. Here’s a picture of the new box with a progress image of the painting:


Canoing Through the Marsh on the Hudson River

Posted by Jamie on September 9th, 2008


6×6″, Golden OPEN Acrylics on Ampersand Gessoboard
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

Above is the completed painting, and below is an image of the work in progress. I’d initially planned to put in foreground grasses, but after doing that, I felt the painting was more effective without them. So, I worked on it yet a third time, and took the foreground grasses out!


It’s interesting how much the color of light affects what we see. The image of the finished painting was taken with the corrected light of my photo box, but the progress image was taken in cool daylight. The actual colors in paintings vary according to the lighting conditions where we view them.

I did the underpainting for this work with a color I’d not tried before from the Golden OPEN line—Quinacridone Gold. I love the warm glow that it brings to the work. I could get hooked on this color!

This is painted from a photo I took down in Constitution Marsh on the Hudson River. It’s been in my file of things I want to paint for a long time! With fall on the way, it seemed the right moment to pull out this lively autumn scene.

I’m still using an expanded palette because the paint is still wet from yesterday, and I’ve even added a few colors to the large assortment I was working with. So far for this painting I’ve used:
Titanium White
Cadmium Yellow Primrose
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Naples Yellow
Cadmium Red Light
Pyrrole Red
Ultramarine Blue
Transparent Red Oxide
Quinacridone Gold
Carbon Black
Jenkins Green

Magical Sunset and Demo

Posted by Jamie on September 3rd, 2008


5×7″, Golden OPEN Acrylics on Ampersand Gessoboard
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I drove to the other end of the lake to get western views of the sunset. We took loads of photos. This is my first painting from that series of images. I managed to stop myself a few times along the way to take some photos and post a demo.

I set up to paint with more colors on my palette than usual in order to get the more highly saturated sunset colors.


As you can see above, I used a more expanded palette for this painting than usual. My color choices were:
Titanium White
Cadmium Yellow Primrose
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Cadmium Orange
Cadmium Red Light
Pyrrole Red
Quinacridone Magenta
Ultramarine Blue
Jenkins Green
Phthalo Blue
Carbon Black


When I paint on a small board like this 5×7″ Gessoboard above, it’s hard to hold it and paint edge to edge. I use “blu tack” and affix it to an 8×10″ board. Then I can hold the larger board and be able to paint all the way to the edges without getting paint on my fingers, or I can set it down on a little tabletop easel.

My computer monitor yields stronger, more accurate color and chroma than a printed out photo, so I like to set up like this for small works and paint right off the computer screen. I use the old telephone book on the right to wipe my brushes before rinsing. It’s a great way to conserve paper towels and simultaneously recycle and old phone book. When the page gets filled with paint, I just tear it off, toss it, and go to the next page.


When a painting has areas of light, highly saturated color, I always put that down first. That holds the chroma, and then I can paint into it. It’s a lot easier to dull down strong color than it is to get this kind of brilliance on top of a grey or dark color. You can see how I reserved all the areas of strong color here:


Once the base colors and values have been laid down, I can start painting into them, creating variation, adding details, and adjusting edges. From the step above, it isn’t a long way to the finish line:


How I Varnish Oil and Acrylic Paintings

Posted by Jamie on September 2nd, 2008


I have 22 freshly varnished oil and acrylic paintings in these drying racks. Over the past several days they’ve been getting isolation coats and varnish coats. Many artists who paint in both mediums have asked me for information on my varnishing process, so I thought I’d take some time today to describe my process.

There are several different products that can be used to obtain a variety of finishes depending on personal artistic preferences. I love gloss varnish. It pops the colors and values and gives a shiny, professional appearance. I have chosen products to yield that result. There are many other good products on the marketplace too.


I start with Golden Soft Gel (Gloss) and relatively soft, synthetic brushes to do an isolation coat on the acrylic paintings. Oil paintings do not require this step. I use the small container shown above to measure. The Gel gets diluted two parts Gel to one of water. I mix it up thoroughly in a styrofoam bowl.

I clean off the painting surface with a lint free rag to be sure there are no dust particles on the surface. Then each dry acrylic painting gets a thin coating, following the direction of the brushstrokes. One coat is generally enough to seal a relatively non-porous surface, such as my sealed, primed hardboards. Rag paper and matboard, even if sized before painting, generally requires 2-3 thin coats. You can tell when you’ve put on enough coats because the surface develops a soft sheen.

Many acrylic painters make the mistake of eliminating the isolation coat. That results in too much varnish penetrating through the surface of the support, and can cloud your painting. Also, it will leave an uneven finish. Putting on enough isolation coats to prevent penetration of the varnish yields a beautifully even gloss. It is well worth the additional steps! The second isolation coat can be applied several hours after the first if necessary. Be sure the first coat is dry, and not tacky.


I like the Soluvar Gloss Varnish a lot for both oil and acrylic paintings. Be sure your oil paintings are completely dry before varnishing. That will generally take 6-12 months. Acrylic paintings can be varnished as soon as the isolation coat has cured. In dry, room temperature conditions, that should only take a few days.

Soluvar varnish is removable for cleaning, non-yellowing, and gives a great sheen. I used to use Gamvar, but found I had some adhesion problems on sections of some of my oil paintings, and the varnish would bead up as it was applied. I have not had that problem with Soluvar. I use the large, natural hair brush above for paintings 12×16 and larger, and the smaller natural/synthetic blend brush for smaller works. You need to work quickly with varnish before it dries.

I pour a small amount into a ceramic pot that I reserve for varnishing. I dip the bottom section of the brush in and wipe some off on the side of the pot. Varnish your painting section by section, overlapping sections as you go. I lie them face up once done until they are tacky. Although varnish should be applied too thin to drip, I always take that precaution. It’s better to be safe than sorry!


I got inexpensive, small letter holders (above) at Staples, and each can hold five paintings upright. They are only a couple of dollars each, and about 4″ tall. I bought them a couple at a time as I needed more and more of them. Once the paintings have tacked up, I set them in the letter holders. The first photo in this post shows what the paintings look like when they are set into a series of these letter holders.

You can also see on that first image, that a fan above the paintings draws the solvent fumes out of the room while I work. I have another fan on the other side of the room, by an open door to the garage, that helps push air across the room and out. That way, my paintings will dry faster and I can simultaneously vent the fumes out of my work space.

Once the paintings are varnished, I give them a couple of days to dry fully (in dry weather) before framing them. I hope this little demo helps some of you who have been struggling with varnishing. If you’ve been avoiding it, you’ll find it’s a lot easier than you thought, and the result is well worth the little bit of time and effort. Your paintings will glow with a new life!

You can read more about varnish application techniques in this article on the Golden website.

Working Atop the Hudson Highlands—Work in Progress

Posted by Jamie on May 20th, 2008


SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.
I was able to get permission to paint at the old Garrison Castle today. I stood out on an upper floor balcony, with a straight shot above West Point, upriver, through the Hudson Highlands and beyond. You can even see Bannerman Island next to Breakneck Ridge from here. The river does a complete, tight “S” curve at this point between West Point and Constitution Island. It must be quite the navigational nightmare for a large ship. It is a staggeringly beautiful view.

It started out as a sunny day, but quickly changed over to cloudy, and then the rain showers moved in. (The photo above, painted toward the end of my session, was clearly after the light had changed!) This is a very complex scene, with layers of hills and mountains extending all the way through the Highlands, to the cliffs of the Shawangunks, and even to the Catskill Mountains beyond the Gunks. Plus, all those buildings at West Point! The shifting weather made a tough scene even harder. I had to pack it in before I could finish. There’s not too much left to do on this; I’ll either finish it from a photo I took, or else try to get permission to return.

Here it is in its current unfinished state. It’s 12×16″, oils on canvas covered hardboard. I’ll post it again when it’s finished.


Yellow Roses in Pastel

Posted by Jamie on April 19th, 2008


12×9″, soft pastels on Art Spectrum sanded pastel paper
$325.00 plus $15 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

Everybody loves visiting an artist’s studio and seeing paintings come together, so I thought I’d share part of the process of this painting.


Here’s a photo of my setup in my studio, along with the pastel in progress. The pastels on the paper towel are the ones I selected from my huge box of colors. Setting them aside like this makes them easier to find, and helps maintain a unified palette with good color harmony.


Above is a photo of the full area of my studio where I was working on this piece, so you can see the whole pastel box. I think now you can see why I find it necessary to separate the colors I’m using in a particular work; otherwise I’d be forever looking to find them again!


This is an image of the painting about 1/3 of the way through the process. The basic color plan has been made and the objects blocked in. Following this stage, it’s time for refinement. Most of my time on a painting is spent in the refining stages.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip to my studio!

Making a Multi-Media Laptop Painting Box

Posted by Jamie on March 16th, 2008

Here’s my setup while test driving the new box!


Click on any images below for a larger view. The post below this one gives instructions for making the box shown in these images.


I’ve had this idea brewing in my head for almost a year, and finally made my car/laptop painting box this weekend! I wanted something extremely lightweight. This is made out of a single sheet of black foamcore! I used foamcore to make my pastel boxes, and was amazed by how sturdy it turned out to be when constructed properly. I used the same techniques to create this painting box. Best of all is that it weighs only one pound!

The white palette is a foam meat tray. I found them in an 11.25 x 9.25″ size and thought that would be ideal for palette inserts for my box, and also to use as palettes for oils and acrylics in open studio. They are perfect for gouache and casein too! I found a place online that had them and ordered a case of 250. A stack of four can fit in this lap box.

Here’s what the case looks like when it’s closed up for traveling. It measures 17x10x2″. The front closures are velcro strips.


The box is sealed with a couple of coats of Golden GAC100, so it can be wiped clean and should be fairly water resistant in case of water and paint spills.

Inside the box, there’s ample room for brushes, paints, several foam palettes, paper towels, a small solvent container like the mini one made by Guerrilla Painter, or a collapsible water container like this Aqua Tote for acrylics.


I found the little containers (above) in the camping department at a sporting goods store. They have an air-tight seal, so I think they should work out great for holding and storing all types of paints. With these two, I can hold more than enough colors for an outing plus a way to store leftovers when I’m done. However, the box is deep enough to hold tubes of paint if I prefer to bring the tubes.


I decided to make the back hinges out of heavy duty velcro. Because this box is for multi-media use, and I also plan to use it for painting in my car, I wanted it to be as versatile as possible. Velcro hinges make the lid completely removable if the car is tight for space and I want to separate my drawing/painting support from the box itself, or if I need to lie it flat for watercolor work.


This side arm prevents the box lid/painting support from opening too far. I decided to use velcro for this feature as well, in order to have greater adjustment potential. The velcro “hook” strips along the side (above) and the back (below) secure the arm made of the “loop” velcro.


The Aqua Tote water holder, below, is one of my favoite items of painting gear for water media. Not only does it pack up into a small space in the box, but it also serves as my brush holder, and is very lightweight.


These are available online from Dick Blick, Jerrys Artarama, and ASWexpress.com.

Another helpful item I found recently was a package of small misters. These are helpful for keeping acrylic paints wet on the palette, as well as for moistening paper for watercolor and acrylic wet techniques. They are only four inches long and 1/2″ wide. I found them at my local Michael’s Arts and Crafts shop.


Now that I’ve finished taking photos and typing all this out, I’m going to find something to paint and give my new box a test drive!

Update after field testing:
I’d suggest using duct tape for the back hinge instead of the velcro strips. I’ve found that I have yet to make use of the capability to remove the box lid, and the velcro strips keep pulling up.
Instead of office clips to affix my painting support, I am finding blu-tac much more convenient. It enables me to paint right up to the edges of my work.
The office clips can be used on the left side of the lid (if right handed) to clip some paper towels or a rag to the lid. That way, the left side of the lower tray can be reserved for paint tubes/containers, mediums, and water/turp.

I’ve uploaded these images large enough to be able to read the text. Just click on the images to see the enlarged versions. I hope many of you find this helpful to build your own lightweight boxes for those times when lugging a heavy setup is impractical.

For some unknown reason, I’m having to click twice on these pages to get large, clear images. If you click and the image is unclear, try clicking the image a second time.




My permission is granted to download and print out the three images in this post for your own information and reference only.

Update after field testing:
I’d suggest using duct tape for the back hinge instead of the velcro strips. I’ve found that I have yet to make use of the capability to remove the box lid, and the velcro strips keep pulling up.
Instead of office clips to affix my painting support, I am finding blu-tac much more convenient. It enables me to paint right up to the edges of my work.
The office clips can be used on the left side of the lid (if right handed) to clip some paper towels or a rag to the lid. That way, the left side of the lower tray can be reserved for paint tubes/containers, mediums, and water/turp.

Putnam County Land Trust Headquarters—Chickadee Haven

Posted by Jamie on January 29th, 2008

Click image to enlarge:


18×24″, oils on stretched canvas
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

This is a the headquarters of Putnam County Land Trust. It will be housed permanently over the fireplace in the building. The Land Trust has been renovating this building for years, and the painting will be unveiled at the grand opening in the spring. PCLT owns about 140 acres here. A local resident, with property bordering the preserve, left her house to the Land Trust in her will, to be used as a headquarters and for educational purposes.

This site is only about a half mile from me, so I’m very excited about doing this painting for the Land Trust!

Below are various stages of the painting in progress.
Second Stage:


First stage:


Fall Morning in Cold Spring on the Hudson River and demo

Posted by Jamie on December 4th, 2007


12×12″, Golden OPEN Acrylics on sealed, primed hardboard
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.

My painting buddy, Suhua Wood, found this amazing spot along the Hudson River in Cold Spring for us to paint! I started this painting on location a few weeks ago, but didn’t have enough time to finish it there. I finally finished it up from a photo.

I took pictures of the various stages as I painted. First I underpainted with Golden Fluid Acrylics, using Transparent Red Oxide for all but the lightest areas. Some light areas then got a wash of Transparent Yellow Oxide, and cool darks got some Ultramarine Blue.


I pulled out some heavier bodied acrylics, and laid in the sky and water. You can see an image of my scene and setup here as I was working.


Then I started working with the local colors I saw. The image below shows how much I completed on location, and how far I still had to go.


I used a photo of the scene to finish up the painting, in combination with the information already there from having worked on location. Being able to do even a portion of the piece en plein air always makes a difference in the outcome.


8×10, Golden OPEN Acrylics on Multimedia Artboard
Email me at JamieWG@aol.com if interested in this painting.

Finally this painting is done. Here is the painting demo, as promised. My palette consisted of:
Hansa Yellow Opaque
Hansa Yellow Light (fluid acrylics)
Napthol Red Light
Transparent Red Oxide (fluid acrylics)
Ultramarine Blue
Phthalo Blue
Titanium White

I started with the Transparent Red Oxide, using Golden Fluid Acrylics. After a few placement lines, I blocked in my midtones and darks:

Next, I added Ultramarine Blue for the coolest darks, and Hansa Yellow Light for the lightest areas.

Then I laid in my sky, using Ultramarine Blue, Titanium White, and a touch of Phthalo Blue to bring the sky back to a mid-blue and give it a little chroma boost. (I apologize for the glare in this image.)

Once the sky is in, I start working local color, allowing my underpainting to show through in places. This is where I left off the other day, when I posted the image:

From there, I added more variations to my colors, filled out the textures of the trees, and pushed the lights and darks to create more contrast. Then the finishing touches went in, like the tree trunks and the stone wall in the background. Voila…done!

I hope you enjoyed following along with me in the painting process!

Moon Setting Over Crow’s Nest Mountain, painting and demo

Posted by Jamie on November 1st, 2007

Click image to enlarge:

8×10, acrylic on Multimedia Artboard
$260.00 plus $15 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

This was painted on location from Cold Spring, New York, along the shore of the Hudson River. Crow’s Nest Mountain is actually 42 feet higher than neighboring Storm King, but doesn’t get as much of the publicity. The moon was setting over the cliffs, presenting an irresistible scene. I thought I’d show a demo of my process, so I took some photos along the way.

I started by mixed up a painting “medium” of Golden Acrylic Flow Release in a ratio of 1:10 with water, poured some of that into a little palette cup, and added about 25% Golden Acrylic Glazing Liquid (Gloss). I used that to dilute paint for my underpainting, so as not to underbind the paint, and to help the flow of the color.

I began drawing in a couple of lines with heavily diluted Transparent Red Oxide. Once the placement lines were in, I started blocking in darks with thicker paint, and used thinner washes on the midtones. Then I used Transparent Yellow Oxide over the light areas (except for the sky). Areas of this photo appear blue due to sky reflection; those areas are actually white.

Next, I pulled out some Ultramarine blue, and used that combined with the transparent yellow and red oxides to block in cool darks and start a green wash on the foreground. Adding Titanium white and just a dash of phthalo blue to the ultramarine, I blocked in the sky and some sky holes in the tree.

Below is a photo of the painting on my easel, with the scene in the background, so you can see what I was working on. Compositionally, I’d have needed a wider canvas to fit in these elements if I wanted to keep everything to scale. Instead, I compressed the scene, shortening the width of the mountain, and bringing the moon over and down toward the peak. (You can just barely see the moon in the photo of the scene, in the upper right corner.)

I added Hansa Yellow Opaque and Napthol Red to my palette, and started working on the local color. I wanted to bring out the warm tones in the cliffs, so started putting in the pinks and violets early on. The red underpainting helped with that, as well as giving that orangy fall atmosphere. Here it is at the “almost done” point:

Lastly, I added cooler colors to the cliff face and did a once-over throughout the painting, adding finishing touches and making adjustments.

I hope you enjoyed the demo and plein air painting with me!

SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.
6 x 6″, Oils on sealed, primed hardboard, unframed

Tilly Foster Farm is an old horse farm that was purchased a few years ago by Putnam County to retain as open space. It has beautiful rolling fields, old buildings and barns, and a fantastic overview of miles and miles from the top of the pastures. This painting was done from a photo I took there in the fall.

Making a Multi-Media Sketchbook
I’ve made a number of sketchbooks over the years and have recently been asked to share some of them. This is perhaps the easiest, most useful, and most versatile of them all. The biggest advantages to this design are that many different kinds of paper can be used for various media and effects, plus the paper can be removed easily for framing.

Use any kind of cardboard, foamcore, illustration board, or matboard for your covers. I used scrap pieces of matboard that I had around the house and cut two pieces to the same size. Purchase some ringbinder rings in an office supply store. I got mine at Staples (very inexpensive). Holes were punched in the matboard for the rings:

Next, cut various types of paper that you like to use for painting, drawing, and sketching. Be sure to cut the paper about 1/2 inch smaller than the matboard. When in use, you’ll be doubling over the matboard to serve as a firm drawing board. The matboard edges also serve to protect the edges and corners of the paper. Punch holes in the paper, making sure they line up with the holes you’ve punched in the covers. You can paint your cover to decorate your sketchbook, but I just left mine blank.

If you use a lot of wet media, consider a piece of foamcore for one or both covers, coated with a couple of coats of acrylic medium, to use as a painting board. You can even tape paper down to it that way after removing a sheet from the book, or use metal office clips to hold it. Oil pastel and soft pastel artists can include sheets of glassine with holes punched, to place between finished drawings.

Glue a pocket to the inside of the front cover. (See image below.) I used this to hold templates for standard sizes. If you have, for instance, a 5×7″ template in the pocket, you can pull it out to draw a quick 5×7 rectangle on a piece of the paper. Then you’ll have a drawing or painting that will fit perfectly into a ready-made mat and frame. The little pocket also comes in handy for photo references, drawings, a ruler, etc. I put a sticker on the inside of the cover saying “If found please return to” with my name, address and phone number.

You can click on the image below to enlarge it:

On the right side, the shiny plastic is a sheet of clear acetate. When working in colored pencil or graphite, I’d keep this under my hand to stop the pencil from smudging. I kept another sheet of it in the little pocket inside the cover. You can also keep glassine in the book, or whatever else you use to protect your finished work.

I hope this helps some of you who want a sketchbook that can do it all!

Chickadee Haven

Posted by Jamie on March 2nd, 2007

$150.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

6 x 8″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard, custom framed (size is 10×12″ including frame)
This is a 6×8″ compositional study in oils for a large painting I’m doing for the headquarters of Putnam County Land Trust, which is the building in the painting. (It used to be called Chickadee Haven by its former owner.) It abuts their 140 acre Peach Lake Natural Area. I felt like having a little color explosion today, so I did it using Charles Sovek’s cadmium orange/cerulean blue light/shadow underpainting. I always like the vibrancy and depth that combination yields. I’ll be doing the larger painting with more of a yellow/violet color harmony, rather than the orange/blue. I’ll be holding onto this painting until the larger one is completed so I can use it as a reference.

Here’s a little idea of how this was done. I started with a mix of cadmium orange and titanium white for the lights, and cerulean blue for the darks. All light areas were blocked in with the orange mixture, and darker areas with the blue:

This is the beginning of the color-adding process:

A Day of Thumbnail Sketches in Ink and Watercolor

Posted by Jamie on February 18th, 2007

Click to enlarge images:

Today was a busy day and I knew I wouldn’t have time for a full-fledged painting, so I began the day by making a two-page grid of boxes in my sketchbook. That way, I could do small thumbnail sketches as I went about my day.

I used a Uniball Vision Micro pen to do all the drawing. For some of them, I used the little Koi watercolor box that’s in the sketch, with a water barrel brush; for others, I used the palette below with an Escoda #6 travel brush (the gold cylinder in the photo). I loved doing this “grid” approach to quick sketches. It made them feel managable on a day when I otherwise would not have done any artwork at all. It looks pretty cool in the sketchbook too!

Work in Progress Image 7—last section of the Wall Shelf

Posted by Jamie on January 31st, 2007

WHEW! I finally finished this section of the wall shelf. That red and gold espresso cup and saucer proved to be easily the most difficult still life subject I’ve ever tackled. There were several moments when I thought about removing it from the setup, and replacing it with something else. What a challenge! Not only was the color and glimmer of the gold tough, but getting the geometry right was extremely difficult. However, now I’m glad I climbed the mountain, and I can just enjoy the view!

Below is the painting as it stands thus far. I still need to paint the whole frame of the shelf, which is actually a beat-up old window frame. I’m sorry it’s not a great photo; I’ll get a better one when the painting is finished.

Work in Progress Image 6— Wall Shelf section completed

Posted by Jamie on January 29th, 2007

It’s time to get back to this big painting and finish it up. I completed the remainder of the section I started on Friday, and will be starting the last section later today.

Click to enlarge:

Here’s a sneak peek at the whole painting so far, minus the exterior shelf edge. The center vertical and lower right section are still unpainted. I’m hoping to finish up by the end of the week.

I’ve got just a section of a section to show for today. So much to paint, so little time!

Work in Progress Image 5—another section of the Wall Shelf

Posted by Jamie on January 25th, 2007

Click any image to enlarge

I’ve really been looking forward to painting this section with the figures, amber glass, and wooden clock. The little figures came with pianos and piano stools and were given to me by my dad, but they’ve temporarily suspended their duo to model for my painting. I got the beautiful hand-blown amber glass at a flea market. I saw it and just swooned! The wooden clock was a gift from a friend, and was made by her parents.

I still have a few little tweaks to do, but I’ll do them as I move on with the other sections, or at the end. I’m sure I’ll see more to do by then!

I thought it was time to let y’all take a peek at how the whole thing is coming along, so I’ve got two additional images for you. Below is the section I did today with yesterday’s section.

Below is a picture of my studio with the setup and the painting. The painting isn’t as wide as it appears here; that’s the photo distortion at work, and one of the reasons why I prefer to work from life. There is an excitement inherent in working directly from the source. I’d be very bored painting this from a photo, but the character of the objects, the way the light hits them and the warmth of the colors, is something I can really feel when painting from life. It transforms the experience.

Work in Progress Image 4—another section of the Wall Shelf

Posted by Jamie on January 25th, 2007

Click to enlarge:

Here’s another section of the 30×24″ painting of the wall shelf. This may still need a little more work on the leaves, but I’ll go back and do it at the end when the other sections are finished and I can better judge how it works as a whole. The image above was photographed with a very yellow light overhead. The color is actually closer to the image below:

Many have asked me to take progress images on the sections, which I keep forgetting to do! I remembered to stop for one today. It usually takes me three “passes” to complete a section. The first pass is a basic color stage, where I block in the main colors, lights and darks. Here’s an image taken at the end of that first pass. I usually stop then and take a short break, let the paint set up a little, and then work over all the elements a second time, pushing the lights and darks and starting to add more detail. On the third pass, I make sure the highlights and dark accents are strong enough, and tweak anything that doesn’t look quite right.

Work in Progress Image 3—another section of the Wall Shelf

Posted by Jamie on January 23rd, 2007

Click to enlarge:

I tackled another section of the wall shelf today. Painting that racoon was so very much fun! Below you can see what it looks like with the section from yesterday.

Work in Progress Image 2—a part of the Wall Shelf

Posted by Jamie on January 22nd, 2007

This is about a 10×9″ section of the full 30×24″ painting. The unpainted thing at the top is part of the racoon’s tail hanging down from the upper shelf. Maybe I’ll paint that section tomorrow. Sorry about the glare in the upper right. It’s wet wet wet and the darks are so shiny until it dries.

I ended up having to add a bit of cadmium yellow pale to my palette. I’m using a Masterson palette with a sheet of glass in it that I cut to size. I cover it and stick it in the freezer when I’m done painting.
I’ll have another installment tomorrow, so stay tuned!

Work in Progress—Wall Shelf monochrome stage 30×24"

Posted by Jamie on January 21st, 2007

Wall Shelf #3, 30×24″, oils on stretched canvas, monochrome stage
Click to enlarge:
I didn’t get quite as far today as I’d hoped, but I finished the compositional stage and as much as I’m going to do of a monochrome underpainting. It’s far enough along to start putting in color tomorrow and working section by section. You can see that I repositioned several items since yesterday. Because the canvas is a slightly different proportion than the actual shelf, and also to emphasize certain elements, I adjusted object shapes to better fill the space. I pull out the old Artistic License when I need to make changes. *grin*

Above is a picture of the still life area in my studio. I love having a U-shaped work area, because I can step far back from my easel to view the painting without tripping over anything, and everything is within reach. The chair is for the computer on the right. I prefer to stand when I paint, unless I’m painting very small. You might think the tarp is there to protect the carpet, but it’s actually to provide additional cushioning for my feet!

I’ll be doing this painting with just four colors and two whites, unless I make an addition along the way. I chose these particular colors based upon what I need to be able to mix for the colors in the setup, and also because I want to steer the painting a little to the warm side. I’ll be using:
Winsor Newton Artist Cadmium Yellow
Williamsburg Cadmium Red Medium
Rembrandt Transparent Oxide Red
My own homemade Ultramarine Deep
Classic Artist Oils Titanium White
Winsor Newton Griffin Titanium White
I’ll be mixing the two whites together in order to get a titanium white that will dry a bit faster. I’m not crazy about the consistency of the Griffin alkyd white, but mixed with the dreamy, creamy Classic Artist Oils version, it works quite well.

My little Peach-faced Lovebird, Mango, lives upstairs, but I have an extra cage down in my studio so that we can keep each other company. He likes to climb around the playset on top of the cage while listening to music and supervising my progress.

Work in Progress—Wall Shelf–photograph of setup

Posted by Jamie on January 20th, 2007

I spent the afternoon lugging this heavy, old wall shelf into my studio and filling it with objects from the current scavenger hunt. (See post below.) With my daughter’s help, I was able to hoist it onto the still life table in my studio, where it fit perfectly. I’ll probably still switch out a few items and move things around a bit. Then I’ll be getting down to work on this for the next week or so on a 24×30 canvas.

I’ll be posting daily to show a section at a time. Usually I work on a whole painting at once, moving around here and there over the canvas. My plan for this one is different though. I’ll do a block-in the first day, and after that I’ll likely be going object to object, a few at a time. This is going to be a lot of fun! I’ll be working on it only from life, not from a photo, but from the spectator’s perspective, it’s always interesting to get an idea of what the artist started out with.

This shelf was a flea market find. It’s made from old, heavy 2x4s and weighs a ton! I think after it’s done its duty for this painting, I’ll keep it in my studio to hold supplies.

Sunset Boat Ride on the Lake in oils

Posted by Jamie on December 13th, 2006

SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.
6 x 6″, Oils on sealed, primed hardboard, unframed

One evening when the sunset was spectacular, my husband and I drove to the other side of the lake to take pictures. This group of people was just setting out in their boat to enjoy the last of a quiet summer evening.Below is the pochade box that I often use for these small paintings, with just the first layer of paint on the panel. The glass palette slides to the side to access the paints and supplies below. I secure the painting panel to a slightly larger board because with a painting this small, once I get to this stage, I hold it in my hand while painting. Taping it to the larger panel enables me to hold it without getting paint all over my hands.

The Morning After, drying panels, and Mango

Posted by Jamie on November 29th, 2006

$115.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

7 x 5″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard, unframed

Well, I confess…..This isn’t leftover from last night; I set it up for the painting. Then hubby asked me where his aspirin went, and I had to tell him it was down in the studio, in my setup. That got some laughs. I still need to touch up the elipse on the top of the glass. I played lost and found edges and then it got…..lost! hehe

Meanwhile, a coat of gesso and modeling paste mix has been added to the two coats of sealer already on the new panels, and they are drying in the studio. Once they get dry to the touch, I put them in letter-holders (found at Staples for a couple of dollars each) to dry completely. This keeps them separated and prevents them from taking up every square inch of surface space in my studio! I’ll apply the first coat of gesso/pumice this afternoon. They probably won’t be ready for painting until the weekend.

My little birdie, Mango, came down to the studio for a visit. I have this open wire playset for him down here, like a cage without sides, so he can have something to climb around on while enjoying some millet and chattering. My daughter made that cute toy for him.

From Framing Madness to Panel-Making Madness

Posted by Jamie on November 29th, 2006

When my framing frenzy was over and the dust finally settled in my studio last night, there were 54 paintings ready to go to the show. I decided to leave two of the larger paintings here, and delivered 52 to Putnam Arts Council’s Belle Levine Gallery this morning. It’s going to look awesome! I’ll try to get some pics to post after everything is hung and ready. I’ll also be at the Gallery on Saturday, December 9 from 2-5, and on Tuesday, December 12 from 12-3 for anyone who wants a personal tour of the exhibit.

For those in Dutchess County, don’t forget that I have 9 paintings left in the Buone Feste show at the River Winds Gallery! It’s right on Main Street in Beacon. There is a wonderful selection of gift items in that show made by local artisans. I splurged and bought myself a pair of gorgeous handmade earrings there.

And let’s not forget Westchester County…. You can see my paintings at The Paint Box in Bedford Hills. There are many small pieces, as well as a 24×36 plein air oil painting of Constitution Marsh in Fall.

Now that all those paintings have been framed, what’s a Daily Painter to do? Why, start making panels to resume painting, of course! My studio has been transformed from Framing Central into The Painting Panel Factory. I’m really eager to paint more square formats. I’ve often used 12×12, but those are a little large for my daily paintings, and I can’t find smaller ones that are reasonably priced. So, I’m making up a batch of 6×6″s, and while I’m at it, more 5x7s and 6x8s too—about 100 in all. The masonite boards are all cut (thanks to some help from my dear hubby), and after returning home from the gallery, I sanded about 30 of them and sealed them with two coats of GAC100 (acrylic polymer emulsion). I’ll follow that up tomorrow with a mixture of acrylic primer (gesso) and modeling paste, then two coats of a gesso/pumice mix.

I hope to get back to churning out a painting every day (well…five days a week) in another day or so with my new panels!

Fall at Leonard Park en plein air and my new pochade box

Posted by Jamie on November 24th, 2006

$150.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

6 x 8″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard, unframed

I finally was able to snatch some plein air time today. Hooray! It was one of those spectacular fall days, with the warmth and sunshine you didn’t think you’d find again until spring. I dropped my daughter at gymnastics and headed for a nearby park to take in some rays and test drive my new pochade box.

I hear those giggles among those who know me. “Another pochade box?”, they’re asking. I already have one for oils (which is a little bigger and supports larger panels) and one that I made for gouache. I plan to use this new one for “stealth painting”. heeheehee… It’s so small, and I’ve filled it with watersoluble oils so that I can just use whatever water I have on hand for painting in cafes, my car, or even the kitchen, with no worry about fumes or toxic substances, and no need to carry oil or turp.

Here’s an image of the painting still in the box. You can see there’s a hinged lip at the top of the part that holds the panel securely in place, so that you can slide the panel in and out. The box will hold one 6×8″ panel horizontally, and keeps it separated from the paints so that I can travel with the wet, completed painting.

The palette itself is actually wood, but I covered it with white contact paper for easier cleanup, and because I prefer to mix colors on a white surface. I find it hard to judge the colors and values of my dark, transparent mixes on a dark wood palette. The white contact paper worked out great. It wipes clean easily with a palette knife and rag, and if it gets tattered down the road, I can just peel it off and recover. As shown below, the palette slides to the left, giving easy access to the box’s storage compartments.

Here’s another view of how I packed up my box. I had to cut the handles off some of the brushes so that they’d fit. Underneath that rag is a thumb hole for supporting the box while standing.

For those looking for a small box like this, I give this one pretty high marks. It is sold by Utrecht, and made by Jullian. It is very reasonably priced, and comes with an adjustable leather shoulder strap too.

Fall Reflections and demo

Posted by Jamie on October 25th, 2006

5 x 7″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard
SOLD! Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com to inquire about a similar painting.
Fall Reflections was painted from a photo I took at Muscoot Farm in Somers, NY. I’m mainly a plein air painter and haven’t worked much from pictures, but I take photos wherever I go to paint. Over the years, I’ve accumulated thousands of photos that I have yet to paint from! It’s been fun to dig some of them out at last, and paint the scenes I envisioned on canvas years ago, but never got around to painting. I’ve always wanted to do a painting that featured reflections like this, with fall leaves floating on the top of the water. This was a lot of fun to paint, and I’m eager to have a go at a similar subject en plein air soon, perhaps at the brook behind my house.

When I work from photos, I prefer to paint directly off the computer screen, rather than printing them out. The color is much better, and I can crop the image, move it around, enlarge and reduce at will. I can even rotate both the image on the screen and the painting, and work on them both upside down! Here is my initial setup. You can see that I secured the small canvas board to a larger board to make it easier to work with. That way, I can hold the board in my hand, paint right to the edges, and rotate it easily. The canvas is toned a greyed violet, since I saw that as the optimum background for this particular painting. I added a touch of liquin and used an alkyd white to get it to tack up a little faster, knowing I’d want to do a lot of layering alla prima for this painting.

I selected just four colors for this piece (though additional colors are on the palette). I used cadmium yellow lemon, cadmium red medium, ultramarine blue deep, and transparent red oxide, plus of course titanium white. I blocked in the reflections and placement of the grasses, and worked that stage until it was completely finished.

Here’s another image of the still-incomplete painting. After the colors were down, I swept a brush side to side to show movement in the water. Most of the work with the reflections and color was then complete:

Once the painting was at the stage above, I let it set up for a half hour so the paint wouldn’t be so slippery, then went back and added in the leaves floating in the water, and the definition of the grasses at the top, tweaked it here and there, and signed it. Done!

Fun With Gourds No. 5—–Three’s a Crowd

Posted by Jamie on October 18th, 2006

$115.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

5 x 7″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard, unframed

For the setup-pic-lovers among you, here’s a photo below of the still life with the compositional placement of the painting. I usually do a painting in three stages. The first is the setup of the items and the basic positioning of them on the canvas. Because the gourds are such a warm color, I use transparent red oxide to sketch in the forms.

Once I have the placement set, I start putting in color for Phase 2, getting in the lights and darks and covering the canvas.

Once that stage is done, I take a short break to get my eyes off the subject for a few minutes, usually with a cup of tea and a browse on www.wetcanvas.com. When I come back to it, I do a check of each item, adjusting shadows, adding highlights, and putting in reflected color, plus pushing the lights and darks a little more.

Hitching a Ride, #2 of Gourd Series

Posted by Jamie on October 13th, 2006

$115.00 plus $10 shipping and insurance within the Continental United States. For local sales, shipping charge will be allocated to NYS Sales Tax. Please email me at JamieWG@aol.com for International purchases or with any questions.

5 x 7″, Oils on canvas covered hardboard, unframed

These are just proving to be way too much fun to be legal! My palette was a little more limited this time. I used Cadmium yellow pale, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red, Transparent Red Oxide, and Ultramarine Deep, plus titanium white of course. I made the ultramarine paint myself, and this was by far the best batch I ever made. Yummmm!

Everybody seems to like setup photos and to see work in progress, so I’ve included a couple more images below. The first one shows my still life setup plus the basic block-in of the composition, done using just transparent red oxide to position the elements on the canvas before going in with full color.

After that, I got carried away and didn’t stop until I was almost finished. Here’s the update pic with the setup, just shy of being completed. There were still some highlights, reflected light, deepening of some shadow areas, and overall tweaking here and there remaining to be done:

I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do for another encore, but these little guys are just so cute…I’m sure I’ll come up with something!