Posted by: janamatusz | November 16, 2018

Maine inspires again and again…

I admit it. I never get tired of painting in Maine. Acadia continues to inspire me, and one reason why, I think, is that there are so many options — I can paint ocean and rocks one day, and forest and stream another day. I know where to find my favorite painting subjects, but I’m always discovering new ones as well, even after so many years!

Maine is inspiring in ANY season, but I have to admit, October is probably my favorite time of year there. It’s cool but not cold. There is wonderful autumn color.

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The light is gorgeous.

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There are fewer people than during high season, and the noisy youngsters are back in school. It’s blissfully peaceful.

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I can paint in quiet solitude.

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There is always a lot to see when you’re sitting quietly for long periods of time.

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I enjoyed every moment of sunshine I got for my October paintings.

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Acadia is not always sunny however! This time I had a special project for rainy days. Close at hand was the Dorr Natural History Museum at the College of the Atlantic, and I worked on some Sainted Creatures, little 5-inch test versions, (which I framed up later for the Little Pictures Show in Providence).

Jana painting Foxy

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It was wonderful to be able to paint in the museum. I’m very tidy, so there was no need to worry about paint splatters or messes. Thank you, everyone at the Dorr Museum!

Traveling farther afield, I made an exploratory trip to the L.C. Bates Museum in Hinckley, Maine, and had my first opportunity to paint there too. What a collection! I did some more small-scale, 5-inch paintings there.

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These Sainted Creatures are a continuation of an exploration I started way back in 2014, when I did some sainted birds and animals from the Acadia Archival Collection. You can see three of them here:

http://janamatusz.com/2014PAINTINGS.html

It’s probably too early to be talking about these Sainted Creatures, but I sure am enjoying painting them. (Don’t be fooled by their cuteness. I am quite serious about them.)

I returned to the L.C. Bates Museum in November for another three days of painting. It is a marvelous old museum, with thousands of taxidermy specimens. The director, Deborah Staber, was incredibly helpful, supportive  and kind. (Thank you!!!)

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I’m sure I’ll have more to say about the Sainted Creatures later.

Meanwhile, I just wanted to mention a couple of other recent adventures.

I enjoyed the unique opportunity to stay at a monastery during a Sketching workshop in October. Melissa Fischer (who is one of the artist leaders at the Acadia Artist Retreats) offered a beautifully presented workshop at the Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York (not far from Poughkeepsie). The venue, on the banks of the Hudson River, was inspiring and very interesting. Even though I am not a religious person, I loved the “Great Silence” and the good peaceful calm of the monastery.

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Also, I taught a “Sans Studio” workshop at the Providence Art Club in early August. The whole point was to get OUT of the comfortable studio and go paint in other venues, inside or out. We ventured over to the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab at RISD…

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and the amazing RISD Art Museum, as well as doing a little work outside. My intrepid group of artists were not intimidated by the 90-degree heat!

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I so enjoy being a member at the Providence Art Club. It was a pleasure to teach at the Club for the first time. Thank you to everyone there!

As always, I’m grateful to dear friends for generous support, love, and kindness. You know who you are. Thank you.

Lots to look forward to in coming months…

 

 

 

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Posted by: janamatusz | July 19, 2018

Email vs on-line

Hi. For those of you who are subscribed to my blog and get an email when I post, I hope you will take a moment to go to the blog site directly, either by clicking on the link below or by clicking on the title of the posting in your email. WordPress makes these really nice little collages of the photos, which unfortunately don’t show up in the email! I know every computer is different, but I think it will look a lot better on line:

https://janamatusz.wordpress.com

Thanks!

Posted by: janamatusz | July 19, 2018

Mid-Summer 2018

At last I got a chance to do some painting in Acadia! It’s always a blessing when the weather is good and I’m able to be inspired, productive, and comfortable. (Not always a given when you’re working on site!) I scouted out some new areas and did paintings of trails and forest as well as my favorite rocks.

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As always, I delighted in the beauty of Acadia, the closeness to nature, and the joy of being on a painting trip.

I was reminded again of how beautiful the coastal rocks are — strong and architectural, subtle in color and warmth.

Nature always provided sources of wonder, whether it was a pattern of bark on a tree, or the beautiful concert of a hermit thrush.

I was happy to visit some little PIGGIES! at the Beech Hill Farm, who were cute as can be.

They were very difficult to draw, as they were VERY active and did not hold still for even a moment. I’ve been looking for interesting drawing opportunities this summer. Earlier in May and June I visited a number of equestrian events and a dog show, and loved the challenge of drawing on site. I do love to draw, and was reminded of how much fun I had at the Bermuda Ag Show years ago. I’ll definitely look for more drawing possibilities like this. More drawings to come!

I’m looking forward to leading a little August workshop at the Providence Art Club about working “Sans Studio,” drawing and painting out in the real world. Should be a lot of fun! I am ever grateful to be drawing and painting, and ever thankful for the support of dear friends…

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Posted by: janamatusz | April 8, 2018

An Acadia Invitation – for YOU!

It’s on! The fifth annual Acadia Artist Retreat is happening the week of June 24, 2018!

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Here’s the official flyer pdf:

ACADIAArtist Retreat2018

If you’re interested in coming, please contact Kate Petrie as soon as possible. (Email her at Kate_Petrie@nps.gov, or call 207-288-1312.) Space is limited — this truly is a unique opportunity to stay and work RIGHT IN the National Park!

Here are some more details for you:

  • The price of $1325 includes 6 nights in a comfortable 2-bedroom apartment right in Acadia National Park, including a private bedroom with shared common area and bathroom. (Don’t worry — no tents! You can even upgrade to a luxury suite if you’d like.)
  • It also includes ALL meals, from Sunday dinner to Friday dinner. You’ll have hearty breakfasts, bag lunches and snacks to take wherever you paint, and delicious dinners, including a Maine lobster dinner.
  • There are optional art presentations, Ranger-led nature walks, group activities, and reviews of work BUT remember! This is a RETREAT, NOT A WORKSHOP, so you’re able to concentrate on what YOU want to work on. All levels are welcome. Bring your favorite materials (watercolors, oils, acrylics, sketching materials), and consider coming with an art buddy.

Past participants know what a terrific retreat this is. Some made it a reunion with an old college roommate, or a trip with fellow plein air group member. Even if you come alone, it’s a great gift to give yourself ¬†— a marvelous chance to do your own work in a comfortable, supportive, absolutely beautiful and inspiring place. Just think — no shared cooking, no assigned chores, no uncomfortable boat trip!

And it’s all at a very reasonable price. If you would like to register, please be persistent, and please be patient. (The National Park personnel are stretched pretty far these days!) It’s worth it to experience the long summer days painting on the Schoodic Peninsula!

I can’t wait. It’s been many months since I was in Acadia. My last trip was in October 2017. I stayed on the quiet side of Mt. Desert Island, driving to various places in the Park to paint. Here’s a favorite from that trip:

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You can see more paintings on my website at

http://janamatusz.com/2017PAINTINGS.html

Acadia is beautiful, centering, and inspiring. Have I mentioned I love it there? ūüôā

See you in June!

 

Posted by: janamatusz | July 14, 2017

Exhibitions and June 2017 Artist Retreat!

It’s been a busy time. One of the high points of the last few months was an exhibition of figure drawings at the Providence Art Club. I was happy to share the upstairs gallery with Suzanne Dickson Albert and Pat D’Ambra — our work was very different, but made a good exhibition.

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I do love figure drawing, and was happy to share some recent work. It is no small task to prepare for an exhibition, but it’s always a pleasure to see one’s work displayed well.

Speaking of exhibitions, some figure drawings (and possibly portraits) will be included in an upcoming exhibition at the ArtProv Gallery, at 150 Chestnut Street in Providence. I’m very pleased to take part. Here’s an invitation:

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See you there!

Another recent high point was, of course, the fourth annual Acadia Artist Retreat, June 18-24, 2017. I know you must be rolling your eyes, saying “There she goes again, always talking about the wonders of Acadia…” but honestly, can you blame me?

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I’m always inspired, centered, and renewed by any time in Acadia. As soon as I arrive, I feel myself slow down, I look for bird and animal friends, and feel a healing connection with nature. It is a place of calm strength.

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I enjoyed a week of hiking and painting before the Artist Retreat, sharing many of my favorite painting spots with Melissa Fischer, a wonderful artist, naturalist, and dear friend. You can see her work and read her observations on her blog by clicking here: http://melissafischer.com/category/melissas-musings-and-doodlings/

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Melissa was one of the artist leaders of the Artist Retreat, as was Ron Parlin, another very talented and inspiring artist who exhibits at the Argosy Gallery. He gave a terrific presentation, generously sharing years of training and experience.

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The Acadia Artist Retreat was wonderful. Our enthusiastic small group of artists had a productive and rewarding week. Here are some photos from the Retreat. The weather brought both luscious fog AND brilliant sunshine. We enjoyed our comfortable apartment accommodations and wonderful food, nature walks with Park Rangers, and even managed a figure drawing session and a portrait session this time!

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Can’t wait for the next Acadia Artist Retreat! I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Many thanks to Ranger Kate, for creating and running this program!

I’ll return to Bar Harbor briefly for the THIRD ACADIA INVITATIONAL at the Bar Harbor Inn, sponsored by the Argosy Gallery (July 29 and 30, 2017). It promises to be a stunning show, with many outstanding artists represented. One of my contributions to the Invitational is “No Thunder Today.” Don’t miss this event if you’re in Maine!

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We had a little break where we touched base with dear friends in Bermuda, and “filled our bucket” with lots of turquoise waters and stunning skies.

Now it’s back to work varnishing and framing and planning for my next projects.

Ever grateful…for everything.

Posted by: janamatusz | February 19, 2017

A Taste of Winter

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A short visit to Acadia in February gave me the opportunity to do some winter plein air painting. I admit it — I asked for snow. Blame me! We got plenty of it, with howling winds and bitterly cold temperatures. But I’m happy to be in Acadia in any season, and winter holds a special beauty all its own.

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Temperatures ranged from the single digits, with windchill below zero, to a the relatively “balmy” low 20¬įs. I used all my own tips and advice for cold-weather painting, including multiple layers of clothing, boiling water in a thermos to paint with, a “Snugglesafe” microwave heat disk to keep my second palette of acrylic paints warm, and convertible mittens. And yes, I remembered to keep the paintings flat when I brought them back so they would not slide off the board when they melted!

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Acadia is beautiful in winter. Just take a look!

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Sometimes dazzling, sometimes colorless. There’s always something to see, if you can get to it!

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I was lucky to be in Schoodic during the Acadia Winter Festival, which meant that I was able to attend some wonderful lectures, participate in a terrific bird walk, and even learn about Dutch Oven cooking! Yum! (And thank you to Ed Pontbriand for an excellent and delicious introduction to something new!)

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I cherish the experience of being in Acadia in winter. Photos don’t do it justice, and somehow the camera doesn’t catch the subtle colors which I find so enchanting. Yes, it’s more difficult to paint and explore in winter, but there’s always something to see.

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Always grateful for the chance to be in Acadia…

Speaking of which, if you’re interested in the Acadia Artist Retreat, registration is now open. It will be June 18-24, 2017, and it’s a LOT more comfortable to paint in June, believe me! Spaces are limited — enroll soon! Here’s the link:

https://www.schoodicinstitute.org/event/summer-acadia-artist-retreat-2/

See you there!

Posted by: janamatusz | October 30, 2016

2016 Part Four: PAC and Owl’s Head

Thank you, by the way, blog readers, for sharing this site with others. Feel free to share the url for this blog and for my web site (which will get an update soon…), and please¬†subscribe if you would like to¬†receive notifications of new blogposts by email.

janamatusz.wordpress.com

www.janamatusz.com

And now, to¬†wrap up 2016 to date…

When I’m not off painting someplace far away, it’s always a pleasure to join fellow artists at the Providence Art Club for figure drawing and portrait sessions. I have enjoyed being a member for a couple of years now, and I treasure the camaraderie and community of artists at the Club. It is absolutely worth the trip to Rhode Island to enjoy a meal or a class at the Art Club. There is no other place like it.

It was a special treat to paint some small portraits in Kate Huntington’s classes in Spring, 2016. I put a few of the¬†portraits¬†together in a grid and exhibited them as a single piece:

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And figure drawing, well, that I could do several times a week! (And sometimes I do! Not only in Providence, but also in Kittery, Cambridge, Bar Harbor when I’m there, and other places.) I absolutely love figure drawing and will be showing some of my work at the Providence Art Club in May.

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A small group of us from Providence figure drawing got together to rent a place in Owl’s Head, Maine for two weeks in October. I had painted there in 2008, so I felt the same deja vu I did in Cape Ann, knowing that I had been here, painted here before. The quarries were more overgrown, but still beautiful. This was the first time I tried a group art trip like this. I was a little burnt out from my intense period of painting on Cape Ann, but I still enjoyed being in Maine, painting the¬†quarries, and having¬†good conversations¬†and hikes with friends.

I also had a chance to do¬†some small still lifes, which were very enjoyable to paint. The still lifes are the start of an “SOS” series: “Something of Something,” you know, like “A Mug of Coffee,” “A Glass of Milk,” etc.

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Look for these at the Little Pictures Show at the Providence Art Club.

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Maine pier.

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Camden from afar.

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Fall color from Mt. Megunticook.

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Quarry exploring.

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Quarry reflections.

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Green quarry water.

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Quarry landscape.

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Quarry walls with color.

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Quarry walls.

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Yum! Pancakes at the Owl’s Head General Store.

So now I’m busy sealing, varnishing, and framing paintings. It’s nice to be back home after all the painting trips this summer. I’m grateful this month to be celebrating 30 years with my life partner, and hoping for many more years together. I’m very grateful to everyone who supports and takes an interest in my artwork, and I’ll keep on painting like there’s no tomorrow…

More to come in 2017!

Posted by: janamatusz | October 29, 2016

2016 Part Three: Cape Ann

September 2016 brought yet another change of scenery. Thanks to the Goetemann Artist Residency awarded by the Rocky Neck Art Colony, I had the opportunity to paint on Cape Ann, Massachusetts for a whole month. What a treat! What a challenge! I had made day trips to paint on Cape Ann many years ago, and had found the rocky coast and quarries very inspiring. Now I had a chance to explore and paint intensely, morning through evening, and without the long commute!

I stayed on Rocky Neck, a peninsula across from the main waterfront of Gloucester, in a studio apartment. I gave an introductory presentation of my work at the Cultural Center on Rocky Neck, and had a closing conversation at the studio apartment at the end of my stay. I enjoyed meeting everyone at the RNAC, and especially appreciated the generous help and kindness of my advisers, Nadine, Kristie, and Kathy. (Thank you!)

There were so many possible directions for me to go with my work, and I was as curious as anyone to see what I would come up with. Would I do trucks again? There were some pretty awesome trucks here. Or the large fishing boats, trucks of the sea, in Gloucester harbor? Townscapes? Street views? The buildings were so New England, so stunning in the late summer light. It was all very inspiring, and all so very tempting. But the rocks, the strong granite coast and the gorgeous quarry walls captivated me again, and I ended up doing mostly rock paintings. And I loved it.

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Gloucester morning.

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Boat and sky shapes.

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Seaside houses.

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Gloucester fishing boat.

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Rockport Motif No. 1, catching the light.

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Gloucester madonna.

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Colorful flowers.

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Gloucester Joan of Arc.

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Tempting fire truck.

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Schooner Arabelle.

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Breakwater progression.

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Overgrown quarry.

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Painting on the coast.

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Inviting quarry pool.

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Froggy friend.

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Geese reflections.

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Green heron.

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Quarry gulls.

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Quarry water – ocean water! There are very few places like Halibut Point.

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Quarry rock faces and water.

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Quarry with teens.

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Quarry painting spot.

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Quarry swimmers.

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Quarry stones.

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Sunset from Eastern Point.

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Painting rocks, it really does.

What a joy to spend a whole month focusing on my work, building on the experiences day after day, feeling the momentum and improvement with each painting. Thank you, Rocky Neck Art Colony, for the incredible gift of time.

More to come…

 

Posted by: janamatusz | October 28, 2016

2016 Part Two: The Catskills

Whoa! Something new in July 2016! Thanks to a residency at the Platte Clove cabin, provided by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, I had a chance to explore a whole new landscape. Each of the selected artists had a residency alone at the cabin for one week.

The Catskills, in New York State, are dense and rugged. Dark, scary! Think Rip van Winkle. The high waterfalls and cliffs are awe inspiring, and the colors are very different from Acadia. There are no ocean colors, no gulls, no shimmering coastlines. The tree cover is thick. The rocks are dark colored and mostly sedimentary shale, often beautifully carved by water. Very different from the airy, light, warm granite coasts of Acadia. I had to adjust my palette, and look for different kinds of compositions.

It was a very dry summer, so the waterfalls were reduced to a trickle. I had a sunny week, excellent for hiking and exploring and painting on site.

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2016 Platte Clove Artists.

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The Red Cabin.

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Cabin interior.

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Cabin kitchen.

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Platte Clove Falls.

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Dark forest.

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Falls just below the cabin.

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Rocky stream.

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Beautiful rocks and water.

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At the top of Platte Clove Falls.

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The Catskills – amazing vistas after dark hikes.

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At the top of Kaaterskill Falls.

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Kaaterskill Upper Falls. Yikes. See how small those people are?

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Kaaterskill Lower and Upper Falls.

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At the base of the trail.

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A different drama and beauty.

I¬†was¬†so grateful for the chance to paint in a new place. Many many thanks to Katie and everyone at CCCD. I loved the rustic cabin, the closeness to nature, the break from television and internet. It was only a week, but it was a productive one. I’d love to do it again.

Admittedly,¬†I was happy to come back to civilization, home, running water, bathroom… When Marta first saw the paintings, she thought they looked dark and muddy. Later, when she had seen my photos, she said¬†the¬†paintings¬†were perfect.

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Top of Bridal Veil Falls

 

More to come…

Posted by: janamatusz | October 27, 2016

2016 Part One: Acadia

It’s been a busy and productive year. So busy I haven’t had a chance to write in this blog! Here are¬†some comments and photos from the past year, in incremental posts. Eventually I’ll update the website too, to share¬†paintings from 2016. I’ll start at the beginning with painting time in Acadia National Park. Parts Two, Three, and Four are coming very soon.

Going way back to February 2016, I loved taking part in the Acadia¬†Winter Festival at Schoodic Institute. I gave a small workshop on extreme weather plein air painting, and again had a chance to put some of the helpful tips into practice myself. Alas, there wasn’t much snow this¬†year, but I searched out whatever ice remained through the odd blasts of storm and high surf. It’s not easy to paint when the thermometer reads 19F degrees , but¬†I managed to stay relatively comfortable, thanks to many layers!

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Chilly outdoor studio!

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Icy tide line, and a painting.

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Soft winter colors.

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More winter colors. The water is an amazing green.

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Where’s Waldo/Jana? (Photo by Renata Moise, who painted with me at the extreme weather plein air workshop.)

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Winter branches.

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Big splashes at Schoodic Point.

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High surf looking toward Little Moose Island.

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Icy coast.

Enough cold photos! Brrrr!

In June 2016 (MUCH warmer than February!) I was back at Schoodic for the third annual Acadia Artist Retreat. What a joy! We had a terrific group of 12 artists, from as far away as Ohio, Canada, and Bermuda. We all learned from each other, and got a lot of good artwork¬†done, including some lovingly attentive nature studies (and even some figure drawing!) I loved the discovery, by one of our participants Liz, that in a duck’s beak “was a whole landscape.” And I really appreciated the enthusiasm of the artists who were excited by¬†the new perspectives and enjoyment of the world that art was bringing to them.

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Gorgeous Schoodic!

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Happy watercolorist.

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Artists on Little Moose Island.

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I love love love the rocks.

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Plein air in comfort!

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Sharing after meals.

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Kate at the Touch Tank.

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Ying and nature.

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Artist Retreat final review of work.

I’m looking forward to the next Acadia Artist Retreat, which will be in June 2017. I’ll post an alert¬†when the dates are set, as¬†I think the places¬†will fill quickly. Acadia is clearly¬†a stunning, inspiring place to paint, and the Acadia Artist Retreat provided excellent meals, support and camaraderie. A big thank you to Kate and staff at Schoodic and Acadia¬†National Park for such a wonderful program.

I continued¬†on in Maine for another couple weeks,¬†painting on Mt. Desert. I stayed¬†right by¬†some paths¬†on the “Quiet Side,” and enjoyed hiking and heading out to paint right from my cabin. I even tried some smaller format paintings this time. I was pleased to be in Bar Harbor¬†for exhibitions at the Argosy Gallery and for this year’s “Art on Deck” Father’s Day reception at Galyn’s. Thanks to everyone!

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June morning light.

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Quiet side daisies.

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Spring color.

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Feathered friend

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Fun at Bubble Rock.

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Handsome gull.

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Osprey on the hunt.

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A moment at top of Perpendicular Trail.

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A breakfast favorite.

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Yawning baby loon.

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Grateful. Grateful.

Most of all, I was grateful to be in Acadia, a place where I am spiritually uplifted, close to nature, and totally at home.

More posts to follow…

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