Paint Way Down East July 11-18, 2009

Following up on last year’s highly successful workshop, I am offering a painting adventure next summer to the moody, rock-bound coast of Down East, Maine.
This workshop will be based at the lovely and historic West Quoddy Coast Guard Station in Lubec, ME. This early 20th century station is located on the edge of Quoddy Head State Park. The station was recently renovated and opened as a guesthouse by Bill Clark, who developed Randall’s Ordinary Inn in North Stonington, CT.
Your fee of $1150 includes instruction, all meals and seven days of double accommodations. (Other packages are available from $1050.) Non-participating spouses are always welcome; please contact us here for more information and pricing.

See a brochure here.
Book by Feb. 1, 2009 and save $100 off the cost of your workshop!

Among the attractions to paint are:

West Quoddy Head Light (c. 1858)
Passamaquoddy Bay
Historic Lubec waterfront and harbor
Grand Manan Channel
West Quoddy Peat Bog
Sail Rock
Carrying Place Cove
Mulholland Light
Lubec Channel Light

Area attractions include:

St. Andrews, NB, and the Bay of Fundy
Historic whaling community of Eastport, ME
FDR historic site at Campobello Island

For more information, email me here, or call Carol L. Douglas Studios at 585-201-1558.

Looking forward to seeing you in Maine!

Junior League of Rochester Holiday Market, Oct. 18-19, 2008

This weekend, I will participate in the new Junior League of Rochester Holiday Market at the Dome Fair & Expo Center, 2695 E. Henrietta Rd, Rochester. The show features fine arts and crafts, gourmet foods, and services.

Hours are Saturday from 10 to 6 and Sunday from 10 to 5. Tickets are $5, 12 and under free. They will be available at the door or with advance registration from the Junior League office at 585-385- 8590.

I will have original artwork and prints and notecards for sale. Some of my prints are available online from the publisher, here.

New York landscapes to please any art lover
Ten high quality note cards with envelopes, packed in a clear acrylic box. $9.95 (to order cards by mail, contact me here).

Coast Guard Station

Toys in the Snow
Catskill Farm

Campbell’s Field

Seventh Annual Rhinebeck Paint-Out

Around the Bend, 12X16, oil
On Saturday, Oct. 18, I will participate (long-distance) in the Barrett Art Center’s 7th Annual Rhinebeck Paint-Out and Art Auction. Painters will work from 9-3 in the greater Rhinebeck area, with a reception starting at 4 PM, and a live auction from 5-8 PM. The auction will be held at Good Shepherd Church, Father Brogan Parish Center, in Rhinebeck.

Because I have an event in Rochester on the same day, the organizers graciously allowed me to paint on Friday, October 10. I chose the lovely Queen Anne house at Wilderstein for my subject. This was the home of FDR’s cousin and confidante, Margaret (Daisy) Suckley. The landscape of this estate was designed by Calvert Vaux (Olmsted’s co-designer of Central Park) and features prospects of the Hudson. I dithered between the “million dollar view” created to seen from the house, and the house itself. House won.

Wilderstein, 14X18, oil
Among the fifty or so artists who will paint in this event are Kathy Lynn Buist, Bruce Bundock, Frank Cannas, Margaret Crenson, Sallie Lyon, Nestor Madalengoitia, Seth A. Nadel, Crista Pisano, and Phyllis Tarlow.

For more information contact: Barrett Art Center, 55 Noxon St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 845- 471-2550

Lilac Preservation Project presents The Water Works Exhibition

October 3-5, 2008 — North side of Pier 40, Manhattan
Migrating Geese, by Carol Douglas, 12X9, oil, is among works by thirty New York artists.
New York, NY – The Lilac Preservation Project (LPP) is pleased to present The Water Works Exhibition, featuring the works of thirty artists from metropolitan New York and the Hudson Valley. The show is curated by Lilac’s artist-in-residence, Amy DiGi. All works are for sale.
Artists featured in the exhibition include: Liz Adams, Yasue Arai, John Baber, Amy DiGi, Carol Douglas, Victoria Estok, Mary Ann Glass, Marilyn Harari, Linda Hubbard, Rick Michalek, Maddy Morales, Sharon Nakazato, Rein Singfield, Christopher Staples, Ruth Ternovitz, Joe Vacara, Diane Waller, Marcia Wiley, Elizabeth Winchester, Kristin Zimmermann and others
The Lilac, built in 1933, is an historic, decommissioned US Coast Guard vessel that served as a lighthouse and buoy tender in New Jersey. She is the last surviving vessel in her class. (For details about her history and the mission and work of the LPP, see here.)
The Water Works Exhibition is open to the public Friday through Sunday, October 3-5, from 10 AM to 6 PM. The public is invited to a reception on Saturday, Oct. 4 from 6 to 9 PM. All Lilac exhibitions are open to the public free of charge.
Subway: Take the #1 train To Christopher Street. Walk west along Christopher Street to West Street (West Side Highway), cross to the Pier and walk south 2 blocks to Pier 40. Or take the #1 train to Houston Street and walk west along Houston Street directly to the Pier.

Bus: Take the 8, 10 or 21 bus lines. PATH directions: To Christopher Street Station. Walk west along Christopher Street to West Street (West Side Highway), cross to the Pier and walk south 2 blocks to Pier 40.

Car: Pier 40 is located 2 blocks south of Christopher Street off of West Street (West Side Highway).

Rye Painters on Location 2008

Here is my set-up along the shingle.
Well, dang me, I managed to delete my own painting from Rye from my camera. (That’s what I get for photo-editing when overtired.) Hopefully, the Rye Record will have a copy of it.
However, my experience at Rye was (as it seems to be every year) wonderful. I decided to paint at a small rocky promontory at Edith Read Sanctuary behind Playland. A young man was there fishing for porgies and bluefish—he was disappointed that the surf was making his day off so difficult. He gave up fairly quickly, but not before modeling surf casting for me and showing me pictures of his two young sons on his cellphone.

I sketched him a bit thinking I could integrate him into my painting but it seemed too contrived. In retrospect I wish I’d redesigned my composition around him, but he was gone by then, and photo reference violates the spirit, if not the rule, of this paintout.

Rye has changed its format this year to include two days of painting. There are many painters who can put together a polished, credible entry in four hours. I am not one of them. I paint for every hour available, struggle back and forth from overdone to fluid. This was no exception; at 2:45 on the second day, fellow painter Sally Lyon kindly helped me hoist my stuff back off the beach to my car to get it framed and wired by the 3 PM deadline.

Along the coast, the tide goes in and the tide goes out. You can freeze it in a photo, and that makes for simpler painting, but in plein air you work essentially from imagination and memory, substituting the rocks that show for the rocks that are submerged. I love the freedom of this approach, but it can be quite disconcerting the first time you try it.
It has rained all summer in the northeast. This weekend was no exception. By the end of our first day, it was pouring buckets. It killed me to quit, because the light was low, lovely, and moody, but I generally quit when the medium and rain are emulsifying in the cup.

This photo, taken the Mill Pond as I left, shows the rain and failing light. A few minutes later, when I saw cygnets following a swan beside Manursing Way, it was impossible to even take a photo.

The second day, back at the beach, the surf was down and the light was flat. I attempted to recreate the prior day’s darkness and moodiness, but I should have followed new conditions (one never knows).

That morning, I saw a seal potting along the shore. Shorebirds such as gulls, cormorants, and herons are numerous beyond mention. What a lovely place it is!

New York Social Realism

A Pool With A View (Cunningham Rd) by Bruce Bundock
32″ x 20″, Acrylic

Today I’d like to write about an artist who also did the Rye Painters on Location this weekend: Bruce Bundock.

It takes an extraordinary mind to see the beauty of Tyvek, T11 siding and an above-ground pool set serenely in Eden. This is a legitimate extension of the social realism of Millet or Hopper, but we are so blind to working-class, rural New York that we don’t immediately recognize it. (New York has the highest and fastest growing income disparity in the nation*.) What interests me is that Bruce seems genuinely fascinated by these modest houses; there isn’t a shred of sentimentality in his work.

His subtle social commentary wouldn’t work without impeccable technique. I am personally fond of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, and I see intimations of it in Bruce’s work, particularly in the discrete steps used instead of gradation to indicate tonal range. The best of his paintings remind me of old-fashioned commercial lithography, particularly in the wonderful flat greens of the trees. None of this, of course, would work without his superlative drafting.

Botanical by Bruce Bundock
11.5″ x 8.25″, Acrylic

This weekend, I acquired Bruce’s “Botanical”, above. I presume by the title that Bruce thinks it’s about the flowers, but once more I see a modest but proud house set in Paradise. As I’m sure I’ll see him someday in a major national gallery, I am thrilled to have such an archetypal example of his work.

Rye Beach Pavilion, by Bruce Bundock, September 13, 2008, acrylic

His Rye painting, of an old Spanish-style building at Playland, included that motif, appropriately muted. A painting which might have been postcard-sentimental was elevated by the inclusion of construction equipment in the foreground, which was perfectly integrated into the composition by skillful balancing of form and color.

To see more of Bruce’s paintings, go to

8th Annual Painters on Location

Saturday, September 13, 2008, Rye NY
The Rocks Would Cry Out
18X24, oil on canvas
To bid on this work, call the Rye Arts Center at (914) 967-0700 x 33 before Saturday, September 13, 2008
Tomorrow I leave to participate in the 8th annual Painters on Location paintout and live auction in Rye, NY. This is an event I look forward to with great excitement and a little nervousness.

43 artists choose locations along the Long Island Sound Shore and have 32 hours to paint, frame, and deliver a wet canvas to the Rye Arts Center. That evening (September 13) the paintings are auctioned off at a charming gala event.

The reception opens at 5:00 PM, by which time I hope to have my face and hands reasonably scrubbed and be changed into some paint-free clothing (it doesn’t always happen). The auctioneer begins the live auction at 6:15. The reception is free but anyone who is interested in attending the live auction is asked to purchase a $10 bidding paddle. Guests are encouraged to purchase bidding paddles in advance as seating is limited.

(frame detail)

A Silent Auction of existing works by these artists is now on view in the gallery. The opening bid on my silent auction piece (above) is $600 and you are welcome to bid in advance by calling (914) 967-0700 x 33. The silent auction ends fifteen minutes after the live auction, on September 13.

Painting in Maine

This is my favorite painting from my recent Maine trip. It’s quite small—6X8—and was done during a downpour on a shingle beach in Penobscot Bay. I like the color and the energy. It comes close to my sense of what the ocean is about.

(I plan to teach in Maine next July so if you’re interested, please let me know.)

After painting in Maine, I saw All Things Bright and Beautiful: California Impressionists at the Katonah Museum of Art. What a different world they were painting! It’s an excellent show, and runs until October 5, 2008.

So you want to go to art school?

You wouldn’t consider applying to music school without taking private lessons, so why would you apply to art school that way? Carol L. Douglas is an experienced painting and drawing teacher who can help you create a portfolio tailored to the school you want.

“Ms. Douglas helped me develop my portfolio to meet colleges’ expectations and taught me the fundamentals of painting and pastel. I was offered scholarships to several art programs including RIT and Pratt. She is an excellent teacher for the student willing to work hard to develop potential.”

— Zeyuan Chen, Brighton HS ‘08, Stony Brook University ‘12
“I visited Pratt and realized my portfolio would not get me in. Ms. Douglas worked with me intensively to fill the gaps, and I am now at Pratt with a Presidential Scholarship. I would not have gotten in without her help.”
— Sandy Quang, MCC ‘08, Pratt Art Institute ‘10
Carol L. Douglas Studio
410 Oakdale Drive, Rochester, NY 14618
email: [email protected]