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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! :D

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!