Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Work

Over the past few days, I've been inspired to do a few "wildlife" paintings. I truly DO love animals,.....all animals, so they are great subject matter for me. I haven't done many paintings just for me lately, so I've been enjoying the freedom to do so during this little hiatus from my class schedule. These renditions are simple compositions intended to make the particular animal subject stand out, so I didn't worry about a lot of background detail. I'm not a big fan of "busy" paintings, which in my eye, look too "cluttered". I prefer "short and sweet" and to the point.

These are all on 11"x14" canvas panel, with the exception of the geese, which are on a 12"x24" gallery-wrap stretched canvas. All are in Oils, but started with a "rough-in" of the animal with Acrylics. Oils were then painted over the top. I hope you enjoy them!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Student Christmas Cards

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! Is it just me, or does it get even more hectic every year?

This year, several students had cards made from some of our painting projects. It's a great way to send a more "personal" greeting to family and friends.

Shown above are some of the cards I received. Note that some of them are not from my class, but unique designs created entirely by the individual. FANTASTIC!!

They were all beautiful! I also received traditional cards from several friends and students.

Many thanks to everyone.

I don't do much "card-sending" myself anymore, simply because I know sooo many people in so many different areas. My "student list" alone would consist of a few hundred people, so it would be impossible to reach everyone. And I'd feel badly to send out to a select few if I couldn't do so for everyone, so I hope you all understand.

We'll soon turn the corner to 2009. My plan is to do a little more plein air painting in the coming year. ( but, I say that every year lol )

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Snow Scene

Here's a painting I just did this afternoon. It's on a 12"x12" "gallery wrap" canvas with paintable edges, thus eliminating the need for framing. Plus, that format lends a much more 3-dimensional feel.

While it was inspired by my snowshoe trek yesterday, I didn't try to copy it exactly. The photo from my hike was way too complicated and busy to include every detail, so I went more for the "feel" and a pleasing composition.

Initially, I had planned to block in the larger areas with Acrylics, then layer Oils over the top. However, once I got started, it just felt right to continue with that medium, so it is entirely in Acrylics.

I have an upcoming display at the Canton-Potsdam Hospital and I think I'll include this one for that exhibit.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Today's Hike

I did indeed make it out for a snowshoe hike this afternoon. Great walk, but sooo cold!!

8 degrees. Took several photos. I'll post a few of my favorites herein. It was sunny and bright, so the shadows were quite dominant and contrasting. Light and shadow are the artist's friends, you know.

You'll notice one photo in particular, with a dramatic play of light and shadow. The way the sun was bouncing off the rock and being hemmed in with the blue snow shadows,............ well, it just caught my eye. Beautiful!! And there's another shot that's literally framed in with tree trunks. I LOVE that one! It looks like a painting already. You'll notice that there are 4 trees shown, so in the interest of a more pleasing composition, I would probably add or delete a tree to arrive at an odd number grouping. But, I really like that shot, so I may have to paint something along that line, using the photo as a reference.

Since this was my first trek for the season, I was breaking new ground and it was a pretty demanding workout, actually. Should be a little easier next time, if I can keep the trail open.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Today's Painting

Well, I got around to painting the floral I had mentioned. I was thinking that I would do it in Oils, but ended up doing it in Acrylics. ( 11"x14" ) I don't like being "pigeon-holed" into painting only landscapes or animals. I enjoy doing florals and still life, too. It's important to be able to handle any and all subjects, even though you'll always have favorites.

You'll be much more well-rounded if you can paint literally anything. I can distinctly remember back when I first started painting, thinking "I don't want to paint only scenes ( I didn't know they were referred to as "landscapes" at that time ) I want to paint barns, birds, deer, flowers, fruit on a table, everything!" And that was how I approached it from the beginning. There's a whole world out there and it's nice to be able to capture all of it!

Some artists are known as "floral painters" or "landscape artists". That title always seemed too confining for me.

Lots of snow coming down right now and more predicted for tomorrow. Tomorrow might be a good day to take a snowshoe hike with the camera.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Great class today

I had a great group at the Oil class today. ( but then, I have a great group at every class )
It was at the Remington Museum in Ogdensburg and we painted "THROUGH THE WINDOW" Everyone did a fantastic job. As usual, every rendition was unique and beautiful in it's own right.
That's the best aspect of art, in general. Everyone has their own interpretation and style and their own personality will shine through, regardless of the given subject matter.
With the Holidays coming up, I didn't schedule any classes through that time, so I have a couple of weeks to kick back a little and work up some new ideas. ( both for class projects and for myself )
I've had this image in my head for the past several days, of.... Daffodils!!! Don't ask me why,.............maybe it's just because of the onset of Winter and I'm already longing for Spring.
Who really knows where inspiration comes from? It just shows up on your stoop and knocks on the door!
Anyway, if I get a chance to put this "vision" on canvas within the next few days, I'll include a photo herein.
Looks like another cold one tonight! And more snow tomorrow. I'll get those snowshoes out yet!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Space for Classes and Display

Glenda and I recently had a building added to our property, which will be a work space to hold some classes and for her to do her portrait photography. It's only been completed for about 3 weeks and she's already had several "shoots" in it. We REALLY needed the extra room, so it's working out great. I had to install all the lighting fixtures, as well as track lighting, and a heating unit. I plan on holding some Watercolor classes here, starting in maybe late January. Folks have already been inquiring about it. I'll also display my paintings and her photos, as we often have people wanting to stop in and browse.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Project

I've been thinking of some new project ideas and hopefully will get a chance to get some designs down on canvas over the "Holiday break".

Here's one I just did today that I'm going to title "BUNNY TRAIL". I was striving for a cold, gray winter atmosphere. I think this pretty much nailed that feel.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rockwell Seminar

As I've been told by the owner, there have already been inquiries into the workshops at The Inn on Covered Bridge Green in Vermont for the April dates. ( Norman Rockwell's former personal studio ) That will be a great experience! I am so looking forward to it!

Chilly Today

Headed out for an Oil class this morning. Starts at 10am. Had an evening class last night and got home around 10:30pm. Slower pace the rest of the week with just a class on Saturday coming up. It'll give me a chance to work on the book review, design some new projects and get started on some commission orders.
It was warmer and rainy yesterday which melted a lot of the snow we had. So much for snowshoeing any time soon. Quite chilly this morning, temps in the low 20's.
It'll be a good day to be inside and paint with the class.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Watercolors Today.

I have a Watercolor class today. Making Holiday Greeting cards. That's always a fun class to do.
It's nice to be able to send a card that was handcrafted by YOU, personally.
By the way, I've received several cards already from students who photographed their paintings and turned them into cards. Thanks for sending them. I really enjoy seeing what you've done with them.
Much warmer today. ( and tomorrow, too, according to the forecast ) It's a nice repreive from the bitter cold of the last few days.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rockwell's Studio in Vermont

I received an incredible offer last week, which I have just confirmed and nailed down some details for. The owners of The Inn on Covered Bridge Green in Arlington, Vermont have invited me to conduct some classes there. Now a Bed & Breakfast, it is the former home and painting studio of Norman Rockwell. The studio is still intact and "as it was" when Norman created most of his famous Saturday Evening Post covers. We will be holding the classes in that same studio.
Too cool!! It's in early April '09, check my website for the details. Also, check out www.coveredbridgegreen.com It is BEAUTIFUL!!!
The owner, Clint Dickens, said he came across my website during a random search for Art Instructors, hence the offer. The Internet is such a powerful tool,...........I have received many opportunities through my site that I never would have gotten, otherwise.
I have also booked a 3-day seminar at the Landgrove Inn in Landgrove, VT. That not 'til Sept., so I'll have more info forthcoming with that in the near future.

Couple of big classes this week-end. Oils on Saturday and Watercolors on Sunday. Hopefully, the snow is done for now.
I've pretty much finished up the last author review on the book and have to have it turned in by mid-December, so that's behind me now. It's hard to believe that I've been working on that for a year and a half.
Our grandson, Alex ( 2-1/2 years ) loves his coloring books and is getting much better at "staying in the lines". Maybe, we'll have another artist in the family.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Freezing rain this morning, now snow. No class today, so it's a good day to paint in the studio.
If we get enough snow, it'll be great to get out on the snowshoes in the next few days and check out "Nature's Blanket" in the meadow behind my home. The heavily - laden trees are always good painting inspiration. The beautiful scenery, the fresh air, the birds chirping in the snowy branches,.......and just the complete quiet and solitude,....... that's what makes Winter bearable.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wilson Bickford - Professional Artist/ Instructor

This "blogging" is a new venture for me, but I've been told it's a great way to make new friends and contacts.
Being an artist, author and teacher, I meet hundreds of new people each year in my travels.
With respect to my occupation, I am extremely fortunate that I can make my livelihood by engaging in what I love to do most,.. PAINT!! I firmly believe that art is not a talent, but a "desire". Anyone can learn ANYTHING as long as they're earnest and put their heart into it.
Perseverance and practice always pay off, no matter what the activity.
If you're not familiar with me or my work, please check out the following links;
I welcome your comments or questions.