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Some Observations About Light in Landscape Painting

As I slowly begin returning to painting landscapes the question of light arises. For most of my artistic career I have not been that interested in light in paintings, though I enjoy it in the works of other artists. However in landscape painting light is very important, so lately I've been examining the use of light by various landscapes painters, all of whom would be called "realists." What I found in closely studying their paintings is that they are not strict and mathematical, if you will, about where the light hits. In fact in many realist paintings – those of Andrew Wyeth come to mind – the light is very natural looking at a glance, but then upon closer examination is highly invented. I find nothing wrong with artists taking this liberty. The key to light in landscape painting seems to be to make an effort to simply include it in the work, and not obsess over where everything lines up and how it strikes each object in a uniform way... almost like a Bob Ross paintin
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New Directions

I have really been enjoying getting back into landscape painting. It is a quite a challenge for someone who has for so long painted in a rigid, geometric style. I've been doing a bunch a small studies in oil on canvas board to get back into practice. I've also been experimenting with landscape in egg tempera and doing some work that I think is good. Once again edge tempera proves itself to be a versatile and beautiful medium... no wonder Wyeth used it so much! The goal is to do a number of small egg tempera landscapes, and some in watercolor as I did about 12 years ago, and then to do some larger landscape paintings in oil on canvas. For some reason when I paint in oil I need to work larger. I am still working on my older stuff. Just recently I completed a very small icon commission of the Virgin and Child (picture below - sorry for the glare in the photo), and I am currently working on a largish icon of the Descent of Christ from the Cross. The Sunday school kids are fas

Recent News

After my summer show at the Liriodendron in Bel Air, MD I found myself incredibly burned out with everything - art, church, family, etc. - so I took a break from painting for a few months. I'm glad I did, because it helped me refocus and begin a much needed change of direction in my work. While I'm still going to paint the occasional icon I am going to try to do some landscape in egg tempera. I have only done two or three small such paintings in the past, but have always wanted to explore it more deeply. Andrew Wyeth's egg tempera landscapes are so compelling... not that mine will - or ever could - look like his. It is very versatile medium that allows for a lot of subtlety in a variety of ways. It will take a while to get up to speed with this, but I am looking forward to it. I already have one in progress. As for cityscapes - my former signature work - I am burned out with these, and currently so repulsed by Baltimore and what the idiotic leadership of this once great

A Notice About My Recent Show Posted In The Parish Magazine

This month my art show at the Liriodendron ends. I want to thank everyone who came out for it, and for all of the nice and interesting comments on my work. Many of the works were familiar to us as they have been gracing the walls of the parish hall and my office for some time. The history behind that is that we needed some decorations for the walls but did not have any money budgeted for that. So, in consultation with the vestry, it was agreed that I could hang my works in the parish hall on a temporary basis. This was always meant to be temporary. One of my professors in college, a sculptor, once told us that it is not good for an artist to be around his own work all the time. I would tend to agree with that. So after the show is over only one or two large pieces will return to the parish hall and maybe a couple of small icons. The work currently hanging in the parish hall is that of my late first cousin once removed, Noel Kavanaugh Edwards. Noel was an artist and naturalist based

Upcoming Show and a Transition

Please come out to the Liriodendron in Bel Air, Maryland July 12th - August 9th to see my art. I'll be showing religious works consisting of icons and oil paintings. Most of the oil paintings will be quite large. The icons will vary in size, the largest being about 2' x 2' the smallest being just a couple of inches. Ten years ago I had a show at the Liriodendron and it was a big success. At the time a nice article about me was written in the Baltimore Sun... specifically about my iconography, which I had just started doing. The main difference between the last show and the upcoming one is that the former had cityscapes in it, while this new one will not. Once this show is over I will likely be taking a break from painting religious works in oil. I'd like to delve into landscape painting and still life, which I haven't done for years. Not only do I find that subject matter interesting, I also would like to market my work to companies, and quite frankly most comp

Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting by Aidan Hart

Recently I purchased Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting by Aidan Hart . Billed as the most comprehensive book on iconography in the English language, this book is everything it is chalked up to be and more. It does not disappoint! In addition to explaining the history, theology, and technique of iconography it does the same with wall painting - fresco and secco (painting onto a dry wall... not "drywall" per se [i.e. sheetrock] but literally a "dry" wall... as fresco is painted on a "wet" wall). This added feature definitely sets the book apart from others on the market. Aidan Hart is a world renowned iconographer who studied under some of the best teachers in Greece and Russia. In this book he addresses the theological and technical aspects of iconography in great detail. The photography and layout is extremely well done, and it has an extensive bibliography. It comes with recommendations from everyone from the Bishop of London to  Prince Charles. Aid

Similarities between icons and modern art

I read this obituary about one of America's famous iconographers, Demetrios Dukas , and felt vindicated when I read this quote of his about icons: "It's a great art. It's a religious art, but it prefigures modern art. It has elements of Cubism, Expressionism, it has everything. … It's an art that transcends nationalities and speaks to everyone." A number of years back I had a show of some icons, religious works in oil, and cityscapes in South Carolina. One person who came out could not understand how I could have religious works and icons in the same show as my cityscapes, because the former are 'realistic' and the latter are very 'abstract'. I told him on the contrary that the religious art that I do - especially icons - are very abstract, so there was actually a lot of similarity between the pieces. He looked at me as though he didn't understand or agree. The quote above vindicated me in a sense, because icons especially contain all