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2023 E-telier (Online Salon) at Art Students League of New York

2023 E-telier (Online Salon) at Art Students League of New York

The Art Students League of New York continues its E-telier series of online salons, featuring work from the students in its online classes.

I am pleased to be participating again as part of the salon for the Advanced Drawing & Painting class with Chris Gallego. The Salon runs through May, 2023. This year my piece “Summer’s End” is featured as part of the League’s May Salon.  This oil painting is an early fall rural landscape finished earlier this year.

During the Pandemic, the League went online with its classes. Although in-person classes have since resumed, the E-telier online classes have continued to thrive, offering a great range of instruction, from Conceptual Art to traditional figure drawing.

Browsing the work in this Spring’s E-telier Salons is a clear demonstration of the instructors’ skills as well as that of the many impressive students. Check them out – you’ll see what I mean.

Tiny Worlds

Tiny Worlds

As I’ve ventured out this summer for sketching is that there is so much activity happening in miniature. You just have to stand still and look.

Like the butterfly above, which alighted on some echinacea as I was photographing my friend Marilyn’s beautiful garden this month. Marilyn, a landscape gardener, modeled after Monet’s garden, takes a lot of water (she and her husband put in a new well to accommodate its needs) and attracts a wide variety of winged creatures:  butterflies, bees, moths, and hummingbirds.

Ordinarily, my landscapes are of vistas and wider views, but I realize there are a lot of much tinier worlds waiting to be painted as a way of being appreciated.

Sketching Outdoors

Sketching Outdoors

When the warm weather hits I do feel a certain pressure to get outside with sketchbook and easel. I like to work in the studio, so I manage to make a lot of excuses for why I can’t do this (bugs, heat, clouds, and temperature chief among them). Which is why cameras were invented, yes?

But there are fewer pleasures than capturing nature with pen, pencil, paper, and traditional media. For one thing, it’s quiet, peaceful, and the annoyances of email and phone calls fall by the wayside.

Recently I took a workshop with Jean McKay, a wonderful pen and watercolor artist who works primarily in sketchbook journals, capturing nature’s tiniest creatures.  Ever since seeing her creations in person, I have been careful not to squash moths and other tiny flying insects.

The second great aspect of sketching outdoors is that what you see is really different than what you can capture with a camera. Your own eye is just better able to discern the differences in value, and the finer aspects of colors.  Taking a photograph compresses and distorts the image.

And finally, it’s good plain good artistic practice to sketch from life. Being able to judge proportion, where a picture frame begins and ends, and drawing on the go trains the brain in a way that working from photographs cannot.

And so I venture outside….

sketchbook and paints

My sketching setup

sketchbook page

A page from my sketchbook



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