Friday, July 23, 2010

What Makes Him Commit?

copyright Hannah Phelps

Odiorne Rocks!
white-line woodblock print, 7" x 7"
second impression (the first impression sold at the event!)

I created this print last week during the Seacoast Science Center's Art in Nature exhibit.  The SSC is on the grounds of Odiorne State Park in Rye, NH which happens to be where my husband and I held our wedding reception 12 years ago this weekend. It is fun to think of our guests enjoying this same view over a decade ago on what was a truly perfect day!

Even after knowing a person for 14 years, they can still surprise you. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I witnessed an amazing event.

I asked my husband to accompany me to another artist's reception. I doubted he would enjoy this, so I attempted to bribe him-"We'll stop by the reception, look at the photos, tell the artist how much we enjoyed the show and then go to your favorite restaurant." Well, this hooked him and off we went.

The gallery was packed and while it was hard to see around the commotion, we took a good look at each of the 20" x 30" photographs. 

A few times, my husband went "missing" from my side and I found him in front the same photo each time. However, nothing seemed out of the ordinary to me.  Even when he said things like, "I really love this," and "this one fascinates me."

We said our hellos and goodbyes to the artist and headed to the restaurant. Where he spent the entire dinner talking about the photograph. 

At some point, I recognized what was occurring here-my husband was falling in love with a piece of art. I thought they were a good match, but I hesitated to push him into this relationship. I wanted him to make the decision on his own.

As his wife, I wanted him to buy the piece because it clearly made him happy. 

As an artist, I took the opportunity to watch the transformation from admirer to buyer take place in front of my eyes.

This story has a happy ending: we returned to the reception after dinner (despite the advice of a flipped coin) and he bought the photo! Now everyone is happy-my husband, the photographer and me.

Now I want to figure out what happened that night-can I use what I witnessed to help people commit to a piece of my work? 

When I ask my husband about his experience that night, I get this: "It spoke to me...When I looked at that photo, I saw...Sigh....Well, we have the money and I wanted it."

It seems that falling in love at first sight is as much of a mystery as ever.

PS. The photographer whose work captured my husband's heart?  Scott Bulger-check out his work!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Art in Nature at Odiorne Point

copyright Hannah Phelps
"Odiorne Rocks!"
white-line woodblock print in progress
7" x 7" image size

Last week, I did my first ever plein air white-line woodblock print!

The Seacoast Science Center in the heart of Odiorne State Park in Rye, NH held a special "Art in Nature" event last week. Artists had a week to create small pieces in the park to be sold on Sunday.

Most of the time, artists paint in watercolor, oils or acrylics for these types of exhibits.  I have done that before and I knew I would have a good time painting the rocky landscapes in the park, but I wanted to try something different.

Monday morning, I was excited get started on my preparatory drawings so I could get right to the carving.  I rushed over the to coast only to find this:

How were any of the artists supposed to paint, draw or make prints of this? Well, we all made do and the fog eventually burned away. I chose a few scenes and drew for most of the afternoon. By the time I had a nice drawing suitable for transferring to a block, it was time to head home.

I returned on Thursday to transfer the drawing and carve the block. I could have done that at home, but I wanted the entire piece to be done at the park! 

I sat near my subject and carved happily away with the sound of the waves and the smell of the sea breeze surrounding me. A nice change from the oppressive heat inland!

Friday was inking day! With my brushes, watercolors, pallettes, and wooden spoon in tow, I set up on the stone wall and again enjoyed a wonderful day by the sea as I used the colors in front of me to create two prints.

Temporary outdoor studio!

I didn't realize until I got home that I completely forgot to photograph either print, so you will have to stay tuned to see an impression from this block.

Since I love being outside, you can expect more white-line woodblocks and prints done on site. I don't know if I am the first ever to do this-it doesn't really matter. It was worth carrying all the equipment around. I think all this stuff weighed less than my oil painting gear!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Upcoming Events in New Hampshire!

copyright Hannah Phelps
Shining Sunflowers
oil on canvas
6" x 8"

All of a sudden, there is a lot to paint around here! 

I painted at Canterbury Shaker Village on Wednesday in preparation for a NH Plein Air event on August 1. These sunflowers are right near the parking lot. Maybe I didn't want to venture too far from the truck on a hot day, but their yellow cheeriness begged me to paint them.

And starting July 12, I will be traveling to Odiorne Point State Park and the Seacoast Science Center in Rye for their "Art in Nature" week long program. Artists will be painting and drawing there all week in preparation for a sale on Sunday July 18. 

I am doing something a little different for this event, so stay tuned for updates!

If you love the painting above, contact me!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Heat Wave

copyright Hannah Phelps
Hazy Beach
oil on panel, 4" x 6"

Since my last post, I have attended the opening of the Unleashed exhibit at  McGowan Fine Art, enjoyed a wonderful camping trip, celebrated Independence Day (both at the local town fair and at a cookout with friends) and attempted to paint outside without overheating! 

Today, I went to Canterbury Shaker Village and I will share that painting soon. I stayed in the shade and soaked in the peaceful environment of the museum grounds. As nice as that was, it might have been even nicer to take a quick dip in the ocean a few times.

Like the painting above? Click here to purchase via Etsy!