Friday, November 19, 2010

Number One Tip for Plein Air Success

copyright Hannah Phelps
Rocks in the Grey and Quiet
oil on canvas, 12" x 12"

I have all too often driven over an hour for a plein air painting trip only to realize that I have forgotten something critical. Try painting on location without brushes, canvas, paper towels - I've even left my easel behind!

Trust me, even if you are a very organized person, the time will come that you will forget something, lose something or accidentally dump out your mineral spirits while setting up your easel.

The best way to avoid heartache in this situation is to paint with other artists. Leaving materials at home turns out to be no big deal because you can borrow something (or everything) from your buddies. As a plein air painter, you learn to be generous early in your career - you know you might be the one to forget your entire paint box next time. 
Over the years I have borrowed and/or loaned:

baseball cap
paper towels
hand warmers

Or you could run into a situation like I did yesterday when you have everything you need, but you wish your canvas was long and skinny.

Wistfully saying it out loud as I looked at the bright ocean before me, my buddy heard me and said, “I have a long one with me - want it?”

Not only did I get the perfect rectangle, but it was a Raymar panel - professionally mounted! I didn’t get something I NEEDED, I got something that just made the day better!

Of course I will make good on the loan, but I am not sure I can truly repay it. Using her unfamiliar canvas stretched my abilities. The pressure of making a nice painting out of the gift also helped me stick with it when I might otherwise just call the whole afternoon a “learning experience.” Like many plein air paintings, it didn’t get done on site, but it is a very good start to what may be a great painting!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Warm Reception

copyright Hannah Phelps
Rye Town Beach Access
oil on canvas, 5" x 7"

Thank you to everyone who came to the opening reception for Precious at the Soo Rye Art Gallery in Rye, NH last Saturday! I hope you were able to see the artwork through all of the enthusiastic visitors!

This a large group show, so my five landscapes (including the one at the top of the post) are in good company. I knew that my friend, Soosen Dunholter, would have work on display but I was pleasantly surprised to also see some wonderful photographs by another friend, Susan Lirakis!

If you didn't get to the reception, you have time to see the exhibit, since it runs until January 21. I wouldn't wait too long if I were you, though. During the holidays, time flies and it will be January before you know it!

Friday, November 5, 2010

What To Do This Weekend

copyright Hannah Phelps
Beach Waves
lithograph, 8.5" x 11.5" image size

This weekend the entire state is celebrating local arts, crafts and foods with NH Open Doors! Basically, most of the artists here in New Hampshire are hosting open studios both Saturday and Sunday. To find out if your favorite NH artists are opening their doors, follow the NH Open Doors link and check the  map of studios. You can customize your own craft tour of New Hampshire!

If that favorite artist is me (I'm just saying...), you should come to the French Building of the NH Institute of Art from 10-5 on Saturday, November 6th or from 12-5 on Sunday, November 7th along with some of my printmaking colleagues and folks from the jewelry making program. All of us will have work there for sale and the printmakers will be actively working on the presses! If you want to see art in action, this is a great opportunity!

PS Here are two other printmakers who will be with me this weekend at the NH Institute of Art, but there will be others too!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Images of New England 2011 Calendar

The Images of New England 2011 Calendars are ready! 

 Every month is a print from one of my oil paintings, ready to frame and add beauty to your or a loved one's home!

These calendars are GREAT GIFTS that will last all year!

What exciting events are coming up for you and your friends and family this year?  
New baby? 25th anniversary? 16th, 30th, 65th or 38th birthday?

After 2011 is over, each page makes a unique commemorative gift for any special occasion! 
Just frame an individual month for the perfect reminder of any celebration!


These calendar pages fit in any standard 8.5" x 11" frame, like the simple box frame above. 

Or purchase this folded acrylic frame with your calendar!

To purchase Images of New England 2011 Calendars, visit the Calendar Shop Page

Please email me at with any questions!