New Hope Canal Bridge


  • written by Joshua Lance, 11/3/2018

Taken from an older post never published on my current website

Welcome to my office!

I relocated back to Lambertville, NJ two months ago because of a few important factors.  First, I wanted to reconnect with my old hometown that I lived in as a child.  I am most familiar with this place than mosts.  Even when I was in far-away lands I have always told people about this place.  They must have thought that I was talking about Neverland.  But I would never do that.  In my eyes, it’s a small, magical town by a river.  And when you walk across, you’re in New Hope, PA.  It has so much charm and an ambiance that’s hard to find anywhere else.  Now that doesn’t mean I enjoy Lambertville better than Santa Fe or even Taipei or Kyoto.  Every place has its own special qualities and it’s different to live here rather than be a tourist.  I got tired of traveling and wanted to settle down somewhere familiar.  I knew people in this place that helped me, my family lives close by too.  

ah yes…my life in New Jersey is upon me!

One of my main purposes of being here was to rethink my art and business, to do different things and experiment.  Also, to create a ton of art.  I bought an authentic french easel that was made in Paris.  I wanted something that will last more than a year, I hope I have it for the rest of my life.  It’s that good!  Now owning a gallery would be nice, but it’s quite unaffordable where I currently reside, so I did the next best thing.  I created my own mobile gallery using a dolly.  I put my easel, two baskets full of art, and a small bag on my back that I got from my painting trip to Ireland.  Bungee cords keep it all together and I can roll this whole gallery to any location that is deemed acceptable.  I also work six days a week, three in Lambertville and three in New Hope.  If I have framed work, I place all on the dolly to create my own wall of art.  I set the larger basket of plein-air art next to my easel, and a small basket with very small plein-air artwork from my travels.  So I have about 20 works with me.  If it rains or is too sunny, I can put up my black umbrella where I have my website on.  I have a small wooden palette I clip to my easel to keep it sturdy too.  It takes me around 10-15 minutes to set up and about the same to break it down.  Far less than 1.5 hours for a canopy tent I used to do when I was doing many art fairs years ago.  Plus I have my postcards and phone with me.  Some locations have Wifi due to restaurants which help me use my phone and could show my website or sign up for my newsletter.  Technology can be cool!

Most important why I’m doing this is so I can not only paint a new inventory of local work to sell, I can also meet people and do business in person.  You have to have thick skin and patience with yourself in public settings because there will be all kinds of people watching you, taking pics, getting up real close, making kind or strange comments.  I take it all in stride with a sense of humor.  The cool thing is when people say that they’ve seen your art on social media or painting outdoors before.  In a small town I’m in, I’m learning how to develop a good reputation and it helps that most people I’ve met are quite friendly.  Maybe it’s the magical aura of this little river town, who knows.  But for now, it’s a good place to be.  I’ve created nearly fifty paintings since I arrived in late-September.  I could already see the progress I’m making, and it’s helping me take my skills to the next level.  I’m not joking, it’s always good to improve and refine your craft.  So I’m becoming a better artist and entrepreneur because I’m finally putting the time I need to, then it was worth coming back to Lambertville.

Bucks County Playhouse

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written by Joshua Lance, 8/10/2018

Between 2018 and 2019 I completed posts on a different site and I’m slowly transferring these posts from that period.

My first painting in Ireland

Portugal is over, so what is an artist to do?  He goes to do an art festival.  In Ireland of all places!  I planned this several months ago and haven’t done an arts festival on this level.  I was part of an international art show called “Art in the Open” where nearly 200 painters from everywhere emerged in Wexford County, Ireland to paint at various beautiful locations.  And I completed eleven paintings where I just put up on my website.  8 days of painting bliss.  Where to begin?  I’ll start from the beginning.

This painting of “Wexford Red Boat” was my first painting completed in Ireland.  It was my choice where to pick out the spot, and I have never done boats before.  I soon found out there were many firsts on this painting trip.  I painted alongside a few other artists that day.  It was a bit cold, in the 60’s which for the summer is very nice.  Early in the trip, it was cold, cloudy and rainy at times but the weather became hotter and drier as the week went on.

The composition was a bit complex, as there were so much detail and information to choose from.  The point is to always simplify into shapes and colors and save the details till the end.  I didn’t know it at the time, but this painting was going to be at the Green Acres Gallery exhibition at the end of the trip.  All artists had to choose two paintings and get them in the gallery for a two-day show.  

So fast-forward to the end of the trip, this painting sold!  I was told about this before I entered the gallery that day.  I found out that the gallery didn’t want the artists and patrons to mix because they wanted the patrons to have space.  The patrons paid $50 to use as a credit to see the show first.  They were the first group in, and I couldn’t mingle with them, ah so crazy!  So I walked around town and returned two hours later to find out someone purchased one of my paintings.  I was so excited about seeing a red dot by my painting.  It’s been years since I entered any kind of competition and I wanted to meet whoever bought my work.  They weren’t there at first so I went downstairs and got a drink and chilled.  Soon after, I decided to go back upstairs and there they were, the great Irish family who bought my work was right there!  So glad we met and talked.  Personal attention like this is important to me, and I hope it added to their experience too.  

Because in the end, people who purchase your work must be like gold.  You have to nurture and take care of your clients.  They’re now a permanent part of your life as your art is to them.  That connection will never be broken.  

My painting sold to a great Irish family!

The Legend of Saint Antonio & El Nino

I wanted to paint from a master painting.  I was searching around and I came up with Murillo’s “Saint Antonio of Gadua & El Nino”.  When I visited Seville last winter, I saw this painting and I got a postcard of the image.  Religious paintings are often complex and challenging because there are so many layers (more than emotional too) to contend with.  I knew I had to paint it and somehow my style will come through.



I started the painting figuring out where the colors and values go.  The first stage, as I like to call it, the embryo stage of painting.  It looks like an abstract painting and miles from the destination.  Slowly, the forms, values and shapes come together and become tighter and more refined.  Faces and bodies start to appear.  The more you paint, the more details you start to uncover.  I had to make early decisions what to put in and what to leave out.


As you can see, the forms are starting to take shape.  The lights and darks have their place.  I started with the large masses and now I’m refining them by filling in the color and details.



The colors and masses become more full and I’m continually refining the facial features, the lights and darks.  Though I’m aware the composition is a bit different than the original, I try to remain faithful to Murillo’s painting.  But not just to copy, to make it my own.  If the human connection between Saint Antonio and the child isn’t there, the whole thing won’t work.



The last stages include warming up the flesh colors, and both figures have their own. And that’s intentional.  The fingers were also important, and even the toes.  Finally, the blue flowers were added like the cherry on top of a sundae.  It was very fulfilling to do this painting.  It’s great that I challenged my own skills to paint this, and it will be exciting to see how future paintings will turn out.