Tag Archives: oil painting

MY IRISH ADVENTURE FOR “ART IN THE OPEN”

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!
'Aveiro Square' 11x14 oil on wood

Aveiro Square…finished!!!

Starting the process

Early morning October 6, I finished Aveiro Square.  A painting that took a long time on purpose for various reasons.  First, I usually work fast on a piece because I want to capture the emotional force at that moment.  What I did this time was capture it through drawings, photos and oil sketches.  I worked slow because I knew of the complexity of the piece ahead of time.  This was going to include figures, something I haven’t done much.  I usually do landscapes by themselves, but I wanted to include some tourists because they were also as important to the authenticity of the scene.

And finishing the process…

The whole process took about 2 weeks.  Some days I intentionally took a break so I could think things through, to get a sense of where it was going.  Relating to music, I wanted to take a lot more time develop the composition.  I ended up including some important buildings as well as not including everything.  As an artist, you have to be selective or the whole thing becomes a runaway horse.  In the past, I have often ignored the importance of composition in hopes that my colors will save the day.  As of now, I learned that that a great composition begins with large shapes, placing the right values in the right places and then color accordingly to the first two.

It’s fun to watch the process unfold slowly and it helped me appreciate the process even more, rather than rush it through without a break.  There’s nothing I won’t try, and this painting has taught me how patience and skill can work together to create something quite special.  I also learning to control my lights and shadows more too, and how dark or light to make my shapes.

Yes, process can be fun if you enjoy and keep that curiosity.

The next exhibit, The Pushpin show

I entered this avant-guard show called the  Pushpin Show.  It was located on Museum Hill in Santa Fe and it's just up for 1 week.  The concept is to hang your work up with just pushpins.  I can't be framed or matted.  I brought along 3 small oil paintings.  I got there about 5:30.  The doors opened at 6pm and then you must find your spot on the wall to hang your work.  There was about 25 or 30 people in front of me when I got there, and at 6pm, there was about 100 people in line.  Fortunately, I got my work hung in a good spot, the lights were in different spots of the gallery, so some of the work was hung in darker spots than others.  When I was in line, I was thinking about some of the paintings on paper I can hang instead, I wasn't sure if my work would stay put on the wall.  But I decided to go through with the work in hand and hope for the best.  3 pushpins per work did the job, and now my work is hanging in a gallery again in Santa Fe.  There was a lot of innovative work, some portraits, illustration, fine art.  There must have been several hundred people here at the reception.  It's the kind of reception all galleries dream of, a high turnout with a lot of good energy circulating.  I hope there will be more shows like this.  It's a great opportunity to say, "I have had an art exhibition in Santa Fe", and I'm sure for some of the real young kids in their early 20's, it must have been exciting.  When I was 20, I was part of a juried group show in New York City and I thought this was the most exciting thing to be a part of.  I look at it as another way to get your work out in the public.