Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas and the beauty of NC

Believe it or not, I am still alive even though I have not done much blogging in the past month. The last few months have been crazy(broken well pump at home, then totaled my car, etc.), but mostly I have been studying in the studio and just trying to really work hard to produce better, more thought out work.
I had a productive meeting with well known artist William Mangum the first week in December. He gave me an honest critique of my work and showed me areas to work on, one of which I knew he was going to say. I often struggle with composition, and how to place the scene, not so much the drawing and such, but the placement of the elements and lines and values that draw people into the scene. He also suggested that I take more risks, which could lead to better structured paintings. To find out more about him visit http://www.williammangum.com/ .

So, I have been painting a lot, but not posting every little thing that comes off the easel since lately they are mostly studies. I will be posting more often in 2011 as I am working on some new projects that I am excited about. Today I will leave you with some photos I took while painting on a private NC property. North Carolina is an artist's dream to paint.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New paintings

"Marsh Near Calabash"
6" x 6" Acrylic on Gallery Wrap Canvas
Wired to hang unframed

"Table for Two"
6" x 6" Acrylic on Gallery Wrap Canvas
Wired and ready to hang unframed

"Winter Pond"
8" x 10" oil on canvas
Framed in Hand carved metal leaf frame
These are some new ones I just finished for the Christmas Invitational Show at the Alamance Arts Council. The bottom one was painted last winter on location in freezing temps. I touched it up some before framing it, and I wanted to refine the frozen pond and grasses even more, but ran out of time. if you are interested in any of these contact the Alamance County Arts Council at 336-226-4495.
I paint water very often in my work, but this frozen pond was quite a challenge as the frozen ice didn't have much reflection like water normally does. I am at that stage lately in my work where I am more critical of every work I do and really have not been happy with the last few paintings, but seasoned professionals tell me this means I am learning more and growing as a painter. It just makes me want to press on even harder to learn more and keep improving my observation skills.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stokes County Plein Air Piece

"Stokes County View"
8" x 10" Oil on Linen Panel

This is a piece I posted before that was done on location but just wanted to let Ebay buyers know that is available as a fixed price Ebay listing. you can view the auction by clicking here.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Back to my Ebay roots - Outer Banks NC Painting

"Ocracoke Beach"
5" x 7" Acrylic on Raymar Canvas Panel
Click here to view on Ebay or place a bid

As many of you know, a few years back I used to sell my really small paintings on Ebay. I have sold to buyers across the country this way and I have many small ones lying around since I paint so many studies, so I am going to list some of them on Ebay again from time to time.

These will be mostly small paintings that I usually don't sell in galleries, so they will be a great way for someone to start collecting original art at an affordable price.

A whirlwind month

So far November is turning out to be one hectic month! This past Saturday I attended well known NC artist William Mangum's Open house at his gallery in Greensboro, NC. Got to talk with him and received a signed complimentary print. You can find out more about him at www.williammangum.com .
Sunday afternoon I headed to the Art Link Gallery at the Historic Chinqua Penn Plantation in Reidsville, NC to switch out some paintings of mine. There are some shots of the gallery below.
Now I am finishing a deadline this week for the Alamance Arts Council's Christmas Invitational show amidst my full time job and other responsibilities. One busy month so far!
Be looking at the blog here to find out about a solo exhibition I am planning for 2011. Stay tuned!

Main Exhibition room at Art Link Gallery

Another shot of the gallery - can you see the still life painting on the right in the gold leafed frame? That is one of mine.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Life's little problems

Well I am posting from the Blackberry tonight so this will be brief.
I have new paintings to show you soon but life has thrown some problems my way this week that have kept me from posting.
We live in the country and have well water and came home Monday to a broken well pump. After manually pulling 350 feet of line we replaced the pump only to discover after lowering it that the wire has a short also.
So out comes the pump again. Hope to have the wire replaced tomorrow and have water again. I hope so because I have show deadlines next week and I need to get back in our house!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Coastal Landscape

"Intracoastal Backyard"
16" x 20" Acrylic on Canvas
$350 Unframed or $400 Framed
contact me at paintinglandscapes@yahoo.com if interested(Sorry for the picture quality, will try to reshoot it in better light and repost it)
This is a piece I did recently in the studio from some sketches and photographs made near Calabash, NC from a recent trip. This was the scene behind one of those houses that sit on the intracoastal waterway. The sun was at sort of high and at a back angle to these trees making these great patterns of light and shadow.
More coastal paintings are on the way, just been extremely busy between work, painting, and family time. I have many in progress around the studio that need to be finished up. I have also been playing with some still life paintings, which I usually don't do very many of, so check back to see those as well.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Labor Day Plein Air Study

"Afternoon Reflections"
7" x 5" Oil on Stretched Canvas
$50 unframed or $100 Framed
$5.00 Shipping
Email me at paintinglandscapes@yahoo.com if interested. I can email you a paypal invoice to pay with credit card if you wish.
Went out to my inlaws' rural property in Siler City, NC on Labor Day, but only had time to do this small study down by the pond. I like the compostion, so I may develop this into a larger piece that is a bit more refined.
The bushes and trees along the shoreline were lit in certain areas by the sun as it went down, and I liked the reflection patterns in the water. I love trying to capture all of the nuances of color in water, which changes all the time depending on what's around the water.
I also started an 8 x 10 study and got it blocked in, but didn't finish it. Will post the start of that one tomorrow.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back with a new look!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted! Any of you out there that have kids in school will understand.
I have been working and painting like crazy and did a recent weekend exhibit, but haven't posted due to our hectic schedule in the past month. Our daughter started K-3 preschool, and we have been getting her ready for her move into big girl school, so I promise I will be posting some new work soon once I get it photographed.
I gave the blog here a little facelift with a new look because I thought it was about time. I was tired of the old design. I will still be playing around with images and sizes for the header, but it is mostly done. I have some exciting upcoming projects to share with you, so stay tuned!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Intracoastal Acrylic work in Progress

Acrylic Painting in progess on the easel (Sorry for the quick photo -will post again when it's finished)
Here one of many paintings I am working on. I am painting this from a color sketch and photo from my trip to Ocean Isle beach back in June. I was out doing my "painting crawl" one morning(looking for subjects to paint), and I saw this scene. It was a back property line on the Intracoastal Waterway, and I could see it from the road, but it was behind a home and on private property, so I had to do a quick color sketch from the car and take a quick photo.
I still have quite a few more layers to add to this piece. The sun was at a back angle, just grazing the side of the trunks of these palm trees, and casting shadows on the grass. This person's yard ended right at the grasses along the Intracoastal. It was an awesome scene, and I just knew that I had to paint it. I will post the finished piece in a few days.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back to blogging

"Calabash Marsh"
8" x 10" Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
$200 Framed in Solid Wood Gold Metal Leafed Frame
Will be available at Raleigh Street Gallery

"Summer at Ocracoke"
16" x 20" Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
$400 Framed in Antiqued Brown and Gold Leafed trim frame
Will be available at Raleigh Street Gallery

These are two recent paintings done in the studio from sketches I did on location in Ocracoke and in Calabash, NC. I will have a whole series of coastal paintings available soon.
The top painting I actually started on location but couldn't finish it in time because the light had changed so dramatically. I complete many of my paintings in the studio from sketches made on location and photos that I take for detail, but there is nothing like standing in front of nature and painting and observing. I remember starting this piece from the docks at Calabash in early morning, with the shrimp boats getting ready to depart. It was a great day to be painting.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Start of a Painting

Charcoal study sketch for a painting
I have been painting, just not posting very much. I am trying to wrap up a few pieces that are sitting in the studio in various stages of completion.
Some of you have asked how I start painting. When I am painting on location or in the studio, I usually just start with a sketchy drawing in thin paint to lay out the composition, then start blocking in the painting. I first plan out what I want to do before that step with sketches or color studies, but usually don't do an actual detailed "drawing" on the canvas unless I am painting things like people, buildings, or still life objects.
The sketch above was done as a study for a painting because I am including the boat, which I feel needs to be well drawn, even if I stay loose with the painting itself. For that reason I drew this study to get a feel for the composition.
I will post the paintings I am working on when finished.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Calabash and Ocean Isle Sketches

These are a few studies I did on location in Ocean Isle and Calabash. I also did some pencil sketches and watercolor sketches that are not for sale, but I will post them here soon. I will use these images and all the photos I took to create a series of coastal paintings. Be on the lookout for them! These acrylic studies are small and super affordable! Follow the links to purchase or email me at paintinglandscapes@yahoo.com .

"Intracoastal Marsh"
4" x 6" Acrylic on Canvas on Panel
Purchase at my website here

"Docked at Calabash"
4" x 6"
Acrylic on Canvas on Panel
Purchase at my website here

"Ocean Isle Beach"
4" x 6" Acrylic on Canvas on Panel
Purchase at my website here

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

New paintings and Beach trip

Just got back from a week at Ocean Isle, Nc with the family and inlaws. I did paint some small studies that I will post soon after I tweak them a little. I also took tons of photos of the marshes, docks at Calabash, and many other places. I will be doing some larger paintings in the studio from the sketches and photos, so keep checking back here and at my website at www.justinholdren.com .

The working boat docks at Calabash, NC - Seafood capital of the coast

Couldn't resist a close up of this shrimp boat

The pier at Ocean Isle Beach

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Painting the Carolina Coast

I am painting on location on the soiuthern coast of North Carolina. I will return to the blog soon with pictures of the sketches and studies from the trip.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Plein Air Painting at the De St. Aubin home

Painted last weekend with our plein air group at the De St. Aubin home in Siler City , NC. It is a large beautiful property with pasture land and a large pond and beautiful gardens. I will be doing more paintings in the studio from the sketches and photos I took.

Well known North Carolina artist Rebecca Patman Chandler painted with us too. I have always loved her work. Sorry for the grainy scans here. I scan small pieces and lately my scanner isn't filtering out the texture of the panel.

"Pond Reflections"

8" x 6" Arylic on Panel

Purchase at my website here

"Summer Haybales"

6" x 8" Acrylic on Panel

Purchase at my website here

Quick Rural plein air study

"Reidsville Farm"

6" x 8" Acrylic on Panel

Purchase at my website here

Did this quick study by the side of the road the other week when I was in Reidsville delivering paintings to a gallery. I didn't have much time because they were mowing along the side of the road. Sorry for the quality of the scan. I will shoot a pic with my camera and repost later. The scanner seems to be picking up on the texture of the panel.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Painting at Chinqua Penn

Had to deliver some paintings to the Art Link Gallery at the Chinqua Penn Plantation in Reidsville, NC a couple weeks ago. I painted some small studies on the property and also did a sketch or two of some farms around the area. I will post the other studies when I get a better picture of them.
"Shady Spot at Chinqua Penn"
5" x 7" Acrylic on Canvas on Panel
Purchase unframed at my website here

This is my smallest paintbox that I use when I need to travel light and won't be doing large pieces. It's a modified cigar box that mounts to a tripod. I strap a larger palette to it because the palette on the box is a bit small.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Traveling and Painting

Hello all! I have been absent from the blog here for a few days, but I AM PAINTING. I promise! The small sketches below I did in Bear Creek, NC with our plein air group. The property we painted on was huge and beautiful, complete with gardens pasture land and a huge Southern style plantation home at the end of a long driveway.
Our hosts were so gracious and I will be going back soon I hope!

The next post will have some plein air studies and photos from my trip to Reidsville last week.

"Country Road"
6" x 4" Acrylic on Canvas on Panel
Purchase info at my website here
Painted on the back road behind the house.

"Spring Blooms"
7" x 5" Acrylic on Canvas on Panel
Purchase info at my website here

The property had all of these great flowers in bloom beside the woods. I simplified and captured them quickly before the light changed. I will probably alter the composition and do a larger studio piece of both of these studies.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More paintings

Here is a couple plein air pieces and a painting done in the studio. The plein air pieces are available in the Plein Air Gallery at Courtyard Coffee in Siler City, NC. You can slo contact Chana Meeks at Raleigh Street Gallery with questions. Her contact info. is at http://www.raleighstreetgallery.com/ .

"Down by the Pond"
16" x 20" Acrylic on Canvas
Painted on location in Siler City, NC

"Down by the Depot"
14" x 11" Oil on Canvas on Panel

Painted on location a while back during an event in Alamance County. I actually forgot I had this piece since it was stored with many paintings... so it is not a brand new piece, but new to the market!

" Summer at Ocracoke"
16" x 20" Acrylic on Canvas

This one is going to Raleigh Street Gallery soon.

This was painted in the studio from sketches and photos I had from a trip to Ocracoke Island, NC. It is such a beautiful place and not overdeveloped like so many beaches today.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Plein Air painting on the Haw river

Hello all! Our plein our group will be painting on the Haw River in Pittsboro, NC on Sunday afternoon, so I will have some work to show you from that trip soon.
To find out more about our group, or to join us for a day of painting if you paint, visit www.ncpaintout.blogspot.com .

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Plein air painting - Celebrity Dairy Farm

Barn at Celebrity Dairy Farm
9 x12 Oil on Linen Panel
Available through Raleigh Street Gallery's plein air gallery at Courtyard Coffee Shop, Siler City, NC
Email me at paintinglandscapes@yahoo.com for details

Here's the plein air piece I did last week at Celebrity Dairy farm. I know that the typical barn has been done a thousand times, but the light hitting the front of the shed and the cast shadows on the ground from the high overhead trees made me want to paint the scene. This was painted completely on location except for an additional 30 minutes of tweaking in the studio.

I could have refined it more and added more detail, but decided to leave it as a quick impression of the scene. Often I will refine a piece more in the studio, but this works as a study I can use in the future.

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Art Gallery!

Me and Sophia outside the Chinqua Penn Art Gallery

Starting in May, I will have paintings available at the art gallery at Chinqua Penn Plantation in Reidsville, NC. The plantation is a huge and beautiful property and it also has a vineyard. The house is open for tours and it is a grand mansion that is as beautiful inside as it is outside.
I am fortunate to show my work there. Please visit my other galleries as well and my website to see new work. I am fortunate to be in galleries that charge a low commission, so my prices are extremely reasonable at this point in my career because I am just trying to get my work out there for people to see as I continue to learn and improve.
To find out more about Chinqua Penn Plantation, visit http://www.chinquapenn.com

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Painting at Celebrity Dairy Farm & Inn

Painted on location Sunday afternoon with 4 other painters at Celebrity Dairy Farm and Inn in Siler City, NC. I got a 9 x12 piece about 80% done because I had to leave after a few hours. I will post the finished painting here this week. Our group will be painting on location around North Carolina and we have a permanent plein air gallery at Courtyard Coffee and Soda Shop in Siler City. Any plein air pieces of mine not there will be at Raleigh Street Gallery down the street from the Coffee Shop.
To find out more about our group and to see more pictures, visit www.ncpaintout.blogspot.com .

My painting about 80% done. Have to tweak the values and colors a little bit because I was in full sun and I keyed some colors too dark.

The back field behind the inn

A great painting subject

The front of the inn

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sorry for the abscence, trip to Chinqua Penn

The front of the Chinqua Penn Plantation House

Lucinda and Sophia

Me and Sophia in front of the art gallery

Lucinda and Sophia in front of the clock tower, or as Sophia calls it "The Princess Castle"

Sorry for the abscence from the blog lately, but life has been a bit busy. My wife's aunt that was battling cancer passed away and we have been visiting with her sister who took care of her as much as we can. Also, we had a big 3rd birthday party for my daughter this past weekend, and now I have some sort of flu bug/stomach acid reflux thing that has kept me from eating anything substantial for the past 3 days. So anyway, haven't had much painting time to say the least!
I am working on some larger studio pieces that I will show soon, and I hope to get out there to do some plein air painting this weekend.
My wife, daughter, and I visited a cool place this past week. We went to Chinqua Penn Plantation in Reidsville, NC. It is an amazing historical property that was once a private residence. You can tour the house, and enjoy the hundreds of acres of land around it. There are gardens, and many things to look at, and an art gallery among other things. The pics are at the top of this post

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A time for family

Hello all my blogger friends. I will post some new things I have been working on soon. I have sort of stepped back from my painting for a while to spend more time with my family. My wife's aunt that has been battling cancer for the last couple years is getting weaker and the all of the family has been by her side between the visits from the Hospice nurse. Please keep our family in your prayer during this difficult time.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

New paintings for exhibit

These are the finished paintings for the "Double Exposure" exhibit in Siler City, NC. The exhibit features photographs by fine art photographers and painters' representation of their chosen photograph hanging with the photographers work. Go to www.ncartsincubator.org and click on "upcoming events" to find out more.

I chose a photo of this Native American Indian in full dress with a small child next to him. I am normally a landscape painter and feel more comfortable drawing people than painting them, so I did a small scratchboard drawing of just the face. The second piece was also going to be a scratchboard, but I ran out of time, so I did it in a loose style in acrylic.

This is only the second scratchboard piece (the one in b&w) that I have ever done. You can also add color using colored inks. So many people have responded favorably to the scratchboard drawing, that I might do many more.
Scratchboard is done on a clay coated panel that is covered in india ink. You use a tool to "scratch" out the image in reverse, revealing the white underneath. More lines scratched means more white revealed. This method is time consuming and once you make a line you can't erase it, but I like the challenge. I think I will do many more!

Here is both pieces framed and ready to go!

"Solemn Warrior"
8 x 10 inches Scratchboard on Panel

"Warrior Heritage"
16 x 12 inches Acrylic on Canvas

Monday, March 08, 2010

New paintings tomorrow

Taking my wife for a doctor visit today, but I will post my paintings from the Double Exposure exhibit tomorrow. I am ready for warm weather so I can get back to working on location.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Library exhibits - something different

Drove in the snow over to Asheboro, NC to hang my paintings at the Asheboro Public Library. It will hang for 2 months. Sales may or may not come from this type of exhibit, but I did it for another reason. This library, and many others, have programs like this with changing art exhibits so people can be exposed to original art. I think this is great because we live in a society where practically everything sold is mass produced, and few people appreciate anything handmade or original anymore. They would rather get something cheap than get something original that will last long enough to be passed down to their family.
Since I am still early in my art career and still learning, my original work is extremely affordable, but many cannot afford original art, and these types of shows let people see and learn more about original work.

While hanging the show, everyone in the whole library kept staring at me because I was making so much noise hammering nails in the display area. Guess I should have been more quiet.
It is a library after all! Below are some pictures of the display.

They use these heavy cork boards to display the work. I had to hammer the nails down and hard to reach the hard surface underneath to make sure they wouldn't fall on someone!

Friday, February 19, 2010

3rd Friday Art Walk - Siler City, NC

Don't miss the 3rd Friday artwalk in downtown Siler City, NC tonight from 6-9pm. All of the downtown galleries will be open late and there will be live music at Raleigh Street Gallery where you can see some of my work. To find out more about Raleigh Street Gallery where I will have work available, please visit www.raleighstreetgallery.com.

I have 2 exhibits coming up next month, and I will give you the dates in my next blog post!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Weekend Snow and Ice, and a little bit of painting

Well, we had about 5 inches of snow and ice this weekend in central North Carolina. That is not at all typical for us, so many of our secondary roads are still iced over. We spent the weekend at my inlaws rural property with the rest of the family and enjoyed the snow with the kids.

I took my paints along and did some quick acrylic sketches on acid free matboard while inside. I did start an 8 x 10 plein air oil, but only got about 80% done before the sleet started up again. I will post the finished work here soon. I will also be doing a few snow scenes in the studio from reference material I gathered this weekend. Stay tuned here to the blog!

Was sunny on the second day of snow, of course not on the day I painted outside - it was gray and nasty that day

Here is some runoff from the pond out at my inlaws house

2 days after the snow and the secondary roads near my house still look like this!

Here's the sketches I did this weekend. The two on matboard are from memory, and the snow scene I got about 80% done outside before it started sleeting. I will refine it a bit more in the water area and where the dead pond grasses are. Stay tuned for the finished result!