Lasting Impressions: Available Works by Timothy Thies and John Ball

The English Gardener
Timothy Thies • Gicleé print
Provided by Kristen Thies,
West Wind Fine Art

Watching and Waiting
John Ball • Original oil

The online sale will begin November 19 at Please consider purchasing a beautiful work of art that will help Schoharie Valley, New York recover from the destruction of Hurricane Irene.

Check back here often for updates on this charity.

Lasting Impressions: Available Works by Mark Gingerich and Dan Schultz

These lovely pieces by Mark Gingerich and Dan Schultz are two of over ninety-five original paintings that will be available through Lasting Impressions Online Charity Art Sale beginning November 19.

The proceeds from the sale will benefit upstate New York victims of Hurricane Irene.

By Mark Gingerich

By Dan Schultz

Check back at this blog often for more updates on this very special cause!

Lasting Impressions: Available Works by Brian Jekel and Daniel Keys

I am pleased to announce two of the original paintings that will be available November 19 at the Lasting Impressions Online Charity Art Sale.

The Spirit That Endures
(From the Ellis Island Series)

Brian Jekel • Oil

Tea-tins and Peaches
Daniel Keys • Oil • 16" x 20"

Visit the Lasting Impressions website on November 19 to acquire a masterpiece while providing much-needed assistance to upstate New York victims of Hurricane Irene. Stay tuned. More Lasting Impressions artists and paintings will be revealed on this blog soon. To learn more about the sale, please read the blog post here and be sure to "Like" the Lasting Impressions Facebook Page.

Weekend with the Masters '11: Day 2

Welcome back! Day Two of the Weekend with the Masters conference started off bright and early with sunrise demos by artists George Gallo and Frank Serrano. My friend Jon Stasko and I were pretty busy that morning, but still made time to take advantage of the beautiful, overcast sky by plein airing on the wharf by the hotel. We had plenty of pelicans and barking sea lions to keep us company!

Nancy Guzik

I sketched Miss Nancy while she painted
Nancy Guzik encouraged her students to take note of the Five Essential Darks when painting a portrait: 1) the eye sockets, 2) under the nose, 3) under the upper lip, 4) under the lower lip and 5) under the chin. These areas have prominent shadow shapes that must be rendered accurately.

One of the greatest lessons I learned from watching Nancy's demo was to slow down and get it right. When she paints, her excitement often causes her to dance in place and sing! Yet, Nancy is highly disciplined and restrains herself from painting too fast, lest accuracy is sacrificed. Each value and color is carefully mixed, and each stroke is painted with surgical precision. We can all learn from Miss Nancy to take our time to be accurate and, above all, to delight in the joy of painting!

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4
(This shows Nancy's demo in its final stage that day,
but she wanted to continue painting on it
at a later date, namely to finish the eye)

Stage 4 (Detail)
Look at the beautiful variety of whites--Wow!

Richard Schmid Paints Alexey Steele

In the evening, Mr. Schmid conducted a live portrait demonstration in the main forum. His subject was Russian artist Alexey Steele. Words like "lively" and "animated" don't quite adequately describe Alexey. Needless to say, between Mr. Schmid's artistry and Alexey's flamboyancy, there was never a dull moment!

Blocking In

Some sweet palette knife action

Mr. Schmid saved the bow tie for last, and painted it
with just a few simple, bold, juicy strokes

The finished demo

Be sure to read Ryan Mellody's blog post on WWM Day 2 here, which includes a video of Mr. Schmid's demo and some insightful tips that Ryan learned from Rose Frantzen, Daniel Gerhartz and Daniel Sprick. Stay tuned for more!

Lasting Impressions Charity Art Sale

I'd like to announce a very exciting art event that will benefit the Schoharie Valley, New York victims of Hurricane Irene. The Lasting Impressions Internet Charity Art Sale was created by artist Jonathan Stasko, a resident of Schoharie Valley who was moved to help his hurting community through his art. The effects of Irene were disastrous. In Jon's town alone, an estimated 85%–90% of all homes experienced major damage or were destroyed. Please take a few minutes to watch the video below for just a glimpse of Irene's devastating impact on this area.

The Lasting Impressions Art Sale begins November 19, 2011, and will feature work by Daniel Keys, Taaron Parsons, Ryan Mellody, Andrea Orr, Paul DeLuna, Jonathan Stasko, myself and others. The proceeds will go to a local charity that is assisting property owner victims. Please consider purchasing artwork next month to a make a difference in Schoharie Valley.

The Lasting Impressions official website is here. It is still under construction, but you can add your e-mail address to the mailing list to receive the latest news about the sale. Also, check this blog periodically for more details about the event.

Weekend with the Masters '11: Day 1

Readers, I hope the chores are done and the kids are in bed, 'cause this one's gonna be a scroller! Wednesday morning, September 7th, crowds of eager-faced artists flooded the lobbies of the Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, CA. It was the opening day of the 2011 Weekend with the Masters conference. The annual event is sponsored by American Artist and offers workshops, demos and lectures from some of the art world's leading representational painters.

Daniel Pinkham

Among the sessions that morning was Daniel Pinkham's plein air painting demo, held at the wharf by the hotel.

Daniel Pinkham's plein air demo
Daniel Pinkham • An Artist's Poem
Oil • 14" x 11"

Scott Burdick

I spent most of the morning soaking up a portrait demo by Scott Burdick. Watching him paint and studying the original paintings he brought showed me the great liberty a painter has to lay down paint in any manner he chooses, as long as he stays faithful to his subject. Previously, I would question whether I had applied a particular stroke in the "best" or "correct" way. Now, I feel liberated to be confident in the way I like to apply paint and relieved that I only need to focus on being accurate to what I see (as if that alone isn't hard enough!). An artist's brushwork should be the natural result of his accurate observation. Over time, an artist's cumulative brushwork decisions will result in his own recognizable "style," as unique as his fingerprint. Burdick's approach is bold. Thick, broad strokes cover his canvases, creating a beautiful, daredevil aesthetic. Yet, his seemingly unrestrained brushwork is expertly controlled, to remain honest to what he sees. His paint application sharply contrasts that of other WWM instructors who allow hardly any buildup of paint. Seeing both extremes first-hand helped me relax about my own brushwork and just focus on the basics!

Scott Burdick's live portrait demo
Burdick asked that his demo painting not be published, so to satisfy everyone's Burdick cravings, I included two of his originals below that Burdick brought as examples.

By Scott Burdick
By Scott Burdick


Richard Schmid Lecture and Slideshow

About noon, everyone gathered in the main forum for a lecture from Mr. Richard Schmid, entitled The Adventures of Painting from Life. The artist expressed how painting from life has brought him much happiness and has become one of his dearest friends (yet not so dear as his Nancy). Mr. Schmid also shared many slides of his work, including some that showed step-by-step progressions of his paintings, like the ones below.

I noticed later that Mr. Schmid had been enjoying
a Starbucks Frappuccino. So that's his secret!

Stage 1
Stage 2

Stage 3
Stage 4

Final Stage


Rose Frantzen

Rose Frantzen's portrait demo that afternoon attracted a huge audience. With her animated personality, lively story-telling and dazzling painting, she kept the crowd captivated until the final stroke. She combined traditional oil paint with oil pigment bars (from R&F), encouraging her students to not be afraid to experiment with various media.

Rose Frantzen's finished portrait demo


Panel Discussion

L to R: Daniel Gerhartz, Rose Frantzen, Richard Schmid,
David Leffel, George Gallo, Jacob Collins, Quang Ho
Mr. David Leffel moderated this year's panel, which included Mr. Richard Schmid, Daniel Gerhartz, Rose Frantzen, George Gallo, Jacob Collins and Quang Ho. The main topic for discussion was the objectivity and/or subjectivity of beauty in art. Much debate was sparked by the questions posed to the panel. "Is beauty objective or subjective? Is there any such thing as universal beauty or is beauty only in the eye of the beholder?" Quang Ho simply answered, "yes"—objective beauty and subjective beauty exist—before he expounded. Some agreed, while others held to either purely objective or purely subjective views.

While Dan Gerhartz was sharing his thoughts on beauty vs. ugliness, he commented, "why not talk about good vs. evil?" He got me thinking. Are there moral aspects to beauty? Does beauty exist beyond what we can see? After all, don't we often consider a kind word, forgiveness, an act of benevolence or true love to be even more beautiful than a rose or sunset?

I believe there is a Creator who made all things beautiful, both visible and invisible (see Colossians 1:16 and Ecclesiastes 3:11). The beauty of God's creation is objective because God himself acknowledged that it is good (see Genesis 1:31). But each of us is made unique and capable of appreciating and expressing beauty in an individual, special way, for the Lord's glory.

I'm humbled to think that God, in his love, saw fit to bless us with beauty in our world. We certainly do not deserve it. Because of our sin, God's beautiful creation of man was tainted (see Romans 5:12). Yet, also in his love, God sent a Savior, whom we also did not deserve (see John 3:16). Just as the sun sheds beauty across a dead, fallen leaf, so does the Son redeem us from the ugliness of sin and the consequence of death, if we will but trust in him. There is no other truth more beautiful than that!

For more on the day's events, be sure to check out Ryan Mellody's blog post here. Check back here often--more WWM coverage is coming!

Weekend with the Masters '11: Before the Event

Last month, I had the privilege of working at the 3rd annual Weekend with the Masters conference, held this year in beautiful Monterey, California. The event is sponsored by American Artist and offers workshops, demos and lectures from some of the art world's leading representational painters. Aside from getting to meet many artists whom I've long-admired, I was in good company--joining me on the WWM work force were three friends who attended my college, Ryan Mellody, Taaron Parsons and Jon Stasko.

For a few days before the conference, we joined our friend Daniel Keys for some painting fun in the Monterey area. Our first stop was the beautiful Carmel River State Beach.

L to R: Ryan, Lauren (our new young, aspiring artist friend),
Jon, Daniel. Taaron is at the distant far right, wearing blue

I worked quickly in an attempt to capture the low cloud-covering
before it lifted. Alas, the clouds rose, and I had to paint them from memory,
but it was still an amazing time at a beautiful location.

The next day, Jon and I got to be the "lucky" models for two head study sessions.

After a long painting session, nothing satisfies quite like pizza!

The following day's destination: Big Sur. The grandeur of the landscape is stunning. It was a bit windy, but the surroundings could not have been more inspiring.

L to R: Ryan, Jon, Taaron

After we spent most of the next day prepping for the event, we retired to the studio for an evening of still life painting.

Ryan achieves perfect form on his
patented Master's Soft-Pass Upstroke®

It was a great time of painting, fun and friendship!

Be sure to check back periodically--coverage of this year's Weekend with the Masters event will be coming soon! For more on our adventures at the event, be sure to check out Ryan's blog here.

Southwest Art's 21 Under 31 Winners

The Cellist
Taaron Parsons • Oil

To inquire about availability,
Contact Taaron Parsons
I'd like to give a big shout out to a few friends who were recently included in Southwest Art Magazine's 21 Under 31 Competition. The contest showcases the work of 21 artists under the age of 31. This year, three friends from my alma mater (Pensacola Christian College) were chosen: Taaron Parsons, Eric Suchowesky and Chris Phillips.

Morning Has Broken
Andrea Orr • Oil • Sold
And I must not overlook my former classmates who have been included in past 21 Under 31 competitions. Andrea Orr (my lovely girlfriend) and Christian Hemme were selected in 2010, and Ryan Mellody was chosen in 2009. Artist-in-residence Mr. Brian Jekel is the primary painting instructor at the college.

Congratulations, everyone!

1st Place in Laumeister Competition

Snack for Two
Oil • 12" x 16"

• To inquire,

Contact the Clague Studio

As I plein air painted with friends at the stunning Carmel River State Beach in California last Saturday, I was positive the day couldn't get any better. But then one of my friends relayed the great news. My painting Snack for Two had won 1st Place in the Laumeister Fine Art Competition! The contest was held at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Bennington, VT and was juried by master painter Huihan Liu. Having admired Huihan Liu's work for years, I am supremely grateful that my piece was chosen and I praise the Lord for this wonderful honor!

Snack for Two

Snack for Two
Oil • 12" x 16"
• To inquire,

Contact the Clague Studio
Welcome back, everyone! Yesterday, I finally finished a painting that I began several months ago. I started the picture from life with the aid of Matt, a seasoned model who was terrific to work with. He had a great facial expression that suggested to me that he could be preparing a surprise snack to share with a girlfriend--hence the title, "Snack for Two."

For me, the most exciting part of this painting was trying to capture the beautiful harmonies of violets and maroons that were present under the cool window light we used. I tried to complement these hues with some greens (Some of which are much more subtle than the bottles and apple, so you'll have to look to find them).

I tried to call attention to the hands by reserving the most intense colors for the nearby apple and orange. To keep these colors unsullied, I used a clean paint knife rather than my dirty brush when mixing them up on my palette. Furthermore, I strove to make minimal alterations after laying down each stroke. I must admit, it took more than one try to make the fruit look the way I wanted :).

Until next time, happy painting! --Adam


The Red Hood

The Red Hood
Oil on linen • 12" x 14" • Sold
I had a great time painting the double lighting in this portrait. When rendering a subject under more than one light source, I try to make one light dominant so they won't compete with each other. In this case, the cool window light from the viewer's right is stronger than the warm bulbs from the left.

I tried to emphasize the reds in this picture by using three strategies:  
1 limiting my overall color range to include (mainly) just the red family and its two neighbors on the color wheel, the orange and violet families;  
2  subduing every color except red. Too many intense colors will compete with each other and weaken a painting's overall impact;  
3 reserving my most intense red color for just one spot (the model's shoulder). I had great fun applying pure cadmium red medium with my palette knife to define the sharp edge of the hood overlapping the shoulder.

Have a great day everyone! --Adam

Plein Air Paint Out in Hudson, OH

This weekend, my girlfriend Andrea Orr and I had the awesome opportunity to participate in the 6th Annual Plein Air Paint Out hosted by our gallery, Hudson Fine Art & Framing Co. The event was part of the Hudson Home & Garden Tour in beautiful Hudson, Ohio.

A Shady Seat
A Shady Seat
Adam Clague • Oil • 8" x 10"
To inquire about availability,
Contact Hudson Fine Art
To kick things off on Friday, I painted a whimsical garden chair at one of the homes on the tour. Andrea painted a pergola decorated with a hanging basket.

Hanging Basket
Andrea Orr • Oil • 5" x 7"
To inquire about availability,
Contact Hudson Fine Art

That evening was the Quick Draw Event, in which the Hudson Fine Art artists were given just two hours to commence and complete paintings. I chose to paint the Brewster Mansion, home of Hudson Fine Art & Framing Co.

Brewster Balcony
Adam Clague • Oil • 5" x 7"
Andrea and I

Live Auction
When our two hours were up, all the Quick Draw paintings were sold at a live auction on the square.

Koi Pond
Adam Clague • Oil • 8" x 10"
To inquire about availability,
Contact Hudson Fine Art
On Saturday, I found a shady oasis at one of the tour homes where I painted the homeowner's koi pond. Andrea painted a sunlit garden entrance.

Climbing Clematis
Andrea Orr • Oil • 8" x 10"
To inquire about availability,
Contact Hudson Fine Art

It was a beautiful weekend spent in the beautiful outdoors with my beautiful girl!

Until next time, Adam C.