Sunday, September 26, 2010

Morgan County Courthouse Dedication Ceremony

This weekend I traveled north to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia to attend the dedication ceremony for the new Morgan County Courthouse. I had been selected to complete a commissioned portrait of the county's former courthouse, which was destroyed by fire in 2006. The pictures above show me presenting the canvas to the President of the Morgan County Commissioners, Brenda J. Hutchinson (in purple) during the ceremonies, held on September 25. The painting will be installed in the lobby of the new courthouse as a remembrance of the former structure. About 250 people attended the dedication, and the weather was spectacular. It was truly an exciting moment for me and I am so grateful to have been able to participate.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Morgan County Courthouse Completed

This past week I completed the commission to paint a portrait of the Third Morgan County Courthouse (located in Berkeley Springs, WV). This project went very smoothly and I am pleased with the results. I will be delivering the canvas to the patron this coming Friday in advance of a festival celebrating the opening of a new courthouse. This portrait will be installed in the new facility as a remembrance of the former structure, built in 1908 and lost to fire in 2006.

"Third Morgan County (WV) Courthouse, 1908-2006." Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches. Completed September 2010.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Somerhill Gallery Closing

My October exhibit at the Somerhill Gallery in Durham, NC is no more. The gallery filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in late August, and will be closing after a Going-Out-of Business Sale this coming weekend. You can read about the travails of Somerhill in these articles published by "The Independent." Such a sense of disappointment and frustration.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

In-Progress: Morgan County Courthouse Commission

I haven't used this blog enough to show works in progress. Part of the reason is that I do work quickly, and to interrupt the process to take photographs is distracting. At other times, I just don't remember to record the process as it develops.

Currently I am working on a commission to paint a portrait of the Third Morgan County Courthouse, which stood in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The courthouse opened in 1908 but, sadly, was destroyed by fire in 2006. A new courthouse has been under construction since then, and it will open later this month. The patron of this commission is donating the painting to Morgan County so that it can be permanently displayed in the new facility.

As you can see from this image, the piece is well on its way. I typically ground all of my canvases in cadmium red acrylic paint before starting the actual oil painting. For this project, I took special effort to create a solid underdrawing (in burnt sienna paint) from which to build the final work. The areas of bright red in this photo indicate areas I still have to work up. The sky is essentially complete, as is much of the clocktower. I plan to spend most of this weekend on the project and hope to complete it this week so that it has time to dry before delivery. I'll be sure to post a photograph of the final canvas.

"Third Morgan County (WV) Courthouse, 1908-2006." Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches. Currently in-progress.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Midwestern Sunset

Although entitled "Midwestern Sunset," this canvas is actually based on two houses I photographed in Cumberland, Maryland back in December 2008. Yet another in that series of works, I settled on the title after the piece was completed. The atmosphere in the work was reminiscent of neighborhoods -- and sunsets -- I experienced while living in Columbus, Ohio. So, I decided to utilize a title that evoked that feeling.

This weekend I will begin a new commissioned painting, a portrait of the Third Morgan County (WV) Courthouse that was destroyed by fire in 2006. A new courthouse will open later this month, and I am fortunate to have been chosen to create an official portrait for the lost structure. The painting will become a permanent installation in the new facility.

"Midwestern Sunset." Oil on stretched canvas, 36 x 36 inches. Completed April 2010.