Tuesday, November 30, 2010

FAQ: How Long Did It Take to Paint That?

Hi! It's Ellen Perantoni, painter of the landscape in oil in a manner inspired by the Hudson River School, posting in response to recurring questions I get about the process of my art.
The question "How long did it take to paint that?, or, "How long does it take to paint something like that?" are questions I frequently hear. From students, experienced and sophisticated collectors, and all kinds of viewers of art. I hope you will enjoy this blog post. My e-mail address is eperantoni@yahoo.com and I have posted painting images and art chat on this blog since 2007.
I won't kid you: the best answer I can give is not a number. I do not go to my easel to paint at a given time of day, break for lunch, etc, then start again, etc.etc. I could paint that way if I had to schedule my time; many artists do and perhaps there are some artists who might not paint enough if there was no time when they "have to" paint.
That is not me. If I had a 8-5 job I could schedule painting hours between 7:30-10 or some such, but painting is my only job I paint when the compulsion is on me, which is a lot of the time!.
About how long do I spend on a particular painting? When someone asks that, I hope the person is not trying to "value" the painting by number of hours I spent on it, and in most cases I can't even hazard a guess as to the number of hours or days.
This is why: I do most paintings in a series of shortish sessions. How short? Maybe 2-2/1/2 hours, to start. This applies whether I start the painting en plein air (on the spot, in the open air) or in the studio. If I am painting outdoors, the light generally changes within 2 hours or so and the scene doesn't look the same after 2 hours. Or even less time. I make a record of the scene by photographing it when I start, to show where the shadows are, etc.
Then I let the painting dry while I study it and plan my next step. How long does the next step take? Who knows? The sessions tend to be short for the simple reason that I reach a point where I prefer to let the work dry before I proceed further.
My process of stopping to let a landscape painting dry periodically before proceeding further means, in effect, that I do not keep track of time. I suppose some of my paintings (some but by no means all of even the small ones) take less than 10 sessions until I'm satisfied. But even some small ones take longer than that. When I do larger paintings, the sessions can stretch for months or, occasionally, over a year.
I work on more than one painting at a time, usually several.
Keeping track of time? I find that the most irrelevant, and least fun, thing I could be doing when I paint.
I work on a piece until I am satisfied enough to sign it and show it to the world. (In the case of a commission, I submit periodic photos to the client and he/she makes the final decision as to when he/she is satisfied).
A lot of the time I become satisfied a painting is "done" in a few weeks or a couple of months of short sessions. Sometimes it takes much longer. I have a few paintings I started over a year ago that I'm still not satisfied with. Sometimes in the case of such a painting I realize "what it needs" belatedly and then I am able to finish it in a way I'm happy with. Some paintings are never finished to my satisfaction, and I don't exhibit those no matter how much time I've spent on them.
I don't say I'm a perfectionist because I have sold many paintings and none of them has been perfect. Perfection may not be achievable in this world. But I have to feel good, to feel pleased with my work.
The painting at right took me an incalculable number of sessions, an incalculable number of hours. Its progress was somewhat unusual; the cloud formations in the sky took form relatively quickly, but in the painting's early stages I was not happy at all with the foreground. So I worked, and I worked, and I revised, and I revised. I was well over a year ago that I started this 16x20" painting, and rather recently I became pleased enough to show it.
As I worked on this painting it acquired numerous thin layers of paint and "glazes" which added depth and an almost 3-D effect. I generally paint in a series of glazes, but this work is among the most glazed (I won't use the work thickest because the glazes are very thin layers and the surface is not bumpy). It is glossy.
This painting is entitled "Revelations in the Sky" and is priced $2200. as framed, in a museum quality carved wood frame that brings it to about 21x25" on the wall.
I price my art, including this painting, according to how it looks regardless of how much time (which I don't keep track of) I spent on it.
If you purchase of of my paintings from an Internet photo and you are not delighted (most people feel they look better in actuality) you can return it for a refund within 30 days. Or if you wish to view the work in person, you are welcome to visit my studio by appointment. The studio is about 2 hours north of the NYC metro area, and within a few hours of most points in NE, NJ and eastern PA.
Or you can see my art in the galleries that represent me. Names and locations of those galleries are in other blog posts, or contact me for the gallery nearest you.
I hope I've been able to explain here why "How long does it take to do something like that"? is all but unanswerable given the way I paint. Inspiration-driven, patient, and determined that each painting will be the best I can possibly do.
Have a great week! and I hope you will read more blog posts.
I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Early Morning View from Margarite

Hello, fellow art lovers and blog readers! It's Ellen Perantoni, painter of the landscape in oil in a manner inspired by the great Hudson River School painters of the nineteenth century. As many of you know, those immortals did not confine themselves to Hudson Valley locations. Albert Bierstadt is best known for his sweeping Rocky Mountain panoramas and Thomas Moran for his scenes of the great plains. Frederick Church roamed the world in search of beauty to paint, and his locales extended to South America and the Middle East.
I did this plein air work on a recent trip to Sedona, AZ, to view its spectacular "red rock" formations. We stayed at a house that commanded amazing views and this is one of them, which I painted very early in the morning so as best to capture the delicate fresh colors of the early sky.
This painting, "Early Morning View from Margarite". is on 8x10" stretched canvas framed as shown in a museum quality carved wood frame, which brings it to almost 14x16" on the wall. It is currently in my studio and priced $575. I would consider a payment plan/fair offer from a sincere collector.
I can also make up a limited edition signed print on paper or canvas of this work. My e-mail address is eperantoni@yahoo.com and you can see other examples of my art on www.artwanted.com/EllenPerantoni.
If you purchase a painting from a digital photo without first seeing the actual painting, you can return it within 30 days for a refund.
For those who prefer to view art in a gallery setting, I am represented by several fine art galleries which always have my art on display; you can find out about these by reading other blog posts. To view more blog entries going back to 2007, please click on "Older Posts" at the bottom of this page.
Have a great Sunday and a happy Thanksgiving Holiday! I'd love to hear from you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pathway Through Fields, December

Hello friends, collectors and readers! I'm posting another painting image, playing catch-up because I was traveling (and painting) for a good part of October. I'm a painter of the landscape in oil, in a manner inspired by the great Hudson River School of art. You can see more of my art on www.artwanted.com/EllenPerantoni and my e-mail address is eperantoni@yahoo.com
The sparkling winter of the rural Hudson Valley will soon be here, and the painting at right pays homage to the season. Atmosphere is paramount in my landscapes. In this one I strove to capture what I call "winter mist", a misty atmosphere that seems to carry a breath of ice crystals with a bit of sunlight (or moonlight) filtering through. When you view this painting you feel a great stillness; you might imagine you can hear the faint crackle of an icicle or two falling from the trees.
Because of the many delicate layers of glazes used in this painting, the internet photo does not fully convey its depth and delicacy of color. I think the actual painting looks better than this dot-matrix digital photo.
This work, "Pathway Through Fields, December" is on 12x16" stretched canvas, framed in a museum quality wide gold traditional frame that brings the work to almost 20x24" on the wall.
This work is on exhibit at Green (Gallery) at 92 Partition St., Saugerties, NY, near New York State Thruway Exit 20. Green is open Thursday through Monday from 10-5 and sometimes on Tuesday and Wed.; telephone 845-418-3270.
I also show art at my studio by appointment. The studio is about 2 hours north of the NYC metro area, and within a few hours of most points in New England, NJ and eastern PA.
More art gallery info is given in other posts on this blog, which I hope you'll enjoy reading.
I usually have very few winter paintings available because I'm particular and it's a challenge (though a delightful one) to do a winter painting good enough to satisfy me.
If you purchase one of my paintings from me from an Internet photo without first seeing the actual painting, you can return the painting within 30 days if you are not delighted. Most people are.
To view older posts and images going back to 2007, please click on "Older Posts" at the bottom of this web page.
Have a great week! I'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Autumn,Alcove Reservoir (and more about Plein Air Painting:)

Hello friends and art lovers! This is Ellen Perantoni, painter of the landscape in oil, with a recent work celebrating the sunset over the peaceful Alcove Reservoir. The reservoir is in southwest Albany County New York, between Albany and the western Catskill Mountains. Artistically , this is Hudson River School country, and I live and paint about 45 miles from this reservoir.
About the only thing I enjoy more than driving through this region on a crisp fall day is stopping to paint or photograph some wonderful spot.
Here the state road bisects the reservoir and affords drivers this lovely view.
In order to capture this sunset, I needed more time than the sunset afforded. As you see when watching the sunset (if you remain conscious of time)a sunset sky like this lasts only minutes, maybe 15 minutes at most, until the cloud formations change and the sky darkens. The colors of the land darken too until all you see is a uniformly dark land mass in the foreground.
As I devote a great deal of time and care to the details of my paintings to come up with the most beautiful images possible, it's usually necessary for me to finish a sunset painting in my studio.
My aim at this point is to enhance the raw beauty until it becomes a polished gem.
This work, "Autumn, Alcove Reservoir" is on 11x14" stretched canvas. I plan to frame it in a museum quality traditional gold frame in a style favored by the Hudson River School painters of the 1900s. Framed, it will be priced in the $875. range. I would consider a payment plan/fair offer from a sincere collector.
This work might be consigned to one of the fine art galleries that represent me and exhibit my work, such as The Driftwood Gallery, Peekskill, NY; Berkshire Art Gallery, Great Barrington, Mass; and Green (Gallery) Saugerties, NY.
I also show my art at my studio by appointment and at an annual studio tour in mid-August. We have a long way to go until next August, but if you would like to view my paintings at the studio, please contact me at eperantoni@yahoo.com
You can see more of my art at www.artwanted.com/EllenPerantoni
My studio is about 2 hours north of the NYC metro area and within few hours of most points in New England, NJ, and eastern PA.
If you purchase a painting from a digital Internet photo without seeing the original, you can return it for a refund within 30 days if you're not delighted. Most people feel my art looks better in actuality because it has great depth, which takes considerable time to create.
I was happy to capture this brief moment of beauty at the Alcove Reservoir, and now the painting is done and the leaves have fallen from the trees.
Now I am thinking of the pristine beauty of snow scenes.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! As always, I'd love to hear from you.