Stormy or sunny, weather is always interesting. It represents that potential for the unexpected. A tornado threatened southern NH last week, but got hung up in western Massachusetts instead. Then we had days IN A ROW of perfect June weather. Well, maybe a little breezy, but I’ll take it. The painting above–still wet– was painted indoors on one of those lovely June days, at a workshop with Peter Granucci on the subject of painting stormy weather.

I have seeing a lot of Peter these days: I organized a figure drawing workshop for a small group of us to take from Peter. Organizing a workshop means getting a certain number of interested people to come together at a specific time on a specific day. Organizing is not a favorite thing to do, but it has been SO worth it. We got started last week, and will continue on a week-to-week basis as long as we can get five or six people committed to attending. So far, it is happening Tuesday mornings.

Then Saturdays, once a month, I take a full-day workshop with Peter on a single aspect or theme of painting landscapes. June’s theme was stormy weather. First, we copied from an old master, then we painted from a photograph, adding the drama in emulation of the master’s painting. Here is my copy of the Master’s (Martin Johnson Heade) version of a coming storm:

From Heade and other examples, we learned to hype the contrast and include some bright spots. In a few hours I tossed off the sketch just above, imitating a huge painting that took Heade weeks, perhaps months, to complete.

Thunderstorm on Narragansett Bay by M.J. Heade

Then I applied those lessons to my painting with the telephone poles. If you have been following me, you might remember that I love telephones poles and wires. I’m pretty happy with my telephone poles as substitutes for sailboats.

In other news, it cost me an arm and a leg to ship Cat Contemplating Winter to California for that “Tell me a Story” exhibit. Now I am hoping it does sell so that I don’t have to pay to have it shipped back. My train engine “501” is now gracing the home page of the fan page to which I tried to refer my readers, but I garbled the address. Here is the right link: After distributing that image of my 501 painting, I made a few changes to the tender. You will probably not notice them, but for the sake of posterity, here is what that painting looks like today:

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I also touched up a few paintings from the Bartlett weekend and from the George Nick workshop. You can find them on the page titled “Newest Additions”, if you have time to inspect.

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