Tag Archives: Frank Gardner

On Location in Utah

Blue Mountain Lodge-group shot

Back Row, L-R: Colin Page (ME), Paul Schulenburg (MA), Glenn Dean (CA), Jeremy Lipking (CA), Eric Merrell (CA), Logan Hagege (CA), Ignat Ignatov (CA), Marc Hanson (CO); Front Row, L-R: Peter Kalill (MA), Jerome Greene (MA), Ernesto Nemesio (CA), James Coe (NY), Frank Gardner (MEX).

I joined our motley collection of artists this year for our informal annual painting trip, this time to paint in Utah. Hailing from the East coast, West coast and Mexico, we all stayed together at a lodge and traveled to many of the parks nearby, including Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Monument Valley, and even an Anasazi ruin. (Previous trips have included Maine, Cape Cod, and Mexico.) It was a great week of camaraderie, painting, and catching up while talking shop; also, lots of practical jokes and fun.

Painting in Canyonlands_s

Eric Merrell painting in Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Frank G painting Canyonlands_s

Frank Gardner painting in Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Many of the locations are spread out around eastern Utah and required a 1.5 – 2 hour drive, but we got early starts to the day and saw a lot of that part of the state. Or, if we got late starts, at least we painted until dark!

Marc H painting Canyonlands_s

Marc Hanson painting on the edge in Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

Ernesto, James, Paul, Jerome, Logan, Pete, Marc_s

(L-R): Ernesto Nemesio, James Coe, Paul Schulenburg, Jerome Greene, Logan Hagege, Pete Kalill, Marc Hanson.

Canyonlands-Eric, Marc, James_s

Eric Merrell, Marc Hanson, and James Coe painting in Canyonlands.

Anasazi Ruins, Utah-Jerome, James, Marc, Eric_s

Jerome Greene, James Coe, Marc Hanson, and Eric Merrell painting from an Anasazi ruin, Utah.

Monument Valley-group shot_s

Monument Valley (L-R): Eric Merrell, James Coe, Pete Kalill, Ernesto Nemesio, Colin Page, Jerome Greene, Marc Hanson, Ignat Ignatov, Frank Gardner, and Paul Schulenburg.

By the end of the trip the lodge was packed with paintings, probably 15-20 per person, along with tons of photos and sketches. Many of the guys from the East coast had never been to places like this, and I’m always intrigued to see what people paint in new places. Lots of great compositions and new ideas came out of the trip, and everyone went home inspired.

We had fantastic weather all week until the last two days: first we had a full day of wind, including some 40+ mph gusts up on the bluffs of Canyonlands (some people nearly lost their easels off of the 1,400′ cliff), and then snow on the last day. To start the early morning 11-hr drive back home, I had to dig my truck out of a few inches of ice and snow, and, south of Monument Valley drove through a blowing snowstorm; but by the time we reached the Mojave Desert back in California it was nice and warm.

Painting setup in Blanding, Utah 2013_s

On the last full day we got a good covering of snow to work with.

Still Life Painting Workshop (FAC)

(in conjunction with The Fine Art Collaborative)

I’m looking forward to this great collaboration of artists and instructors coming this summer. Organized by The Fine Art Collective, numerous workshops and lectures will be held over three days by many familiar names, including these folks: John Asaro, Glenn Dean, Frank Gardner, Logan Hagege, Ignat Ignatov, Stacy Kamin, Dan McCaw, Peggi Kroll Roberts, Ray Roberts and myself.

DATES: Saturday, June 2, 2012, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
LOCATION: Randy Higbee Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA
COST: $130
INFO: A one day outdoor still life painting workshop in Costa Mesa, including instructor demo and student painting time.
TO REGISTER: Visit www.ericmerrell.com or www.thefac2012.com for more information

Painting in Provincetown


(Back row, l-r) Ignat Ignatov, Jerome Greene, Stapleton Kearns, Jeremy Lipking, Frank Gardner, Dan Corey, Rick Casali, Paul Schulenberg, Eric Merrell. (Front row) Ian Factor, Ernesto Nemesio, Jeff Bonasia, Logan Hagege, James Coe. Not pictured: Colin Page, Michael Klein, Pete Kalill, Marc Hanson.


I’ve just returned from nearly two weeks of painting out on Cape Cod in Provincetown, Massachusetts. A great group of guys with some new faces too. Though we had mostly great weather, there was some wind and rain, so we hired models and painted indoors on those occasions. Provincetown has a great history of artists living and working there : Charles Webster Hawthorne (we were given access to paint in his beautiful old studio), Henry Hensche, Richard Emil Miller, Edwin Dickinson, John Whorf, Edward Hopper, Henry David Thoreau and many many others (Is it a coincidence that so many great towns began as artist colonies? Laguna, Pasadena, Indian Wells, Greenwich, Santa Barbara, P-Town…). After the end of each day of painting we’d gather for dinner and look at everyone’s work, back at the houses or at a local “pirate ship” with lots of history and character(s). Lots of conversations about art, music, history, color, food, tequila and other stuff not fit for print (!) And man, some of these guys in the group can cook! Also met some local artists working in the Hensche color tradition – Hilda Neily and John Clayton. If you go to P-Town, be sure to check out the burgers at The Squealing Pig, the Cape Cod Rueben at Tatiana’s by the wharf (just like a traditional rueben, but instead of corned beef and sauerkraut they use haddock and coleslaw. Amazing!) and the Egeli Gallery on Commercial Street.

Here is a great article featuring Jerome and the P-Town trip.

Quite an exciting and energizing time! I haven’t had a chance to photograph any of my paintings yet, but hope to get some of those online soon. An exhibition of work from the trip will be featured at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, January 15 – February 29, 2011.

Here are links to the artists’ individual sites:

Jeff Bonasia, Rick Casali, James Coe, Dan Corey, Ian Factor, Frank Gardner, Jerome Greene, Logan Hagege, Marc Hanson, Ignat Ignatov, Pete Kalill, Stapleton Kearns, Michael Klein, Jeremy LipkingEric MerrellErnesto Nemesio, Colin Page, Paul Schulenberg.


Charles Hawthorne's studio, Provincetown. Photo by Jeff Bonasia.


East Coast Ideals/West Coast Concepts*


Ramona with two paintings by Hawthorne at the Provincetown Art Association & Museum.

Ramona and I have just returned from a great trip out to Boston and Cape Cod, our first time to Massachusetts. The Cape is a really fascinating place with a long history of art, still going strong today. California could learn a few things about aesthetics from the area.

We flew out for the openings of Painting New England Together at the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, MA and Paintapalooza at Addison Art Gallery in Orleans, MA. (Lots of photos are online on Facebook.) I’ve got to give a big California Thank You to everyone out there for making our stay so hospitable – Paul and Pharr Schulenburg, Peter and Kathleen Kalill, Jeff Bonasia, and Helen Addison along with Domonic Boreffi over at Addison Art Gallery for their huge effort in making this all happen. It was really wonderful meeting everyone at the receptions.


Hawthorne's studio in Provincetown

We spent some time up in Provincetown (P-Town) and saw the studios of Charles Webster Hawthorne (1872 – 1930) and Henry Hensche (1899 – 1992). We got to check out the small but nice collection at the Provincetown Art Association & Museum, and visited the historic Beachcomber’s Club too, of which a number of the guys in our exhibition are members of. [Two artists who were members of both the Beachcombers Club as well as the California Art Club: Richard Edward Miller (1875-1943) and Christian von Schneidau (1893-1976).] I made a good effort to seek out work by Hawthorne and Hensche while we were there – they’re hard enough to come by on the east coast, and virtually nowhere to be seen out in California. That search led me to Vose Galleries in Boston, which has been a leading gallery in that area for six generations(!). We met Carey Vose, and she and the staff were kind enough to pull out some amazing paintings by Hawthorne, Paul Dougherty (1877-1947), and Childe Hassam (1859-1935) that they had. You definitely need to stop at Vose if you’re going to Boston; it’s really much more like a museum than a gallery.


detail of "Still Life" by Hawthorne

Detail of a still life by Hawthorne, collection of Provincetown Art Association & Museum


Vose Galleries, 238 Newbury Street in Boston

 Looking forward to our next trip back east! Who knows, maybe there will be a sequel – Paintapalooza: P-town.


*I borrowed this title from a 1997 exhibition that focused on the artistic lineages of the Boston School and the California Impressionists.

American Art Collector; Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009)


The February issue of American Art Collector has a great story of the Maine trip and upcoming exhibitions, including lots of images. It should be out on newsstands soon if it isn’t already. And still plenty of time to book your tickets to Boston!


Christina’s World, 1948, © Andrew Wyeth, tempera on panel, 32″ x  48″, Museum of Modern Art, NYC

Relatedly, but on a much sadder note, I’ve just learned that Andrew Wyeth, one of the greatest American artists, just passed away last night or early this morning at the age of 91. You can read about him and his life here and here. The small town our group of artists stayed at up in Maine is where Andrew lived. Paul Schulenburg, one of the guys on the trip with paintings in the upcoming exhibitions (including a painting of Andrew’s studio) put it nicely: “Although we didn’t get to meet him on our visit, it was nice to know he was around.”

“Paintapalooza” at Cape Cod Museum of Art, Addison Art Gallery


The Proximity of a Town, Monhegan, 12 1/2″ x 16″, Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

Happy New Year to everyone; a new year filled with Art, Music, Food, Family, and Gingerbread, all the good things in life and not necessarily in that order. We really are living in the best period of history, with lots to be thankful for. The gathering of artists at Port Clyde, Maine in September 2008 (see my previous posts about the trip here and here) will be the focus of two concurrent exhibitions on Cape Cod early this new year. The first, opening at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, will feature a painting from each of the artists and will run from January 17 – March 22, 2009 at the museum. A reception will be held on the evening of February 13.


Anchored in Good Foundations, Port Clyde, 20″ x 24″, Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell; Exhibited at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, Dennis, MA.

The second part will be at Addison Art Gallery, with the opening reception on Saturday, February 14 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the gallery (President’s Day Weekend) and continuing through March 15, 2009. This exhibition will feature many more works from the twelve artists on the Maine trip. See the gallery’s page for the exhibition here, and click on the photos of the artists to see more of their artwork in the exhibition. Book your travel plans now, as there will be a lot of great art to see! Hope to see you there.

You can see a slideshow of the six paintings I will be sending for the exhibitions, online here.


Eric Merrell and Glenn Dean, Monhegan Island, Maine, September 2008.