Saturday, May 9, 2020

Art in the Age of Quarantine - Spring of COVID 19

Hello friends, as I write my Spring newsletter, I cannot help but think to myself is this essential? It just seems like there are much more pressing events happening in the world today. That talking about art; well, may not be that important in this Spring of Covid 19. This crisis is unprecedented, I cannot think of anything that compares to it in my lifetime.

How dramatic the changes to daily life are for most people, just think of the battery of new (detaching) phrases that have been added to our vocabulary, social-distancing, quarantine, flatten the curve, essential and non-essential workers. The media is flooded with advice, news and commentary. My wife and son both are working, one as an essential worker and the other remotely, it has certainly tested their limits and their strengths. How can I not help but feel some uncertainty, anxiety and concern? I try to not let it dominate my mind. No wonder finding personal balance during the shutdown is a challenge for each of us.






Honestly, as far as work, I have not been directly impacted much by the pandemic. But I completely recognize how unfair this coronavirus has been to so many. Those daily death tolls are stark reminder that there is a real difference between tragedy and inconvenience.

For me, Art has always been that place to escape to. I have been self-employed most of my life as an artist and spent thousands of solitary hours in the studio. Even back when I was doing advertising art, we had a saying, “no news was good news” meaning when a project was delivered if you did not get a call on it from the client you just assumed that they were happy and you moved on to your next project.  I would go days buried in my work without speaking much. As it turns out I’ve all been self-quarantining for years!

And these days as a fine artist working on the art I want to create, I probably am even more isolated, but that is quite ok with me. We all need interaction with others, but the truth is that art is not a group activity.  Nor a spectator sport or is it created by committee as some current trends want to imply.  Meaningful art is created through the internal reactions of an artist to the world.

The catch is that what gives art meaning…is its capacity to connect with other people.  

I see painting as a very contemplative experience, but it is also the investigation of the world around me. The thoughts, feelings, and experiences of this time of isolation.

So that big word “Art” cannot exist in a vacuum.  Art illustrates the human experience—the wonder of it, the bewilderment of it, the whimsy of it, and yes even the tragedy of it. We would not be who WE are (or connected so deeply) without the essential existence of art.





It's nice to be able to share some positive news with you. My painting Japanese Teapot was accepted into the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS) 2020 Best of America Small Painting National Juried Exhibition.

-Best of America Small Works exhibition hosted by the McBride Gallery, 215 Main Street in Annapolis, MD 21401. For those that like to know the numbers, 150 paintings were selected from 1096 entries.”

The show has been extended until June 7, 2020




At last count, 15 paintings have sold from the 2020 Best of America Small Works Exhibition. With so many galleries, exhibitions and events being forced to close or cancel due to COVID-19. I want to thank Cynthia at the McBride Gallery who has been working diligently at promoting the exhibition online and extending the physical exhibition, so thankful for her efforts. 

To view the paintings in this exhibition please visit the gallery's website,
or for more information on NOAPS, and a video tour of the show check out.
Show extended through June 7, 2020 at the McBride Gallery, Annapolis, MD

As always, I have several new paintings going in the studio. For frequent updates and works in progress please check out my Instagram or Website. 

Stay safe, stay well, remain vigilant and be kind to each other. 
Jim Serrett



Explore - Question - Learn - Enjoy, Jim 


 Website - jimserrett.com 
 Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings



Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Small Works / Color Studies – March 2020





There are times I think the sky is daring me to paint it.
As if it is saying there’s no way you can catch me.
I am too wild.


Untamed Sky, oil on panel, 5x7 inches, Jim Serrett






Thunderstorms where heavy this afternoon and there was a controlled burn in the Shawnee Forest. 
I’ve been told either one can cause a sky like this. 
Rather brooding and ominous but interesting.


Yellow Sky, oil on panel, 5x7 inches, Jim Serrett





The morning haze is being burned away and the sun is warming the day.
The world is wide-awake.


Lake View – mid-morning, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett



Explore - Question - Learn - - Enjoy, Jim 




Website - jimserrett.com 
Studio Blog - jimserrettstudio.com 
Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings










Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Thanks for Listening 2019 - Happy New Decade!







At this time of year my thoughts are with family and friends and those loved ones lost. They will always be close to our hearts. Thanks to all of you for your support.

For those who purchased work, you may never truly understand what your support means. Your patronage represents more than a monetary or financial reward, it is encouragement and artistic freedom.

Again, my sincerest gratitude. Thanks for Listening

Happy Holidays and have a great New Years. Jim




For my loving wife, I love you more than you’ll ever know.
How lucky a man I am, for I married my best friend and the love of my life.
I cherish every day I get to spend with you. You are amazing.

Happy Anniversary.





Explore - Question - Learn - Enjoy, Jim 



Website - jimserrett.com 
Studio Blog - jimserrettstudio.com 
Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings



Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.





Monday, December 23, 2019

Small Works / Color Studies – Love the Process


Painting has been a major part of my life for decades. I am not sure what it would be like without it?
Even when the results sucked, if I am engaged with the exploration, I am always rewarded.
My sage advice.  Appreciate the journey. Love the process of painting.

These are some studies from the end of fall.  December Pochades 2019







A favorite spot to paint, we launch our kayaks and explore the lake from here.
I think it is one of the most beautiful lakes in Southern Illinois. It is a Zen place for us.

Boat Dock Road - Cedar Lake, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett







Enormous numbers of Egrets this year along the Mississippi. I guess because of the flooded fields. I think there's a beautiful, elegant simplicity to watching them hunt in shallow waters, moving slowly with the neck extended searching or standing motionless until the prey comes within striking distance.


White Egrets - Old State Rte 3, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett






Probably the last day of fall colors before the rains. The beautiful changes are eye candy.


Late Fall Walk, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett





Explore - Question - Learn - - Enjoy, Jim



Website - jimserrett.com
Studio Blog - jimserrettstudio.com 
Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings




Sunday, December 22, 2019

Happy Holidays


Happy ️ Holidays
Thank you for being part of my creative world.







Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874-1951)
The Toymaker, oil on canvas 24 x 20 in. Painted in 1920.



Explore - Question - Learn - Enjoy, Jim
 



Website - jimserrett.com 
Studio Blog - jimserrettstudio.com
Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings





Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Fourth of July Inspiration: Howard Pyle





Howard Pyle (1853 - 1911) The Nation Makers, 1903, Oil on canvas, 40 1/4 × 26 in.


Howard Pyle was a Golden Age Illustrator, painter and author.


Today, Howard Pyle is not nearly as well-known as his images. However, he was one of America’s most popular illustrators and storytellers at a time when top illustrators were celebrities. Pyle was also heavily immersed in documenting the history of America. Pyle considered The Nation Makers among his most important works and, between 1903 and 1908, he sent it on tour to New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Green Bay. People stood in line to see the work on display.



Happy 4th of July !






Explore - Question - Learn - - Enjoy, Jim 



Website - jimserrett.com
Studio Blog - jimserrettstudio.com 
Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings








Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Small Works / Color Studies – June





It is like watching a parade of giants floating above the lake. I am small again.

Cloud Parade, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett








Lately the storms have been both dangerous and beautiful.
Nature is full of contradictions.

Sometimes the rain can be sad and happy.


What’s That - Big Rain, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett








I painted this from my imagination, it is play... but also, memory and design training.

Everyone should learn to dream trees.


I Dream Trees, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett









Glass can be the most fun thing to paint, so many abstract passages, reflections and transparencies...  I will never bore of painting glass.


Blue and Clear Bottle, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett






Explore - Question - Learn - - Enjoy, Jim 




Website - jimserrett.com 
Studio Blog - jimserrettstudio.com
Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings









Monday, April 22, 2019

Small Works / Color Studies – Spring





I love watching the rain on the horizon it is an endless abstraction of form, light and color.
Fast-moving storm crossing the Mississippi into Illinois.


Fast Storm, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett






Really interesting formations, I’m guessing Nimbostratus clouds and some front meeting?


Spring Convergence, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett






There is incredible subtle energy in nature, if you take a moment to observe.
These clouds moved along the with the flow of the Mississippi river almost in synchronized harmony.


River of Clouds, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett








These trees are just off my deck, I have probably drawn them or painted them a dozen times.
I will probably draw them or paint them a dozen times more.  😊


Trees Outback, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett









I will never tire of the beauty and transformation of a sunset.


Sunset Over the Lake, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett








In early spring there is this amazing transformation of color, it is my favorite time of year, when the earth tones of Winter and the greening of Spring collide.



The Greening, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett




Explore - Question - Learn - - Enjoy, Jim 



Website - jimserrett.com 
Studio Blog - jimserrettstudio.com 
Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings





Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Small Works / Color Studies – Mexico






I must admit that I am not much of a morning person, my wife Linda finds it so funny that when we are in Mexico, I get up early and go to the beach for every sunrise. I am drawn to those amazing skies at dawn on the Caribbean Sea.  In Cancún, on the Yucatán Peninsula bordering the Caribbean Sea, you find some of the best beaches in the world and endless stunning sunrises for inspiration.

And I know I have probably said this a million times, but the color of the water here is hypnotic, just pure natural beauty. It was a great trip, and we had some of the best snorkeling adventures this year. Also, we got a chance to do a little island hopping along the Yucatan coast to explore Isla Contoy (National Park) and Isla Mujeres (Isle of Women). But mostly we spent two long weeks enjoying the beautiful beach.

I did a bit of sketching. And this year I took along a little compact pochade box to do oil studies in, which turned out to be just a perfect beach kit. My goal was to capture the color, value, atmosphere, of this unique location. So here are a few of the sketches from Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Enjoy 







Such beautiful sunrises in Cancun. I got up early enough to catch several, I am drawn to those amazing skies at dawn on the Caribbean Sea with the sun exploding up over the morning clouds.

Cancun Sunrise, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett © jimserrettstudio








I love the watching the colors change at sunrise on the beach. 
Small sketches and studies are great exercises and I learn so much from them.

Caribbean Morning, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©








Early morning light with a storm on the horizon. The energy of a wave is hard to capture. You must look for the simple elements such as design, shapes, values, color and edges. You could do hundreds of studies and none would look the same.

Yucatan Sunrise, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©







Straight out from this lifeguard tower we were able to walk over 100 yards in waist deep turquoise water. And let the rolling waves wash over us.


Lifeguard Tower Mexico, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©







Watching clouds build up on the horizon. The sea along the Yucatan Peninsula is one of the most beautiful in the world, just amazing. I could paint it forever, exploring and studying the colors, all the deep violets and endless cerulean blues. Chillax :)


Cloud Study on the Yucatan Peninsula, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©







There is no image of Cancun as iconic as Palapas on the white sand against the cerulean blue sea with clouds bellowing overhead. Probably because of the memories it conjures and the story it can tell.

Caribbean Palapas, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©








Kinich Ahau (K'inich Ajaw) was the Sun God of the Mayans and was believed to turn into a jaguar as he went through the underworld (Xibalbá) each night. You can almost see him in the sun battling the dark clouds.


Mayan Sun, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett © jimserrettstudio








Every morning is different on the Caribbean Sea, the light is never the same.
It is in flux, shifting atmospheric conditions—light flickering on water, moving clouds, a burst of rain. You can get lost in the moment painting the appearance of quickly changing light.


Beach Morning, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©








Painting surf is like trying to hit a moving target. It’s a fascinating exercise to get better at painting all types of subjects on location. But its also just so much fun.


Caribbean Surf, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©








I love the deep blue of the vaulting sky, watching clouds float and dance.
An oil study looking down the beach from the Royal Islander Resort towards Punta Nizuc in Cancun, Mexico.
Dos cervezas más, por favor señor


Looking Towards Punta Nizuc, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©






When I sit in front of the Caribbean Sea and try to match the colors with little piles of paint, shifting around the hue, value and chroma. My goal is to make as close as I can, the color I see -- that blue, blue-green or blue-violet –  and then realize how beautiful, sublime and imaginative nature is.

Colors of the Caribbean Sea, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©









Sketches from the Caribbean Sea are available through my online store. 
These oil paintings are framed. If interested follow this link

Serrett Studio Etsy Store - www.etsy.com/shop/SerrettStudio








Getting up early to paint the Caribbean sunrise. Chillax




Explore - Question - Learn - - Enjoy, Jim 



Website - jimserrett.com 
Studio Blog - jimserrettstudio.com 
Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings





Sunday, January 6, 2019

It’s My 10 Year Blogiversary!





Wow. This blog is ten years, 4 months old now. Wow, time flies when you are having fun.

Just seems like yesterday I was learning basic programming and language to create a blog. Today there are templates that make creating a blog very simple. That happened through the creativity and commitment of many bloggers to this platform over the years. To them we owe a great a debt of gratitude.







Through this blog I found an amazing community of artist who were willing to share their knowledge, insights and passion about art. This anniversary is not really about my blog, but the network and community around it.







Through you I have gained in ways I cannot articulate, I am because of this blog and community a better artist and person. And if you’re reading this, you’re one of the reasons it exists. Thank you for letting me share my passion with you. Here’s to another ten years!

Thank you.






Explore - Question - Learn - Enjoy, Jim



Website - jimserrett.com 
Studio Blog - jimserrettstudio.com 
Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings


Blogiversary / Bloggaversary / Blogaversary


#blogiversary - The yearly anniversary of someone’s web-log (blog)