Monday, September 20, 2010

Sea Shack

I just finished this small oil painting on wood panel and titled it, "Sea shack" (6x8"). This is a painting I completed from referencing my plein air (outdoor) study of this salt box shack in Chatham, Mass on Cape Cod not long ago. (see below) Seeing them side-by-side makes me appreciate the characteristics and finishes that each version possesses. I like the freshness, looseness and sketchy-ness of the outdoor study (below) while at the same time, I like the amount of detail, textural variety and mood I put in the studio version (above). I get a different satisfaction from each, not to mention, the experience of making them had there own inherent but different joys.

I am currently instructing a Plein air painting class and a studio oil painting class on Tuesdays at the brush and Palett art center in North Hampton, NH. If you would like to join us outdoors to paint the New Hampshire seacoast landscape, or join our class to learn studio oil painting techniques, please email me privately at or call me for more info or to reserve a spot. (603) 819-9100.
Here is a link to my workshops: Todd Bonita workshops
Here is a link to the brush and Palett: Brush and Palett

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Portsmouth Herald feature

This is from yesterdays Portsmouth Herald, how incredibly thoughtful. Thank you Jeanne. (click on image for larger version)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lt. Raymond Murphy (9-11-2001)

This is a sketch I did today of Lt. Raymond Murphy. He was a New York city firefighter and a hero who died while saving lives on 9/11/2001. I did not know him but thought it might be a respectful way to pay tribute to him today. Here is a link to a web sight that was set up by his family as a way to remember him. Raymond Murphy Rest in peace and thank you Raymond.

This photo epitomizes firefighters everywhere. It was taken September 11, 2001, after the collapse of the first tower and shortly before the collapse of the second tower. It shows Lt. Ray Murphy and Firefighter Rob Curatola of Ladder Co. 16 walking south on West Street towards the debris of the first collapse to resc ue survivors. They had just assisted in the removal of survivors, one of which was an injured Firefighter. Ray had instructed firefighter Rich Ratazzi, also of Ladder 16, to take the injured firefighter back to the ambulance staging area at Vescey and West Streets, and then to meet up again in the high-rise truck which is to Ray’s right in the photo. As Rich was leaving to care for the injured firefighter, he took a quick photo with a disposable camera many firefighters carry. Shortly after this photo was taken, a general evacuation of the area was called and Ray and Rob were caught in the destruction of the collapse of the North Tower. Rich did not realize until the next day that he had captured such a meaningful photo. Rob Curatola’s body was found on September 12, he had been married just (3) weeks. Ray’s body was returned to us on October 1, 2001. The photo which brings great solace to our family, shows the professionalism, courage, and determination of firefighters everywhere, who have the ability to remain calm and focused in the midst of such chaos! May God Bless You All!

The Family of Lt. Ray Murphy

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Plein air painting (Chatham, Mass)

This is from my recent plein air painting trip to Chatham, Mass on Cape Cod.

I found this cool little salt box shack near Chatham harbor and started my lay-in.
I'm using the 9x12" Open box M pochade mounted to a tripod and working in oils on an 8x10" wood panel prepared with gesso. In this above photo, I am washing in the local color very loosely with a paper towel and without any drawing. I'm just looking for a loose representation of the big mass shapes, values and colors.
Here above, I am taking my time to measure and draw with paint. I've changed a few things in my composition, like taking out that un-sightly "No Trespassing sign". I felt it was stopping the veiwer from entering the picture plane.
I kept the foliage pretty simple and used it to silhouette the shack. This is about two hours. At the time of this posting, I am almost finished turning this plein air painting into a finished studio painting. I will post that in a few days.

I am teaching a plein air painting class here on the New hampshire seacoast starting next week. It will run on Tuesday afternoons from 1-4pm beginning September 14th. If you would like to join us outdoors painting the New Hampshire sea coast during the most beautiful time of year, please shoot me an email or call me to reserve a space. (603) 819-9100. Here is a link to the workshop details: TODD BONITA PLEIN AIR PAINTING WORKSHOP