Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Another Plein air from my hot rod

(Can it be called a Plein air if it's painted from the front seat of my car?...I don't really know....full disclosure: I don't really care either, hehee).
A small 5x7" oil study from the front seat of my hot rod...and by hot rod I mean mini van...parked in a lot off route 1 in Portsmouth, NH overlooking marshland.

I used a minimal palette here in my small painting kit: Underpainting White, Cad yellow medium, Quinacridone red, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt sienna...aaaand Viridian was on my palette but I don't really use it anymore.

This small little kit makes it possible to paint almost anywhere.

Location:Portsmouth, NH

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My good friend and extremely gifted painter, Alastair Dacey is having a solo show at my Shore Road Gallery in Ogunquit, Maine on Saturday, August 29, 2015, (6 - 9pm)...294 Shore Rd, Ogunquit.
If you can join us, that would be fun.  Alastair will be exhibiting 12 new oil paintings from a series of works executed while painting a costumed model in period clothing behind the Ogunquit Museum of Art.  The works I have seen are exquisite and in my opinion, evoke the brush of Sorolla and Sargent...I'll bet Alastair is glad I said it and not him...They really knock your socks off.  Please join us for a night of art, friends and drinks.  Here is a link to the events page from my web site:  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Sketch Club (Session 2) starting August 06, 2015 (Thursdays)

The new venture by the Ogunquit Summer School of Art called, SKETCH CLUB
is off to a rousing start with the first session sold out.  Sketch Club is six week session drawing classes meeting every Thursday morning from (9-12) in and around Ogunquit and York county, Maine.  We meet all summer, May thru October.  Bring a pencil, sketchbook and be ready to learn the principles of drawing...We sketch in some of the most beautiful places on the planet.  These small classes are fun and packed with info, you'll learn a lot. All the details are on the website:

Next six week session: (AUG 6 - SEPT 11)

But here is the low down:
(Thursdays (9-12) Six week sessions ($180)
Call to register: (603) 819-9100
or email Todd at:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Alastair Dacey Solo Show (August 29, 6-9pm) Shore Road Gallery, Ogunquit, ME

I'm so thrilled to announce the solo show of my good friend Alastair Dacey at the new Shore Road Gallery in Ogunquit on August 29, 2015, (6-9pm).  I met Alastair in 2005 when I took his drawing class at the Ingbretson studios in Manchester, NH.  I thought he had a tremendous sensitivity for seeing, drawing and painting then and after ten years, I still find his work, taste, skill and vision to be of the highest order.  A real modern master.   His studio is on the third floor, just above mine at the Button factory Artist studios in Portsmouth, I have the luxury of perusing up there periodically for inspiration and to see what the boy-genius is working on.  I always leave wanting to raise the bar of my own work.  He inspires.  A true Artist's - Artist, he is greatly respected amongst peers...Please join us for Alastair's first solo exhibition in late August at my new gallery.  I'll be posting pictures from his studio of works in progress, so check back or check out the gallery website here:
Check out recent pics from his studio of works in progress below....jaw dropping and inspiring.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Shore Rd. Gallery Ogunquit, Maine (Our new art gallery opening this Friday, June 26, (4-6)

Please join us for something new this Friday evening from (4-6pm) at 294 Shore Rd. in Ogunquit, Maine for the opening of our new Art Gallery.  We kept the name of the space that has been operating as the Shore Road Gallery for 42 years.  Its a really nice space with two gallery floors, the lower showroom will be the new home of The Beth Ellis Collection.  A short bop upstairs will be a space where I will be exhibiting my larger scale paintings like this whopper above titled, "In the past" (48x60") oil on canvas.  I will also exhibit some beauties by the all-star team of amazing painters like Donald Jurney, Stan Moeller, Alastair Dacey, Chris Volpe and many other nationally recognized artist.  We will have wine, food and friends to welcome the summer of 2015.  We will be open daily all season...if you can't make it Friday, feel free to stop in next time you are in Ogunquit.  We are located about 100 yards form Perkins Cove across the street from Amore restaurant.

Shore Rd, Gallery
294 Shore Rd.
Ogunquit, ME
Opening reception (4-6pm)...Probably stay later....
Friday, June 26, 2015

My little gallery in Perkins Cove (The Todd Bonita Gallery) will remain open (Forever I hope!!!)...this new Shore Road Gallery space is simply a sister location that will enable me to exhibit larger works and will be an opportunity to team up with Sharon Navigan, the sister of the late, influential Ogunquit Art Colony painter, Beth Ellis.  I could not be happier to team up with Sharon and her brilliant staff, Ginny, Suzanne and Dianne..all Love Art, Ogunquit, Local History and People.  Total pros!!  They bring a spirited energy to all of this that simply makes me so excited for this season.  I hope to see you there.  

Feel free to call or email:
(603) 819-9100

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Todd Bonita Gallery in Perkins Cove, Ogunquit Season Opening (Friday, May 22, 6pm - close). Our second year!

I officially opened the gallery on May 2 already, please feel free to stop by anytime.  We are open for the season through Columbus day, October 12, so I hope to see you.  Our season opening celebration will be this coming Friday, May 22 from 6pm to closing time.  Last year was a blast, friends and family came from far away places, it was a very special evening.  I'm hoping for another spirited evening.  Please come and bring friends if you wish, all are welcome.  Perkins Cove has excellent restaurants, bars, coffee shop, ice cream, jewelers, boutiques, etc...make a night of it but definitely stop in for a drink, some art, friends and laughs.
I will be exhibiting some of my new oil paintings, along with new works from Donald Jurney, Alastair Dacey, Stan Moeller, Chris Volpe, Mikel Wintermantel, Dennis Sheehan, Beaman Cole and some other guest artist.  Also, be sure and pop in upstairs and welcome fellow artist, Don Gorvette and his Black Bear Gallery to Perkins Cove, it's newest addition.
We are located at 102 Perkins Cove Rd. in Ogunquit, Maine.  Next to the drawbridge, open daily for the season...hope to see you. Here is a link to our website: 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ogunquit Summer School of Art (First class in new space!!)

Today was our first class in a new multi-purpose building we will be using for the season as our brick-and-mortar location for the Ogunquit Summer School of Art.  294 Shore rd. in Ogunquit.  It was the Shore Rd. Gallery for 42 years, ran by Elaine Stein.  I will use it to house two galleries this summer and also to host classes and art lectures.  The first floor space will be the new home of the Beth Ellis Gallery and the second floor will be used as a gallery for my larger paintings, a few other painters and art by deceased members of the Ogunquit Art Colony.  The space will maintain the old name of "Shore Rd. Gallery" with additional signage for Beth Ellis Gallery.  I will maintain my little gallery in Perkins Cove while Sharon Navigan (Beth's sister) will manage the space on Shore rd.

We officially get the keys on June 15, I hope to have an opening celebration and announcement sometime after that, that would be fun.  This pic was taken by Elaine Miller of our first class in the space.  Twelve students attended today, thats my mother lower left, she just won second prize for her oil in the Winthrop Art Associations annual juried event. 

Todays lecture was on value relationships, color as value and training our eyes to develop a sensitivity to truly seeing value shapes.

I'm standing with Dave Fleury, the owner of the building and a very generous man to allow us to have this class today, before we are officially moved in.  He has a super art spirit and is a painter in his own right.  It's energizing to be surrounded by good people, it leaves me with a very positive outlook for the coming season.
If you wish to join one of our classes or art workshops, go to our website:
or call me to register at: (603) 819-9100
you can emil me too:

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Plein Air painting Tuesdays second season launched

Plein air Tuesday's second year has officially launched in Ogunquit and it was about as perfect a day as you could hope for to paint by the sea.  A dozen oil painters braved the 76 degree temps on the grounds of the Ogunquit museum of art and managed to get some work done despite the ever-so-delicate ocean breeze upon their sun kissed faces.  Heheee... It felt great to be with a group of committed artist again, trying to crack the codes to good painting.  
Carrying on the tradition of the summertime art school started by Charles Woodbury in 1899, Plein air Tuesdays are six week outdoor painting classes that take place in Ogunquit, Maine and York county.  There are four six week sessions from May through October, we meet every Tuesday morning at 9am and paint until 1pm.   Session 1 is filled but spaces are available in sessions 2, 3 and 4 if you wish to join us.  They do fill up so call or email to reserve a spot.  You can contact me at (603) 819-9100  or email me at
These classes and workshops are part of the Ogunquit Summer School of Art.  You can find information about Plein air Tuesdays and other oil painting offerings on our website,

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Sea Salt (20x40") oil on linen

Finished and Framed this today, "Sea Salt" (20x40").  This will be available at my gallery for our second season, opening May 1 (soft opening)...grand opening of the second season Friday, May 22.
Todd Bonita Gallery, 102 Perkins Cove rd. Ogunquit, Maine...won't be long now.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Castle Cat #3 (16x20") oil on canvas

Finished this 16x20" oil canvas titled, "Newcastle Cat #3".   I havnt posted the first two versions but I may do that soon.  The first two versions are completely different compositionaly.  It took me years to fully understand why Winslow Homer did seventeen versions of  his"Gulf Stream" painting...I can see now that he was trying to figure it out...visually problem solving..trying it a slightly different way...sometimes I feel like I have to try something new until the feeling of unresolved issues stops haunting my dreams.  Stand by for versions 4 thru 20...heehee, maybe not.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ogunquit, Marginal Way Plein air painting

Plein air painting pal Donald Jurney and I took to a windy perch on Ogunquit's Marginal Way.  Facing a steady ocean breeze, it felt every bit of winter after a few hours of painting.

Donald Jurney and I painting Marginal Way, Ogunquit.

I ended up wiping away my start and retreating after a few hours but Donald got a really nice one. 
I equate it to fishing with a buddy....even if you don't catch one, you still had a good time..pretty sweet when you do catch one though.  Donald is amazingly consistent.  I am gearing up my chops for another season of outdoor painting in Ogunquit...I'll be teaching another season of Plein Air painting Tuesdays with the Ogunquit Summer School of Art starting in May.  If you wish to join us, if it's anything like last year, it's going to be a blast painting outdoors in this gorgeous place.  Here is a link to our new Website for the summer school:
(I put an image link to the school on the left side of this blog that will always be there for your future use)

or a direct link to Plein Air Tuesdays

Friday, March 20, 2015

Painting from my hot rod again...

Through sleet, snow and sub zero temperatures, the brave, plein air painter takes refuge inside his warm car with a cup of coffee and the tunes playing.  I had a quick 45 minutes between dropping off my son at Lacrosse practice and picking up my daughter from day care.  This snazzy little 5x7" pocket pochade box is perfect to bang out a quick one in the front seat.  The lid will hold a wet painting and if you use a minimal palette, you can be painting in minutes.  I'm using Cad Yellow medium, Alizeran Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Underpainting white....thats a little Liquin in that pallet cup too.  Easy-peazy.

(5x7") oil on linen study "Winter sky Portsmouth 2015"

Sunday, March 15, 2015

White Mountain painting trip

Look at those smiles...Those are the real deal!!  Just painted all weekend with my good friend and painting partner, Chris Volpe on a weekend painters get-a-way to the White Mountains in Bartlett, New Hampshire.   Long over due...good times. 

Champney pretty much nails it here, "..New Hampshires splendid scenery has been an enduring inspiration to countless landscape artist".  Well said my good man!!!

Breathtaking little nooks were everywhere.

Volpe scouting a spot...feeling the presence of art heroes who painted these same locations.

My set up.

We did a good share of painting, this is my small 6x8" oil on linen study, "White Mountain winter stream study 2015"

Check out this little gem by Volpe...Fresh, gritty pallet knife work.  We talked a lot about past masters but also chatted about contemporary painters who inspire and are doing exciting things with paint.  Particularly some of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts painters who seem to be chasing something...sometimes referred to as "Deconstruction"...a painterly, almost crude application of paint, sometimes using palette knife to create a sometimes battered textural surface... an attempt to avoid formulaic painting and composition.  These are some of the hot shots we were drooling over...Jon Redmond  , Alex Kanevsky,  Fred Cuming....

We scouted painting spots in Crawford Notch and Bretton Woods, where we stumbled upon the grandaddy of painting locations...the very Grand, Mount Washington Hotel.  

A perfect spot for a future White Mountain workshop, but that may have been the scotch and stogies talking...Here is Volpe inside by the grand foyer.

It really would be perfect for a workshop, aesthetically stunning location with world class painting motif options, parking, bathrooms, restaurants, shops, spa, swimming pools inside and out, fire pits, movie theatre and it's own post office.  The porch was enormous and served as perfect protection at snowfall.  
...I'm thinking, yeah...definitely a future workshop destination...get on my mailing list to be privy to the date should we decide to do it.  That would be really fun.
Volpe didn't want to leave...I think he did three paintings on that last afternoon.

Me feeling very Italian with my old world lid and humongous shnozzola in profile. 
A great weekend and I'm saying here and now...Painters weekends are good for the soul and are here to stay as an annual event.   

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Don Stone R.I.P. (1929 - 1915)

Don Stone surrounded by our 2014 Monhegan Island workshop group in Don's Monhegan studio.
Don Stone is an internationally recognized artist, National Academecian and a local New England artist legend.  He passed away this morning and will always be remembered fondly as a hilarious, smart, generous, gifted, hard-working and influential artist.
He lived in Exeter, NH and had a summer studio on Monhegan Island in Maine.  I had the good fortune to have met Don and visit his studio a number of times and he was always funny, warm and very generous with his time and knowledge.  A couple of things I remember from my brief time with Don:
1) Visiting his Exeter studio and meeting him for the first time...I was still an illustrator and thinking of becoming an easel painter.  Don generously spent a lot of time telling me of his story transitioning from being an illustrator to fine artist and encouraged me to stick with it...he pointed to a book shelf filled with hundreds of panels of stacked paintings.  He pointed to them and said, "Thats my El-Stinko period"...they were plein air studies and they taught him how to really see like an artist..."We would get up in the mawnin and paint three by five o clock.  After a week, thats twenty-one paintings.    ..did that for years".
2) I would sometimes visit him in his Monhegan Island studio when I was teaching workshops there sometimes...I had heard when Don was younger, he met American painter, Aldro Hibbard   (Thats like a baseball player meeting someone like Ted Willaims or Joe Dimaggio)...Hibbard was a legendary artist hero to many New Engalnders.  Don recounted the meeting and said that Hibbard asked him what he thought the most important thing about painting was....Don replied, "Values"...Hibard paused, looked at him and said, "Value relationships" cool.
3) I would sometimes see Don on drop-off days at the Rockport Art Association, he always had a crowd around him..he was funny and there was often hilarious stories.  One of my favorites was Don walking into the prestigious Vose Gallery on newbury street in Boston...One of Americas oldest galleries, highly regarded and only exhibiting deceased masters at the time....Don fell to the ground, faked a heart attack and layer there as if he was dead...He opened one eye, looked up at the gallery manager and said, "Will you let me in now?"

I hope they do Don, you were certainly one of the good ones.  Rest in Peace.

Don's Obituary in the Boston Globe

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Oops we didi it again!" Plein air winter painting at Battis Farm, Amesbury, Mass

(8x10") oil on linen "Battis Farm winter study, 2015"
Like last week, it started with a friendly note and promises of friendship and fun...soon, like last week, I was knee deep in snow, freezing and painting again.
Beware of friendly looking notes, lest ye has the stomach for sub zero snow painting.
This is a shot of Beaman Cole and his giant easel.  He was painting a beauty when I arrived.  Apparently there were as many as fifteen artist there.  It was great fun and again, I wish I took more photos of some of the characters that came to paint...the snow was deep and hard to walk in so I simply set up and got it done...looks like this will be a semi-regular thing so stand by for posting of future outings...maybe you can join us some time.  
Donald Jurney, Elaine Miller and me.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Winter Plein Air Maudslay State Park, Newburyport, Mass

(8x10") Plein Air study "Maudslay State Park, winter 2015"
In the midst of record breaking snowfall this winter, my plein air painter friends are itching to get outdoors, it was a matter of time before someone cracked.  Donald Jurney sent a note alerting us to the dangers of cabin fever and the need to get outside.  A small group...maybe 8...met at Maudslay State park in Newburyport, Mass for some wintery painting on Wednesday.

This was my set up...I wish I had taken more shots of the others, I meant to but it gets chilly standing for two hours and I felt the need to set up, bang it out and get to a warm cup of coffee asap.  The snow was very deep so our plans to trek into the park were kaiboshed...we ended up painting in the parking lot.  Short, sweet, great fun and really nice to chit chat with the others.  Misery loves company after really was fun.  We may even do it again next week.

Donalds looks so inviting in print.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015