Phil Starke Studio Newsletter

February 2016  ✦

Ranch House, Tubac Arizona - oil - 24x30 - Available through Big Horn Galleries



January ended with the workshop at the Tubac Resort in Tubac, AZ. It was a great week, the weather was beautiful.  Those who rose to do sunrise paintings needed to wrap up a bit, but the Arizona sun soon warmed things up. The weather and light were perfect, we painted at a nearby ranch and in the older parts of Tubac as well as the Tumacacori Mission and the Santa Rita Mountains. I want to thank everyone who attended, I really enjoyed the week.

Currently I have a show going on now at the Big Horn Gallery in Tubac, AZ as well as a small works show at Beauchamps Gallery in Topeka.

Garden Gate, Tubac, AZ - oil - 18x24 - Available through Big Horn Galleries

Garden Gate, Tubac, AZ - oil - 18x24 - Available through Big Horn Galleries

Kansas Thunderhead - oil -12x14 - Available through Beauchamps Gallery.

Kansas Thunderhead - oil -12x14 - Available through Beauchamps Gallery.

Laundry Day Los Lunas, NM - oil - 9x12 - Available through Beauchamps Gallery.

Paxico Road Sunset - 9x12 - oil - Available through Beauchamps Gallery


There is still plenty of time and some room left to sign up for the workshop in Greece in May. We will be painting on several Islands in Greece, lots of fishing villages and street scenes. There are more details in this newsletter.  The New York Central Park Workshop is filling fast.  If you're wanting to grab your seat, register soon.

Phil Starke
Phil Starke Studio

New York City Central Park Workshop - September 22 - 25, 2016
Register Here 


Dates have been set and I'm really looking forward to this workshop.  This has become one of my favorite workshops because of the location and the group visit to the Metropolitan Museum.  In this 4-day workshop we will spend the first day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we will study American and French impressionists. The goal at the museum is to glean some understanding of how these painters simplified, used values and broken color. There's a lot to learn at the Met so it's a great place to start.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will be painting in Central Park. The subject matter is breathtaking, with gardens, lakes, flowers and endless trees and figures. The quality of light is beautiful, whether it's sunny or cloudy.

The focus of the workshop will be the thought process of mixing color, simplifying our subject to large masses and shapes instead of detail.  I stress the importance of

capturing a simple suggestion of light using composition, shape and value and not try to capture too much -- that's what a camera is for.  I will be doing 2 demonstrations a day showing a different subject matter and technique for each demonstration.

A Special FREE Bonus Package Including Links To 4 Video Downloads , That Have Never Been Offered For Sale Before, Will Be Handed Out At The End Of The Workshop. Each Video Will Address Different Elements Of Landscape And Plein Air Painting To Help With Further Study Following The Workshop. This Video Package Has A Value Of $275, But Will Be FREE To Participating Students Of This Workshop.  The Ticket For Our Visit To The Metropolitan Museum Will Also Be A Bonus For This Workshop.

Registration is Now Open.  More information and payment button can be found here:  

Phil Starke New York Central Park Workshop or contact me here.   Affordable housing is available.  If you would like to share accommodations with someone, contact me and I'll let you know if there are others looking for that as well.


Too often we think of brushstrokes as a means to copy a photograph. We need to think of brushstrokes as an expressive and economical way to suggest what we see. Brush stokes help the painting to look like paint.

Below is an excerpt from Emile Gruppe's book, ”Brushwork For The Oil Painter”. In it he talks about the function of the brushstroke:

“Always try to find the stroke that best describes what you feel about a particular subject. After all you want to communicate quickly and directly with the viewer- in a broad simple way. The direct approach lets you tell the story with a minimum of digressions. In addition, each stroke says something about the subject. Remember, look twice and paint once! First study the subject and figure out where you want to place it on your canvas. Then look a second time, checking for its characteristic angles and curves. And finally make your stroke. By that time, you should know what you're after. This directness is especially important if you're painting outdoors. Then you have to work fast and so you need a technique that records facts quickly and concisely.”

Below are details of 2 of my paintings. In both of them I'm trying to show shape and the effects of light with simple brushstrokes. I'm trying to think of brush direction to better suggest form and soften or harden edges. I'm also trying to think of as little detail as possible.


Charles Warren Eaton will be remembered in American art history as one of the chief members of the Tonalist movement, along with Henry Ward Ranger, Elliott Daingerfield and others who benefited from the lessons of French Barbizon painting and, more immediately, from the example of the poetic style of George Inness.

Unlike others in the Tonalist school, Eaton was late in traveling abroad and never studied there. Born in Albany, New York, he showed little interest in art until his twenties when he came to New York City and began studying at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design. He readily absorbed the Barbizon work shown at the Academy as well as paintings by American landscapists.

His studio mate, Leonard Ochtman, was a native Dutchman who no doubt stirred Eaton's interest in Europe. In 1886, he traveled with Ochtman to Grez (near Barbizon), Paris, London, and Holland. Eaton's first mature themes of the 1890s were those of bridges and the neighboring countryside executed in an atmospheric, mood-evoking style with a palette of greens, browns and grays. He chose the romantic town of Bruges, the haystacks along the low-lying Dutch plains as subject matter but carefully selected the time of day (twilight, dusk) and the season (autumn, winter) to coincide with his unique sensibilities.

An important event occurred in 1889. As the story goes, Inness, who had a studio in the same building as Eaton, walked through his open door one day, admired his paintings then stepped back to read the name on the door-plate. He returned the next day, purchased a painting, and initiated a relationship which would remain a source of pride to Eaton.

Like Elliott Daingerfield, Eaton was one of very few younger artists who could claim Inness as a mentor, and he took obvious pleasure in the opportunity to observe directly Inness's personal and impassioned approach to landscape painting. Eaton, in fact, had settled a year earlier in Bloomfield, New Jersey, a town near Inness's home in Montclair.

Around 1900, Eaton discovered the white pine forests of Connecticut near his summer haunts of Thompson and Colebrook. These were his most popular paintings at the National Academy's annuals and he was dubbed "The Pine Tree Painter." Tall, dark pines silhouetted against sunset and moonlit skies became a specialty and firmly established Eaton as an American Tonalist.

His last mature works, around 1910 and thereafter, were a break from this Tonalist mode. Summer trips to Italy in 1910, 1911 and 1912 found him entranced by the hillside villages around Lake Como. His palette of brilliant whites, rich oranges, greens and blues, brightened considerably, due to a new interest in broad daylight. Heavier impasto and choppy brushwork also characterize this late work.

The artist died in New York City in 1937.

Greece Workshop - May 6 - 25, 2016

May 6 - 25, 2016 I'll be teaching a workshop in Greece.  For three weeks we will be painting and touring around the Greek Islands.    The first day everyone will arrive in Rhodes and have time to enjoy the The Old Town with it's medieval cobbled lanes and beautiful old buildings connected by arches, cafes and shops.  We will have Welcome cocktails at 7:00 pm.  There will be plenty of time to explore and photograph during the workshop.  We will be visiting the islands of Rhodes, Symi, Nissiros, Kos, Kalymnos.  There will be lots to paint:  cobbled streets, beautiful harbors with fishing boats, stone walls, and old storefronts, cafes, windmills, and houses.     For more information about the painting part of the workshop, contact me at  If you're interested in more information about Greece and the accommodations, contact or phone: 0412 599 328.  Below are images of just a few places we'll see.

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Quick Links

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Workshop Schedule

Greece Workshop - May 6 - 25, 2016
More information is shown in this newsletter. Contact me if you have more question.

New York City Central Park Plein Air Workshop
Sept. 22, 23, 24, 25, 2016
click here for more info

The Plein Air Tip Guide Package. Click here to see all the new options.

The Plein Air Tip Guide Package.
Click here to see all the new options.

Exhibitions & Gallery Shows

Big Horn Galleries
Feb. 2016
Tubac, AZ

Settlers West Summer Show
May 2016
Settlers West Gallery
Tucson, AZ


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