Phil Starke Studio Newsletter

JULY 2015  ✦

Tubac Courtyard - oil 

Tubac Courtyardoil 


For July I'll be in the studio keeping cool here in Tucson. The monsoons have kicked in which makes it hot and humid, more stuff to complain about.  I'm finishing up the piece for the Buffalo Bill Show, it's shown here at the top of the letter. The show is in September in Cody, Wyoming. I will be demonstrating a the Big Horn Gallery in Cody. The show runs from Sept. 21 - 28.

I'm looking forward to the workshop in Sheridan, Wy, August 3rd through the 6th. We'll be painting in the Big Horn Mountains and at a couple of ranches. It's always a good group to paint with and a beautiful place to paint. There are a couple of spots still available. Let me know if you have an interest.

If you're looking for a workshop this summer but don't have time to travel, check out our Online Mentoring Program.  Each week it includes demonstrations, lectures as well as lessons and a critique at the end to the week. The students can work at their own pace.

Phil Starke
Phil Starke Studio

Mixing Gray Color

It always helps to start mixing color with an identifiable color from the color wheel, then you can modify it to fit into the painting. That way your color is always cleaner and easier to work with.

But there are times when an object or plane is gray or neutral, then it helps to think in terms of color temperature, warm or cool gray.

When I mix a gray with orange and ultramarine blue, if it's a cool gray in the shadows, I'll add more blue or, if it's a warm gray in the sunlight, I'll add more orange. Yellow and violet works well also.

The gray mixed with red and green is neither warm or cool. Green and red are more neutral when it comes to color temperature so you would have to add cool or warm color to it.

Here is a detail of a painting where I used a blue and orange gray in the horse and the barn, thinking color temperature first, to achieve the effect of sunlight or shadow.


Wilson Henry Irvine

American Impressionist painter Wilson Henry Irvine was born just outside of Byron, Illinois in 1869. Though raised in the Midwest, Irvine was captivated by the scenic coast and landscape of New England and spent most of his adult life there. Painting in the American Barbizon tradition, modeled after the nineteenth century French Barbizon School, Irvine sketched and painted directly from nature preferring to work en plein air. His impressionistic style and choice of subjects are often compared to painters of the American Barbizon School, particularly Irvine’s contemporary, Childe Hassam. Irvine stands out from other American Impressionists of his time, for his willingness to push the traditional techniques of impressionism with his aquaprints and prismatic paintings of the late 1920s.


Initially Irvine’s work is reminiscent of early impressionism, with the artist’s use of lively, visible brush strokes and his emphasis on the contrasts of color and texture to create a sense of depth in his paintings. Though he spent a brief amount of time sketching in Brown County with Indiana based “Hoosier” school impressionists Louis O. Griffith and Harry L. Engle, Irvine’s fondness for the east coast especially the New England landscape, ultimately drew him away fro the Midwest. He began taking painting trips to New England in the early 1900s, including spending a portion of one summer painting on Mohegan Island off of the coast of Maine–a favorite spot for many artists. Ultimately, Irvine chose to establish a home in Brooksound, Connecticut near Old Lyme. He began exhibiting alongside Old Lyme artists in 1914 and became an active member of the Lyme Art Association.

In the late 1920s, Irvine continued to travel extensively. It was during this period that he began to experiment with etchings and also created an abstract series of what he called “aquaprints” types of monoprints derived from the ancient Japanese method of making marbleized paper. The production of these works was brief and largely overshadowed by Irvine’s more traditional works. Irvine also began experimenting with a method of prismatic painting, in which he would paint from a subject through the refracted lighting of a prism. Irvine showed twenty-two of these paintings in 1930 at Grand Central Art Galleries in New York. Though the vibrant studies in color and light received harsh reviews from conservative critics, the paintings were generally well received when they were first shown. The prismatic paintings, though not characteristic of traditional impressionism, remain illustrative of a significant moment in the artist’s later career.

2 Seats Left For The New York City Workshop - Register Now

Two Bonuses have been added to this year's workshop:  A Special FREE Bonus Package Of 4 Videos 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 $200 But Will Be FREE To Participating Students Of This Workshop.  Tickets to the Metropolitan are also a bonus for the workshop.

Details are up for the 2015 New York Central Park Workshop.  The workshop has been schedule for Sept. 3, 4, 5, 6, 2015.  I've added a fourth day to the workshop with the first day being a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we will study the plein air and studio works of John Singer Sargent, Willard Metcalf, Corot, 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 beautiful 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.  All the details are on the New York Workshops here:  New York Central Park Workshop


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My FREE e-book "Working With Color" guide is now available.  Download here.

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

Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale
September 21 - 28, 2015
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Cody, WY

Traveling The West Art Show
October 22 - 24, 2015
Southwest Gallery
Dallas, TX


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