“Food for Thought” at the Outliers Gallery in Jersey City

“Food for Thought” video tour

Where: The Outliers Gallery, Art150-#246, 157A 1st Street, Jersey City, NJ
When: through May, 2023
Artists Reception: May 11, 5-9pm

Here is my artist’s statement from the exhibition:

Our society has a strong emotional relationship with food. We celebrate with food during special moments in our lives and even mourn the loss of a loved one with food. We use food as a way of sharing our experiences with others, whether on a first date or a birthday. There are some foods that we have a fondness for because they are attached to memories from our childhood. This series of paintings is food that’s in my life. Some of it I eat often, some I eat occasionally, and some I eat rarely.

This series of paintings was developed at the beginning of this year, when I began experimenting with acrylic paints. In order to improve my technique, I began painting household objects on small panels. I began by painting fruit on 4 x 6 inch panels. After getting used to the new medium, I decided to start a series on foods that I normally eat (and that most people probably eat). I began with the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich and used the series as an excuse to buy and paint unhealthy food. I created these paintings in the morning on a plein air easel on my kitchen table. I also decided to make each frame, as I wanted the paintings to float on a black background as a way of making each painting intimate.

“Farm to Frame” Exhibition in Somerville, NJ

Standing next to my painting “Cow With Attitude” at the Farm to Frame artists reception

Where: Somerset County Administration Bldg, 20 Grove St, Somerville, NJ
When: March 9 – May 1, 2023
Artists Reception: March 24, 6-8pm

This initiative was organized by the Cultural and Heritage Commission of Somerset County. Over 30 artists were recruited and assigned to preserved farms in Somerset county where they had to be inspired to produce two works. I was assigned 2 Rivers Farm in Branchburg. The owners of this working farm were very friendly and invited me to paint plein air in the future. The farm was very large and beautiful. I produced two paintings: “Cow with Attitude” and “Another Day at the Farm“.

Update 3/28/23: Unfortunately, the artists reception was very crowded with people that didn’t seem too interested in the artwork. Unknown to me, this reception had been combined with a celebration of Agricultural Day and the art became secondary. Additionally, I was a little disappointed by the quality of the artwork as a whole with the exception of a handful of artists who seemed to be professionals.

Acrylic Painting Tip# 1: use acrylic medium to create washes instead of water

“Fried Egg on Oat Nut Toast”, 8″x6″, acrylic on canvas panel by Francisco Silva

This tip only applies when painting on surfaces that are gessoed.

It seems natural to use water to create thin, transparent layers of color while painting with acrylics, especially when creating an underpainting. Unfortunately, adding too much water will break down the acrylic binder that holds the pigment together. What this means is that, over time, the paint will detach (or flake off) from the surface. The general rule is to use a maximum of 30% water to 70% paint. To create thin layers, I use an acrylic airbrush medium instead. This gives me the transparency I would normally get with water without weakening the paint. Additionally, the airbrush medium’s viscosity is similar to that of water, making wash effects easier.

In the example above, I used thin washes on the table, background as well as the egg.

Experimenting with Acrylic Paints

Peanut Butter and Jelly on Oak Nut Break, 8″ x 6″, acrylic on canvas panel by Francisco Silva

I’m currently experimenting with acrylic paints with the intention of using them for plein air purposes. I believe acrylic’s quick drying time will work better with my paint layering technique as compared to oil paints. Since it’s still cold here in New Jersey, I’m creating small, 6″ x 8″, indoor paintings of food to test out my technique and work resolve any issues I may encounter with the medium. Additionally, these food-themed paintings have taken on a life of their own.

I’ll be posting my progress here as well as any tips or pitfalls that I run into.

“Night” Exhibit at Outliers Gallery in Jersey City, NJ

View of my paintings currently at Outliers Gallery.

Where: Outliers Gallery, Studio 150, #246, 150 Bay Street, Jersey City, NJ
When: January 1 – February 28

The Outliers are currently having an exhibition with a “nighttime” theme at our gallery at 150 Bay Street. The four participating artist are: Dorie Dahlberg, Ed Fausty, Brad Terhune and myself. Each of us have our unique interpretation of the theme and and the exhibit is worth a visit. I have 2 plein air paintings and 2 studio paintings as part of the show.

NJArts.net – Bold strokes: A look back at the best NJ art shows of 2022

The Jersey City art critic, Tris McCall, talks about the best shows in New Jersey in 2022. “Black and White to Magnificent Color” at the Watchung Arts Center is listed as number 9 where my name and painting “Too Much Energy on an Oppressively Hot Day” are mentioned. It’s a very interesting read and a good insight into all of the interesting exhibitions happening in NJ. For the full article click here.

“Pigment of Imagination” Group Exhibit at Whitespace Gallery, Hackettstown, NJ

When: December 3 – Reception December 3, 5-9pm
Where: Whitespace Art & Event Gallery, 47 US Highway 46, Suite 3 Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Phone: (908) 451-7364

I have one plein air painting in this group exhibition. Please stop by to see local artists that work in various mediums and themes.

Two of my paintings are currently being shown at Whitespace Gallery, Hackettstown, NJ

View of Whitespace Gallery in Hackettstown, NJ

Where: Whitespace Art & Event Gallery, 47 US Highway 46, Suite 3 Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Phone: (908) 451-7364

The Immigrants” and “Too Much Energy on an Oppressively Hot Day” are currently on display at Whitespace Gallery in Hackettstown, NJ. This gallery exhibits artists of varied styles and themes working in different mediums: painting, sculpture and jewelry. All artworks are created by artists local to the area. It’s a large space with multiple exhibition areas.

2nd Annual ArtVenture Plein Air Quick Draw 2023: I was awarded an honorable mention

My painting “Orange Roof on Main Street” was awarded an honorable mention

When: October 8th, 9am – Noon
Where: 50 Stangl Road, Flemington, NJ

This is the second year of the event and the level of talent has significantly improved in that short amount of time. The weather was perfect for autumn painting in quaint, downtown Flemington. After everyone painted, there was a free lunch with sandwiches, snacks, desserts and drinks (including hot coffee). The judge for the event was Roberto Osti, a university teacher and fellow plein air teacher/artist who was kind enough to stay afterwards to give honest, constructive critiques to anyone that wanted them.