“From Water” Exhibition at Atelier Rosal

From Water Artist Reception, Friday, August 20th 5-8pm

When: August 17 – September 11
Where: Atelier Rosal, 74 East Cherry Street, Rahway, NJ 07065

With The Rahway River Watershed Association holding their 1st annual Rahway RiverFest in Downtown Rahway, Atelier Rosal has curated works from local artists to expand the narrative and participate in the celebration of The Rahway River.Works by Joe Brown, Rodriguez Colero, Jim Fischer, Trish Gianakkis, Zev Jonas, Erin Karp, Debbie Livingston, Dave McGrath, Eric Miles, Harold Olejarz, and Francisco Silva will be featured.The exhibit will be on display from August 17th through September 11th. Gallery hours are 11-6pm Tuesday through Friday and 11-5pm on Saturday.Refreshments will be served during the reception. For your safety, Atelier Rosal asks that all guests follow CDC protocols and mask up during the event.

I have three plein air paintings in this exhibition. All of them having to do with water.

Update 8/20/2021: The reception was well-attended but not too crowded (which is nice during a pandemic). I was lucky enough to sell “New Hope Vibes” and “Bridge to PA” to the same collector! This is a great space with a two very friendly gallery owners. I exhibited here twice and have sold paintings both times.

“Inside Montclair” talks with the award winners of ViewPoints 2021 at Studio Montclair

Wayne Robbins of “Inside Montclair” interviews Susana Baker, director of Studio Montclair. He also interviews the first and third place winners and discusses their winning pieces. I won second place in this exhibition but was unable to make it to this video shoot as I was stuck behind a major accident on Route 78. Susan Baker discusses my two submissions in my absence.

My painting wins second place at the 2021 ViewPoints exhibit at Studio Montclair

When: April 23 – May 28, 2021
Where: Studio Montclair, Montclair, NJ

My painting “The Benefits of Bias 2” won second place at the Studio Montclair’s “ViewPoints 2021” exhibition. I was lucky enough to have two paintings selected: “The Benefits of Bias 1” and “The Benefits of Bias 2“. Studio Montclair director Susana Baker begins by talking about the philosophy behind this yearly show and the juror, Eleanna Anagnos, discusses her approach to selecting all the works. This video walks through the entire exhibition highlighting some works and ends with the juror giving the awards. The Benefits of Bias 1” was sold at this exhibition.

The Empowering: A Social Justice Exhibition at Art150 Gallery

When: Febuary 6 – March 21, 2021
Where: ART150 Gallery, Jersey City, NJ

This is a video by News 12 reporting on “The Empowering: A Social Justice Exhibition” organized by Pro Arts Jersey City. My oil painting titled “The Immigrants” is highlighted in the video. Kudos to artist Danielle Scott for curating this moving and thought-provoking exhibition.

Curatorial Talk: “Power, Privilege, and Everyday Life” at Studio Montclair

When: January 15 – February 19, 2021
Where: Studio Montclair, Montclair, NJ

A curatorial talk by artist Theda Sandiford who curated this exhibition. The video walks us through the exhibition and then Theda talks about several artworks including my painting “The Lack of Privilege“. I was lucky enough to have my painting sold at the exhibition.

Oil painting techniques: learn how to “scumble” like a pro

Snowy Dawn oil painting by Francisco Silva
“Snowy Dawn” oil painting by Francisco Silva

Scumbling is an oil painting technique used by many painter’s throughout history. To achieve this technique, you apply a thin or transparent layer of paint over a dried layer of paint resulting in a visual, color combination of both layers.

Why you should use this technique

As artists, we’re always running into roadblocks during the painting process. Scumbling can be used as a potential solution during these times. You can use it to add depth by adding contrasting color layers if your painting is too monotone. Conversely, you can reduce contrast in an area with this technique.

How to start scumbling using oil paint

  • Begin with a dried base layer of paint.
  • You can use either a transparent color (like Perylene Red, Viridian Green, etc.) or “thin” out a paint color with a medium.
  • Apply the transparent color. I control the transparency by adding medium to achieve a thinner layer of oil paint.
  • You can apply more layers to deepen the color or add more layers of different colors. Pleas note that the more layers you add, the less the initial layer will be noticeable.

Scumbling examples

Detail of Turner’s painting “Sun Setting Over a Lake”. Click on the image to see the entire painting

Throughout the history of art, many painters have used this technique. In the detail above, I show how J.M.W. Turner used this technique. You can see the layers of different colors which add texture and depth to the painting. Additionally, the darker areas of this detail are achieved with scumbling. This is a common technique used by Turner.

Detail of “Snowy Dawn” by Francisco Silva

One of the challenges with this painting was to represent “snow” without using one flat “white” layer of paint. I achieved this by beginning with a light blue-green base layer. To this layer, I added a light blue layer that was lighter than the previous layer. In the third layer, I added a white (toned-down with gray) layer leaving me the option of using pure white very sparingly.

Summary

  1. Scumbling can be used as a solution to visually problematic areas in your painting.
  2. Use scumbling to add color depth.
  3. Use this technique to highlight an area or reduce a high-contrast area.
  4. Scumbling is a classic technique used by many painters of the past (J.M.W. Turner, Claude Monet).
  5. Scumbling adds an additional technique to your painting arsenal.

Do you scumble? How have you used it in the past? Please leave examples in the comments.

My painting is on view at the Studio Montclair Art Gallery

The Lack of Privilege, an oil painting by Francisco Silva
“The Lack of Privilege”, an oil painting by Francisco Silva

One of my paintings is currently on view at the Studio Montclair art gallery. Additionally, an online exhibit compliments the physical show. This group show titled “Privilege, Power and Everyday Life” showcases 32 artists and their interpretation of the theme. Click here for a detailed view of my painting. Click here to view the entire exhibit.

The concept

Titled “The Lack of Privilege”, my new oil painting deals with an unexpected consequence of the pandemic: I depict a food line in Queens in a latino neighborhood. COVID-19 has been devastating to poor communities specifically black and brown neighborhoods. In the painting, I show figures standing in the cold, not interacting, and waiting for their turn. The faces are unclear, smudged or, in some cases, hidden in shadows. Some figures are hidden behind others or visually blend into each other. I painted them this way to emphasize that their identities are forgotten or overlooked. Although this is a tough time for everyone, some people are deprived of essentials such as food.

My painting process

In this painting I began experimenting in several ways. I normally take snapshots and use them as reference. In this case, I’ve searched online for videos taken by news outlets, I then took screenshots of the video and have used that as a foundation for this painting. I wanted to begin with a realistic, almost clinical view of the subject.

With regards to painting process, I outlined the figures in heavy black lines. The people in the food line are painted in mostly cool grays which visually separates the blue-gray sidewalk and the orange/terra cotta buildings serving to balance the composition. The brushstrokes are loose and expressionistic adding to the mood of the artwork.

The show is currently on view through February. Click here to register for a Zoom curatorial talk on January 21 at 7pm.

What do you think about the exhibition? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

6 ways artists can take advantage of online opportunities during COVID

Artist studio with brushes
Photo by Dan Cook on Unsplash

The spread of COVID-19 has forced the art market to increase their presence on the virtual space. The art world now relies on their online galleries to showcase artist’s work. For the artist, this means that in-person shows have halted but virtual opportunities have been created.

Why is this important?

The world’s behavior has changed during the pandemic. Zoom meetings, art openings, and artist’s talks have become commonplace. By actively engaging in these events you can reap short-term benefits and create a foundation for future opportunities. Additionally, I believe that these virtual events will continue to exist in the post-pandemic art market.

How you can take advantage of online opportunities?

  1. Seek out online exhibitions – You’re no longer limited by geography since you don’t need to deliver artwork to a physical location. This gives you the chance to enter exhibitions anywhere.
  2. Participate during online openings – You must be present to support your art show. The gallery/arts organization hosting this event will be aware of your presence or absence. Additionally, if anyone is interested in your work, you’ll be available for questions.
  3. Actively participate as a spectator in Artist Talks – This is a good way to support your fellow artists. Be an active participant by asking questions.
  4. Be a presenter at an Artist Talk – If given the chance, take the opportunity to talk about your work. This is the single best way to let people know about you, your art, and your artistic process. This also gives a potential collector the opportunity to learn about your work.
  5. Be active on Social Media – There’s no need to overdo it. Just choose either Instagram or Facebook and post regularly.
  6. Update your website – Ultimately, you want to drive people to your website to see your body of work and to learn more about you as an artist. Update your website so it contains current work and doesn’t look dated. Remember, that your website is a representation of you in the virtual world.

How this strategy helps your art career

  • It keeps you visible to galleries and other artists during this time when interacting physically isn’t an option
  • Virtual participation allows you to network with other artists, curators and collectors
  • When the pandemic is finally over, you can leverage the connections you’ve made for potential exhibitions
  • Actively participating in Artist Talks gives you credibility by making others aware of your art knowledge. This can lead to organizations seeking you out for your art knowledge.

Have you done any of the above? How much have you participated in virtual events? Please let me know in the comments.