Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Appearing at Drop Point Hunter

I am very pleased to announce that those folks interested in my work will now have a place that they can visit in my home town of Pine Bush N.Y. DropPoint is at 61 Main St. Pine Bush, NY 12566. The quality of the knives that this shop is carrying is well worth the visit. Being a Sportsman and growing up in the Hudson Valley it didn't take long to discover the deep rooted knife making industry that was so important to this area. The closing of the Schrade plant in Ellenville a few years back was a tough blow to the community and a sad note to a century old tradition. I still have my first Schrade Knife, a folding lock back Trapper that is long ago worn out. It accompanied me on many days afield and is a cherished relic of my younger days. Eventually I would encounter my first Schrade Walden Sheath Knife, a proud yard sale moment to say the least. I love finding these travellers in time and like many artifacts from my collection it finally made its way to my still life bench,where it could be explored. I remember how glad I was to hear that craftsman from the Schrade plant were working together and had formed a new knife works called Canal St. Cutlery. Their output now can be viewed at DropPointHunter along with several other brands. This Saturday Nov.13th,2010 Pine Bush will be hosting its Arts Walk and I will be on hand at DropPoint to greet the Public. I would like to invite everyone to stop by and see the work.To view the shop online go to The above still life oil on canvas board is a study of a vintage Schrade Walden Sheath and can be seen at the shop.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Wildlife Art Class First Exhibition

Why do artists want to take students? Some years back a chance glance in the daily paper became one of those pivotal moments in your life when I read of a Wildlife Artist that was opening a gallery in my town, Pine Bush N.Y. I had been making a serious attempt at art in those days I was 28 and had alot of ambition but was lacking in experience. When I read of John Hamberger's Bison Art Gallery, I grabbed my best works and was out the door! I walked into the gallery and introduced myself and was led down a gauntlet of fine art paintings by Kuhn, Schelling, Beecham to name a few. I almost wanted to turn and run but it was too late. I had arrived at John's Studio..... A few weeks later I received a postcard invitation to become a student and so I spent the next two years of Fridays learning the ways of a wildlife artist. I remember exactly where I was some years later when I learned of John's passing and the Wildlife Art world had lost a great one. But it kept going as it always had and will, from the great prehistoric cave painters of Europe to the present artists who strive to capture the great animals of our world in lines and paint.
When artists take the time to teach, they enrich the art world by helping others to reach their potential. They also pass along some of themselves and their style. It really is a tradition. Wildlife art is the hardest art form. Many artists try animals but it is not their calling. It is believed that this calling is something that you are born with. Artists who learn to paint animals because they want to sell can be spotted a mile away. But those artists who sacrifice greatly to communicate that which is great in an animal are the real deal.
In 2007 I founded the Wildlife Art Class at Gander Mountain Store in Middletown N.Y. Here students are taught the fundamentals of oil painting and are led to paint accurate depictions of wildlife in their native habitat. This November we are celebrating some of the works of these artists. Please join us on Nov.22nd from 6.30 -8.30 pm for a reception. The show will be at Gander Mountain Store Lodge at 100 N. Galleria Dr. in Middletown N.Y. 10940. The show will hang from Nov.22nd -Dec13th 2010. Please contact me at for more information. The one thing that all great wildlife artists have in common is that once they start to paint the animals they never stop.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ducks Ready to take Flight

Ducks Ready to take Flight
While continuing my pursuit of new ideas, I happened across "acrylic on erasable marker board". I enjoyed the quick dry time and fact that I could employ some scratchboard technique to the piece afterwords. The fluid quality of the paint when first applied to the resistant surface caused some interesting effects which were incorporated into the design, so allowing the picture to develop I indulged into one of my favorite themes "the morning waterfowl marsh."
5x7 dry erase panel and acrylic

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Red Briars at Sunrise a Monoprint

Red Briars at Sunrise
A recent departure from oil painting found me in the printmaking mode where I came up with the the concept of Red Briars at Dawn. If I could pick a morning to set out upon such a scene it would be a brisk February morning as the dawn is breaking, In the east sky the last of the storm clouds are drifting away having deposited a few inches of fresh snow. This is not a crowded place just some crows taking to the sky and a few cottontail rabbits sitting in their forms. A Beagle Hound opens up from the side hill and this is good.
Red Briars at Sunrise - 5x7 monoprint with colored pencil embellishing

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Belle Boyd Pretty or Plain?

Bell Boyd... Pretty or Plain?
When on the Civil War track an artist can study thousands of characters whose faces glare out from the history books and shout "Me! Study Me! and then there are those who quietly glance off to the side and wait patiently until some one flips the page and says "Who is this?" So was the case one day when this artist was reading along and came upon the portrait of Belle Boyd Confederate Spy! Upon reading of her many exploits I was surprised to learn that she was not pretty. What an interesting attribute I thought. So began the search for more images and finally I decided to paint her picture and see for myself. Using period photographs of the day I realized The long exposures (12-15 seconds) reveal quite a bit of character that was delivered in the quarter minute visit with the lens. Even after repeated attempts I could not find the woman not pretty, not that she was beautiful but that she just wasn't not pretty. But I do admit that her photograph did have some kind of ability to stop me and make me want to get involved. So is this the power of a women who could become a Confederate spy. I think perhaps so.
Using the standard famous pose for Belle I carefully consulted all other photos I could find before finally arriving at the image I produced. When upon showing this painting at various Civil War Art salons I was told that I had been very kind to Belle. I replied that I had really been fair. I wondered if I would divulge any Yankee secrets to her if she sent me a thank you letter. I am grateful I will not have to deal with this. Incidentally I was reading some more about Belle Boyd recently and was amused that the author remarked what a pretty women she was known to be......

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A View from Scotchtown

The hot hazy summer of 10 has made it difficult to work on vistas here in the Hudson Valley but a favored painting place of mine is usually available during my travels and I took advantage of a clear day recently to stop and do a field sketch. The view is long here reaching across the town of Wallkill towards Warwick and beyond. I am never disappointed at this stop and have enjoyed the many moods this place provides. it is not hard to notice the change and growth around this place, but a historian does not have any trouble locating the historic hamlet which remarkably contains many of its original buildings. The historic cemetery atop this hill is a constant thru time and one can view the gravestones of some of the original settlers and sadly enough, even a few friends. I know I will return and try another day but one of the great rewards of roadside field studies is the capture of "Sense of Place" which I believe I accomplished this particular day. I am pleased to offer this "view from Scotchtown"
6x8 oil on board

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Portraits of Millie and Bugsy, some Irish Dogs....

A recent trip to Ireland provided some fantastic possibilities for landscape paintings. Also I was very glad to make some canine acquaintances whom were more than glad to pose for me. Millie is from Naas, and I'm told she was not content during the day until this small portal was created for her in the gate. So here she is on post waiting for her masters return.
Bugsy from Baltinglas is a great little dog who can literally watch you by the hour. Always ready for the next activity, Here he is in one of his classic occupations, Riding the Sunbeam. These are a preview of some works which I am putting together for an upcoming show.I hope you enjoyed them. Kevin

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Blue Jackets Manual

Blue Jackets Manual is a 6x8 oil still life study completed in my studio as my Daughter was completing Navy Boot Camp this Summer.This example is from the 1950's and inside it describes that the US Navy will now be accepting females as full Sailors in the fleet. My Daughter has been issued her very own modern copy of this manual. While painting this I was reminded of the strong Naval tradition in which we are now taking part of as a family.
I will very proud to include this piece in my upcoming show for the Veterans Administration in Middletown NY in Sept and October.I hope everyone can come and see.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Windham Works

The weekend past was spent at the Catskill Mountain Town of Windham NY for the annual Civil War music and art festival. This festival is a great time, attracting some of the biggest names in Civil War music and art working today. The gathering as it is fondly called brings together the likes of authors, filmmakers, musicians, researchers, artists all very pleased to share their works with each other and the public. I was able to take a break from the event and do some oil sketching near the town and captured these two views.The Catskills loom large here and the elevation makes for some striking August sunsets.I feel like I got a taste of something here but would like to return and pursue the large land masses and the light effects the area provides.I have spent countless days in the trout streams of the western part of the range but sense a whole different effect at Windham. "Sunset at Windham" on a 6x8 panel describes the strong light but fast fleeting to say the least. The following "last light" is a quick sketch before total darkness perhaps 20 I believe I will revisit these works in the near future to see where they may be taken.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Along the old Canal

The Canal Bridge Pool:
The beautiful weather combined with good stream conditions is producing some great early season trout fishing. The lower Neversink River is recovering nicely from the floods of the past few years and we are seeing strong Caddis and Hendrickson hatches. The trout are doing their part and are responding nicely to well presented flies. Hence forth my absence from my post the last few weeks as it is time to be on the river. This painting in oils of the the old D&H Canal bridge at Cuddebackville reveals an angler enjoying the sport.This popular spot receives alot of fishing pressure and is overlooked by many as "fished out" but it is the home to some lunker browns..... also it is a great place to try for shad,which I heard yesterday have entered the river. Enjoy Spring and get out on the River.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Personal Wood Ducks?

My Personal Wood Ducks?

Ask me which waterfowl is my favorite and I will have a tough time giving an answer.But if my art portfolio is any gauge, most would agree I have a thing for Wood Ducks. Who could blame me? I dont think I ever get tired of them.The Drake of the species has to be one of the most beautiful birds on earth.

Wood Duck people are having some good years latley as their numbers have soared, Not bad for a bird whom once seemed in serious trouble. Good sound management and tight restrictions on gunning have helped but our recognition of their proper nesting sites has been the key. The land abandonment practice which began at the beginning of the 20th century has allowed for the reforesting of much of the Northeast and provided plenty of trees which these birds love to use as nesting sites. I was surprised to learn how far from water these ducks will go to nest and how high above ground. The most amazing thing is the Duckling leap. This free fall to earth is instrumental to their development and Hatchlings deprived of this experience will not survive. Talk about tough love!

The Drake wood Duck is a very giving bird. As a game bird they are fast on the wing, When added to the game bag they are always sketched and studied, Their flank feathers are collected and used to tie the Famous Catskill Fly Patterns. These feathers are so valued for their effectiveness that at least one of the fathers of American Fly Tying ( RUBE CROSS) was actually jailed for possession of wood duck feathers when these birds were protected. They are excellent on the table as well!

Yesterday I witnessed a courtship flight which terminated with a pair of Woodies hanging in one of my trees all day. I hope they are nesting, It wood be nice to have a personal Wood Duck Family.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Evening Grosbeak tale

An Evening Grosbeak Tale,
Some years ago a box containing an seemingly done for bird arrived on my back porch.Someone decided that a Wildlife Artist would know what to do. As I gazed into the box I was amazed at the beauty of this creature all decked out in his yellow green, with his black and white wings. His fate now in my hands,What would his price tag be for meeting the wrong picture window or windshield this cold December day?
He appeared for all intensive purposes to be ready to migrate on to that Golden Habitat in the sky but I sensed something about him and decided to let him be the judge. I placed some water and a little dish of birdseed inside the box and left him alone. I was surprised the next morning to find him in the same place in the same condition, as I was prepared for some post mortem sketches and then the transfer of his remains to the woods for his final roosting. The following day was the same except for a new gift which I believe he gave to me as a sign. A little bird poop on the shelf. Could this be from him? It was out of the box. Hmmm.... The following day two new gifts had been offered, But there he was in the same place in the box. This went on for several weeks and finally one day there he was standing on the shelf . The little bird would return to his box at the end of each day. A few days later he would travel more and more around around my porch and leave gifts.He now varied his walks with wing beats and would do reps of window climbs and when tired would return to his box. A few days past and I came out to check on him and he was already out for his exercise and gave me a look which I interpreted as a request to go home. I opened the window and a moment later he flew out as if nothing had ever happened to him. He perched in a tree for about ten minutes and then took off like a shot. He was gone.
Although I missed him, I was glad that he decided to recover and return to his homeland. A few weeks later I happened to look out my back window and was shocked by what I saw. The entire back yard was filled with Evening Grosbeaks. They were hundreds and they were only on my property. It was one of the most visual sights I can ever recall. The brightness of the their plumage against the overcast woods was fantastic. Then suddenly they all took flight and were gone. This species of bird had never been to my feeder before and have never returned. I became interested in them and have learned that they were once one of the most popular birds in the Northeast just as recent as 20 years ago. It appears that they are in serious decline.
I would welcome any news of these birds. Hope you have enjoyed this weeks post. Enjoy the Spring. KJS
This painting is a study in oils ,size 5x7 on hardboard and is available.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound.
I hope you enjoy this portrait of an Irish Wolfhound. This was a small oil, 5x7 painted on masonite. These are beautiful dogs and very gentle.I would like to have one myself. Happy St. Patricks Day Everyone.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Irish Blood American Dreams: Father Corby

Irish Blood American Dreams: Father Corby:

Upon the present day Gettysburg Battlefield there are two places which are important stops for me, One the Irish Brigade monument and The Father Corby Statue. It is a stirring monument to the moment of his address and words of absolution he gave upon the Brigade as they prepared to enter battle. Catholic and non -Catholic side by side took to thier knees and bowed thier heads.

This study in oils on canvas board was rendered in the 1860's style of two colors on a medium tone. Surrounding myself with images of Corby I set out to capture a likeness and completed the portrait you see.

I urge everyone to study this Important American historical figure and note the contributions he made to country and faith.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Irish Blood American Dreams, a painting to think about...

Irish Blood American Dreams:

Denny's restaurant's latest advertizing celebrating the Irish Famine has struck a truly deserved negative chord in the Irish Community and sparked an outrage. Perhaps some have forgotten in this country that this famine is still recent history and that much of what we do today as Americans is because of the sacrifice of the victims of this tragedy. The young men fortunate enough to have survived this starvation travelled to America by the thousands in the 1860's and filled the ranks of both Federal and Confederate Armies and shed thier blood so that this Country could survive.

I offer this portrait of this North Carolina Soldier to represent the memory of these men and hope that it will remind our corporate giants that a famine is not something to take lightly.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Geese over the Shawangunk, the story behind the painting...

Geese Over The Shawangunk....
Most people equate a Canada Goose painting with an Autumn flavor, however this oil painting announces the arrival of spring here in the Hudson Valley of N.Y. I sense this annual show is not changed much over the past 12 thousand years, although most recently the Indian wigwams have been traded in for empty Mcmansions which now dot the landscape.I am sure the old Shawangunk mtn. has witnessed many changes but the annual migrations of geese are a constant.
I am always tickled by the power of my editing paintbrush. As we endure our most brutal snowstorm of the season today, I am reassured by this piece as I know it reflects the warming days of March which lie ahead.The first returning geese have already arrived in the area and are spending an interesting day snowwalking ,they will gather in great numbers on the Wallkill River and await thier next chance to push forward North. Allysa Kulibaba Collection.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

GreenwingTeal at Tivoli Bay, The story behind the picture...

Greenwings at Tivoli Bay
For those whom have never paddled or trudged thru the huge tidal marsh near Kingston NY ; You are really missing something! For those whom have never dragged a jon boat across the mudflats in the dark to a wooden framed platform dressed with cattails, You are missing Heaven.Waterfowlers Heaven that is... A special place known only to special few. The years have passed now since I first viewed the Greenwings at Tivoli, but I will always remember the moment. About 15 or so from right to left, complete with the whistling of wings,That music that only the Waterfowlers know. It is that memory and that instant that I recall when I reach for paints and brushes to speak of these wonderful birds.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Downpour at Bashakill oil on masonite

Last summer 2009 has to be one of the rainiest coolest that I can remember. During my travels thru Orange and Sullivan Counties of New York State.I frequently worked from the roadsides in attempts to catch landscapes and the quickly changing moods and effects. One day driving from Port Jervis I stopped at the Basha Kill preserve and began a landscape. The sky suddenly darkened, flushing a Kayaker from the marsh, as he paddled for dear life, Lightning bolts struck the ground. Having established the scene, I placed the turbulent cloudburst over the marsh and noted the neon green of the arrowhead alum. My outdoor studio was swiftly shut down for the day.