Ella Yang Studio

Ella Yang Studio presents the up-to-date portfolio of cityscape and landscape paintings by contemporary fine artist Ella Yang, as well as her latest exhibition and other news from her studio in Gowanus.

Filtering by Tag: plein air painting

Fairfield Porter at Tibor de Nagy

Some people have said that my paintings in their early stages look like Fairfield Porter's. (But then they become Yangs!). Given my relatively meager art history education (it was never a favorite subject, to be honest), I hadn't seen a lot of Porter's works until more recently, say in the last 10 years. A collector/friend pointed out to me that Tibor de Nagy has an exhibit now (through December 3) and I gladly went to see it. This exhibit comprises a mixture of genres - portraits, landscapes, still life, and includes a few older works that I would never have guessed were even his. In any case, there were a handful that really resonated with me.

This little one caught my attention right away (and my terrible cell phone camera does not do it justice). He clearly painted it swiftly and confidently. The colors in the sky are remarkably luscious and luminous.


He applied the paint in the sky in thick, oily swaths of luscious, melding subtle pastel colors ranging from blush of pink to barely gold to a pale green-tinged blue. These colors stand out against the muted, mid-tone, and relatively thinly applied colors of the rest of the landscape, making the sky and atmosphere the center of attention. This painting just glows! (I would have loved to bring it home, but I was short about $250,000).


Then there was this very different one which I might not have guessed was a Porter given the hectic brush marks and odd little figures. The path between the figures and the table and chairs to the right seems almost dangerous, as if the shadows themselves are spikes or thorns and scratchy! My eyes search for the "safe" places, the areas between the things. But the light has his signature luminosity.

I'd like to end with this one, as it seems to embody what makes Porter's paintings so interesting and informative for me. Even with a somewhat muted palette, he deftly manages to keep his lights bright and his shadows deep. What intrigues me about this one is how the main subject of this painting is the space between the many different objects - house, sheds, fences, shrubs and trees - and not one or more of the objects themselves. In fact, the trees nearly dissolve into the sky with their branches barely articulated. You know they are trees, but they are more like symbols. Ingeniously, the space is not static because the objects are located in planes that recede from the picture plane, but you remain contained within the frame thanks to the tree branches that end at the edge of the canvas. The viewer's eyes, thus, contentedly may rove around repeatedly, noticing the diverse brushstrokes and subtle variations of color. Yes, this would have been nice to cart home, too, if I had recently won the lottery!

Don't miss this quiet gem of an exhibition.

A glorious 2 weeks at annual informal artists residency

Once again, in July I had the great fortune of being invited to spend 2 weeks at an informal artists residency in Woodstock, NY. I arrived completely spent from having put up yet another show at Purume Gallery where I've been curating a variety of art exhibits, putting up and taking down a 2-person show at St Francis College with my wonderful painter friend Mary K. Connelly, painting and delivering 6 new paintings for the annual Windham Fine Arts plein air exhibit (see post below), working on my apartment building's garden, and the rest of my life! After a couple of days in recovery, I went out and painted a few studies, oil on paper:

It was so much fun working alongside the stream, that I ended up turning this study into an 18"x24" painting:

This lead to inspiration for another finished painting done from nearby:

These were fine mornings - quiet, except for the burbling of the stream behind me, the sun filtered by all the trees that managed to take root in the rocky stream bank, and a nice breeze keeping everything cool.  Until around 11:30 when all the families or camp groups descended to swim in the large swimming hole nearby.

To see more sketches from this escape, visit my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ellayangstudio (you don't have to be a FB member to view the page). I'll add more here, too.... eventually!

Painting a Painter "en plein air"

I finally finished this painting (and posted in on my website), Regina Painting Church Garden, after working on it off and on since late June. I usually don't do this with paintings executed on site, and for good reasons, which I experienced with this one! The sun's angle became steeper, most of the flowers had finished blooming, and I never got to coordinate with Regina (one of my studiomates) again. However, that bright blue bicycle was there every time I went! Regina Painting Church Garden.500

Painting Central Park: Weekend Workshop, Oct 3 & 4

This two-day workshop will introduce intermediate and advanced artists to an exciting approach to painting the landscape. Working on site in the diverse landscape of Central Park in New York City, artists will learn how to quickly launch into a plein air study in a bold, abstract way, and then develop refinement, subtlety and finish. Form, light and shade, paint handling and color will be discussed through one-on-one critiques and demonstrations. Instructor Christopher Gallego has been teaching group and private classes for over fifteen years. Gallego’s work has appeared in over a dozen major museums and many more gallery exhibitions nationwide, and has been featured in Art in America, the New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Veranda Magazine and American Artist. He has received awards from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For more information, please visit www.chrisgallego.com.

I will be assisting Chris during this workshop. Please be sure to mention that you heard about the workshop from me when you register.

Number of participants limited to 15.  Sign up today!

Workshop Fee: $250 through 9/20/09; $275 after 9/20/09

To register or for more information: please contact Christopher at gallego@chrisgallego.com, tel. 845.532.4509; or Ella at yangella@aol.com.

Summer's Oil Sketches

This summer I decided to try doing some loose, relaxed oil sketches of scenes that strike me in some way as nice, and maybe possibilities for bigger, more finished paintings.  These are all 9x12 inches mostly on archival plein air painting panels from ArtBoards, a Brooklyn-based company. I'll be adding them to my website soon - they'll be well-priced, so stay tuned! I painted these in the Catskill Mountains:

Red House by Woods

Lake Beach

And these I did in my neighoborhood in Brooklyn:

botanical garden

Path in Prospect Park

Central Park Paint-Out

Thanks to Passport & Palette (an art education series on PBS) and many forwarded emails and phone calls, some 50 plein air painters showed up at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park today, including me.  We served as sort of a performance for the 1000s of Park visitors who were either bewildered by the presence of all the artists ("is this a class?") or took on inspecting each artist's work as a cultural obligation (albeit an enjoyable one). Luckily it turned out to be a beautiful day to spend in the Park. Here are my two paintings: Morning at Bethesda Terrace, Central Park

I'm going to add some figures into this scene to make it more realistic!

In the afternoon I worked on this view from a western path away from the Terrace:

Late Afternoon at Bethesda Fountain

Back to Clinton Street

Finally, we're having June weather and it's a delight. I returned to Clinton Street (I think it's north of Degraw), to this church and its garden. I've been going a bit past mid-day, which means the sun is high and a bit behind the scene. It makes for some fabulous shadows.  It was a little slow going yesterday because as soon as I got there clouds kept coming and going. And, I forgot my big floppy hat. So, I had this odd combination of waiting for the sun to come back out and then having to shield my eyes when it did. Here's my set-up:

Easel set up on Clinton Street

And here's how the painting looked at the end of the day:

2nd pass at painting the scene

Will have to get back there soon, cross your fingers for more great weather (that's my painter friend and studiomate, Regina!).

Delivered paintings to gallery - whew!

It was an all day road-trip to deliver seven paintings to Windham Fine Arts yesterday. Luckily, most of the drive was absolutely beautiful. The several inches of rain we've had these past few weeks have made northern Westchester and Greene Counties more verdant and alive than ever. I almost expected to see chimps and macaws peep out of the dense, steamy woods! But I digress. Visit my website, EllaYangStudio.com, to see the six new paintings. Here are a couple:

Peekskill Landing, 16"x20" oil on canvas

Riverside Park Morning, oil on canvas, 12"x16"


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