Saturday, September 12, 2009

Painting with a Hero

Gene Bove

The first oil-painting class I ever took was with Gene Bove, a painter who lives in Pine Bush, N.Y.

Before I signed up, I looked Gene up on the internet. Went to his site,, and saw his bright, powerful paintings. I remember calling Peter and frothing: "Go look at this guy's paintings! Now! They're so amazing!"

Turns out, the class I was in was Gene's first, I believe. It was a wonderful class, with a delightful group of students, most of whom were far more advanced than I was (I'd been painting for three months). Gene was a fine teacher, available to answer questions and give ideas, willing to show us anything, but not meddlesome. I learned a lot from him, and the painters I met in that class formed the backbone of the painting community that I've found here in New York.

Over these years, Gene and I have become friends. It's a friendship I cherish. And so when he agreed to go painting on Friday in the Black Dirt region, near Pine Island, N.Y., I was just thrilled.

It was a cold, raw, rainy day. Atmospheric. Fascinating. Great skies, great mists, great gusts of wind - and then, finally, rain. While we waited to see if the sky would clear enough for us to paint, we sat in my van and talked about painting. It was a joy to hear this man whose work I so admire discuss horizons and colors and decisions and problems. In the end, we went back to the Wallkill River School, talked and laughed with Gene's lovely and beautiful wife, Marilyn, and finished our paintings.

Here's Gene's:

Gene Bove painting of the Black Dirt. Oil on board-mounted linen, 10x20 (I think). Contact info is on his website, if you want to buy it. It's an amazing painting!

Here's my painting:

Storm Coming. Oil on stretched canvas, 16x20, $150.

Here's Gene and me together:

Here's a painting that Gene redid, at the school, while I watched.

Gene Bove painting. Oil on board with linen, 12x24 (I think). Go to Gene's website for contact and price information.

He made the painting initially in nearly the same spot where we'd painted, but he wasn't happy with the lower half of the piece. He kept the top - the beautiful, dramatic sky - but changed the fields in the foreground. They had been a bright, soft kind of yellow that just didn't work. He deepened the colors, greened them up, then painted them into this lovely, powerful invitation.

If you're checking in on Saturday, and you're in or near New York state, come to the reception for "Here & There," the show I have with George Hayes. The reception is at the Wallkill River School Gallery, Route 17K in Montgomery, from 5-7 p.m.

And thank you for reading.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow! How lucky are you to have such a wonderful friendship with another talented and supported artist. I love his work but your style ROCKS with the Storm Coming painting. You two must have a synergistic relationship.