Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Umbrellas at the Beach

Gurney's Beach by Lois Bender
I've admired Lois Bender's work since taking a painting class with her at Bridge Gardens. We've kept in touch via email and the blogosphere. I was delighted to see her latest email with an invitation to her class and a teaser:  A painting lesson depicting umbrellas at the beach. As you may have noticed, I have recently been attempting to capture the loveliness of beach umbrellas. Using watercolor during our spring visit to Bermuda and in oil paint at Circle Beach. Lois is not only a wonderful watercolorist, she is a fantastic teacher. She has  kindly allowed me to share her painting lesson here. Her lesson makes it all look so easy. Thank you for inspiring me again Lois!
A pencil sketch, you can also add permanent magic marker for the style of black lines that stay permanent after adding watercolor... now or at the end after color is down and finished!
 FIRST wet the sky area with water,
then" charge in" or "drip" color into the water
 Push and blend color with your brush into clouds as you like them...
Paint big areas... sand and shadows...
(we are waiting for the sky to dry to paint shapes next to them..!)
Paint the sea and surf...spontaneous dabs for the surf, leaving white paper for white spray and foam. Decorate umbrellas and chairs your way. Add people! Accents: Deepen shadows, add sand, shadows. The grass "Flick" strokes. Add sky accents or reshape clouds. Keep "accidents" you like! Retouch what you don't! 
(All instructions in italics above by Lois Bender, all images by Louis Bender)

Lois will be teaching this Friday, July 31 at Bridge Gardens as well as Friday August 7, 14, 21, 28 and September 4th from 10:30 am - 1:30 pm 
36 Mitchell Lane
Class is $45
payable at the start of the class
RSVP via email

Lois Bender
Nature, Gardens, Art Journeys 

201 East 83 St., New York NY 10028
212 249 6225   /   917 282 5930  cell


Lois has a lovely blog. Visit to read about her recent trip to paint in Paris and Giverney as well as a lovely article about the healing power of art and art journaling and much more.
Thank you Lois!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Circling Back to Circle Beach

Circle Beach has so many stunning views.
We returned to paint another aspect.
The clouds kept changing.
I could have spent the afternoon portraying the sky.
Painting en plein air with the sounds of children enjoying an afternoon by the sea. What could be better?
Circle Beach, July 17th by Gail Gallagher
11" x 14" oil on canvas
Hugh chose a higher vantage point looking west.
Circle Beach by Hugh Gallagher
11" x 14" oil on canvas
I think we will be painting here again.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ditch Plein Air

 Ditch Plains Beach, Montauk
 It's a yellow flag day.
"Caution" perfect surf.
 Everyone likes to hang out by the life guard stand closest to the East Deck surf break for best surfer viewing.
We paint towards the painterly bluffs.
Ditch Plains by Hugh Gallagher
11" x 14" oil on canvas
My Soltek easel. 
Ditch Plains by Gail Gallagher
9" x 12" oil on canvas
The Beacheesy truck strikes an artistic pose.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Farm Stand Love: Bhumi Farms

Hugh and I were on our way to Montauk for some plein air painting. As we tooled along Montauk Highway, I spied a beautiful farm stand. While thinking, "Ooo, I'll have to come back here," Hugh suddenly made a "U-ey". What?! Hugh's reason, "They have a red tractor."
Visit Bhumi Farm's website for all of the right reasons why you will want to shop here. Its beauty alone will inspire illegal traffic maneuvers. There will be a red tractor in a future landscape painting.

Bhumi Farms website here

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Plein Air Circle Beach

We are always looking for plein air painting sites. A Circle Beach sign in the window of the  Whalebone General Store inspires this weekend's destination. It features beautiful views of a boats and beach.
Circle Beach by Hugh Gallagher
oil on canvas 11" x 14"
Circle Beach by Gail Gallagher
oil on canvas 9" x 12"
Circle Beach

Monday, July 6, 2015

Me and Kate

I have to thank Avenue on the Beach Magazine for this weekend's biggest surprise. Hugh and I were enjoying a typical Saturday night at home. Music on, cocktails poured, dinner preparation under way, when Hugh gave a yell from the living room couch, "Gail! Check this out!" It was the kind of shout to drop everything for. He held out an open magazine and said, "Look familiar?"
photograph of Kate Betts by Noa Griffel
Unbeknownst to me someone, I am assuming the magazine, decided that my painting would look nice with the excerpt from Kate Bett's new book, My Paris Dreams. Thank you, I am honored. 

Read the magazine article online here
Kate Betts website here
Get Kate's Book here
P.S. The painting is still available.
Photos from the day it was painted here

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Robyn Lea's Dinner with Jackson Pollock

HAMPTONS Magazine hosted a book signing at ArtHamptons for Robyn Lea's new book Dinner with Jackson Pollock published by Assouline. The reception included tasting some of the newly discovered recipes as prepared by Cheffe Colette that are revealed in Lea's book.
Author/Photographer, Robyn Lea (center) with Samantha Yanks (left) and Debra Halpern (right) of HAMPTONS Magazine
(L-R) Samantha Yanks (Editor-in-Chief HAMPTONS Magazine), Debra Halpert (Publisher HAMPTONS Magazine), Richard P. Friedman (President and Founder Hamptons Expo Group), Helen A. Harrison (Eugene V. and Clare E Thaw Director, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center), Robyn Lea (author), Cheffe Colette (owner of the Inn Spot)
Recipes prepared by Cheffe Colette include:
Long Island Clam Pie
Quiche with Forest Mushrooms
Josephine Little's Hominy Puffs
Wild Forest Greens with Anchovy French Dressing
Stella's Potato Pancakes
Banana Cream Cake
photograph by Robyn Lea via
When I admire and am inspired by someone I want to know more about them. What inspires them? How do they live their life? Robyn Lea's book answers some of those questions, enhancing the trove of literature on Pollock and Krasner's life, by describing their meals and providing some of the recipes that they prepared for their friends. 
Robyn Lea's photographs accompany recreations of Pollock's collection of family recipes and compliment images of his artwork. This compilation is enhanced with family photographs and recollections. The book is one that I immediately wanted to peruse and then use. The cover is water proof. The pages, heavy paper, so that they will withstand kitchen use. The binding is heavy spiral so that it lays flat or can be propped up. Reading the book made me hungry and inspired.
photograph by Robyn Lea via
The serendipitous story of the collaboration between Robyn Lea, Helen A. Harrison, Director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center and various Pollock family members is one that you must get the book to discover. It is a collaboration that occurred because of the accessibility of the Pollock-Krasner House as a study center. Its extensive archive is tended by an onsite scholar. This wonderful book was brought to fruition through Robyn Lea's curiosity, talent and hunger to know more.
Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, 1949
photo by Martha Holmes via
It was wonderful to meet Robyn Lea at the book signing. She has a busy schedule of signings and talks in the coming weeks, I highly recommend attending one. Oh, and Stella's Potato Pancakes are off the charts. I'm definitely making that recipe!

"Dinner with Jackson Pollock" Captures Different Side of the Artist - Sag Harbor Express
Lunch with Monet, Dinner with Jackson Pollock - NPR
In the Kitchen with Jackson Pollock - NY Times
Heritage Radio Podcast - here