Whitbeck Notes
Summer 2022
River Lands
14" x 18"   oil on panel
     So many inspirations and ideas but never enough time to paint them all! Over the past few months I have been thinking of old ships under sail and idyllic barns in the countryside with steadfast cows standing and sitting quietly nearby, all brushed over time onto my panels and canvases. I have throughout my years as an artist portrayed both of these genres, but as of recently I had been mainly focusing on florals and still life with food and wine. These visions had been an encouragement mixed with excitement to come back, for a time, to the out-of-doors and once again paint my "cow portraits" and distressed ships.
     I love it all! And it is nothing more then just an expansion, or an addition, to my creative house. Whether it is a cow or a bouquet of flowers or a Turkish coffee pot with figs it all comes from the same place and is created with the same enthusiasm and excitement that I bring to all of my pieces.
Winter Cow
14" x 16"   oil on panel
     So, as the images in this Whitbeck Notes shows, I have been busy the past couple months working on some cow paintings and bird pieces, as well as some of my more traditional still life. It might just be a need to take a break from the rendering of silver and delicate glassware or the texture of a Persian carpet and work on something that is able to come to life with a more loose and swift brush stroke, a scumble, like the hide of a beautiful Hereford with its hints of Venetian red and raw umber. There is also a freedom in that way of painting and a bit of a therapeutic feel too to be able to work on something that is not so precise, a technique that is more suited to the rough beauty of a barn and its well used yard with cows, or the salty waves breaking on the well worn hull of an English galleon. 
     Some of you will already know from conversations in my booth, that I will work on two or three paintings at one time. Starting one, then a second, sometimes a third and cycling back to the first until all the various stages are complete. This allows for  a break from working on one painting continuously for too long. A bit of a reprieve from the same objects. But it also allows for me to have a few different genres going at one time, and this is what I am doing now.
     No maritime pieces as of yet, but I do have some sketches going and am just trying to formulate something that excites me before I commit to panel.

11" x 14"   oil on panel
     I do love the birds too. Some years back I went through a period where I always had at least a couple of songbirds to show and more near completion back in the studio. Always a single, precious bird on an 8" x 10" panel, and not much in the way of a background, just my little companion in all of its glory. This, too, I look forward to doing more of.
     So be sure to keep an eye on my website www.jameswhitbeck.com to see when these new works will be available. I always post them as soon they are able to be photographed. And I am hoping that for my last show of the season, in September, at Longs Park in Lancaster, Pennsylvania I will have completed much of what I have been thinking of and display them in my booth. Feel free to write or call with any inquiries or questions.

All my best,
James Whitbeck