Best of Show from Lori Putnam!

I was privileged to participate in the 3rd annual Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival last week and was honored to receive the Best of Show award from judge Lori Putnam! I always enjoy these events awards or not, but needless to say I am honored to have my work recognized in this way. The quality of work was high and it was a highlight for me to reconnect with several talented and hard working artists friends from the plein air “circuit”.


Lori Putnam and Chad Smith at Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival Gala Event.

Lori Putnam presents Best of Show to Your’s Truly.

Saturday night was the gala event with judging and awards from Lori Putnam. Attendance was great with catering, live music, and a setting that was so enjoyable. Best of all, Erin and Sargent were able to attend! I want to thank Lori for the award and her thoughtful approach to the impossible task of judging high quality work. Congratulations go to  Kathie Odom and Richard Thomas who also received awards for their impressive work in addition to all the honorable mention awards. Please visit the Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival website for info on all the artists and award winners. Finally, I would like to congratulate my good artist friends John Caggiano and Kirk Larsen for the Quick Draw and Artist Choice awards respectively.


tracks-at-sunset-14x11 chad-smith best of show

Tracks At Sunset 14″x11″ Best of Show, Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival 2014

The event was a joy and my hosts were fantastic. Canandaigua is a beautiful area which abounds in subject matter not the least of which is Sonnengberg Gardens. I participated in the inaugural event two years ago and “fell in love” with the gardens. I look forward to next year and highly recommend a visit whether you are a painter or not.


If you enjoy my work or find me mildy entertaining  please comment below.

Above all, I am deeply grateful for your interest and want to ask you personally to help me spread the word… Please Share :)
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Posted in Cityscape, plein air, plein air events, Summer Plein Air, townscape, Uncategorized, Upstate New York Tagged , , , , , , , |

Plein Air Cityscape


Street Painting Downtown Utica

Street Painting Downtown Utica




Another adventure awaited me in downtown Utica. On this day I met several friendly and curious onlookers including my new friend who took this photograph. He was also kind enough to bring me a coffee on this brisk morning downtown. I learned the owners of the dinner next door in the Carlisle building had been there over 30+ years! One learns all kinds of tid bits when painting in public.

After scanning the area I settled on this extreme portrait 24″x12″ format looking down Genessee Street. This would include the traffic and pedestrians as interesting elements along the way. They would also counteract the strong perspective leading the eye down the street and buildings into the distance. I ended up altering what I think was a bus stop sign but left it pretty much as is from the street.

Cityscape plein air street painting provides wonderful opportunities for subject matter as well as meeting a variety of interesting people. If you can talk and paint at the same time.


If you enjoy my work or find me mildy entertaining  please comment below.

Above all, I am deeply grateful for your interest and want to ask you personally to help me spread the word… Please Share :)

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
Posted in Cityscape, plein air, Uncategorized, Upstate New York, Utica Tagged , , , |

Winter Plein Air, Pavilion #4

Plein Air, 24"x20" Oil on Canvas,

Winter Pavilion #4,  24″x20″ Oil on Canvas, Plein Air


I have to say, I am very pleased to be working a bit larger outdoors. Winter Pavilion #4, 24″x20″ took two sessions. Pavilion #4 is something I see on a regular basis. Erin and I walk Sargent at a local park not far from our home and this pavilion happens to be prominently located in one of the Sarge’s favorite spots. Needless, to say we walk this area frequently! For me, this is a special place as a source of fond family memories. This winter Sargent (our chocolate lab) frolicked off-leash and unabated meeting new friends both canine and human. He just turned one last month and the pure unadulterated joy he displays while discovering the “play” possibilities of snow at pavilion #4 is contagious.


Irresistable Cuteness

Irresistable Cuteness


If you enjoy my work or find me mildy entertaining  please comment below.

Above all, I am deeply grateful for your interest and want to ask you personally to help me spread the word… Please Share :)

Warm Regards,


[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
Posted in plein air, snow, Uncategorized, Upstate New York, Winter Tagged , , , , , , , |

Yacht Club Sparkle Headed to Naples

24x48 oil on canvas

Yacht Club Sparkle 24″x48″ oil on canvas

Yacht Club Sparkle is a 24″x48″ studio painting based on it’s 9″x12″ namesake. The original plein air piece was painted under the bridge on Marco Island looking across the inlet at the Marco Island Yacht Club hence the name.  The intense reflections on the water as the sun rose directly over the club created an irresistible subject. Fortunately, as I began the painting that sailboat and the yacht cruised on by at just the right time for me to add two important elements to the piece.

The studio painting differs from the plein air painting in format and composition. When working out the studio composition it immediately struck me as a possibility for a long format. The challenge was forcing all that distance across the water into a much smaller space while maintaining a focus on the water itself. These were subtle decisions that would be either wrong or right from the beginning stages. This “large” studio painting was a joy to paint over several weeks while enjoying the winter here in upstate NY with temps at or below 0. It may come as no surprise that I enjoyed painting the original plein air piece in Marco even more!

This painting is available through Gardner Colby Galleries in Naples, Florida.


Posted in Cityscape, Florida, Landscape Paintings, townscape, Uncategorized, Water Tagged , , , |

Coda! A Reprise to DS al Fine

Extreme Plein Air

Winter Plein Air Upstate NY


Here’s a coda to my previous blog post DS al Fine. Sorry couldn’t help but use another musical reference…

My new friend Sandra Reilly was kind, and brave, enough to stop mid-blizzard and say hello the day I began Kirkland in Winter. She was also very kind to post this photo of me, my gear, and the beginning of my frozen composition on FB.

I’ll conclude with a final musical quote from Bach , “Soli Deo Gloria”!



Posted in Cityscape, townscape, Uncategorized, Upstate New York, Winter Tagged , , , , , |

DS al Fine

24"x18" oil on canvas

24″x18″ oil on canvas


Given the rough “snowy” start this 24″x18″ had I was compelled to return to it several times to bring about a finish hence the title. DS al Fine is a musical term meaning to return to the “sign” then on to the end. That is indeed what I had to do on this painting.

This subject had great potential and I felt it was worth pursuing to an end despite the difficulties. It seems it was worth the effort if only for the experience. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy “Kirkland in Winter” as much as I enjoyed painting it.



Posted in Uncategorized

Corner Store

20"x16" oil on canvas

20″x16″ oil on canvas


Corner Store was painted in a plein air style and is 20″x16″ in oil on canvas. The warmth of the brick struck such a strong contrast to the cool light! I am truly enjoying exploring townscape painting. It provides opportunities for linear perspective and the presence of human activity.

The road stripes from the crosswalk give a  lead-in to the mid-ground focal point and subject of the painting. The coolish light and receding street on the left give a much needed sense of space leading into the background. The crossing light and green street sign provide a nice “stopper” while secondary details like the tree, snow, and vehicle add to the feel of the street scene from here in upstate NY.

Hope you enjoy,



Posted in townscape, Uncategorized, Winter Tagged , , , |

Frozen Paint Plein Air!


Me, my gear, and painting frozen!

Recently I ambitiously began a new 24″x18″ plein air project in nearby Clinton NY. The only complication was that the weather had other plans! Not long after I started it began to snow. Please understand that when I say snow I mean lake-effect snow, giant flakes and lots of it and on this occasion with plenty of wind. I set up my umbrella to block the falling snow but alas the wind couldn’t decide which angle to attack from and as you can see the protection was negligible. The above pic was taken after I had tried to clear the snow from my palette.

So I soldiered on an before long my paints became crytalized for lack of a better term. The only way to apply it was with ample amounts of medium, aka thinner. You’ll notice my palette and painting quickly became wet and frozen. Altogether, it was a great learning experience and I plan to try that again when the wind is a little calmer perhaps or maybe I’ll just wait until spring… nah.


Posted in Uncategorized, Winter Tagged , , , |

Sunny Skies Auctioned


Sunny Skies 24×24″ Oil on Canvas


I am pleased to announce that Sunny Skies 24″x24″ oil on canvas is finished and available via auction at my online gallery. <- click link :)

As mentioned previously, the studio work is based on a plein air painting I did in SW Florida. It is always a pleasure to head south for a visit to see family and paint my former home. I hope you enjoy the work and I invite you to check out the auction for a great opportunity to grab an original 24″x24″ in oil on canvas that will bring some of the Florida sunshine into your life!

warm regards,



Posted in Florida, Uncategorized Tagged , , , |

Missing Florida

Sunny-Skiessm1000It’s freezing in upstate New York!

As I finish up work on “Sunny Skies” I can’t help notice the somewhat painful feeling in my fingers. Currently, I am working on two Florida studio paintings and it is a bittersweet experience. The sunshine captured in my on site work is a fond memory as the temps dip below freezing at night and the days aren’t that much better.

So I take refuge and solace in the painting world of sunny skies and palm trees here in frozen NY.

“warm” regards,



Posted in Florida, Uncategorized