Dec 9, 2012

Color of Light

detail in progress, oil/canvas

Ironically, the best way to study color temperature is by wrapping light around and through white objects.  An object's shadows are colored by its' world. Blue sky is a much more interesting environment for an artist than the dull gray studio walls in vogue now with "academic artists". Controlled still life surroundings work well for students who need to limit what life throws at them but for the rest of us there are more interesting ways to compel the eye.


Dec 3, 2012

Nov 20, 2012

Holiday Party, Portrait Painting and Jazz Piano

Glenway Fripp
Jazz Piano & Portrait Session

Holiday party at the Osborn & Rugh Gallery
Saturday, December 8tth from 4 - 6 PM
Doug Rugh will do an "alla prima" (all at once) portrait of Glenway during the event.
Please join us for light refreshments. Donations for the musician are welcome.
Glenway Fripp web site.
Queen's Buyway, 114 Palmer Avenue, Falmouth, MA 02540 Cape Cod (508) 548-2100

Nov 1, 2012

Pick of Peppers

Painted a pick of peppers today, pondering pure permanent pigments.

-Hillary Osborn

Oct 28, 2012

Lucky Rocks

Studying precarious arrangements while thinking about coming hurricane.

-Doug Rugh

Oct 27, 2012

Once Again

My students have a way of inspiring me always. Maybe that is why I like to teach. We discussed commercial vs fine art  as well as who does art belong to in our class today. Students worked on a beautiful still life of peppers and cabbage. I was so up lifted at the end of class, looking forward to painting, when a woman stuck her head in the door of our gallery and said to her friend, "oh just pictures in there" then she shut the door and walked away.  Funny sometimes how differently we see things.

-Hillary Osborn

Oct 26, 2012


Sometimes it's just the enjoyment of direct observation.

-Doug Rugh

Cape Cod Light

"Grayscape", oil/panel, 6" x 8", Rugh

"...with the radiant summer light of Provincetown that rivals the Greek Islands, because, I have always supposed, like them. . . . Provincetown is on a narrow spit of land surrounded by the sea, which reflects light with a diffused brilliance that is subtly but crucially different from the dry, inland light . . . People tend to forget that Provincetown is (roughly) on the forty two degree meridian, as is Barcelona and Opporto and Cannes and Rome (almost exactly) and Macedonia and Istanbul and Peking (more or less), a distinctly warm southern light compared to Northern Europe, a light as seductive to painters in the Modernist tradition as geometry was to ancient Greek philosophers and musicians." -Robert Motherwell
from: Robert Motherwell, "Provincetown and Days Lumberyard: A Memoir," Days Lumberyard Studios: Provincetown, 1914-1971 (Provincetown: Provincetown Art Association and Museum, 1978)

-Doug Rugh

Oct 19, 2012


Hillary has an innate sense of color and design. This piece is deceptively simple but hard to pull off. Perfect.

-Doug Rugh

Oct 18, 2012


Our last class for the Wednesday session in October. The students set up their own still life. We had a good discussion on composition. Great job!

-Hillary Osborn

Oct 16, 2012

Artists of the world: Actuate!

"It is better to make shoes, or dig potatoes, or follow any other honest calling to secure a livelihood, than seek the pursuit of Art for the sake of gain...I would sooner look for figs on thistles than for the higher attributes of art from one whose ruling motive in its pursuit is is only through the religious integrity of motive by which all real Artists have been actuated, that it still preserves its original purity, impressing the mind through the visible forms of material beauty, with a deep sense of the invisible and immaterial." -Asher Durand

Oct 14, 2012

Daphne and Apollo

Oil/panel 8 3/4" x 6 1/2" - Rugh, 1999
On exhibit at Highfield Hall this month.

Hillary and I had just started dating. It must have been in 1999. Months before I had illustrated a piece for a book on mythology about Daphne and Apollo, where Daphne isn't allowed to be with Apollo and so is turned into a tree (which turns out to be the next best thing.) I always liked how those two trunks of the same tree in Beebe Woods have such a masculine/feminine look to them. So, anyway, as we started dating I told Hillary that I had just done a painting for her but that I couldn't show her yet. Too much commitment, too soon. She likes surprises and she probably stayed with me just so she could see what it was. I think it was a couple months later that I showed it to her.

Oct 13, 2012

Multiple models

A start from a model where the other figure hasn't been decided on yet. Rather than figuring out the composition from the beginning and then just executing it, an open plan allows for rumination and a richer content if one doesn't paint themselves into a corner. Wait to see what the next model has to offer and how it might relate to the first (which can then also change). Decisions over weeks rather than minutes.

Sep 4, 2012

Summer Newsletter, 2012

Mobile Studio


Visitors to the gallery will notice the new arch over the entrance with casts from Michelangelo's "David" at the keystones: the eye looks out, observing and the lips face the studio, communicating. 


Marsh, 11" x 14", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn 

 A foggy afternoon on the marsh. I painted this one with a palette knife. -H.O.

My steering wheel easel. (To date: no ban on painting while driving) - D.R.

Sitting in the car waiting for the rain. - D.R.

Skiff, Megansett Beach, 12" x 18", oil/canvas - Doug Rugh 

Alla Prima Painting
You have got to paint as quick as the tide recedes hence the "all at once" method. -D.R.

Mist, Old Silver Beach 6" x 8", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn 

I love delicate colors on a gray day. - H.O.

Big studio paintings surround you physically and place you right into the illusion but these little paintings have their own charm. -D.R. 

Cape Cod Summer, oil/canvas, 40" x 40", (detail above) - Doug Rugh 

Classical painting depends on a dark background as a foil to the light. The idea here was to keep everything pale. This is about the simple peaceful part of summer. -D.R.

Hillary leans into a painting (en plein air, as they say). 

Bourne Farm, oil/canvas, 16" x 20" - Hillary Osborn

People often want a painting of Bourne Farm to commemorate a wedding. It's a tricky place to get the important elements all together in a composition. This is a nice representation of the place. - D.R.

Chickens, oil/panel, 9" x 12", - Doug Rugh 

I did this at Connamessett farm. Every chicken is a composite of several chickens. They just move so fast. Moving bodies are the most challenging things to paint but the most satisfying when it works. -D.R.

 Highfield Hall Interiors - Series

Kitchen at Highfield, 14" x 11", oil/canvas - Doug Rugh

 Silk Flowers at Highfield, 14" x 11", Doug Rugh 

Over the winter I had a chance to work on interiors at Highfield Hall. I plan to have a show of these paintings in 2013. During the second session on these flowers I thought, "They've hardly changed". I found out they were made of silk. -D.R.

Kayaks, 9" x 12", oil/panel - Doug Rugh

A clam bake was being started across the water. I quickly painted these kayaks before the summer camp kids came back to claim them. As I worked, a wonderful fog set in and filled the background. -D.R.

Marsh at Old Dam Road, 12" x 18", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn 

This proves that pigment can annimate -- you feel the movement in the water. -D.R..

"Guidance", 60" x 48" - Doug Rugh

Life Size Double Portrait My inspiration was 19th c. idealistic studio paintings. I pay homage to them with the title: "Guidance" where it's more theater than naturalism. -D.R.

Rambling Roses, 9" x 12", oil/panel - Doug Rugh 

These roses were "invented" in Woods Hole. They are so colorful I wanted to put them in front of the sky so you lose yourself with only a hint of terra firma in the lower right. -D.R.

Oil/paper (swallow if compromised)

COVERT OPS DIVISION MISSION: Covertly Aquired Portraits
THEATRE: Coffee Obsession
TRADECRAFT: Oil paint kit disquised as a laptop
RANSOM DROP: Under the cupola
Full Briefing Link

I have a paint box that is disquised as a laptop (complete with an Apple sticker) so that I can paint people next to me in coffee shops without their knowledge. It must be somewhat effective because people have asked how I like the new Apple or if it is some kind of app that I'm using (even with brushes in my hand). It's the best way to get natural poses in real life situations. -D.R.

Shore in the Fog, 15" x 30", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn

There has been a lot of interest in this painting. So evocative. -D.R.

A Favorite Spot, 6" x 8", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn 

There is very little here but the location is unmistakable. -D.R.

Roses and Rocks, Old Dock Road, 12" x 18", oil/canvas - Doug Rugh 

The tree at the right was uprooted during the hurricane and kept on growing. Someone passing by said, "You should be painting the tree!". Well, I did. -D.R.

Chocolates, 7" x 5", oil/panel - Doug Rugh 

I love small oil paintings with rich colors. Satisfying without the calories. Except I did eat the chocolates when I finished. -D.R.

 Papaya and Pasteries, " 24x36 ", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn 

This was a still-life set up for my students earlier this year. After they finished their class I felt the strong impulse to indulge myself and paint it also. - H.O.

 A painting for morning people. -D.R.

Our favorite lemonade/flowers/ice pops stand in Woods Hole.

A Hazy Gray Morning, 6" x 8", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn 

 On Cape Cod you realily notice the layers. A small slice of the coast. -D.R.

Heading to Woods Hole (unfinished) 18" x 24", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn

Growing up summers in Woods Hole I loved coming down this hill on my bike with the expanse opening up in front. Like you could fly through the Hole. I wrote about biking in the summer (among other things) in the Artist's Conundrum available as an eBook at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. -D.R.

 Summer Shadows, 14" x 18", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn

Every street in Woods Hole has a unique characteristic. The sharp bend in the road here and the strong afternoon light on the houses define this as School Street before eel pond. - H.O.

Nobska, 12"x 18", Barlow's Beach, 11" x 14", School Street, 16" x 20", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn 

We try to keep things interesting. Notice the variety in these compositions. -D.R.

Schooner, Pocasset River, 7" x 5", oil/panel - Doug Rugh

Half way through this little painting I realized that the man fishing in front of me hadn't moved from his position on the bucket the whole time - a missed opportunity for a great subject. But, I'm pleased with this quick impression. The man was a retired iron-worker. He says, "I hope you get a lotta money for those - that's beautiful!" Nice man. -D.R. 

I am always impressed with the way Doug handles fine lines. There is an elegance to his mark making. - H.O.

Field Flowers, 8" x 10", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn 

Spending a morning at Coonamessett Farm offers a new variety of subject matter for me. Like kids in a classroom, the flowers raised their arms calling out for me to paint them. "Pick me!, Pick me!". - H.O.

Daisy's and Lemons, 14" x 18", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn 

I reworked this painting to allow more brushwork in the final layer.- H.O.

I enjoy coming into the studio in the morning to see how Hillary has toyed with her paintings. Here it's the broken color. -D.R.

Morning at Chapaquoit, 12" x 18", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn 

This morning there was a beautiful summer yellow haze in the sky. Just as I finished my daughters appeared in the dune. I was off to spend the day with them. A perfect way to start the day. - H.O.

Stripes, 14" x 11", oil/canvas - Doug Rugh 

I like to do carefully rendered still lifes because as an artist I enjoy studying visual effects. Sometimes, like this one, the pleasure is in keeping the paint fluid. -D.R.

White Roses, 14" x 18", oil/canvas - Hillary Osborn 

A limited palette often opens up a whole new world of color combinations. - H.O.

A deceptively simple piece with room for the eye to wander. -D.R.