Nocturne ~ Night Scenes with Angela Bandurka & Ron Stocke

July brings us longer days and beautiful summer nights. We wanted to celebrate and explore the beauty of the evening – the alluring city lights and  and the bewitching night skies – in our upcoming exhibit ‘Nocturne ~ Night Scenes featuring Angela Bandurka & Ron Stocke’.

From Angela Bandurka:

 “I’ve been drawing to painting night scenes for a couple of years, beginning in my studio painting candles. The light is so unique when you paint in the dark – and the challenge of painting with a small lamp on my canvas and palette are exhilarating. This upcoming series of nocturnal images deal with a city at night, and looking into store windows and the peaceful solitude of the city in the evening after the shops have closed. I used resource photography for most of the paintings I’m working on this time around, which presents its own challenges. Getting to my settings before it’s fully dark, but allowing the contrast to be heightened after the sun sets. Playing with cool and warm light sources. I limited my palette, using no black but instead a mix of browns and blues for my darks which allowed me to switch between warm and cool darks easily without making my painting look heavy or muddy. I have really enjoyed painting these pieces and look forward to continuing the series.”

From Ron Stocke:

“Night scenes can be a challenge for watercolorist. Most of the time the sky is our lightest value in a painting, but when painting a nocturnal piece, your darkest values are usually in the sky. This presents a challenge of where to begin your piece. For me, it’s all about the light. Daylight can be more harsh with a single, bright light source coming from above. Night scenes can be lit by multiple sources of light in any direction, in different color temperatures, and with varied shadows. This gives me the freedom to play with lost and found edges, to create interesting and dramatic reflections, and silhouetted figures – all of which can really impact the mood of the painting. This series was exhilarating to create as it was technically challenging and at the same time allowed for some exciting artistic expression.”

Join us for a special evening of wine and hors d’oeuvres, celebrating these artists at the Nocturne Show on Saturday July 9th, 6:30-9:00pm.


How to Paint on Location: Part 2

In this two-part blog series by Cole Gallery artist Angela Bandurka on Plein Air painting, Angela covers the basics of what you need to get started painting outside. Read what she has to say about paints, supports, and palette in this part.

angela easel 2

Call me crazy, but I love painting outdoors with my acrylic paints! Yes, they dry quickly; but if you know how to work them outside they’re amazing. And I don’t use a retarder to slow the dry time. I have played around with the new OPEN Acrylics but I found them to get sticky and strange so I gave them up after one season. Water soluble Oils are my next favorite options for plein air – the trick with oils is to make sure you park nearby to store your wet paintings in. Or have a compact wet paint carrier. Have I mentioned that I love to paint outdoors with my acrylics? I can stack my finished pieces and throw them into my luggage for the flight home!

Only pack the basic colors, don’t try to carry your entire palette. Here is my basic plein air palette:

  •   Titanium White
  •   Titanium Buff
  •   Dioxazine Purple (you might want black, this is what I use for black instead)
  •   Anthroquinone Blue (super dark, but I can lighten easily)
  •   Cadmium Yellow Light
  •   Cadmium Red Medium (my warm red)
  •   Quinacridone Crimson (my cool red)
  •   Burnt Umber
  •   and sometimes I’ll bring Turquoise Deep as well (my warm blue)

This is a painting that was done on a Arches hot-pressed watercolor paper block and later mounted to a canvas.

Canvas or board? I have brought prepped canvases with me, but they’re bulky. Boards are awesome, but then I have to frame them (I don’t want to have to do that if I don’t have to), so my favorite supports are either:

  • Real Canvas Pad: this is a pad of actual canvas. You can paint on this and then easily roll it to ship home or fit into your luggage easily
  • Primed Oil or Watercolor Paper: I prefer to paint on the hot pressed watercolor paper that I gesso before painting on. If I’m using oils, I’ll paint on Oil Paper! Then if a piece turns out well, I can mount it on to a cradled board or canvas (see my blog post from March 2014 for steps on how to do that:

Paper palettes are the most compact and disposable option, and therefore are my favorite when traveling. But I also love the New Wave acrylic palette. The smooth surface of the acrylic palette makes it all right for the paints to dry—they’ll just peel off. Done!

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How to Paint on Location: Part 1

Cole Gallery artist Angela Bandurka shares with us some tips for painting outside on location (a.k.a. Plein Air painting). Read the first of her two part blog on everything you need to get started painting outside.

angela easel

When the weather starts to improve, I start to get the ‘plein air’ itch. (Plein Air, btw, is just a fancy schmancy way of saying that you paint outside). There’s nothing like getting out into nature and painting! Before I started doing this, I was very nervous about starting: what would people think if they saw me out there? and what kinds of supplies would I need?
I’m going to try to answer that for you, here:

I’ve used a couple different kinds of easel when painting plein air. I’m going to give you my opinions (these are my opinions and only mine, I’ll let you make up your own minds but hope that this will be a helpful guide until you get there);

Pochade Box: This is a little wooden box that sits atop a tripod. Super compact and is what I have been using the last couple of years. My palette sits inside the box and then I have a mini toolbox that sits on the easel below the pochade box.

PROS: Super easy to travel with as it’ll fit in your backpack, best system for air travel and if you’re hiking.

CONS: Can be very wiggly, and strong gusts of wind can easily tip over your setup so be sure to weigh it down with a bag of rocks or something, won’t allow for larger painting supports.

French Easel: This is a nice wooden box with legs that flip out and under that box, and the top of the box flips up and holds your support.

PROS: Can hold all your supplies, offers a larger working size, makes a nice studio easel and well, also works as a table easel, very sturdy.

CONS: Those legs are a bit of a pain to set up and take down and even break after a few years, sometimes your brushes may slip out of a crack in the side when you’re setting up/taking down, Heavy to carry and kind of awkward when hiking through the bush.

Field Easel: These easels are the least expensive option, and look like the letter “A” with a back leg steadying the whole thing.

PROS: Affordable, compact, accommodates many sizes.

CONS: Very easily tipped over, be sure to weigh it down; you will have to hold your palette while you paint so be sure to get one that’s comfortable to hold.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of How to Paint on Location. It will cover paints, supports, and palettes.

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Cutting Down & Refitting a Painting

Cole Gallery artist Angela Bandurka shares the following on how she recently cut down one of her paintings and refitted it to a new size.

Do you ever finish up a painting and wish you’d used a different sized canvas? Today I found this to be true for me, before I was even done with it! The painting was almost done, but once I photographed it (which gives me a faraway view of the piece and lets me see design flaws instantly) I noticed that my composition was off. I wished I had started the drawing with the cowboy farther to the left and decided that the inside of the trailer was unnecessary.


Here’s what I did – I decided to take this 24×20 inch canvas and cut it to 18×24 inches, then “glue” it to a new canvas!

First, I measured and drew with charcoal, the two inches that I was going to remove.


Second, I cut away the canvas off the stretcher bars, using a sharp Exacto blade and heavy pressure. Note that I away from the painting, on the outside edges. That way I could trim as much or as little as I needed, and if I accidentally made the line crooked, it wouldn’t matter.

Third, the excess is taken off and I trimmed all four edges.

Fourth, using black paint, I painted the edges and top half of the sides on the NEW canvas I was going to glue the painting to.

After that was dry, I grabbed my soft gloss gel and applied it generously to the entire top of the new canvas; and the entire back of the painting. Then I positioned the painting over the new canvas and removed air bubbles with my hands, working from the center to the outside edges, and pressing down on all the edges firmly.
Lastly, I turned the painting face down on top of a slick surface (the back of my self-healing cutting mat) and again pressed out any air bubbles from the back before piling heavy books and such on top of the canvas (inside and on top of the stretcher bars).

And the final product is….


Old, Trusty, & Faithful; 24×18 inches, Acrylic on canvas

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Worth the Work

Some people think that pomegranates take a lot of work to consume. Angela Bandurka, a Cole Gallery artist, thinks that they are worth the work.

Angela even thinks that painting pomegranates is worth the work. She recently painted a Still Life composition of a pomegranate that she titled Worth the Work.

Here Angela shares with us the progression of the painting.

pom progression

And here, is the final work that can be found at Cole Gallery.

Worth the Work

I am sure you agree with me, even if you don’t think eating pomegranates is worth the work, that Angela’s painting was worth the work!

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While painting with a friend, Cole Gallery artist Angela Bandurka, noticed some really cool, iridescent yellowy glass bowls on her counter. The friend told Angela that the glass bowls were called “Carnival Glass”.


Carnival glass was first produced in 1907 by the Fenton Glass Company in West Virginia. It is inexpensively made glassware treated with an application of metallic salts while the glass is still hot from the pressing. The final firing of the glass brings out the iridescent properties of the salts, giving carnival glass the distinct shine it is known for.

Carnival glass items were sometimes given as prizes at carnivals and fairgrounds in the 1950s. However, the vast majority of the glass was purchased by housewives to adorn their homes with affordable fancy vases and decorative bowls.

Angela borrowed two of the Carnival glasses from her friend and went home to paint. She set up the glass with a rose and some greenery in her studio and began the painting process. Angela believes that painting from life allows an artist to capture all the richness and variety of value and color—it is just not possible to get all that from a photo.

The painting was name Thesmophoria via a Facebook naming request where Angela asked her fans to help her name the painting. Thesmophoria is the name of an ancient Greek Harvest Celebration.

Angela will be one of the feature artists for our upcoming November–December “The Lively Still Life” show. Thesmophoria will be on display for the show.

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A Splendid Repast

Cole Gallary artist Angela Bandurka has done it again. Her painting A Splendid Repast has won the Jack Richeson Sponsor Award in the International Association of Acrylic Painters’ Open Exhibition in Paso Robles, California.


In addition to this award, Angela has acquired a few other awards for her paintings just this year. In the Fresh Air Artists Festival held in Cle Elum, Washington, Angela won First Place for her painting Hard Hat Area. She also won the Something to Smile About Award for her painting Burger Joint. She has also been awarded the Faso BoldBrush Awards for two paintings: Golden Teacups and Revitalizing.

Golden teacups

Congratulations to Angela for receiving these honors.

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