En Plein Arie: Cape Elizabeth Light, June 2, 2021

Another day on site, another lighthouse. You can see my progress over the three hours I was set up. Started at 9:00 am. finished on site work at 1:00. a bit of studio work at home to give the finished product. 11×14 acrylic on board.

Final painting

En Plein Aire : Bug Light, Maine 2020

My friend, Jamie O. and I met during the pandemic to do an outdoor session of painting. The challenge of the day was to only use palette knives. My painting is now in a private collection.

Working on a mural 2019

I was pleased to get a commission for a mural to be done in a meditation room at a local memory care assisted living facility.

After two mural studies, we settled on the Cape Neddick Light, “The Nubble” The bus from the home goes there quite often for a short trip from Wells.

At 5 feet x 10 feet, this was the largest artwork I had done. Here’s the process and the final product.

Study # 2 The Portland Head Light at Sunrise

My client for the mural wanted a lighthouse, a quintessential Maine subject. This was my second attempt at a large canvas. It was sold once I put it on display at a local restaurant.

Creating a mural 2018. Initial Studies

Once I got a commission for a mural (this was a wall mural covered in my post above), I deceided to get some large canvases to practice. I also signed up for an instruction course from Mural Joe- something of a youtube phenomenon. The Dolphins were my first attempt.

The Pod – 30 x 40 acrylic on canvas, 2018

Luncheon of the Cycling Party: final oil on canvas painting. 30 x 40 Jan, 2018

Renior used a canvas approximately 30 ” x 40 ‘. It is a masterpiece and hangs in the Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C.

My original hands at the Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth, N.H. I did send a larger canvas print to elliptiGO headquarters in California.


I deceided to use a canvas the same size. I had never worked on such a size of oil painting. I worked on the painting for one month in studio. This was the final product.

You may get copies, prints on paper and on canvas,etc. at my website

http://www.artbyfrancois.com. Enjoy.

Luncheon Post 5 A pastel sketch

Now, with digital image and new pastel sketch of the still life on the table, I put them both together in a pastel painting. I had some posters of this made up and sent it to the participants. They are from as near as New Hampshire and as distant as the Holland. Quite the project.

Next time: full on Renior, an oil painting.

Luncheon Post 4

Who’s Hungry?

Finally, I was able to complete my digital photo to a more complete rendition.

But the “ Luncheon” had NO FOOD!

In Renoir’s painting, an entire repast was reprsented as a still life.

I asked my elliptiGO friends for suggestions.

Wine and Beer and Water

Clif Bars


Bagels and butter- carbs, you know.

I went to the store and got a supply, then put it out on the table to create my own still life. We ate very well for that week!

Next: create a pastel painting.

Luncheon, Post 3

Filling in the painting with colors, a dog decision.

compiling all the drawings onto one sheet, re- creating Renoir’ proportions, I found that the dog was too big. I changed the dog to a puppy, or I wouldn’t be able to put anything on the table.

Next: Who’s hungry?

Luncheon, Post 2 See post 1 below

The enthusiasm builds.

Perhaps, maybe unsurprisingly, I started to recieve photos of my prospective fellow cyclists in poses that that they were assigned.

Using an app called Adobe Draw, I was able to sketch the cyclists, send back for feed back and begin the process of long- distance artwork.

I am located in Maine, USA. No other cyclists were in Maine.

Next Post: creating a digital painting

Re-imagining “ Luncheon of the Boating Party” by Renoir, 1881. Part 1

After a 50k charity cyclist event on my elliptiGO cycle (www.elliptigo.com), my son, Andre and I were treated to a lunch by the event organizers.

This luncheon with so many colors of jerseys and so many cyclists made me recall one of my favorite Renoir paintings. #”Luncheon of the Boating Party” Renoir had painted 13 friends enjoying a luncheon at a cafe overlooking the Seine. The painting took several sessions and was a landscape, a still life of the table foods and 13 portraits. Done in 1881, the painting was critically acclaimed as a masterpiece.

The task was daunting. For one thing, the 13 cyclists I knew from my facebook group,

ElliptiGO Group were all over the world!

I mapped out the painting and gave each member a number.

Then I sent them the following message via facebook messanger:

Hi .

In 1881, Pierre Auguste Renoir painted his masterpiece: “Luncheon of the Boating Party.” Many of his friends and acquaintances had to gather on location, many times to act as models for his famous painting.

This year, I will attempt my parody painting “ Luncheon of the Cycling Party” I have already engaged the on-line community to offer suggestions about what fare should be on the table.

Here’s the scenario. After an early morning 50 k event, our 13 intrepid cyclist are meeting for lunch under the same canopy and balcony overlooking the Seine that Renoir used- yes it is still there!

Now I need your help.

1. Would you consider being in the painting as one of my models?

2. If you would, I would need you to wear a very bright and fancy cycling shirt and helmet

3. using the painting as a guide, have someone take your photo. For example, if you were Number 9, you would pose astride a chair, facing a table with one hand on the table.

4. I will try to work with you to create a reasonable portrait of you, but you must realize, It will not be perfect.

5. At any rate, I wish to thank you in advance for participating in my project.

I am assigning you image number two, the boater leaning back on the railing.

I am sending you some images to clarify this.


Next post: enthusiasm builds.

My son, Andre and I in the middle of a 50 k bike tour with our elliptiGO cycles

En Plein Air 2017, Kennebunkport, Maine

Fortunate to live on the seacoast of Maine, I find many opportunities to paint “on site” for a complete list of supplies I bring with me, look under the “HOW TO INSTRUCTIONS” TAB

Creating a portrait 2017

I use an artograph to help with portraits- Hey if optics are good enough for Vemeer…..

The Bayou Kitchen 2015, en plein air

This was my first plein air session after I retired from 42 years at a dental profession. The Bayou Kitchen is an excellent cajun eatery in Portland, Maine.

Children’s Museum of New Hampshire- en plein aire 2017

During a “maker” festival, I did this painting as a demo

Set Design, Trip to Bountiful, Good Theatre

Occasionally, I branch out into set design for local theatres. Thanks to a renovation-burn pile, I found enough siding and lumber to do the set.

Back Bay Kennebunkport, en plein air 2017

En Plein Air, Two Lights State Park, Cape Elizabeth, Maine 2017

Pleased to have the first of many en plein air sessions with my good friend Jamie O.

Pastels at Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, NH

Aroma Joe’s First Location

Painting G.Wiliker’s Toy Shop, Market Street, Portsmouth, NH

Inexplicably and interestingly, you must have a vehicle in a parking space in Portsmouth. You cannot block off a space for painting- We tried!. My VW Cabrio can fit into a space with enough room for me to set up my painting rig.

The QR code was printed by my image maker