Todd Bonita

Todd Bonita paints a small plein air study of the footbridge in Ogunquit from his floating art studio.

“Cerulean Pool” (9”x12”) oil painting by Todd Bonita.

“Portsmouth Tugs” by Todd Bonita.

Newcastle Cat by Todd Bonita

Rye Art Study Group Hosts

"The Heart of Seeing"

with Painter and Artpreneur Todd Bonita

The technique artist and entrepreneur Todd Bonita employs in his Portsmouth painting studio has been passed from mentor to student since the Renaissance. The tools? Well, they would make Michelangelo envious.

On September 16, the Rye Art Study Group invites art students and the art-curious to join Bonita on a journey into "The Heart of Seeing" for a glimpse of his classic, yet contemporary process and fresh insights on how to see like an artist. With lively narration and skill that mesmerizes, Bonita will demonstrate how his most complex, realist works in oil—featuring seafaring characters as lifelike as a photograph or water so sheer your eyes penetrate its depths—begin with a rapidly executed monochromatic underpainting and evolve through a layering and glazing approach artists have honed over centuries. The session, held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Rye Congregational Church, 580 Washington Road in Rye, New Hampshire, is open free to all.

For Bonita, a versatile fine artist best known for capturing the New England seacoast's many moods, creating has remained a core focus, even as his business has blossomed to include two galleries (toddbonitagallery.com) and the thriving Ogunquit Summer School of Art (ogunquitartcolony.com). An Art Institute of Boston graduate who continued his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, he has followed in the footsteps of his artist heroes—Winslow Homer, Charles Woodbury, the Wyeths—and now divides his time between painting in his Button Factory studio and in fabulous plein air locations along his home coast and around the world. His paintings are exhibited in galleries from Camden to Key West, and his own Todd Bonita Gallery in Portsmouth and its seasonal namesake in Ogunquit are treasure troves for new and established collectors, where his works are shown alongside those of a hand-selected cohort of notable American oil painters.

"I love everything about painting," says Bonita, "from being moved emotionally by the work of a great master to the curiosity of trying to crack the codes to good painting. I love simply being with my tools and playing with paint."

As an instructor, as well as a perpetual student, Bonita is committed to opening new worlds to developing artists through workshops he teaches and hosts. The spirit of the Ogunquit School, inspired by the art colony Woodbury founded in 1898, now pervades plein air adventures around the globe. In 2020, students can travel with Bonita and a lineup of nationally acclaimed instructors to Bermuda, Ireland, France and Italy. Closer to home, classes, plein air outings and Critique Club gatherings bring like-minded spirits together in pursuit of growth, camaraderie and shared experiences.

Those who attend the Rye Art Study Group's September 16th presentation won't leave just understanding what it means to see and think like an artist. They're automatically inducted into the community Bonita is driven to build: one that embraces and encourages artists of all levels who are chasing their creative dreams.

Visit Todd's website at www.toddbonita.com

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