DuMond Color Palette

My father dropped me off in Stowe Vermont at age 16. For the month of June, Frank Herbert Mason taught me to paint outdoors. During the 1930’s & 40’s in Old Lyme Connecticut, Frank Vincent DuMond taught Mason. Using the same principals of light and atmosphere, Mason passed these principles down to me.

After studying in Paris during the 1890’s, DuMond developed his famous “Color Palette”. This aided the understanding of creating light and atmosphere on canvas. This “Color Palette” became the main tool used by both DuMond and Mason to teach the principles of landscape painting.

This June, I am teaching a ten day class featuring the principles of landscape painting outside. In addition, I am explaining the DuMond Color Palette. Understanding these principles takes time and practice. I am looking forward to sharing this knowledge with new and former artists participating in this class.

Copley Society of Art 2020 – A conversation

The Copley Society of Art – Boston included me in their weekly blog of CoSo artist profiles. It was an interesting yet enjoyable interview with Francesca Sinnott done during the pandemic this past spring. Please enjoy the paintings and the conversation:

Don Stone – artist and friend

Don Stone and Tom’s Sugar House

Thank you to American Art Review (Sep/Oct 2018 Issue) for doing a feature article and cover on the artist, Don Stone.  Don was a great painter and a good friend of mine in his later years.

Don and his son, Caleb came to paint in West Swanzey a few winters back.  We drove to my friend Tom Minnich’s sugar house and while Tom boiled the sap into syrup, Don, Caleb and I painted.  Don’s painting “Tom’s Sugar Shack” as shown on AAR’s cover is a result of that day.

Don was always a lot of fun to paint along side of outdoors.  He would tell jokes while we painted; usually the same ones over and over but they would always make you laugh.

The North Shore art Association in Gloucester, Massachusetts is currently displaying his works in a show called “Don Stone Comes Home” and is on view through to October 9, 2018.


Kanye West and a tribute to my Dad

Essay – “Kanye” by Cole Traynor to his dad:

The first time I saw Kanye West he was not my favorite musical artist. It was 4:45 am on June 14 2008. Originally scheduled for 8pm, the set was moved to 2:45. It was part of his Glow in the Dark Tour and he wanted it to look its best. When he took to the stage, 2 hours late because Pearl Jam’s set ran an hour late and he couldn’t load in until they dismantled, the sun was coming up, ruining his light show, and he was pelted by a barrage of water bottles, glow sticks, and chants of “Kanye Sucks”. This was the death of the Old Kanye.

Kanye broke into the musical landscape because of his incredible production skills. The most high profile was his work on Jay Z’s massive hit record The Blueprint. He invented a sound dubbed “chipmunk soul”, pitching up soul samples and splicing them up to create what would become the most common sound of the decade. Despite his brilliance behind the board, even his record label wouldn’t support him as a rapper and solo artist. He kept working long hours crafting hit after hit for other artists, until it nearly killed him. Leaving a late night recording session he fell asleep at the wheel and collided with another vehicle. He had reconstructive surgery and his jaw was wired to his face. Only two weeks later, still with his jaw wired shut, he recorded “Through the Wire”. His label still didn’t support him so he financed the music video himself. Upon release, the song was a massive success and Kanye the artist had arrived.

His first album, The College Dropout, completely changed hip hop. A genre built on street cred and gangster bonafides was now topped by the son of a college professor who wore pink polo shirts and rapped about God. On his second album, Late Registration, he evolved his chipmunk soul sound, which had been copied by almost every producer, by enlisting composer Jon Brion to help him craft strings and orchestral arrangements. The success of his second effort lead to an opening spot on U2’s world tour. He studied U2’s ability to make arena filling anthems. On his third album, Graduation, he took the lessons he learned from Bono and the Edge and again completely reinvented his sound to incorporate synths and electronic sounds while becoming one of the world’s biggest stars. He was on top of the world

Now is where things take a turn. Right before his victory lap, The Glow in the Dark Tour, he and his fiancee split up and his mother, best friend, and manager, Donda West died. He buried the loss and heartbreak with his workload. He toured the world with an exhaustive schedule and was embraced for his genius. The Bonnaroo debacle was the first time the workload and personal loss caught up with him. After the tour he retreated to the studio to deal with the end of his two relationships. The world’s most popular rapper made an album more influenced by Ian Curtis and Phil Collins than Biggie and Tupac. There is almost no rapping on 808s and Heartbreak. Instead he puts his emotions through an autotune processor and again changes the musical landscape. Initially viewed as a flop, 808s would prove to be the single most impactful album to what is pop music in 2018. I bought you this record because I think it’s his work that you would enjoy the most. It is also vital to listen to where he was artistically and emotionally before he made what is generally considered his masterpiece, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

From here you probably are familiar with the major news beats. At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye interrupts Taylor Swift accepting the award for Best Female Music video. He became the butt of every late night joke. Every other musical artist said they were disgusted by the outburst. President Obama, who had met with Kanye and his mother to get their support for his presidential run, called him a “jackass”. He cancels his planned tour with Lady Gaga and moves to Rome to escape the media. He then sets up camp in Hawaii to make his musical comeback. This is one of the most expensive albums ever made costing over 3 million dollars to make. He rarely slept during its creation, instead taking short power naps so he could work almost all day every day. Although all his albums are heavily collaborative, this is by far his most as it features countless legends, Elton John, John Legend, Jay Z, Bon Iver, the Wu-Tang Clan among others. West felt that his life depended on the success of this album. What he made is not only among the best rap albums of all time, but among the greatest albums of all time.

How do you follow up an instant classic? Kanye makes Yeezus. He calls Rick Rubin and Daft Punk to help him invent another new sound. Shortly before his death, Lou Reed wrote a review of the album, “He’s really trying to raise the bar. No one’s near doing what he’s doing, it’s not even on the same planet.” Kanye is the contemporary Lou Reed. He is also Nina Simone (an incredibly difficult personality who challenges politics), Michael Jackson (a pop pioneer steering the sounds of modern music), and David Bowie (a rock star alien who is always reinventing himself). It is currently Yeezy Season. Kanye has produced four albums in the last four weeks and has one more coming next week.

I want you to have these three epic collections of songs because I think you’ll enjoy them, because Kanye is my favorite musical artist, and because you are the Kanye West of oil painting. While you haven’t interrupted budding country singers on stage at award shows, you share similarities. You both had laser beam focus that enabled you to succeed against the odds at a young age and are fueled by a desire to create new art that you can be proud of and the world will enjoy. You are the greatest in the world at what you do and I hope you can take some inspiration from Kanye to do exactly what you want with your gifts.  (written by Cole Traynor)


“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” by Kayne West, 2010

“The Humanity of Christ” by John C. Traynor, 2018

J. Cacciola Gallery W Presents…

Past Meets Present – Paintings of John C. Traynor

As a young artist, John C. Traynor was fascinated with the Old Masters, specifically Michelangelo, Leonardo, Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Albrecht Durer. A pivotal moment for Traynor occurred when he discovered the influential work of George Inness: “There was a large show of Inness paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that I went to with my father when I was 18. He is one of the artists that still inspires me.” According to John C. Traynor, “As I matured as an artist, I became interested in some of the American Impressionist and Tonalist painters. Some of my favorites were Fredrick Mulhaupt, John F. Carlson and Edgar Payne.” Traynor’s defined brushstrokes hearken to Payne’s vivid landscapes. Others such as Corot, Monet, and Manet encouraged him to go outside and paint landscapes. In addition, some of the figurative artists he related to early on were Sargent, Sorolla and Bouguereau.

Prior to World War I, many American artists went to Europe to paint and teach classes. After the war, artist colonies starting popping up here in the United States, particularly in New Hope PA, Old Lyme CT, Cornish NH, Dublin NH and Ogunquit ME.  Traynor comments: “These were of great interest to me and I studied many of these startup colonies of impressionist painters. I can relate to many of these artists because they painted outdoors as well as in studios lit by Northern Light, using the same principles of painting that I use.” In addition, there were many other colonies of painters across the country including Brown County, Indiana; and Carmel and Laguna Beach, California.


“This exhibition brings a fresh perspective to the historical significance not only of Modern art, but of contemporary artists such as John C. Traynor, who keep these traditions alive through their own work. There are no clichés in Traynor’s work; only unadulterated aesthetic beauty left simply to be enjoyed and embraced for its quiet, unassuming simplicity.” {J. Cacciola Gallery W}

Path Less Taken – oil on linen – 18×24

John C. Traynor Save the Date Cacciola Mar2018[3]

Goodbye to 2017: A Year in Review

A Year in Review: 2017

Dear Friends,

Reflecting on 2017, a year filled with many opportunities and successes come to mind. Early in 2017, I was very fortunate to join friends on a trip to the ‘Holy Land’ and enjoy its vast landscapes. Standing on the ground where the Beatitudes or supreme blessedness were spoken for the first time to a crowd fed by seven loaves and a few small fish, I felt indeed blessed to be able to paint and translate to canvas.

In June, I taught a month long class consisting of friends old and new joining me to paint the treasures of New Hampshire’s vistas. Two different exhibitions, one for renowned painter, Lester Stevens & the other my teacher, Frank Mason, invited me to enter my works for display. In addition, it was great catching up with former classmates and friends from my early days as a painter & student in Vermont. The Christina Gallery featured my works in a 20th anniversary exhibition on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard and The Mockingbird Gallery in Bend, Oregon held an opening during their ‘First Friday’ gathering in July.

Summer turned into a bounty of fruits and vegetables from the garden reaping not only a delicious feast for the table but a gift on canvas. Also, the Atelier at Flowerfields so graciously offered me another opportunity to teach and display my works of the Stony Brook area. Later in the year a warm, charming and growing Charleston welcomed me with a one-man show at the Ella W. Richardson Gallery.

It was an honor attending two drawing groups; one at Keene State College with Peter Roos and one at the studio of Bruce Blanchette in Walpole. In addition, I painted through most of the year twice a month with the High Street Painters. I enjoyed not only being able to practice my portrait painting but to be in the company of awesome artists. The year had many ups and downs as well. The leg broke off my favorite, outdoor French easel and I am still recovering from three broken ribs from a fall in my studio.

Thank you to all of you that have been so supportive of me and my work.

Looking forward to 2018.

Blessings to all,



A Colorful Harvest – oil on linen – 16×20

Arts Alive – Spotlight, September 2017

Look for my Artist Spotlight featured on the Arts Alive Monadnock blog:


2017 Ewing Arts Awards

Arts Alive! and the Keene Sentinel present awards at the third annual Ruth and James Ewing Arts Awards, Wednesday, July 19 at the Redfern Arts Center, Keene State College

2017 Ewing Arts Awards magazine featured the painting “High Dunes-10th Hole at Chambers Bay” for the cover art.

Impressionist and landscape artist John C. Traynor spent his early years in New Jersey, but did not lead the life of a typical young person.

Intrigued by art at a young age, Traynor hurried through his schooling, finished high school a year early and was accepted into the Art Students League of New York as a merit scholar, with teacher Frank Mason.  The summer before attending the Paier College of Art in New Haven, Conn., Traynor also spent time with Mason in Stowe, Vt., honing his landscape painting techniques.

“My time in Vermont was heavily influential on the rest of my painting career”, says Traynor.  After his first trip to Stowe, the young artist would return to the same residency the following five years.  He holds fond memories of his host family in Vermont who were also artists.

“In the evenings, I would come home and would be blessed with a few solitary hours in their studio,” he says, the delight at this thought seemingly unsurpassable.

Today, he keeps a close and intimate connection with New England’s landscape at his home and studio in Swanzey.  He follows in Mason’s footsteps by “giving back” to the art community as a teacher himself.  He loves watching the world in a new way through his pupils’ eyes as they paint the same scenes he knows already.

Traynor was young when he finished his schooling, just 20, but his fierce determination to make a name for himself in the art world spurred him on.  Tirelessly, he would schlep his paintings to outdoor art shows all over the Northeast where he would sell a few pieces to get by.

More importantly, he began networking with collectors and began climbing the totem pole in the art realm.  His hard work paid off and he began showing in many galleries; an array that today spans the United States.

It is easy to get lost in the composure and tranquility of Traynor’s unique immersion in realism and atmospheric impressionism.  His remarkable talents extend to every genre; landscape, still life and portraiture.  His ability to connect emotionally with humans and deeply with the land is exceedingly apparent through his work, which often stirs memories of tender moments or distant reminiscences in the hearts and minds of the viewer.

“I’m not into making big worldly statements about politics or life,” says Traynor of his work.  He seeks beauty, internalizes it and renders it in the best way he knows.  For this artist, sharing the delights he finds in the world around him is his pure ambition – the rest is left to the viewer to interpret, make sense of or place judgment.

Traynor also gained much of his inspiration from his many trips to Ireland.  His first venture to the Emerald Isle took place when he was 18.  Resembling any adolescent knee-deep in an identity crisis, Traynor left his six brothers and sisters behind in search of his roots.  He loved the solitary and sweet meandering, following the whims of his desire, as he biked across the countryside, camping and stopping to paint the scenes that tickled his senses.

Traveling still holds an important role in Traynor’s painting career and many of his works are motivated by his expeditions to Ireland, Holland, Italy, France, England, Scotland, Austria, Israel and many locations across the United States, including Hawaii.  That said, the nomadic artist always returns to his New England studio.

And what a studio it is.  Designed by Traynor himself, the space’s lofty ceilings, enormous windows and heavy wood create an airy, yet cozy and rustic feel.  In the center of the studio, the dark wood of a beautifully carved table sets apart the golden frames that protect the artist’s deep-toned oil painting that line the walls and sit propped against easels or chairs.

“It’s a big step up from my last studio,” Traynor jokes, referring to an old drafty barn with a small wood stove he occupied a few years ago.

Nonetheless, even with the newer space, modern lighting included, Traynor still relies on sunlight to dictate his work days.  “I prefer natural light.  My paintings look different when I work by artificial light,” he says making a face.

Along this same vein, the artist has noticed the change in his art as his eyesight deteriorates.  He doesn’t seem to mind.  In fact, he likens the predicament to that of Monet and his “Water Lilies” or Dega and his increasingly coarsened shadowing.  “So, my style has changed,” he said with a slight smile. “I like it.”

Traynor once tried wearing one contact in his right eye to better his vision “My art looked like it did 10 years ago!” he said.  “That’s creepy.”

So, the artist makes peace with his vision and continues on, choosing to see the changes in his art as progression, rather than regression.

Traynor has won numerous awards including the Frank DuMond award from the Hudson Valley Art Association and the Medal of Honor from the Salmagundi Club, of which he is a member.  He is also an inductee into the Delbarton School Hall of Honors and attained the level of Copley Master from the Copley Society of Boston.

He is inspired by his beautiful gardens, the covered bridge down the street from his Swanzey home (which he admits to having painted over and over again, year after year), people and landscapes.  He works from perspectives that are influenced by old master painters, such as the American tonality painters and French Impressionist artists.

Traynor and his wife, Liz, can be found hitting the snowy slopes with their skis in the winter months, playing a round of golf in the summer or wrists deep in the rich soil of their flower beds at home.  However, most days, as soon as the sun peeks its face over the treetops surrounding their property, Traynor is hard at work in his studio, finding the rich beauty in everyday life and fervently putting brush to canvas to share both what he sees and how he sees with the rest of the world.   (by Annika Kristiansen, photo by Michael Moore)

Traynor Landscape Painting Class 2017

The Early Years with Frank Mason

Painting started in a class that Mason painted on (oil on panel 8 x 10, private collection)


In 1978, at the age of 16, my father drove me from Mendham, New Jersey to Stowe, Vermont to study landscape painting with Frank Mason. The class met three times a week for four weeks in June. The days the class didn’t meet, I would paint on my own or with other students.

Painting outside on location from nature, also known as ‘plein-air’ borrowed from the French, would be the format of the class. We painted different times during the day mostly early morning or late afternoon; one class devoted to a moonscape. Frank taught myself and the other students the basic principles of landscape painting. More importantly, he taught us how to create three dimensional space on a two dimensional surface using color and value. After a month of painting outside with this instruction, you begin to see the whole world differently. As a result of this teaching, I remember the ride back south to New Jersey looking at the colors in the hills with a newfound awareness and appreciation for the quality of light and atmosphere of the outdoors.

Frank learned these principles of painting when he was sixteen in Old Lyme, Connecticut where his teacher Frank DuMond spent the summers painting and teaching . Between the two of them, they taught countless students spanning 120 years. Following tradition, I am offering a four week class which includes their teaching principles of landscape painting.  The class will be taught in southwestern New Hampshire where I paint and reside. In addition, we will be painting outside on location using the same palette of colors that DuMond and Mason used.  This palette is known as the DuMond Palette or Prismatic Palette.

For information on the class, please call 603-357-7437 for availability.

John Traynor Demonstration at AAPL 87th Exhibition

John Traynor Demonstration at AAPL 87th Exhibition

John was ask to do a demonstration for the American Artists Professional League below is a link to his demonstration. Enjoy!