Tuesday, July 29, 2008

THE DRAWING. . .details & notes

Breaking Point
Limited Edition of 200
Giclée Print
17" x 13"

"Breaking Point" happens to be one of my favorite pastels. While drawing it my goal was to describe the powerful of the pull of the tide as the wave is formed and then capture it again as it begins to fall apart and crashes on the rocks. The color of the water was important for me to get exactly right also so that the beauty of the watery blues and greens of the ocean came across well. The velour paper helped me to describe this beautiful drawing. It lends itself well to the pure pigments of pastels. I used mostly Rembrandt soft pastels but Conte sticks were used as well in this drawing.

Looking at it I can almost smell salt in the air and feel the spray on my face - can't you?

The original is no longer available - it has been sold - but I do still have some of the limited edition giclée prints if you are interested. You can go to my website to order or send me an email.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mountain River - Tweaked

Mountain River
7"x5" Oil on Canvas Panel

I made a few tweaks to the river - added a bit more color so it doesn't look so flat. I think it looks better.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Painting #6 - Mountain River

Mountain River
7"x5" Oil on Canvas Panel

Here is my 6th painting. I actually feel pretty good about this one. I used a palette knife on the rocks and I really like the texture it gave them. On this one I concentrated more on painting shapes instead of trying to get in a lot of detail.

Monday, July 21, 2008

New Look for My Blog

I decided I wanted a new look for my blog and they make it so easy to do. I was tired of the tan background. I like this one better - hope you do too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

#5 - The Last Bale

Here is painting number 5 entitled The Last Bale. It is 7x5 on a plein air canvas panel. Actually there were to be at least 3 bales but couldn't get the ones in the distance like I liked them so. . .it became The Last Bale.
I'm not sure if I'm finished or not. I need to decide with these 100 paintings if I'm going to just paint one in one sitting and call it finished or if I'm going to allow my eye for the details to drive me crazy and try to figure out how fix each one - that could take forever since I can find a lot that I'd like to change with each one I've done so far.
There is a lot to learn with oils and I must confess I didn't think it was going to be so hard for me. My hats off to all you oil painters out there!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Roots - # 4 - Finished?

I was hoping I would be finished with this tonight but after I saw it on screen I saw a few places I wanted to fix. Funny how that happens isn't it? I'll do those later but I'll go ahead and post last night's work and this evenings though and call it finished for all practical purposes.

This didn't turn out exactly as I had hoped but it's not too bad. Once I fix a couple of spots I'll feel better about it.

I don't know if I mentioned it or not but this is a 5x7 on a plein air linen canvas panel.

Update 7/18/08: Here is the actual final.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Things are going s-l-o-w-l-y on #4

I've been painting the last couple of days for short periods of time. It's going so slow! I find myself right up on my canvas trying to get the details in right away. I'm wanting the details and getting a bit frustrated because I'm not getting them. I'm trying to pull away and block shapes and then darks, mediums and lights. Then I try to put the color in and everything is wet and then I get mud. Can you tell I'm frustrated?

During the day at work and then at home right before I go to sleep I'm painting in my head - imagining what my painting is going to look like. Boy does it look good in my head - LOL!

Here is what I've been working on - it is a long way from being finished but I'm through for tonight.
It is a great lodge pole pine that had a lot of it's roots exposed. It has beautiful shapes and textures and colors in real life. Is this the ugly stage that I experience with pastels? I hope so! There is one part that I really, really like - it is right here.
I'm trying to focus on that part & not get discouraged.
100 paintings

Monday, July 14, 2008

Aspens - Painting #3

OK after going to the oil painting workshop this weekend I think I might be hooked! I have a lot to learn, as I said before, but I figure the best way to do that is to paint! So I've made a commitment to myself to paint 100 small paintings by the end of the year. That may sound like a lot but it should be doable. (is that a word?) Anyway I'm going to paint 100 small paintings by the end of 2008.

In reality this should probably be #4, but I'm calling it #3. I didn't like the way it looked the first time and wiped it off. That in itself is pretty cool to be able to do that instead of throwing out the graphite or pastel that didn't work out.

I used a photo as reference that I took of a stand of Aspens when I went horseback riding in Montana, West of Yellowstone recently. So this one is named Aspens. It is 6x8 on a plein air linen panel.

Let me know what you think - constructive critiques are welcomed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I Brought a Chicken Home!

I went to Virginia Vaughan's Chicken Clinic today. It was great! I really enjoyed it. Virginia is a great teacher and artist.

We painted her infamous rooster in her impressionist style. It wasn't so much to learn how to paint a proper chicken but how to paint with oils, how they work, and most of all, learning how to loosen up. We used a very limited palette of Titanium White, Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson, and Cadmium Yellow Light.

We all followed her step-by-step instructions, painting along with her and came away with these plucky, colorful chickens, each with their own personality. Here is mine - it is 9 x 12:

And here is Virginia's. I think it was 8 x10:

I have to admit it was a fun way to learn about painting with oils. We also got to work from one of our own photographs. Here is my landscape I did. It is 12 x 9.

In the days to come, I'm hoping to apply what I have learned so that I can paint and develop my own particular style with oils.
Thanks Virginia for my introduction to painting with oils!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I'm going to another art workshop!

This Saturday I’m going to another workshop with friend and fabric artist Kharon Clark. This time it is just across town and only for the day. However, this time it is an oil painting workshop with the nationally known oil painter Virginia Vaughan!

I met Virginia, in September of 2007, when she came to the art group I belong to and gave us a painting demo. I immediately like her. She is just one of those people you really like the first time you meet her. She also brought with her a number of her daily paintings from her Last Year on the Farm. You can read about and see all of her daily paintings on her blog. I have to mention too that she played a big part in my decision to begin blogging – she is just a huge inspiration for me in many ways.

I was fascinated from the time her brush first touched the canvas at how she could achieve the look she did with so few brush strokes. Besides her plein air paintings, she does what she calls “drive by paintings” where someone drives and she paints as they go down the road. I’m still waiting to experience that!

I e-mailed her this morning telling her how excited I am to attend the workshop on Saturday. Truth be known, I’m also a little intimidated – after all it’s oil paints! I feel like a kid going to camp for the first time. My easel, paints and canvases are sitting in my dining room ready to go.

I have to laugh, when I got my French easel not too long ago I really had a hard time figuring out how to set it up. It was so nice and compact but it had no instructions and it seemed as if there are latches and hooks everywhere! It just isn’t quite as simple as plopping down on my loveseat, putting my feet up on my ottoman with my drawing board on my lap to work on my graphite drawings or pastels.

This will be a whole new experience – painting with oils, using brushes, on a canvas, on an easel and learning to look at those same details in a different way – the same details I strive so hard to put on paper but now try to simplify them. Hmmm . . . I wonder if she realizes she has her work cut out for her with me? I do know though, from what I’ve seen, Virginia is not only a very talented artist but a wonderful teacher. That in itself says a lot because not every artist is a good teacher.

Well wish me luck and I’ll let you know how I do.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

In these times of wars, and rumours of wars, of economic turmoil, and just the hectic activities of our every day lives, we often forget, or don't realize, how fortunate we are to live in the United States of America and to be free.

Regardless of our political leanings or religious beliefs, we should all be thankful for our men and women in the military, putting their lives on the line every day, fighting for our freedoms.
These freedoms include voicing our disagreement with our government without retaliation and practicing the religion of our choice without fear of persecution. Sometimes I think people forget that.

Personally, I thank God I live in the United States of America and believe I am blessed. I'd like to say thank you to our troops for doing what you do. I pray you come home safely.
Have a Happy 4th of July! Be safe and God Bless America!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel Finished

I'm declaring this little fellow finished! I went back and darkened my darks but this paper seems to absorb pencil graphite. Anyway I loved the little squirrel because he had so much character - I hope it comes through on the drawing. I may do him again another day just on different paper.