Monday, February 27, 2012

"Through the Trees" ©

Near Big Sur, California this little trail meanders though the trees and down the hill.

Oil on Canvas, 16" X 20"

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Golden Hour" ©

Yesterday Pete Cole, President of Gamblin Artists Colors, gave a talk on Gamblin oil paints and Mediums at Carter Sexton Art Supplies, in North Hollywood. If you ever get the chance to hear Pete talk, GO. He made sure everyone was comfortable and could see and hear each other. Every question was answered clearly and fully. One of the sample's Pete handed out was a tube of Indian Yellow. I don't usually have Indian Yellow on my palette but you know the lure of a sample, as soon as I got home I squeezed out a bunch. It was perfect timing, because in looking at the inventory of paintings I have ready for my show next month I didn't have enough small warm paintings. I painted my street late in the day when all the wild brush turns gold. Indian Yellow is all over that painting. The tinting strength of the Gamblin Indian Yellow is what really surprised me. I can see many uses for the paint, from under paintings to glazes. Thanks Pete!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Whitney Canyon Path" ©

So many times I am emailed about blog postings with questions on how I have painted a piece and almost without fail I tell you what I am going to change. That image never seems to make it onto the blog because I have moved on and am so excited about the next painting. With this piece I took a painting that I started months ago and did what I so often talk about in those emails. By comparing the images you can see how I added value, brought in more color harmony and more interest in every area. I also knocked out the stripy path and broke up the middle field with little grasses. In the morning I'll see other issues, of course, are we ever truly done?
(above is the old version, that is gone forever)

Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Heritage Valley Farmland" ©

Next month I will deliver 40 paintings for a solo show at the Segil Gallery in Monrovia. This place looks like a studio / gallery / framing store, anything but a home where people actually live. I didn't realize until a couple stopped by to pick up a painting today and I saw all of it with their eyes. What can I do? So, I am back at the easel, painting "Heritage Valley Farmland".

Oil on Canvas, 14" X 18"

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Palms in the Desert" ©

I find it amazing that Palm Trees thrive in our Southern California deserts. When you are painting them you can hear the rustling of their skirts in the wind and it's amazing to watch all the little birds and mice scurrying in and out of the shelter of the palms.

Oil on Canvas, 16" X 20"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Return to the Sea" ©

The tide rushes out to sea in minutes on the coast of Maine. My thought with this painting was to capture the rivulets of water receding from the shore and the emotions one feels at the end of the day as the sun is sinking, the air is cooling dramatically and it's time to pack the gear, heading home for dinner.
This painting started out with just a rough line drawing to locate the major players, trees, cloud, horizon line and so on. I know the feeling that I want this painting to convey and if I can pull that off, I'll feel pretty good about it. I am working from a couple of photos I took while painting in Maine, near Acadia National Park.
Laying in general colors into big areas, I know in the end the trees need to have some lovely deep reds coming though as if backlit, so a wash of transparent yellow earth and transparent red oxide did a nice job.
In this photo it's much easier to see the photos I am using for my resource material. Not great photos but enough information to remind me what the scene looked like standing there on the shore, watching the tide water quickly recede. If your painting in Maine it's a good idea to have a tide ap on your phone, so you can plan where to stand. In a couple of hours you can be underwater if your not careful. Another good ap is the sunrise / sunset ap, again great for planning your painting day.
Oil on Canvas, 20" x 24"

Thursday, February 09, 2012

"Sunny Afternoon" ©

Today it was 84 degrees in LA and Malibu was the place to be according to the radio announcer. Painting this scene from "Sunny Afternoon", 9" X 12", (you can see in an earlier blog post) I thought about the warm sun and the sound of the water gently lapping the sand.

Oil on Canvas, 24" X 30"

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

"Swan Valley" ©

This blog post is about painting Swan Valley, Idaho, from a photo.

This is a great example of painting from a photograph. People ask me all the time if I paint from photos, as if to answer yes, would somehow be a negative blow to my artwork. You can't tell me that if cameras had been available to all the artists in the past, they wouldn't have taken advantage of the technology. Sometimes you just have too, whether it's because you were driving to a destination without time to stop to paint or the light was just so fleeting the only way to capture it is with a camera. I believe it's just fine for artists to use photos, as long as they own the image or have permission.

In the photo above the painting is just staring out with my "line" drawing and the photo on the top of my easel. Sometimes I use the computer next to the easel if I want to see the image in a larger format.

At this point I have paint all over the canvas, in the general value of each area. I can stand back and see if it's going in the direction that I envisioned .
I have this painting as far along as I can go wet into wet paint. I'll let it set up for a few days and go back in to do all of the dry brush work. I can hardly wait, finding all the brush in the foreground is truly a labor of love.
About 7:30 in the morning as I was driving home from Driggs Idaho, last August, I saw this scene in my rear view mirror. Thank goodness for digital cameras, I stopped and took a shot of the valley. Ever since I have wanted to paint this scene and finally I had the chance and loved every minute.

Oil on Canvas, 24" X 36"

Saturday, February 04, 2012

"Sun Dusted Creek" ©

"Sun Dusted Creek", is another example of using a smaller painting to create a larger studio painting. The little one is 14" X 18", the larger canvas is 24" X 36". Not exactly the same proportions but close enough.

Just starting out on the painting I scrubbed in a warm yellow wash over the entire canvas, lifting off the area that would become the sky with a bit of Gamsol on a white sheet. The white sheet is a tip, in that it doesn't leave any lint on your canvas. You can see my small painting that I am using for the inspiration to the left of the easel.

Mid-way into the painting. I am finding the areas of light and shadow. Painting color on every section of the canvas.

At this point the piece is well on it's way to completion. I'll find little touches and brushwork to add over the next several days. It is difficult to see all the areas that need attention without a break away from the piece. Tomorrow morning I'll walk up the my easel and see all sorts of details that need work wondering why I couldn't see them. Happens every time!

Oil on Canvas, 24" X 36"

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