Thursday, November 25, 2010
This was fun. I had an 8 x 10 painting from 2006 that I wasn't happy with. In 2008, I added more color to "zing" it up. It was too much, I thought it looked fake. So yesterday, I got out my saw and cut up a 4 x 6 chunk of it that I still liked. It's great! Picture editing with a power saw.
While driving into Aspen late in the day, there is a pull-off where cars stop and take photographs. It is a breath-taking expanse of a cathedral of trees that glow pure gold. I hope to do more of this scene, but don't know if I can ever come close to capturing it. This 18 x 24 quickly became more about balancing the painting and less about the actual scene. I got involved in the interplay of light and color and wanted to re-create a sense of light. That is what painting is about for me. Light.
I took lots of photos and walked around the lake, for views that changed with every few steps. The trees were "past their peak" but what does that mean? Some of them were missing their leaves, but the scene absolutely glowed. I love Colorado. Didn't have time or energy to do a 16 x 20 on location (I probably never will) but I had my small reference color sketches, and still had the memory to re-create this one in my studio.
The same Sunday in early October the drive to Maroon Bells was spectacular. Everyone else in the world went up to the lake at about noon. So I pulled over at one of the campgrounds and painted the view through the trees before the Bells came into view. Then about 2 pm, hordes of cars descended down the road, and I knew it was time for me to go up. Is there any better scenery than Maroon Bells in the fall?
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I did a little 6 x 8 on location of this view 3 years ago when I had an extra hour on a trip between Glenwood and Aspen. It was such a spectacular scene, I knew I wanted to return again. This year, I had work in Aspen the first week of October, and stayed in Carbondale on a Saturday night. I woke up Sunday morning, and drove past this same scene. This time, I did an 8 x 10. The river here is misty and the sunrise is fast and spectacular. Cold, but really beautiful. There is a little sign that says, "Overlook, Mt. Sopris"
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This was my cat Bingo, from about 1963-1975. He was a great cat. I do remember painting this, also in oil on that tacky old canvas paper, that gets brittle after 40 years, but survives. I was bothered by the fact that I couldn't quite fit his tail in the painting, but it doesn't bother me so much now. It is amazing now that the likeness in the painting seems so much more like him than photographs I have. I remember thinking that it was a shame we didn't have photographs before the 1800's so we couldn't really know what those people really looked like who came before then. I know now as a painter that paintings, especially portraits, reveal so much more than photos. Especially if not done in an idealized style.
I don't remember painting this, but from the canvas paper and browned tape on the back, it must have been done when I was age 13 or 14. I didn't know anyone in Colorado then, so it must have been copied from a magazine photo I chose because I liked it. Pretty generic landscape, but I recognize little aspen, ponderosa pines, Douglas fir, and snowcovered peaks. The same things I love today about the landscape here in my own backyard. I also remember watching True Grit, which was released in 1969. I was in awe of the scenery, thinking "wow, I'd love to go to a place like that someday." From 2007-2008 I lived on the Western Slope, and visited all the locations where it was filmed. My favorite was aptly named, "Debbie's Meadow."
Having the week of Thanksgiving off, I am cleaning my closets, garage, etc. A long neglected project. I found a watercolor painting I did at age 11, and I only have 2 paintings from my childhood. There were lots more that got tossed years ago. It's a collie dog, and its a stunning resemblance to my dog today. Never had a collie dog until 2006, and yet 40 years ago I painted one. And it's one of the two paintings I have from the 1960's. Good Carma. (I'll post the other one as well.)
I did this the first of October on a drive to Aspen to see a nursing client. It was a good place to stop for a walk to stretch my stiff back and legs, and the scenery was spectacular. The fall colors were bright yellow, and it was hard to decide on a scene with the mountains and lake. I chose a little historic cabin and a backlit cottonwood as it gave me the opportunity to stand in the shade and find a post to tie Carma. I had her off lead for the walk before, and she decided to cross the highway and follow another dog into his house. I got to meet a very nice dog-loving person who was remodeling her very old and interesting home in Twin Lakes. Who understood my gregarious dog who takes advantage of every chance she gets to meet new friends. Oh, and pochade means sketch. I have a little 6 x 8 pochade box that is very portable and allows me to make painting on location a very easy thing, so I actually do it. If I had to set up a big easel and box, it would be too cumbersome and I wouldn't be able to do it. Life means moving forward and figuring out what works to continue to do this.
Monday, November 22, 2010
this was another 6 x 8 I did on location at Rampart Range Rainbow Trail. It was a hot and bright day, so I found a spot in the shade, which made the lighting interesting as always. Can almost remember the smell of the leaves and Carma standing on a 20 foot rock, peering down at everything below. She is good at finding her way to the best view.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I did this one in August on location, with several members of the PPPAP group just off Rampart Range. It was a day when I brought my dog, we had lunch and took a walk after painting. 8 x 10 oil. Good memories.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
It's been a month and a half of classes and visits, have not posted in a really long time. So here's the catch-up. Before I started my classes 9-30-10 I went to Rampart Range 4 days in September and focused on aspen on location in the fall. I will post the results in the next 4 days. Last weekend and this weekend I spent an hour or so a day working on a larger studio version of aspen. I feel I really understand them better after spending all that time with them on location. Here is the 6 x 8 inch plein aire from 09-26-10.