Friday, December 31, 2010

Snowy Deck

it was too cold to go out today, but I wanted to end the last day of the year doing a painting. I have learned a lot, and painted more, by doing this blog this year. Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to look and comment. Thank you to my artist friends, who inspire me by continuing to create. Thank you for the friendship of you who have suppported me in many ways during this past year. I appreciate you even though I haven't said it well enough. Happy painting and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Portrait of a Pine

I did this little guy (6 x 8) in about an hour looking out a window. Didn't know how much could be accomplished from inside, but I had fun playing with the design and light, and the small format allowed me more time to tweak the colors and brushstrokes at the end. It was fun.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Really Small Painting

On December 23, I drove to the Garden of the Gods to capture some of the white on the trees, and it was melting so fast, it was gone. Next time, I'll do a few from my window instead. The trees were still there, as were the red rocks, so I painted a few of them. I had tucked some tiny canvases in my pocket, as it was cold to start, and did a 4 x 6 inch of evergreens. Tis the season!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A White Christmas

This was a wonderful gift, after driving to the Garden of the Gods to see the flocked trees, it really warmed up and I painted a little 6 x 8 of Pikes Peak and the foreground of Cottonwoods there on location in the Park. In December, there is always snow on Pikes Peak. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dry Painting

For me, this means absorbing with my eyes to add to my "visual encylopedia" of painting knowledge. There is a lot of beauty and information to soak up here with our recent "fog" which has flocked the trees with a coating of white powder. (There are changing light effects, new color and value relationships, snow is hugely transformative of everything.) I'm also reading about other painters through history and why they did what they did. Yesterday, I sat in front of the fire and re-read "Painters and the American West" from the 2000 Denver Art Museum Show. We all (painters included) are influenced by our cultural context, probably more than we realize. It's really interesting to see how it shows up in hindsight. I'm also reading Kevin Macpherson's book "Landscape Painting, Inside and Out." What a wonderful mentor through his books and year of experienced knowledge as a plein aire painter. Art offers such a continuous life-long learning opportunity. There is always more to discover.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another Re-work

This is the one that has bothered me the most of all my paintings. It was a fabulously colorful scene with the rough rock formations, fall foliage along the river. I took many photos, and was thanking God I got to drive here. The painting even won "People's Choice" in a gallery show I did in Montrose in 2008. I didn't like the colors, and wanted to rework it, but didn't know how. Today, I just printed up a little 4 x 6 print of it, and started in. I added more brushwork, soft edges, and got the colors right! Finally, I'm pleased with the results. It just took me 2 years to learn.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pumpkin Cows- a beginning

These are the first 2 steps in a large painting (24 x 36)of a farm scene. On a trip up I-25 for work, a field of orange caught my eye, then I realized it was a pumpkin field (after Halloween) and the cows were eating what was left of the harvest. I first created a composition out of the scene by covering the canvas and sculpting out the images of the cows where I wanted them. The next step was adding the background, the primary cows and the foreground pumpkins. It still has some more fleshing out to do, but have approached this one in a little different way, and its been an interesting process.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lavender Re-Work

This is another one I reworked late this summer (18 x 24 oil on canvas). I loved the scene, its from a photo I took at the lavender field at Los Poblanos near Albuquerque from 2003 where we visited and stayed for a few days. I had it hanging on my wall, and the longer I looked at it, realized I wanted to make it more interesting. It seemed flat, and I wanted more texture and depth. I include both versions, the new one is above on the left.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rework from 2002

This was a 16 x 20 oil painting I did in 2002 of a building at Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, always loved the scene because I had good memories of being here. As the years went on, I knew there were some elements that I would like to change, but didn't know how. This morning, I pulled it off the wall and had at it. Sometimes it takes a while and like I've heard before, "no painting is safe until its on somebody else's wall." See new version above.

Friday, December 10, 2010

keep on painting/sketching

It's almost the end of the year that I said I would paint every day for a year. Well, I haven't. But I've painted more than I have in past years because I've had a goal, and I've gotten better at painting. This isn't even a painting. It's an ink sketch, a quick sketch. I've sorted through my sketchbooks in the last few days, and its been an interesting history lesson, going back to 1993. Keeping a sketchbook is a really good idea, and I want to do sketches from life more often. It's good practice, and there is always something that you can draw from life, even if its your dog. She is good at one minute poses, so its good experience for quick sketches. This is something that I can do every day for a year. A few minutes focused on something you want to capture is almost as good as painting, and value sketches are critical to creating an interesting composition.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Big Sky

this is an 18 x 24 oil painting I did in 1995, and titled it "Big Sky". It's from a reference photo of a trip my dad and I took to the Dakotas several years before. It is one of my personal artist's collection. I have always loved sky paintings that have wonderful depth and it was about this time I realized that skies have as much depth as the landscape. They really have much more, of course, but we usually don't see it. Usually, they are an afterthought in landscape paintings. (Paint all the stuff and then you have to put in a sky.) Some landscape paintings don't even have skies. It resonated with me once more reading Georgia O'Keefe's words at the museum in Santa Fe, that she painted the bones against the sky, because there is more of it than anything else here. My drive on the way back from New Mexico was long, and through an impending storm. The growing storm clouds were irresistable, and the landscape was so small in comparison. I still want to finish my cow paintings, but the sky is calling me.