Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rocks and Water


Lost in the Blue Mountains, Jamaica, 8x10
Rocks and Water....
.....I find continually mesmerizing.  Rocks, because they have just been around so long....these were likely sitting pretty much like this when Columbus breezed through the Caribbean....and water because it is constantly moving and changing.  What counter play.  The unmoving slowly being moved by the perpetual soft force of liquid.

Cascade Stream, 9x12
Over time and impulse my style has changed a bit and I am currently feeling a pull back to more of how I used to paint.  I like spots of color next to quieter areas, often in more vivid color relationships.  Broken color excites my eye, keeping it moving through a painting....a bit like watching an old gaudy  carousel with kids going up and down on baroque horses.  Round and round goes my eye.

Up the Kootenai, Montana, 11x14

Likely I've painted as many R&W's as I have anything else all together although some have been a bit of a struggle.  This scene I've painted at least a dozen times but this one is the only version I think I've posted.  Rob Weiss and Bob Phinney (the rats) both got it on the first try.  For me this one has been elusive.  No, I don't know why...if I did you'd have seen more paintings of it.....but it's always worth the hike up to try again.

Thanks for checking this out.  From the number of unposted paintings I have it looks like I'll be back soon.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Artist's Home, 10x10


Hiding behind some bushes.....
.....enabled me to stand and paint without being disturbed.  They weren't home but, being artists themselves, I didn't think they'd mind.  I've had an urge lately to paint things architectural or, at least, with architectural elements.  I've had an urge lately to paint things architectural or, at least, with architectural elements.

You can tell it's a home of artists because they have a fish diving into their shrubbery.  Look again....you can see it.  It was actually one of the things I had to repaint several times to make it believable....if half a fish in your front yard can ever be believable.

This painting was from just the other day.  The drawing is from about two weeks ago waiting to meet my friend Marsh for lunch.  It is continually amazing to me how a blank sheet of paper and some ink scribbles can turn into a symbol for a recognizable scene.

If you haven't tried drawing with markers I recommend it.  They are great for travel, amusing yourself, studying composition or waiting for someone to show up for lunch.  A book on it is in a tab above....but just try it and maybe you'll get as hooked on it as I am.


Thanks for looking.  I have more to post soon.



Monday, July 20, 2015

Prickly Pear, 20x24


Cactopus Meets Rock Monster.....
.....was my original title but I chickened out.  I kept thinking of folks from Russia, India and those other far flung places who visit my blog and what Google translator might end up giving them.  Lost in translation.

This is why I can't seem to get my studio cleaned up.  I keep running across these things and deciding they might be salvageable.  This one is the result of a trip to Tucson.  I painted a 10x12 field study that was mostly blue and blue-green gray.....well, here it is:


In my memory the scene had much more color so when I got home I whipped out a 20x24 large weave canvas and started playing around.  After working for several hours it didn't sit right so away it went in the 'scrap/maybe I'll know what to do with it later' pile.

It surfaced the other day and I thought it was not too bad, tweaked it for twenty minutes and here it is.  You be the judge.  I couldn't think of a better title either.

I visually like the texture on a large weave canvas, but I don't like the work it takes to get it someplace...pushing lots of paint.  It would likely be easier if I mixed paint more with a palette knife.

By the way, have you heard of Larry Moore?  I may have mentioned him before but I like to read his blog for both his terrific paintings, artistic sensibility and his off beat humor.  HERE is his blog.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Island Congregational, 16x18


After Several Years.....
....of trying to get an acceptable drawing or painting of this church I think I'm able to live with this one.  The problem for me has always been composition.

There are great views of this island landmark from the middle of almost every street that surrounds it but if you move to where you won't get run over or block pedestrian walkways it's more difficult.  For this one I ended up sitting canted in the handicapped parking space with the sharp edge of the sign gouging into my back.  More nuisance than pain....and a hole in my shirt.

My favorite part is the large tree that I wasn't sure wouldn't totally dominate the scene.  It seems to work OK.

This was my standard palette of a warm and cool of each primary.  I've taken to premixing and tubing a lighter version of Pthalo Blue for ease of use and have been experimenting with Transparent Earth Orange to gently warm things up when needed.

Speaking of palettes, A.B. Deneweth has a page on her website (HERE)  that lists the colors found on the palettes of many well know painters both current and long ago.  It's an interesting thing to look at and then sit mystified about how they can/could come up with such beautiful paintings using the same stuff we all do, but in variations.  Worth your time.

Here is a quick study out of my sketchbook.  I like the way the paper accepts the paint and, since it's my sketchbook and not meant to be archival, there is a feeling of freedom and experimentation when painting.  Cheap toned paper on sketchbooks I make for marker drawing.  I'm continually amazed how a few marks on a flat surface can convey so much.....and there's that Transparent Earth Orange!


Pickup Soccer, oil on paper

 Thanks for reading.....


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Kiss Me Quick, 16x20


My Only Fish Painting....
....occurred about a year ago because a friend bought a special kind for a dinner.  He ran the risk of sacrificing them by setting them on a platter under warm lights and letting some of us paint them.  Those fish ain't cheap....

So about six of us had a great morning.  I remember using a 2 1/2 inch brush for as much as I could.  When finished I liked the fish but was lukewarm about the composition.  The original had a bowl of fruit on the right hand side behind the platter.  It's size, spacing and color was too similar to the wine jug.

Getting back to the studio I scraped that part off intending to put something else in it's place.  Eventually it drifted into studio obscurity, lost amid all the other canvases.

Last month someone asked me about the painting so I thought to dig it out and take another look.  The hole left by my removal of part of the image gave me an idea and this is what happened.  The onions were in the original as well as everything else.  I added the wine glass.  Not bad.  Obscure enough that it didn't subtract from the fish yet echoed the reds in the head and gills.

I couldn't get around the red of the lips so hence the title.

This is a Public Service Announcement and has nothing to do with painting:
  Periodically I've wondered where plants, especially large trees, get all their mass from.  (Isn't that what you lay awake nights thinking about?)

If they got it from the ground they'd eventually be growing in a hole from everything they removed to make bark limbs and leaves.  Nope, not from the ground, except for the water which is admittedly a lot of their weight when alive, plus a few minor elements.

However, after you chop them down and let them dry out they still have a lot of mass after the water is gone.  The fir and hemlock outside our house are four feet in diameter and way over 100 feet high.  Huge amount of material.  Where does it all come from?

Well.  Why didn't I think of this?  It comes from the air.  All that carbon that we can't see but is overheating the earth turns into these huge plants....as well as the small ones.  Nitrogen too and probably a bunch of other elements are in there...but it is mostly CARBON.  (Go HERE to see a video about it)

Go hug a tree.  They really are your friends.

Be back soon.....

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hacienda Evening, 12x16


Coincidence.  Really?
.......Every once in a while the forces that are around have to remind me that what I 'think' is going on is probably only a sliver of the picture, if that much.

Some old and good friends have just returned to this island, escaping Arizona just in time, in my opinion.  While living there and visiting Mexico they bumped into a 350 to 400 year old hacienda in one of the oldest towns in North America, so old that it is where the priests left from to found Los Angeles and San Francisco.  At one time it was the richest town in the western hemisphere.  Of course they bought it and, of course, invited me/us down occasionally.

The other day we were talking about their need to sell the place and, as we talked, I was flooded with memories of tres leches cake, tacos on the street, balmy evenings, the smell of flowers, good talks and lots of time painting and hanging out.

So.  Yesterday, in another attempt to clean my studio I ran across this painting from just after they had bought the place and one of my initial attempts at painting in Mexico.  I haven't seen this piece for years and, to my knowledge, haven't shown it to anyone.  Why do I do these things?

I'm posting it now for my friends to tell them how much I appreciate the times we were able to spend there together.  It was emotionally very rich.  Thanks you two.

Where?  Alamos, Sonora, Mexico and the bridge across the arroyo joins the Hacienda de Los Santos, one of the classier hotels I've seen.

Ok.  Now if the forces that be will stop pulling out these oldish paintings so I can get the place organized.....

I'll be back.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Oksana's Summer Hat, 18x24



When the message came through.....
.... my day had been all scheduled, and art was not figured in any of the time slots.  Sometimes it's necessary just to buckle down and 'take care of business'.  It was a locked up schedule.  No changes.

The text message said that Oksana could stay in town an extra day and pose in Nancy's garden.  Schedule got unlocked, changes were made, rock solid intent went by the wayside.   I had enjoyed painting her once before so jumped at having another chance, especially outdoors where color is at its best.  Here is the 10x12 portrait done last year indoors.


About ten artists showed up so it became a Working Party.  A covey of quail, a pride of lions and a brush of artists.  I made that up but it seems right.....although maybe a 'party of artists' is more apt.  It usually is one.

I toned the 18x24 canvas on board, sketched the major shapes, blocked it in with major color shapes and went for the finishing  doodads.  During the ninety minutes to do the majority of the painting the sun had swung over and began hitting the canvas so I quit and spent another half an hour tweaking it when I got home.  It only meant adjusting some values.

Outdoor trick.  Want to find out where the sun will be later?  Hold your first and index finger together at arms length and count over.  Each two finger segment is about 15 minutes.  This only works in the temperate latitudes.  The earth turns much faster near the equator so maybe two fingers is ten minutes.

I used this trick to pose her in the filtered shade of a tree.  It was easy to see how long I had before the the sun cleared the tree.  It was great focused fun.  Working fast it became lots of colorful dabs of paint.

I like it and am glad I abandoned my schedule.

James Gurney, one of my favorite artists and who has a terrific blog, just published a video on Gouache.  He is the author of the book Dinotopia among other things.  Anyway, this is a very good video on painting with gouache with many demos, a complete run down on equipment and how to do it outdoors or when traveling.  The download is only $14.95 and well worth it.  I've watched it twice, soaking up everything I could get.  Check it out HERE.

And, speaking of videos, Catherine Gill just released a new DVD on 'Ooze', Mixing it Up With  Watercolor and Pastel.  If you are a watercolor artist you likely already know about Cathe through her book.  I've been doing the camera and editing work on all her videos and the publishing under 'Candy Corn Productions'.


We are especially excited about this one and it has already gotten good reviews from those that have purchased it.  She goes back and forth, mixing the pastel with the watercolor, watercolor with pastel.  At some point magic happens which she calls 'Ooze' where the two take on a fluidity and unique quality.  You can find the DVD on Cathe's website HERE as well as a dozen downloadable vids and two more DVDs.

Thanks for looking.  No doubt I'll be back soon.





Thursday, July 2, 2015

Watty-Melon, 20x20



Watermelon Tales began.....
.....when it was a hot day and I really really wanted some so bought a terrific looking seedless one.  I was more than set for the taste of summer, but when I cut into it there were seeds all over.

You think I perhaps was disappointed.?  All I could think about was painting it.  It is really difficult to find seeded watermelons anymore and, while seedless are wonderful to eat they don't make much of a painting.  We all expect seeds as our symbol of the fruit even though we won't buy it.

So.  Coincidentally, Tannis invited some of us over to paint her garden which is very beautiful and if it hadn't been for this watermelon we would have done just that.  Bright red on a blue and green table setting is difficult to resist.  The fruit of the watermelon is an interesting combination of warm and cool reds, sometimes a little yellow.  At least that's the way I read it.

We painted.  Tannis fed us.  We had a great time.

I was going to throw the melon away but got reminded that chickens love watty-melon (which is how my youngest sister pronounces it as in "We better hurry and get some watty-melon, brother of mine!").

Anyway, today I was over at Nancy's feeding her chickens.  Recycling.  We eat the eggs.  While they were eating and the dogs were playing I sketched and white gouached this quickie.  Pretty much a three value piece.


  Thanks for looking.  You keep me on the straight and narrow...


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sunday Sketch, 12x12


Port Madison...
....was once a harbor for the tall ships when they were shipping out milled lumber from the Northwest.  Now it is an upscale area of the island with little easy access.

My friend Mick and I went there on last Sunday's overcast afternoon looking for a little bit of color.  This scene was about a block and a half across the water and, while it did get back in this position several times, the boats were swinging around in the wind and tide.

We stood on a wobbly floating dock making it challenging to get down an intentional stroke of paint.  Much of what I tried to place would end swooping up like a duck's tail or get moved an inch or so in another place altogether.  For the mast lines I remember waiting and planning for just the right calm....but still they went in several times before being sort of right.

Remember I titled this a 'sketch'.

This second painting is one I found stuck in a box because I was dissatisfied with it.  It's from about seven years ago over on the Teanaway River and can see some different thinking going on and some experimentation in places.  It looks better than I thought it did at the time.

Speaking of experimentation, changing the colors on your palette can be liberating.  It makes us look and work differently, coming up with new color ideas.   I found a website that lists the palette colors of many well known artists, some historical and some current.  Some of my favorite artists are on this list which you can find HERE.

Cool Water, 12x16
Thanks for looking.  I will be back soon.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Gazebo, 12x16


A Beautiful Day....
    .......some shade and an invitation to paint.  Oh, and a free lunch on top of it.

This was a 'no-brainer' to select as a painting and so terrific a subject that I think I smiled all the way through it.  Most of it was painted with the largest brush I carry with me, about an inch and a quarter wide.  Detail was with a smaller brush but still larger than you'd think.  Just using lots of paint and the corner of the brush can make surprisingly small bits of color.

The large brushes let me simplify the bigger shapes, preventing them from being too fussy.

Marilyn, owner of the property and my new friend, enjoyed watching it come together and invited me back to paint some spectacular flowers.  I love this time of the year.

Finished with the gazebo, we ate lunch and I had time for another smaller 10x12 piece which actually gave me more fits than the larger more detailed gazebo.  This is one of those that I'll have a revelatory moment over in about six months.  I'll likely slap myself on the head realizing what small adjustments would have made it work so much better.


Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hidden in the Studio

Docked Up, 10x12

I'm Cleaning the Studio.
......That may not sound like ground shaking news but I swear there was a rumble under my feet just now.  In doing so I've uncovered all kinds of paintings that didn't get posted or shared.  Some I tossed aside because they missed the mark and I couldn't figure out why.  After finding them and looking with a fresh eye it took about three minutes to 'add the touches' that moved them from acceptable to downright interesting.  I'm posting a few.

Before I do, however, I know another artist who has also recently culled through his work and found some treasures.  Dan Corey, terrific painter and inspired colorist, is selling a bunch of quality paintings at ridiculously low prices.  Dan is a big shape and color person, simplifying landscape to just the essentials.  I like that.  Paintings from 12x16 to 24x30.  Over 100 paintings.!  Very much worth a look at his Facebook page HERE.
Here is just one 20x24....awesome, huh?


Back to my finds.....
The first one has hung around the studio being moved from box to box.  I threw it away at least four times and it snuck back in.  This was so easy to fix once my brain kicked in.  Just tying together the blue zig zag in the water and some branch variations.

Fallen, 10x12
Here is this one from a valley in Montana.  I didn't do anything to this one to 'doctor' it.   It's got some good things in it.  Another 10x12.

Homestead, 10x12
And a last one for today.  This is a gift for a friend who has ties to this place.  The photo is a little off color wise but you get the idea.

For a Friend, 10x12

Thanks for looking.  Be back with you in about a week....got an errand to run.




Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lilies, 16x20


Yesterday......
.....I came downstairs barely awake and at the landing noticed yellow lilies blooming.  Truthfully, it was about the sixth day I had noticed them, always with the thought that 'Ya know...I should really paint those one of these days.'

Fortunately, I had been reading one of Guido Frick's posts.  (I know Guido from a long time ago at a Ron Lukas workshop and thoroughly enjoy his paintings.  His posts are HERE.)  In those posts he mentions an artist I hadn't heard of who lives fairly close down in Oregon, Sarkis Antikagian.  So I went and read his blog HERE.  Both these people are an enjoyable read because they paint out of the sheer joy of it.  Guido's take on an American community pool is also a hoot.

One of them mentions the tendency for artists to paint 'postage stamps'....you know, paintings on small canvases.  In my upcoming posts I'm showing a bunch of those small ones that I haven't posted before, but I do have to admit that I would much rather paint larger, and can do one in about the same amount of time as a smaller one.  They are just harder to lug around.

This is getting long.  Suffice to say that it was those blog words ringing in my head that made me pick up a 16x20 rather than an 8x10......and off I went to the garden.

It was freeing.  I could swing a larger brush, stand back at arms length, load up on paint and just have a good time, which I did.  The sun was barely beginning to light up the shadows and create sparkle on the leaves and petals.  After 90 minutes and a now intense light it was quitting time.

Thanks for looking.  I like sharing this wonderful struggle....

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Bitterroot Backwater in Three


Blowing It Up.....
.....is a workshop next weekend in which we will spend one day doing sketches, pencil, pen, paint or any medium that will get you the information you need, and another day making a larger work from it.

When over in Montana I did this drawing and made some notes.  The next day, sitting under a tree by our cabin I did a larger color version from those notes, from memory and from what I wanted to say and turned out this 10x12 color study which is on the right track of what I intended....but I wanted to do more with it.


A week floated by before I was able to get to another even larger version and, hopefully, make a more interesting visual statement.  This one I did sitting in our driveway back in Washington.  I have learned more about what I want to say.....and now I want to do it one more time.  I feel that it is going in the right direction but hasn't quite arrived at that magical point.


It's been stimulating to try it this way.  Before the next version I'm going to do a very abstracted color piece, trying to simplify the shapes but expand the color statement.

This is what we will be doing in the upcoming workshop, stretching our artistic wings into areas we don't usually go.  It's playing with color and form without the influence of what we are seeing at the moment and letting our minds eye have its way.

Come join the group.  Find out more and sign up at the Winslow Art Center HERE.  We always have a good time!

Thanks for looking and, if you can't make it be sure to Keep Drawing!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Drawings from Montana

Looking out at the Swan Mountains....
...while sitting on the ground drawing with Noelle the 'wonder dog' is a decent way to get an oil change.  We were in Montana for about two weeks to open the cabin, go for walks and listen to the thunderstorms on the roof.  Pretty relaxing.

I took a day to drive down south of Missoula to the Bitterroot Valley and visit my good friend Bob Phinney, one of the more talented artists I know.  After a little catch up we went out sketching.  Here are a few of mine.  I'm going to feature some of Bob's drawings in the next week or so.

Rocque's Place
Just a black pen (Sharpie extra fine), three Copic Markers, some white pens I got at Michaels and then a bit of white gouache because the white pens were running out of juice.   Beginning with a black pen on a blank sheet of paper always involves a willingness to trust that something interesting will happen.  When I'm finished, even though a drawing may have glaring things I'd change, it gives me a deep sense of satisfaction and wonder.

Did you hear that they found prehistoric art recently that is 300,000 to 500,000 years old and far surpassing in age the art from the French caves?  The urge to create imagery must be hard wired into us.  So I was wondering the other day which animals have that same urge?  Orangutans, chimps, gorillas all do, as do elephants.  They will get mesmerized just making marks.  They like music too but so does our cat.....however, she has no interest in crayons and paper except to chew.



I did one more but used it to do a color sketch and then a larger painting.  I'll post all three tomorrow or Monday.

'Blowing it Up', my workshop on turning sketches into larger paintings is next weekend.  Find out more at the Winslow Art Center HERE.

Keep Drawing!!

Thanks for looking.



Saturday, May 30, 2015

Getting New Ideas


Maybe three weeks ago.....
.....I took a workshop with Terry Miura.  After reading many, maybe all, of Terry's blog posts and looking at the paintings he's posted I developed an appreciation for his painting design and brushwork.  His mastery of the use of edges is evident in all his work but especially with the figure.  Periodically I need new input and he seemed a great choice.


These are a few of the pieces from those three days.  Terry is more of a tonal painter than I am.  So what's that, you ask?  There are differing definitions and, since I like mine the best, here it is.  A tonalist, when changing planes on a form, first asks 'what value is it?'.  A colorist first asks, 'what temperature (or color) is it?'.  There are lots of places on this kind of a spectrum.  I thought I might move myself more toward a tonalist for a while and see how it fit....but as hard as I tried I didn't go all that far.  I seem to always see color before value....but I gave it a try.

(Colors in the original are more intense)
Take a look at Terry's blog HERE.  You'll learn some things.  I ended up adding two pigments to my palette.


Upcoming workshop through the Winslow Art Center is called 'Blowing It Up', how to turn a days worth of sketches into a larger piece.  Find out more HERE.

Thanks for looking.




Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bloedel in Spring, Two Paintings

'Reflections', 11x14

After Painting a Bloedel Reserve Diptych...

....(posted recently) I still had some time for another try and ended up in this lovely secluded place.  A few guests at the Bloedel Reserve wandered by but left me alone.  Well, there was this group of Japanese tourists who had seen me painting the diptych that asked me to pull it out so they could see it.  But then they got shocked and miffed when I said I couldn't because it was back in the car.  I'm thinking there was a translation problem as they kept looking deep into the water after I told them.

This was enjoyable to do but got difficult for me when I got to the multiple reflections in the water and how to distinguish the fallen log from the light coming from the bottom of the pond.....where they thought my other painting was.  I'm satisfied with how it turned out and I learned some things.  Always good.

The next day I went back and did two more pieces.  This one, 'Strolling the Buttercup Forest', is in a part of the park that is unmanicured, left natural.  The light there is airier, the color is higher in value and there are fewer tourists looking in the water for my stuff.  


It was a great day to be painting.

Thanks for hanging out.



Friday, May 15, 2015

Marker Sketches


Marker Workshop Level II....

.....is next Wednesday, May 20th, so I thought I would post some drawings from two days ago to get the juices flowing....yours and mine.

In this one day event we will expand from the beginning workshop to doing more sketching on location and add in some white gouache, markers or pen to increase the sense of  dimension in the work.

I'll show you how to 'scribble' draw and how to use a visual 'ruler' to help your drawings come together faster and easier.  Even better, we will all learn something about how to live with our mistakes...or use them to be more creative in the finished work and look.

In this piece I'll bet you didn't even notice that I neglected to put legs or pedestal under the chair she is sitting on.  She is magically holding up herself and the chairs on that one bent leg....but who cares?


In this one I framed out the stuff above (this was a full page drawing) to add more emphasis on the  person at the table.


Find out how to sign up for this workshop....or other classes.....by checking in with the Winslow Art Center HERE.  Hope you can make it next week.  But if you can't keep it in mind for another time.

Keep on Drawing!!

Thanks for checking in.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bloedel Lake, 11x28


My Big Idea....

PAWA, Plein Air Painters of Washington, had a paint out at what I call the Downton Abbey of Bainbridge Island, which is the Bloedel Reserve.  Once a summer residence, it was set aside as a foundation run park and preserved area.  Quite a place.

While driving there I had the thought that it was just too much for a regular sized canvas and wished I had something different.  The thought persisted until I realized I had several 11x14 linen boards with me and I didn't see any reason not to stick a couple of them together and make a diptych.

I wanted to do two paintings that compositionally could stand on their own but be framed up as a whole if it worked out....this is called 'covering your bets', a professional painters term.

As almost always I'd change things a bit if I did it again because having done it I have new ideas.  That said, I like the result and, yes, the water was actually brown, green, red, purple and blue.    I used my standard split complement palette but added Transparent Earth Red as an experiment....which I think worked.  (Thanks, Terry Miura.)

MARKER WORKSHOP Level II is scheduled for next Wednesday, May 20th.  This is a new workshop designed for anyone who has completed my Marker I class or feels comfortable with the materials.  We will be going out and about to sketch using a combination of regular marker drawing plus adding in some white gouache for emphasis when we use toned paper.  We will explore different ways to add compositional emphasis, mark making, simplification and how to just have some fun with the medium.  I'll also be introducing 'scribble drawing'.  Cool.  Find out more at the Winslow Art Center (HERE).

No, not the great Northwest...but it gives you the idea of what can be done with marker drawing .

Thanks for your interest.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Barbara B., about 7 x 9


This drawing from yesterday....

.....at the Port Townsend shipyards gives me a good opportunity to talk about some things.  I showed this to some people and mentioned I was dissatisfied with it and they told me I was crazy....again.

First let me point out some stuff.  This is a Sharpie with tones of cool gray Copic markers added on toned card stock.  The gouache washes were put in last.  The gouache can add sparkle, help to focus the viewer. and soften some of the darker marks where I might want a easier edge.

In general, I like the drawing.  Shapes and lines are repeated, such as the verticals in the various posts and masts and the angle of the large cloud is mirrored in the bottom line coming forward.  Horizontals in the clouds and white marks on the pavement repeat each other.  I like the placement of the boat, the tendency for detail to decrease as the drawing goes out and back from the boat, and for some of the 'I made it up' marks such as the two perspective lines that come out toward the viewer.....most all that is intuitive.  But there is something that bothers me.

I think it's the difference between visual accuracy and intuitive expression.  Sitting there I had the feeling of more looming immensity and power than I got down on paper.  There was a dimensionality that got lost and buried in my need for accuracy.

Don't get me wrong, accuracy of dimensions and relationships are important but sometimes a slight exaggeration is necessary to convey the 'feeling' of what we are painting or drawing.

This brings to mind Ron Lukas whose work I've been posting on FB and here for a bit.  No matter what I saw him draw or paint, there was always a sense of what I call 'dignity' in his work.  Everything was slightly and artistically altered to make that happen.  I asked him about it several times and he would look at me as if I were bizzaro....again.  Perhaps it was something unintentional that was just him....but I don't think so.  I think it was how he intuitively felt about things and he conveyed it through his drawing, his color selection and orchestration of values.  Others who are reading this and know his work would agree, I think, but many artists have done similar things.  Just look at the paintings and the photos of the subjects of Frank Benson....one of my heroes.

OK.  After all that I want to announce a new workshop, Drawing with Valued Markers, Level II, to be held May 20th, 2015.  It will be on the Winslow Art Center schedule sometime this week but wanted to give you an early 'heads up'.  It is a one day workshop sketching in the field (or coffee house) in which we will play around with gouache on toned paper, white markers and the usual variety of toned markers.  It really gets into the 'painting with markers' concepts.  More later.

Thanks for looking.  Have yourself a fine day.



Saturday, April 25, 2015

Morning Sketches


I needed stimulants.....

....so headed for the kitchen and the ground coffee.  Coming down the stairs this scene hit me.  At least something like it hit me because I'm sure my visual memory and the few notes on a piece of paper are off...but you might get the feeling of what it was.   Like most sunrises, it didn't last more than two or three minutes.  The photo I snapped was worthless for painting so I ignored it.

That bluish stripe was really there but my eyes couldn't see a lot unless I moved so that a tree blocked the sun enough that I could register the color.  Not likely a great sunrise painting but it was a fun sketch.  I think it has a hint of that Tommy Thompson flair about it.....unintentionally....but, hey, if I can get in the ball park.....

Tommy Thompson, Canadian Painter

Burnt Carmine, Transparent Red Oxide, Burnt Sienna,  Cad Orange, Yellow and Red, and the usual host of blues.  I'm hoping that when I look at this in a year I will know what I should have done, but then I'll wish I hadn't posted it.

Thanks for looking.