Friday, October 22, 2010

Susanna, 4x6 gouache

Have I mentioned before how much I like gouache?  I have?.....then let me say it again.  By now I should have a raft of converts.  It can be such a forgiving medium.  It can also be an infuriating medium if you actually expect what you paint wet to end up the same color and value when dry.  Holbein Acryla Gouache is supposed to look the same dry as when it was wet but I haven't tried it.   It also will end up, after an hour or two, to be permanent and insoluble in water.  Now that sounds a bit like Golden Open Acrylics to me.

She was a good model but I have to admit feeling a bit rusty not having done a portrait for six months.  Painted size of her head is about 2".

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Teannaway Valley, 11x14

Remember the outhouse (last post)?  If you had turned around two hours before 'Quick Stop' was painted, this is what you'd see.  What a difference in color temperature......what a change in temperature, period.  It was cold and very windy despite the sun breaking through for a bit.  Look carefully.  See his brush shake.

At the same time of year....but twelve months earlier....I painted this but was dissatisfied with it.   It was stuffed into the scrap heap box where I ran across it looking for a panel to paint on and I decided to see if a little doctoring could help.

On my website, under 'Musings' is a listing on how I did it.  If you are a painter it might be a technique you could use.  Check it out.  See the before and after....  Place your vote....(and vote in November, also).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Waiting For Work, 8x10

A bunch of old farm machinery on a rainy Fall day sit waiting to be useful.  It reminds me of a possible Disney movie.  Of course they will perform an heroic deed by the end of the film, saving the female lead.

And just so you won't be kept waiting in suspense, here is the outhouse painting (Quick Stop, 11x14).  I think I chuckled the whole time I was doing it.  For reasons I don't pretend to understand it became an instant hit with the other painters on a great three day weekend of rain, cold and strong winds.  Even these paintings look cold.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Two on the Road, 8x10

Arriving home last night after painting all weekend across the mountains I was too tired to think about photographing seven you'll have to wait until later in the week.  'Rhododendren Lane' and 'Mission Farm' were completed ten days and a year ago, respectively.  'RL' was while I was waiting for an appointment and 'MF' somewhere in the Flathead Valley of Montana.

The paintings from this last weekend I like, especially the one with the outhouse.  Can you wait for that?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Eagle Harbor Demo, 11x14

Last Friday, as part of the monthly Art Walk, booths were set up down by the harbor where they served food, wine, had a great band and local organizations promoted their offerings.  Oil and Water Art Supply  asked me to do a demo for the event.

I like doing demos.  People come by and talk, little kids want to paint on my canvas (I usually let them) and I get to go home with a satisfied tired.  Works for me.

Hoping for a beautiful sunset, wind and clouds arrived instead.   So at five I began this and quit when the fading light through the clouds meant I could no longer see what color I was using....about 6:30.  At first I had no idea how to resolve all those boats....or at least make it look like they were resolved.  There must be forty or fifty of them out there.  The answer to my problem?  Paint what you see.  Notice in this little slice how very abstract they really are.  Just little bits of carefully placed paint and color...

And just so you can enjoy the experience of plein air painting I need to tell you that barely into the piece someone pulled a bright red speed boat into that empty slip, completely blocking much of the lower third of the scene and reflecting new nuances of color.   As if fading light, changing tides, people walking around me and strong winds weren't enough.... 

By the way,  I begin teaching again this month.  If you would like to join us for a fun class in either painting (oil, acrylic or gouache) or marker drawing check out the Oil and Water website or give them a call.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rockland Pier, 10x12

With the workshop over and all that beautiful Atlantic coast to paint it was hard to know where to begin....but this seemed a natural.  Of course, as happens when working plein air, things change.  The boat didn't have more than two strokes of color on it when the crew decided that, with fish unloaded, it was time to leave.  I could have abandoned the piece or continued using what my visual memory retained.....the latter was the better choice.

All those boats, all those docks, all the picturesque towns.......did I paint any of those, well no.  Instead I was mesmerized by these rocks.   Flat lit on a fairly sunny day they proved to be a challenge in finding how to translate a jumbled mass of close tonal values to a two dimensional surface, but I enjoyed every stroke.  Notice how color notes repeat throughout the painting.  I keep telling myself, 'It's not what you paint but how you paint it.', and I rather like this one.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Maine Workshop

Finally I can give you a little taste of the Colin Page workshop I attended.  I actually couldn't put in to words why I signed up but it was just the rejuvenating experience I hoped it would be.  During the two weeks we were in Maine I painted 27 pieces.....most, however, were small 5x7 studies, some I'm sharing today.  Quite a few I took photos of and then erased as I needed the painting boards.

Day One was value study so we did black and white landscape pieces.  The one above was about 6x10.  Monochromatic paintings are far more interesting, I think, than you would expect them to be.  There is a painter in Seattle that wanders the streets painting Burnt Umber scenes that are knockouts.  Sometimes he'll add just a note or two of color to add a bit of a works.

Day Two, dodging the raindrops, we focused on quick broadly stated color studies with very limited detail as you see below.   

On the Third Day the task was to push color as far as we felt comfortable.....OK, now we're talking....this is where I live:

Four studies were done on one 11x14 board, like something I used to do.  When first learning about painting I would take 1/2 inch masking tape and section a 20x24 canvas into 12 smaller areas and commit to painting all twelve in one day.  The best part was taking off the tape at the end of the day and seeing all those vignettes of the previous few hours.  Like little simplified photos.

Tomorrow I'll post some paintings I did after the workshop ended.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Camden Harbor

We are finally back from Maine.....actually well over a week but there has been so much to catch up with that blogging took a backseat.  I'm going to put out several over the next couple of days because it's off to paint across the mountains on Friday.

The Camden, ME harbor is a wealth of painting is all of the Maine coast.  The problem was not so much finding something to paint as it was narrowing the selection.  These drawings are good examples of that.

The area was so rich that even selecting a corner of the harbor I had difficulty focusing.  Here the shore was interesting, the docks were an attraction and those slanted buildings were also a pull.  (Why are they slanted....I don't know.)

In terms of a painting or a more pleasing drawing, just a section would have been stronger.   Here, for example,  is one of several possible simplified views that I think could have been developed.   Looking at this smaller part of the larger piece I find the shapes more interesting, more artistic and calming to my soul.  The larger piece is okay, it just doesn't have a focus....the smaller one does.