Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin Patch, 8x10

Halloween Capitol of the World.....Anoka, Minnesota.  Every year there is a large celebration of everything spooky, especially if it is orange and black.  It all culminates in the 'Pumpkin Bowl', the big 'be a hero' football game of the year.

I know this because it is where I grew up, parading through the streets with all the other kids for the big Halloween parade.  We all had costumes, usually handmade.  One year we were twenty foot glow worms, another a snowman and even an oversize Sad Sack.  We did it all for the candy and the free movie tickets.

Last Wednesday Gillian and I went to the local patch and did a painting (below).  When finished I found I liked the design but felt I could do more with it and so revisited the pumpkins and did the one above.  Pretty much the same scene and coloration but with amped up color and chunkier strokes.

Some may prefer the original but this all speaks to doing a series of paintings on a theme to see what can happen.  I'm going out again sometime in the next week with a larger canvas for one more try.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Six O'clock Sloop, 6x8

 A brief break in the incoming weather, a lull in the wind, and an hour before dinner to find and paint something that moved me.  This scene more than sufficed to put a cap on a generally nice day....

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hiking the Kootenai, 8x10

As forest fire smoke filled the Bitterroot Valley Bob and I decided to see if the narrow gorge surrounding Kootenai Creek might give our eyes and lungs a break.  Sure enough, the air was fresher and the experience was as inspiring as ever.

I've lost count of the number of times we have painted this creek, but it is always timeless and wonderful.....although sometimes frustrating to interpret all that water action.    Rock climbers, kayakers, hikers and really nice painters can be found along the trail.  Sometimes people lose things in the roaring water.  Here is a photo of Cathe Gill and Bob Phinney looking for Cathe's lost silver bracelet several years ago.  Says I, optimistic and encouraging as usual, 'You've got to be kidding!  That thing is nearing the Pacific Ocean by now......' 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Midtown Montana, 8x10

John Lennon once said that 'life is what happens while you are making other plans'.....or something close to that.  'Life' took me out of the blogging realm for almost two months, but it is good to be back....and good to be painting again.

Missoula, MT is surrounded by four converging mountain ranges and three rivers, the Clark Fork, the Bitteroot and the Rattlesnake.  It's no wonder that you can sit a block from downtown on a hot day, dangle your feet in clear cold water, drink an iced coffee and paint.  How could life get better than that?

I have a rule about painting outdoors.  First, find yourself a nice comfortable spot where the bugs aren't biting, there is no sand blowing in your face and the hot sun is filtered through the trees.  Two, then find something to paint.  I used to feel guilty about that approach until I began running across 'big name' painters who said the same thing.  No need to suffer for your art.