Sunday, April 29, 2012

Valley Farm, Gouache, 11x14

I've been waiting for a new scanner to come in so I could post some marker drawings....but I've gotten fidgety and gone ahead and posted this one to keep us all entertained until it arrives.  Typically 'Spring in the Northwest',  this one captures the character of low lying clouds just after one of our three day rains.

There was no way to do this plein air.  I tried something like this once perched out the back of my van.  Halfway through, because I hadn't noticed that a light rain was falling, the top half of the painting slid down into the bottom half.  Ah well.  It was still a nice day.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Days Catch, 10x10

Remember Noelle?  While she had a vet appointment to remove some of her feminine assets I stopped by a friends studio and then Fisherman's Terminal where, between rain squalls, I was able to paint this little study.  The task was to find color notes out of the substantially gray sky, water, background yet keep the feeling of a cold rainy overcast day.  The rain and wind finally chased me out but I think this makes an OK statement.

Noelle came through fine but I suspect she's holding a grudge....

Friday, April 13, 2012

Desert Rains, 10x12

Just outside of Tucson, somewhere to the east, a large spring comes out of the ground.  It was turned into a reservoir for a ranch and now is a park.  Fish swim lazily from pool to pool in the shallow water.  Waterfowl swim in and out of the trees and the air has a fresh scent from the flowers.  You can stand in all the lushness and stare out at tall cactus, rock and sand, dry as a bone, and watch as the rains evaporate before hitting the ground.  A refreshing place.

This was painted there several years ago but didn't make the cut.  I stumbled on it going through one of my boxes and realized that it just needed a few strokes to pull it I added them the other night and think it's good enough to be called a study for something larger.  Who knows when that might happen....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Runoff, 11x14

Water is great fun to paint.  It gives me such a satisfying feeling to lay on thick and chunky paint with all sort of color nuances.  I think this is the fourth or fifth painting at this little curve in the stream....and the only one that I kept.  It was the rocks, not the water, that refused to look right, either being too modeled, too gray, too colorful, or uninteresting in shape variety.  Most people looking at paintings don't realize how many 'don't make the cut' but hopefully will eventually lead to a successful one.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Signs of Spring, 11x14, gouache

I uncovered this one about two weeks ago and showed it at my gouache workshop.  It was painted about this time of the year, but several years ago on a heavy watercolor paper.  With Spring popping out all over I thought it was worth sharing.....there's a similar one around here someplace that I'll probably throw in in a day or so.

The gouache workshop was fun to do.  There were a lot of people there with watercolor experience and to see their approach was enlightening.  In the past, most people I've taught have come from oils and don't do washes.  These people were having a ball learning how both watercolor and oil techniques can be combined, leaving the constraints of each of those mediums behind.  I saw some wonderful work....and it was only their first attempts at gouache.

Try it sometime.  You'll like it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring's Blossoms, 11x14

Easter Sunday.  While riding the ferry back from an early Easter breakfast I was thinking that all our holidays are about appreciation, recognition and hope (OK. Halloween doesn't exactly fit too well).

Hope is what keeps me going in life, and there is nothing so much that way than the flowers of Spring.  So many blossoms coming out in a flurry of color and shape, each one designed for the future....yet so fragile and temporary.  I like the internal patterns of the branches in this painting as they frame quirky little vignettes of the sky, flowers and leaves.

There are a some other blossoms I have in mind to paint if the weather and my energy level and my commitments all line up that I can actually get to them.  Can't wait.  I'm hopeful.