Monday, February 25, 2013

Two from PAWA

PAWA, the Plein Air Painters of Washington, had their annual meeting yesterday and we had a great time.  We painted.  We ate.  We saw old friends.

Here are two paintings from the event.  The portrait is the way it came off the easel.  The still life, because I was slapping paint pretty fast to get it finished. needed another twenty minutes work this morning.

Gail says that I should never paint fake flowers because that's what they always come out looking like.  This is a great example of me not taking her advice.  By the time you read this it very well may be reborn as something else.  It has some nice parts and I certainly enjoyed the experience of painting it....but it is a great linen board that could be ???

Rob Weiss did the same setup from a different angle which you can see HERE


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Caught, 8x16 quick sketch

So many of my painting friends are traveling somewhere cool to paint.  One is going to San Miguel de Allende, three are in Maui, and, of course, there are the two who can't decide on their house in Mexico or their house in Tucson.  I won't even mention the ones in Maine or Montana.

With that in mind I walked thirty feet across the driveway to paint this one.  Admittedly it wasn't far or exotic but buried in the woods I did feel 'away'....and it wasn't raining.

This is a study for a larger piece I want to do.  I love the negative shapes formed by all the branches and bushes.  Can't wait to get started on the bigger one.

If you get a chance check out Dan Corey's latest piece from somewhere in Maine.  His blog has the plein air piece with the scene.....and then he did a different and much larger version.  Both are very impressive.  Love his color.  See it HERE.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Last Water, 10x12

Last October, while the day was tilting rapidly toward night, I was searching for that last painting of the day and the simplicity of the light in this irrigation ditch seemed soothing.  It remained soothing until I began painting it.

It wouldn't cooperate.  It twisted and turned, trying to avoid my artistic grasp.  I parried with my brush.  It dodged with the light and color.  I think it ended as a draw.  (Would that make it a draw in the draw?)  Oh well.

Five questions to deciding 'What color is that?'
  1.  Is it red, blue, yellow, green or purple?  (Munsell color wheel)
  2.  Within the color you picked does it tend to the  warm or cool side?
  3.  How saturated or how pure a color is it?  Does it tend toward gray or is it vibrant?
  4.  What is the light or dark is it?
  5.  Great.  We did it only four questions.

Look at this painting.  Pick a color and if you can answer those questions you can mix the color.  Congratulations.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Geraniums, 16x20

Last week's class demo.  I didn't quite finish it until that evening but you can see the steps at Diana Kingsley's blog.  I like doing demonstration paintings because an audience keeps me from thinking too much and focused on just intuitively slapping paint around.  Sometimes it works.

This class is about painting from photos and making them believable.  In Diana's photos you can see that I was using two sources to get the most information.  Outdoor experience, however, is the best source.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cottenwood Down II, 12x14

Hand warmers, toe warmers, long underwear and rain was still cold but so worth the little discomfort to be able to stand in front of this scene for an hour.

It is now more than a year from that day.  Yesterday I took a workshop in 'gouache resist' from a very talented person with 27 (I think) children's books in print.  She has used this technique for many of them with outstanding results.  Pierr Morgan's website is HERE and her blog is HERE.

There has been a children's book on the way back burner for a long time but I never found a technique that I wanted to use for it until I saw some of Pierr's work.  So I took her one day workshop and played and learned about it.

I've painted with gouache for well over a decade and never heard of 'gouache resist'.  Because dry gouache is still water soluble the whole idea seemed bizarre.  I had to know more.

After several attempts in the workshop I was searching for something else to do when I spied Cottenwood Down II hanging across the room, leftover from the Friday artwalk.  OK.  Now realize that this was my first experience with this technique and there are many things not going the way I expected.....but this is what I got using that painting more as an inspiration than a guide:

Not bad.  Possibility.  Certainly playful.
Here is another from the book idea:

Pretty cool.  Check out Pierr's website for more information on the technique and examples of her books.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Lowtide at the Fort, 10x12

Desperation made me do it.  How many days can I go without painting outdoors?  How much gray can one person stand....

So, since there was a break in the weather, I toddled off to Fort Ward to paint the beach and to find whatever color notes were hanging around waiting to be picked up.  Half way into this it once again began raining and becoming colder.... so the painting got looser and faster as I went.  It looks more like a spring early morning than a gray winter....but I got to paint outside.

My sister used to visit here from Minnesota.  After being here one December she vowed never to come back because she froze here more than Minneapolis at a minus 10.  She's been true to her word.  Must be the moisture.  Yes, I'm whining.