Monday, May 27, 2013

Swan River Evening, 12 x 16

Curious how things happen.

Today I wrote to another artist to let them know how I admired their courage to follow their own artistic nose.  This evening I was digging around in the studio and ran across this painting from a dozen years ago.  I remember putting it in the scrap pile as a piece that didn't hold together and, though I enjoyed the process of painting it, thought it was a bit outlandish.

Now I see it as having elements of exactly where I want to go with color and brushwork. 

Perhaps some force was playing a joke with me and now, as I write this, is having the best time chuckling over the lesson I'm being taught.  While I can't  be exactly clear, at least in words, about what the lesson is, I think I better spend more time following my own artistic instincts just to see where they go.

I heard an interview with Carolyn Anderson recently in which she said several insightful things of which I'll share one.  Essentially self-taught, she spends time just exploring ideas and wading through the painting process until what she is working toward happens.  It's about what pleases her and she trusts that, if it honestly pleases her, it will likely please someone else.  Good advice.

On to exploration....

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Vagabonds, 10 x 12

The other evening Noelle said we had to go for a walk.... so I got her leash and out we went.  She then said she'd rather go to a beach....fickle dog.

We ended up at a small harbor with just enough time and light left to do a quick study.  Like the last post, I used a limited palette but changed to more vibrant colors.....Thalo Blue, Quinacridone Red and Cad Yellow white.  The rigging was a challenge because I didn't have a small brush and the boats kept swinging around, the light reflecting off different stays.  Stays.  I don't remember if that's the word I want for the standing rigging but Gary will know when he reads this.

Noelle spent her time growling at that reddish buoy.  Go figure.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Eagle Harbor Quiet, 18 x 24

This piece I did as a donation for an auction to benefit the arts, specifically the Arts and Humanities Council.  I like to give things away sometimes and it gives me the impetus to try new things, expanding the game.

I used a pretty limited palette, reducing the tube colors to four and seeing how many different ways I could bend them to get the effect I wanted.  My hope is that you are captivated by the texture of the shore and rocks, letting the other things act as stage props.  This is a studio piece done from a 12x16 plein air panel completed about a year ago.

Speaking of palettes, Thomas Jefferson Kitts has a well researched blog entry about plein air palettes of quite a few current painters that is worth a look.  How different artists lay out their palettes is also interesting.  Check it out here:

Thanks for looking.  Keep painting......or whatever it is that brings you joy.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spring Flowers, both 6 x 8

Gary was out boating.  Deb was I borrowed their backyard and Noelle and I spent a quiet hour painting this.  So many flowers happen in the Spring and I want to paint them all....probably won't happen, but I'd love to stop time for a bit to do it.

Nancy's Rhodie began in fog which burned off before I was finished so I had to readjust everything for sun.  I didn't draw for either of these pieces, preferring to just use burnt sienna to block in some shadow shapes and then carve out the color and light as I went along.  For me it makes for a more intuitive approach to painting.

Both were fun and quick.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Morning at Treehouse Point, 22 x 28

Treehouse Point I don't remember how many treehouses are on this acreage next to the Raging River, but they are all different and all are 15 to 20 off the ground, gently swaying in the breezes.  You can rent them out or host an event in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.  A totally unique place.

So when Cathe says, 'let's go to the Raging to paint' I'm all in and have never been disappointed.  She has weather juju so, even though rain is forecast, it never seems to come through and we have a totally pleasant day.  Find a painting buddy that can do that and stick with them.

I remember spending the day in consternation because I didn't think my 'grays' were  good and there was too much color.....and yet I still like what happened on the canvas.  Like Popeye says, 'I yam what I yam.'  Color is my friend.  This is a larger piece from the original 11x14.

And here is a free plug for Treehouse Point.  Go HERE to see what they have built.  Very unique and playful.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Out My Backdoor, 10 x 12

The abstraction and intricacy of things is becoming more appealing.

This a small section of a hundred foot tall Big Leaf Maple that I have been enthralled with for several years.  It has leaves larger than dinner plates that, in the summer, just form a dark canopy.  However, in the Spring and Fall the leaves are more translucent and the colors get interesting.

The urge to 'just do it' finally overcame the 'reticence to try' and, after an initial 'scrape and start over', I like the results.  So many colors.  So many seductive opportunities to make a boring order out of interesting randomness.  And several times thinking that 'this will never turn way'.

Just Do It.