Friday, June 28, 2013

Gouache Portraits, 6x8 (about)

The Bainbridge Art Museum....

.....hosted a free modeling session yesterday so I grabbed my gouache and went, creating these two relatively quick studies.  Thirty and sixty minutes respectively.  I love gouache.....especially on a toned paper.  I can play with color all I want and it generally forgives me.


James Gurney has a video he did at the Monterrey Plein Air event from about a month ago in which he paints the painters.  He does a beautiful job catching the feeling of the moment.  Nice to see real skill.   It's worth your time to watch and see how simply he conceived this:


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Last Ride to Dixon, 11x14

Dixon, Montana..... as close to one of those 'blink and you will miss it' towns as you can get.  My friend Bob found this place by the highway with lots of machinery and broken down stuff.  While he went off to do some of his terrific drawings I hung in one spot and painted.

Why would you paint that? what the family said and perhaps you also.  All I can tell you is that I liked the shapes and colors more than anything else I saw.  There is also some humor here but it may be my private joke.

I find myself searching for something artistically and don't know what it is, yet it seems that I'm getting closer.  In this piece I don't find it in the subject matter but do see it in the way the paint moves from one plane to the other.  There is a pattern of strokes and color that  is attractive to me.  One day soon I'll figure it out.

Thanks for looking.  It's a process.....

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Iris at the Reserve, 8 x 10

The National Bison Reserve.... tucked away between St. Ignatius and Dixon, MT and is a great place to see most everything but buffalo.  Lots of them are there but I've never taken the time to actually tour the Reserve and see them as 'other stuff' attracts me first.  On this rainy/sunny day it was these iris at the edge of some pond.

The board I had with me already had an old painting on it so I put on a layer of a dark dull can see it in some places....and everything was added on top of that layer of wet paint.  It was just a matter of carving out the image.  It has looseness and spontaneity that I like....and lots of thick paint on top of other thick paint.  It's hard to get too detailed on a slippery surface.  Just lay it on and leave it.

You can find this kind of thing to paint at the Bloedel Reserve where I will be teaching a plein air workshop next weekendWinslow Art Center has all the details.

Maynard Dixon (1875 to 1946), the well known southwest oil painter, spent lots of time in and around St. Ignatius when it was known as 'the mission', making several trips there during his lifetime.  I wonder if the town of Dixon was named for him.  Now it is as close to a ghost town as you can get and still be called a town.  More in an upcoming post.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sentinel, 12x16

Somewhere on a Montana 20 acres.....

I wanted to paint but didn't want to drive to find a I just wandered out into the forest and found this remnant of the ice age.  It has been sitting where it is for about 15,000 years, ever since our hill was what split a huge glacier that proceeded down the Flathead Valley, covering the tops of the mountains.  They melted eventually and left several of these 15' boulders scattered around.  Fox live under it and I've seen their kits playing just outside in the Spring.

The colors in the painting were all there in life but needed a little push to make this thing come together.  I rather like the rhythm of it...but wish I had taken the time to paint it about eight times this size.

Plein Air Workshop June 29th and 30th.  Come on they say.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Warning Buoys, 15x18

Evening in Montana...

....and I had just over two hours to make a painting.  Since we were driving back early the next morning this was my last chance so I grabbed my gear, drove to the river, hiked in a mile to the dam, did this painting and made it back in time for bed.  It was a scramble but sometimes that's the best way to make them happen....sometimes that's the only way to make them happen. 

I painted this once before in a smaller size.  You can find it HERE.  It's only 10x12 yet I think I spent more time on it.  Bigger canvas.  Bigger brush.   

Plein Air Workshop.  It has been filling fast so if you are wanting to come better enroll now.  There are just a spot or two left.  Think about it.  Bloedel Reserve, weather report says 'SUN', two days with old friends and new and, of course, that great fearless instructor.  How good can it get?  June 29th and 30th. 

Contact the Winslow Art Center for details HERE.

And if you are around on Sunday afternoon I'll be doing a demo at the new Bainbridge Art Museum

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Evening Anchor, 10x12

I find this piece inviting me in.....probably to sit on one of those boats with my feet up, rocking with the waves, enjoying a beer and swapping fish tales.....of which I only have three.

Even though it hasn't been formally announced, there will be a plein air workshop at the end of the month AND it will be held at the Bloedel Reserve.  What a place to be able to paint!  In the past it was rare for it to be open even for sketching but times are changing and plein air painters are no longer the suspect individuals they seem to be.

Now that reminds me that Scott Burdick did a short movie on the police of Barcelona who kick painters off the street.  Evidently other nefarious activities are sanctioned but moving a brush on a canvas just steps over the line for the city fathers.  You can find it on his website.

Anyway, if you are interested in joining me for some plein air fun, give Martha at the Winslow Art Center a call and get signed up before it fills.

For the next few posts I'm going to be digging into paintings that I never got around showing here.  They are all plein air....just to get you in the mood.

Friendship Traps, 10x12

Friendship, Maine

How about two books on art that are well worth your time and is even free.

For years Creative Illustration by Andrew Loomis was out of print.  I had all his others and almost sprang $300 for a used copy....but didn't.  Then I heard it was being reprinted....and it's only $27 at Amazon.  Terrific book.

Another I didn't know about but found on Stapleton Kearns website (that's worth visiting also) is by Harold Speed, The Practice and Science of Drawing.  A gem of a book that spends as much time talking about painting as it does drawing.  I'm finding it reinforcing and thought inducing....which is always a good thing in my world.  You can find pdf versions on the web if you search for them and can get a Microsoft digitized version at the Univ of California Library HERE.  Did I mention FREE?

The marker drawing was done in the morning, then the truck showed up changing the view and I did a slightly different painting.  I think the drawing as a painting might have turned out better but either way the confusing detail of all those lobster traps was what I was enjoying painting.....between my flurries of swearing.

REMEMBER.  Plein Air Workshop is the last weekend in June.  Come on along.  Have some fun.