Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Neck and Neck, 10x12

"Time flies when you're having fun"......

From that I can only conclude that this past year I have been having a blast of a good time.  I'm in for that and more.  Good to have that feedback.  (Here's a study on it!)

Going through my end of the year 'toss 'em out' party I've been running across paintings I never got around to posting.  This is from one of my favorite places, Rockland, Maine, home of the Wyeth Museum, great fish and chips, thousands of boats and pretty nice people.  To be fair, I need to also throw in Camden, Rockport and about a hundred other little coastal towns.  Beautiful places.

This is the last post of 2013....  It was painted on a September evening in the company of Dan Corey.  He has a nice video on his blog of painting a snowman.  Worth a watch.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Best to You, 16x20


Wherever you are....

....in this tiny world, may life be kind and generous to you and your family.  While we may seem far away from each other, a little money and a little time is all it would take for us to be face to face, greeting one another.  So I greet you now and hope the best and most peaceful fulfilling times for us all.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Emma, 18x24

Demonstration paintings....

...are surprisingly fun to do.  Painting 'Emma' was stressful, time and performance pressured and immersing, but because she was such a great first time model we both had a good time.  She was so helpful and attentive I'm giving her the painting.

I had volunteered to do a demo for my class thinking that, because it was mostly interpreting and painting landscapes from photographic reference, that they would like to see me do a landscape....or at least a still life.  But 'portrait' was the vote.

The people there took photos of the process and perhaps if some one of them could forward a few pics of the process I'll post them later.  In lieu of that, here is a closeup.  The demo took a bit more than two hours but that included model breaks and a bit of talking and explaining.

Painting classes begin again the last week of January at the Winslow Art Center.  I'll also be teaching a Marker Workshop in early February....plus some other courses.  Come join us....we have a lot of fun.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Emile Gruppe Is My Friend

We all have our 'turning points'....

....and one of mine was reading the book 'Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green'.  That was awhile ago but I think you can still find it on Amazon.  Worth your time.

Reading that book and its insights on color led me eventually to Emile Gruppe's books and paintings.  Most of his life he used a simple palette of colors consisting of a warm and cool version of each of the primaries....plus orange.  Seven colors.  Simple.

So for the last many years that's pretty much all I've used.  Occasionally I'll cycle in some different hues to see what they do or I'll squeeze out a color that might work for a particular painting...but the foundation is always that simple Gruppe palette.

With a warm and a cool of each primary it takes little effort to get nice color vibrations going.  In 'Island Farm' it is easy to find warm and cool yellows, reds and blues sitting next to each other and creating the kind of visual stimulus that keeps a viewing eye interested.

Of course it takes more than just color to make a good painting but fluid and related color mixing sure helps.

From that limited palette I can make most any hue but I do add some other colors just to play and see what they will do.  Currently I'm experimenting with Burnt Carmine and Kings Blue Light.  The Burnt Carmine is getting a workout but the KBL is pretty much sitting there and drying out.

Oh.  My palette?  Cadmium Lemon Yellow,  Cad Yellow Medium, Cad Red Light, Quinacridone Red, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Thalo Blue.  Occasional hues: Raw Umber, Ivory Black, Thalo Green, Yellow Ochre Light.

The Roby-King Miniature Show begins tonight during the Friday Artwalk.  I'll be there.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blakely Breakwater, 8x10

Blakely Harbor, Bainbridge Island....

....was once the site of the largest sawmill in the world, and the largest town on the island.  The harbor was lined with boardwalks and filled with tall masted sailing vessels of all types.  Now it is a sleepy place with a few homes along the edges.

Walking in through the woods this is what you see.  I don't know if it is really a 'breakwater' or just the foundation from an old bridge that connected the two sides of the harbor....or maybe something else.

What my eyes saw was all I needed to know about it when I decided to stop and paint.  Just cool and warm shapes, a few reflections and the occasional Fall leaf floating on the surface.  It took me a while to see the right color for the water behind the rocks.  My 'head' said it was dark green or blue but finally my eyes opened up to the deep reddish coloration.  The painting wasn't successful until I figured that out and stopped being a 'timid painter'.

Noelle was finally happy too as she thought I had taken 'waaay tooo looong' to paint this.  Those are her words, not mine.  In one small spot there are only so many things a dog can smell.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bloedel Pathway, 11x14

The Bloedel Reserve...

....is one of those Northwest treasures.  I call it the Downton Abbey of Bainbridge.  Once a private estate it has been generously preserved as a botanical and wildlife reserve open to the public.

Since I just broke for a membership you might be seeing a few paintings from there in the near future.  This was done about a week ago.  It is deep in the forest and I was initially interested in the little waterway....but just after beginning the sun found its way through and everything else became secondary.  I jotted down the color notes just in that area and was glad I did as within ten minutes it was gone.  The rest of the painting followed that lead. 

I'm happy with it as I think the eye moves around the painting the way it felt when I was standing there and the colors are interesting.  I'm also playing a bit with atmospheric perspective.  It shows up in the subdued background.  You can see the painting at the miniature show at Roby-King Gallery during the month of December.