Saturday, May 31, 2014

David's Woodlot, 12x16

'That's a fanciful painting....'

.....said David, but it looked about right to me... and I had some fun painting it.  As it was mostly in shade I did have to push some colors a bit to get a good read....but 'fanciful', David?  Really?

OK.  Guilty as charged.  It's my job.

This is another I tried to paint without any medium or solvent but it was on a rough canvas, causing me to have to spend too much time and energy just getting enough paint on to be able to move it around.  I don't recommend that kind of surface....but on a smooth canvas or linen it works very well.  The last post was over an old painting which is the best.

I'm beginning to get jazzed about painting and drawing in Montisi, Italy when I take a group there in August/September.  It will be a far cry from David's pile of wood.  Come along.  We'll have a ball.  David is.

Winslow Art Center has the details.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Yin and Yang, 12x12

Little Red Sparkles.....

.....would catch my eye each time I drove past.  It was only a matter of time before another pretty face lured me in.  A whole bevy of pretty faces.

Yin and Yang.  The balance of one thing against another.  Not just the red against the green but also the trees against the sky, the roses against the trees, the foliage against the lighter water, the shadow against the soft edges against hard, detail confronting broad shape, sharp line yielding to amorphous form ....and more.

It's how a painter thinks.  At least it's how this painter thinks.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Gig Harbor Drawings

This rainy Friday morning.....

.....I found myself in Gig Harbor, a beautiful working harbor about an hour away.  Since the Marker Workshop is tomorrow I thought it would be a good opportunity to work on my chops.

My friends found a boat shed with an open end that we could draw from and I did two from there.....
.....and another from inside the wooden boat shop.  I find it so relaxing to do these but I have to admit that the first pen mark on a fresh expanse of white paper is always with some trepidation that it might not turn out.  Fortunately, I don't think that's a reason not to's only paper.

This is the kind of thing we will be doing on the trip to Montisi, least when we aren't smearing paint.   Come join us.  Visit the Winslow Art Center site for details.
Just keep drawing......

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Beach Rose, 12x12

Cannery Cove....

....was on the way home from the grocer store and I figured I had time to do a drawing or two before the rain came in.....but when I got there these wild roses reached out and seduced me to paint them.  I always fall for a pretty face.

It took more time than a drawing and when I quit after 45 minutes the drops were just beginning... but I had a good time doing it.  I changed a couple things when I got home: the hue of the water became bluer and the bush to the right became a little darker, both done to help the foreground pull closer and be better delineated.

Like the last one, this is a painting done with no solvent.  It's a great freedom not to have to use it, even for brush cleaning.  While I dirty more brushes, I also use fewer paper towels and the paint is more fun to move around.  Who knew....

There is an absolutely full Marker Workshop next weekend that I am looking forward to.  It's a terrific way to draw and experiment with your art.  Maybe between now and then I can post a few drawings.   Be well.  Keep drawing....

Friday, May 16, 2014

Montisi, Italy

What is it about doing art.... another country?  How do these places let us look at the world with a fresh eye, not only when there but for long after coming home?  I've done painting and drawing in England, China, Hong Kong (before it was China), Mexico, France, Jamaica, Canada....and if I keep typing I'll likely remember other places.

Each time I sense I've grown as a person and an artist, and that feeling hangs with me.  It's a feeling of greater personal depth, of appreciation of another culture, of finding that no matter where I go that I like the people, their food and their customs.  My fears are their fears, my joys are their joys, my family is their's just the little 'don't matter a bit' things that are different.

 I'm writing to invite you to paint and draw with me in one of the more unique places in the world, a very old hill town in Italy.  I don't know all of its long history but I do know that 'long' is the correct term, that it has suffered the wages of war over and over and rebuilt itself each time.  In WWII it was almost leveled, the population decimated, becoming close to a ghost town.  Yet here it is again redefining itself as a place for the arts and artists.  How could I not want to go and experience that kind of persistent spirit.  It must breath out of the bricks and stone.

Here are some more pictures and, if you are interested, you can go the Winslow Art Center website and investigate further.  Martha Jordan would be happy to answer any of your questions by mail, email or phone.  Ciao! (see how good I'm getting?) 

Most of these photos were taken by one of Martha's daughters who drove over to Montisi for the day.  Seeing these makes me just want to sink into the flavor of this place.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Nancy's Chickens, 12x16

When the sun shines in the Pacific Northwest.....

.....and someone invites you over to paint, is there really a choice?  So off I went to paint with Nancy and Gigi.  Today was obviously an adventure into how many greens I could think up.  Perhaps I had a few more in the quiver but this went through a lot of them.

This was also an adventure into painting without solvent or brush cleaner of any kind.  Usually I thin the paint slightly to mass in the major shapes but I thought I would try doing without any at all, even for cleaning, to see the result.  It took about 6 brushes but that's not too many more than I usually use.

I read on a blog recently, Lori Putnam's I believe, that she travels with just Gamblin's Non Solvent-based Gel Medium and uses that for brush cleaning.  After today's painting I can see how that is easily possible.

According to the grape vine people are signing up for the Italy trip.  What a great time that will be.  Tomorrow I'm going to post some pics of the town and area and you will see what an enticing place it is.  Of course, you could also go to the website of the Winslow Art Center and scroll through yourself.


Oh Wait!
Here are some progress shots that my friend Nancy took. 
That's Bella at my feet.

Look closely and you can see the unopened can of solvent.

 Ciao....again.....I think my Italian is getting better.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spring Runoff, One and Two

Field Version and Studio Version.....

......can you tell which is which?  The one from the field is 12"x12" and was painted standing on the only vantage point I could get, a slanted rock that I was half falling off of.  The studio version is 20"x20" and was painted from the study in my friend Tannis's home studio on a day that was too wet to be outside.

I like them both and found the grays intriguing to mix.....but there are parts of each I like better than the same parts on the other.  This art thing drives me's so elusive and complex.

But maybe that's why we keep trying.  I talked to an artist friend recently who had decided to quit, hang up the brushes, throw in the paper towels.  We didn't get through even one cup of coffee before he realized even quitting was a lost cause.  The art thing finds you, you don't find it.  He could no more quit than stop breathing.

Here is the other one.....the field study.  Which do you like better?  Tell me, I'd like to know.

The energy is building for the Painting and Drawing Trip to Tuscany!  The hill town we are going to looks to be a superb place to do art.  Martha at the Winslow Art Center can answer all your questions.  Don't miss this!  Imagine painting for a while, relaxing for a while, eating Italian food for a while......sounds good to me.