Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blue Hydrangea, 18x20

As I should be packing for Italy....

.....this should be short and to the point.....or I'll get there without any clothes.  Paint supplies but no clothes.

It was painted last Friday, I think, at my friend Tannis' home.  She had a wonderful grouping of hydrangea and I wanted to do them all but I compromised.  The point of this whole piece is that one small blue flower stealing the limelight (literally) from the other blooms.  It was like this but I worked to make it more interesting than it was.

'Overstate, understate, but never tell the truth'  Charles Movalli

This next is a quick study done two days ago.  Nancy always feeds me when I go over so when other painters say they are  gathering at her house I have to 'stop by'.....for lunch.

I did it without sketching anything out ahead of time but if you go back a couple of blog posts you will see a drawing I did of the same scene.  It was still in my head.

I'll try and post from Italy.....but who knows if I actually can.  Later.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Travel Pochade

So many questions.....

.....after Kelsey posted a pic of this thing on I thought I'd share a few details to answer the queries.

Yes, I made it.....because the one I wanted to order from Ben Haggett in Missoula wasn't going to be available in time for the Italy trip.  In my spare time (chuckle) I whacked this together.  I've done others so a few of the ideas I swiped from my previous boxes.

This one is 11x14 inches with a 9.5 by 13 mixing area.  I like a tripod shelf and wanted some extra mixing space, but also wanted it to be light weight and thin.  This is 2" thick and the shelf and thumb palette nest together in the back.  A bungee loops on the one projecting knob and around the box to hold everything together.

The hinges are adjustable so they can hold the lid with the panel support in place when painting.  Just open the box and paint.  For larger panels (it will take an 18x whatever in landscape mode) I may add an additional support.....or just use a more robust easel.

I also wanted a way to video, both regular and time lapse, without having to lug an extra tripod.  Stealing an idea from James Gurney, I made a detachable iPhone holder over in the corner.  I haven't had a chance to use it on a painting yet but will post a video as soon as I do.  Italy will likely be my first chance to do that.

It weighs 3.5 pounds, is made of oak and baltic birch panel material and coated with one of my painting mediums of linseed oil, damar varnish and dryer.  The tripod is a Manfrotto lightweight version.  I've used my heavier 8x10 Openbox M pochade on it and it has worked fine for years.

So there you go.  I'll let you know how it works...but, no, I don't make them for sale.  Build your own or exchange a painting with someone who can.

Speaking of James Gurney, if you haven't gone to his blog you are missing something great.  He is now doing stop action animations that are amazingly creative and fun.  Gurney Journey   Do it......

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ann's Farm, 18x20

I have admired this farm for many years....

.....but never stopped to paint until last week.
  The cows were out in the field wandering around, admiring or supervising I was never quite sure.

Backlit scenes are one of my favorite views to paint, called 'contre jour' I think.....into the light.  It is a bit blinding to look into the sun, especially on a hot day, but well worth the trouble for the colors that show up.

This was composed to include as much of the light and color on the field as I could.  I liked the barn silhouetted against those dark trees....but it was the field the shadow patterns that really got me excited.

If I did it again I think I'd crop out the top third of the barn to get in more of the field.  It would be interesting to try.

Rather like this one.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Marrowstone Morning, 10x12

First I saw the trees....

....silhouetted against the sky and decided to paint.  Then I got even more interested in the puzzle pieces in the sky and land that tended to mimic one another.

The trees are still the main actor but all those in the supporting cast are sure busy.  That distant hill and the trees are the calm parts.  The rest of the painting has 'ants in the pants'.

Like so often happens, I had a tendency to unconsciously 'organize' the scene, not paying attention to the necessary randomness needed to make it 'right'.  As a result, it got wiped out several times before calling it finished.

Warm and cool, warm and cool.....

Say.  I think I just saw a crocodile....see him?