Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sunday Sketch, 12x12

Port Madison...
....was once a harbor for the tall ships when they were shipping out milled lumber from the Northwest.  Now it is an upscale area of the island with little easy access.

My friend Mick and I went there on last Sunday's overcast afternoon looking for a little bit of color.  This scene was about a block and a half across the water and, while it did get back in this position several times, the boats were swinging around in the wind and tide.

We stood on a wobbly floating dock making it challenging to get down an intentional stroke of paint.  Much of what I tried to place would end swooping up like a duck's tail or get moved an inch or so in another place altogether.  For the mast lines I remember waiting and planning for just the right calm....but still they went in several times before being sort of right.

Remember I titled this a 'sketch'.

This second painting is one I found stuck in a box because I was dissatisfied with it.  It's from about seven years ago over on the Teanaway River and can see some different thinking going on and some experimentation in places.  It looks better than I thought it did at the time.

Speaking of experimentation, changing the colors on your palette can be liberating.  It makes us look and work differently, coming up with new color ideas.   I found a website that lists the palette colors of many well known artists, some historical and some current.  Some of my favorite artists are on this list which you can find HERE.

Cool Water, 12x16
Thanks for looking.  I will be back soon.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Gazebo, 12x16

A Beautiful Day....
    .......some shade and an invitation to paint.  Oh, and a free lunch on top of it.

This was a 'no-brainer' to select as a painting and so terrific a subject that I think I smiled all the way through it.  Most of it was painted with the largest brush I carry with me, about an inch and a quarter wide.  Detail was with a smaller brush but still larger than you'd think.  Just using lots of paint and the corner of the brush can make surprisingly small bits of color.

The large brushes let me simplify the bigger shapes, preventing them from being too fussy.

Marilyn, owner of the property and my new friend, enjoyed watching it come together and invited me back to paint some spectacular flowers.  I love this time of the year.

Finished with the gazebo, we ate lunch and I had time for another smaller 10x12 piece which actually gave me more fits than the larger more detailed gazebo.  This is one of those that I'll have a revelatory moment over in about six months.  I'll likely slap myself on the head realizing what small adjustments would have made it work so much better.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hidden in the Studio

Docked Up, 10x12

I'm Cleaning the Studio.
......That may not sound like ground shaking news but I swear there was a rumble under my feet just now.  In doing so I've uncovered all kinds of paintings that didn't get posted or shared.  Some I tossed aside because they missed the mark and I couldn't figure out why.  After finding them and looking with a fresh eye it took about three minutes to 'add the touches' that moved them from acceptable to downright interesting.  I'm posting a few.

Before I do, however, I know another artist who has also recently culled through his work and found some treasures.  Dan Corey, terrific painter and inspired colorist, is selling a bunch of quality paintings at ridiculously low prices.  Dan is a big shape and color person, simplifying landscape to just the essentials.  I like that.  Paintings from 12x16 to 24x30.  Over 100 paintings.!  Very much worth a look at his Facebook page HERE.
Here is just one 20x24....awesome, huh?

Back to my finds.....
The first one has hung around the studio being moved from box to box.  I threw it away at least four times and it snuck back in.  This was so easy to fix once my brain kicked in.  Just tying together the blue zig zag in the water and some branch variations.

Fallen, 10x12
Here is this one from a valley in Montana.  I didn't do anything to this one to 'doctor' it.   It's got some good things in it.  Another 10x12.

Homestead, 10x12
And a last one for today.  This is a gift for a friend who has ties to this place.  The photo is a little off color wise but you get the idea.

For a Friend, 10x12

Thanks for looking.  Be back with you in about a week....got an errand to run.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lilies, 16x20

.....I came downstairs barely awake and at the landing noticed yellow lilies blooming.  Truthfully, it was about the sixth day I had noticed them, always with the thought that 'Ya know...I should really paint those one of these days.'

Fortunately, I had been reading one of Guido Frick's posts.  (I know Guido from a long time ago at a Ron Lukas workshop and thoroughly enjoy his paintings.  His posts are HERE.)  In those posts he mentions an artist I hadn't heard of who lives fairly close down in Oregon, Sarkis Antikagian.  So I went and read his blog HERE.  Both these people are an enjoyable read because they paint out of the sheer joy of it.  Guido's take on an American community pool is also a hoot.

One of them mentions the tendency for artists to paint 'postage stamps'....you know, paintings on small canvases.  In my upcoming posts I'm showing a bunch of those small ones that I haven't posted before, but I do have to admit that I would much rather paint larger, and can do one in about the same amount of time as a smaller one.  They are just harder to lug around.

This is getting long.  Suffice to say that it was those blog words ringing in my head that made me pick up a 16x20 rather than an 8x10......and off I went to the garden.

It was freeing.  I could swing a larger brush, stand back at arms length, load up on paint and just have a good time, which I did.  The sun was barely beginning to light up the shadows and create sparkle on the leaves and petals.  After 90 minutes and a now intense light it was quitting time.

Thanks for looking.  I like sharing this wonderful struggle....

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Bitterroot Backwater in Three

Blowing It Up.....
.....is a workshop next weekend in which we will spend one day doing sketches, pencil, pen, paint or any medium that will get you the information you need, and another day making a larger work from it.

When over in Montana I did this drawing and made some notes.  The next day, sitting under a tree by our cabin I did a larger color version from those notes, from memory and from what I wanted to say and turned out this 10x12 color study which is on the right track of what I intended....but I wanted to do more with it.

A week floated by before I was able to get to another even larger version and, hopefully, make a more interesting visual statement.  This one I did sitting in our driveway back in Washington.  I have learned more about what I want to say.....and now I want to do it one more time.  I feel that it is going in the right direction but hasn't quite arrived at that magical point.

It's been stimulating to try it this way.  Before the next version I'm going to do a very abstracted color piece, trying to simplify the shapes but expand the color statement.

This is what we will be doing in the upcoming workshop, stretching our artistic wings into areas we don't usually go.  It's playing with color and form without the influence of what we are seeing at the moment and letting our minds eye have its way.

Come join the group.  Find out more and sign up at the Winslow Art Center HERE.  We always have a good time!

Thanks for looking and, if you can't make it be sure to Keep Drawing!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Drawings from Montana

Looking out at the Swan Mountains....
...while sitting on the ground drawing with Noelle the 'wonder dog' is a decent way to get an oil change.  We were in Montana for about two weeks to open the cabin, go for walks and listen to the thunderstorms on the roof.  Pretty relaxing.

I took a day to drive down south of Missoula to the Bitterroot Valley and visit my good friend Bob Phinney, one of the more talented artists I know.  After a little catch up we went out sketching.  Here are a few of mine.  I'm going to feature some of Bob's drawings in the next week or so.

Rocque's Place
Just a black pen (Sharpie extra fine), three Copic Markers, some white pens I got at Michaels and then a bit of white gouache because the white pens were running out of juice.   Beginning with a black pen on a blank sheet of paper always involves a willingness to trust that something interesting will happen.  When I'm finished, even though a drawing may have glaring things I'd change, it gives me a deep sense of satisfaction and wonder.

Did you hear that they found prehistoric art recently that is 300,000 to 500,000 years old and far surpassing in age the art from the French caves?  The urge to create imagery must be hard wired into us.  So I was wondering the other day which animals have that same urge?  Orangutans, chimps, gorillas all do, as do elephants.  They will get mesmerized just making marks.  They like music too but so does our cat.....however, she has no interest in crayons and paper except to chew.

I did one more but used it to do a color sketch and then a larger painting.  I'll post all three tomorrow or Monday.

'Blowing it Up', my workshop on turning sketches into larger paintings is next weekend.  Find out more at the Winslow Art Center HERE.

Keep Drawing!!

Thanks for looking.