Monday, August 31, 2015

Peek Through, 14x18

Fort Casey and Ebey's Landing....
....are pretty much next to each other a ferry ride away over on Whidbey Island.  They are both historically foundational to the Puget Sound area and still, along with Coupeville and the local farms, form one of the more beautiful areas of the State.

I spent two days....well, a day and a half....over there with the Plein Aire Painters of Washington and the Washington Pastel Association.  Plans were shortened as I had originally planned to be there the week turning out as many paintings as I could.  My plans were changed and the paintings were limited to six.

This is the second one from the first day; below is the first.  Someone stopped by and told me that this is the second oldest house in Washington and it is Federally protected.  I spent two days there and only saw one person come to the property so I'm not sure who they are protecting it from.... but I'm behind whatever it takes to keep these old structures viable.

The wind about beat me to death but it was very nice to paint all alone.  I realized that I talk to myself while I work, mumbling away and admonishing myself when things aren't going smoothly, asking myself questions about what to do next.  About drove me crazy listening to all that drivel.

Ok.  So here is the view from the road.  A pretty cool place to spend an afternoon.

Ferry House, 11x14
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hazy Morning, 14x18

Amber color....
......and haze suffused everything.  Standing on the shore my eyes burned....but the early morning color was so unique; unworldly but yet softly beautiful.

It was from fire smoke on the other side of the Cascade mountains and, while the source is very sad, the effect on color was certainly out of the ordinary.  Normally this scene would be of deep green trees and very blue or blue green water sparkled with sun reflections.

Because little was as expected I had to do a lot of careful looking and mixing.   Curiously some parts of the scene seemed to have ramped up color saturation.  It was an interesting painting to attempt.  The abstract patterning in the water was the most fun, not only to make it look like water but to lead the viewers eye around and about.  This deserved a bigger canvas.

And I got to meet a lot of nice tourists and residents of the boats who stopped to chat.  Unusual, no one mentioned that they had an aunt who could really paint.

On another note, have you checked out John Crump yet?  I mentioned in the last post that he had a new video which I like....but I've really enjoyed all of his vids.  Yes, I feel like an art pusher....but I don't even benefit from mentioning him....except to send you some place I think you'd enjoy.  Head to the last post for the link.

Thanks for looking.  And wishing safety for the fire fighters and the people living through hell....

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Woodland Roses, 14x18

An Overcast Day.... a garden on the edge of a dark wood....and these roses were glowing.  It was fun to try and capture that effect.  Since 'stopping when you don't know what else to do' is a pretty good guide that's what I'm doing even though feeling a bit flummoxed.

I like the painting, especially the subtle hint of trees in the background...yet I feel that there is something that could make it better.  Perhaps if I wait six months it will all come clear.  You know, one of those 'the clouds are parting' ah-ha moments.

Lately I feel I've been searching for something that is elusively just beyond my awareness.  The waiting for it to surface is testing my patience....but I keep on with the belief that it's going to happen.  This sounds like an essay on fishing....

Moving on.

 John Crump (and his grandson Sam) just posted a new video that is part of a series he is doing.  John is from the small town of Glenorchy on the south island of New Zealand and is one of those painters who I find mesmerizing to watch.  His command of the canvas is impressive.

He uses big brushes on large linen panels that he paints plein air.  Juicy paint, impeccable composition, great brushwork and someone who is willing to share his extensive knowledge.  The video is available currently for download on Vimeo or through his website HERE.  You won't be disappointed.  He also has a couple of others for sale.

Additionally there is a video about him through Color in Your Life, an Australian art television program that is currently expanding to the U.S.  That video is right at the top of John's dvd page for you to watch free.

Thanks to all who venture here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Johnson Farm Cub, 12x16

Headed Home....
....from delivering a painting I noticed the sign for Johnson Farm Trust, an old farm site set aside for the public to wander around and grow things.  The late afternoon sun, a red tractor in a mostly green choice, had to paint it.  Plus, I have always wanted a Cub.

While Noelle the wonder dog slept behind me in the van I raced the lengthening shadows to pull this together.  I especially like how the background trees turned out considering how fast it was done.  The tractor took longer.  Nice evening.

Noelle thought she deserved an extra treat for putting up with she got one.  Only fair.

After drawing a box and circle for where the tractor would go, a couple of lines for the poles, a triangle for the distant shadow and a single line for the bottom of the tree line, I began painting.  First that triangle shadow to establish it's size as well as to value key the rest of the painting, then on to the tractor.  I can't remember the order of the rest except for the fun of scratching in those slender lines for the wires between poles.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Coastal Ledge, 10x12

Now That I Have.... ticket I can begin to get excited about my almost annual trip to the Maine coast....interrupted last year by going to Italy.  It's a tough life but I'm doing my best to keep up.

I love painting in Maine.  It has all kinds of quirky twists and turns and the fiberglass luxury yachts take a back seat to real working boats, net sheds, farms and towns with as much anglo history and dignity as can be found anywhere in this country.  Interesting shapes and color are everywhere.

With that in mind I thought I'd post this painting of rocks at a beach I don't remember exactly how to get to anymore.  I think I did it two years ago.  Check out those big and little shapes of color that bounce around everywhere.  Mostly variations of blues and reds except for that green ribbon weaving itself from side to side.  Immensely satisfying to me.  I wish more of my paintings had the qualities of this one.

So think of me during the last half of September working away on as many paintings and drawings as I energy for....but with a smile on my face.

Thanks for looking....

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Blue Pottery, 12x16

The First Two Were....
......boat/harbor paintings and were a bust.  Actually they didn't even make the 'bust' stage as I scraped them down at about the half way point.  Later I realized I was doing them as an intellectual exercise and not because they aroused any passion in me.....not the best way to go about it.

So, a bit bothered with myself,  I drove over to Nancy's for lunch and a glass of wine, which helped.  There were other painters there doing some fine work and eventually the bug again got to me.  Wanting to make sure that I stayed away from anything involving my brain I began to just block in color on a bare panel.  No line drawing or guidance marks, just smears of paint.

Someone took a picture near the beginning.  I like this open way of working, letting the shapes evolve into things and carving out form.  It doesn't always work but it keeps me so involved in the process that I almost don't care how it comes out.....but it actually works pretty well....and I don't think too much.

There is really only one leaf on that geranium that has much definition on it, the rest being inferred from everything else.  It's all illusion, isn't it?  Perhaps that is how we lead our lives without being especially aware of it.  Uh-oh.  Getting too close to the edge.....

But on a more important note Colin Page posted a photo on FB.  I've been thinking about this for years.  He may be pushing me to it.  I suggested he name it the 'Filbert Flyer'.   There is a flavor of Wind in the Willows here.

Colin's Floating Studio
Later.  Thanks for looking!