Saturday, April 27, 2019

Spring, 10x12 and 11x14

These were painted about a week apart in response to having the Spring colors begin to show, the winter colors quickly fading.

There is such vibrance in the landscape as the greens start to poke through, and even the winter colors seem more intense and vital before that green appears.  My intention is always to spend every day exploring and painting the landscape but the reality of Spring is also that there is a lot that needs doing.  There never is enough time or energy for all of it.

'At the Head of the Harbor' (top) is 10x12 and 'Port Blakely Spring' is 11x14.   This second one was interesting for the challenge in all the doo-dads of the ground litter.  The only way I found to make it work was to eliminate about seventy-five percent of the stuff, just hinting at what was on the forest floor.  Hopefully the viewer fills in the 'stuff' from their own experience in a forest.

Maybe I'll go back again and explore the changes and colors...tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy.  That would be interesting.

I'll be back.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

What I Don't Understand Is This.....

After the Party, 20x24 plein air
 So There are a Lot of Things....
......I don't understand, but today's 'stumper' is one I've heard other artists mention.  It's this:  How are there days when absolutely nothing works (and it may go on for a week or more) and other days when the whole painting process is easy and satisfying with half the work?

Last Thursday was one of those days.  In the morning I painted the portrait below.  In the afternoon, after a great 'Nancy lunch' (picture the French countryside with a table set outdoors, wine, fresh home made soup, music and more, plus great art friends laughing and clowning around).  We all began clearing the table but I shouted 'Stop!', ran to the car for a larger panel and painted.  Others drew.

After about 90 minutes I had to leave but had gotten most of this finished.  It was easy.  There was no painting angst.  Like the portrait of the morning, my hand just took over and did it.  It felt like I was just an involved spectator.

So how does that happen?  And why can't I do that every day?  Is it some sort of mind set or did the leaves in my tea suddenly align?  I'm thinking that, when it happens, I've been able to get out of my own way, not tripping over my own artistic feet.  I just want to know the mental trickery to have it happen more often.

If you are an artist or musician, do you also have those kinds of days?

This is my friend Alec the Model Maker.  He works with architects, creating scale models of their buildings so clients can get a better feel for the structures.  He is an artist in his own right.  We are going to do a larger painting inside his shop while he works on his models.

Thanks for Looking.

I'll be back.... and don't forget!  Marker Drawing workshop on May 18th!  Go to the Winslow Art Center to sign up.

Friday, April 19, 2019

CB's Nuts and Using a 'Ruler'

Marker Workshop coming up.  Check it out below.

When Doing a Complicated Drawing.....
......I will often find a 'Ruler' to help simplify the process.

 My 'Ruler' is something I find in the scene that I can use as an anchor and guide to make things much easier to draw accurately.  This one was done at a peanut roaster in the area, CB's Nuts.

I first decide what the most difficult thing will be to draw, in this case the bicycle.  The first line, however, was the track the garage door runs in.  The placement of this line is done by visualizing on the page what the resulting drawing will look like and then putting it down with some care.  If you look closely at the bicycle you'll see where the line goes through the hand grip and handle bars and lower down through the frame.  Likely, without my pointing it out you didn't see it because subsequent lines and value tones make those 'errors' unnoticeable.

Then came the outside railing and the bicycle.  From that point it was much easier to line up all the other objects by seeing how they compared to the bicycle.  Where exactly was that table top?  Even with the bell on the handle bars.  Where is that scale?  Directly above the axle of the front wheel.

In "Eric's RV Service" I couldn't readily find a 'ruler'.

Instead, I made the shapes a kind of stand in for a 'ruler'.  I began with the hill in the background and the square front of the old RV sitting in the upper right corner of the drawing.  Then, the fence was used  to get over to the dark bush and house.  Once sketched in that whole section became the way to 'hang' the stuff closer to me.  It made it all easier.

I will be having a one day Marker Workshop at the Winslow Art Center on May 18th, 2019.  We have a lot of fun and learn a ton.  Your drawing confidence will greatly improve once you realize that you can create convincing forms quickly and easily even if the drawing is wonky.  I could easily point out some wonkiness in these two pieces but I find that those things disappear within the cumulative effect.

Anyway, give it a try.  You'll enjoy the process using a minimum of materials.  Click HERE to check it out.

I'll be back.  Thanks for looking.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

On Not Being Able to Draw

'Checkstand #4'

Every So Often I Get in a Total Artistic Funk.....
.....convincing myself that I've forgotten everything I might have known about painting or drawing.  It starts as a small voice but after a week or so of not doing any art it's pretty much a full out of tune chorus.

On one of those 'funk weeks' I began a Tuesday morning by having breakfast at Whole Foods.  The table I was at was maybe 15 feet from this checkout and after mentally battling the out of tune chorus for as long as I could stand I pulled out the pens and did this quick sketch.

I began with what I felt was the hardest part, the checkout person, looking for something I could visually grab on to.  That 'V' right behind her head where her pony tail was tied was the spot.  After all, anyone can draw a 'V'.  Then the top of her head and down her bangs, then on to the pony tail itself.....and I can't tell you what came next.

Ok, says the chorus, now reduced to a duet, but 'you just got lucky'.  So, for a slap down on the duet,  on the ferry to home I did these two charmers.

The naysayers have now been quiet for a bit so I can finally announce a Marker Workshop coming up on May 18th, 2019 at the Winslow Art Center.  Check it out HERE.

This is a painless one day class that will increase your feelings of artistic accomplishment as well as give you the skills to find sketching both faster and more enjoyable.  Marker Drawing greatly improved all my art after I stumbled on to this technique that uses just a pen and three toned markers.

Hope to see you there.  You get a Free Stress Reducing Sketchbook.  Did I say 'FREE'?

I'll be back with some more drawings.

Thanks for looking.