Here's a small winter painting, 8" x 10", which I started at least a year ago and never finished. I was not happy with it, but it wasn't to be just thrown away. It's a tribute to an artist's not giving up. I was tired of the painting I was working on and decided to pick this one up and finish it. It had been sitting on the floor of the studio looking neither interesting nor bad. A few hours' work of added color and added background (and foreground) and it was done. It did take as much effort to finish as I had originally put into it. This doesn't mean that I always finish everything for there are times when a short trip to the garbage can is the best option. But sometimes another long look (sometimes a year later) can make the difference.
I did this here in Chicago at a forest preserve near my home, but it is also near Superdawg -- a hot dog restaurant. It won't therefore get a Romantic title like "Winter Reverie" or something like that.
This is my final and expanded version of the painting sketch I posted previously. I tried to keep it brushy, well, I always try to do that. I think it has the immediacy of the little sketch, so I am proud of it. This is an 11 X 14" oil on canvas board. I don't know who these two guitarists are, but I am glad that I caught them at this particular moment in time with the light falling just as it did.
This is a small section of an 18" x 36" painting. I got the idea for this when I was in Iowa doing a plein air event. I was finished for the day and drove to a nearby town for dinner. Coming back, the sun was setting and just catching the ends of the buildings of this farm. It really captured my eye and I stopped and took a couple photos ---- (no, I did not do a plein air study because I knew the light was changing quickly). Since the light was failing fast, my reference came out rather dark, which made it not so easy to come up with the colors, but seen wholly it looks good. This will be an entry in the Farms & Barns show later this year I am sure.
I still have these two paintings lurking in my basement. Many artists throw away or burn their old paintings and eradicate the memory. I don't have these in plain sight, but I don't really show them to anyone either, but they are a memory of something along the path of learning and development. The first painting, a watercolor, I did when I was 16. I remember painting it in the basement of another home. I never liked the way my art teacher taught us to use watercolor, so I am surprised I even painted this. Some of my relatives encouraged me in my art, but not one (unobservant)uncle, who's comment was "You never see a sky like that". You don't if you aren't looking. The other painting I did from a drawing (or painting) in a book on Japanese and Chinese art (Epochs of Chinese and Japanese Art by Fellanosa) in 1967. I read the book and probably others and went to the Art Institute of Chicago specifically to look at their Asian art. What influence it had after that time I just don't know. I've never done any more paintings in that style, but I've done at least a hundred more watercolors.
We traveled to Door County, Wisconsin this fall. Of course for me that means doing some painting and taking some pictures for possible paintings during the winter months. (By the way......it is all of 1 degree Fahrenheit here right now.) One morning we went to a coffee shop in Ellison Bay on a morning when musicians gather to jam. I sat there for quite a while when I was taken by the look of two of the guitarists. I did this little 6" x 8" study of one of the musicians with an intention to make a larger painting. That was September, this is January.....sometimes it takes a while for a painting to percolate in the mind.
This 14" x 18" landscape is from my studies of Fire's Creek in North Carolina. While my plein air paintings are done in an hour and a half to two hours, this one is far more detailed and took me several weeks to do (interrupted by other work as well). I've been busy here at home in the studio now that the weather here has turned quite cold.
This is a 6" x 10" oil done on the spot in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. I was working on this for about 2 hours and just wasn't pleased with it. While I did sell one of my paintings in the show, I didn't put this one in. The person in the house (or a relative of) walked across the street to see what I was doing. I'm at the point of being critical of my work and not satisfied with this....although I am putting it up here for anyone to see.