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.
Luckily, I have neighbors who have a vacation home in Door County. I love going to Wisconsin...the site of many of my Farms and Barns paintings. Part of the time (4 days) was spent driving, not on the main roads where the tourists go, but on the County roads in the middle of Door County where the farms are. The purpose was to take some shots of the farms in Fall colors to give me ideas for paintings during the winter months when it's too cold to paint outside......I used to do that -- when I was younger and not bothered by really cold weather.
The first painting is the meadow behind my neighbors' house. Loved the color. the next painting was done just 200 feet away....the path through the wood. They gave me a chance to show some textural effects with thick paint.
This is an oil done 6" x 12", a size I haven't done before. Easily made from a 9 x 12 panel, I thought I'd like to try a panoramic view. I painted in this same location last year, so the two paintings look similar. However this time I painted looser and thicker. In the trees at the far right I painted the sky holes through or on top of the dark color I had brushed in for the trees' leaves and limbs. The bright yellow leaves in the center were dropped on carefully. Painting time was about two hours. I stopped without noodling out the grasses in the foreground.
Yesterday I drove to Amana. Iowa to pick up my unsold plein air painting from the Fresh Paint 2014 event. Why don't certain paintings sell? This has a really nice morning sky and some lily pads. Maybe I'm the only one that appreciated that. The other is a 12" x 24" of another view of Lily Lake. I had worked for over two hours on a windy dark morning and still not finished. After dealing with the wind I was ready to stop after two hours and left it unfinished, then took a couple photographs intending to finish at home. Instead of that, I took it along with me to Amana, picked up my other painting and headed off to Lily Lake to finish the big one.