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Monday, April 6, 2015

Finish one and start another


The flooded creek with a footbridge (I don't have a title yet) is finished. I spent some time on the background trees on the left and the right, the water flowing over the footbridge and the light colored tree branches at the extreme left and bottom. I've included a close-up of the area on the right of the rocks. There's a lot of thick paint and knife-work there. That kind of thing takes a lot of patience as you work on it and develop it. (Well, you need patience for all of it, I guess.) So after finishing this painting and setting it aside where I can see it for anything I might have to change, I cleaned off the palette and decided to start the next painting. I don't always have the next one decided upon, but this farm in Cambridge, Wisconsin was something I have wanted to do. It's located behind a pond, which you can just see at the bottom of the painting. No major problems with this one....meaning no rocks. The creek painting is a 20" x 24" and the farm is a 12" x 24". I took another picture of the barn and willow tree which I particularly enjoyed painting.....I liked doing everything on this one....it was a pleasure to look forward to working on this one. I did a couple small sketches after these and have just started another 20" x 24"... a street scene.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The hard stuff --- almost done with this painting


I've painted water and rocks for myself or to help students with their work and I've always thought they are hard to make look convincing. Using a combination of brushwork and knifework was the way I did the rocks in the foreground. The water still needs to be finished, especially what's flowing over the footbridge. This is a 20" x 24" oil on canvas of a creek or stream going through an area near the Georgia border in North Carolina. There is a house to the right not in the picture and the water is quite high flowing over the bridge. I had a lot of work finishing the numerous trees in the background. It's a fun painting which I look forward to working on each day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Not giving up


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.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The finished Ambush portrait


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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Setting sun, Iowa farm


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.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Secret Life of the Artist part 12


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.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Idea for a painting


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.