Monday, September 24, 2007

More from Cody, WY

The photo was taken of the Open Box M location -- Coletta's home. The painting of the haystacks was right across the road. The river painting was about a mile from there -- both 8 X 10s. There is all kind of nice scenery (fantastic scenery, I should say) to paint around Cody (why do I live here in the Midwest?). More than a week has gone by and I still have not gotten back to painting -- oils that is. I did go to my watercolor class, but that was rather uneventful as I just did not like what I did. I came home and got right to work again -- book indexing and a host of other things to catch up on while I was gone. I still have the dust from Cody on my unwashed car. Maybe I'll leave it there until I get painting again. People (non-artists) always ask how it was being there at a workshop and of course it's always hard to answer that. So much is taken in subliminally and may not show up in the few paintings one does at the workshop. I did about two per day, hardly enough to process everything. Anyway, I'm feeling awfully guilty not taking the easel out, but next week should be my opportunity to get the easel outside and painting again. It's not always as cranking out so many widgets per hour. Painting is a fun and funny occupation -- always a great time.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Plein air workshop in Cody, Wyoming

Last week I drove 1300 miles west to Cody, Wyoming for the weeklong plein air workshop with Frank Serrano (pictured). As I drove through South Dakota at night an odd sound, there were so many bugs hitting my windshield and the hood of my car it sounded like rain. The ride through the Big Horn mountains just south and east of Cody was a little scary: the clouds were low and it was like driving through fog with the temperature 20 degrees colder than the surrounding area. I arrived at Open Box M, which hosted the event (makers of pochade boxes) early on Monday and met Frank there. He's articulate and knowledgeable on plein air painting and a very nice guy. Our first location is pictured and Frank began a demonstration at about 9 o'clock with a temperature of 39 degrees and very windy. His hand was cold and the pochade box was shaking, but he turned out a nice painting and then we began. The temperature rose and the rest of the week was a lot nicer. I painted with eight other people who had a great time. It's always great to meet other artists who are enthusiastic about their work. Open Box M provides the lunch --- a great lunch, definately worth the price of the workshop. Coletta also provides baked goods and coffee at 8 am. I will post a few other paintings from the workshop later. As I drove home and got turned around trying to find the correct highway entrance, I did a sharp left turn and my paint box scraped across a wet painting (a painting that Frank looked at and said: "That's your best one so far."-- so I have a correction to do. A great experience for me -- give Open Box M a look -- they are done for this year and will have another couple months of workshops next year. At one point on the last day I was standing on a narrow bridge painting a river scene before me and was so excited about being out there painting as the river ran below me I thought I was hyperventilating -- I had an excellent time in Cody.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Wisconsin sunflowers

This time of year the sunflowers are harvested in Wisconsin. It's just an incredible sight traveling down a road and coming upon a field of these flowers. I'm told that most of the harvest is used for feed to birds rather than humans. I've heard that most of the corn that's grown goes to animal consumption and not human also. I've included one of the shots I took of a Kewaunee, Wisconsin farm and two of my pastels -- both 5" X 7"s. These two were both done fast -- in a couple hours and not fussed over.

Next week I am headed for Cody, Wyoming. I will be driving there for a plein air painting workshop with Frank Serrano (you can check out his work on one of my links), a California artist. About a year ago I was looking at another artist's blog and came across Frank Serrano's work. I liked his work and saw he had a workshop in Cody and that started a whole thing for me -- about being there a long time ago. I was in Cody the summer after I left art school, painting in the mountains with a buddy from art school. I left town with $200.00 and came back with about $3.00. We did all this without a cell phone or a credit card. Looking back on it, I must have been nuts. Anyway, it all worked out. I painted in Jackson, Wyoming mostly and only traveled through Cody. After all this time I am going back looking forward to painting there and meeting Frank Serrano. I will post photos when I return -- and hopefully some paintings. I'll be stretching some linen this week. This will be fun.