Thursday, March 27, 2008

Winter's almost over

I was painting indoors on this day last week (I think it was Thursday) in the studio and took these two pictures of the beautiful snowfall. I was working away and finally took time for a break. It was quite dark that day. You can see the snow falling if you look closely. I went out the next day when the sun was shining for more really nice pictures as well at a forest preserve a few miles away.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Snowfall, Brasstown, North Carolina

This is a small (5 X 7") pastel done for a friend. While I was in North Carolina in late February there was a rare snowfall. Being from the Midwest, I had just left dirty snow and treacherous ice behind, so I was not all that excited. The locals however were enchanted. I must admit that it was indeed rather enchanting to see these beautiful mountains and trees with a sparkling clean snowcover. So I forgot about the past and felt inspired by the present and gave it all a new eye. I have found that these pastels don't look as good on the computer as they look in person. Recently I have sent some images to a gallery and others to enter some shows and I find myself unimpressed by the look of my pastels. Enlarged, they look all scratchy. I don't have that with my oils. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and I will show you the originals. What I like about doing these landscapes in pastel and in oil is the textures of background over the sky and foreground trees over the rest and trying to get the color intensity right. That's why we paint.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

New and old

Flipping through some things in my studio, I found my old folder of life drawings and decided to look through them. I've been doing a bit of figure and portrait painting lately and enjoyed looking at this charcoal of one of the models, Nancy, who actually went on to be in a movie -- Jackson County Jail and a few other B movies. The little farm painting is a small pastel, about 5 X 7". Nancy had a short career in the movies and a short careeer as a model. As you can see, the old barn in the pastel has had a very long career.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pastels and Oils

I've loaded 6 images -- two each of the same subject; one in oil and the other in pastel. While I was taking a painting class at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina I painted three paintings of subjects I had done previously in pastel. All of the pastels are about 6 X 9 inches. The Scene of the river in Cody, Wyoming I painted 18 X 24. The red barn and white house painting was done 12 X 24 and the house in the woods I painted 11 X 14; both subjects of southern Wisconsin. As I look at them, I see the differences, the different motivation and the different aspects of each that appealed to me in different ways. It was just interesting doing them in oil, how the media and how the size difference affects how you work. I have one rather blurry picture (the Cody, WY pastel) to apologize for -- I'm using a different camera and I'm still suffering the effects of the computer crash that has taken away my favorite picture software.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Russell Square, London

This is a pastel (about 8" X 10") on sanded paper of Russell Square in London. It's a short walk from the tube stop and across the street from the British Museum. Just east is a great bookshop. The red color you see in the center is a tea shop. To the north is an Indian restaurant. Obviously, an incredible place. You will see children at play here, people rushing about their daily work and tourists like me stopping for a cup of tea. This was in November, so the trees had lost their leaves yet there were things still in flower. I have just returned from North Carolina where I took a painting course at the John C. Campbell Folk School. It was quite a drive (12 hours), some of it through winding mountain highways, but very nice.