Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Two months and counting

These are two images from the same painting. I've been working on this one for quite a while. The canvas is 36" X 48" which is a lot larger than I'm used to working. I was passing this scene last fall on a dark and drizzly day in southern Wisconsin along a road I often travel -- route 12 south out of Cambridge, Wisconsin -- great bakery there!! This is a bog marsh -- how I learned that I don't remember, but as I passed it at 55 mph I thought immediately that it looked really great and might make a nice painting. Even though I was in a hurry to get home, I hit the brakes, turned around and took in the scene from several angles. The top image is the bottom right of my canvas and the second one is the top left. Why would I work this large????? Well, number one -- the canvas was free. After that come other reasons, like, I wanted to explore doing something I don't enjoy -- noodling out grasses. I'm not making it photographic -- I'm going after a painterly style in doing them. The major size focal point tree is in the center left, which I haven't anywhere near finished. Another reason -- looking at some of Clyde Aspevig's work, which I really liked. So from here I am just going to work on coherence -- making the look of the foreground and background agree. Since it's a studio painting I'll be working on making it look like it was done outdoors -- not easy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Farm near Rochester, WI

Somehow or another fall and winter have become my favorite time of year. I don't enjoy painting in the heat of summer, so the cool of fall and the gray colors appeal to me. I travel around in the late fall looking for this very type of thing even though I find it challenging to paint. Believe me, all those fine limbs and grasses are enough to try anyone's patience to the limit. This is a detail of a pastel which I knocked off while teaching a class. While the student paints and I offer assistance, I have time to work on one of these. I wonder if the state of Wisconsin is aware that I am their unofficial artist/historian of farm life in their state? My grandfather started a farm in Oregon in 1912, but was not able to make a go of it (a short but sad story). I never had the good fortune to grow up and live on a farm or ranch, but I did grow up watching all the Western movies and TV shows back in the 1950s and 1960s. Earlier this year I was juried in as a member of the Oil Painters of America and recently I sent in an application to become a member and enter the show of the American Plains Artists. Here's two instances where my western and farm paintings have led me into membership in groups that otherwise I might not have been involved in. I have to be careful or I will belong to more groups than I can afford.