As I have said before, when you are an artist you can do anything. When I left the Navy I felt I could do anything in the world. Man is my head growing big! Anyhow, just kidding, .....but this time at the John C. Campbell Folk School I was part of the Longbow making class taught by Tom Turgeon. I had not ever made a bow (okay, I tried once when I was a kid) and only shot arrows when I was a teenager. We were given a glued up blank consisting of Yellowheart and a layer of Bamboo ready to be filed and sanded into the correct shape. It takes a lot of filing and sanding skill to work your way around this bow (expect a day and a half). Since I've done wood carving and other wood related projects I felt quite comfortable. Tom Turgeon is an absolutely outstanding teacher...always open to questions and redoing a demo so you get your work correct. After a day and a half of filing and sanding, we were ready to shoot outside the woodworking shop at JCCFS. After that we concentrated on getting a nice color using dyes and then doing a polyurethane finish after the dyes were dry. So......where's the painting connection? We used dyes to get the color on the bow...only a few color choices so it helps to know about mixing colors. A little different than using paint in that the dyes dry very dark, but the polyurethane varnish brings back the color. Tom teaches the class all around the country, many in his home state of Utah. Great class.....you're an artist?.....you can do it. (By the way...that's yours truly traveling with classmates and our bows on the campus at John C. Campbell.)
This is a 11" X 14" oil on linen. The location for this is somewhere near Cambridge, Wisconsin along one of Wisconsin's "Rustic Roads". Usually the Rustic Roads take you through farm country on two lane roads and there are often very nice farm scenes. Though they are nice, there really isn't any possiblity of pulling off the road for plein air painting...no room. In fact I have done several works from references taken along a ride down the road. I read a book recently about a cowboy working on a farm out west...Wyoming...and he wrote that farmers and ranchers usually steer the cattle away from ponds like this and prefer to have access to water tanks for the animals. Apparently you risk the animals getting into a mess and into some contaminated water if you let them drink out of the pond. That said, this was a really nice scene which attracted my attention with the color and composition. And here's another thought....once I have set myself up for a shot, that's pretty much the composition I will use when I paint the scene.