Saturday, January 27, 2007

January 27 - Sunset Color Study

A quick color study to capture the light of an evening's sunset, reinforcing the arrangement of values to make a believable scene in two dimensions. The sunset tonight wasn't as spectacular, but we do have gray skies--hopefully some rain in the forecast. And I woke up this morning discovering some muscles I hadn't used in a while being quite sore from yesterday's ride. The mare was mighty quiet today, too! 5 x 5 Acrylic for $100

Friday, January 26, 2007

January 26 - Riding the Rough Country (on Horseback)

What a day today! The day was so incredibly different for me I just had to paint it. Behind our studio is the large mountain called Box Springs. Most of it is a regional park, and it separates the cities of Riverside and Moreno Valley. Today riding buddies Ed Wetter and Don Kobs met me (with Raindance) at the trailhead for this park in Moreno Valley. We were doing what's called a "pre-ride" for the riding club I belong to. The ride took over five hours, up and down some incredibly steep trails that are mostly used by the wild burros. We were in areas of the mountain that didn't really have trails. My plucky little mare led us up a few white-knuckle "non-trails" in our attempt to circumvent a newly installed fenceline. The painting shows us high above the city of Moreno Valley, heading up a ridge as we try to find a trail connection. I'll remember THIS day for a long time! 5 x 5 Acrylic for $100

Thursday, January 25, 2007

January 25 - Shiva Paint Tube. Do You Remember These?

On to something simple, yet truly representative of the artist's life--what better to do than the design and color of a tube of paint? I realy like the way the tail of the tube curls up, and gets that blue flash of color. These Shiva paints have been with me for over two decades. I used to like several of their colors, especially ice blue. I used to buy them from the old Standard Brands--the only art supply store around at the time! 5 x 5 Oil for $100

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

January 24 - The Puzzles is SOLVED!! 12 x 16 Oil

What a surprise to receive SO many email suggestions about what to do with the painting! I sent all the quotes out to the list, and hope that many will come to see the end result. Elin, you lost the horse? Yes, but there's a reason--on location, there was no horse. I imagineered him into the scene, and never felt comfortable with the end result. I loved the gate, which also was not open when I painted it. So the solution was to partially open the gate (the horse left, of course) and create a pathway and a brighter field beyond the opening. I added brighter, more pure hues to the area where the center of interest lies, and "rebuilt" the wall on the left. Adding the large oak tree was a natural extension of the concept, creating shadowed areas on this side of the wall, and also metaphorically hiding the unknown future beyond the gate. It looks good from here. 12 x 16 oil, $250.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

January 23 - Puzzles for You to Solve

Here's a bit of a pickle for your entertainment today! This is an on-location painting that I started over a year ago, and found while looking for another piece that had been bought. This 12 x 16 inch oil has some really nice things going on in it, and some unfinished areas (like the palomino horse) that still need work. I know what I'm going to do to finish this piece, and I'm wondering if you have some ideas as to what I've decided to do, and more importantly...WHY. If you'll write back, I'll compile a list of suggestions to go out in tomorrow's email with the finished painting. So please share in your thinking about what YOU would do if this was one you needed to finish up.

Monday, January 22, 2007

January 22 - A Slice of Life

How did it get to be after midnight? I was just reading this National Geographic and now it's after the witching hour. Ah well, the painting today went swiftly--finding some improvement on an "oldie but goodie" that has been sitting on the shelf, reminding me of a wallflower at a dance. Now she has on her party dress and is ready to go out for the night! 
A before image (the smaller one) shows you how the values were too close and mid-range, plus there was no "oomph" in the color to keep the viewer interested. The lack of strong value structure makes for a weak, confused painting. We don't want confused! So by repainting a good deal of the background, I was able to calm down the chaos and help you focus on the flowers. If I can, I will continue to improve the flowers in another pass. This is a 16 x 12 inch oil.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

January 21 - Sunlight through the Clouds Painting

Another plein air painting, this time a 7 x 5 inch oil, and I really, really like this one. Why? Because it is one type of lighting I have been trying to "get" ever since I discovered it while painting on the Santa Rosa Plateau many years ago. Here's an experiment for you--af the sun is heading well toward the horizon today, take a moment and look toward it. (Not into the sun--bad for your eyes, and I don't want anyone without eyeballs!) Then turn yourself 90 degrees and look in that direction. Then look back at the setting sun. Do you notice anything different? How about colors? As your eye moves away from where the sun is setting, you'll start to see more colors in objects. Looking toward the sun, you get almost a black and white image! Amazing.
So today's little gem is how I FINALLY captured that light! OK, so all I had to do was paint grays. Big deal. Definitely a big deal when it has eluded you for years! And of course you can see the paint on this one, too! Oops, forgot to sign it.!