Saturday, March 24, 2007

March 24 - The Pastoral Painting Continues

As you can see, this painting is all about the grays! As I move across the surface, I continue to combine mixes of ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, burnt umber, thalo green, yellow ochre and white to fill in the canvas areas that are distant and cool. I paint the near cow with some more of these mixes, and they are thin enough to be underpainted areas. As I paint, I am always mindful of contrasting areas, where the light area of a cow will be against a darker passage of foliage. And so the painting continues! 11 x 14 oil.

Friday, March 23, 2007

March 23 - How Now Black and Brown Cow? (Oil Lesson, 11 x 14)

Busy day today, getting ready for the get together tomorrow for plein air artists in Riverside to meet Betty Billups and her work here. She's been working prepping the many canvases that will be her four foot by 16 foot plein air mural next week, and I have been catching up on my bookkeeping and taxes. So tonight I started an 11 x 14 oil of a very pastoral scene--which will be focusing on grays. The color scheme will be complimentary purple and yellow green, and the value balance will be midtones. I'm looking forward to how this one will turn out! There will be some plein air painting in between the start and finish... the weather has been fantastic for the last few days--into the low 70s and breezy--perfect for on location painting!
My art instruction DVDs are here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

March 22 - Betty's Here

Betty Billups arrived this afternoon, and I had my eye on the skies all day, looking at the clouds. I did this because her mural commission up at Mt. San Antonion College is supposed to be with clouds over the San Gabriel mountains. I guess I got a few of them in my head, because when I came in to paint tonight, this 7 x 5 acrylic just FELL off my brush. We've had a great time talking and going out to dinner, and I'm so looking forward to the next few days.
This little painting is available for $100 from my ebay store listing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

March 21 - Jake Finished, 12 x 16 oil commission

A good day in the studio! I finished up Jake, the Beagle mix for my friend in Georgia, and have received the approval for it. I bet you didn't notice the halo suggested in the space above his mischieveious head, eh? He was truly a character, and it was my hope that I could paint him to life for the viewer.
I'm going to have an artist friend visit me this week, Betty Billups is coming in after driving around the Southwest plein air painting and gallery shopping/visiting. During these colder, snowy months, she comes out of Idaho and either goes on painting trips, or visits the galleries carrying her work. We met during a plein air event in Chico a couple years ago, and have enjoyed a vibrant friendship ever since. This will be her first visit to the new studio, and I can hardly wait to share it with her. BJ is the one who taught me that getting up before the roosters and first light was worthwhile, since you could paint the true dawn on location. She's a signature member of the Plein Air Painters of America and a dedicated artist. We'll have loads of fun painting together this week!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

March 20 - Jake, Oil Commission in Process

I've started to add the color fields to the painting of the dog, creating some light and dark patches both on his body and also on the grasses behind and beneath him. At this stage, I don't worry too much about proportions--yes, I know his head is too big and his rear end is too small--because I'll make those changes as I progress. Earlier I wrote to another collector that my painting process is akin to sculpting in that I find the form and accuracy by removing and adding parts, reshaping the shapes that make up the animal. No careful preliminary drawing is part of my routine!
I think it gives the work I do more of a "hand made" look, which, along with the brushy brush work, pleases me greatly.
Complete blog here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

March 19 - Jake, Commission for a Friend

This commission painting will develop as a lesson painting, for I want to share with you how involved I tend to get when painting for people who have loved and lost their animal friends."Jake" was a friend and companion to my friend Fay in Georgia, and went missing last year. Not much can tear at the heart of a dog lover than the thought of losing a beloved pet, and not knowing the end of the story. My first dog when I got out on my own was a Beagle mix like Jake, and when I went overseas, I asked my sister to keep him for me, as I couldn't take him with me. Living with her wasn't the best match, and she took him to the pound and didn't tell me. By the time it came out, too much time had passed, and I couldn't find him. So I know that pain of losing and not knowing. When Fay told me about Jake, and how special he was, I knew I'd have to paint him.
So this is the first pass, sketch in oils, on a 12 x 16 canvas. I am so connected to this one already--getting leaky eyes as I do it, for the memories it invokes. Thank you, Fay, for the opportunity to do this.
And now my current dog is asking me to take her for the "night walkies", so I'll sign off.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March 18 - Black Angus Cross - Power on the Hoof, 8 x 10 Acrylic

Taking a small moment away from two commissions that need my attention, I brought out the acrylics again for this 8 x 10 of one of the cows on the Grapevine Canyon Ranch. I really liked the palette knife work on yesterday's Peony, so I wanted to continue with it. We saw a lot of heifers while we rode on the ranch, and because they are handled gently by the cowboys, they are not afraid when you ride close. It's calving time now, and many day-olds were on the ground with their mamas not far off. This heifer was curious about that person on the horse with the camera! Palette knives and gel medium gives this gem a depth and glow that can't be achieved with just a brush.

Available for $120 through my ebay store.