Saturday, February 09, 2008

Feb 9 - Three Quarters Finished, Citrus Heritage Park, Riverside

Setting the timer for fifteen minute increments has really been a boon to the creative process. Although I started to do it so I could show an in-process painting while on location, the added benefit is I'm taken out of the concentration realm, and forced to draw back (pun intended!) to see the entire concept and view again, because I need to photograph the in-process phase. The result is I make better decisions about the painting, without getting so mired in the procedure of painting this or that small part of it. This "release" if you will, brings me back to center and allows me to start anew, perhaps on a different area. I highly recommend it!
At this phase, I've started with the "wiggle" brush, (that's a 3/8" filbert going all over the canvas with different colors)--making the larger areas more interesting with additional layers of color.

I added the palms now, stitching across the horizontal bands with those verticals, like the overstitching in a quilt to tie the pieces together visually. Notice that the palms, although similar in height and shape, are all slightly different. Even though a row of palm trees can be as boring as a picket fence, the artist must "make the firecracker go off", and not be driven by the match that only lights it. I varied them intentionally for visual interest, so no two are alike.

The little vertical dent in the right-most sky will come out with some water applied to the back of the canvas to tighten up the weave. It isn't in the paint, and spritzing the back of a canvas is a time-tested method of taking out any sags or dents.

Wow, next weekend is the February three-day Mini Color Boot Camp! I'm spending this week arranging the work space, organizing supplies and running off the paper material for it. Ten people are ready to come in and be crammed full of the Color System. The gardens are spruced up, and the patio is an inviting space for breaks now. I'm looking so forward to it!

You can see my entire blog here.

If you need to email me directly, please click here.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Feb 8 - Next 15 Minutes on the Citrus Heritage Painting

I set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes and started up again with the acrylics. I wanted to put layers of color on the large areas again, letting some of both the background and the first layer showing through. That creates visual interest. No details now, except way off in the distance, where I'm keeping things light and indistinct, as befits the miles of distance and air between me and the objects. The sky in this afternoon painting was done with the trio of sky colors--ultramarine, alizarin and yellow ochre plus white. The mountains were done with a veil of darker sky colors leaning toward the blue. As I painted the lower portions, and lay in the shadow green of the citrus, I'm into the thalo green and burnt umber. No palm trees yet--they'll go in at a later stage to "knit" together the horizontal areas of citrus and distant fields.
Here's the view from that bench, and you can see how much I've already changed the image. I am bringing the viewer's eyes into the painting on the path, and then making much more interesting the layers that march up to the horizon, adding color and interest. Keep this image in mind as we go forward in the next two steps to the finished painting!

Remember, it isn't the view that drives the art, that is only the match that lights the fuse. You, the artist are the firecracker that explodes in creating the fireworks of your paintings! Don't let the tiny match drive your work....

And anyone who has driven west on the 91 freeway through the Santa Ana Canyon might easily recognize Santiago Peak and the mountains of the Cleveland National Forest from this vantage point.

You can see my entire blog here.

If you need to email me directly, please click here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Feb 4 - At the Citrus Heritage Park, Plein Air

Off and running again with another four-stage painting lesson! This one was done in 15 minute increments. Here's the first go.
Starting another plein air painting, I'm on location at the Citrus Heritage Park in Riverside for this one. A 12 x 12 box canvas, underpainted in acrylics with Quinacridone Burnt Orange and GOLD paint... how fun is that?
The first acrylic layer is done with a 3/4 inch filbert, just to get the basic colors in the areas where they will go. I'll show you the source material tomorrow, because I have a special photo to share with today's email!

Why did I choose this direction to paint? Well, the location chose me--I looked in all directions from the top of the knoll, and then noticed that someone had placed a nice bench facing the view toward Corona. So I figured if they thought the view was good in that direction, I'll paint it!

The other news is that the book for which I did the cover is now available on! Here's a tiny URL for it, and you can see the cover. I already pre-ordered my copy!

And here's an image of the cover! Yup, that's my painting!

You can see my entire blog here.

If you need to email me directly, please click here.