Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oct 18 - The large Painting Continued and a Look Back

As I work with laying in the large areas of color, I'm really careful to keep the values where they need to be to carry the design. One advantage of toning the canvas is that the end result of the toning is near to a middle value--not too light nor too dark--and helps to keep the values in relation to one another. Since I'm painting completely with the Cool Box Colors, I can use the remaining warm underpainting areas to guide me. It does this by being a counterpoint to the cool mixes I'm putting on the canvas. I can keep the proportion of warms to cools in balance by having the tool of the background WARM underpainting showing through. In other words, I just keep painting cools until it "reads right" for the balance of warms vs. cools (in most cases maybe 85% cools to 15% warms in landscapes).

Just for giggles, how about an eyeful of a painting I did in the mid 1970s? Before Color System, before workshop training, before almost everything related to my painting--other than a degree in fine art that taught me nothing about landscape painting. A collector's daughter from that time emailed me with paintings of which I had no images. You can see I was painting loosely even then, but sure was all over the place in finding a focal point! And my colors were just ghastly to my eyes today. One cannot tell the time of day in this painting, because I didn't know about such things and how to control color and temperature to get that message across.

Thirty years can make a real difference in one's art! Yet each month and day that passed in between those times was and still is richly lived.

Remember, it is the journey, not the destination or distance traveled, that determines the artist. In looking back, all one sees is a measure of the distance. At the time I painted this, I thought it was a good painting. I was living in Germany, and did a series of my memories of California. Even though I would do it completely differently today, it has a charm of its own. Enjoy!

You can see my entire blog here.

Color System information can be found HERE.

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

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oct 16 - Bees and Starting a 24 x 36 inch Landscape

I'm sitting here "licking my wounds" so to speak, after disturbing a beehive while working on the trails behind our house this evening. It started out as an ordinary, good evening ride, taking the mare and going up over the mountains on the newest trail. I stopped to let the horse catch her breath at one of the high points, and looked up to see a coyote watching me with distant interest. He turned and disappeared, so I continued down the mountain.
As is my tendency, I decided to take a different route back, picking my way through some brush and grassy areas and finding a potentially new trail. When the brush got thicker, I dismounted and had the mare follow me while I broke away some of the larger branches. It was hot, sweaty work on a 90 degree afternoon, and I was enjoying the labor when the mare began stomping her back feet and shifting herself around, obviously bothered by something. I thought at first that she'd just mis-stepped on some of the brush, when I saw, and then heard the buzzing.... ACK! BEES!
The mare brushed by me and took off at a dead run, and I let her go, knowing she'd head home. Me, I lept up off the trail straight down the mountain, with buzzing and stinging letting me know I was in for a good fight. Flapping my hat, jumping brush, I catapulted down the hill like a ungainly springbok, until I hit the sagebrush at the bottom, about 300 feet below. There I rolled and spun away from them, because bees will follow the scent of the ones that have stung. So I knew I had to break the scent trail, and then deal with the ones that were on me. The more recent introduction of the nortorious "killer" bees kept me moving as fast as I could to get away, because I didn't know if these were the ones that follow for up to a quarter mile. I know I kept moving and ducking to destroy the scent trail on the air, adrenalin rushing through me and a high keening wail coming from my throat as the panic of my situation settled in.
I kept moving, heading toward home, picking and swatting the remaining attackers, and then stopped, bent over my knees, trying to catch my breath. You ever get so out of breath that your lungs hurt? That was how much exertion I'd expended, and I felt each one of my 60 years as I regrouped and headed for home. Thank goodness I wasn't carrying those extra pounds!
The mare was happy to see me and came up to greet me without bridle, as she had broken the headstall in her panicked flight. I found the bit and reins, and took her inside the gate for a much needed cool bath. She's got extra rations tonight, and I'm headed for the hot tub after I send this. What a ride!

Now, the ART for the day, is the beginning of one of the bigger canvases--this one is 24 x 36, and is started from one of the reference shots I took at Hawley Lake (below). Although there were cows in the image, I'm going to replace/morph them into horses--the Apache broomtails, most likely. I am undecided at this point and welcome any breed suggestions, though.

The underpainting is done with Austrailian Red Gold and Quinacradone Violet--just some warm colors that have dried. They will not lift into the future paint layers. What you see here is the abstract structure of the design. Yes, it is familiar--the misty morning horses in pasture painting of a couple weeks ago has a similar composition. Why change it if it ain't broke? I do need to experiment further with this composition, and my source lends itself well to the design.

More tomorrow... ewwww, just found another stinger!

You can see my entire blog here.

Color System information can be found HERE.

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

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oct 12 - Painting in Arizona and Hawley Lake

One of the nice things about on location painting (and one of its down sides!) is how the light changes from moment to moment. I was walking the dogs in the morning, and saw the distant light across this promontory of trees and rocks, and thought I'd like to get a small painting of this scene. The reflections were what held it up for me, and the flash of orange on the rocks. So this 7 x 5 inch oil came off the brushes as a fisherman in his floating inner tube came by several times. He had good luck catching rainbow trout--but kept throwing them back. I would have taken one of the smaller ones for my dinner, but he was too far from shore.

"Reflections" is available through Joyous Lake Gallery in Pinetop/Lakeside, please let me know if you'd like to add this one to your art collection.

On the way out from Hawley Lake, I found these fellows to show you that although the roads are very well maintained, the "wildlife" will keep your speed down. This trip I didn't see any elk, but saw these ladies each time I was on the road.

You can see my entire blog here.

Color System information can be found HERE.
If you need to email me directly, please click here.