Friday, April 17, 2015

Banks of the Skunk River

We are expecting rain tomorrow and the rivers sure could use it. You can see it here along the banks and there are several sandbars down river. In a previous post I mentioned painting the rocks under water but the water was murky.
12" x 9" oil on canvas

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I wanted to paint the magnolias while they are in bloom yesterday. I just did not have much time, just enough to make a watercolor sketch. I did take photos for references and may try to get out there again today

This morning while my car was in the shop I sketched the cemetery across the road. I had originally thought I would sketch the auto mechanics but this scene intrigued me and it did not move much. I love the way the branches dip and weave though the scene. The bare trees are the best exercise for drawing interesting lines. Lines like edges need to vary to create interest. I learned that early on when drawing horses. My horses were often copies of Remington's or created out of my head rearing, bucking and running full out. The curves that change from short and sharp to long and wide keep the viewer following through the image breaking up the monotony. I have often thought that taking a calligraphy class would help your drawing skills. Repetition is also present in this scene with the shapes of the tombstones repeated in the houses. 

I pulled up one of the photos and did this small study. I added the ink lines when I felt the petals did stand out enough. Most of this scene was in shadow and I should have pushed the darks. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Snow Melt at Waterworks Park

Across from Oakland Mills is Waterworks Park. In January we went plein air painting at Oakland Mills, after that we took photos. I like the bold colors you can get from pastel but not matting and framing. So the fun is over and now comes the work.
11" x 15" pastel on Le Carte paper.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Magnolias in Rodeo

The magnolias are in bloom at Rodeo Park. There used to be a house where the airport manager lived and you can still see the cement outline of where it stood. I assume that the airport manager's wife planted the tree. As I was finishing up a school bus pulled up, possible a cross country meet was starting. If I had the time it would have been challenging to try painting the runners. 
11" x 14" oil on canvas.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

River Rocks Study

Rocks beneath the water and those above are a challenge. Hopefully this study will prepare me for the next plein air painting adventure by the water.
10" x 8" oil on canvas

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Volunteer 11

This is the finished painting. I think this one looks the most like who it is supposed to be. So maybe I am getting better.

Jane volunteers at the local library among other organizations. I need to do more work on this portrait but today is another portrait session and I want to promote it.
16" x 20" oil on panel

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Early morning at Pollmiller

It is early spring and a lot of the local parks are not open. We did manage to go part ways into Pollmiller Lake. Morning light was changing on me fast but, I did manage to get this scene of the water.
8" x 10" oil on canvas

Monday, March 30, 2015

Apple in Pastel

I took a class from Gin Lammert. I have not painted in pastel for a while but her method sounded interesting. I am happy with the results and may try a few of these in the future. My apple turned yellow before I could paint it, next time I need to bring lemon juice.
10" x 8" pastel

Friday, March 27, 2015

Volunteer 10

Another great volunteer, She works for the Lee County Health as a hospice volunteer. 
11" x 14" 0il on panel

Thursday, March 26, 2015

volunteer 12

This volunteer has put in countless hours at the Old Fort Players. We really enjoyed the conversations with her and loved painting her long white hair. 
11" x 14" oil on panel

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Wilson Lake Melting

Plein air painting at Pollmiller Lake. This was over a week ago when the lake was half frozen.
12" x 9" oil on canvas

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Volunteer 9

This volunteer was instrumental in recreating the original gazebo in Old Settlers Park.
11" x 14" oil on panel 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Volunteer no 8

This was first painted without the smile, but the volunteer smiled a lot so I made a slight adjustment to make a smile. He was very friendly and outgoing. He volunteers at a lot of organizations. He is representing the food pantry and I can see how he would make you feel comfortable whatever your position. I felt I had to post something and will replace this again when I finish the shirt.
11 x 14 oil on panel

Sunday, March 8, 2015

View from the Skunk River Bridge

We went out on an old bridge to paint today. Off in the distance you can see the new bridge. The views all around were beautiful. The ice is starting to melt leaving small pools of water in the snow covered part of the river. That combined with the shadows made a nice composition. The tough part of the scene was painting the bare trees. I'll have to work on that.
10" x 8" oil on canvas
This is the bridge, courtesy of Google earth images. This is probably how it looked the day we were there.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Winter on the Des Moines River

This is a larger painting based on a 12" x 6' painting. I am trying to paint larger but slowly working my way up. Hopefully by the end of this year I will be able to paint a 48" x. 
20" x 10" oil on Ampersand panel.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sunset on the Cattle Pasture

This is a larger version of a previous study. This was painted on a orange pink ground. The study was on painted on a pink ground. 
20" x 10" oil on Ampersand panel.

I am thinking that maybe it needs to be cropped.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Summer Pasture

This is a large painting based on a previous study. I reworked it especially with the cattle in front trying to give it depth and scale. This is painted for the upcoming auction in support of the local art center. I asked a few artists what to donate and they suggested that my snow scenes would not be popular after this tough winter. So a nice summer scene it is.
12" x 24" oil on Gessoboard.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Volunteer 7

This is after editing. I changed the eyes to work with what I had in the photos. Added the plaid shirt.

This was after the 2 hour painting session. I decided to use a horizontal format because of the cowboy hat. I took photos that I will use to refine the finished painting. Loved the cowboy hat. Obviously this is a volunteer from the local rodeo committee.
14" x 11" oil on panel.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ruffled Swan

The mating for life challenge on the Daily Paintworks site. I used an image from as reference with a few changes in the background.
6" x 6" oil on canvas panel

Monday, February 23, 2015

Gray Barn on a Gray Day

Tanking photo from the car again. This was mostly grays. When we started out driving that day there was sun casting wonderful blue shadows on the snow. This scene was more challenging. With a little creative license I added color. 
12" x 9" oil on canvas
I paint on preprimed canvas without support so that I can crop an image as needed. I do think this one might be better as a 12" x 6"