Paintings from today on the bank of Skunk river. This probably would be underwater if we had regular rain.
10" x 8" oil on panel
The winner of the Color Match contest is John Preston. John got 6 out of 8 which in my contest close wins. Looking at the paintings myself I noticed that 5 and 6 probably can be interchanged..so John wins. Also no other takers. It makes me wonder if a lot of my paintings would have almost the same color palette.
I often take a painting I admire off the internet and match the colors in Photoshop. This post is a fun game matching the color samples to the paintings. I would have preferred some of the painting I admire but that would be a copyright issue. So match the color samples to the painting. Who ever gets the answers first in my comment section wins a new Sheaffer Prelude fountain pen. I like to use these fountain pens for sketching.
This seemed like a good idea at the time, a spot of light on the trail. Not too long after I set up the mosquitoes started in and I stuck it out long enough to rush through. I ended up with 4 bites on my face alone. This reminds me of a friend who bragged about the nice pastel box her husband made for her to go plein air painting. When I mentioned going out that weekend she said it will be too hot for her. I don't know if she ever went out.
6" x 12" oil on panel
This was not as bad. I guess standing in the sun has it's advantages.
Sometimes in our life' professional and otherwise we need some encouragement. this was on American Masters when I needed it, so I thought I would share it with you. The tale of Tyrus Wong is interesting and relevant: it involves artists, immigrants and the political climate of the time. I hope you enjoy it.
Tyrus Wong came from China, to the United States in 1919. (They were forced to leave his mother and sister behind.) The great San Francisco fire had destroyed thousands of birth and immigration records; Tyrus and his father took advantage of that fact. They entered the country posing as Chinese American Citizens.
Because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, when 9 year old Tyrus came into the country, he was detained in a cell and interrogated for over a month. He had to answer quick questions, from the United States immigration officials, which were designed to trick him into exposing himself as an illegal immigrant. He was able to prevail.
As a Chinese American in the 1930's, 40's and even 50's. Chinese American faced many prejudices; including the difficulty of trying to purchase a house. Every house he tried to buy had already been "Sold..
His first job at Disney studios was as a betweener; someone who fills in and cleans up the illustrators rough character designs and moves them from one scene to the next. I wonder if his distaste for the lack of creativity on this job had anything to do with the fact that he encouraged his children to creat art by would not let them have coloring books.
Tyrus was credited for the look and feel for the Disney movie Bambi; which had a lot to do with the emotional bond it created with the audience. Although he was the lead artist, when the credits came out he was only listed as a background artist. He was finally honored in 2001 by Disney for his work and the legendary look of the scenes in Bambi. Making a living from art can be difficult. He diversified to survive and did it successfully, Tyrus' designs are on plates and greeting cards while remaining true to his own creative vision. You don't wait for inspiration you find it in whatever you do.
His personal life was an inspiration for the devotion and longevity of his marriage. If you could have one: successful marriage, happy well adjusted children or successful career, life is good. He had it all. His marriage was a partnership based on friendship. I have to admit I got teary eyes when his wife died.
Tyrus Wong passed away in 2016 at the ripe old age of 106.
Depending on the light this painting will look different. This image was taken outside, while it was displayed inside under low lighting it appeared much darker. It did make me question my perspective on color and light.
9" x 12" oil on panel
View from the parking lot.
This was my first painting late in the afternoon at the Amana Colonies golf course. We were discussing the problem of a lot of green when painting golf courses. I guess this was a good warmup.
12" x 9" oil on panel
Amana Society Cows
I sketched this out first to determine the location of the cattle. I had a good view of the pasture so that I could pick one from somewhere else and plant it under the trees after they had moved on.
You will have to excuse the change in lighting. This is the final where I took out the cow in front and added the faint hint of a cow back behind the trees. I also changed the trees some. Again these images were taken with outside lighting.
14" x 11" oil on panel
Once I turned in my entries for the main event, it was time for some fun low pressure painting. Thanks to John Preston for sharing the location of this gem. I had at least 3 hours to kill and a small 8" x 10" panel to paint on. I could even make up my own sky color on this one. Although when I finished it I got back in town too late to comfortably participate in the quick paint.
Plein air competitions can be stressful especially the quick paint . Brian Parr finished smoking his cigar before starting 15 minutes after the horn. That year he won the quick paint. At a prior event I started 15 minutes late and the painting sold. One of the painters told me about being harassed and she still turned out a very nice painting. That is painting under pressure.
My nocturne sketch from the Mineral Point plein air event. I forgot to take a picture of the finished oil painting hope this sketch will do. The location was the entrance to the rental unit above the L and L Public House. One of the patrons from the tavern kept coming out for frequent cigarette breaks and would check my progress. Several of the patrons then came by to look and ask questions. One customer started telling me his complaints about the politics at work; I think that is the bartender's job. I welcome questions about my painting and enjoy promoting the event. One of the customers was a volunteer with the plein air event and told me to come on in after I finished painting and he would buy me a drink, which I took him up on. The place was sort of a "Cheers" kind of bar. They introduced me to Spotted Cow beer which is only available in Wisconsin. The owner of the establishment even bought the painting and encouraged me to come back and paint inside the bar. I may take him up on that next year.
6" x 12" watercolor. Finished painting was a 6' x 12" oil on panel.
After the last plein air event I thought I should brush up on painting cattle. For the time being these are from photos. The ground for both of these paintings was an pale orange which shows throughout the painting.
12" x 9" oil on panel
This was a little more difficult forcing me to edit the original photo of the cattle to break up the herd.
This week I participated in Mineral Point's Paint the Point plein air event. A town of historic stone houses and a lot of hills.
The Amish owners of a local farm allowed me to paint their horses. By the time I got set up these horses moved out of site to the other side of the barn. I then moved and got this view. I had to work fast to capture the form that stood out on the hill. I first blocked in the shape with the dark and added the highlights on top of that.
14" x 11" oil on panel
I did not have the same success with some cattle the next day. They were close to the fence when I started to set up but quickly moved over the hill and just stared at me half hidden while I ended up painting the landscape.
For the quick paint I set up on a bridge. It started at 8 and I started at 8:15 and had to scramble to finish it by 10.
9" x 12" oil on panel
Plein air painting of one of the rock outcropping that are scattered throughout the area.
Last Saturday was the J40 Tractor Crawl in Van Buren County. Plein air painters were invited to set up at sites along the route. Practice on perspective was my goal here. I showed this to a friend who commented that she did not like the dark on the left side of the building. Even when she understood that is the shadow side and she did not have a problem with the shadows on the front. She said she would prefer the light red all around. I don't know what to make of that.