Monday, February 29, 2016

Early Spring at Ely Landing

I did not get a chance to go out this weekend. The best I could do was pull up a photo from last spring around this time of year.
12" x 6" oil on canvas

Sunday, February 28, 2016


A long haired Chiweenie; a mix of Chihauhau and Dashhund cute but independent. This one is a one person dog.
8" x 8" oil on canvas  

He uses his cuteness to get away with a lot, including jumping on the chairs.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Limestone Bluffs Again

While some friends went plein air painting I was nursing a cold that kept me inside yesterday. I pulled up the limestone bluffs photos to give it another shot. It is not just the bare trees that get me but the brush. This photo had dead warm gray brush hanging on the side of the cliff. 
 8" x 8" oil on canvas

Maybe cropping it may improve the composition.
6" x 8" oil on canvas

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Winter Sunset in the Cornfield

I went plein air painting with Jessica. So wanting to paint plein air after several winter scenes from photos. My painting did not go so well so I wiped it off and painted this from a photo I had. 
9" x 12" oil on canvas

This is or was the plein air painting. The river was frozen with a few spots of open water. Beautiful scene, but tough for me. I did get some practice with greys.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Snow Fall at Wilson Lake

Waiting to get out in the snow and paint the shadows. The weather was tolerable but the sun was not out. Back to the photos it is. Around sunset the sun did come out just long enough to get photos. This is another painting using the same colors as the last two.
8" x 8" oil on canvas

Snow Melt

I painted this using the same paint colors as the last post, Pthalo blue, Ultramarine, burnt sienna, cad yellow, yellow ochre and quinocridone rose. 
10" x 8" oil on canvas 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Snow in Sunlight and Shadow

This was first wiped off. I failed to capture the feeling of sunlight and tried again. I am just not ready to give it up. We had snow this weekend but no sunshine. This was from a photo of Wilson Lake a couple of years ago.
8" x 8" oil on canvas panel

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Herefords at the Grey Barn

I did something like this is a smaller format 12" x 6". This is not much larger, but I believe in baby steps. I switched the cattle to Herefords because I liked the contrast of the reddish fur against the blue. I did add one mixed breed, not sure if that was a good idea. This is oil and I can wipe that off and make another Hereford.
8" x 16" oil on canvas

Sunday, February 7, 2016

When the Gnats Feast

I painted plein air yesterday and had I great time. My fellow painters did some very nice watercolors. I did an oil painting of rocks and water that was wiped off  to paint this. Anyway I had fun and enjoyed the weather. 
12" x 9" oil on canvas 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tree on the Bluff

I started this with a lavender ground which is pretty much covered up. This is the same view from previous posts without the stream. Trying to focus on the tree more. I am still too preoccupied with the rocks. Trying to repeat the pattern of cracks in the rocks with the tree branches. 
6" x 12" oil on canvas

Thursday, February 4, 2016

White Barn

Another cloud study. I saw this barn outside Iowa City and found the roof shape and the shadow from the cupola interesting. This was one of those photos I liked but was not sure how to handle it with the centered barn. Experience told me not to try it but I painted it because I wanted to.
9" x 12" oil on canvas

52 Faces of Volunteerism

A year ago I started this project painting portraits of local volunteers. My first volunteer was Janice Feany a volunteer from the local art center.

52 Faces of Volunteerism is a tip of the hat to those who give service, freely and gladly. In January of 2015, I began donating my time to painting oil portraits of local Samaritans, at the rate of one a week, for one year. Each model was a volunteer in good standing with, at least, one of Lee County's non-profit organizations. They also had to be willing to sit through a two hour portrait session.

The idea for "Faces" was an evolving epiphany. I became interested in doing live portraits after setting up for the Artist's Studio Tour. The challenges of meeting new people (I'm a bit of an introvert) and doing live portraiture was addicting. After viewing Rose Frantzen’s Portrait of Maquoketa Project, I got the notion to set up at the local art center, more or less, once a week and paint whomever she could persuade to pose. While talking with the art center's own volunteer, it occurred to me to pay homage to those among us who give so much to others. In other words, "I've always believed that art can and should be a positive force." At the end of February, when the exhibit is over, each volunteer will be given his or her oil portrait, to do with as they will.

From the beginning the participants were encouraged to talk; so they would look directly at me (and stay awake) while sitting in one spot for two hours (no small feat for these human dynamos.) What quickly became apparent was that these are not normal people; many of them are serial do-gooders, some with forty plus years of service to several organizations. Their reasons for having their picture done vary from person to person (one gentleman posed because he was absent from the meeting when the "volunteer" was nominated.) Many are vivacious and outgoing; some are introspective, and were uncomfortable with being studied. They are as different as the entities they represent, and as alike as the ideals they pursue.

"What a man does for himself dies with him. What a man does for his community lives long after he’s gone." Theodore Roosevelt

As the the months flew by, the paintings and stories amassed; another thing became obvious: The good accomplished by volunteers cannot be overstated. These fifty two people are just the tip of the ice-berg. Of the dozens of non-profits, from the largest to the smallest, no service or event gets done without sneakers on the ground to make it happen. There's no way to tell exactly how many volunteers there are in any given community, but they are manifold, and their impact is beyond measure.

The exhibit will run til the end of February at the art gallery in Fort Madison, Iowa. The opening reception will be Saturday February the 13th from 2 to 4. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

One Nice Day

Saturday was the first nice day to get together with friends for some plein air painting. Jessica send out the email, Carroll found the perfect spot to really challenge and inspire us.  John posted an image of those of us who could make it that day

.I picked this scene even though is was a little busy for my skill level. Too many rocks, dirt and brush. I went back into it later at home and put more emphasis on the tree. 

I just couldn't let it go and took another try at it. This is from a photo of the same location downstream from the first. Still not up to simplifying the subject matter enough. 
6" x 12" oil on canvas