Thursday, September 14, 2017

Color Match

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. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wilson Lake Trail

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.
12" x 6" oil on panel

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Golden Hills of Louisiana Plein Air

This weekend I participated in a plein air event in Louisiana Missouri. This was the view from the cemetery. 
14" x 11" oil on panel

I had time to finish a second painting at Stark Brothers Nursery. I did not show this one due to the limited gallery space. 
12" x 9" oil on panel 

Inspiration for art and life

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.

American Masters recent profile on the life of Asian American artist Tyrus Wong.

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.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Amana Fresh Paint Event 2017

This weekend I participated in Catiris Art Oasis Fresh Paint event. 
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.
10" x 8" oil on panel

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Truck Stop

I added white gouache to the lights in this watercolor. The rest is transparent watercolor.
8" x 6" watercolor on paper

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Nocturne painting

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.

Cattle Piantings

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.
6" x 8" oil on canvas.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mischievous Smile

A commission with the request for a smiling toddler.
11" x 14" oil on canvas on panel

Sunset Over the Cornfield

Always keep a camera in my car for those times after a good storm that produce the most beautiful sunsets. I started this with a ultramarine blue with a little bit of raw umber. 
12" x 9" oil on panel.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Paint the Point

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.
10" x 8" oil on panel

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Klodt Barn

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. 
14" x 11" oil on panel

Recent Plein Air

One Morning at Rodeo
The sunrise changes quickly, so I had 15 minutes on this one and a small panel.
6" x 6" oil on panel

Where's Wylie?
This was along a gravel road across the river from Farmington, Iowa. There were signs warning of falling rocks. Which explains the large rock at the bottom. 
10" x 8" oil on canvas

Shimek State Forest
The same limited palette used on the one above.
6" x 6"

Hannah and Duncan

My granddaughter went to Horse camp and won a second place riding Duncan. 
11" x 14" oil on panel

Limited Palette

I received a sample pack of three watercolors. I squeezed them out and threw away the tubes which means I don't remember the brand. I do remember that the red was Opera. There was also a blue and yellow. That was the only colors I used on this painting. The paper was a soft Arches printing paper.

Parade Spectator
Another painting using the three colors. Both of these were painted on the Arches Velin BFK Rives paper mentioned on a previous post. The paint picks up nicely as noted on the highlight on the nose and area above the lip. It is also nice for interesting effects created by dropping water into the background.
Thanks to Jessica for the watercolor samples. I have always wanted to try Opera. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Trail into the Woods

I had time to get out for a couple of hours today to work on my greens.
12" x 6" oil on canvas

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Hats Exhibit

The Fort Madison Art Center is having a theme exhibit titled, "We Wear Hats". The only photo reference I had was of a band. The entry is due today. 
16" x 20" oil on Amersand panel

Started on a white ground, then painted burnt sienna and ultramarine, wiped off the light areas.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Clock Tower

The clock tower in Dubuque

I started with an oil gessoed panel applying pthalo blue and wiping off where I wanted the lights.
Close up detail of sky. I wanted the rough surface to show so I did not sand after applying the oil gesso.
Painted just the darks. 
6" x 12
Painted the lights adding white paint to the colors. 
6" x 12" oil on panel

Hannah painted using the same method..
Rough in.
6" x 6" oil on panel