Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bridge Over the Des Moines River

This view was taken while on the old bridge that connects Bonaparte, Iowa to Vernon, Iowa. I walked the old bridge to see the old schoolhouse that once housed the studio of the late watercolor artist, Wendell Mohr. 
6" x 6" oil on Ampersand panel

Looking at this brought back memories. He was open by appointment or luck. The bottom floor was his studio and the top his apartment. It seems like the perfect artist studio. Wendell used an image of the bell tower in his business card. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Water Logged

Jessica and I went plein air painting this morning at Wilson Lake. I needed practice painting logs underwater so I picked this spot. I have been trying to adjust to using Pthalo Blue even though it seems to overwhelm the other colors. After this drys I may have to add more warmth with maybe an orange mixture.
I did have an opportunity to get some photos of cattle resting under a shade tree. I pulled over along the road, which I do often. I don't think the other vehicles driving by appreciate it. I have often seen paintings that look they were obviously created from the roadside. Do other artists just stop and set up their easels or do they just photograph the scenes? I also stopped on the way to Wilson Lake for photo references?    
8" x 10" oil on canvas

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Waterfall After the Rain

After the rains a lot of the local streams have waterfalls. I happened to run across this one and couldn't resist painting it.
10" x 8" oil on canvas to bid at auction

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Martin Pond

Went plein air painting with Jessica at Martin Pond. Beautiful views all around. The water was challenging as it kept changing. I did enjoy being outside on such a nice day.
8" x 10" oil on canvas

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Volunteer 15

This is the final edit. I finished this one from the photo reference. He did smile in the photos, but I am taking the easy way out and leaving it as he posed.

The volunteer for today. At first I was a little intimidated over the lack of hair. This was something new for me, In the end I would paint another one in a second. Hair is overrated. I still need to do a little tweaking on this so I will post the finished painting later. This was after one hour posing.
11" x 14" oil on panel

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Study for Evening Star

The evening light was just beautiful and fleeting. I have to use photo references for the scene and my memory. 
8" x 10" oil on canvas.

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