Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
P.S. This is a re-post from December 2010. for the purpose of announcing the availability of the painting.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Today’s plein air session is a good example of making the most of a sketchbook page. The day was overcast and threatening rain at 9am when I arrived on location just south of the courthouse in Waxahachie, TX. Anticipating a downpour before I could complete a painting on the “good paper”, I decided instead to work in my sketchbook….under the back door hatch of my Expedition. I paint out of the back of my SUV often using it for protection from sun – or in this case - from rain that was already beginning to fall. It takes some pretty ugly weather to cause me to pack up and call it a day….especially when the day has only begun!
My favorite sketchbook size is 11 x 14 - it gives me several options; I can use the entire page for one composition, or divide it up into 2, 3 or even 4 “minis”. In about an hour and a half, I completed the 4” x 9” vertical on the left “Crossing on S. College” and the upper right 3” x 7” horizontal “Viaduct – Crossing on S. Rogers”. - by this time, the rain was falling pretty hard and it was almost time for lunch, so I packed up & met 2 other artists (painting from their SUV’s as well) for lunch. Afterward, we all went to Getzendaner Park, for the annual Chautauqua Assembly and set up our easels under the exhibition tent and spent the next couple of hours painting a “portrait” of the Chautauqua auditorium. The lower right 4” x 6” titled “Chautauqua” completed my day’s work in the sketchbook.
Did you notice that even though I never saw a ray of sunshine today, I used my artist’s license and created a “bright & sunny” day with blue skies & fluffy clouds.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Last weekend I spent 2 days in Tyler, Texas teaching a group of artists how to utilize a sketchbook in and out of the studio. The workshop took place in the studio of watercolor artist and teacher, Wincie Caskey. Wincie’s studio & home is located on a beautiful wooded acreage just outside Tyler, Texas. In addition to being an accomplished artist, she is also a Master Gardener! Since this workshop included some “on location” lessons, the property surrounding the studio had excellent subject matter; flowers, trees, a garden, flagstone walk to a wonderful “quiet shady place” with a place to sit & just relax.
Over the 2 day period the artists learned how a sketchbook can be valuable to an artist for notes, and for developing ideas in the studio as well as for recording information while on location. I demonstrated various techniques in watercolor using water soluble graphite pencils and “sharpie” markers. I showed them how to paint “doodle” trees, and people. The surface and texture of the paper in a sketchbook will vary greatly between brands, so in the process we also explored some quick brush exercises with various amounts of water in relation to pigment - an important step when using a sketchbook for the first time.
After lunch, the group gathered up brushes, paint & sketchbooks and moved outside and painted trees, flower pots, bird houses & rocks. Starting out with a sketchbook and watercolor is a good way to begin painting from life outside the studio.
This was a new experience for the group in that no one had worked “en plein air” prior to this workshop…and I must say that everyone produced at least one good watercolor sketch that afternoon…a couple of them painted 2 or 3!
Judy won my demo on the 2nd morning! This demo took only took about an hour to paint….but the lively interaction and questions from the group inserted between brush strokes expanded the demo time to about 2 hours!
Monday, September 6, 2010
Many times I tend to overlook great painting locations close to home – such has been the case of the historic Fort Worth Stockyards district. It’s been several years since I last visited that area and it wasn’t to paint – it was to attend a performance at Billy Bob’s. Yesterday, I met up and spent the day painting with a group of area painters – had a great time re-connecting with a few I hadn’t seen for several months – and managed to complete 2 paintings in spite of the holiday crowd (hundreds of people by mid-morning!)
“Morning on Exchange Avenue” 9 x 12 Watercolor
“Strollin’ toward Exchange” 11x14 Watercolor
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I’m delighted to announce that “Misty Meadow” and “Cottonwood Valley” have been accepted into the 2010 Grand Prairie Arts Council Juried Art Exhibition and Sale - September 12th through September 25th. This will be the 2nd consecutive year my work will be included in the annual event.
The show opens with a Reception and Awards Presentation Sunday, September 12th at Grand Prairie Memorial Library, 901 Conover Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas. The Juror is James Behan, Professor of Art at Mountain View College, Dallas, Texas.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
It’s been way too hot to paint on location lately, so I’ve been spending more time in the studio. Today, I started color research on the Sedona, Arizona area. I’ll be participating in the 6th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival October 23 through October 30. The internet is great for research and gave me a wealth of information on Sedona and the surrounding landscape. Looking over the photo images “Googled up” on my computer monitor, I discovered 2 things……(1)painting Sedona, Arizona is going to be REAL different from painting Texas…. and (2) I don’t think the “Texas colors on my palette are going to be very useful on location in the Sedona area. Even the greens are different. After playing around in my palette for a while, I finally came up with some mixes that will probably be alright, and entered the following color notes in my sketchbook:
This note gives me 2 choices with mixing Quinacridone Pink & Winsor Yellow; depending on whether I want a “flat”, even wash (on the left) or a variegated wash (on the right). This mix, thinned with water makes a nice “glowing” pink-orange.
In this sample, I’ve used Quinacridone Pink and Lunar Earth for the light side of the “rock” and for the shadow, a varigated mix of Lunar Blue, Carbazole Violet, and Cobalt Blue (all colors are from Daniel Smith)
The color notes here are using the above mixes with some Yellow Ochre added to the one on the right.
Here’s a thumbnail of the red rock mesas/cliffs typical of the Oak Creek Canyon area of Sedona. I’m close but for better color accuracy, I plan to add several more “granulating” Primatek earth colors by Daniel Smith to my paint supply. A perfect excuse for shopping….don’t you think? Of one thing I’m certain….an artist can never have too many tubes of paint!
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Yesterday was a fun studio day for me. When I haven’t painted for a couple of days, I usually begin my studio session with some quick watercolor sketches just to get loosened up. I opted to warm up with some color studies in oil and ended up with 2 rather nice little 5 x 7’s:
Morning In The Valley” 5x7 Oil
“Changing Seasons” 5x7 Oil
I’m going to brave the heat this afternoon and paint in my back yard…the light filters in through 100 year old Pecan trees onto a lovely “natural” area with subtle value shifts of various greens and an occasional red/pink blooms mixed in. Since I already have a batch of oil colors squeezed out, I’ll see what I can accomplish with them. I may or may not post the result……stay tuned :-)
Sunday, June 20, 2010
“Last Light” –10x20 Oil
It’s been too hot to paint on location – even early in the morning, the temperature is in the high 80’s so 3 days ago, I went through my sketchbooks looking for inspiration. Using a little 2”x3” watercolor of rocks for reference, “Last Light” has most of the elements to hold your interest; light against dark, warm vs. cool, hard angles, soft curves & lost edges. Even the background is mysterious. This scene could be anywhere; on the beach, in a forest, the mountains or the desert…it takes you wherever your imagination wants to go. Available for purchase – email: email@example.com for price & framing options.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I’ve been practically chained to my studio easel for the past week, working on a “home portrait” commission. This “Grande Dame” is one of dozens of historical homes in Waxahachie. The owner purchased the home only recently and plans to begin a complete restoration in the coming year.
I began with several on on location sketching sessions. Above and below are sketches and preliminary color study completed on location.
This was a particularly difficult project in that the home sits on a huge lot with giant 100 year old trees all around it. The grounds haven’t been landscaped in perhaps 25 years…a lot of shrubs & bushes have grown too big. The house is in need of a lot of repair and a good coat of paint, so part of my job was to visualize what it will look like when the owner finishes the restoration later on this year. The entire 2nd story and most of the roof aren’t visible from the street….which was the best vantage point for painting. I had to stand up close to the front of the house, and look straight up to see how the roof, turret, and porch came together. I snapped about 20 digital “close up, detail” images and combined with my sketches, I was able to get a drawing completed. I trimmed bushes, cut down and relocated several trees…resulting in a much better composition. I included a couple of the owner’s personal yard decorations…the flag in the flower garden and 2 lawn chairs to finish it off. I like the way it turned out – it’s been a good week in the studio!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Even though the “competition” is over, there’s still time to do another painting. The paint out exhibition site is inside the historic Chautauqua Auditorium located in our city park. Also happening on this weekend in the park is an Arts & Crafts festival with artist’s tents set among the huge 100+ year old pecan & oak trees…it was a painting waiting to happen! “Arts & Crafts-Chautauqua View” - 12”x16” – Watercolor
AND…..I’m so excited to be one of the winners announced last night at the BBQ buffet dinner and awards presentation. (the “formal” announcement is in the blog preceding this one) I was awarded an Honorable Mention and a Jack Richeson watercolor paint set valued at $100!!! I can definitely use it….I used up a lot of paint in the past 9 days! We had 55 artists registered and painting since May 28; 220 paintings were submitted for judging and for sale. The Exhibition and Wet Paint sale will continue until Sunday afternoon at 4pm. I’ve sold a couple of paintings already and am hopeful that I’ll send another one or two home with someone tomorrow. It’s been a long week, but what a wonderful time; painting….painting….painting!
I love my job.
Last night, artists, volunteers, friends and patrons of Paint Historic Waxahachie gathered for a BBQ buffet dinner and the awards presentation. Juror Kaye Franklin and Ellis County Art Association extend Congratulations to the following 2010 winners:
$500 -BEST IN SHOW: David Tripp
$400 -1st PLACE: Ted Clemens
$300 -2nd PLACE: DeBob Jacob
$250 -3rd PLACE: Nel Dorn Byrd
Honorable Mention: (Merchandise or Gift Certificates)
- $110 Plein Air Unbrella- Best Brella:
- (3) $100 Yarka Watercolor Sets - Jack Richeson:
Chris Toplyn *Tina Bohlman * Kent Brewer
- $72 Acrylic Paint Set - Liquitex:
- $70 Linen Panels ProPanels:
- $50 Gift Certificate Dick Blick:
- $35 Gift Certificate Cheap Joe’s :
- $25 Wet Panel Carriers Art Cocoon:
- (2) $25 Gift Certificate Sun Eden :
Pete Quaid * William Larson
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Today was overcast and much cooler! Another artist and I painted hay bales this afternoon. This is a farm located within the city limits on the edge of a historical residential district on West Jefferson street. I’m not sure how many acres, but it has to be at least a hundred. The majestic oak & pecan trees in the midst of mowed grass & baled hay was irresistible…I had to paint it.
11 x 14 Watercolor
Tomorrow paintings will go on display for our judge, Ms. Kaye Franklin. She will have work to do, there are some mighty fine paintings waiting for her. It won’t be easy….selecting Best in Show, 1st, 2nd, 3rd place cash awards and 10 honorable mention merchandise awards. We don’t have a total count on paintings yet – deadline is 2pm tomorrow afternoon, but as of today, more than 100 have been submitted. Winners will be announced at a BBQ buffet supper & preview for artists, event volunteers, sponsors & patrons. I’ll post the winners tomorrow night.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
What a week! Here’s 3 more…an oil painted yesterday and today’s paintings…1 watercolor and another oil. Both “At Peace” and “Journey’s End”were painted in our City Cemetery – it’s a lovely location with quiet and shade and a soft breeze. The temperature is getting close to 100 in the afternoon so the best place to paint is away from concrete, blacktop & automobiles. The Watercolor “Corner of Main & Kaufman” is an old turn-of the-century Victorian at the end of my street. I pass by it at least twice every day and finally decided I should paint it. I don’t know if I’ll be able to paint tomorrow…it’s time to begin setting up the exhibition area for this weekend’s show & sale. Maybe I can get one done in the morning….early while it’s still a “cool 85”…
“At Peace” 9x12 Oil
“Corner of Main & Kaufman” 11x14 Watercolor – I haven’t downloaded from my digital camera yet – this was taken with my phone camera.
“Journey’s End” – 6x8 Oil – I’ll take a better photo tomorrow when I take it out of the easel & the paint’s a little dryer.
Monday, May 31, 2010
The weather has been wonderful….HOT, but wonderful. I painted 1 painting last Friday, 2 paintings on Saturday, 1 on Sunday, and 2 today. Here’s what I’ve done so far…
“Trolley at the Rogers” – 9 x 12 – Watercolor - This was my Quick Draw painting – I was worried that I’d picked a scene that was a little too ambitious to get finished in the 90 minute deadline…but as the courthouse clock tower chimed..I was signing my name! It SOLD at the auction following the Quick Draw.
“Katy Bridge over Waxahachie Creek” – 11 x 14 - Watercolor
“Perkins Home on University Avenue” – 11x14 Watercolor - Sold! Mrs. Perkins came out to see how I was coming along and loved it….she said “I’ve just gotta have that!!!”….woo hoo!
“Sunlit – Texaco Tanks by the tracks” - 16x20 watercolor- this is my first large plein air; usually I don’t paint larger than 11x14, but I’ve been planning this painting for 2 years and decided that it was a subject matter that needed more space. I’m pleased with how it turned out.
Except for the Trolley painting, (it’s gone home with a buyer) all of the above paintings are on display at the Ellis County Art Association art center, 501 West Main, Waxahachie, TX. The paint out will continue through the next weekend. The deadline for paintings to be submitted for judging is 2pm Friday afternoon and I plan to paint at least 3 more. I think I’ll try to do a couple small oil paintings. Stay tuned……!
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I don’t often get an opportunity to paint a live model, especially in a natural setting. Because of my lack of “experience”, I’m pleased with the outcome of this 7”x10” watercolor on Arches 300# Rough paper. The model, dressed in coral red dress and hat, was stunning amid all the greens.
AND….Did you notice my new Advanced Series watercolor palette shelf?…an all-in-one piece that slips easily onto my tripod. This is OPS member Chase Almond’s brainchild and it’s an idea long time coming for the watercolor artist. Here’s a “snippit” from the En Plein Air Pro website :
With over 80 square inches of mixing wells, our new “Advanced Series” Watercolor Palette Shelf is like having a studio palette in the field.
Unlike other lightweight plastic palettes on the market that quickly become brittle with use, the “Advanced Series” Watercolor Palette Shelf is made of heavy duty ABS thermoformed material (not brittle styrene plastic).
Sized 11.5” x 16” x 3mm – it has two large mixing reservoirs, 14 generous sized paint wells, a 3” diameter hole for a water cup, and slots to accept the collapsible water pail that comes with every shelf.
The adjustable tab system allows the “Advance Series” Watercolor Palette Shelf to be mounted on tripods with different leg diameters. Legs can be round or square. The palette lays flat on a table so you can also use it as a studio palette.
The “Advanced Series” Palette Shelf comes with a black 3mm PVC cover for transporting it to and from the field.
My first time out with the new palette shelf, I stood there with the cover in my hand wondering where I was going to lay it so that I wouldn’t (1) step on it, or (2) forget and leave it laying in the grass. After a few moments of indecision, I turned it upside down and slipped it back onto the palette….eureka!….a place to “park it” and a little shelf space for tissues, brushes, whatever! I called Chase to tell him about the “alternate use” of the cover and he’s added this information to the product brochure. (He also gave me “credit” for this tip in the brochure) Thanks, Chase!
I’ll post my other paintings in my next blog…..
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Last Monday, in spite of the 30 mph winds, and intermittent sunshine, I painted out west of town on FM 1446. Wildflowers were resplendent in gold & yellow. I saw the flowers first, then the dirt road leading up to a farmer’s metal gate. About every 15 or 20 minutes, the sun would shine on the flowers and the road leaving the trees in the background in shadow. The contrast between bright light and dark shadows is what I tried to capture. I was able to get most of the painting completed, but the wind finally won out – I decided to finish it in the studio so I packed up about 4pm and came home. Beside, it was almost time for supper anyway :-) Enjoy!
“CLOUDY DAY ON FM 1445” - 9” x 12” - Oil
This painting is available for purchase. Please email for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, May 7, 2010
“In The Clearing” – 5 x 7 Oil
I haven’t had much time to paint this week…laundry, groceries & a little housework took up most of my time… but I managed to squeeze out some paint and brush up this little miniature landscape. Foliage and grass is SO GREEN right now! I added a violet complement in the foreground along with a couple of strokes of the discord colors to offset and contrast with all the greens at the focal point and beyond. This painting is available; purchase inquiry email@example.com
Saturday, May 1, 2010
About a month ago, I was in Wimberley, Texas attending a plein air oil painting workshop by Jill Carver. On the 3rd and final day, we set up on a hilltop overlooking a farm and the vineyards of a local winery. It was a gorgeous view…it seemed we could see forever. Jill gave us all inspiration with her morning demonstration painting – it was beautiful! Afterward, it was time for us to paint…. I took a little too much time making a sketch on my canvas and brushing in the basic under-painting. Alas! the time got away from me and it was time to pack up the gear and head for home. I made value & color notes in my sketchbook and took several photographs, so I could finish it after I got home. So, this weekend, with the aid of my sketchbook notes, photographs and memory I completed the painting. Enjoy!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Here’s what I did last weekend! Marble Falls is a great place to paint and listen to music at the same time. It was overcast and rainy all weekend, but that didn’t keep me from completing 3 paintings in this annual paint out event.
“Downtown at the Uptown” – 8” x 20” - Sold
“Chao Bella” – 9” x 12” - Sold
“The Mews” – 9” x 12” – Sold
About 50 artists were in this Hill Country town (known for it’s commitment to art and music) to paint and compete for prizes. Another tough “work” weekend….Have I mentioned that I love my job?
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
This was the last day to paint; submission deadline 4pm! Arriving in Terrell about 9am, I drove straight to a location “scouted” earlier in the week – the First Methodist Church. The light was perfect not only for excellent contrast on the bell tower, but the path of the sun (for a rare stroke of luck) worked in my favor as well. I completed the painting in about 2-1/2 hours.
First Methodist Church - 11 x 14 Watercolor
I packed up my gear about noon and after a light lunch, I moved on to my afternoon project….Miss Peggy’s on Griffith Street. The sun was about 2 O’clock high and in perfect position! This painting went a little quicker than the church – a whole lot less angles and simple clean lines – loved the “gnarly” old tree…it added a lot of character as well as providing some great shadow contrasts.
Almost done, just a couple more strokes, dropped in a little “bounced light” under the eave…..done! About 4:30, I loaded up my gear then visited Miss Peggy to thank her for her hospitality. What a lovely lady…and a very good artist, I might add!
“Miss Peggy’s Garages” – 9x12 Watercolor
I missed the 4pm deadline to enter “Miss Peggy’s Garages” – kinda got caught up in the moment…but as it turned out, it would have never made it into the show anyway – Miss Peggy’s Niece was visiting at the time and purchased the painting on the spot. I love it when that happens!
I submitted “First Methodist Church”, “Episcopal Church” , “Buford Drugs” and “Carriage House” into the paint out competition.
The awards and reception Saturday afternoon was great fun and well attended by a very appreciative group of local art patrons. My painting “Carriage House” won 2nd Place honors! (See my post for Day 2). Three of my paintings sold except the “Episcopal Church”….which was ok with me….it was kinda my favorite anyway :-)
All in all, last week was a great week for plein air– I think I’ve mentioned this before….. I love my job!