Friday, December 31, 2010

The Make-Over....

Workshop Study - April 2010
"Three's a Crowd" - 9x12 - Oil on Canvas Panel 

Last April I participated in a 3-day plein air workshop led by my good friend, Jill Carver. (I'm SO in awe of her talent...that gal can really paint!)  The location was in picturesque Wimberly, Texas, about 20 miles south of Austin.  At a workshop, my primary goal is to complete lessons or tasks...with the knowledge that seldom will a good painting surface.  This adventure into the Hill Country was no exception.

On the second day we set up along a riverbank lined with Cypress trees.  Subject matter was everywhere, but 3 trees in the river with their root systems all entangled caught my eye.  There were a lot of clouds that day that changed the light and shadows as they floated by the sun.  I struggled with the light source as well as getting color, temperature and value correct. I can't remember the lesson theme, but I think it was an exercise in frustration. :-) Anyway, I came home with pages and pages of notes, several canvas studies and a resolve to work harder.

Today, after several months, I studied the painting again...and with a fresh look, I realized that it only needed a few adjustments.  Above, the workshop study is the result of a frustrating afternoon on a river bank.  The painting below is after I performed a "make-over" in the studio this afternoon.

"Three's a Crowd" - 9x12 - Oil on Canvas Panel
December 2010

I "warmed up" the Cypress and "cooled down" the background water and trees.  Using highlights and 'sparkle' in the water at lower right as a lead-in, the eye is drawn from there to the darkened foliage near the distant waterline; then upward to the "v-shape" where the trees meet the sky; and then gently moves over and down the Cypress to contemplate a tangled web of roots and soft reflections.

I like it a lot better.  What do you think?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Persimmons 9x12 Watercolor

Persimmons - 9x12 Watercolor

This still-life subject was a good one with lots of color.  Persimmons laying in a cobalt-blue dish; gorgeous....and inspiring!   This is from life; painted alla prima (all in one go).   Most of my watercolors are alla prima - forcing a quick sketch with focus on large shapes, and getting color, value, and temperature right with the first 'fiddling' with it!  I seldom do still-life paintings so I was very pleased with this one.  It's available! Go to and place your bid. 
P.S.  This is a re-post from December 2010. for the purpose of announcing the availability of the painting.