Friday, December 5, 2014

Awesome October:

October has always been a busy month for me and 2014 was no exception.  October 1st through 4th, I participated in the Kerrville (TX) Outdoor Painting Event.  I truly enjoy participating in KOPE; the scenery in and around Kerrville is magnificent.  Another reason I enjoy it is because I have a cousin living only 10 miles from the event and I get to spend time with her & her husband too.  The show is always a good one for me as far as sales and this year I not only sold well, but I won an honorable mention as well.
"Cialis"  8 x 10 Watercolor
This painting is a result of driving through an old junk yard looking for something "interesting".  Off the main trail through the yard I spied these 2 old tubs; the light was just right.  It won the "Best Junk" award! Even though it's a good painting, I think the title "Cialis" helped with the judge's decision :-)
The last week of October I was 1 of only 33 juried artists to participate in En Plein Air Texas in San Angelo, Texas.  What a wonderful 1st year event!  The organizers provided the artists with host families (saved $$ for lodging), and a catered lunch every day!  Every evening, there was a "gathering" with food & drink.  My host family, Tommy and Janet Lay were absolutely wonderful! During the day for a week, we painted on 2 private ranches and throughout historic downtown San Angelo. The event's "Gala" on Friday night was attended by more than 200 collectors
 and they were very generous with their pocketbooks.  The juror of awards, Steve Doherty, Editor of Plein Air Magazine, awarded my painting "Low Water Crossing" with 3rd place honors!
Low Water Crossing - Dove Creek - SOLD
14 x 11 Oil
Below are  2 more paintings completed on location in October:
"Conchita's Mexican Grill"  (downtown Kerrville, TX)
12x12 Watercolor - SOLD

"Yellow Truck" (alley in downtown San Angelo, TX)
8 x 10 Watercolor - gift to my hosts, Tommy & Janet Lay

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Rio Grande River - My View

This past Spring I visited Big Bend National Park with the sole intent to create as many "color studies" as I could.  In the 5 days there, I spent almost as much time driving (it's a really BIG park!) as I did painting.  One never knows what kind of weather conditions will be encountered but out of all the trips I've made to this magnificent remote corner of West Texas, the weather while I was there was perfect; clear skies, no wind, 80 degrees.....a plein air painter can't ask for much more than that!

This location is along the Rio Grande north of Terlingua, Texas at a tourist attraction known as the Contrabando Move Set. This is looking easterly with the sun about 10 o'clock high which created a "back lit" view of the cliffs across the river on the Mexico side. 

I want to share the "before & after" of this painting. I rarely make any adjustments until I can get it back into the studio....and upon review back in the studio, I seldom make any changes; the purpose for working on location is to record accurate color, values and capture the "atmosphere". So, having said all that, the first image ("Before") is without any adjustments in color, value or composition changes.  Very often, when looking "into the sun" for 2 hours, it literally makes you unable to "see".


"Up River View - The Rio Grande"
9x12 Oil on Paper

In the studio I could see where adjustments were needed in value as well as intensity of color.  The cliffs in the "before" image were too strong in color as well as value so I "grayed" the color to soften them.  Changing the cliffs made it necessary to rework the foreground a little by muting the colors to a darker value and raising the value in the mid-distance so the willows appear to be in full sun.  I also changed the tree color in right foreground to be less "orange" and set them more in shadow.  I'm still not sure I'm finished with this one, but it's getting there.  I'll set it aside for a few days then look at it again with "fresh eyes".  I think this painting could be my reference for a larger studio piece....we'll see!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Painting In Big Bend National Park

A couple of weeks ago, I spent 5 absolutely awesome days with 30 other artists in Big Bend National Park.  This is the 4th time in as many years that I've been there, and every time I discover new places to paint.  My favorite hang out is anywhere along the Rio Grande River or in the Ghost Town of Terlingua just outside the park.

Along the Rio Grande River - Day 1

Above & below:  Day 2 - the painting & my value sketch

Above & Below:  Day 3 - On the Rio Grande River

 Day 5 - Ghost Town Terlingua - Old wagon on edge of town with Chisos mountain range in background
During the 5 days of painting I completed 6 paintings. The weather was perfect for painting:  cool and clear mornings, followed by warm afternoons.  I'd begin the day layered with 2 shirts & a jacket.  By noon I was painting in just a t-shirt.  There was a lot more water in the river this year than in years past and the color was spectacular ranging from bright white sparkle as it flowed over rocky shallow areas to deep waters of blue, yellow & green.   The 4 paintings pictured here as well as 2 other studies will be used as source for larger studio paintings.  Keep an eye on my website; new paintings will be posted as they're completed.

During the week of March 22 thru 29, I'll be painting in a local paint out competition in Terrell, TX - and on April 5, I'll participate in a Quick Draw competition with Outdoor Painters Society. Check back soon for more new plein air paintings!