Friday, October 29, 2010

Last Light On The Dam

"Last Light On The Dam"
12x16 oil on linen
Once again, the beaver dam where I grew up has been another source of inspiration for me and here is the result of that inspiration. I do have to say the shadows are a bit cooler and more filled with air than you see here, I'm having photographing issues but am sure I'll figure it out eventually. . . . hoping. . . anyway, I'm sure you can get the gist of it!
This pond is so thick with lily pads and all the other beautifully colored gunk that grows upon the top, especially by the end of the summer, I love all that thick stuff to paint. It's almost like you could walk across the water, it's so dense, I'm assuming that wouldn't work well though. . . .
I used a photo reference for this piece, although I don't do that too often. Since I've painted it enough from life I could simply use the photo as a source of inspiration. The foreground took me a bit to figure out since that part of the photo was virtually no help, it was thick with pads so my goal was to portray that with out over painting them so the eye would pass over them and trail up to the light. Just a few actually lilies were popping out but were positively glowing from the light, really a lovely thing to see. :)
I'm having a show in December with Tom Makestaad in Marine on The St Croix so I plan to have this painting there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Walk Along The River

"A Walk Along The River"
24x30 oil on linen panel

I was recently commissioned to do this painting of the St Croix at the boat launch on the WI side of the Interstate Park, a place I have painted frequently in the past in all seasons. On this painting I used my field study that I painted a few years back. I've had many opportunities to sell this particular piece but there are some paintings that are much more valuable to keep. I've ended up using this study for many larger versions of this place, each painting always ends up having a life of it's own.
In the beginning stage of each making a painting, I think it's crucial to have first a good concept and second a good composition of strong shapes that support the idea or concept.
Here I show my 'wash' of my composition using transparent oxide red and mineral spirits, there might be a little ultra marine adding in the cast shadows along the shore. . . . . .
. . .developing my darks a bit more. . .
at this point in the painting I like to start working in large masses
There gets to be a point that once you get a mass massed in, you really need to work into another mass connected to the one you were working on for relativeness. I do not ever finish an area entirely until I have the shapes at least massed in since they are all relative, especially when you are working on subtlety. In my masses I'm always thinking of developing the form of the shapes.
Time to get the sky started. I usually start with a cooler pool of color like in the image above and then mix a pool of warmer color to break in on top of the cool. It helps to create vibration in an area.

My study is to the right. I 'use' my studies for information, I don't copy them. I wanted the large piece to be softer and warmer than the study was.
Cast shadows are starting to appear on the shore line. I usually spend quite a bit of time working on the design of these. I always think of the fact that shadows tell the tale of form.
One of my favorite parts of painting the banks of the St Croix is the sweep of the shore line and the warm rich color of the sand when it's sun lit. Here I started getting that in along with the water. The St Croix has a unique color due to the Tamarack roots up north affecting the color of the water. It's warm and rich colored like root beer. I don't ever use any white in these areas as it would cool the color too much. I use yellow to lighten it if I need and try and stick with transparent colors such as transparent oxide, ultra marine, and aliz and thin it with mineral spirits.
here comes the wind sheer and sky reflections

at this stage the little subtle exceptions come in.
Note the color of the finish piece and this last one are a bit off. I'm working on color with my new computer, it's actually somewhere in between the two but you get the idea. . .:)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Glitter Lit

"Glitter Lit"
11x14 oil on linen panel

The St Croix October, 2010 painted from William OBrien State Park, just north of Stillwater and Marine during the flood. The water is unusually high, especially for this time of year. The water in front of the tree is actually the parking lot, the water behind the tree is the river, two totally separate waters in the same painting. This back lit situation with two separate bodies of water - moving water, calm water, high glare from the sun and reflection from the tree was an interesting challenge to paint.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Planes of Pears

6x8 oil on linen
In my classes we have been using the pear to study plane changes and develop a clear understanding of form. This is a little piece I did for my classes last week. I love painting pears!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Things Change . . . .

"Washington County Farmland"
11x14 oil on linen panel
This is a piece I did in the field about a month ago, painted near the Nason Hill piece I posted earlier. Washington County is where I grew up, my family farmed and my kids and I still live. This scene is what we used to see much more of when I was younger but things change, as do our surrounding landscape. As the barns fall, most people replace them with something new or just simply completely let them go because of the great expense it costs to repair and restore these old structures.
This barn is an original that still stands nestled into the land as if it were a part of the land that holds it, and only a slight sway back, unlike many of the others still holding on.
So, this painting is to remember the beauty of the old and never ending change ahead!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Outdoor Painters Of Minnesota

I am honored to be teaching a workshop for OPM this October the 23rd. OPM is an group for outdoor painters to get together and paint monthly around our state. This workshop I will be teaching is being sponsored by OPM and members are able to sign up for FREE through the OPM website. To see details click on the image above and it will enlarge it.
Thanks OPM, I'm really looking forward to being the first to teach this workshop! Hope to see some of you there, happy painting!