Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fresh and Green

The other painting
The painting above, Fresh and Green, is one of the other paintings that got me into the Indiana artist club. I recently finished a large studio painting based off of this work. This painting has a lot of design work involved and isn't particularly true to the exact scene that was in front of me. It was more about the patterns I was seeing and trying to organize it in a way that made sense to me. There was so much happening in the lower half of the scene that it had to be edited down and re-arranged to be an attractive showing of what was there. I'm a fan of visual rhythm. If I see shapes that repeat it doesn't matter what the subject material is. It could have been cars, boats, dogs, etc.., as long as it is has a flow. Anyway I need to get back to work. I am doing line and marker drawings of people using a a couple of websites., Check them out.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A rolling rhythm

What I've been up to
Since my last post

- Finished the plein air week with Wyatt
-Won Outstanding pastel at the Hoosier Salon
-Accepted into the Indiana Artist Club
-Paintings accepted into the Minnetresta: Art about the land show
-just got whipped by two paintings today

The last one is all I have been thinking about since putting down the brush today. I need to come up with a game plan if I'm going to start painting the figure and portraits. They both started so  promising. The drawing and composition was good enough, but after putting the brush down with color it was a slow motion train wreck. In a strange way it feels good getting kicked around by the painting process. It makes me think harder about what I'm doing. I will add figuring out the figure to my giant list of things to learn. 

The picture above is one of the paintings that got me into the Indiana artist club. "A rolling rhythm" I should start posting about the week long plein air adventure next, whether I do or not will be discovered shortly.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Waldron show in December

Waldron show in December
Long time, no post.

This is the poster for an upcoming show I will be in with Wyatt LeGrand in December. Here is a link to the Waldron's site ( ) Here is a link to Wyatt's site ( I'm excited to be doing this show. We will be painting all next week starting and finishing in Bloomington and working our way across the south and central parts of the state during the week. If you want to come out to paint or watch, please do. Drop me a line or head to the area and search us out. We will be making large studio work for each of the seven days as well as the plein air pieces created on site.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

HCAA paintout


It has been close to a month since I've posted on here. It has been much longer since I have had a plan of what I'm doing with the blog. That is something I need to think about more and is better left to another post.
The painting above won 1st place today at the HCAA paint out in Noblesville. I painted with Jerry Smith and Mary Anne Davis in some nasty weather. The thing that I think a lot of people would benefit from by going to the plein air events is to find someone to paint with that you enjoy there work and listen and watch them. Plein air events are great because you are out there putting in the work and learning from your self as well. Basically question what and why you are doing things and give yourself something to think about while you are working. If you learn one thing while you are battling all the physicality of painting in an open environment you have done something useful with your brush time.
Some times I find myself painting out in the full sun, actually more than some times. When out in open I get to squinting a lot and it is really hard to see what you are doing with your edges, especially when the values start to get similar. Today I was thinking about how I get my camera to refocus when it is on auto setting. I aim it at something light in value, focus it and then take it back to whatever I'm wanting focused on and focus. Today after I had been squinting for a while I would look up at the clouds and look for colors other than white. Once I found them I would take a few steps back from the painting, look at the painting and the scene. Things would look a whole lot crisper. I'm not sure why it seemed to help but it is something for me to think about next time I go out. Anyway thanks you everyone who talked to me at the show. It's always good to know some body likes what I'm spending my time working on.

Monday, May 7, 2012

More under painting thoughts

More under painting thoughts

My last post was about painting outside Franklin. This past Wednesday I went back and got a lot of painting done. This painting was done in front of the farm house of the people that let me paint on their farm. I was looking past one of their fields at a farm on a parallel road. There was water standing in the closest field with mustard in the grass water sheds. With everything in the foreground along with the buildings beyond the fields, the scene is interesting to me.

One of the things I've been working on my pastels is the under painting. In this painting a lot of the under painting is showing through. What I'm trying to do with my plein air and field studies is use the minimum amount of pastel strokes to get the necessary information for the scene. In my studio paintings I'm doing my best to use the under painting as base to use intuition from. Since a lot of the decision making that is spontaneous is eliminated from working in a controlled environment, using the under painting in this manner is a welcome technique. I've also found that when laying down the darks in the under painting it is important to get the warm/cool shift in each shape as it comes forward/recedes. In the foreground of this painting, the field and water shed is warm red/green respectively and the red/green becomes more neutral and tapers off into a cooler version in each as it recedes to the next field. Keeping all this in line along with the higher values as things recede on that plane is a lot to think about. Throw in the fact it has to fit in with the next plane back and the next behind it, everything begins to become complicated quickly. Simplifying even more is the next big step. I think I do a decent job of it now but I still over think things and fudge decent ideas all the time. Perhaps next time that is what I will write about.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Out Driving

Out Driving
Today I had the best laid plans. I would drive to Franklin and paint down on the old square. After looking at the weather I started to have my doubts. It was supposed to start storming this afternoon and it was already an overcast day. When I arrived in Franklin there was a lot of people walking around down by the square which makes me not want to paint unless there are other people painting. It makes me feel like a spectacle when I'm the only painter. I just kept driving. I thought I would head down to Edinburg and paint with Rick Wilson but he was busy working so I headed home. On the way back I saw a side road that looked wide enough for me to pull off of so I took a left and went down it. About a mile off the main road I came across this scene. It was a trail back to a field that is probably going to be disked up within the week. While I was painting the owners of the land came up and thankfully didn't run me off. After finishing this painting I got another one in and talked to them before I left.  They were nice people and said I could come back and paint again so hopefully this is the start of a good little series of paintings from this farm. There is a nice stand of trees that acts as framing for a ton of paintings up on top of a hill to the left of this scene.

In the painting above I used a watercolor under painting on a handmade sanded paper panel. If the watercolor under painting has the values some what close the painting almost paints itself. Lately I've been working on letting as much of the under painting show through as possible and while the top half is almost covered, the bottom half of the painting has a lot showing through. I think getting better with value will allow me to stretch the under painting even further into the final work as time goes on.  Anyway its just a thought, tomorrow I will post the other painting.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Another Field Study
Since returning home I've been looking over the paintings, photos and sketches I did in New Harmony. While there, I only did a few oil sketches. Most of my time was spent with pastels. This little oil sketch was also one of my paintings stamped for field to finish. Looking solely at this sketch it seems busy but when I got to looking at it and the photo it is quite simplified. The farm this scene was located at was just loaded with potential paintings and I will returning there next year as well. This sketch probably will not be used for the competition but it will be re-examined and turned into something else. Yesterday I started doing small pastel studies of the few sketches I got done on site. So far I'm really excited with what has been happening with them. Soon I will begin the largest paintings I've done to date and these sketches are giving me a lot of confidence and ideas to run with.