Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lochsa Shadows

        Lochsa Shadows             8"  x 10"           oil on linen panel

Today my intention was to use interesting grays. I have warm and cool grays in both the light and dark areas with just a few pure colors around the feet and water of the figure. I like the fact that it is a little 'different', but am still mulling over some of the values overall. This painting has a lot of subtle color mixing, which was difficult to get accurate in the photo. I may post again with changes to try and resolve that. Below is a detail

Lochsa Shadows - detail

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Shadow Falls Revisited

    Shadow Falls Revisited      oil on linen     10" x 8"

Thanks to those who commented about using Zest-It in my last post. I haven't made an order yet and am continuing to use walnut oil, as with this one today. 

This is a falls in North Idaho and from and old photo source. I began to look at a couple of boxes of photos (pre-digital) with the intention of clearing out and tossing many of them....... but as you see I get side-tracked. I find that they appeal as much as they ever did, sometimes for different reasons. Maybe we are hard wired to be drawn repeatedly to similar shapes, colors and contrasts of light and dark even over many years. Perhaps that becomes what we eventually call our painting style.
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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

At Home On The Range, more solvent-free painting

At Home On The Range               12" x 12"               oil on linen

What is it with cows? We love watching them, as they watch us, and they are always fun to paint. I've painted these two before and always like the feeling of friendship they seem to portray. 

This is another foray into solvent-free painting. I'm using walnut oil and walnut alkyd medium once again. I have no problem finding many solutions to cleaning brushes at the end of a painting session. But, I would like to be able to thin paint a bit more that various oils allow. Zest-It has been suggested to me a couple  times, and I see that it is available on the Rosemary Brushes website. Does anyone out there have experience with using it? I also like various other mediums such as Gamblin's solvent free gel, which I do like very much, but again it is for thicker paint feel.

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Winter Barn and Painting Without Solvents

Winter Barn                        9" x 12"                 oil on linen

This is a barn in the area of Grangeville, Idaho and it's from a photo taken a couple years ago. My real intent though was to paint solvent-free. I have notice more and more frequently over the past year that after a day in the studio (which does have good ventilation) that I have a dry cough, flushed face and squeaky voice! It's kind of like I'd just downed a shot of whiskey but without the high! I've periodically tried to paint without Gamsol (odorless mineral spirits) but I always get frustrated and go back to it for a first wash and brush cleaning. 

My first foray into trying something different was to purchase a line of Artisan water miscible oils. I like the feel and could get used to them but found out you cannot varnish for a minimum of 6 months to a year! I don't want to sell unvarnished paintings and this is a completely unworkable length of time for me to market and sell work online.

In this painting I used walnut alkyd medium and cleaned brushes using walnut oil. I worked the brush into a container of the oil to clean and then squeezed it out with paper towels. The feel is more oily than I like, but I'll work with it and hopefully  maintain my cleaner air quality.... we'll see

Meanwhile, I'm hoping someone  comes up with a water soluable replacement for mineral spirits.


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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Montana Spring Creek

           Montana Spring Creek                oil                   12" x 16"

Another fly fisher today. I blocked in 4 values once the drawing was done and then just went for it with areas of varying greens. In this one I made a particular effort to saturate the color in the foreground and graduate both value and saturation to a lighter grayer version toward the horizon. And it's just like me to be drawn to those orange sleeves  :)  

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Quiet Afternoon

Quiet Afternoon                    8" x 10"                         oil on panel

A painting will sometimes dictate where it's going at times, and that was the way with this one. I had in mind something with a bit more spark and contrast to it. But, as I worked with close values in the sky, I realized it was more about just looking out to enjoy a peaceful place and appreciating  quiet afternoon.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Garden Plans

Garden Plans                      12" x  9"      oil

So here I go again, trying to push forward to spring..... in my mind anyway. This is from one of my favorite photo resources from the past. I have used it before but feel I was more successful here in keeping a busy scene tamed. I tried for direction lines and values that would guide the viewer toward the garden shopper.

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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Almost Heaven - Fly Fishing on the Big Horn River

Almost Heaven                           9" x 12"                                oil

It seems like the minute the calendar turns over to the new year, I am thinking about colors of spring and summer! Go figure....I think it is my way of moving forward and refusing to be 'stuck' in  that 'winter' place. This is from a series of photos I took on the Big Horn river last summer. I pushed the color, but tried to keep the values in their place. Sometimes water can have so much happening that it can be a bit confusing, but I insisted those values would not boss me around by keeping to a value plan!.... a good resolution perhaps..

Happy New Year!

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year's End

           Year's End                    10.5" x 10.5"                 oil

A back lit farm scene ends my posting for the year 2015.
 Have a safe New Year's Eve and see you in 2016.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Fishing In Shadows

Fishing In Shadows                      oil                     9 x 9"

In these busy past few weeks, I've had a bit of time to paint, but posting has gotten the short end of the stick. So, this is a catch- up post for a painting I put together last week. I was trying for interesting darks, trying not to rely too heavily on flat passages. This was from two photos of the Owyhee River in the fall, with the rust colored foliage providing contrast. 
I hope your Christmas was wonderful and that you find time for relaxing as the year winds down.

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Colors At The End Of The Day

Colors At The End Of The Day   40" x 30" oil

I finished this one today and the size did have me taking extra time and stepping back quite a lot for the long view. While I'd used this shot before, this time I played much more with a kind of shimmering color effect with a lot of broken color strokes. I am posting some of those details shots as well. It is already sold, but it can be seen on my website.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Lost In Blue

    Lost In Blue                       oil on linen                        8" x 10"
Yesterday, I continued to mull over the band of light that I wanted to add to the trees in my last post. And, after Julie Ford Oliver's energetic comment "go for it!" there was no holding back. I posted the adjustment in my last post and on my website.

Today, I worked with a particularly simple value scheme. The dark masses I kept in the 6,7 range but the lights are all in the 2,3 range for a lot of contrast.
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

River Gold

     River Gold                12" x 18"                oil on linen panel

This is a great stand of Cottonwood trees along the Boise River as it passes through Eagle. I am quite sure I haven't done it justice but the story I wanted to tell was simply about this beautiful gold band of color against blue sky. I painted just a suggestion of a few birds for some motion though you probably can't see them unless you take in the larger view. 

I would like to try another view of this and perhaps have a more distinct band of lighting in the tops of the trees. It lends itself to many interpretations, so how can a painter go wrong? 

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Golden - fall color, how time flies!

     Golden                    oil              24" x 18"

This is a painting I actually started last fall. But I'd gotten lost in all the wonderful color of the entire forest and the story I wanted to tell got lost as well. So, I put it away and it wasn't until it was unearthed recently that I saw a clear path. The whole idea was to say something about this wonderful bright light in the forest, all on it's own. 
I mixed glazes using Gamblin Solvent Free Gel with some of the shadow colors that were grayed down. I then painted all the muddled middle values that confused the whole composition and toned them way down. I'm much happier now with this single statement of color and subject!
This was a definite case about less being more!

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Backyard Color

Backyard Color             oil               12" x 9"
Today I did work with more fall color. I've noticed on this tree, which is in our backyard, that as the leaves change, so do other parts of the trunk. This one gets a deep rich red color and the texture of the peeling bark gives it a lot of interest. There were more of the yellow masses of leaves, but I thought for focus, I would just keep it to a few.

 Have a Happy & Colorful Halloween!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall On The River

    Fall On The River                    12" x 16"             oil on panel

I worked on a light gray gessoed surface today which I haven't done for quite a while. I liked the way the warm colors came forward right away and the darks were more immediate to achieve. I only have a hint of fall color in this one, but I'm planning for more along that line soon.

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

For The Birds

For The Birds          16" x 12"       oil on panel

I am so thankful for all my collectors, but after eight commissions, I am looking forward to painting for myself in the next few weeks. This is from our friend's garden. They have created a true oasis in their perfect backyard space. Their hard work has paid off beautifully with color and fun artistic corners everywhere. As always, the sunflowers caught my eye. And, Alison let me know that, while they weren't a big challenge to grow, they always plant them "for the birds" which I thought was a perfect title. 

I'll need to mull this one over for awhile and possibly knock down some of the brushwork. So, though it's currently not for sale, you can see the Larger View On My Website.

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Big Island Cove

Big Island Cove                  10" x 10"            oil 

The 'big island' of Hawaii is the scene for another beachy painting. The soft greens of these lush mountains came into view as we drove around a bend in the road. While the photo I used is from a few years back, I remember the scene well. I debated whether to put in the figures on the beach, but  added them for scale and just the tiniest sparks of contrasting color.
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Beach Walking

Beach Walking                10" x 8"         oil

This one is from the beach in Oceanside, Ca. This kid ran, walked and stomped up and down the sand like he owned it! He seemed to thoroughly enjoy a great escape into a world of his own making, 

 Once again, I used a limited palette, the same warm variety as in my last post. The harmony created is so helpful in all stages of a painting

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Coral Bouquet

Coral Bouquet                      8" x 10"                  oil on linen

Life gets so crazy busy sometimes and I find myself neglecting my blog, which is frustrating but I know is a familiar lament for many of us from time to time. I am painting, for some commissioned work and also busy with a bit of travel and family obligations. 

Today though, I took a second look at a painting that I was never quite happy with. The color was lifeless and I couldn't see the resolution. When I am in a bind like that, it helps me to use a limited palette to bring cohesion back to the work. I used cad. lemon, cad yellow dark, cad. red light, alizarin crimson,ultramarine blue and white. Then, I just concentrated on warm and cool  'pieces' of color to create interest. Much better!
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