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Saturday, December 27, 2008

California Impressionists

The above painting is by William Wendt, one of many wonderful California Impressionists.

As I have not had the time nor the motivation to pick up my brush the past few days, I have been catching up on my reading. I have a book checked out of the library that is fast coming due, and I have reached my limit of renewals. With that in mind, I have been perusing the book and reading chapters as they interest me. This morning I read a quote written by an art essayist, Michael Willliams. His essay was included in the volume produced in conjunction with the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition of 1915 in San Fransisco on the art and artists included in the art exhibition halls. He identified the spirtual roots of California art in his essay titled "The Pageant of California Art." Here is the quote that touched me enough to want to share it:

"Unless art, like, man, believes in and is obedient to the spirit of God, it is doomed to madness, decay, and death... (California) is a a state of natural health. It is the land of the great out of doors, a region where art may touch the life-giving bosom of Mother Earth once more, and be fructified anew; where it may put aside its dreary, tortuous intellectualism and the blighting madness of self-deificiation, and turn its eyes once again to the stars, to the great mountains, and to the sea, not merely for their own sakes, but because, real and actual as they are, they are but symbols of divine realities."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nothing New

This past weekend I just pulled some of the paintings I have done this fall that I wanted to touch up; some just a tad, others more than a tad. I think the general rule of thumb on a painting being called a plein-air piece is 80% done on site and 20% can be done in the studio. A plein air painting done 100% on location is called "alla prima." So with that in mind, I think all of these still qualify for plein aire.

Friday I worked on this piece from the Bobolink Trailhead in Boulder, done in October. I had wanted to even out the grass field so that the plane gave a better feeling of being flat. I do tend to get carried away on the textures and patterns. So I tried to keep the color the same but lighter in value on the foreground and to darken the tree itself. I left some of the grasses as is as I weaved the lighter values in. I do actually think of it being a "weaving" of color when I am painting on top of an existing piece. I know there are many artists who use their field sketch to do a bigger painting from, but I actually like to work on the painting itself. It helps me to think about what I want to capture in the field that I am not getting done.

Saturday I revisited the painting I drove to Boulder twice to work on in the field. The Teller Farm buildings. I was still not satisfied with it and so onto the easel it went. I wanted to simplify the shapes and add contrast between the light and the dark shapes. I also flattened out the foreground.

Sunday I pulled a painting out from September painted in Fraser. I have been looking at this painting for months now and wasn't sure if I should mess with it or not. I finally decided that yes, it was something I wanted to do. I toned down some of the colors and unifed the values. I am much happier with all three of these paintings.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

still struggling

Leslie talking to Deb as Deb paints the Cameron Church.
The Third Attempt - Fri. 12-19-08: Last Saturday I met PAAC at the corner of Iowa and Pearl to paint Pearl Street. You may recall that I had started a painting there a month or so ago now. That painting is still unfinished, although I did take it to work on. The whole point of the painting was to capture the bare naked trumpet vine that curls around the fence and tops out like a big parasol over the gate to the backyard of an old apartment building. I did lay it in on Saturday and my fellow artist friend, Leslie, said I had done a great job blocking it in. BUT I wiped the vine out when I got home. She said she has tried similar subject matter with equally frustrating results, and I have talked to other artists whom have tried tackling this very same trumpet vine with no end result worth keeping. So what is it about this particular scene? Leslie also suggested that the painting was fine without the trumpet vine so just leave it out and move on. I did push the light/dark values this last trip out. My daughter thinks it looks like a great cover to a novel as it stands. Oy vey. I will ponder it as I work on something else today.
I finally got something productive done yesterday towards Christmas preparations so I feel less stressed about being so far behind. It was a gorgeous day and I so wanted to be outside painting, as a front is supposed to be moving in again today. BUT reason prevailed and I do feel a weight off my shoulders. For now. And Christmas shopping of any kind the weekend before the holiday was not really an option I wanted to face.

Ernest L Blumenschein Exhibit

Last Friday I met four artist friends at the Denver Art Museum to view the Blumenschein exhibit currently on display. I had heard mixed reviews from those friends who had already seen the exhibit. And I could see their point. The comment I heard more than once was that they liked the early paintings and the later paintings but that the middle of his career were so-so. I totally liked his early paintings; there were two he painted in Paris and one in NYC that were wonderful little paintings. I had no idea he had lived and painted in Paris since he is so well known as being one of the Taos 6 painters. There were some stunning pieces throughout the show, and right now, being a week later, I cannot remember the names of the pieces I particularly enjoyed. His use of color was what impressed me the most. Blumenschein was not the artist I most liked of the Taos 6 but after seeing this exhibit, my view has changed. Amazing how more knowledge and information will do that! If you have not seen the exhibit, it is up through February 8th.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

getting around to touch ups

Last weekend I also put some finishing touches on the paintings I did at Teller Farms a few weeks ago. The one above needed one of the grass planes flattened out in the foreground. Sometimes you just don't see those things when you are on sensory overload in the field painting. this is a better photo than the original posting. I have realized that when I take photos of wet paintings I get too much glare and reflected light, so I may not be so hasty to post right away in the future. I need to work on that dilemma

The painting below, done the week previous to the one above, also needed some touching up. I was not happy with the flat plane (again) of the foreground. I also wanted to create more movement in the grasses and cattails. I did not touch the tree color or the background at all so you can see the difference in the color saturation when the paint is so wet. That is why artists tend to like to varnish their work - it brings back the wonderful colors.

This weekend I am painting walls, as in a room. Since my daughter has moved out, I am turning her room into a guest room. The walls are almost finished but the trim is still to be down, and in this old Victorian, there is LOTS of trim to be done (3 doors and 4 windows!). We are also thinking of installing wall to wall carpet (oh my!) in the bedrooms and hallway. So this is creative as well, just not a canvas, although a canvas of sorts.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend 2008

Thanksgiving weekend found me busy with cooking, baking and being with friends and family. We were fortunate to have been invited for two turkey dinners; one on Thanksgiving with friends in Denver and one on Friday with extended family in Colorado Springs. We had a great time with everyone.

It did not leave me much time to catch up on the computer or to be at my easel. So be it. BUT I did decide to finally take up a painting that I had done early last spring. This was done from a photo reference. I had never been happy with the outcome but felt it held potential and I wasn’t ready to ditch it quite yet. I totally reworked it. Viewing the photo of the reworked painting I see that the dark brushstroke in the lower left hand side is too distracting. It is showing up a bit darker in the photograph than it really is but still I will touch that up. It still isn’t where I wanted to go with it originally. I just realized that as I was looking at the photos of the paintings.
The photo reference was taken in Gurgy, France along the Yonne River. I was on a boat excursion with my sister and 5 other adults for 5 nights visiting Auxerre and Joigny and other ports along the way. Gurgy was not quite a port, but we did find a place to tie up along the bank. We had to stop here as we didn't have enough time to make it through the next lock before it closed for the evening. It actually was one of my favorite stops.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Teller Farms Revisited - Saturday 11-22-08

Last Saturday was another gorgeous day. And though I was tired from working all week and then painting all day Friday and then going to openings Friday night, it was just too beautiful out. And I had that incomplete painting from Teller Farms from the previous weekend...Since it was started in the afternoon, I didn't have to get an early start, which was nice. I spent a couple of hours on it and then headed home. I sure enjoy the people who walk there. So pleasant. One woman said to me " you made my day! Seeing you out here painting in one of my favorite places." Some are very polite and say hello but don't ask or come over to see what I am doing. And to think I used to be terrified that someone would come and look!

I am thinking it might be better to crop this piece to be 16" x8" - I did not rework the foreground at all last Saturday, and it probably does need some work. But if I crop it...that eliminates that issue. Although it then puts the farm buildings right in the middle, or cuts the painting in half, which is not a good thing. Any feedback?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I have been out painting, just not had time for the computer

Friday, November 21 found me painting with Melinda and Jody up in Morrison, CO. We were met by a friend of Melinda's, Lance. The four of us set up to paint the town church. Actually, Lance set up on the hillside behind us and painted us painting the church. I should have thought to have taken a photo of his painting to post. I am still a bit slow on thinking ahead of what I might want to post.
Melinda is a fast painter, and I have slowed down since I have been painting larger formats. I picked an 8"x10" for this painting so we would all be on the same page. Lance did a 12x16 and still finished with us all. Hmmm. I kept mine simple and I have not touched it up at all. I see things that would improve it but just haven't had the time.

After lunch we drove along hwy 8 and painted near the quarry. I was still not feeling on top of my game; I can be intimidated painting with new people sometimes and I think this was one of those times. I again chose a small format, and then wiped off the first attempt. the second attempt is okay; Strong shapes anyway. this is 8"x6."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Before and After Sqaw Pass

Here is a painting I posted back in October, I believe. I painted it up on the road between Bergen Park and Mount Evans. I was not unhappy with it in its original state, but I felt I could improve upon it. This is one I tweaked on Saturday afternoon.I feel it is improved but there are those that would argue otherwise.

Being on a roll, I also touched up "Holy Cow" and "Cherry Vale Farm."
In Holy Cow I added the tree behind the mother's head, which I had intended to be there all along, and broke up the building shapes, which is also something I had originally wanted to do. to see the original posting:
In the Cherry Vale Farm painting I only lightened the roof, which had continued to bother me and I broke up the barn itself . Very minor adjustments.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Other Weekend Work (11/14-15)

Friday I was supposed to meet my new painter friends from the week before in Olde Town Arvada. Friday turned out to be snowing and cold. I walked Fritz between 7:30-8:30 a.m. at Wash Park and it was amazing in its grayness. No light, but the trees were outlined in white snow, the gray sky neutralized the trees, except the bright oranges and reds and it was really quite lovely. I was determined to come back after taking snow-encrusted Fritz home and to not drive out to Arvada but to do a quick painting at any number of beautiful places I noted along the 2.5 or so mile walk. BUT, when I got home, got my gear in the ready - the darn sun was showing its face; I really did not want to paint melting snow. Melissa and Company had opted to stay indoors and paint a still life, so I then decided to stay indoors and rework my painting from the past Friday. I totally redrew/painted the street scene on top of the original. I did not get it done but it is about the same place structurally as the original with just a bit more "je ne sais quoi." Substance comes to mind. The big missing piece is just hinted here and that is the twisted umbrella of the trumpet vine that will be just about dead center of the garage roof if I can pull it off.

Saturday morning I reworked a painting my daughter has. The original was painted in or around 2004 and it is, I hope, obviously, on the left. The pale green background just did not go with her new decor in her "new" apartment yet she still liked the painting and wanted it to fit in. I offered the option of repainting the background (phew!) to fit the color scheme, and luckily, the color scheme was a neutral gray blue. Perfect for improving this painting. I spent the morning on this as since I added texture to the background to match the texture in the blossoms, I also had to paint over the other flat areas, such as the leaves, bottle and table/paper. while I was at it, I orchestrated a few of the blossoms as well. Oh my, what fun.
I will save the afternoon's touch ups for another post. When one is having this much fun, one keeps going!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Teller Farms Revisited

Sunday found me back at Teller Farms open space. It was projected to be a beautiful day, and it was. Terri and I met up in the parking lot around 9 a.m. I headed back to the same place where I had painted last Saturday with Pat, as I could see the orange willows were spectacular against the purple blue mountains. I painted in almost the exact same spot but turned a quarter turn or so. I am happy with the outcome, but it does needs minor touch ups here and there,ie the evergreen "trees" look weird - what was I thinking? This is also one of those paintings that just looks better in person. Teller Farms Open Space Revisited is 9" x 12." I should call it "Painting of a Fence" which is what a young boy child remarked about it. (really, the fence is just a vehicle for the eye to travel) It reminded me of another time while painting in Boulder where a remark was overheard "Look, an artist!" which is reminiscent of "Look, a moose!"

Pat joined me for the afternoon. I had planned on painting the farm buildings again, too, but in a long landscape format (16x10) so that I could get more of the outbuildings in. I did get a bit more than I expected in place but it was a tough go as the wind really came roaring through. Poor Pat, her whole kit and kaboodle blew over with her palette and her painting both landing face down in the dirt. I am not really happy with the inital photograph of this painting so I am hesitant to post it just yet.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Potting Bench revisted

I had remarked on Saturday that I was going to try and finish the painting I had started on Friday on Sunday morning and the painting from the previous Sunday in the afternoon. The Iowa Street scene from Friday had totally different lighting when I drove down there so I opted to work on another piece from when I was in Evergreen a month ago. I spent the morning in my studio finishing up that piece. I will post it as a "before and after" soon.

In the afternoon, I did go out and work on finishing the Potting Bench, which as you recall, is 24" x 18" - a large painting for me. Here is where the painting is right now, and again, I see in the digital photo a few things that pop out and I will tweak.

If you go down to the entry of November 3 you can see this in its more unfinished state. My husband's comment on this painting was "it is a nice painting but I don't like the subject." I just noticed that I didn't get the hooks in that would help break up the space of the flat board in front. My intent was to do a still life with the pomegranates, which I did accomplish, and you will see that I do like to paint this particular fruit as the winter progresses and I am indoors more. These particular fruit were hand-carried by Richard from his brother's orchard in Vacaville.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Denver Plein Aire Opening

Tonight was the opening at the Denver Public Library for the Golden Triangle Paint out that I participated in back in September. There was quite the crowd which was very gratifying to see, and paintings selling, which is always a good thing. I was quite surprised to be greeted by one of my painter friends with a "congratulations!" having no idea that one of the paintings that I got in to the show won Honorable Mention. The show has roughly 120 paintings hanging, and it is a show worth going to if you are downtown. Heck, make it a destination! I wish I had thought to take my camera with me tonight to post a photo with this entry. Although, the place was packed and it would have been a challenge! My painting that won the award is called "Quiet Sunday at the Bail Bonds." The partially finished painting was one of my first blog entries. It took me a few trips to finish this painting as it is a large format for me when painting outside; as I continue to push that envelope. My diligence was rewarded.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Teller Farms in Boulder

Saturday I drove to Boulder to hook up with Pat. She had suggested we go to Teller Farms open space to paint. What an amazing place. And what a gorgeous day we had. The forecast had called for wind, but we painted until mid-afternoon before the wind came up. We hiked on the trail to our first spot just short of a pond. Above is the 16"x10" painting I did at this location. I have tried a myriad of times since Saturday to reshoot this photo without the glare on the sweeping clouds in the upper left hand corner, to no avail. After lunch, Pat suggested we change places but I decided to head back to the road to paint the farm outbuildings while she stayed and painted this same scene facing the foothills. The following painting is 12"x9" and I am standing right at the shoulder of the road. Pat was right, it is a fairly busy road, but I loved the building block feel with the very white reflective barn roofs.
You have to love digital photography as an artist. As soon as you see the digital photo you see glaring "issues" with your painting, dispassionately. Or at least I sure do. In both of these finished pieces I see things I will most likely "fix." Minor changes, relatively speaking, but I think they will improve the work overall. In the top painting I am not liking the grasses and the foreground ridges of the flat ground. In the bottom painting the bales of hay in the upper left-hand corner are not reading well and also the crows on the barn are just at tad too dark in value. The foreground grass field may also require some attention. I am still, overall, very happy with the days work.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Painter Friends!

It is always a good day when you meet like minded folks; Yesterday, one of my fellow student friends from Kevin Weckbach's class, Marty, introduced me to the friends he paints with on Fridays. He couldn't stay as he had an opening last night to attend to, but Jeannie and I joined Jody, Kathy and Melinda. We were a tight little group painting on the corner of Old South Pearl Street at Iowa. Imagine that - my neighborhood. We got a late start, I picked a larger canvas, and architecture is not my forte, so although I did cover my canvas, it is really only roughly blocked in. The wind came up mightily so the specks you see in the photo are imbedded debris that hit the canvas with great force. I barely got the canvas off the easel before it was taken by the wind. With great optimism I plan to work on it on site tomorrow morning so that I can finish the potting bench in the afternoon. We shall see how the day shapes up.

Today I met Pat in Louisville and we drove to Teller Farms. What an amazing location. We had perfect weather and I did two paintings that I will try to photograph tomorrow. FINISHED paintings, imagine that. I was beginning to wonder...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Last Sunday's afternoon adventure

Since it is November in Colorado and we are still blessed with amazing weather and temperatures I could not stay inside and paint the still life I had set up in my studio. Instead, I took the pomegranates out to the backyard with a few limes thrown in for color to see if I couldn't come with something appropriate. I also grabbed an 18" x 24" board to see just how far I could get in the time I had alloted. With daylights savings, I knew my light would be dying earlier than I was used to and I didn't get started until 12:30 or so. I had such a good time painting this set up. I hope it shows. Unfortunately, I won't be able to finish it "onsite" until the weekend as it will be getting too dark by the time I get home from work. Too sad as I am really fired up to work on it.

A bit of irony on this particular subject: our patio slants down towards the sidewalk so the potting bench is normally at a slant, not level. I put a piece of flagstone on the slope side to bring it up to level before starting this painting. Note that the potting bench is sloping towards the right. I must be so used to seeing it at an angle that even when it is straight, I can't see it that way. I plan to finish this up tomorrow afternoon if the weather holds.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Washington Park

Friday found me wondering aimlessly around the neighborhoods close to home. The Fall Color is still so amazing and the weather has been in the mid 70's. How can I not be in the mood to paint? There is no excuse to not be outside enjoying the glorious weather when it could change any day now. There was no new posting last weekend because I just could not focus. These things happen and when they do, you just have to go with it. But I was determined to not lose another day even if I wiped the painting off. Put paint on the palette and put brush in paint and put brush stroke on canvas. Phew. That did it; Here is what I managed to do: it is 11" x 14" in my goal to paint larger outside. I had lots of folks stop by to see what I was doing and one woman said "Geez, that is a small surface to paint all that glory! Hmmm.

Golden Triangle Museum District Show

I was notified this past week or so that of the four pieces I submitted to the Plein Aire show, three have been accepted. If you recall, I spent the better part of two weeks in September painting in and around downtown Denver. The show will open November 13, 6-9 p.m. at the Denver Public Library at 13th and Broadway. Here is the link for more information:;

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Last weekend was spent touring around Seattle and going to my niece's wedding. After logging in many miles going from one end of downtown to the other and then zigzagging the in between blocks, I did manage to get one sketch done. This view was from our hotel window looking up 6th Avenue, where the original Nordstrom's is in the lower left corner. I loved the patterns of the street, cars and buildings. I am planning on building a large painting from this sketch. It has the potential to be a very cool abstracted cityscape.

I have not painted at all this weekend with so much going on around the homefront. All of us out of town last weekend and our daughter moving out next weekend I have had to go with other priorities.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

In Memory

Here is a painting I originally did a study of (not sure what happened to it) from which I painted the above piece. I looked at this painting for at least three years(probably more) and just this summer took it off the wall and reworked it. The differences are subtle, but they are definitely there. This sheep ranch is the next ranch up from where my in-laws have lived for the past 20+ years. I thought it a fitting tribute to my mother-in-law, Dorothy, who passed away Oct 14 at the age of 87. The end of an era. Unfortunately, I did catch some light glare on the left side of the newer version. This painting is 11"x14" and is called "Debbie's Sheep."

Just for fun, I will also post a photo of my father-in-laws barn that I painted plein air the last time I was in Hopland in 2007. This barn did house sheep, goats and if I remember correctly some pigs at varying points in time before he gave up: the mountain lions won.

And his neighbor up the hill and friend, Lou's vineyard, which I had painted a study of on site and then painted the following 12"x16" Ravano's Vineyard:
You can't help but love the rolling hills of northern California. May you Rest in Peace, Dorothy.

Before and After on Berthoud Pass

Here is a painting I had painted two years ago up on Berthoud Pass. My husband, Richard was hiking one of the trails off the Pass and I stayed at the parking lot to paint. This was my least favorite of the three I did that day and the largest (14"x11"). By the third painting I was getting wet as you can see the storm is coming toward me in this painting.

As you can see the basic structure is still there. I had fun orchestrating and pretending I was back outside working quickly to keep the plein aire feel to it. I am learning alot as I paint over these older paintings - it is a sense of freedom when you don't have the fear of ruining a painting. I think I need to fix a few of the evergreen trees in the foreground as they are looking a bit static-and the blue willows end a bit abruptly. Other than that, I am quite pleased.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Black & white revisited

I am thinking that the problem with photographing this painting is its size- or it could just be me. But you can still see how much I changed it from the first try at adding color; I decided to play with breaking up all the grass. I am much happier with the new color on the chairs. I also darkened the house on the right and lightened the house in the middle. Not using any reference frees you up to orchestrate the painting. I missed the follow-up class critique for this exercise because I so wanted to paint the fall colors at Big Bend while it lasted. I did show the painting to Kevin this past Saturday and his comment was: I lost the local tone aspect of it. Especially on the two buildings towards the right and my grass, sigh. Which translates to: the value shift from one side of the building to the other is too great. Those buildings are reading as light and shadow. The original B&W version had basically three values and I have gotten away from that. Local tone essentially flattens out a scene. Back to the drawing board. Luckily, this was a test run and I still have two other B&W paintings to add color to.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

South Boulder Creek

Friday-October 10-Jeannie and I had agreed to paint together every Friday in October except the 17th, as I will be out of town attending my niece's wedding in Seattle. Last Saturday, at Lair of the Bear, I had told Pat, a classmate of ours, that we had a date to paint this Friday and she wanted to join us. Jeannie wanted to work on a painting that she had started up Boulder Canyon, so we agreed to meet there. Unfortunetly, it was a cold, foggy day up the Canyon, and Jeannie's painting was a light and shadow on a beautiful, sunny Fall day. The temp on my car thermometer said a cool 36 degrees and none of us were dressed for that. I love fog, and had I been dressed appropriately, would have loved the opportunity to paint in it. We headed back down the canyon, and as Pat is from Louisville, she knows the area well. She led us to the Bobolink Trailhead off of Baseline in Boulder, and what a perfect spot! Though there was no sun and it never got above 47 degrees, we stopped and set to painting. Jeannie and I both love "local tone" and we had our easels next to each other to paint right off the parking lot (Fall Color at Boblink Trailhead is 16"x12"). Pat went further afield to sketch. "Local tone" is basically a painting without light and shadow and the three values of the B&W painting exercise I have previously posted.

Jeannie still wanted to work on her painting and I felt I was finished with mine, so Fritz and I went wandering. Since she had an hour to go before leaving, I found a spot up the trail and did the painting below, Blaze of Color, 8"x6".

Friday, October 10, 2008

HWY 67 outside of Sedalia

I had a day off from my day job on Thursday; I knew the weekend weather, starting with Friday, was not a sunny forecast for the Denver Metro Area, so I had asked to have it off so I could enjoy painting "en plein aire" with the autumnal colors and the fine weather before both are gone. My painting partner for the day had to beg off at the last minute, so Fritz, the wonder dog, and I, headed south of Denver on Santa Fe Drive to Sedalia and then towards Deckers. Not quite "foothills" but more like the "hogback." I found this amazing tapestry of color along the side the road. I had driven past it thinking I wanted to paint aspens before they were all gone, but turned around realizing that aspens and this route were not one and same thing. There were aspen along the way, but mostly dense evergreen forests, which I was not really interested in. I was quite happy in my little pull out and painted the following "Fall: Tapestry of Color, 16"x8":

We headed back towards town, stopping at the Audoban Center at Chatfield Resevoir to see what the colors there might be. It was noon, and though pretty, I did not feel like hauling my gear that far for what was there at that time of day. Fritz and I took a walk along the loop. It was a nice break.

At home, I remembered an old painting that had been done about this time of year in the backyard. Perfect! I painted over the old painting (ie 2002), keeping the existing structure even though I had moved a plant or two in the meantime. The white rose is now to the right of the mums. The plum tree had gotten bigger (imagine that!) so I had moved the rose a few years back to give them both more room to grow. It was nice to paint the scene from life over the old painting - usually I am lucky to find the photo reference! This photographed on the dark side.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lair of the Bear

Saturday the group from Kevin Weckbach's Saturday informal class met at Lair of the Bear, a Jefferson County Park in the foothills. The assignment was to do a value sketch and then add color notes of the important colors. From the sketch and the color notes we are to do a finished painting for the next class, which is the last Saturday of the month. I opted to do a painting since I love fall, the weather was perfect, ie a gray day with no sun coming in and out of the clouds and it was not too cold, nor too hot, not too windy. What caught my attention to this scene were the colors and textures. It was great to have Kevin's input on my painting and he was right on, as usual. This painting is 8" x 10". I am still not crazy about the dead willows at the top of the painting, even though I included them because I liked them so much. Seeing the photos on the web really helps to clarify for me what, if anything needs to be done to a painting. This is one of those paintings that looks better in person - I can't seem to get a good photo of it, yet.

A woman came by and not only commented (I was right off a trail, so I had lots of people commenting) but kept repeating how much she loved the painting, lingering and not wanting to leave - I know I should have jumped at the chance to tell her it was for sale or give her my card, or something - none of which I managed to do. I realize that marketing myself is my weak point. I have cards with me, but I don't think to get them out before I start to paint and I have to dig for them. Once I start to paint, none of that is even in my consciousness. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
P.S. I have decided after looking at this painting for another week, that it needs some work. It is not just that it didn't photograph well, but it has other issues as well.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

On Squaw Pass Road

Friday saw me painting with Jeannie and Susiehyer off of Squaw Pass Road. The two of them stayed near the road and in the aspens painting. I choose a spot off the trail in the middle of the field. We ended up being chased away by snow! that turned to rain, but I had already finished my painting. I chose a more intimate view of a grouping of trees (12"X16"), while Jeannie started a vista with the great clouds that were moving in. Susiehyer had two aspens in the foreground with the field in the middle ground and more aspens and evergreens in her background. Isn't it grand how we can all see something different from the same scene?

We then headed to Susie's place on the other side of the mountain, where at least it was not raining - much. I did not finish my second painting of the day because I spent too much time sketching it out trying to figure out how I wanted to do it. But I do have a good start on it and I anticipate finishing it up at some point in time. I am thinking it will end up more abstract as I am just liking the shapes too much and the negative space created by the white chairs.

Here is a painting I did the last time I was at her place painting (this past summer) of a similar subject (chairs) that is across the lawn from the ones above. "Prayer Flags" below is on the patio outside Susiehyers studio, while I sat on the steps of her studio to paint the scene above. Both are 12"x9."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall Color III

....on my way up to Marie's on Friday morning, I had seen this amazing scene at Big Bend right before you turn to go up Berthoud Pass. Because I had agreed to meet her I could not stop and paint it. I didn't even take a photograph. It was just as amazing coming down in the evening, with no light on it at all. The only thing to do was to go back the next morning and paint it. Which I did. The Scene at Gold at Big Bend is 14" x 18" my first completed painting of this size done plein aire in 5 years! And you can see it in progress on a post below, thanks to Robbie Scott.