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Saturday, July 25, 2009

the Canyons

Friday found me painting in Douglas County just south of Lone Tree off of I-25. Steph has been chosen to do a demo for an open house on this property that is going to be developed into a "green" community that will include an organic "farm," a restaurant that will use the produce from the farm, a spa and an artist's in residence program among other things. She needs to gather information and do studies in preparation for the demo next month. Here she is studying some flora for her color notes that she was taking while I did a sketch.

It was a hot day with the occassional breeze. Lots of flies buzzing around my head and biting ants crawling up my pant legs to keep me in tune with my surroundings. But the soft greens were lovely. There is a benefit to having rain all summer as I cannot remember the last time this area was this lush.

The first sketch is a 12x9 that I did late morning. I think it has good movement and gives a feel for the rolling landscape. Along with the movement, I was just trying to capture the shapes and values.

The second is a 8x6. I stood in the same location for both of these, but turned a quarter turn or so to continue up the hill. This one has a "wobble" in the middle where the canvas is not quite flat. The canvas is taped to a board and I don't like this canvas as it is just too lightweight. In this one I was trying to capture the sense of distance with the change in color and temperature as the hills came closer. It is not as successful. But that is the point of these exercises-to try and try again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is the hiatus over?

Today I went with two friends, Jeannie and Steph, to see the Wayne Thiebaud exhibit that is at the Loveland Museum. I am so glad that I went. No matter what you think of his work, to see 70 years of someones work, puts a life in perspective. As is usually the case, seeing paintings in person makes you realize how much a reproduction loses. There was a diverse selection of his work, from sketches to landscapes to people and objects. My favorites were one amazing landscape (vertical format) with the evening light hitting the rim of a hill and the whole foreground was in shadow. But what amazing color and depth was in that shadow. The shows poster is of three watermelon slices, each on its own plate, which is wonderful and the painting of two paint cans (as in house paint) were simply stunning. We also watched most of the interview that was available for viewing, and he was delightful to listen to. This YouTube version is a good synopsis of the one we saw. "that is what you do as a painter, you live on hope." Coming out of this exhibit, I was inspired.

In June we went to California to visit family. I took my gear, but the only painting I worked on was the one shown above in this photo taken by my son, Grant. I have always taken my gear with me on our visits to my in-laws ranch in Mendocino County as there is so much to paint. I had painted this barn many times over the years and I almost always gave a painting from each trip to my in-laws. One of the earliest paintings of said barn was hanging on the wall where the window looks out on the actual scene. I cringed when I saw it, again. BUT this time we were in California at the same time of year I had originally painted it, so I took it off the wall and took it outside and got to work to fix the perspective and relationships of the barn to the landscape. I did take a "before" photo but it is that bad that I cannot post it. I had not asked "permission" so I was glad when my father-in-law said to me that it really was much improved. I realized too late in to the reworking of it, that they might like it the way it was and it was rather presumptuous of me. It came out of all the paintings I have been reworking here. I was glad to see that Wayne does this too. One of the larger paintings in the show had a 30 year span of years listed on it!