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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Denver Plein Air Event

The top painting, 16x10, is the one I did yesterday. Below it is the study I did for it to figure it out. I had taken some photos the week before after I did the painting of the church spires. Since the reference photos for this scene  had two photos taken at different angles, I thought I would try to figure it out before hand - see if what I had in mind would actually work, being a sort of composite. In the original photo references from which I did the study the sky and the building were just about the same value, though different colors of blue. Yesterday though, the sky was noticeably darker, so I put that in to see if I liked it darker, and I do. I decided to not put in the windows on the right because I didn't get the angle quite right on the telephone pole to allow enough of the windows to make a difference. I didn't quite get the cattywampus look I was trying for, but I still like it. The study is on linen watercolor paper with oil paints thinned down. You would think having worked it all out before hand the actually painting would have gone faster, but I spent 3 hours on location. It was easier, if not faster, and it was great to have the study with me to keep me from chasing the light. I may change the angle on the green doors as I think I like it better in my study.
Here is the painting I did last weekend. Now you can see that it isn't quite the great painting it was made out to be by my admiring audience. But the suspense was fun, wasn't it? I have not decided if I will submit it to the juried show. I have a week to think about it. "One Way" is 11"x14" painted from around 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Corner of 13th and Penn during Denver Plein Air Event

I wish I had a few photos to illustrate this blog post. A few days ago, I participated in the paint out during the Denver Plein Air Event on 13th Avenue. I chose the corner of 13th and Pennsylvania. This area is called Capital Hill and has a very diverse population. I was set up in the shadow of a local bar that happened to have a few parking spaces that came in to the sidewalk area behind me. My subject was the twin spires of the Gothic style Basilica to the north. I had an interesting few hours on that corner. There was a mushroom deal going down on the trunk of a car right behind me. Once that was completed the young man with dreadlocks came over to talk to me about what medium I was using. He likes to paint in acrylics; we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of oils vs acrylics. Then there was the 50 something year old woman, her face covered in what I would venture to guess are sebaceous cysts, who told me that one of the spires (the lighter colored one to the East) was hit by lightening a few years ago; she was also into politics so we chatted about the upcoming elections. A young man missing his two front teeth wanted to talk about doing portraits in pencil and did I think he could move to painting from working in pencil? (I said of course!) Another man came by, one I would say lived on the streets, and he told me I was doing a “good job and good subject.” Then there was the middle aged couple who had gone to the coffee shop across the street and were walking back by; she said not only was my painting of a church but it felt very tranquil as well. The last comment came from an older gentleman who had parked his truck behind me, jumped out and went to pick up something in a brown paper bag, he said to me, “Don’t let anyone tell you any different. That is a good painting. “ I was talking to another artist at the time and we were critiquing it. Maybe I should stand on that corner more often! I have had plenty of conversations over the years with people curious about the whole painting outdoors concept, but I don’t think I have had quite the range of people as I did this time. It is amazing I got any painting done.