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Thursday, October 27, 2016

County Road 519 - facing south

CR 519, looking south, oil on linen panel, 18x24, available
Here is the third painting in this mini series of CR 519. I posted the hay bales last week, and a few weeks before that I painted the view heading east in a little 6x6. There will not be one looking north I don't think as that view did not inspire me so much. Of the three, I was most interested in this composition as it allowed me to think more abstractly. By that I mean there were all these large simple shapes that I explored almost as individual areas, yet wanting them to work together, too. Within each large shape I wanted there to be interest by keeping the values close together and using brushstrokes, texture and layers.

It was in the late afternoon as the sun was going down so in that light from this direction, the hay bales are all just dark shapes as they are in shadow. They help move the eye down, and then the grasses and road sweep your eye down the road. Just where does that road lead? This view is definitely more linear than the hay bales, but both are painted graphically with shapes in mind. I sure enjoyed the colors too.

Friday, October 21, 2016

County Road 519 Harvest

County Road Ready, 18x24, oil on panel. Available
Here is the finished painting from the block in I did a few weeks ago.  I have included it below so it is easier to compare.

You can see that I did not have to correct much of the drawing on this one. That is one of the more forgiving aspects of doing a landscape. What I really enjoyed about this particular scene was the repeating shapes. Not just in the hay bales, which is the obvious, but also the circular oval patterns in the fields and the same movement in the hills. The buildings are the minor player or a secondary pattern. I did think about leaving them out originally but I liked them in the block in so they stayed.
The other aspect I liked was the yellow reds moving to yellow greens; the yellow greens going to blue greens and then to purple and blue. I am not sure what it is that is so pleasing to me about using the primary and secondary colors but it has a freshness to it that I find appealing.

This is scene is facing north. From the same section of road, I took photos in each direction. This painting I posted recently is facing east. I have also finished the painting that was in the block in post linked above that is facing south so more in shadow as I was facing the sun. It will be its own post. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Silhouette of a parakeet

Peepers, 9x12, oil on panel block in stage
Here is a painting over a false start. The green and orange come from when I had played with an abstraction of a sea and beach scene but it was not successful. I thought it might be an interesting color to have underneath this portrait of my daughter's parakeet taken in winter. The white shapes are the sky and snow on buildings and fences. I want to get some snow scenes done in time for winter so this one was just to see what I can do with a silhouetted white parakeet against a snowy background. His attitude is already in evidence, that is for sure. He is very curious.
Peepers with color added, 9x12, oil 2nd stage
Here is with some color added and filling in the shapes I had blocked in above with the white. He is still looking a bit plump for such a little guy so I tried to shave some weight off of him and yet keep the overall shape. He has a deformed foot from being in a large cage with so many other birds. He had been attacked, probably for being different since he was a totally white parakeet. He now has some black on his wings and face and a blue belly. Every time he molts, more color is added, if incrementally.

Finished?, 9x12, oi on panel

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Camp Robbers

Visitors, 16x20, oil on birch panel, available

This past month I decided to start going through my slides again and get digital images made from the ones I might want to still paint and of course ones of family. I have some slides of my mother's that go back to the 40's, so it has been a lot of fun. Since it is not inexpensive to do this, and my stack of 'possible' paintings kept growing and I still have so many slides still to look at, I got the old trusty slide projector out, and lo and behold, it still works! I decided to try painting a few, projecting the slides onto a huge canvas I happen to have.

This is my very first painting using slides. I took a ton of slides back in the day, but I never actually painted from any of them even though that is why I took so many of them! A few times I would get photos made from the slides and use the printed image. I had always wanted to paint this scene but I never did get around to having photos made. This scene is from cross country skiing at the Moffat tunnel, dare I say, back in the 70's. It is one of two snow scenes I picked out to try painting this way.

It wasn't as hard as I anticipated, but it is still an adjustment from using a computer screen. We have it so easy these days! Even though you can get the image bigger using the projector it isn't like zooming in. And if you go up to look closer, you have to stay out of the way of the light. At least for now, I don't have to get all those slides moved to digital as I continue to play with this set up. By the same token, I am So glad that I don't have to depend on it, that is for sure!

This has been a very difficult painting to photograph. Originally I had used burnt umber as my base color but it was highly reflective even when mixed with other colors, so I had to mix my own burnt umber base, which isn't quite as dark but I don't mind that, and the gloss effect is tempered to get a better image.

When I went to finish up the second painting I have been working on from a slide, I found that the bulb had burnt out, or maybe I did something to it when I moved the projector. Amazingly, I found a bulb online for it so I ordered it. I can finish the painting without the image at this point anyway.

In my research for the bulb I found that Kodak stopped making this machine in 2003. I have had it since at least 2000 if not a bit earlier. It was old and beat up when it was given to me, so that the bulb lasted this long is amazing.  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

CR 519, 6x6, oil on panel. Available

In my pursuit of keeping things simple, here is a small version of the county road I have been painting the past few weeks. I have so enjoyed working with this simple subject. I like roads anyway, which is not new, but I enjoy the ribbon effect of the county roads throughout the mountains. The colors in this landscape were stunning.