Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spring Plein Air

It's obvious I've gotten way behind on posting so I'm going to combine the three plein air events in Augusta, Neosho and Cotter. These were done back-to-back-to-back from April 19th to May 4th with no days off and over a thousand miles driven.

We'll start with the Augusta Plein Air Event. It seemed like each day was alternating between sunny and raining but it was mostly cool with Spring about a month behind schedule.

Sunset at Balducci's, 10 x 12, oils

Awaken, 9 x 12, oils. This piece received a 3rd Place in Oils at the awards ceremony.

Methuselah, 11 x 14, oils. This received an Honorable Mention.

Just the Two of Us, 8 x 10, oils. This received an Honorable Mention and also sold.

Next was the Jaeger Festival and Paint Out in Neosho, Missouri. For this two day event the weather was full on summer with brilliant sun and highs in the upper 80's.

Lazy Stream, 8 x 10, oils. SOLD.

Leaving Big Spring, 8 x 10, oils.
Hickory Creek Bridge, 9 x 12, oils. Took 3rd Place on awards night.

Finally we have the White River Paint Out in Cotter, Arkansas. The weather took a mean turn with heavy rain and a record low temperature of 32F with even some snowflakes.

Captain of the White River, 9 x 12, oils.
Midnight Fog, 8 x 10, oils. This nocturne from the first night captures the cold front pouring in.
View From Under the Bridge, 8 x 10. This won 1st Place in the Richeson Small Works Competition.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Adding Drama to a Scene

Broad Shoulders, 10 x 20, oil on canvas.
This piece was based on reference photos from a painting trip to the Sawatch Mountains of Central Colorado. It was right after sunrise and I believe the peak is 14'er Mt Shavano but am not certain. I include my reference photo below. In composing and painting this piece, I wanted to go way beyond my reference and instead capture the feeling I had looking at this colossal mountain with the ragged clouds rolling by. I've exaggerated both the height of the mountain and the intensity of color to that effect. I also played with how to handle the tree line until I arrived at a composition that pleased me. Finally, I added the dirt road for perspective, scale and to really emphasize the summit.

Reference photo
 I'm proud to share that this painting has been accepted in the Oil Painters of Americas Salon in Petosky, Michigan this month. It's my first piece to get in an OPA show and hopefully the first of many.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Making Sure Your Painting has "Pop"

    When I was a kid we didn't keep soft drinks in the house. They were reserved for special occasions and there was none more reliable than a visit to "Nana and Papa" at the Valley Service Station. (My grandparents had retired and my Uncle Phil bought a gas station/general store outside of town for them to run. It was a brilliant move that gave them something to do, was easy work and kept them engaged in the community.) Each visit, Papa would tell us to pick out anything we liked from the pop fridge, which was a big horizontal box with a metal sliding lid on top and a bottle opener on the side. The options seemed endless and included all six brands pictured plus many more. Yes, Soda pop was a big deal back then.
    About ten years ago I started noticing old pop bottles at flea markets. Of course the name brands were well represented but the real nostalgia factor came with the brands I had forgotten, names like Nugrape, NEHI, Suncrest, Vess and Grapette. The bottles were still relatively cheap so I started picking them up and eventually had a crate full.
   It was just a matter of time before I got around to painting these. This composition was inspired by the wonderful still lifes of Diane Massey Dunbar. She also has a thing about soft drinks and paints everyday things that we take for granted and giving them dignity and beauty. It's like seeing them for the first time. I expected to paint a row of similar bottles and then have the label designs set them apart and was surprised at the different textures in the glass that gives each one it's own personality. I hope to have been able to capture some of that here.

Glassmates, 9 x 12, oil on hardboard.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy President's Day!

A little something from the archives. I've always love caricature and was glad for the opportunity to do these back when I worked as a greeting card artist for Hallmark. Black and white prisma pencil on canson paper.