Wednesday, June 13, 2012

STEMS Plein Air 2012

Without cluttering it up with a bunch of copy, here are my best efforts:

Striking Similar Poses, 10 x 12, oils.
A Midnight Snack, 6 x 12, oils.
Grandpa Dible's Tractor, 9 x 12, oils.
American Counter Culture, 8 x 10, oils.
Portrait of a Sycamore, 8 x 10, oils.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Painting Close to Home

With a couple of weeks off between the White River and STEMS plein air events, you would think I would want to take a break from painting outdoors but the perfect weather beckoned otherwise. I decided to treat the time like it was another paint out, this time making home my base of operations. It's easy to think that there is nothing interesting to paint close to home but that's seldom the case. It's one of the most important challenges an artist has. So I revisited local places and themes, always trying to find ways to keep them fresh.

Sailboat Cove, 8 x 10, oils.
 First stop, Sailboat Cove at Lake Jacomo. As always the biggest challenge was the boats spinning in circles. It's a great way to learn to paint from memory. Hold that image!

Cedar Creek, 8 x 10, oils.
Next, in real competition mode, I went for two in one day. I hit Cedar Creek in the morning and also got close and personal with a water moccasin. I took an afternoon break from the heat and then caught Bone Hill right before sunset. I wish there were more local places that offered this kind of atmospheric distance.

Bone Hill, 9 x 12, oils.
By this time I was really craving something old and rusty. Fortunately I found a man who has this thing about old Chevy's within a mile of home.

'61 Chevy Bel-Air, 8 x 10, oils.
I love painting subtle things. Others don't always notice them, but they are my favorite parts of a painting. In this one, I noticed that the blue sky was bouncing ambient light back into the shadow side of the barn red workshop. It shifts the color slightly to violet. Others may be wowed by chrome or glass but to me that magenta wall is what makes the scene believable.

The moral of this story is that you don't have to take a trip to some exotic place to find things to paint.