Tuesday, August 28, 2007

daily painting practice - Missouri River Morning

Finished with this one. Only one more painting left to go for the show. Then the only thing left to do is photograph all the pieces so I can begin to deliver them on Friday.
click on the image to enlarge the picture

Missouri River Morning
oil on canvas

This one is a little different in style. I really was after that early morning glow when everything seems to be tonally singing the same tune. I was walking along the banks of the Missouri River about 12 miles north of Omaha, after an early morning rain. It was in early spring, when the sun began poking through the clouds. This was the best time to paint.... before the bugs come out.

Friday, August 24, 2007

daily painting practice - postcards for the show

I hope you all will consider yourselves invited to the show. Here is the postcard I had printed up.

The gallery has it's mailing list and I have mine. So, in addition to finishing paintings, getting them to the framers and back again, my art manager/wife and I had to put together our mailing list and stamp and mail 500 postcards.

We used a company online for the postcards(www.4by6.com). They did a great job. Not too expensive and great service.

The painting we used is one of my favorites and sold from the gallery just after printing. So it won't be in the show. I still have 2 paintings left to finish details on and a small 5"x7" still life that I have not started yet. It will be part of a 3 piece set.

Back to work. As soon as this is over I promise - One full year of plein air painting.......really.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

daily painting practice - more painting your own children

I thought I owed an explanation for my not posting as much lately. My show is drawing closer and the studio is well, as you can see.... a wreck.
The other day I shared one of the few sketches I have of my daughter. Here is one I found of my son. Details don't matter. It's the essence of the moment. To me this pose was my son.... book between the legs, bare feet, reading.
Sketching your children does not have to be so serious all the time. ( I can't believe this is me talking)
My son posed for me when he was very young. All I could manage to get down on paper were his eyes. (before he decided posing was too hard). I think there is something so wonderful in those eyes.
His eyes have always told the story of who he is. (or was supposed to be)

click on image to enlarge the picture

Now that he is older I rely on those eyes to check my work and tell me how I am doing. Strange, but the wisdom was always there...... In those eyes.

Monday, August 20, 2007

daily painting practice - painting your own children

Painting our own children has got to be one of the finest things we as artists are allowed to do. I wish I had tried it more often while they were growing up.
I don't usually dwell on regrets. I think it is a fool's game. However, I can say there is one regret as an artist that I live with... not having sketched or painted more of the two greatest gifts God ever gave me.
Here is the only sketch I ever did of my daughter. I have never had confidence in my ability to sketch. I now feel that is such a meaningless whimpy excuse. Check out (Anthony Zierhut) my favorite family chronicle on the web. He shows how capturing everyday family moments as sketches are sooooo much better than a box of photos.

I did start to mend my ways.,,,, Just before she left for college.
My favorite model.
It is never too late, so my advice is to start today. Any sketch or painting is a new beginning.
Speaking of new beginnings and second chances. My new favorite model!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Daily painting practice - He's here

He's Here!
oil on masonite

My new painting buddy arrived August 8th all 8 pounds 3 ounces of him. Life as a grandpa officially begins!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Daily Painting Practice - progress painting

I wonder who the first person in history was to have started to practice... anything? He or she should at least have a college building or museum named after them.

I think two great aspects of practicing are experimentation and discovery. This train of thought all started after I laid out my palette of colors this morning. I have always admired artists that paint with very clean color and can control color temperature.(Timothy Horn is a good example). One of the first things I am learning in my plein air practice is the need to understand color.
I have read thousands of art magazines and art books and I have always skipped over the parts that deal with mixing colors and making color wheels. (I always wanted to get to the good stuff right away). I am convinced however that this is not a smart idea. Shortcuts in art only lead you in circles. (Check out Paul Foxton). He really puts the "P" in prepare and practice painting.
I started mixing and playing with the colors and quickly found myself getting overwhelmed with the possibilities. I need to approach this in a more...can he say it?.....O R G A N I Z E D manner. (gosh that hurts).
More on this later.
Gold Pitcher and Plate - Work in Progress
oil on masonite

Here's a sneak peek at one of the last five paintings I need to finish for my show. I will take a break from posting all next week to finish the paintings and the framing. (unless my grandson is born - and he will be). I'll post something for that when it happens.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Daily Painting Plein Air Practice - Day 5 - Corning Fountain

The last day of the Corning, Iowa Paint Out. I knew I wanted to stay in the shade again so I picked the center of the park and this cool looking fountain. The Plein Air Paint Out was part of a weekend festival in the town. The hot dogs were being grilled to my left. That was a test of concentration.
Here's the set up at work. Thanks to my wife/photographer.

Corning Fountain
oil on masonite

I picked a real challenge. I like the subject though , very small town America. My favorite part, the yellow ribbons on the lamp posts. A sad but tender reminder there are those we are missing.

I stayed on this one too long though. I could tell because I was getting tired and grumpy. The light had changed so dramatically from the beginning that I began to re-paint areas I thought were finished, breaking rule number 1 in plein air painting code of conduct.

I will take this back to the studio and fix it. Over all I enjoyed the day and the experience was priceless.