Thursday, November 20, 2014

just another darn painting

i wanted to get something posted before 2 months had gone by. since last month i have had the opportunity to paint with charles reid in a portland, oregon, workshop, see the kids and grandkids, visit seattle, and start a couple of new paintings. i am ready to make the final push of the year to get the calendar out (hampered by needing a couple more landscape-oreinted paintings.)

this one is inspired by a photo of an old friend from my dartmouth days bill (aka colonel chaos) badger and his lovely daughter charlotte snapped a couple of summers ago in vermont. bill is an architect specializing in restoration of historic buildings.....he worked with those restoring the train station in philadelphia, for example.

i wanted an intimate and fun perspective for this and cropped down to the scene above. charlotte is the star of the show with bill playing a minor but important role. i took a play from ted nuttall's book and cut off the right side of bill's face, just for interest.

i used scarlet lake and brilliant orange  with cerulean blue for charlotte's skin tones and vermilion, raw sienna with cerulean blue for bill's skin. brushes are escoda versatil rounds...mainly #10 and #14. the paper is fabriano artistico hot press, #300, 11"X 17". the dark shapes at the top of two of the paintings are shadows from pins i use to hold down the paper. here are the first few steps in the process:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"4th street, actually": new cityscape

"4th street, actually": (14"X11")
i think these are slowly, but surely, coming around. the improvement is certainly in baby steps, but seems steady. at least, i am feeling more like i know the next step and am not groping around as much as i was a few months ago. the biggest challenge appears to be that initial wash and amassing all those shapes that share a fairly common value. that and leaving all the white patches where i want them....its very difficult to lift out to white....only a light value gray. so with that minimal rhetoric here is the next offering in the cityscape series.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

a pot pourri for you blogging pleasure

one of these days i will get back to my stated mission of "process"............but this isn't one of them. i am going to try to put some process in on the next project on video. wish me luck.

today i have a mish-mash of reference photos, completed landscapes, and wip's of people painting. i'm not really sure why i am posting this. probably to keep the blog active and to stay "out there".

plein air site and view, the gray, blustery day
the first is a photo of the spot from which i painted my last plein air painting for the "event" and the only one that i actually took down to studio gallery 1311 to be entered and displayed. it is taken down by the river on the west side of the main channel under the newest bridge looking back across at a barge being loaded with something from the elevated tanks. it was a bit of a challenge to paint this as the first day it was gray, blustery, and actually started to rain after about 90 minutes. this obviously halted painting for that day. when i returned the next day at about the same time in early morning it was bright, sunny and still. i sort of had to fake it a bit. i am sorry i don't have at least a finished shot of of it, but.....oh, well. as soon as it comes down from the gallery wall i'll take a photo and post it.

"i am lakhota, too" (wip, 11"X15")
these next two are almost completed paintings of folks in our life. one is of a lakhota native who graciously let me take her picture a few years ago out at pine ridge. i have painted her before but in a bit of a different setting. i made up the feathers. the other is one of our third child, born on april fools day which happened to be a thursday the year of his birth.

"thursday's child" (wip, 11"X15")
 last offering today is a completed landscape from a view just entering borregosprings, ca, from the east, turning off pegleg road onto henderson canyon road. there is a homestead with all the accouterments necessary to make a go of it in the desert. the palm trees are fiction to add something compositionally.....just what i don't know........and i really wanted a reason to try painting their silhouettes. i intentionally spelled borrego with only one "r" as back then the original town on site was "borego". the town of borrego springs  actually sprung up a little north and west of the original settlement which still sports a rundown and abandoned store and some non-descript buildings.

"making it work in borego" (11"X15)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


we ventured up to the statewide wisconsin regional art association annual (WRAA) exhibit over the weekendwhich was held in wausau this year (a city about 160 miles northwest of here). the awards luncheon was on saturday. i was prepared to receive the carol betts chaplin portraiture award as i was notified of same a few weeks earlier. what took me completely by surprise was that the painting that i had submitted also won the "peoples' choice award". this left me at a loss for words when i went up to receive that honor. at this point i would like to personally thank all those who voted for me and all the other worthy contenders.

this was especially meaningful to me as the quality of the art exhibited was absolutely stellar but also the judges were for the most part extremely talented artists, their families and fans. i will always cherish this honor. thank you!

so in case you missed it the other several thousand times i have posted this, here is "needing more than a tattered hat".

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Plein air #2: on the eastern shore she looms

again this morning bright and early....around 0800 hours today. sun still fairly low as witnessed by the sparkle on the water. stood on the eastern shore of pettibone island in the park looking east at la crosse about at the level of the radisson hotel i took some liberties with the size of the cathedral. same general methods as yesterday. used roughish sandpaper to put the sparkle on the water but i didn't wait long enough for the paper to dry and it came out sort of and learn.

on the eastern shore she looms: (11"X15")

plein air #1 (pa#1): rabbit rail marsh

had my first foray into the real world of plein air painting this morning. i ventured down the rabbit trail  y UW-L about 200 yards and came across a great blue heron keeping watch over his part of the marsh with the bluffs reflected in the water. here it is......11"X15" on fabriano artistico rough 140# paper. worked pretty much light to dark, a lot of wet-in-wet, just a touch of white gouache on the heron-dic sentinel........

on first frog watch (11"X15")