Monday, August 30, 2010

Meadow Trail

"Meadow Trail"
5" X 7" Oil on panel
Just a quick study I did when working on the last painting to work out the foreground grasses and plants. This was a very helpful sketch for that painting.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On The Easel

....On The Easel Aug 26, 2010....
Just finishing up on this one. It's 15" x 30" on stretched canvas. The oak tree was up in Nipomo and looked pretty stately so onto the canvas it went. I like the look of a nice old oak tree especially the larger ones and this guy fit the bill perfectly. This tree is right next to the Dana Adobe property, just south of it, so if you're ever in Nipomo go have a look at it. Now onto the next painting.....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Santa Ynez Evening Trail

"Santa Ynez Evening Trail"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
This actually is not a new painting. This one sat next to my easel for a long time. It didn't have the eucalyptus trees painted originally, just that back row of yellow green trees and looked boring. I decided to take it back to the easel and add the eucs for a little more contrast in the overall painting. I love the trail leading into the painting and I think the added trees give the painting a little more depth as well as some stronger contrasting colors.
I like the painting much more now so I'm glad to have given this little guy time to sit while I glanced at it over and over trying to decide how to improve it. I'm happy with it at this point.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oak Study

Oak Study
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
Just a simple little painting focusing on an oak tree. Couldn't come up with an idea to paint last night before bed. I couldn't sleep and I wanted to paint something. I had an idea for a larger painting but I needed stretcher bars for a specific frame I have. It was way to late to go out to the garage and start cutting wood though. So, I ended up painting this little study to play with colors of the oak tree. I had some nice looking colors just before this version but I played with it too much. Somewhere before you turn it into mud you have to call it quits. I ended up with this which is ok. I like having a larger canvas to do my messing around. I'd like to do more branch work and mess with shadows but at this size it gets too small for my taste. Fun little painting though.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Artist Canopy Sign

I am going to be one of the artists exhibiting in an art fair in the small town of Los Olivos this weekend. My old sign for my canopy has had it so I decided to make one since there is little time. I took a piece of stretched canvas and some stretcher bars, masked off an area on top to put my name and painted a scene borrowed from my previous painting "Evening Approach" which is posted below. The painting and top area were painted first and then the lettering painted on. While all of that dried I made a small frame out of some scrap lumber I had in the garage and cut down to size.
Here is the sign all finished up and in the frame....

Here is how the sign will look in the canopy...came out pretty nice....

I've been getting ready for this show so I haven't had much time to paint any little ones lately. Lots of framing, varnishing and general hysteria going on. Had some touch ups to do on some bigger paintings and all else that goes on with a show. I'm on the committee for this show which has also had me in, countless meetings. I am glad it is finally going to happen and will be over...have to get ready for another show in September...then a Studio Tour in November.
If anyone is in Los Olivos, CA this weekend come up and see me. I'll be on the north end of town complete with cool looking canopy sign!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Painting The Evening Light

"Evening Approach"
5" x 7" Oil on Panel
I wanted to push the evening colors in a scene and work more with distant mountain colors at sunset. This scene was created just for this purpose. I like the warmth of evening light and felt like experimenting with them in this painting. This was really an enjoyable study and I'll work more on this in the future. I like the slight color shifts in the distant mountains and feel I can work more with those too. Moving from cool colors on the right hand side of the mountains to the warmer pinkish tones on the left side was a kick. I've done this on the past but not with so much deliberate color work. I love that diffused look of the highlights there.

The new Utrecht paints are working out great and I'm having fun exploring with some color mixes that I began with the Winsor Newton paints. I bought just the basic colors that I use, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow Pale (Light), Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre and Titanium White. I also bought a tube of Paynes Grey but I could have just kept using mud for that. These colors really do most of the work for me. I do switch off and on with Cerulean Blue for skies and some foliage. The less color you use the better color harmony you end up with. Try using the same colors for your color mixes and you won't end up with some really stark color that stands out above all the others....unless you are trying for that.
Fun little painting.

The one paint in this one that I don't normally use was orange. I mix my own but on this one I grabbed an old tube of Shiva Cadmium Orange. That tube has been with me since college back in the early 80's....let's see...I bought that tube when "Cheers" was still in prime time, when Duran Duran was still in the top 40, when there was no Back To The Future 2 or 3...that's how long ago that Shiva paint was bought by me and it is still in great shape. I like Shiva paint. I think now they mainly create Gouache. As you can see the orange was used to promote the evening light on the trees and it worked very well.

Eucalyptus Study 2

"Eucalyptus Study 2"
5" X 7" Oil on Panel
I finished up another painting late last night and cropped part of the base of a tree as a detail image. As I looked at it I thought it would make a good painting focusing on just the base of a eucalytpus tree. I grabbed another panel and did this painting in about an hour. I wish I could paint these little ones faster. Sometimes they go pretty quick but other times, the majority of times, I spend way too much time doing these...almost as long as a 9x12 painting. I like the trunk here and that was why I painted this one. Thes euc trunks can be white, cream, red, all depends on the light of day. Overall it was a very fun painting.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Meadow Study

"Meadow Study"
5" x 7" Oil on panel
Titled because there is no actual place, this was done from imagination to play with meadow grasses and a trail. Fun little painting but I think I'm keeping too tight with 5x7 sizes. I don't like the idea of using really small brushes to add detail in these smaller works. I'm pretty much sold on 6"x6" being the smallest size I really enjoy working on. I've been doing much larger sizes and maybe my feelings about small 5x7 pieces are a result of working large lately. I've got a busy schedule right now too so fiddling with small brushes is getting on my nerves, hahaha.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Nocturne Oak

"Oak At Night "
6" X 6" Oil on Panel
I was talking to some friends at a show last night and the subject came up about nocturnes. When I decided to get something onto this panel I figured why not go with a nocturne. I always enjoy painting them...something about playing with the different amounts of light and color is always just too much fun. Plus nocturnes have a mysterious look to them. Whistler was onto something! hahaha.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wide One

A Framed 12" X 24"

Just wanted to show off my new frame for this painting. I can't paint today because we had a water pipe connector bust on our well pump last night at 10:30 pm...meaning all of the hardware stores were closed. I was able to stop the leak last night but needed to finish up all of the pvc repair early this morning. I'm already tired and have to now get ready for a show reception down in Santa Barbara in a few hours. I'm the show coordinator for this one and phone calls & emails are still going around. Show days are no fun until you are walking back into the house kicking off your shoes headed for bed! hahaha.
The good thing is a couple will be there who bought 3 paintings of mine 2 years ago. They stored them here at my house because they were headed back east to do business so I get to drop the work off to them now that they are back. Yahoo!

...just for scale

Just for scale...
This is a better pic of one of the 6"x 6" paintings in it's frame. I put the business card in there to give it some scale which was suggested by a good friend. I've grown to love the 6x6 masonite panels. They give you a bit more room to play with compared to a 5"x 7". I bought a large 4'x8' sheet of untempered masonite and cut up my initial 5"x 5", 5" x 7" and 6"x 6" panels on my table saw. Trust me, you get a heck of a lot of panels from a full sheet of masonite. I think I had cut about 60 or 70 panels...told you it was a lot.

You need untempered masonite to paint on. It is lighter in color than tempered masonite. Tempered masonite is impregnated with oil to make it water resistant. Tempered masonite is also much darker in color. If you paint on the tempered masonite the oil will eventually leach it's way through your gesso and into your paint so buy untempered masonite....put on at least 2 coats of gesso...I put on 3. For most of my larger masonite panels, 8"x 10" & up, I glue on preprimed canvas. I will only paint up to 12"x16" with masonite because it starts to get heavy in sizes over that. When you add your frame the weight starts to become a consideration when hanging it...especially on drywall which is what almost all new houses have. I sold a 12"x 36 painting of sunflowers and the combination of larger masonite and a thick wood frame was a bit, that puppy was heavy!! I hope their house is still standing.

Why panel?....well forn the one main great is so easy to frame panel compared to stretched canvas. You lay it in the slots on the back of your frame and use a brad (framers points) stapler to lock the painting in place. Takes 10 seconds. With stretched canvas there is always that part of the canvas sticking out too far in back if the rabbit on the frame is shallow. Rabbit? The slot you stick your painting into in the back of any frame is called the rabbit. Some frames have a deep rabbit & some have a shallow rabbit. Depends on how thick your frame is. Shallow rabbits make your stretcher bars stick out in back and do all the contact with the walls....not the frame. You have to consider this stuff when ordering frames. have to predrill pilot holes for your screws that will hold the brackets to keep the painting in place. When you paint on panels none of this applies....which is why I love panels!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Framed Small Paintings

Jerry's Artarama, an online art supply store that I use, had a great sale on these small wooden frames. I think they were like $6. per frame. I ordered some to see how these little 5x7's and 6x6's would look. I was happily surprised at how nice they look once they were framed. The wood frames are a natural wood finish with just a light varnish on them. They look very nice in these guys.

Ridge Trail

"Ridge Trail"
6" X 6" Oil on Canvas
Finished this up last night in between working on some canvases that do not fit their frames. Running back and forth to the garage, sit and paint, run to garage, check frame fun. I like this type of scene and as always enjoy adding a trail in there. Tried to add taller grasses in this one too but now wish I had just went another third to their size...I'll leave that for the next painting.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Breaking Storm

"Breaking Storm"
6" X 6" Oil on Panel
This storm was from last Winter as we drove down to Santa Barbara on Coast Hwy 101. This storm lasted about a week or two if I remember correctly. This was the last day of any rains from it and everyone was glad to see it finally roll over the mountains and let the ground dry up. The day before we had made this same drive and it was raining so hard here that we slowed to barely moving. A lot of cars pulled off the road and just stopped to wait it out. As we arrived in Santa Barbara the radio announced flash flood warnings for that very area. Lost of water coming in off the Pacific Ocean.

Here is a shot of the painting being completed. I was using my small pochade box to paint it on since I have yet to rig up something for very small paintings on the big easel.