Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Petroglyph Ironwood

For a larger image, click on picture.

I managed to put the finishing touches on this piece this am. This piece was walk through memory lane as I have painted this scene before. This was a piece that was purchased for The Sonoran Desert Museums permanent collection. The piece they purchased was done in acrylics and this one is done in oils. A very different feel to this piece and more truthful to the location.

A friend of mine picked out a piece for purchase and then decided that he wanted to have two paintings. The second piece he picked out was this painting which was already sold. I couldn't have it work out to sell something from my already painted stock that is growing out of control. I retained the rights to the painting in the event I wanted to do a printing of the piece someday. My hope has been that after they get the collection of painting published that it would possibly have appeal for that. Might be a pipe dream. Anyhow, with owning the rights, I can paint a piece for his home.

This scene is from the Petroglyph trail in the Superstition Mountains here in Arizona. A group of us hiked up the trail to catch the sunrise and meditate next to the petroglyphs in the canyon they are located in. On the way up to the location, this ironwood tree caught my attention because of the interesting burl growth in the midsection of the tree. When I got home and developed the pictures, I noticed that the burl had the resemblance of a dragon head. I didn't paint the piece for a long time because I thought it might be a little too Bev Doolittleish. Oh well, I wasn't adding in something into the paiece that wasn't there.

The ironwood tree is an amazing speciman. It is a nurse species for over 650 plants and animals. A real central plant in out Sonoran Desert. They can reach ages of near 2,000 years old. With all of the urban sprawl, developers would go in and level the ground for homes and began destroying these magnificent trees on a grand scale. Congress finally passed a bill to make them an endangered species several years ago. A major milestone in desert conservation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I have been tagged. My initial response was "not going to do it, feel too much like a chain letter." Upon further thought, I decided it could be a fun thing.

I was tagged by Bart who has been a faithful poster on my blog. He describes my work as "wonderful warm paintings, carefully made." Hey, hey I am trying to loosen up. Famous last word of every painter that has ever viewed Schmid's lovely loose work.


If I share them they are no longer secrets. How about little known facts that anyone who doesn't know me wouldn't know.

1. In my second year of painting, I had work purchased from me for a Museum's permanent collection. (Tooting my own horn there.)

2. I have not had any mood altering chemicals in my body for over 18 years.

3. I enjoy meditation as a way to connect with my creative path and work out being stuck.

4. I grew up in Sturgis, South Dakota. The ever infamous Bike Rally in the heart of the Black Hills.

5. I dedicate a minimum of 4 hour a day to painting and studying art. It usually exceeds that.

6. I am going to study with Scott Christensen in June. I love his work and this is a goal that I am really jazzed about.

7. I have a book that I am writing but not making a lot of progress on.

Well that is done. Hopefully everyone is still awake.

Part two - tag 7 other bloggers.

Here are my seven bloggers.

1. Michael Chelsey Johnson-A fellow plein air painter that I had the privilege of meeting at a Ray Roberts workshop. His work has alot of air and is worth a look.

2. Danny Griego - another plein air painter, figure painter that does amazing work and is very dedicated to his craft.

3. William K. Moore - A very prolific artist that has a blog that is a very interesting read about Bogata.

4. Frank Edwards - Another Plein air painter whose work has a terrific amount of life and expression.

5. Michael Pieczonka - A Wetcanvas patron with a wonderful painterly style.

6. Mick McGinty - A daily painter that is from my home state that does incredible work that I would like to get to know.

7. Karin Juricik - Another daily painter that does incredible little scene that are full of stories.

All right there are my seven secrets and seven bloggers and I am still alive.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Fallen Prairie Ash (update)

Here is an update to this piece. With some help from my friends on Wetcanvas, I lightened the russian olives behind the prairie ash. It helped cool the scene tremendously and give the painting alot more air. This is a difinate move in the right direction.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mogollon Juniper

Another tree portrait.......I find that when I work in series I am able to build on my past discoveries. I like the way the light was bouncing all over the place in this juniper. The photo of the painting is alot warmer than the original, even though this piece leans toward the warm side. Sometime I think a warm pallett is appropriate to capture the feeling of the day, and needless to say this was a warm one.

18 x 24 on stretched canvas

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Fallen Prairie Ash

Needed something to loosen up with after doing some fairly tight pieces. Not sure what attracted me to this half destroyed ash tree. I liked the play of reflected light in the fallen trunks and it gave me an excuse to paint something that I could just stroke out and just enjoy smearing paint.

For a larger image, click on the picture.

Thanks for looking.

16 x 20 on stretched canvas.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Christopher Creek

This is a little scene from our White Mountains in Arizona. This is a boulder strewn creek with a little trickle of water in between the large rocks. When we get a downpour it has a tendency to get busy and almost overflow the banks. This was an afternoon with a ton of ambient light. I wanted to capture the denseness of the surrounding forest and glow of the filtered light without painting every little detail. I think I will be forever haunted by Schmids handling of similar scenes. I tried to focus on edges and paint what matters and suggest the supporting cast. I learned alot and still am digesting the info.

Thanks for looking. Comments and Crit always welcome.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Intimate Canyon Arch 24 X 30

Just pulled this one off the easel this am. I have been taking a little more time to draw the parts that matter. It has been my experience that when I paint a scene with rocks, it is important to have a strong drawing. If I try to hurry and fake it, I end up paying for it when I am a ways into the painting with an area that will not read right no matter how hard I try to rework it. I drew this out with charcoal again just like the "Canyon Amphitheater" piece. You can see the grid peeking through the drawing. This is and old trick I learned from doing large murals. It helps me keep from getting lost and it is a good way to measure. I use a golden mean grid to keep compostion in the forfront of my mind, so it ends up serving two purposes. I find it a great tool for a balanced interesting composition. A lot of the time I will put the intersection of the grid on smaller pieces to remind me of the importantance of composing something interesting.

I did and earlier study of this piece in a vertical format in a much smaller piece. I had it in mind that I might do a larger studio work later. I sat that painting within view to use as a map for color recipes that I worked out. This scene was mostly in shadow except for the sunlit flat plane on the top of the outcropping. I played with value and color more on this piece than I did in the study to increase the dramatic quality of the piece. I wanted it to be detailed in the right places without overpainting the whole piece. I also included some of the trees that I chose to eliminate in the study. A larger piece seems to call for more of the scene because there is roomofor it without making the piece too busy.

This was a fun piece too paint and this is about the canyon instead of the trees.

Thanks for looking. Comments appreciated and welcomed.