Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Autumn Road

For a larger image please click on photo. 18 X 24 oil on stretched canvas.

Not sure if this one is completely done or not. If it looked as bad on the canvas as the photo does, it would be a repaint for sure.

I have been itching to get this one off of the easel to get started on a larger autumn piece. At least it seems big for me. A 30 X 40. I have the tumbnails complete and the canvas is prepped with an oil primer. I also picked up some new oils today and am anxious to give them a shot. I played with them a bit on the finish of this piece and really like the pigment load and the creaminess of the paint. The brand is Fragonard and from first appearance it acts alot like Vasari, but a whole lot less in cost.

I tried to keep this from getting too acidic. I worked on balancing the yellows with violet grey mixes. If nothing else, a good warm up for the next piece.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Riparian Respite

For a larger view, please click on image. 18 X 24 oil on canvas.

Here is another piece for the consideration of the Sonoran Desert Museum. I have been involved in an ongoing project for conservation of endangered plants and places. This is a fall scene from the San Pedro Riparian area. Places like this have been disappearing because of the increasing demand for water in urban and agricultural areas. In my exploration of this area it was easy to see the impact of drought. The cottonwood trees were about half dead and the river could hardly be called a trickle. The Museum wanted to document these places so at least there would be a memory left since there are no easy answers.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Melissa and I got out of town over the weekend and spent the night in Sedona. We had supper reservations at Elote' which is a restraunt that a friend of hers is the chef. Great food and a nice way to end the day after an invigorating hike to Devil's bridge in the red rocks. The shot below is the view up throught the natural bridge.

This little get away, along with the belated celebration of anniversary was to gather some more painting reference material. We shot a little over 400 hundred photos. Now the tedious process of organizing and making thumbnail sketches to see if anything is worth a painting. We got some great shot and the air was crisp with fall in full bloom. There were still some area that had not hit their peak and some that had past. That is a beautiful thing about painting, when it comes time to paint them, I can make it look like it was peak time or not.

One of the cool thing that has helped me in my photography is to think of what I am putting in my view finder in the sens of it becoming a painting. There are thing that I know are nice to look at but just don't translate well.

If I find an area that has something that I know I want to paint, there are things that I have learned by plein air painting that helps me to compile usable reference material. I will take at least three shots, correct exposure, underexposed and overexposed. With the three exposure I can put together a painting with all of the info I need. I can see what is going on in the shadows and the highlighted areas. I knew that I needed to pack in some research since the Celebration of Fine Art fast approaches and I won't have the time in January, February and March.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Tahoe Blue

Tommorrow is my wedding anniversary and it will be two years. I only mention that because this is a picture that I took on our honeymoon.

I use to sell swimming pools and they had a color of pebble tec called Tahoe Blue. The theory behind it was that it would make your pool water a certain color. When I got a glimpse of Lake Tahoe, I understood why someone would use the color of this lake as a reference point for a desirable color of water. The swimming pools were a far cry from the color of water that I saw but I knew why it would be used to promote the product. I was absolutely awestruck with the beauty of this lake.

I have had this photo in a folder of pictures I would eventually like to paint. I avoided it because it far exceeded my ability. I finally got the guts to attempt it and those rocks underneath the surface of the water close to shore were as difficult as I imagined they would be.
For a larger image, please click on photo.