Saturday, October 31, 2009
After leaving Mr. Chestnut's we moved closer in to Moreland and painted at the Thompson's farm for the afternoon. There were too many great structures and fields to chose from, so I picked to one where I could paint in the shade. At this paint, after dusting off a small painting by this point, I really had a grasp on the palette and what it was capable of. I could see it in everything I saw, which is necessary if you aren't going to bumble along through a painting. It makes it much easier to see, mix, and execute. I struggle with this a bit, as usual, but at the end, I was pleased with everything but the cloud. I will rework or repaint this one at some point.
Friday, October 30, 2009
I got a little ahead of myself with the last few postings, so I am backing up to day 2 of the workshop. After we experimented with the Zorn palette, this was the first piece I did out in the field. Nothing to write home about. This was the first go with the Vasari grays and the rest of the color that are included in the palette of death. I struggled a bit with this piece, it was small and i felt a bit awkward working on it, 5"x7" just isn't my size and I really prefer something closer to square like a 6"x8". But, you labor an and you get what you get. I try to hold judgement until I am done with a piece. You never know how it is going to turn out until you are done.
Vasari grays are an amazing shortcut to values. Each of the grays we used were infused with a color form the limited palette to get the grayed off look you actually see when you are out in nature. You may not realize it, but when you really look they are there!
I am somewhat accustomed with the use of gray, I have alwasy tubed by remnants from my palette at the end of each day and then used that to mix with each color on my palette to neutralize the tube colors. Vasari paints are hand mixed and hand tubed, using no chalks or fillers. They may soon become my paint of choice. They do exactly what you think they will do when you use them.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Once again, working on my trees, specifically the "sky holes." These were not as successful as I would like, but I good piece not the less. Sketch holes are more low key in comparison to the rest of the sky, just because they are surrounded by a darker color and stand out too much if done in the same value. Just because I understand it, doesn't mean I can do it! Equally as hard would be rendering tress with minimal leave, like the trees on the left. Too much contrast there between the three itself and the background. Hope to rework this one later and fix the sky holes.
Monday, October 26, 2009
This one really worked out, as far as the masses are concerned. This was painted from a view down the power line, I was downhill, eye level with the grasses. It was beautiful, I loved the shape of the skyline. Very pleased with mass of the large oak on the left of this piece.
In the workshop, we worked with the Vasari brand neutrals, adding one of the 3 primaries to the mixtures in order to create these tonalist landscapes. Vasari's are hand made and hand tubed by a guy named Scott. He uses his eye to mix the colors, no gas spectrometer here. Their paints are used by Gene and Scott and the neutrals are actually mixed to Scott's specifications. They are tremendously expensive, running around $25 per 40ml tube but they are worth every hard earned penny.
I got rained on while finishing this piece. The cool thing about painting in oil in the rain.... you can do it until it rains too hard. Oil are oils and water is water. I love plein air painting and today was a tribute to that. It is especially satisfying in conditions that are less than favorable.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
This is a smaller piece done at the workshop on one of those cold and dreary mornings last week. This piece was done quickly, about 20 minutes, then I scraped it back with the palette knife and reworked it. I was specifically working on the mass of my trees that day, mine tend to break up as I add more values... it is difficult to see and think of them os one big shape. The blue is a bit much for the distant trees, but I loved the color, so I left it in as a reminder.
Friday, October 23, 2009
This was the last of the pieces I did on the first day of the workshop. I introduced some cobalt blue light to the mix to shake things up. The foreground is a little cool, but other than that, I was pleased with the outcome. I have enjoyed this palette very much and plan on doing much more with it. I am very excited about using the Vasari oil for the next few days. The grays are amazing, and I am afraid that at $25 a 40ml tube, I may never use another paint. I am also seriously considering stepping up to lenin mounted on birch. I will have to crunch the numbers, after all, and increase in the cost of material comes through on the retail end, but, quality is quality.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
This is one of the pieces from the workshop that I felt I could post alone. This was done in the Zorn palette. We worked at Millie's place in Newnan, out Smokey Rd. It is beautiful land out there and they have a great spot for this type of workshop, lots of trees, water and boathouses... good stuff.
On day one of the workshop, we worked with the Zorn palette, which consists of yellow ochre, cadmium red medium, black and white. In the last image of the day I added cobalt blue light for a twist. It was great, I may spend a whole month working on my values with this palette. It was fantastic and so fun to use.
The first day focused on mastering the value planes, the basis of teaching by John Carlson. If you paint landscapes and have never read John Carlson... you need to. I have his guide to landscape painting and have read in twice since I got it this summer. Basically stated, Carlson says that if you can master the 4 value planes, you can do pretty much anything else to the piece and it will still read and a landscape. The lightest plane is the sky, the second lightest is the ground, followed by the slants (hills and mountains) and the darkest being the uprights (trees or buildings in shadow).
I have been very bad about posting the last week. I have been trying to ready myself for a 5 day workshop with Gene Costanza, who is one amazing landscape painter and friend to Scott Christensen, another amazing landscape painter. To me, these guys are the titan of American landscape painting and are both avid plein air painters.
Teaching full time as well as drawing 3 editorial cartoons a week, being a daily painter and being partially responsible for an art auction fund raiser for my school in a month, it makes it difficult to get away. Sadly, the next thing that went after my daily mountain bike ride, was my painting. Sad but true, but in my defense, it was the last thing to go! I know that I will more than make up for the time lost in these 5 days.
Above are pictures from day 2, I did not get my camera out yesterday, I was too busy painting. Those images will be posted later. We spent the day in Moreland, GA painting at Mr. Chestnut's farm and, up the road a bit, the Thompson farm.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I worked off of my palette from last night, unless you couldn't tell. Something I picked up from Jill Steenhuis. She sometimes uses the same palette for up to a month. She scrapes all the excess and places the new "colors" back in there slots along the edge. She uses a large hand held palette and puts it in the freezer, which works very well if your palette fits in a freezer. Mine may fit in a deep freeze, maybe. The one time I did freeze a palette, it didn't go over very well with Jules. It is bad enough the house is covered in my painting explosion, but the freezer is just taking it too far!
This piece is a departure of some sort, I am not sure where it is going, but it is going somewhere different. This piece is interesting to say the least. I hated it at the beginning and just continued to chip away and walked away with something I am not ashamed to share. Sometimes you should just walk away, but the majority of the time, I try to reserve judgement until the piece is done and if I still hate it, then I can toss it.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Julie and her Mom picked pears before we left Paris, TN this weekend. When I got home, she showed me that they had left the leaves on some of them because they thought it would make an interesting painting... and that it did. This is another one of those paintings that took on a life of its own, without a title, you would never know what it is. Maybe I will return to my ambiguous titles like Kandinsky, and call them compositions... Composition VI, etc. I was very pleased with the abstract quality of this piece as well as the texture of the brushwork and knifework.
Monday, October 12, 2009
This one almost slipped through the cracks. I did it on Saturday at the Fair about 2 weeks ago and promptly forgot to take a pictures of it. I enjoy working in natural sunlight, it really enhances the form of the object and makes for a much easier painting and color mixing session. It was also helpful to have people see what I do and how I do it until the crazies come out and want to show you their binder full of work they copied from magazines, but that's another story.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The Heritage School in Newnan, GA, my alma mater and current employer commissioned a couple of permanent pieces for the office. To date, these are the largest Stand of Pines pieces I have done in oil and they work together as a larger piece, a diptych if you will. I took a bunch of great pictures of the process, but they have been lost in cyber world, maybe I can rescue them and post at some point in time. They were too large to work together on the easel, so I started by drawing and painting them on the floor of the studio and then put the finishing touches on the pieces individually on the easel. There was a lot, a lot of paint used on these bad boys. Lots of think brush work and palette knife work...
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I did this piece right after the fair but I have been so busy I have yet to post anything all week, even though I have completed several paintings, I guess that is a good problem to have. I have been taking a great deal of pictures but have once again suffered a severe external back-up drive met down and can't get to the latest pictures I have taken... I think it is time for a new computer with enough hard drive space to keep all of my music and pictures on it. This one is limping around and so is the external.
I have had the little pumpkins sitting around the house and used them as paper weights at the Fair. I was somewhat pleased with the outcome here, I need more time back in the saddle and I know I can make something interesting out of these little dudes!
Friday, October 2, 2009
Last piece before the fair, unless I paint tonight, which I will. They will be wet, but what can ya' do. I hope to paint some during the festivities as well, it is hard to paint and talk to people, but I did a bit of it last year, of course those pieces were covered in dirt and bugs, but that only adds to the piece...