I wasn't happy with this painting when I posted it a few weeks ago, so I picked it up and went at it again. I added a glaze with Ultramarine Blue and Liquin to most of the shadow areas and applied a thicker and cleaner highlight to the front fender. I don't normally paint on my plein air work after it's dry, but I think this improved it and I'm happier with the final product.
I have wanted to paint this house for some time and I found my chance when I saw the owners out front doing some yard work. I walked up to the lady of the house and she seemed delighted that I wanted to paint on her land. So I set up my easel right off the sidewalk on the corner of their property and got to painting. I selected a 12" x 16" canvas which is larger than my typical size so right then I knew I was in for some work. About twenty minutes in the man of the house sees me and makes a bee line towards me looking very confused and not very happy that I was in his yard. I explained who I was and that I had asked permission from his wife because he was on a riding lawn mower at the time. After what seemed like much hesitation he told me I could continue. For the next two hours I was stared at and given the evil eye. My wife came out to check on me and quickly noticed the way I was being looked at. The man wanted no part of me being on his land or cared about looking at what I was doing. Then he walked over and told me I was done because he wanted to mow the grass I was standing on even though he had just done it when I walked up. Very confusing. The lady of the house had asked me to show it to her when I finished but I felt like I needed to leave. The painting was officially done.
Weird day, but hopefully worth it.
I don't normally show unfinished work because most of it is finished on site. I tried a different approach with this one by using softer brushes and Liquin as my medium. I was able to paint in most of the colors and then decided to let it dry. I'm thinking that building up the colors in layers of glazes will give it a softer glow. It was difficult not to slap on that fat, juicy thick paint I normally go for. I will post it again when I return to it.
Maybe I’m not the only guy in the world that is guarded about his work.
I heard another very successful painter state that only one out of ten plein air paintings he does is worth displaying in a gallery. I also was able to visit his studio and see literally thousands of plein air paintings he has boxed and laying around. I learned that not every painting you do will be successful, let alone a masterpiece. Lately I find myself making less negative comments towards my own work and gaining more confidence.
Being hard on myself has always plagued me. I know posting my work online is helping me to open up. Art can be very personal.
Maybe I won’t be so hard on myself the next time my painting is not turning out.
If you don’t belong to an art group or you don’t have painting partners, I strongly recommend it. Followers of my Blog can see that I haven’t been able to post as regular as I started. My full time job has really demanded a lot from me the past few months and it still hasn’t let up. I know this is not a totally bad thing in today’s economy, but it really puts a damper on my painting time. Some of my recent chances to paint have been spoiled by this famous random Texas weather. Not sure if there is a harder place to paint outside. This is where having painting partners provides a lift. My friends keep me in the loop and let me know what’s going on in the local plein air scene. Those friendships enable me to join in their outings and even sap some of their enthusiasm when I’m down. Recently I joined around thirty other artists on a great one day paint outing in Granbury Texas. We were unleashed on a 300 acre private ranch. Even though my paint skills were a little rusty, I had a great time! How can you not love painting in a group? Every person truly wanted to be there and you can tell they all treasure their time together.
I appreciate my friends Doug and Cecilia for including me in their “Reindeer games”!
About a year ago I was lucky enough to take a Rusty Jones painting workshop. The first day, we stayed inside and painted from photographs Rusty brought with him. It should be no surprise that I went straight for an old paint flaking white house surrounded by trees. After first painting a value study, I proceeded to paint what turned out to be a pretty nice little painting. Rusty told me the photo was taken in Colorado while he himself was watching a demo by William Kalwick Jr. On my recent vacation to Colorado, I almost jumped out of my car when I spotted the real house from this painting. I wasn't searching for it, but just turned a corner and it was there. You would have thought I was seeing the ocean for the first time from my reaction. It was weird to see one of my painting subjects for the first time after painting it.
Now I have several photos of my own to work from.
( What you can't see is the hundreds of mosquitos swarming me )
"Secret Garden" 9 x 12
"In Bloom" 9 x 12
I finally picked up my paintings from the Waxahachie Plein Air event. I promised to post them when I did so here they are.
Here are a couple more paintings from my recent trip to Colorado. These are much smaller than most of my paintings. I tried this smaller size out for two reasons. First, I knew I would be painting fast so I wouldn't be forcing my family to sit around while I worked. Second, because of the ease of finding a frame.
Wow, is all I can say about my vacation in Ouray, Colorado. My family and I had a great time. I took hundreds of pictures and soaked in so much beauty. I plan on pouring over the photos and turn many of them into paintings. I know it will be a challenge to capture the large scale & beauty of the mountains. That is something I know I wouldn't have had any chance of doing if I hadn't been there and took them myself.
The above painting was done roadside, looking down on the town of Ouray. The weather was a wonderful 72 degrees. I heard Texas was around 104 at the same time, so I wasn't missing it very much right then. I would like to say that I had people from all over the world pulling over just to watch me work, but I'm sure at least a few of them only stopped to take in the view.
I will post more of my plein air attempts and share some of my photos in the following days.
"Sonjia's Red Bowl" 8 x 10
This is my first post in a while. A family problem and the Texas hot weather combined to keep my recent painting outings sparse. I am presently about a 95% plein air painter. Very few of my attempts come from studio or indoor work. That is something I know I have to change about myself. I have become comfortable painting outside and now I need to learn to be comfortable inside which is probably the exact opposite from most painters. I decided a few nights ago to set up a still life and get some painting in. The funny thing about the way I work is I paint inside the exact way I paint outside. I have done work as large as 2’ x 3’ but still finished in about three hours time. I need to learn to slow down and not sling the paint. I don't like painting on dry work.
Next week I am going to Ouray, Colorado for a combined family vacation and paint out event with the OPS. I have never painted in the mountains before so I am very excited!
I promise to post many photos and hopefully many paintings.
"In Bloom" 9"x 12"
( My apologies for the low resolution camera phone pictures. I was not able to pick up my paintings after the show. I wish I didn't have anything left to pick up. )
I'll have to revisit this spot again and give it another try.
Any opinions about the painting or texture?
Andrew is no nonsense lets get painting type of guy that can paint from sun up to sundown. We woke up early and packed lunches. If you have painted in Texas you won't be shocked to hear that we painted in 90+ degree heat one moment and cold high winds and rain the next. A local farmer found us on a dirt road and asked if were "working hard", I think he was joking, but honestly we were! I won’t be the first person to say Plein Air painting is hard work!
I returned from my trip in time to paint in a local wildflower festival. Good news is I sold both paintings I created. Bad news is they had two silent auction times going and I turned my paintings in five minutes before the first auction time. They quickly sold for the minimum bids, because nobody had time to see them. I should have turned them in after the first auction.
I did have a lot of fun and even let some fifteen or so kids actually help me paint on my paintings. The kids were all excited and easy to coach and I saw a lot of surprise on their parents faces. I figured I could repair anything that didn't look quite right. Everything was going fine until a woman who told me she was also an oil painter walked up. I told her I needed a break and wanted her to paint something for me. She picked up the brush I was using to paint grass with and stuck it into a combination of Prussion blue and Viridian Green and proceeded to paint in my sky for me. Ouch! Neither color was being used in this particular painting. After cleaning up that mess I now know I can clean up anything.
This week brings some excitement for me as I get to leave town for three days with fellow Outdoor Painters Society members on a painting trip to the Texas hill country. We will be in the Fredericksburg area as part of the Plein Air Southwest 2009 event. We are expecting a great turnout. Also this weekend I will be participating in the 4th Annual Fort Worth Prairie Fest. I will be painting all day with my work and several other artists work being sold during a silent auction.
Because of my day job, this will be the first time ever that I will be able to paint for four days in a row sun up to sun down. Just imagine the possibilities. Of course, I will share everything when I get back.
If you are in Fort Worth area please come out and say “Hi”.
Painting outside is exciting for the artist and I feel that comes through in the finished work.
a rose for my wife. Sometimes being an artist is
a good thing.
At the very least I hope you enjoy viewing my art.