The Pink Anteater 8x10

This past weekend was a blast. I was hosting my painting group in my home town of Grapevine, Tx. We had a real good attendance that included several new members and several signature members showing up to get their paint on. I was a little nervous and prayed the outing would go fine. We had a forty percent chance of rain in the forecast, but we made it through the day with only one ten minute downpour that didn't stop anyone. Several really nice paintings where done and even with all the talking and direction giving I managed to paint three paintings. I'll show some pictures of the outing in some upcoming posts.

The "Pink Anteater" is a painting of some vintage farming equipment on a farm only one block from my house. My family drives by it all the time and my boys always remark how much the old bailing machine looks like an some kind of strange animal, compete with green eyes and weird smile. I've wanted to paint this scene for some time. I was in luck that day because a red tractor was left right next to the bailer. In my eyes painting both of these together not only tells the viewer what this machine is used for but also just how large it is. This was very fun to paint and my boys got a kick out of it too.


Dinner with Friends

I recently went to dinner with several of my Outdoor Painters Society buddies. If they sat us together by talent, I wouldn't have been at this table. From left to right is Dave Bates, Me (with the big stupid grin), Andrew Wages, John Cook and Kaye Franklin. If you are not familiar with any of these people, do yourself a favor and check out their work! So much talent.


Rusted Tin Roof 11 x 14

I'm not totally happy with the way this painting turned out even though I do like parts of it. I think some of my feelings are based on what I edited out because of time restraints and maybe poor layout. I ended up removing a tree from the right side and a tractor plow from the left foreground. While I was laying it out it never seemed to come together. I should have know from the start if the layout doesn’t feel right to correct it then, but I was in a hurry for the fun part. This painting also made me doubt not using canvas on my board. The texture is nice, but it seems to become dry looking reel fast. I don’t add a lot of medium to my paint. With this one I only added some Alkyd to speed up drying time. Maybe I should try something else before I totally give up on my gesso only wood boards. Also, I have a few scratches along the fence from my carrier that I haven't cleaned up yet.

Any opinions about the painting or texture?


Rainy Day Painting

"The Hill Country" 11" x 14"
As soon as it stopped raining on our drive home, Andrew Wages & I looked at each other and knew it was another chance to paint. We turned off onto a dirt road and found this interesting hill. I had to park my van at our backs to shield us from the high winds. It was challenging conditions, but so much fun! I wish I had taken a picture of Andrew's painting, but the wind wouldn't allow me to leave my setup.
A look at my palette and painting in progress

This photo doesn't show the clouds that filled the sky

More Plein Air Lessons Learned

My friend Andrew Wages creates another master piece.

"Goat Farm" 9" x 12"
A farm we discovered on a back road. It was covered in goats.
We were lost at this time & I doubt I could ever find
this location again.

Photo from site

I had a great time visiting the Texas Hill country. I was lucky enough to paint with over thirty members of the Outdoor Painters Society and make many new friends. I partnered up with Andrew Wages who has been painting for over forty years. Andrew has seen it and done it all. We had a great time.
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.

Lesson learned.

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.

Lesson learned.