Clouds & More Clouds!

"Cloudy Day"  9" x 12"

 Texas has been blessed with some great big fluffy clouds lately, so I knew it was only a matter of time before I painted some. The top painting was finished in a little over an hour, then I simply rotated my paint box 180 degrees, looking out across Grapevine Lake. What did I see? You guessed it...more clouds. I squeezed out the bottom painting in about 30 minutes.

I hope our big cloud  luck continues so I can paint some more!

"Smells Like Rain"  8" x 10"


Big news! I've been juried into the 2010/2011 Plein Air Southwest event. Sponsored by the Outdoor Painters Society, this event spans several months and has events at the Grand Canyon, Ouray (CO), Prescott (AZ), the Texas coast and Dallas. I have been a member of the Outdoor Painters Society for 2 1/2 years now and this will be the first time I will hang in one of their shows, so I'm very excited!
The list of participating artists includes names like fellow O.P.S. members John Cook, Bob Rohm, Ann Hardy, Jill Carver, William Kalwick, Jr., and several juried in like Steve Atkinson and Michael Chesley Johnson among many others. ( check out the photo for all participating artists )
All paintings will be Plein Air work from mid-August up until the Quick Draw at the Dallas Arboretum next April. I will have 3-4 pieces on exhibit. This is a huge step for me and I can't wait to see my work hanging with this talented group of artists. It's time to get to work!!!

The show opens April 8 at Southwest Gallery in Dallas. 
Here's a link to the show page: http://www.pleinairsouthwest.com/Index.html

Miniature Painting

"Bird w/ Flowers" 4" x 6"

This was a miniature painting that I painted for my wife for her office desk. I bought a small frame, took the glass out and sanded it and then applied several coats of white Gesso. This made for a surprisingly slick surface that I had problems painting on with my normal Hog hair brushes.  It turned into a fun exercise that forced me to lay the paint down and leave it alone, otherwise it scratched right off. It turned out kind of pretty, especially in the heavy dark wood frame, but I don't think I will be in a hurry to paint on glass again.


Blacksmith Wagon

"Blacksmith Wagon" 9"x12"

I think I made a rookie mistake. 

I changed the brand of my oil paints from Gamblin to Le Franc and my paintings have suffered. I don’t think anything is wrong with Le Franc paints. I know several great painters that predominantly use them. My mistake was to change all of them out and add two new colors to my palette at the same time! I have since read recommendations about adding new brands or new colors to your palette, one at a time. I didn’t think it mattered so much, but I found out it does. Plein air painting is difficult enough, so anything that slows you down or makes you unsure will really cause you problems. I have been struggling with my darks, never feeling they are dark enough. I tried adding Sap Green or Viridian to darken my basic Ultramarine Blue / Alizarin mixture to no avail.  Le Franc paint also feels too light and whipped compared to what I’m used to. All of this resulting in wasting paint trying to get my mixes right. Recently, just adding Gamblin U.B. back has improved my work.  I think I will go back to Gamblin as my primary brand for now and try using the other brands only one or two at a time.

Anybody else experience anything like this?

"Plein Air Artist" web site informed me they are featuring my painting "Porch light" on their front page. It's always nice to get recognition, especially from so many great artists. Thanks Donald! Go visit and join in.