Archive for the ‘Midway Village’ Category


Mill at Midway

February 19, 2019

Mill at Midway – Plein Air finished in Studio – Oil on Canvas – 16″ x 20″

Late August I ventured over to Midway Village. Between the entrance to the museum and a neighboring recreational path, is the pond and mill. Although this location has its share of passers-by, I managed to find a spot which gave me a nice vantage point for the mill and kept me somewhat secluded from viewers.

The mill and foreground were my start. The trough on the right and trees to the left were dependent on artistic license. I ripped through this and within two hours had everything well established. I did some touch ups in the studio.


Blooms at Breckenridge House

October 4, 2018

Blooms at Breckenridge House – Watercolor on Arches 140# CP – 9″ x 12″

In search of a building to interpret in watercolor, I ventured over to Midway Village.  I walked the grounds and decided to take on the Breckenridge House. I embraced the challenge of the flowers. To interpret each planting. To instill unity and yet successfully elude to and instill depth to the scene.

While I painted, a few of the volunteers worked tending to the flower beds. I opted not to include the workers in the scene. I was in a hurry and the many options for placement of the workers required more than I wanted to invest. Before I finished the painting, a couple of the gardeners came over to check out my work. One was put out that I did not include the whole house. Funny look on her face when I responded that I found the product of their efforts to be of more interest.


Autumn Willow and Pear Study

January 1, 2018

Autumn Willow – Oil on Canvas Panel – 8″ x 6″

Two more small oil paintings started as a resource for my Oil students. The willow tree is from a reference photo. The willow is at the entrance to Midway Village in Rockford. The pears were started to help my students understand methods for tackling folds in cloth. Both paintings were quickly requested by galleries for display (and sale – hopefully).

Pear Study – Oil on Canvas Panel – 6″ x 8″

Happy New Year. Hoping that you all enjoy a prosperous and happy 2018. Thank you for following my posts.


Midway Willow

January 21, 2017
Midway Willow - Plein Air - Oil on Linen Panel - 10" x 8"

Midway Willow – Plein Air – Oil on Linen Panel – 10″ x 8″

Warm sunny day in November. Lots of color as not all of the leaves had dropped yet. Not many of these days available before it gets cold. Sometimes, you travel to an area anticipating a good, exciting scene to paint and end up disappointed. This was not one of those times.  This stop gave me a better, livelier subject than I had anticipated. Made for a really fun morning of painting.


Midway Reflection

September 27, 2013
Midway Reflection; Oil on Canvas Panel 16" x 12"

Midway Reflection; Oil on Canvas Panel 16″ x 12″

I had not made arrangements to paint at Midway, but it was a good day to be out painting. I decided to go to paint at the Midway pond. I found this spot at the north side of the pond. The larger size (16″ x12″) took me longer to paint. Maybe too long. The shadows and colors changed a lot more than I needed. In the work, I lost the initial vision. I did not have my camera with me and my preliminary sketches were insufficient to help me hold to my initial inspiration.

After working this for about 2-1/2 hours, I decided to pack up, head home and come back the next day. I did come back the next day. Found that I had to do a lot of work to get the painting back to where it should have been.


Midway – South Barn

September 15, 2013
South Barn - Plein Air; Oil on Canvas Panel 8" x 10"

South Barn – Plein Air; Oil on Canvas Panel 8″ x 10″

A view of the 1800’s barn at Midway. I took some artistic license with the barn. In reality, it is only weathered wood. No paint. To paint this as the bleached out building that it is, creates a design with a drab blotch in a critical spot (though some day I may figure out how to pull this off successfully). I decided to go with  the stereotypical red barn, but weathered. I think that this worked better than painting it the way that it really is.


Midway – J.L. Clark

August 18, 2013
J.L. Clark; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8" x 10"

J.L. Clark; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8″ x 10″

Another day at Midway Village. I decided to paint along Main Street. I was told that the Day Camp was in session. I thought that meant that the children would be playing games in the field to the east of me, well out of range. I was wrong.

I had been at work on my painting for about thirty minutes when the day campers made their way into the village with their adult leader. Fortunately for me, I was stationed close to a large tree (for shade). It was a warm day and the leader decided that this was a good day to have the kids split into teams and play capture the flag in the village.

Kind of fun. The kids ran all over the village. Occasionally  a couple kids would run near me, but not too close. I didn’t feel so isolated. Fun day.

The drawing went in fairly quickly, I tried to lock in the shadows as quickly as possible. All of the details of the architecture and the window reflections took a lot of time. Bigger challenge as handling the greens and ensuring that there were enough value changes to work properly . In reality, the values of the canopy and adjacent bushes were virtually the same. I had to use a little artist prerogative to make it work.


Midway – Farmers Garden

August 7, 2013
Midway - Farmers Garden; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 11" x 14"

Farmers Garden; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 11″ x 14″

A view of the 1850’s barn at Midway. The barn is gray. Really gray. I decided to utilize violet and Naples Yellow to get some zing into the barn. I also utilized Violet in the background trees which gave a feeling of atmospheric perspective and also added unity with the barn. The foreground grass was started with a loose wash of Transparent Red Oxide. I then added body color to represent the grasses. There was no path from my view. I decided to add the path to give movement and to break up the grassy foreground. The ruts of the path are just the remains of the initial Red Oxide wash. No body color here.


Plein Air – Midway – 1905 Barn

August 5, 2013
Friday Morn; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8" x 10"

Friday Morn; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8″ x 10″

A very sunny and warm day at Midway Village. I set up in the shade of the 1850’s barn with a view of the 1905 barn.

Busy day over here. Children are here for a day camp and playing games in the field. It was entertaining to hear the squeals and yells of the kids. Occasionally, groups of the children are taken to the barn for a tour. After working for about an hour, I realized that one of the volunteer gardeners was busy in the garden to the left of my set up. I didn’t feel so alone.

I used a wash of dioxazine purple with a touch of Ivory black and Titanium White to establish the distant tree line. I find that it helps give the feeling of atmospheric perspective. I exaggerated the red of the barn just because.

Late in the morning. Getting hot. Painting is done. I am heading back to the studio to work in the cool of the studio for the afternoon.


Plein Air – Midway Lagoon

August 3, 2013
Lagoon Reflections; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 12" x 9"

Lagoon Reflections; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 12″ x 9″

On a previous excursion to Midway Village, I noticed the reflection of this tree off the pond at the main entrance. I had a feeling that it could work but did not wish to paint it this day. I put the idea on the back burner. Even while painting in the village, I found myself giving thought to this idea for a painting.

Monday morning, I had to get out to paint. The pond at Midway seemed like a good project for a sunny morning. I arrived and settled upon this view and angle. Although I was facing west, I was painting under a canopy of trees. Occasionally I had to adjust for the dappled sunlight hitting the canvas. Had a nice, short conversation with a jogger. Seems that he was not from the area, but had heard about the Midway path. While running, he noticed me painting and, well, curiosity got the best of him. While painting, I noticed a local photographer working portrait shots around the mill. Other than this, it was a fine day for painting. And the results were pleasing as well.