Archive for the ‘Plein Air Paintings’ Category

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Warm Welcome

August 9, 2018

Warm Welcome – Plein Air – Oil on Canvas Panel – 14″ x 11″

The competition paintings were turned in and being judged. Awards and sale later this day. As long as I was in town, I decided to get in another painting.

I had been past this house several times. Although not particularly noteworthy, this orange door always caught my eye. As I began this painting, the title came to me. Seems as though the title helped keep me on track with the value, color and temperature decisions. Fun painting.

While I painted, a nearby homeowner approached me. I wondered if I was going to be scolded for standing in the road. Interesting conversation as he was not fully aware of the Cedarburg Plein Air event. I was happy to see that our conversation was positive and that he was in attendance that evening.

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Haven Behind Sal’s

August 7, 2018

Haven Behind Sal’s – Plein Air – 12″ x 16″

After completing “Anvil Grille” and having lunch, I ventured onto the main street of Cedarburg. Although a number of artists were working on the typical main street scenes, I found this sight behind one of the stores. Nestled between two buildings and somewhat out of the view of pedestrians, I worked on this design. Started around 1 P.M., I made some assumptions about possible shadows (which did not happen to the extent I had hoped for) and a took a little artists prerogative concerning the flower pots (after all, it was early June). Not a prize winner, but I like it anyway.

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Anvil Grille

August 6, 2018

Anvil Grille – Plein Air – Oil on Linen Panel – 12″ x 16″

Although on my short list of designs to tackle at this plein air event, I was on my way to another spot when I was about to pass by this location. I noticed two important factors. First, a very convenient and rarely available parking space was vacant. Second, the light and shadows were interesting.

I immediately altered my schedule, stopped the car and quickly set to paint this scene. The changes that occurred during my time painting were challenging. Hard to stick to your initial design when the shadows constantly evolve offering a myriad of possibilities and the shops and venues are coming to life before the late morning shoppers and diners start to arrive. At a very vulnerable and opportune time, a couple stopped to peruse the menu posted at the restaurant. Quickly slapped the figures in place and finished the painting.

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Steps of Scents

August 4, 2018

Steps of Scents – Plein Air – Oil on Canvas Panel – 12″ x 9″

The Cedarburg Plein Air Festival began with a unique opportunity. The first day of the event, we had the chance to paint in the historic district and then exhibit (and possibly sell) our works that same day.

I completed a painting in the morning, had lunch and still had some time to burn before our efforts were to be submitted for the exhibition / sale. In walking around the main street, a colorful flower basket caught my eye. The homeowner had a lively flower basket hanging from their porch. I thought I might be able to capture a quick painting. As I stood in front of the home, trying to decide on a composition, it occurred to me that the display of potted flowers on the front steps offered a more appealing opportunity.

When the homeowner witnessed me drawing in my sketchbook, curious, she inquired to make sure that I was not with the tax assessors office. When she realized that I was just an artist, I was given permission to continue.

Not able to complete the painting that afternoon, I returned a few days later. While completing the work, I was a approached by the homeowners friend. Short discussion with the friend resulted in a sale off-the-easel. The friend planned to give the painting as a surprise gift. I trust that the painting has been presented by now.

Would like to have a better photo of the completed painting, but I am very grateful for the sale.

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On the Moo-ve

July 20, 2018

On the Moo-ve – Plein Air – Oil on Linen Panel – 12″ x 24″

While competing in the Cedarburg Plein Air Festival, I asked one of the co-chairs for input. I was interested in capturing one of the local farms that would not require me to stand alongside a busy highway. Within moments, I had three women firing ideas at me. Among the suggestions, was a farm that was at the edge of town. I stood at the point where the speed limit changed from 25 mph to 45 mph. This was doable. One caveat, while the farmer did not mind painters painting the farm, we had to set up across the road, not too close to the pasture. No problem.

Took about forty minutes to play with sketches to decide on the design and format. Liked the idea of working this scene horizontally. Hard to capture the cows as they were constantly moving around. I found that I had to take several breaks from painting in order to grab my sketchbook and quickly capture their short term poses. Worked on this for about two hours when the weather changed. My lighting was lost. I decided to come back the next day. While I thought it might require an hour to complete, I spent a little additional time altering some colors.

While working the second day, I was visited by the owner of the farm. He made mention of the horizontal format. Said he loved the placement of the cows and how I handled the scene to capture the buildings as well as the distant fields. Took him awhile before he noticed that I had improvised the big barn. While the current barn was dark grey and weathered, I added the red paint. He remarked that along time ago, it was that color. I guess that’s okay.

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Flowers in the Can and Flowers in a Pot

June 20, 2018

Flowers in the Can – Oil on Canvas Panel – 16″ x 8″

Twice a year, Rockford holds ArtScene, an event intended to showcase the works of area artists. The event runs Friday and Saturday from late afternoon through the evening. One challenge is that generally 35 to 40 venues scattered around the city host artists. Another of the difficulties is that the event gets very little useful notice or promotion from the local media (sorry, but a photo in the Sunday paper or a short film clip on the Saturday late news, does not help). A few artists post invitations to their friends, but attendance is spotty.

The most recent event was challenging and we knew before the event started. Weather was predicted to be rainy and cold, not conducive for folks that might attempt to visit multiple venues. Rather than risk sitting around all weekend doing nothing, I decided to use a portion of my space to place a small Still Life display, set up my French Easel and create a painting during the event. I thought that my painting demonstration might stir up interest in my art and perhaps result in an off-the-easel sale. The painting, Flowers in the Can (above) was created Friday night. It was so much fun that I tackled the larger, Flowers in a Pot (below) on Saturday night (close to finish on Saturday, but needed a few finishing touches at home).

As any plein air artist knows, painting in public leaves one very vulnerable to comments. Several people did not realize that I had the display set up and wondered if I was making these paintings up out of my imagination. One person asked if I was painting in watercolors. I replied that these were oils, her response was that she felt that I should be painting in acrylics.  There were additional interesting comments, but I will refrain from sharing at this time.

Slow weekend. No sales, but I did walk away with two good paintings from the event. I plan to paint again at the next ArtScene this October. Hopefully to more favorable financial results.

 

Flowers in a Pot – Oil on Canvas Panel – 24″ x 12″

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Cleared Field

December 29, 2017

Cleared Field – Plein Air – Oil on Linen Panel – 8″ x 16″

Ventured out to a quiet rural road. I had intentions of this scene and design. I had to make a few adjustments. The small building had been toppled by age and storms. I knew that I had made sketches of these buildings last summer.  So I painted the scene and imposed the small building by utilizing sketches from the book which I happened to have with me.

As often occurs, as I was busy painting this design, I noticed that this location offers additional opportunities. The painting “Fields to the Left of Me, Cows to the Right” is one of the designs. More paintings to come from this location.