Archive for the ‘Plein Air Paintings’ Category

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Sittin’ by the Tracks

August 23, 2017

Sitting by the Tracks – Oil on Linen Panel – 9″ x 12″

The competition, replacement and Gems paintings turned in. Unsold paintings to be picked up from the venue late the next day. With an afternoon available, I grabbed my gear and set out for another painting.

I caught sight of this design a few days earlier. Decided to investigate this as an idea for next years competition. Went to the spot where first saw the scene. It was not good enough. I wanted to get closer to the rail crossing and orange truck. I made my way to the backside of an apartment building, to a closed street. Grabbed my gear and set up near the tracks on an abandoned siding. The painting was progressing well, when I was interrupted by a pedestrian. It was a worrisome resident of the apartment checking to see what I was up to. Realized what I was painting and exclaimed, “Don’t know why you’re painting that. It doesn’t look like a very pretty sight to me”. Critics.

I continued with my work and was interrupted again. This time by an older gentleman who was out for a bike ride along the adjoining recreational trail. He stopped, figured out what I was painting and offered the comment, “Well! When you finish that, you are going to have a very unique painting.” I’ll take that as a complement.

Due to the sun shining and a lack of available shade, this was one of the rare times when I set up an umbrella to shade my easel while I painted. Due to wind conditions, I had to paint most of this work while holding the umbrella with my free hand. Other than that handicap, the work seemed to paint itself.

My son had warned me about trains which regularly travel those tracks. Though I kept alert, no trains came through. I finished the painting, packed up my gear and as I pulled away from my parking spot, I heard a noise. The 4:05 train coming through.

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Cedarburg Gems

August 15, 2017

Blossoms at the Painted Swing – Oil on Canvas Panel – 6″ x 8″

Competition and replacement paintings turned in. Now to create a couple small, lower priced works for the Gems display. Found a nice shaded spot on the main street which gave me both of these flower designs.

Hanging Basket – Oil on Canvas Panel – 8″ x 6″

 

Picture This – Oil on Canvas Panel – 10″ x 8″

Liked playing with the shadows and tackling the elliptic on this design. A shop owner from across the street came over to check out the progress on this painting and give me a bottle of ice water. Wow! That was an appreciated interruption.

Display at Kuhefuss House Oil on Linen Panel – 8″ x 10″

Decided to try this scene as a watercolor. Unfortunately I made an error in the design and it did not work. I returned the next day to paint this design in oil. Painting went well and I had a nice conversation with a worker form the popcorn stand where I was working.

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Special Delivery, Lone Ranger, Patti’s Hen House

August 14, 2017

Special Delivery – Oil on Linen Panel – 9″ x 12″

One of the sites lined up for the event was a farm just north of Cedarburg. Spent several minutes moving around and capturing a number of thumbnail sketches of numerous subject and design possibilities. Found a display of three wagons with flowers. The middle of the three wagons held the most interest for me. I did  not move the wagon, but rather, mentally edited the other wagons out. More than once I had to move from my easel in order to understand the angles and shadows. This was one of those works which “painted itself”. Had fun working this. Only regret is not going larger. Thrilled to see that this work sold before the exhibit opened to the public.

The title for this work was suggested by the owner of the farm. I liked it. Figure as long as we were spending so much time painting on their property, the least I could do is allow her to add an important contribution to my painting.

Lone Ranger – Oil on Linen Panel – 12″ x 16″

Started this on a very warm (it was HOT) afternoon. Although I liked the design and wanted to finish this work, the heat was getting to me (although the chickens settled down around my easel was amusing). I decided to stop before I messed up a good start. Looking at the work that evening, I realized that the values were causing a problem. I needed to be more bold and push the values and colors to make it pop. Returned the next afternoon (it was a few degrees cooler). The planned adjustments were just the trick to make this painting work.

Patti’s Hen House – Oil on Linen Panel – 12″ x 16″

Started this in the morning. I only had about two hours to work due to another commitment. Got pretty far, but unable to finish. Looked at the worked later, with fresh eyes and realized that painting the chicken coop as it is, was a recipe for disaster. I figured out an alternative color scheme that could work.

Returned the next morning. I was hoping the chickens would be out and about to help me give some life to the scene. The chickens were still in the coop. I set to completing the work. Much to my pleasure, the folks let the chickens out. I stopped painting for a few minutes and grabbed my sketchbook. I made some quick sketches of the chickens moving around near the house. Back to painting and I noticed the chickens making their way over to my easel. I continued painting while they checked out my shoes, paint bucket and panel carrier for food. Then they nestled down near my feet while I continued to paint. A St. Francis of Assisi moment.

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Flowers at Lily’s, Five O’clock Shadow

July 26, 2017

Flowers at Lily’s – Oil on Linen Panel – 10″ x 8″

These works were completed for the Quick Paint Competition at Cedarburg.

Having never participated in the Cedarburg Competitions, I was uncertain how crowded this area might be. 150 artists in the competition. You get your canvas stamped and have 2-1/2 hours to get out, paint and return with a completed and framed painting. Not much time to travel from the check-in station.

Scouted the flower pot and anticipated the shadows. Set up my gear, made some thumbnail sketches, and prepared some piles of paint mixtures. Left my set-up while I made my way across the street to get the canvas stamped and start my race against time.

Not a bad morning for painting. Interrupted a couple times by people that did not realize the focused rush that was at work. Not much time for chit-chat. Good news is that I finished and returned with the framed work with a few minutes to spare. The work showed real well under the gallery lighting. Sold too, so that was good.

Five O’clock Shadow – Oil on Linen Panel – 8″ x 10″

An unexpected challenge. This was a problem child.

We had the opportunity to complete a second quick paint with the opportunity to replace the first work if we deemed the second work better.

I found this scene, anticipated the opportunity that shadows could present. Got everything ready and made my way to the check in station with my canvas panel. I placed the canvas panel face down and pointed to the space where I desired the volunteer to place the official stamp. Took a moment to sign the check in sheet and noticed the volunteer placing the official ink stamp in the middle of the front of the canvas. I now had to somehow cover the stamp while trying to complete the painting within the time frame.

I let loose with a rather loud “What are you doing?” Thank goodness no naughty words came out (as I recall). The officials got involved but did not allow any additional time to repair the handicap given.

No choice. Get out and get busy painting. Worked this painting as quickly as I could with the intention of leaving plenty of time to pile on paint as necessary to cover the stamp in the middle of my painting. Did the best I could but some of the stamp still showed through. I decided not to use this work for the competition.

Although not authorized, I did take time a couple days later to pile paint over the stamp before turning this work in to be used by the committee to fill in wall space as works were sold. Good news. You cannot see the stamp!

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Fiddleheads, Lily’s and Stilt House

July 25, 2017

Fiddleheads – Oil on Linen Panel – 9″ x 12″

Liked the looks of this view and, better yet, from the shade of a tree. Took a little over two hours to complete, but the time flew. Really enjoyed this one.

Shadows at Lily’s – Oil on Linen Panel – 9″ x 12″

This one completed over two sessions. Started this early one morning. The shadows across this building caught my attention. The drawing and initial color applications took awhile. Because the light/shadows had changed so much, I decided that it was best to stop and come back the next morning to ensure that I could properly capture the shadows which had initially captured my attention.

Stilt House – Oil on Linen Panel – 9″ x 12″

Started this one early evening. Liked the raw design, though the angle of the building did not yield the shadows I had anticipated. Decided to stick with my inspiration and charge forward. Returned the next evening to finish the details, well, actually once I started I amended several portions of this painting. As I was completing the work and starting my clean-up, a woman reviewed my worked and stated that my greens were wrong. She was referring to the building. Technically, she was right. However, over the course of two hours, at that time of day and at the angle of the building, lighting will change. I pointed out the lighting issue and that the difference was necessary to help give depth to the design. Confirmed that I had held onto my initial vision despite the change in light.

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Andrews Find

July 24, 2017

Andrew Find – Oil on Linen Panel – 9″ x 12″

Knowing that I was coming to the area to paint, my son scouted this old truck as possible subject matter. I arrived early in the morning and set to work. The painting moved quickly. Visited by the curious owner of the building to the right and later by the owner of the truck. Happy with the result, although I am sure that I can do a better, more dynamic job. Hopefully this truck will still be available for next years competition.

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Showing on Sheboygan Street

July 19, 2017

Showing on Sheboygan Street – Oil on Linen Panel – 8″ x 10″

In Cedarburg for their annual plein air competition. Early afternoon before I could set out to paint. Found an interesting Victorian house with some laborers at work. Thought it would make an interesting painting. Did a couple sketches, began to set up my easel and supplies, and then.. realized that the workers were finishing their job. Opportunity lost.

Everything back in the car. Scrambling for an interesting find. Wanted to get something accomplished this afternoon. Turned a corner and this hanging basket caught my eye. Set off to painting it. Challenge. I miss calculated my direction and had to fight to keep the bright sunlight off of my canvas. Had I correctly anticipated the sun, I would have been able to set up and gain advantage of shade from trees.