Archive for the ‘Plein Air Paintings’ Category

h1

Shed at Beaver Creek

February 15, 2019

Shed at Beaver Creek – Plein Air finished in Studio – Oil on Canvas – 16″ x 20″

A few miles to the east is the work space of an artisan. They make a wide range of ceramic items including water-wigglers. The converted barn is surrounded by fields about a half mile off of the main road. A thick stand of trees keep the farm hidden from the main road. The folks have allowed me to come by and paint the scenery. Except for the attacks by mosquitoes this past summer, the farm is a fairly safe location for painting.

I had set a strategy of working larger plein paintings last summer and fall with the idea that any unfinished works could be completed during the cold mid-western winter. This is one of the first pieces completed. I worked for two hours on location. This painting was well underway and should not have needed a lot of work to finish it. The most stressful aspect was to complete this work in the studio while maintaining the freshness of the plain air work.

Side note: the owners wife informed me that the small sunflowers in the pot were planted by one of the pesky squirrels on the property. Nice touch. I like it.

Advertisements
h1

Field Marker

February 13, 2019

Field Marker – Oil on Canvas – 18″ x 24″

Fall of 2017, I found this spot along Grange Hall Road. Harvested field to my left and grazing cows to my right. From time to time, while I painted, the cows would wander over to see what I was up to. I am sure that they thought I had food or treats for them.

The plein air work was a small 9″ x 12″ work. The plein air piece had issues. The sun was somewhat to my back. Being an early October morn, the sun was a bit lower in the sky. These conditions caused me to see the colors and values as less intense than I would like. Upon completing the plein air work, I contemplated wiping off the days mess. But there was “something” about the work that made me wait.

Over the winter, I looked at that painting numerous times. Then it started to come together for me. In real life, the sun was to my left, what if I altered the design and had the sun coming from the right? That would enable more drama with shadows from the trees and fence-line. The distant tree line was just a flat, stagnant line. What if I “invented” a distant hill side to help give motion to the distance? What if I intensified the colors? What if I simplified the tree-line to my right? A few thumbnail sketches and a small value study gave me the confidence to go for it.

h1

Cherry Valley Barn

February 3, 2019

Cherry Valley Barn – Plein Air – Oil on Linen Panel – 16″ x 20″

From the parking lot of a school, I was able to capture this scene. Moved fast to get a lot of this design blocked in. Was moving at a good pace and stopped after two hours. Back at the studio, made a few adjustments and finished this work. Toughest part of the studio portion was not messing up too much of the plein air effort.

h1

Patti’s Hen House Wins an Award

January 27, 2019

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

Patti’s Hen House received an Honorable Mention award at the Regional Survey of Art sponsored by The Next Picture Show Dixon, IL

 

h1

Kishwaukee Bends

January 21, 2019

Kishwaukee Bends – Plein Air – Oil on Canvas – 12″ x 24″

I received word that one of my small river scenes had sold at one of the gallery’s. They asked if I had other river scenes available. Not having anything which I felt was gallery ready, I headed over to a spot along the Kishwaukee River to create a fresh work. It was a challenging day.

The mosquitoes were menacing this past summer. They started early in the season and maintained a consistent attack all summer long. Doing anything outside often became an aerobics routine of bug swatting.

This morning was damp. I knew the mosquitoes might be bad. Before heading down to the river to scout a scene and make a few sketches, I doused myself with mosquito repellent. As I found a spot and did a few thumbnail drawings, the mosquitoes were finding me. I decided to go for it anyway. Back at the car, I reapplied a lot of repellent. I carried my equipment and ground spray. It’s a natural bug spray used by campers. It usually works well. Today, not so well.

While standing still at my easel painting, the mosquitoes were generally sedate, though at times, for no apparent reason, they would rise to action. Whenever I stepped back to look at my work, it motivated the bugs to attack mode. There was little chance of victory over these voracious critters. I worked swiftly to capture the gist of the scene. At a little under two hours, I decided to get out of there and complete the painting back in the studio.

h1

Along Beaverton Road

January 20, 2019

Along Beaverton Road – Plein Air – Oil on Canvas Panel – 12″ x 24″

This farm is well hidden by bushes and trees along the roadside. Not much of a view from the main entrance either. Thanks to a small gap in the brush, I was able to set up my gear and work on this view. It was a rather quiet road. About an hour into this painting, a young woman stopped her car to see what I was doing. A simple greeting was all that was exchanged. About five minutes later, an older gentleman riding a golf cart rolled up (I suspect that the young woman had alerted this fellow). The gentleman looked at the painting and said nothing. I made an assumption that this might be his farm. He confirmed my suspicion but seemed stoic. Concerned that I my presence and work might not be to his liking, I offered to stop my painting and leave. He replied that I did not need to leave. Said nothing more. A few awkward moments later, he quietly rolled away.

 

h1

Barn at Beaver Creek

October 9, 2018

Barn at Beaver Creek – Watercolor on Arches 140# CP – 9″ x 12″

Another play with watercolors. Used artist prerogative on this. This structure used to be a barn. Several years ago it was converted to a ceramics workshop and display room on the ground level and a home on the upper level. The front has a lot of windows. The barn has been allowed to age to dark brownish gray patina. Rather than paint this painting in its current state, I wanted this structure to look barn-ish.

I could see the indications of the former sliding door entrance to the barn and the opening for the hay loft. I also felt that changing the color to something more indicative of a barn would help.

Not sure that the owner was very excited with my choices, but I am.