Archive for the ‘Studio Works’ Category

h1

Birch Trees

August 11, 2018

Birch Trees – Watercolor on Aquabord – 10″ x 8″

I decided to play with watercolor on this surface. I utilized a simple reference photo from one of our Door County trips.

Once a very simple drawing was in place, I worked the negative areas, that is, the areas around the birch limbs and branches, in one continuous wash. I augmented the dark portions to separate the background from the mid and foreground grasses and finished with a few opaque applications of paint to accentuate the leaves.

I like to way that watercolor reacts on this surfaace and love the idea that completed watercolors can be framed without the need for glass or polycarbonate glazing. I am looking forward to working with this process en plein air.

Advertisements
h1

Berm Along Farmington

July 18, 2018

Berm Along Farmington – Oil on Canvas – 18″ x 24″

Last summer, I created a plein air work of an abandoned farm house. The road afforded me an opportunity of capturing the back of the farmstead. I liked the finished product but felt that something was missing. It needed something more.

During the autumn and winter, I often looked at the plein air work and mulled ideas of how to improve the work. Early this spring, it occurred to me that the work could be improved by improvising. I altered the format from a 12″ x 24″ and went with this 18″ x 24″ format. I pushed the farmstead further in the background. This helped add linear and atmospheric perspective to the work. Much happier with this effort.

h1

Morn on Cedar Court Part 2

July 17, 2018

Morn on Cedar Court – Oil on Canvas – 20″ x 20″

This is the souped up version.

This painting had been at a gallery for a few months. At the time of retrieval, I felt that the work needed “something”. I felt that the abstract design was decent, but something was failing. It sat in my studio for almost a year. It occurred to me that the painting needed to be brighter, more vibrant.

Late one afternoon, before finishing for the day, I put the painting up on my easel. I added a few strokes of brighter highlights near the focal point. Just a few. I decided to take a break and examine the changes to see if it would work. During dinner, we checked the work and decided it was a better direction. A few days later, I went drastic and, in essence, reworked the painting.

Much happier with it now.

h1

Blue Pot and Buds

July 16, 2018

Blue Pot and Red Buds – Oil on Canvas – 10″ x 8″

My wife had gone shopping. Did not find what she wanted, but came back with an interesting blue pot, Quickly put it to use for my Oil Painting class. Started this as a demonstration and finished it in my studio. I have ideas for incorporating this into additional Still Life compositions.

h1

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″

h1

Copper and Blue

June 19, 2018

Copper and Blue – Oil on Canvas – 20″ x 16″

On a trip to a local antique mall, I came across a copper tea kettle. Good condition. It was very dirty, but it was offered at an attractive price. After getting it home, I used some bartenders polish on it. May have removed too much of the patina, but so what. Great reflective qualities.

Used the pot and flowers in the blue vase as a prop for a quick, little demo in my Oil Painting class. Decided to work this opportunity a little further and add a few more elements. Loved working the folds of the cloth. Happy with the motion in this work. That is, the raw shapes of the Still Life elements and the flow created by the shadows in the background. Getting the “color” of the copper was a tough task. I am happy with the results.

h1

Bucket of Blossoms

May 30, 2018

Bucket of Blossoms – Oil on Canvas – 12″ x 16″

A scene from a summer plein air expedition was my inspiration. That display was a bucket suspended from and old metal headboard in a garden. The bucket contained a few very small flowers, or perhaps they were weeds. Anyway, they were small, scraggly and a bit unappealing. It was also very shaded.

I decided to use this idea and instead of the metal headboard, I opted to place the bucket on an old wooden fence. I used a small plein air study to work in the flowers. Added the bright  sunshine too.