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Flower Baskets

September 9, 2018

Flower Baskets – Watercolor on Arches 140# CP – 11″ x 7″

After placing a quick drawing to set the major elements, the painting was started by flooding the cool, background in one, single wash. I altered the intensity of the colors to help separate components. I allowed this wash to ease into the shadowed areas of the flowers.

After this initial wash was thoroughly dried, I used a damp brush to clean up the components allowing hard and soft lines to work together. Then I focused on the flowers starting with the lightest portions and transitioning into the shadows.

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Flower Box

September 5, 2018

Flower Box – Watercolor on Arches 140# CP – 11″ x 7″

This design has been used successfully in several oil paintings. I opted to utilize this as another demonstration for my workshop. After doing my pencil sketch, I did all the shadows as a single, connected wash. The shadows alone make for an interesting abstract.

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Ephraim Cottages

September 4, 2018

Ephraim Cottages – Watercolor on Arches 140# CP – 9″ x 12″

Another watercolor created for my workshop students. I started the painting with the shadows under the eaves of the cottage on the left. I continued through the middle buildings while working the trees in the background allowing the areas to bleed into each other. The juggling act continued through the cottage on the right and into the foreground. I allowed the initial wash to dry thoroughly  before I returned to add a few bolder passages.

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Hoisington’s Shed

September 3, 2018

Hoisington’s Shed – Watercolor on Arches 140# CP – 9″ x 12″

Preparing to conduct a workshop on Watercolor painting, I searched for a photograph to be used as a reference. I came across a photograph taken several years ago. It was a farm owned by the family of one of my students. Although had tried to work with the photo before, I failed in getting a good, workable design. This time, as I examined and played with the possibilities, it occurred to me to remove the big, red barn which is attached to this shed. I also opted to impose the idea of background woods to add atmospheric perspective to this design.

After establishing a quick, loose drawing, my initial wash started in the tree to the left, flowed into the background woods and into the shadows on the front and side of the shed, and the trees on the right. I allowed some of the initial strokes to flow into the foreground grass. When I did this initial wash for my students, a remark was offered that the initial wash could almost have stood on its own. The painting read well. I continued anyway and ended up with this.

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Sunflower Card

August 30, 2018

Sunflowers – Watercolor on 140# Cold Press Paper – 4″ x 6″

So I had been working on some watercolors getting prepared for an upcoming workshop, it was raining outside and we have friends (husband and wife) for whom we had birthday presents to deliver. Combine those factors and I made this birthday card (my wife wrote the greeting in the card as her contribution). Small but it worked. Took the wife a few moments before she realized it was an original painting.

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Autumn Flowers with Apple

August 26, 2018

Autumn Flowers with Apple – Oil on Canvas Panel – 10″ x 8″

Last autumn, on a weekend trip to Door County, my wife purchased a small bouquet of autumn blossoms at a farmers market. For a vase, we improvised and used an empty apple cider container. We brought the flowers and container home with us.

I thought that the flowers were interesting enough to use as a base for a still life prop for my art classes. I left the flowers in the improvised vase. I started this painting as a demonstration for my oil studio class. Did not finish it in class. At my studio it sat while I contemplated how I would finish the painting. Finally realized that the improvised vase was the issue. Perusing my still life props, I found a vase that could be the solution to my dilemma. Though the flowers are long since gone, I was able to impose this vase into the painting. This works for me.

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Oak Ridge July

August 25, 2018

Oak Ridge – Oil on Canvas – Plein Air – 11″ x 14″

After spending a frustrating day painting in the heat a couple days earlier, I ventured out to paint at a park that had held fair inspiration in the past. It had been a couple years since I painted at Oak Ridge.

Arrived and had to scrap my anticipated design. An oak tree that sat prominently along the river was no longer there. Heavy rains a few days earlier yielded a high waterline and negated the opportunity to get a favorable river view. As I played with ideas for capturing the river, this view of one of the field trees caught my attention.

The sky was overcast. I figured that it could be interesting and opportunistic if the conditions changed offered cloud patterns. My wish eventually came through. I worked the trees and meadow nearly to completion, when the sky began to break Before I could complete the painting, the clouds gave way to clear skies. With the sun to my back, the glare was too much. Back in the studio, about twenty minutes of fine tuning was all it took to finish this work.