Posts Tagged ‘Eagles Nest Painters’


Fields Project Friday

June 29, 2011

Fields Project 2011-Friday #1, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Fields Project 2011-Friday #2, Oil on Canvas Panel 11" x 14"

Fields Project 2011 - Friday #3, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Friday morning – sunny. Hooray! Sun. I arrived at Friday’s site, scouted the areas around the out buildings, found a scene to paint, set up my gear and was already painting as the other artists started to arrive. Unfortunately, the sun was short lived as clouds rolled in. Fortunately, I held onto the initial vision for my design and was able to complete painting #1.

I checked in on a few of the artists and made my way to another location to start my next painting. As I started painting, I encountered challenges. Sun (the clouds moved out), wind and loss of the vision for the scene. I fought with the painting. I took a break  for lunch with the rest of the artists, then back to finish the painting. By this time the clouds were back. I worked at the painting  for a while longer and decided to call it finished. Painting #2.

Although a couple artists had left the site shortly after lunch, six artists were still at work as I completed painting #2. I decided to find one more scene to paint before I called it a day. I settled on a different view of the tool shed which I used for painting #1.

I set up my gear and started to paint. The winds died down, it got warm and the bugs got real active. I stopped a couple times to apply bug spray. As I was painting, the remaining artists finished their works, packed up and left. I continued with my work and completed painting #3. I was the first one on site and the last one to leave. But that’s okay. I got back to Rockford as rain started to fall. A fitting end to a wet but productive week (well four days anyway) of painting.


Fields Project Thursday

June 28, 2011

Fields Project 2011-Thursday #1, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Fields Project 2011-Thursday #2, Oil on Canvas Panel 11" x 14"

Thursday; it rained overnight night and I awoke early to overcast skies. Scattered rain showers in the forecast…again. I journeyed to the days site, a spot a few miles southeast of Oregon. I was the first to arrive. I was not sure that I was at the right location. The land had a “For Sale” sign posted at the front of the property. The location had two houses on it, one was clearly vacant. I moved around the main houses looking for possible designs and to get some detail photos. About fifteen minutes after I arrived, the first two artists showed up. Our Eagles Nest organizer, Alice, confirmed that this was the place. Alice indicated that a grass trail just off of the main drive, led to a chapel. I trooped through the grasses with the intent of looking for painting subject, gather some photographs and see the chapel. Not a bright idea on this particular morning. I hiked about a 3/4’s of a mile through the grasses and turned around. I never did find the path to the chapel, and ended up soaking wet from the knees down.

By the time I arrived back at my car to gather my gear, about eight other artists had arrived and were busy exploring the buildings and barns. I decided to set up and capture a view looking past the Italianate home towards the front meadows. To help the painting, I edited a few of the trees from the meadow. I set to work, but felt chilled. Wet feet. I stopped to put on a sweatshirt and later a fleece vest. I completed  painting # 1.

I moved around, looking for another spot. Rains started. In addition to looking for subject matter, I was also considering shelter from the rain. Nothing was clicking. I gathered a few more photos and a few pen sketches. It was nearing the noon hour, so I broke for an early lunch.

While we ate lunch, the rain stopped. I found a spot along the horse barn which offered an interesting view. The dark rain clouds were low over the distant trees and the fields were bright green. The sun might be breaking through the clouds. The various grasses in the fields reminded me of a quilt pattern (Where is Carole? She paints these views). I set up my gear and started painting. Problems. A front was moving through. Wind picked up and nearly took off with my easel. Mineral spirits splashed. As I grabbed for the easel and painting, the palette flew off and landed nearby. For those of you who are as unaware as I was, Cadmium Yellow Pale and Titanium White splatter and these splatters find their way onto everything. As I righted the easel, my painting and my palette, I took a few moments to clean the paint spatters off from- the easel, my chair, my pants, my shoes, my tripod, and my supply bucket.

As I set to resume painting, the sun was coming out. Oops, I am facing east. Now I have the glare of the sun on my painting and palette. Can’t risk use of my umbrella in the event of another wind gust. I will work my through this. Getting warmer. Take off the vest and sweatshirt. Back to painting. The clouds are back again changing my lighting, and temperature. After a short time, it was cool again. Put the sweatshirt back on. Found some more paint splatters and clean them up now while I am thinking of them.

I finished the wash/sketch on my canvas panel, and started laying in some body colors. I was trying to quickly lay in colors to capture the initial vision which I experienced. As I stepped back to look at what I had done, besides finding a few more paint spatters, I was not happy with my work. Back to the canvas and make some adjustments. We fought for awhile more, until I stepped back and noticed more dark clouds coming towards us. I decided that this might not work this afternoon. Most of the other artists had already left the property. I decided that I would pack up and head home before I got wet again.

I was not happy with the initial work on painting #2. I thought that I might wipe the design off of the panel. This might leave a nice tone on the panel for a painting tomorrow. I decided to hold off and review this back at my studio. I packed up my gear, found and cleaned up some more paint splatters.

On the way home I stopped at an interesting store, The Soap Shoppe. My son wrote an article about this vendor which appeared in a recent issue of The Northwest Quarterly Magazine. Interesting stop. Very fragrant. Besides the soaps which they manufacture, they have a potpourri of gift items. I purchased a few bars of their soap for Helen (feels a bit odd to give soap to the one you love, it’s like saying “You’re dirty. Clean yourself up.”)

I returned to my studio, unpacked my gear and started to clean up my palette and brushes. Found a few more splatters. Thought that I would wash out the second painting, but then something happened. I took a look at the panel, realized that it was only mid-afternoon. I had some time.There were some interesting things happening in this design. Let’s play with this and see what happens. If all else fails, I can always wipe it out later.

Play with it, I did. Finished painting #2 in my studio. Helen returned home from her class at Rockford College, bolted downstairs to the studio and gave me a big hug. She saw and liked the soaps which I purchased for her. Not a bad day after all.


Fields Project Wednesday

June 27, 2011

Fields Project 2011-Wednesday #1, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Fields Project 2011-Wednesday #2, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Fields Project 2011-Wednesday #3, Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Fields Project 2011 - Wednesday #4, Oil on Canvas Panel 8" x 10"

I was not able to be with the group on Tuesday. For Wednesday, a dairy farm near Oregon was the farm of the day.

I was hoping to catch a sunrise, but unfortunately, rain was in the forecast. I took my time getting to the site and arrived just before 8:00am, at the same time as five other artists. I took a quick walk around the farm and set up just inside one of the barns. I had a good view of cows feeding from troughs. I quickly set up my gear and started my oil sketch. I soon encountered a problem which could have easily been avoided. Cows are very active when it’s feeding time. They moved a lot. Although I had an initial oil sketch that looked good, as I started to apply body paint, I had lost the vision. I could not adjust the drawing of the cows. Two possible actions could have helped me to avoid this dilemma.  I could have used my digital camera or a created a quick pen sketch to “freeze” the design of the steer.

I realized that I could either leave the very raw sketch as is and just use it as a future reference or grab a rag and wipe the canvas panel clean. To the dismay of two other artists that were working nearby, I wiped the canvas clean. As I looked out the door to my right, I caught the sight of rain clouds making their way across the fields. A rather simple deign, painting #1 was completed within about twenty minutes.

The wind was picking up as I moved down the main drive. I looked back and decided to capture  the view looking toward the dairy barn. Because of dark clouds coming from the west, I painted from underneath a tree. I had to go through an aerobics routine in order to look out from underneath the swaying branches and view my subject. I had to break twice. Once to run to my car to retrieve my sweat shirt and later to retrieve a coat. Painting #2 was completed as the rains started to fall.

Five of the artists had found a somewhat sheltered spot to the north of the farmhouse. It was underneath some trees and had a view across meadows where cows were grazing. As I set up and started to paint, the rain picked up in intensity. One by one, the other artists decided to pack up and take an early lunch. I continued to paint. Initially, I sketched the scene and quickly worked to capture the design of the mid ground trees and meadow. By the time I started applying body paint to the background trees and foreground meadow, I was encountering a downpour. The canvas panel was soaked. Since oil doesn’t mix with water, I continued to work at the canvas and was able to get the paint to catch onto the surface. Once a base was in place, I could refine and adjust the colors to suit my needs. As I completed painting#3, the rain was subsiding, but I was soaked.

Following lunch, most of the other artists decided to call it a day. I made my way to the horse barn with the plan to capture another view of the cows in the north meadow. As I was setting up my easel in the horse barn, I took a look behind me and I caught a more agreeable design through the opposing doorway. A meadow where four horses were enjoying the afternoon. I turned my easel and set to paint the other meadow. The doorway of the barn framed the view to my pleasure. One of the remaining artists joined me in the shelter of the horse barn to complete the painting which he started in the morning. As I finished my painting, the horses had moved to the farthest corner of the field. As I turned around, I noticed that about two dozen cows had settled close to the barn. I turned my easel around and improvised to put cows into painting #4.

I thought about trying for one more painting but the skies were still thick with clouds and no indication of bright sunlight before evening. I opted to head home to change into some dry clothes and prepare for Thursdays plein air session.