Posts Tagged ‘Illinois Watercolor Society’


Illinois Watercolor Society Demo

October 3, 2011

Starting my painting demonstration .

Completing the initial outline of my painting.

The completed watercolor painting.

I had the opportunity to demonstrate my watercolor techniques for the Illinois Watercolor Society on Saturday October 1. The demonstration was scheduled to run from 12:00 – 2:00 pm at the Dick Blicks Art Supply in Wheaton.

Unfortunately, it was a beautiful early fall day. I say unfortunate because I would have preferred it be rainy and/or a few weeks later. But this was a beautiful early autumn day. The sun was bright. It was warm. No rain in sight. The colors of the landscape were awesome. Painting opportunities were everywhere I looked. The hour and a half drive to Wheaton was distracting. Rather than the expressway, I took two lane roads for as long as I could. Scene after scene was screaming to be painted. I would have loved to be working my oils to capture the October sunlight hitting the early color changes on the landscape. But duty and obligation called.

I arrived early at Dick Blicks early and set up my gear. I took a few minutes to tour the store. What a great cache of art supplies. If you are looking to find art supplies in the western suburbs of Chicago, this is the place to be.

As my students know, for me to complete a 14″ x 21″ watercolor painting in less than two hours is a stretch. I worked out a fairly easy composition and created a small, thumbnail painting to give me the best chance of completing, or nearly completing, a watercolor scene within the two hour time frame.

After the IWS president made a few announcements to the two dozen or so attendees, I dove into the painting. I attempted to discuss my techniques and art philosophies while I painted but found that, at times, I was so into my painting that I was not speaking about the process, or anything else (again, something which my students know is a stretch for me). Thank goodness, the attendees and the IWS president would occasionally ask a question to bring me back to the presentation.

I had paint splashing all over the place, brushes flying around the table. It was a great aerobic routine. About all that I was missing was some music to help my tempo.

About an hour into the demonstration, we gave the attendees an opportunity to stretch their legs, come up to the table,¬† check out my equipment and supplies, ask additional questions. I could not help myself, I kept painting. With about ten minutes to go, I decided to charge into a few details to help pull the painting together and at least give it a “nearly” complete¬† feeling.

All things considered, not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon. A nice group of people, a great facility (sorry about all the paint on the floor), a chance to spend a day painting, even if not, en plein air.


Path by Croft’s Shed

July 25, 2011

Path by Croft's Shed, Oil on Canvas 11" x 14"

It was predicted to be 90+ degrees, high humidity and a heat index in excess of 100. The Eagles Nest group opted to cancel the days paint out. After traveling down to Dixon to retrieve my painting from the Illinois Watercolor Society exhibition, I decided to use the afternoon as a dry run in preparation for Saturdays Dockside Paint Out competition in Door County.

I utilized a plein air sketch from the recent Fields Project as my guide. The goal, to complete the painting in two hours. No interruptions allowed, other than a fire alarm, perhaps. I turned on the stereo, loaded up the palette with paint, and set an 11″ x 14″ canvas in position on my easel. I noted the time on the clock and let the paint fly.

The original sketch was created only four weeks earlier. As I painted I recalled that day at the Crofts farm. The sights, the smells, the bugs; the essence of being at the site painting was still very fresh in my mind.  The time passed quickly and before I knew it, the painting was complete. Just under two hours. Great.