Posts Tagged ‘river’


Chilled Waters

December 24, 2017

Chilled Waters – Plein Air – Oil on Linen Panel – 8″ x 16″

Finishing up a very productive week with a visit to a park south of Rockford. Although I have painted at this canoe launch before, today I found a different perspective. I was nestled in by some trees at the north end of the launch. Although a few people did venture into the area, it was fun to witness how long it would take before they realized that I was nearby painting.

I planned to finish this work within two hours, but it took a little longer. It was too fun to stop too early. Within a day of posting this work, two of the galleries sent requests to display this work. It is now placed and awaiting a new home.

Sad to say that following this day, we went through three plus weeks of gloomy, wet weather. By the time I could get out again, the foliage was gone. Now I await the snow.


River’s Edge

November 17, 2016
Rivers Edge - Oil on Canvas Panel - 6" x 8"

Rivers Edge – Oil on Canvas Panel – 6″ x 8″

Used a poorly rendered, quick plein air study from May, to create this little work for a gallery’s point-of-purchase display. Like this one better than the original.


Kishwaukee at Blackhawk

July 25, 2016
Kishwaukee at Blackhawk - Plein Air - Oil on Canvas Panel - 11 x 14

Kishwaukee at Blackhawk – Plein Air – Oil on Canvas Panel – 11 x 14

Ventured over to Blackhawk to paint. As I arrived at the park, I noticed some nice cloud patterns offering some interesting reflections on the river. As I moved between spots, making a few thumbnail sketches to determine my best design, the sky went from partly cloudy to cloudy. Had to change my strategy and decided to tackle this design. Forced the atmospheric perspective to help pull the foreground. My wife was especially happy with the foreground reflections and made it VERY clear that I best not mess with them. Two hour painting. Got home and pulled the painting out of the travel box and cringed when I noticed scratches caused during transport, Needed a few minutes a careful touches to smooth things out, Lleft a few of the scratches as they added to the plein air effect.


Regional Survey of Art 11

January 4, 2015

The four paintings posted below, Gentle Bend 2, Clearing Skies, Olson Overflow, and Crossroads – Wheeler at Flora Church, have been accepted into the Regional Survey of Art 11. This competition/exhibition is on display at The Next Picture Show 113 W. First St. Dixon, IL and will run from January 9 – February 21, 2015.

Gentle Bend 2; Oil on Canvas 30" x 48"

Gentle Bend 2; Oil on Canvas 30″ x 48″

Clearing Skies; Oil on Canvas 36" x 48"

Clearing Skies; Oil on Canvas 36″ x 48″

Olson Overflow; Oil on Canvas 48" x 36"

Olson Overflow; Oil on Canvas 48″ x 36″

Crossroads-Wheeler at Flora Church; Oil on Canvas Panel 12" x 24"

Crossroads-Wheeler at Flora Church; Oil on Canvas Panel 12″ x 24″


Falls at Estabrook

October 3, 2013
Falls at Estabrook; Oil on Canvas Panel 11" x 14"

Falls at Estabrook; Oil on Canvas Panel 11″ x 14″

I participated in the Shorewood Plein Air Festival. It is a charming community at the north end of Milwaukee.

I arrived in the area on Wednesday evening and checked in early Thursday morning to get my canvases stamped (to verify that the paintings turned in were painted during this event). The sky was dark. Rain was immanent. I decided to take a drive around the community to scope out possibilities. The rain began. After touring the town, I made my way to one of the tree lined streets and found a scene that appealed to me. A homeowner indicated interest in having a house portrait created.

Because of the rain, I did not create any preliminary sketches. Mistake.  I spent the first hour and a half holding an umbrella in my left hand while painting with my right. My left arm ached. Wind added difficulty. The constant changes in lighting made my task a chore. I worked at it hoping that I could pull it together. The rain would stop and then start up again. As miserable as this work was going, something nice happened. At one point, a woman backed out of her driveway, rolled down her window to inquire if I would still be here for another twenty minutes or so. I said that I would be. Later, the woman returned and came over with her two young daughters to see the mess, er, I mean the work which I was creating. Better yet, about forty minutes later, the woman came back to deliver a couple fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Very unexpected. Very delicious.

By the time I was finishing this painting, the rain had stopped, the sun was out and my painting was confused. I lost the initial vision.  I decided to stop and examine the painting later to see what could be done to save the work.

I took a break for lunch and made my way over to a park on the west end of town. Found a few other artists painting at the falls. I made my way down the stone stairs, and eased along the trail to examine the possibilities. It was getting warm and humid. I found a spot a couple hundred yards down the river, away from the other artists. I went back up to the parking lot to gather my gear. I returned to my spot and realized that in my haste, I grabbed an unstamped canvas. If I wanted to submit the painting to the competition, it had to be stamped. Not wanting to leave my gear unattended, I grabbed all of my gear and traveled back up to the parking lot, retrieved a stamped canvas and headed back to my spot. Lost about fifteen minutes and was now drenched with sweat.

I set up and got right to work. Wasn’t certain how I would handle the falls and the foreground foam, but I trusted that the solution would come to me while I worked the painting. About half way through  the painting, a young man approached. The fellow is with the association sponsoring the event and was filming a video blog of the artists. We spoke for awhile as he filmed. Flattered to say that part of our discussion made its way into the blog. I continued painting and the solution to the falls and foam came to me.  Took about 2-12 hours and two bottles of water to complete the painting.  Finished, I grabbed my gear, headed back to the car and then off to attend a dinner for the artists.


Clouds Along the Rock

September 17, 2013
Clouds Along the Rock: Oil on Canvas 16 x 20

Clouds Along the Rock: Oil on Canvas 16″ x 20″

We experienced a couple days of partly cloudy days. Great inspiration. I took some time to get sketches and some color studies. Tough to capture a moving target. As I sketched, I thought about incorporating some of these designs into a landscape. Problem was that the land in front of me was far less than inspirational.

I remembered that I had some sketches created at the Rock River which had less than spectacular skies. Okay, they were boring skies. I ventured back into the studio with my cloud sketches, dug out the river studies and married these elements together.

Background sky is a mixture of Titanium White with Ultramarine Blue and Cerulean Blue. The clouds have combinations of Ultramarine Blue, Alizaron Crimson and Cadmium Yellow.


Kishwaukee Calm

August 13, 2013
Kishwaukee Calm, Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8" x 10"

Kishwaukee Calm, Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8″ x 10″

Had not painted at this park in a long time. I have created quite a few works out here. Hate the idea of being redundant. Of repeating myself. Of painting the same thing over and over again. But since it has been awhile, I figured that either my eyes would see something different, or see something which I had not seen before or even that I might even bring something different to the design.

I arrived at the park, took a quick ride through the park (it is a small park) and settled upon this scene. The sunlight coming over the tops of the trees on the east side of the river caught my eye,,,and my imagination. Quiet and peaceful. A few other visitors to the park but they kept their distance.  I did notice a fellow fishing about a hundred yards south of my spot. I could see him looking at me every now and then. I assume that he was curious about what I was doing. I worked undisturbed until a group of kayakers drifted past and made comments. I attempted to ignore their banter though they persisted. Thank goodness that the current kept them moving to the south.


Espnshied April

October 24, 2012

Espenshied April; Oil on Canvas 24″ x 36″

I wanted to have another mid-to-large work on display for the ArtScene. I worked with a 9″ x 12″ plein air piece created this past April. The proportions were slightly different, but this piece stayed relatively close to the original location piece.

Although I did not have the piece completed to my expectations by the time I set up my display, I did have it finished before the opening of ArtScene.


Oil Workshop – October Zest

January 19, 2012

October Zest, Oil on Canvas 14" x 11"

I had the pleasure of leading an Oil Painting Workshop last weekend at The Next Picture Show in Dixon Illinois. Ten students were enrolled, but a case of the flu took us down to nine students in attendance. I knew several of the people, which helps. Even had a fellow who is known in the area for his watercolor paintings joined us (I felt a little intimidated).

I utilized a larger painting (Kishwaukee Flare) for the inspiration of my primary work. The finished painting helped my students anticipate where they were going. The smaller studies (shown below) help to identify the steps to get to the completed work.  I discussed the small studies and attached them to a post in the classroom where they were in full view of most of the students. It was my goal to complete my painting before noon.

After some initial discussions concerning details such as the format of the workshop, my equipment, the additional paintings and block ins which were present, I started by showing the students a quick idea to help start the drawings on their canvases. The students jumped in and were quickly following my lead through the painting process. They moved fast.

I tried to narrate my way through my painting to explain items such as colors which I was using and why, where I was painting, areas that were a cause of caution and how I would address these potential problems, etc. I got a good pace going and was able to take several breaks to view the work of the students. Although I wanted the work to be their own, I still offered advice (and occasionally a few brush strokes), to help keep them moving in a positive direction. One student seemed especially happy with an “Aha” moment which she experienced during the block in of her work. I goaded her into setting this start to the side and keep it as a “How to” example for future reference. I challenged her to start another canvas and see if she could recapture that magic. She was a good sport and, although the second start was not as energetic as the first attempt, it was still very good and helped her complete a nice painting.

Several students were able to join me in completing this painting before noon and start additional paintings during the afternoon. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed the warmth of the studio before heading into the cold January dusk. My thanks to The Next Picture Show for their assistance and to the students for being open to new ideas and views on creating oil paintings.

October Zest - Initial Sketch, Oil on Gessoed Paper 8" x 6"

October Zest - Dark's Established,, Oil on Gessoed Paper 8" x 6"

October Zest - Block In, Oil on Gessoed Paper 8" x 6"

Students attending the January 2012 Oil Workshop.


Still Morn on Kishwaukee

October 9, 2011

Still Morn on Kishwaukee, Oil on Canvas 18" x 24"

A small 9″ x 12″ plein air study was used to create this studio work. This will be on display and available at next weekends Rockford ArtScene.