Posts Tagged ‘woods’


Through Fields Home

June 19, 2017

Through Fields Home – Oil on Canvas – 18″ x 24″

On a streak of artist prerogative. I had a photo of a forest scene. The photo has pestered me for more than 25 years. I had tried paintings of the scene in watercolor and in oil paints. I was never satisfied with the efforts.

Came across the photo while searching for a subject for my advanced students. Imagination kicked in. I decided that the fore-ground to mid-ground could work, I just needed to change to woods at the edge of the field. Open it up. Offer a path to move the viewer deeper into the work and give a better focal point. Found a source photo of a farm house and fused it into the scene. I like this effort but imagine that I will play with this further.


Spring Coming

May 23, 2017

Spring Coming – Oil on Canvas – 24″ x 18″

Wanted to play with another creek in winter scene. This worked caused some angst. I had not fully thought out my design and approach to execution. The berm on the right side was tough. The actual scene had thick brush and saplings on the right berm. I felt that it would be too cluttered and restrictive to follow the photo. Made a few sketches and thought that I had the design solved, but that was not to my liking. Re-thought it and started again. Oops, that one was not going to work either. Thank goodness, the third attempt sort of painted itself, which is to say, it worked to my satisfaction.


Autumn Warmth

October 2, 2016
Autumn Warmth - Oil on Canvas Panel - 6" x 8"

Autumn Warmth – Oil on Canvas Panel – 6″ x 8″

This studio work is inspired by an experience from Door County.

Last autumn, my wife and I planned to travel to Door County to retrieve works from a gallery (an end of the season thing). Our youngest son, decided to get a couple days off of work to travel with us. Quickly followed by our other son and daughter-in-law. So the whole crew, including dog, traveled to Door County.

Spent Saturday morning and early afternoon moving around the county enjoying the scenery and stopping to purchase a few “necessities” (that is, various food items which can only be found here).

By late afternoon we were back at the cabin. We were invited to attend a hog roast that evening and the gang was enjoying a little nap-time. I was too antsy to waste daylight. I quietly slipped out with camera in hand to take a walk along some neighboring back roads.

Came across the sight of late afternoon sunlight draping across a winding entrance to a homestead. Couldn’t see much of the house, but I loved the raw design possibilities and snapped a photo.

Recently came across the idea of incorporating a barn into the scene. I like the way it works.


Along Montague

December 11, 2013
Along Montague - Plein Air; Oil on Canvas Panel 10" x 8"

Along Montague – Plein Air; Oil on Canvas Panel 10″ x 8″

I was excited to find out that my friends from Oregon had arranged for a plein air session that was on the outskirts of Rockford. Figured I better make this event.

I was the first to arrive. It was a home with some acreage surrounded by corn fields. Nothing of particular interest at the front. I made my way to the back yard. The woods at the back of the property caught my attention. Made sketches of several possible designs and settled on this one.

I was the first to start painting. A rarity among our group. It was a bit more intricate than I had anticipated, though it was not what, in my opinion, difficult. This work seemed to paint itself. Effortless…somewhat.

Finished this painting and started another, smaller work before breaking for lunch.


Plein Air – Oak Ridge – East Trail

August 4, 2013
East Trail; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8" x 10"

East Trail; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 8″ x 10″

A week earlier, I painted a scene from the parking lot of this forest preserve. After completing the painting, I decided to walk one of the trails to look for new designs. This location is one of them.

Ventured out early in the morning. I arrived at the forest preserve and before leaving my car, I decided to apply some insect repellent. Grabbed my gear and started off down the trail to find today’s painting. Not long into the hike, I had to stop to apply more repellent. Those mosquitoes were active and swarming.

After setting on a spot, I had to apply more repellent. It was hot and I was sweating quite a bit from the hike. I also noticed that my hiking boots need to be replaced. My socks were soaked from the dew on the grass. About fifteen minutes into the painting, I realized that the mosquitoes had settled down and the wet socks actually helped me feel a bit cooler. Wet socks, comfortable now but will be a problem in a few months. I moved swiftly to lock in the shadow patterns and the main color patterns on the painting.

About an hour into the painting, I saw some people in the distance. Equestrians coming and my equipment was set up on the horse trail. Not to worry. Enough open space around me. Shouldn’t be a problem for the riders. And it wasn’t a problem for them. It was however, a problem for me. The two riders and their dog, rode through some tall grass to avoid my set up. This stirred up the mosquitoes again. Another application of repellent and about ten minutes before things returned to a normal state of work.

Finished the painting, packed up and headed back to the car. By now it was hotter and the dew was pretty much gone as were the mosquitoes.


Afternoon Shadows – Study

February 4, 2013
Afternoon Shadows-Study; Oil on Canvas 8" x 10"

Afternoon Shadows-Study; Oil on Canvas 8″ x 10″

I was flipping through my sketchbook and came across some sketches made a couple years ago during a walk through a local forest preserve. It is fun that after a couple of years and changes, or growth, in my art that I can see an old sketch and yet see something new. Something that I did not see, or was not able to see before.

Played with the sketched design by cropping. Although this was fun to create and I liked the color effects, I did not feel that the design was worthy to be taken to a larger canvas. But it was fun to play with this little painting.

Note to those reading this blog; sketch whenever and wherever possible. Take and use your sketchbook when going for a walk, or just going somewhere to hang out. Fill that book with sketches. Then, take time to look through your older sketchbooks. It will help confirm that you are improving in your drawing skills, your confidence and your designs. Based upon your reviews, allow yourself to revisit a sketch and create a painting based on your current level of expertise. Go with the flow and have fun.


Around the Bend – Study

August 31, 2012

Around the Bend – Study; Oil on Canvas Panel 8″ x 16″

As I was creating the painting Kishwaukee Barn, I thought about the design possibilities in changing the building from a barn to a house and changing the format to a 1:2 dimension (which I refer to as a longscape). I had some small canvases available and tried it. I feel that this concept gives a better feeling of walking into the painting.

Hmmm. I wonder about going larger?


Kishwaukee Barn

August 27, 2012

Kishwaukee Barn; Oil on Canvas 8″ x 10″

After finishing Kishwaukee Woods (Oil on Canvas 16″ x 20″), I set it on an easel in an area just outside of our kitchen. I do this with most of my paintings. It affords me an opportunity to view the painting from a distance. While preparing and eating meals, I have the opportunity to view the works and examine them for potential adjustments/improvements.

My wife and I concluded that the Kishwaukee Woods design might be more interesting if it appeared that a building was around the corner. Interest and movement. So I awoke early on Saturday morning and used a reference photo of a barn to test the theory. I think that it worked.


Kishwaukee Woods

August 24, 2012

Kishwaukee Woods; Oil on Canvas 16″ x 20″

Kishwaukee Woods is a larger, studio version of a plein air painting (below) created this past spring. A fun play with the foreground shadows. Finished this piece, but I am feeling a bit restless. I feel that there is more to explore here.

Plein Air – May 10, 2012; Oil on Canvas 8″ x 10″


Path at Willow Creek – Study

April 2, 2012

Path at Willow Creek - Study, Oil on Canvas 8" x 10"

A few weeks ago, I was preparing for a demonstration. I used a 6″ x 8″ plein air sketch from last summer as my guide. The scene is along a path in Rock Cut State Park. I sketched and blocked in the design prior to the demonstration. I over prepared for the event (not necessarily a bad thing) and never got to use this start.

The other day, I finished a large painting and had an hour or so before dinner and then my watercolor class. I grabbed this canvas and worked quickly to finish it. Fun when you just let loose and go a little wild.