Friday, August 7, 2009

Com-Plein Air Painting

I painted with the Plein Air Nashville group Saturday. We went to the new Harlinsdale Farm Park in Franklin. I was the third to arrive and found Kevin about half done with his painting. I wandered all around looking for some inspiration. I wandered way too long. That's a problem of mine. When I finally set up there were probably 10 others who showed up and were already painting. I finally just stopped in the shade of a tree and painted this barn. The same one Kevin painted. He had a better angle on it. I always have something to complain about when I attempt to paint outdoors. I just saw an article in a magazine where Kevin Macpherson said he coined the phrase "ComPlein Air" painting. THAT'S what I do! : )

Here is a photo of what I was seeing. The colors on my painting are not really as saturated as the photo shows. Just one more complaint. : )

Friday, July 17, 2009

Orange Slice

Wednesday afternoon I made a little trip out to the country to try painting a still life. A local landscape painter, (Jason Saunders) has built a new studio near Leiper's Fork and invited some folks to come and paint. Last week he had several still lifes set up and this week he had a couple of models... his kids. That's one of them in the photo. He is giving me the evil eye cause he could tell I was about to make a move for his Sun Chips. The floor was getting slick from my drool as I watched him eating them.

More people came than were expected, (around 20) but I think we all fit in OK. I opted to paint from a still life. I'm not into painting figures at this point. This is a detail from one of the still life set ups. Others painted the entire set up which included a vase of flowers and other things. I just focused on one lonely orange slice. That's all I thought I could handle. And I was right. : )

It's amazing how you can get lost in looking at a simple object and seeing all the colors and then trying to find all those colors in your paint. A real challenge, but the time flies when you are painting. I never got a the background a color that I liked, but this was the state it was in when I called it quits and went home before the big thunderstorm hit.

I know what you are thinking... the color in my painting is nowhere close to the color in the still life photo. You are right. I shot the bad still life photo under incandescent lights and I shot my painting under natural daylight. As we know, the light falling on something makes all the difference. That's why I try to stand in dark, shadowy corners.

Friday, July 10, 2009

the Fuji

I had not attempted to paint a still life for a while, so I went to the fridge and pulled out a Fuji. The best apples ever! I set it out and put a light on it and then the fun begins. I still consider myself a beginner painter. If you look closely, you can see my little training wheels are still attached. I made some panels a long time ago that are gessoed and gray, and I used one of them for this. I am still figuring out materials. Sometimes I like the smooth boards... sometimes I want the bite of canvas. Can't decide.

The hard part of painting this apple was that it wasn't all red. It was a combo of red and green. So the problem was not just painting a round red apple... but an apple with color changes AND the light falling on it. Tough. I got some things that I liked, but as usual, at some point I ended up messing them up. This is par for me. : ) The shadow was much better at one point, but I messed with it and when I got tired of painting, I just left it and called it a day.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Don't even THINK about it!

It has been a while since I posted any paintings here. I am painting... really... but most of the time I end up with a "wiper" or a "scraper" or as one painter calls them, a "frisbee." Since I paint on panels, you can take a bad painting and sail them into the woods like a frisbee. I have become a master at making toned canvases. Make a bad painting... wipe it off.

Case in point. I was painting with the Plein Air Nashville group near Cheekwood one Saturday morning several weeks ago. My first painting attempt wasn't going anywhere, so I wiped it down, and shifted my attention to the entrance of Cheekwood. I had just gotten things blocked in when I needed to leave. So I took a photo and continued painting from it later at home. I think I nailed having a focal point on this one! But a painting friend of mine told me I should have left out the sign. But that was the whole point. Oh, well...

As I walked up to the Do Not Enter sign, I saw that someone had added some reinforcing words to the empty space. I like it. : )

Sunday, February 22, 2009

2009 painting #1

I took a couple of photos from the side of the road a while back. I thought I would try to turn one into a little painting. What caught my attention at the scene was the colorful orange grass on the hillside. I am convinced that a strong design is vital to a painting's success. So I did many little thumbnails where I played with the shapes and value pattern. I varied the sizes and the arrangement of the shapes. Finally I settled on the vertical format and made a 6"x8" painting. It's not a great painting... the brushwork is bad... among other things. But I think the design is working OK.

thumbnails (click to enlarge)

6"x8" oil on panel