Monday, April 27, 2009

Peter's Canyon Lake

8"x10" oil on linen on panel

This was painted on Friday the 24th. So, all the last five paintings posted were painted in one week. Surely a record for me and I didn't want to stop. (Dangerous!) I would have planted myself where the lake was a better shape for a better comp but there were a couple there with radios tuned to different talk-shows (why do people go to nature preserves and do that?!!) and I knew I couldn't handle it after the previous week at work--I had been losing it already with the traffic on the way there.

I would like to have a little more recession at the top of the trees, however they weren't really very far away. I would like the water to lay down towards the back end of the lake. It was an overcast day with moving clouds--the light on the water changed every moment.... And, I think the sky needs to be smoothed out. Of course, more red needed in tiny bits. Probably needs some other things, so feel free to tell me.

Weekend Workshop with Ray Roberts

April 18 & 19
Bear in mind that none of these are completely finished, but if I waited until that happened to post at all...well, who knows. These are the first that I wouldn't be ashamed to be out there with my name on them.

Saturday, the first day, we painted in the nature preserve in upper Laguna Canyon and had to hurry at the end of the day because the rangers were threatening to lock the gate on us--while we sere still inside! We only thought it was a hot day as we were lugging our gear up, around and back...very bright day.

Day 1: Number 1 [8"x10" oil on linen on panel]

I need to lighten the sky to closer to the value of the path to enhance the drama, and add a few highlights in the top of the scrub oaks, plus a few pops of red tones to pop what is already there--a tiny bit of detail in the foreground maybe.

Day 1: Number 2 [6"x8" oil on linen on panel]

This is a Vick-Ray Sergent-Roberts. My original composition with lots of Ray's painting on top of it. This was 5 minutes before park closing and the quickest way that Ray could get his points across was to grab my brush and go at it. I may leave this as is for an instructive example.

Sunday we painted at Casper's Park out Ortega Hwy for those in the know. Today was really hot, heat-wave, 98 degrees and we were in direct sun!

Day 2: Number 1 [8"x10" oil on linen on panel]

I need to rectify that tree blob on the lower right, but stopped as the paint was like vaseline and I couldn't do anything with it other than wiping it. Also needed to stop for lunch and to get out of the sun for a while--despite lots of water I had started to pant. A little more variety in the color of the tree on left would be good, plus a little bit of reds to set off a complementary scheme. I think I like this painting best of all (especially if I fix that tree). This is all mine with, maybe, a bit of the purplish brown at the treeline being Ray's. (William, I was the "chicken" standing right by Ray and working on this one when you called--could tell it was you by his half of the conversation.)

Day 2: Number 2 [8"x10" oil on linen on panel]

This is still Casper's Park, but from the shade. A few things need doing here. The sky may or may not be light enough, or maybe it is not enough variety (Ray kept telling me that I needed to get "the shock of the sky" into a painting before I could decide what to do with the rest of it). I need to finish making the field more golden-toned, especially on the right, add a few hints of branches and trunks where the late afternoon light reflected off of them, add a little more red highlights on the rim light on the trees and, maybe, add the tiny short posts at the end of the field right at the bright green band (but will leave that decision for last).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I managed to get lucky with Marc Hansen...

Marc Hanson is doing a painting marathon this month and turning out four 5x7 PAs each and every day. He posts them for sale at around 8:00 pm PST, and you have to be fast, very, very fast to nab one when they are posted because they go in literally seconds. I managed to type fast enough to get this one after days of missing my timing. I like it for its abstractness, what I think of as a 'typical' MH palette of blue and orange, his trees with the mysterious smudgy sky-holes, and I love the composition on this. I think the division of space and movement is great! I am also fond of the fact that it is a high key piece with really only two values, and they are pretty close to one another as you can see. So, the color version is all playing warms against cools in the same value range to make it work. There is a lot to learn from this little painting.


This is a very busy time, work-wise (I hate grading bottomless piles of papers!!), so haven't had a chance to paint since I screwed up my last one--blech! Am doing a workshop with Ray Roberts this weekend in Laguna Beach, so have been preparing for that making sure that I have the materials and paint colors on his list, prepping panels of the linen on which I like to paint (and normally just tape to something--I figure that I can mount any one that turns out to be a keeper). I have been buying pads of it in large size that I cut up. Last weekend I actually bought a roll of the stuff as Jerry's Artarama had it on sale for an absurdly low price, and that is due to arrive on Friday. Thank goodness for income tax returns!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Golden Hour

WIP-8x6, oil on linen
So far this is a wip from yesterday afternoon at a nearby park. I have a tree 'thing' which I have had at least since HS. But trees and foliage are my nemesis. I know that this is a good start, but it took me 4 tries to get it. I began on another piece of cotton canvas I had (I'm thoroughly convinced at this point I don't like working on it), began, wiped part, redid, wiped more, tried laying in again and then abandoned that canvas. Took out my piece of linen that I had wiped and scrubbed from Friday and began again and finally got this. I was just to the point where I didn't know what to do next, when I hear someone with a stroller come up back of me--right up to me. I thought, "boy, this is going to be good" in my internal ironic voice. Decided Ihad to acknowledge the observer so as I turned she said "I love oil paintings." Already I knew this was different--she knew what it was. It turns out that she used to paint (now has a not very manageable 1 1/2 year old boy), used all the right words about value and warm vs cool, degree of abstraction.... So, it was a nice conversation and kept me from ruining what I had by painting before thinking. Waiting for the sun to reappear to go back and finish.