Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Working Late

The 'Paint the Town' in Winters got off to a cold and rainy start. Lots of storm clouds so I did a quick sketch and painting of a steel barn with a parked car. No one seemed to be out or about, hence the title. Putting a title at the start of a painting keeps me focused on just what I want to say. The rain has finally stopped and I've got a lot of new paintings done in Winters these past few days. It is hard to paint the vegetation because it is so green from the rains. One would not believe the color.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This watercolor painting was done with a picture of two boats. It has been raining for the past week, so I stayed inside and put this together. I wanted to stress values so put something, the city, in the background. I kept the sky bleak and gray. With two boats I emphasized one, heeding the adage, that there can only be one bride. The colors were mixed directly on the paper. I left the painting on the easel and each time I went by, I kept adding details, which is a danger. Sometimes, it is a tough call to say 'I'm finished'. This happens to me when I make something up on the run.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Plans changed from the muddy marsh to the top of a parking garage. I thought it would be a great change from our usual perspective; a true bird's eye view of things. It turned out to have a rather narrow window since a high railing surrounds the structure wall. The trees are not in bloom but there sure are a lot of branches to look through.

This is my sanitized painted version of the above scene. It was a very grey day with rare peeks of sun. I liked the challenge painting a quiet grey morning in winter. I doubt that you would be able to see anything, when the trees bloom and are covered with leaves.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Rickety Porches of Locke, CA

Last weekend, I was painting on a sunny day in Locke, CA. The place has changed from the '80's when I painted these same buildings. The long stilts that hold up porches are repaired for some. But others still have doors opening with nothing but a big drop! In setting up to paint, you are very close since the street is narrow. This is my painting above.
I took it home and wondered what it might look like if I had a bird's eye view of the buildings. I hurried this off and made it more horizontal than before. Next, I did the worm's eye view of the structures and tried to give them more Oriental coloring. I liked this view the best.
Lastly, I wondered what Klee would have seen if painting these porches, so I tried to abstract them in his mode.
My watercolor painting style is expressionist, since the structures are recognizable. I think that abstract art is a further step and envy the abstract artist who can do it. In watercolor painting I try to think several steps ahead but abstraction is thinking an order ahead. Expressionism is creating conflict from reality and requires value, temperature and color changes. When someone asks for me to do a painting of their house, I am not sure that they will recognize it when I'm done. My right brain is getting heard from.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

San Juan Islands Light House

I have a friend who loves painting light house scenes. He has favorites that he repeats and they do not stay around for long. I have used it for a watercolor subject but love to tweak it, so that it ends up as my light house, only remotely similar to the original. There are several stacked under my bed.

This is a study in values. All of the flotsam wood in the foreground resulted from scraping the paper after laying a coat of Paynes Grey over raw sienna.