Friday, September 30, 2016

A Challenging Study

Today's challenge was to make nine thumbnail value sketches of a photo, choose one and paint it using only three colors. My colors were quinacridone burnt orange, quinacridone gold and cobalt blue. It was difficult to get anything green with the gold and blue so everything had an earth tone. This 11x15 painting took an hour to complete and shows how sticking with only three colors creates a coordinated color scheme.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Rest Stop

This is a painting of an egret resting in the Davis overpass. There are plenty of birds stopping in the flyway but don't stay long enough to be painted. Last week I was there and conditions were tough. I needed an entry in the Ducks for Bucks fund raiser, so I did this painting on the block that they provide. Since I paint in watercolor, I gessoed the sanded block and then wrapped it with Arches' 140 lb paper which was soaked. The gesso prevents and color bleeding into the paper. While the paper is wet, it is stapled and then allowed to dry. The paper becomes very tight when dry. I then dampened the paper and painted my scene. After it dried, I sprayed it with archival lacquer. Pretty slick. I knew that I couldn't paint watercolor on wood and it is difficult to paint on gesso. I've used this technique before with canvas stretchers and it works very well.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Davis Bypass

It was raining in the distance and the wind really picked up at the flyway. A few hardy souls stuck it out and it did eventually brighten up. At times the clouds were dark and dramatic. I tried painting them and it was difficult with rapid changes and drying paint. Hundreds of birds would suddenly fly up and then disappear. The winds really blew them around. The flyway is maintained for the birds and birders come to see them. There are roads around the waterway and the islands of reeds are everywhere. I had to bungie the palate and paper to my easel after the wind took it off. There was no place to shield from the gusts.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Hideaway

On the backroads of Davis there are farm houses nearly hidden from view. On Wednesday, we all found a spot that none of us knew about. There was a pond with a lot of green scum but great cast reflections in the distance. This was favored by most for painting. There also was this large corregated barn and a very hidden house. I have no idea what goes on here but there were greenhouses behind and some activity. The bicycle riders know this road as they were pretty much the only users this morning. It would be a good place to film a gangster movie with a hideaway.

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Out painting at 8AM with the temperature 51 degrees and a bright sun. The Art-Ag group was at a farm. When we pulled in we were directed by the son to a parking area in which his dad was directing parking and giving the history of this farm. It has been in the family since 1883 and some of the buildings appeared to be original. In an hour my sweatshirt was no longer needed and there were many more painters. The buildings are all red and there are olive and oak trees. The tomatoes had been harvested and everything was pretty neat. Personally, I prefer rust, broken farm equipment and falling down barns. The momma, papa and baby size of these 3 buildings appealed to me so I sketched and then painted them. It was a fun time.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Beach Treats

It's important to time your trip to the beach to catch the ice cream truck. Every kid vacationing here knows about the ice cream truck. The truck arrives with the music blaring and there is an exodus from the beach to the parking lot. I was still in my whimsical mode when I sketched this painting. I used an app to distort the size of the truck picture. It stretched it out. I made up the entire scene. The high winds and rain of a hurricane moving out to sea meant an indoor painting day instead of my usual plein air painting. It was fun.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Whimsical High

The Kite Shop is a favorite site to paint when spending the summer in Harwich on Cape Cod. This is different from previous paintings. I wanted to make it whimsical since this is the way one of my buyers described my work. She said she always smiled when looking at my art. I tried painting a whimsical style many years ago but gave up on it. In this painting my intent is to paint the place where whimsy abounds. Every kid here drags a parent there to find something to make them happy. So, why not paint the entire scene as a fun site? My idea of being creative is to interpret with art. I wish I could interpret and paint in an abstract style which is another level of creativity. I am interpreting in whimsical terms. It was fun and I will try it again.