This is another Eugene scene. I love tree trunks, but have always felt baffled by how to paint them. But then recently I overheard someone saying that if they saw another person paint a "brown" trunk they would throw up. And when I looked again I realized that they may contain brown, but they are lots of colors! Duh. It's another case of what your brain is telling you vs. what you really see. I think this is one of the biggest hurdles we face as artists, and believe me, it never ends.
While in France, we visited a town with the most beautifully colored buildings. Apparently they got their colors from the surrounding hills, which were red and orange. I called it the Ocher Town, but I'm sure it had a proper name. At any rate, these folks were walking through and, well ... can you see me passing up the opportunity to paint this?
This is another random Eugene scene from a recent wander. I'm a sucker for shadows, and this has some great ones. It was a real challenge making all the greens not only different, but often just subtly different, and still work in light vs. shadow, and close vs. distant. Whew. And on such a tiny panel, no less!
I spotted this a while ago, a few neighborhoods over from mine. I didn't have time then to stop and photograph it, so I've been trying to find it again ever since. Well, I finally did! But it was just perfectly in the shadow, which made it look funny from the front and side. So, rather than come back later, I found another angle that would work, and I kinda love it.
I found this little beauty parked right outside the walls of the Van Gogh place we visited in France last month. Do you suppose Vincent would have painted it if it had been around during his time? I wonder.
This was a little scene at our chateau in France that I passed by daily. I never had time to stand and paint it, so I took a picture and painted it at home. I realized the other day that I never showed a group picture of my kids in France, so I'll do that now. Almost everyone is in this one... (click image to see larger) What a fabulous group!!
I've been trying out some different brushes other than the (mostly) synthetic flats/brights I normally use. I've also been experimenting with different methods. For this one I scrubbed in some colors with a bristle brush to begin with, which left some textured strokes, then put in my regular stuff on top. After a few "failures," I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere.
On my recent wander through Eugene I tried to keep my eyes peeled for ... well, just about anything at all that made a cool design. Hence - these shadows. And by the way, that's MY new car sitting there at the end of the line. Can you tell what kind it is? ; )
The roses are in bloom again, and I am loving it! I went on a wander through Eugene the other day and found many lovely scenes with cars and houses and trees, but also gardens bursting with flowers. Afterwards I continued on through the rose garden. All in all, a wonderful day at the office.
As promised, here is my last painting from the alpaca farm. I painted this house several times, but this was the only one I was really happy with. I want to point out, specifically, the little bit of palette knife work. It required mixing up a thicker pile of paint than I'm used to, which jerked me out of my "cheap" zone, but I did it!
This is my second-to-last painting from the alpaca farm. I debated whether or not to post this one. I like it, but it seems very simple. I don't know. This is something I struggle with a lot - what to post and what not to post. I've been very surprised in the past at what gets a good reception, so I'm always second guessing my instinct. Often I have a particular goal in mind for a painting, and may not post it just because I didn't feel like I accomplished what I set out to do.
I have quite a hefty stack of paintings I didn't post, (this stack is from the past 6 months or so) and about three times as many that get wiped before they dry. I feel good about this stack because it means I'm trying stuff! I'm experimenting, and that means lots of failures along the way. I didn't always feel good about this stack. It took a lot of work to get to this point.
When I get a few minutes, (and some clean space in my studio), I'll take a few of these and prime them. Lately I've been using Gamblin Titanium White FastMatte for this, rather than oil gesso. It dries much faster, and I LOVE the surface for painting on. First I take the panels outside and scrape all the lumpy bits off with a palette knife. Then I simply take the tube of FastMatte, remove the lid, and dab little bits of the paint all over the panel. Then I dip my brush in Gamsol and wipe it all over the panel, smearing out the paint evenly. As soon as it's dry, I'm good to go!
One day at the alpaca farm, I wandered down to a lower field and parked myself for the entire day, determined to focus on trees. We were encouraged to do one small, quick study, for no longer than 10 minutes. I went ahead and did another, 20 minute study as well. And then I did a longer painting of the same subject. The painting at the top is the longer one, and this next one is the 10-minute study. I like them both quite a bit, but I feel funny listing a 10-minute study, so I'm going to start it at $1. (click here to bid on this study --^ 6x8in.)
To the left is the 20-minute study. I'll just say this - I learned a lot from it. Starting with ... too much pink ground showing through!
This was another one I did from one of my France reference photos. I just love the tiny, cute cars over there. For our artist caravan we rented the biggest cars they had, which were nothing compared to America's big cars/vans!
Here is a photo of a few of my kiddos from that workshop. They were supposed to be out taking photos, but I caught them slacking off. They were like, "Hey, we're in France!"
When I got into my very first gallery, a seasoned artist took me aside and said he liked my work. But that he could tell I was painting from photographs. This guy (Gordon) gave me my very first plein air easel and sent me packing. He also gave me a pep talk, which included suggesting that even though one could paint a beautiful trash can, it wouldn't sell. Well, that's a long story to say - this view of the barn is a little ... odd, and maybe, a little like a trash can? But I really like it. So, I'm posting it, but I'm going to start the bidding at $1.
I just got done taking a workshop here in Eugene from Slava Korolenkov, a Russian artist. Watching him demo each day was like watching poetry. We painted all week at an alpaca farm, and many of us ended up painting this red barn. I was trying to keep my style looser, like Slava - hopefully you will see the difference.
One day in France several students and I walked down from our chatteau into the village. This gal, Ann, looked especially lovely in her pink shirt walking through this passageway, so I asked her to walk through again while I took pictures. Thanks, Ann!