Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm An Artist Not Cat Food

I was up and early painting this morning on the Winchuck. I was painting trees and not relationships and values so they weren't my best work. Then I decided to go home, feed the cat and myself. I needed a break. I returned feeling refreshed and positioned my back to the woods. It was nice and shady with a perfect view of light and darks.
I started a new painting with palette knife and I was happy. Suddenly all crows were screaming and then flew away. The woods went quiet. The hair on the back of my neck went straight up. Something big was behind me. I grabbed my palette knife and ran to the other plein air artist, Rob Decker, down by the river about 100 feet away.  We both stared back into the woods and decided it wasn't smart to be that close to nature with your back turned.
I was thinking it was a cougar looking for cat foot. Rob jokingly called out " Kitty, kitty". Something big moved, again. I went back, reluctantly, to retrieve my  van, art gear and the paper towels I through into the air. I parked right next to Rob's and stayed there the rest of the day.
What I learned today?  I would rather be an artist than cat food. Hopefully a wiser one after this experience. So for those of you who love plein air, don't paint with your back to the woods. Oh and never turn your back to the ocean. Sneaker waves.
That's my tip for the day. Meow!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Seeing Red

I spent the day at the mouth of the Smith River painting. I struggled with all that light around me. I just couldn't find a good composition with any dark. The whole area was filled with light. Finally, I turned my attention to the houses up the street to paint that were in shadow.
 I had a pretty good painting of a yellow house and then I just mucked it up, scraped it and put it away. Tired and frustration, I headed home. That is when I noticed my  face burning. I looked in the mirror and saw that my sunscreen didn't work against the powerful mouth of the Smith River meeting the Pacific Ocean. I am so burned. So - no pictures today. All you would see is red.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is This Too In Your Face?

I painted this small tree study trying to keep it simple. I showed it to an another plein air artist, Rob Decker, and he said he didn't  like the composition. Why? "It is too in your face".
"Look At Me!" 7X5 Oil on Canvas
Well, I can be that type of person so I am thinking so can my surf tree study. 
This study was completed on site at the mouth of the Winchuck River south of Brookings, Oregon.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Randall Tillery and Gems

I stopped by the Crescent Harbor Gallery to pick up a few paintings and found out that Randall Tillery had a  workshop the next day. I signed up immediately to take advantage of this well known painter's knowledge. He set up a still life and demonstrated what we should do. We then could select our still life arrangements to paint.
His instruction was excellent. The class had several skill levels and Randall professionally instructed each of us one on one.  I was able to finish two pieces and his critique was  very helpful on how to improve my work.
Here are my two complete pieces. I would recommend him to any beginning and advanced student. He has gems. Those pieces of art knowledge that takes years to learn on your own.
Here is Randall Tillery's website.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Winchuck River Outside Of Brookings, OR

I looked at this painting this morning with a fresher eye and saw where I needed to key up the foreground, put some sky holes in the trees and  push the mountain back.
"Winchuck River" 6x12 Oil Painting

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Little At A Time

I painted two paintings today and I was happy with both. Namely because I am starting to think I know what to do .. well, sort of.   Learning art is a little at a time.
Here is one of today's paintings. Same subject as a few days ago. 
The problem I still have are the values are too similar but I am understanding pushing and pulling when this happens. I need to look at it for awhile and see what changes it might need.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Picture Paints A Thousand Words

We have all heard the phrase "A picture paints a thousand words".  I took this picture at a new favorite plein air spot. This is the look of a frustrated artist.
Bridge Over Winchuck Oil on Canvas
I returned the next day and painted a few paintings I was pretty happy with but I know tomorrow is a new day.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Too Much Light

I worked on several variation of studies from one photo. Each one, I changed slightly. Larger mountain, smaller mountain, and no mountain. I asked an instructor what the problem was with them in general. The answer was obvious... too much light. Everything in the photo was in the light and not enough dark.
Makes sense. I hear it all the time to ensure I have at least 60 percent in dark and yet, I have made the mistake, again.
On the bright side, it gave me some practice.