Friday, May 14, 2010

Work in progress - barn

Work in progress

I tend to feel a bit awkward when posting pictures of a work-in-progress - it's like catching the painting without its bathrobe on. I'm trying to get over that, though, so that I can be more open with my paintings and share my process on this blog, as well as the finished pieces.

The barn's texture is there, although it's hard to see in this photo. If you enlarge it, you'll notice that I've scratched the palette knife across the semi-tacky paint of the barn to produce the effect of wood siding. It's now ready for me to go in with a brush and create the shadows and highlights - I'm mostly just accentuating the troughs and ridges of the impasto layer. Then color washes will be added to create a weathered appearance. The foreground needs lots of love, as do the trees, etc.

Golden Sunset - SOLD

Golden Sunset
acrylic on canvas
16" x 20"

I did a little touching-up on the painting that I did as a quick demo for the Mountain Valley Art Club. I decided to just keep it rough-looking. Since it was a fast demo painting, I'm offering it up for free...all I ask is that you pay for shipping.

And yes, that's more gold paint. I think I need to have someone hide it from me.


I don't diverge much from painting on this blog, but it's less than a month away from the I'm kicking my craftiness into full gear & sharing bits & pieces of it with you. All of the favors are virtually done, so I've just been working on miscellaneous decor, etc. And painting, of course.

The wedding is outside in a native-plant garden, so the decor is following that theme.

A washed-out photo of the flower girl basket...

Bunches of wheat will mark seat assignments...

...and jars with floating candles will be all over the place in the reception.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Work in progress and music

This painting is in its infancy and still needs a lot of work, but I thought I'd go ahead and post it in its awkward adolescent stage anyway.

I also want to share some music with you. I have a select assortment of albums that I listen to repeatedly while in the studio. For some reason, the prog-rock/new-agey stuff really seems to be conducive to painting for me. I'm a die-hard Beatles fan, but I've found that they don't really work as my painting soundtrack. So here's my top 5 list of albums that are on rotation in my studio:

1. Phil Collins - Hits
I've mentioned before that almost any creative block I have can be fixed by a little Phil Collins. I have no idea why. Maybe it's because of songs like this that fill my soul.

2. Genesis - Turn It On Again
This could really be lumped into the Phil Collins category, of course.

3. Pink Floyd - The Division Bell
Pink Floyd is my #2 band of all time. I know a lot of people aren't into the David Gilmour-period of the band, but I absolutely love it. His voice is amazing and his guitar playing still surpasses any other, in my mind.

4. Storyhill - Storyhill
This is the previously-mentioned acoustic folk-rock duo from Montana. I love them. Their music provides the perfect soundtrack to the Montana scenes I paint.

5. Joni Mitchell - Clouds
I love Joni. Love love love her. She's brilliant and resides in my all-time top 5 bands/musicians. She's also an accomplished painter - talk about being multi-talented.

And a bonus 6th... Brian Crain - A Simple Life
I came across Brian Crain at an arts fair in Coeur d'Alene, ID and fell in love with his music. He's a pianist and writes such sweet melodies.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Backlit Bison

Backlit Bison
acrylic on canvas
16" x 20"
Available for purchase at Revolution Gallery, Issaquah, WA

Yep, I'm still in a gold-paint phase...I love the bronze tones it produces. I don't like to use so much gold that it's overwhelming - I like it to be a bit more subtle, so that it provides a pretty late-afternoon glow.

I've also been painting more buffalo, as I previously promised I would. They're fun to paint. I especially liked painting this sleepy looking guy.

By the way, while trying to figure out how to order my favorite Winsor & acrylics online, I came across some of the most breathtaking art I'd ever seen by an artist who's been working with W&N. I've really connected with her work, because she also loves to portray big, expansive skies. I so admire her technique & ability.

Anyway, her name is Beckie Reed. Go, and be amazed!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Through the Field at Dusk - SOLD

Through the Field at Dusk
acrylic on canvas
12" x 24"

I'm still trying some different things, as you can see...and still using that lovely iridescent gold paint that I've grown to adore so much.

I've come to appreciate the majesty of the antelope much more now that I'm in Washington. Back home in Billings, it seemed like they were everywhere - doing their business on the high school track, eating neighbors' rose bushes, etc. I grew as accustomed to seeing herds of antelope wandering around our neighborhood as to seeing stray cats and dogs. These versatile and beautiful creatures are, of course, doing their very best to adapt to an ever-encroaching human population. I can't imagine how frightfully confusing it must be to leap out of a golden field and onto hard asphalt or a manicured lawn of bright green grass.

I love these wild flowers in this bright land of our;
I love, too, the curlew's wild scream.
The bluffs of white rocks and antelope flocks
That graze on the hillsides so green.
-Brewster Higley, "The Western Home"

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sumner Demo

Prairie Sunset - Demo
16" x 20"
acrylic on canvas

Last night I had the pleasure of doing a painting demonstration for the Mountain Valley Art Club in Sumner, WA. This was the first demonstration I've ever been asked to do, and I'm really happy with how it went & am so thankful to the club for giving me this opportunity. Everyone in the club was absolutely wonderful - they had so many questions and were eager to see a technique that differed so greatly from their own. I talked a bit about why I picked up palette knives in the first place and showed them the three different gels I use most often (super heavy gloss gel, matte gel, and light molding paste). I discussed the two methods I tend to use when I paint - I either use only palette knives and create a more impressionistic piece, or I use a combination of knives and brushes to create more detailed pieces. I brought Relics along as an example of the latter, and I busted out a 10-minute 16" x 20" sunset to show them an example of the former. They really seemed to love seeing so much paint slopped on the canvas with the knives. I brought a spatula for good measure, too.

It was a great night and I absolutely loved meeting everyone & seeing some of their own artwork!

I think I might dress up the quick demo painting and re-post it.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chicken coops and miscellany

I have some half-dry paintings that I'll be sharing with you shortly, but I've also been doing some more utilitarian painting lately. We've built a new and improved coop for our chickens, and I was adamant that it should have the classic white & red barn paint. It turned out fantastic.

In the meantime, I've been prepping paintings and notes for upcoming demonstrations and workshops. My demonstration in Sumner is tomorrow, so I'll have updates on that in the next few days.

My first Grumbacher workshop at Michaels in Federal Way, WA is scheduled for this Thursday. My workshop schedule for May is:
-Thurs, May 6, 4:30-6:30 pm (landscape)
-Sun, May 9, 2-4 pm (floral)
-Thurs, May 13, 4:30-6:30 pm (seascape)
-Sun, May 16, 2-4 pm (still life)
-Thurs, May 20, 4:30-6:30 pm (floral)
-Sun, May 20, 2-4 pm (landscape)

If you're in the area and interested in trying out a painting workshop, you should stop by!

Also, I promised to provide more information on Storyhill. I'll let their music speak for them: Give Up the Ghost, Steady On, Absaroka Air...