Friday, January 27, 2012

Winter Path    9x12    oil on panel

I went down to join the Castle Rock PAAC group yesterday. We had scheduled a paintout at Palmer Lake and quite a few people showed up, including a few I've seen only once or twice. It was quite a bit colder down there and more windy as well. I didn't like the subject matter there too much (it's really nice in the summer) and there were other locations nearby that I wanted to check out for future paintout spots. So I went with Janice and another painter, Jennifer, to a nearby Open Space called Spruce Mountain. It had much more appealing scenery (and less windy) and I decided to paint there. We had intended to go over to Greenland Open Space and check that out too, but wound up painting where we were.
I was originally attracted to the blue mountains behind the tree in the middle of the painting. For some reason though they did not come out blue as I had hoped. I had made some nice 'blues' on the last painting (see below) with the dead palette and figured the same would happen here. But it didn't, and I am not sure why. I painted this one a bit faster than normal and that may have something to do with it. I am happy with this though and will do a few very minor touch ups to this when it is dry.
In any event, it was a nice day to be out painting and a great location. I spotted at least 4 other paintings waiting to be made and I had barely walked 100 yards from the parking lot.  Looking forward to going back to this place!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Another warm January day..

South Platte Willows    9x12    oil on panel

On Thursday I met with a couple of real nice painters from the Castle Rock group (part of PAAC). We painted at the south Platte River in Littleton and it was a really nice day. 65 degrees, bright sunshine and no wind is a great day in January.
Still using the 'dead' palette and enjoying it quite a lot. Sometimes I wish I could saturate the colors up a little more, but I try  to resist the temptation to add anything as it will break (kinda) the harmony of this palette. As I mentioned below, I used a lot more paint this time. A whole tube of white went into this painting. I had a little trouble getting it into my panel carrier and the carrier scraped off some of the paint. When it dries I'll do some small repairs to it and it will be finished. Just need to go buy some more paint now! Both of the other painters made nice paintings and it is always fun watching others paint.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pueblo Peak    20x30    oil on canvas

Earlier this winter, I was lucky enough to be in Taos, NM. Every day I was there it snowed. In the late afternoon when the sun set, it would peek out briefly before going below the horizon. It made really spectacular sunsets and on this occasion, the sun produced just a thin slice of light as it went down. I didn't have my paints with me so I took a lot of photos and made a bunch of mental notes. I made this studio painting from that information. I tried something different this time and that was trying to use much thicker paint than I am used to using. The surface of the painting looks really cool. I think I will go thicker next time and see how far I can go with that. The colors are a little off in the photo... there was a lot of glare because the paint is still wet. The photo is a little darker than the painting and a little more saturated.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

South Valley Sunlight    8x10    oil on panel

Today's paint out was supposed to be at a different location, but it was crazy windy and cold. I'd guess the wind chill was well below zero. No one was there when I got there so I hiked around a little bit and decided it was just too windy to paint there. Ted was there before I got there and felt it was to windy also. I wanted to get out of the wind so I drove downhill to a small open space called South Valley Park. It's the same place I did 'January Morning' below. It was not windy at all and a lot warmer there.
Like the last 3 posts, I am still working with the 'dead' palette of Yellow Ochre, Venetian Red, and Payne's Grey (plus white). I am always amazed at how blue Payne's grey looks when lightened and against other colors. Unlike the last few paintings, I did not add another blue to the palette (or any other color), and strangely this looks 'bluer' than the ones that actually had blue in it. This was a quick little sketch and I am glad I got one done today!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Winter Light    6x8    oil on panel

On Thursady I went down to Hidden Mesa. I did two small paintings there, this was the better of the two. Still using the 'dead' palette and this time I added Pthalo blue. I didn't use it that much, mostly to punch up a few of the grey colors. The shadow on the right side tree looked all wrong without any blue in it since the real shadow was very blue. The first painting I did took an hour and a half. This one only took forty minutes and came out a lot better. Probably because I didn't think too much. Just saw stuff and put it down. Wish it happened like that every time!

January Morning    11x14    oil on panel

Our Tuesday morning paint out was at an open space near Morrison. It sits right next to the foothills and is a little higher than the surrounding area. Because of the weather, it was kinda cold and windy. It was a little too windy for me up on the exposed area so I went (and so did almost everyone else) to a nearby open space/park called South Valley. It's a little like Garden of the Gods there. The same kind of rock formations made out of the same kind of rock, just a lot smaller. The rock in the painting is right next to the north parking lot. I have been here before and thought the rock looked pretty cool but never really wanted to paint it. Leslie pointed out the great looking sky to the south (to the right of the painting) and I moved it over behind the rocks. It made the composition pretty dramatic and I thought it looked really cool. Still working with the 'dead' palette listed below, but I swapped out Burnt Sienna for Venetian Red. It was almost impossible to get any nice reds or oranges with Burnt Sienna so it had to go. Plus the rocks are almost Venetian Red right out of the tube, so that made things simpler for me. Wasn't sure where this was going while painting it, but it came out nice in the end.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Day

New Year's Light 2    9x12    oil on canvas

It's been a while since I posted anything, sorry about that. I've been painting on my regular schedule but just have not been very happy with anything I've done recently.  Today was the Second Annual New Year's Day PAAC Paintout. It was a really nice day to be outside and it give the new year a really nice fresh start. Wasn't too cold, unlike last year at 8 degrees. Because it's winter and everything is pretty grey, I decided to go back to basics and use a limited palette of Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, and Payne's Grey (with a little Davies Grey too) and White. I accidentally dumped my turp right at the start of the painting, so I did the whole thing with a knife. One thing I like about knife paintings is they happen a lot faster. It's nice not to linger too long and over work any part of the painting. It's also a lot easier to correct mistakes.
Since it's the new year I'd like to thank a few people who really helped me last year. First, I'd like to thank my wife April for supporting me while I get the whole painting thing off the ground. Thanks to PAAC for being a great group, and special thanks to Cliff for picking all the paintout spots, taking the time to discuss Art, free advice, and the gallery. Also, thanks to Leslie for her work with the group and for not giving up despite adversity. Thanks to Nancy for her advice and very helpful critiques. Thanks to all the artists who have come to (or run) the paintouts.. I love looking at all your work and it is greatly inspiring! Lastly, thanks to Dr. Brad O'Neill for offering his office walls to hang my art!  Happy New Year!