Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hillsboro Plein Air Paint-Out

Participating in the Hillsboro Plein Air Paint Out last Saturday was a first for me. I've painted outside but never in an organized event and never with so many people watching. Cowardly me chose a rather quiet sidewalk in front of the courthouse, set up my equipment, and got to work. I've heard experienced outdoor painters advise "find a comfortable spot and paint what's in front of you" so that's what I did. There was a blue tent nested beside a path among the trees so I chose that as my subject.

I worked with Holbein acrylics and wasn't happy with the paints at all. The colors are wonderful for my splashy studio work but didn't work well for me that morning because I couldn't mix my greens to suit myself. My fault, not the paint. I need to practice mixing greens. And I didn't get the tent right which threw everything off.

Yes, I was doing way too much self critiquing and I knew it so I quit that painting and found another comfortable place, on a bench in front of The Candy Basket and behind a flower seller. The next painting came rather quickly and I was done in perhaps 30 minutes.
We turned in our 2 paintings for judging and I won an Honorable Mention in the Figurative classification for Flower Seller. What a surprise! I was participating because I thought it'd be fun to do and give me good experience. I gave no thought to winning anything. The judge mentioned the simplicity of the work and knowing when to stop. I didn't tell him that it was better about a dozen brushstrokes before I finished.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

White Vase with Purple Flowers

I've been working with acrylics this afternoon and as long as I remember to make a statement with my painting and not get too realistic I'm okay. This was fun.

It's 12"x14".

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Painting with oils

I got out my oils last week and decided to just play without any self critique and I'm presenting them in the same spirit of no critiquing allowed. One thing I decided is that I need to do a LOT more work before I'm comfortable with the medium. On hot days when I first put out the oil it's quite slippery on the board and then a few days later it becomes a bit tacky as it starts to dry on my palette and I need to squeeze out more paint. No wonder some of the old palettes of the master painters are several inches thick with dried paint. They didn't clean off their palettes; they just kept adding more paint to the drying mixture.
Three little paintings reinforced for me that no matter the medium I prefer to paint an abstraction of an image rather than try to represent a more realistic version with my brush. I have my camera for copying the scenery.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


No, I haven't been to Italy lately. I finished this painting today but it was started in a workshop last month that I took from the Australian painter John Lovett . I don't call myself a watercolor painter, not having put in nearly enough time and effort to control what I'm doing. I usually beat the paper into submission, scrubbing layer after layer of paint onto the surface until I have a muddy mess. My hand is too heavy for this lovely medium even though I have fun doing it. This painting is like most of the rest that I'm not showing you but I rather like it. It's half-sheet size: 11" x 15".
John's a good teacher and I took his workshop for the purpose of improving my style of drawing and painting in my sketchbooks. I've always taken lots of photos, many with the idea that they'll imform my artwork but I stumbled when I tried to paint from them, lapsing into copying the photo rather than using it in a thoughtful way. Something happened to my thinking during this class, something I can't explain at all, but I think I get it... I finally get how to pick element from a scene and making a painting about them rather than trying to put everything in the scene into the painting. I'll have to work at it for awhile but I can already feel my thinking shift.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Note Cards are available

Sometimes I make things harder than they need to be. I've been selling my Note Cards for awhile but kept stalling going ahead with online sales. Now it's done. I'm offering them in lots of 10 with envelopes through Pay Pal. I can't personally take credit cards so this seems to be the easiest way for you and me. Just click on the Add to Cart button and place your order for 10 or multiples of 10. The inside of the card is blank. These Fine Art cards are suitable for framing in the frame of your choice and because they are Giclee prints they should last years on the wall, out of direct light. Email me with any questions or if you have trouble with your order by clicking on the email link at the top of this column.
Sales are going very well. I've sold nearly 1000 cards and they're being reprinted. I expect these will be most appealing to the community of Jesus-followers who will use them as a way to encourage the recipient or as a gift on a special occasion. The cards titles include Who Are You?, Lowly (humble), Servant, Truthful, Loving, Obedient, Optimistic, Gracious, Forgiving, and Victorious.
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