June 9, 2017
Yesterday's palette was used again in this painting, but I added just a bit of cerulean blue both into the grays to make them bluer and into the hydrangeas and reflections.
June 8, 2017
I had a few vases with roses, hydrangeas and alstroemeria so I brought them into the studio to paint. I set up a very limited palette to help keep my focus and keep the painting from being overworked.
After 2 hours, I was at this point and decided to stop. I'm going to call this one done and start a new painting of the flowers another day.
May 26, 2017
|new painting in progress|
The wall of the building that houses Ma Maison restaurant does have black paint on the upper half of its east-facing wall, but in the earlier sketch I found the black stripe and the prominent roadway girder right in front of it too intense and distracting. In the painting I'm working on now, I've shifted the focus of the painting so you are led along K Street to its end. I'll be working on more balance of the color and see how well I can add come variation into the deep shadow to add movement to the space.
May 5, 2017
|the second version of the scene|
I painted this scene first after visiting it last summer on a smallish canvas. In my first painting of it, I shied away from the intense green of the meadow and I think the loss of a lush carpet of grasses and flowers made that first painting worth revisiting. In this one, I let the saturated colors shine -- and although I painted it on a slightly larger canvas, I didn't go all out and paint this on a larger canvas.
Now with these two done, I think I may tackle a truly large painting of the scene.
|this was the first painting of the scene|
April 18, 2017
Yesterday I decided to work on this and I think I've got the face finished. I also added the yellow sun-lit grasses to near and distant mountains. The water may still have too much intensity as it goes into the distance and I'll tone that down ... and maybe it will be done.
The fish, by the way, is a rainbow trout. We caught (and released) rainbow trout and cutthroat trout on the Yellowstone River last summer just a few weeks before the river was closed to fishing due to a concern about bacteria and warm water temperatures. Today on NPR there was a report about how the native cutthroat trout are being weakened by breeding with the non-native rainbows. Fishing is regulated, licensed, managed and monitored and it bodes well, I hope, for a plan for the future to protect the Yellowstone River and the native cutthroat trout.
April 5, 2017
The bison painting is done -- it's 3 feet by 4 feet -- oil on linen.
|2nd day working on the painting|
|first day's work|
on the safe side, literally, the group I was in on snowmobiles all got off and stood with the machines between us and the bison as they walked just a few feet away from us. I took a lot of photos and brought the images into the studio to work on a painting of the bison walking.
This is just the beginning, where I'm trying to lay down the basic shapes and colors. I may be adjusting the size and position of the bison in front to make him larger and darker, I have to work on that.
The white areas of the painting are just blank canvas showing through. A lot more work to come.
March 29, 2017
The frog pond was near where I parked and although I walked a short length of this very long trail, this spot kept calling to me.
Early in spring, there's no leaves on the trees (such a contrast to Montana, where I was last week and evergreens far outnumber any deciduous trees) so I was looking at trunks, reflections, dark shadows and deeply colorful water. I brought this into the studio this afternoon to adjust some of the color.
March 28, 2017
The movie A River Runs Through It was filmed along the Gallatin River. A few weeks ago, I went fly fishing there and took photos to use as a reference for a future painting. The fish were cold and sluggish -- I was even slower to set the hook and can only tell tales about the ones that got away.
March 22, 2017
Aside from the challenge of painting a view that truly changed every 5 minutes -- you could see the mountains in the distance, then they were covered in clouds, then the sun would break through, then it would rain/snow/sleet, then the snow melted etc. -- it was hard to paint the whole canvas when to reach the bottom edge I had to crouch next to the canvas or bend over. A studio easel lets you raise the canvas so you can paint the bottom at eye level and lower the canvas to focus on the top. What a difference it makes! I'm going to ship this back to my Maryland studio and finish it there.