February 17, 2017
The Gallatin River is beautiful all year! In the winter there's snow and ice along the cliffs and on rocks in the water, and red berried shrubs on the banks. I stopped to take a photo at many of the pull outs on the road between Bozeman and Big Sky and I think they'll be a fine place to paint plein air (if it's not too cold!) next month and maybe do some larger paintings on site and in my Montana studio.
January 25, 2017
|This is the finished painting!|
I started working on a new still life in my studio, mixing it up just a bit by changing the teapot from the last one and adding a Rubik's cube that we had on our shelves. As I put this together, though, I decided that I needed to add something on the floor. Shoes didn't seem right. A tote bag didn't add much. So I put in my dog, Ollie, a tri-color smooth collie who is almost 10 years old. I also ended up making the my round table a rectangle.
Still life symbolism is much studied, what with skulls and such in old paintings by masters. The symbolism here, well, hmmmm.
January 13, 2017
Next week I'll have a chance to work on the rug in the background that I'd just left untouched and get back into the colors and patterns in the foreground.
January 6, 2017
I've been trying to vary my palette, using colors that are brighter and more vibrant than the standard palette I'd been working from (I added prussian blue, phtalo green and cadmium lemon, took away alizarin, among other changes). The image of the painting here is a bit darker than the end result in real life, but I made the choice to make the shadows on the brick buildings in cadmium red medium and keep other shadows in purples, blues and greens rather than going darker and duller. I think the result works -- I've been playing with this for a while and I'll get a fresh look at it next week to see if other changes are needed.
November 15, 2016
I took another look at this one, and repainted it with a dark blue under painting to get the values right. After I added color, I went back into all the "white" highlights and evaluated them for color.
All of which inspired me to make my Maine plans for next summer!
November 1, 2016
All these paintings were started with a value sketch and then quickly painted with color after that. After an accidental splash of turpenoid over the paintings, they got a bit of repainting on top of that.
I'd had a bit of "painter's block" for a while now, and it was nice to just push through it and paint!
The painting of the still life with the "wallpaper" pattern behind it was done first with a burnt umber band at the top of the painting. It was too big, too dull and made a lousy composition. After thinking about ways to solve the problem, I considered what a painter like Eduard Vuillard would do -- and added the pattern (based on a scarf) to bring the painting together.
September 28, 2016
July 14, 2016
I just paint. I know the result can have "drawing problems" but I can't give up the spontaneity of painting without drawing first. I just put the colors and shapes where they seem to go and make adjustments as I go along. So ... here's the drawing problem that resulted from doing that with this painting. The porch railing exists in three different spaces that don't really connect to one another visually.
That's what I'll be working on fixing tomorrow. Not by using a ruler, just working it out in paint.
July 8, 2016
The canvas for this painting in progress is hanging on the wall, so I'm painting standing up. I used to paint all the time standing up (like the Sundance Kid, I'm better when I move), but my long agonizing knee troubles forced me to paint sitting down for the past couple of years. But now! New knees, and I am very happy that standing up feels great. I'm enjoying painting standing up again, and especially, the ease of painting, standing back from the work, and then painting again.
This is a sunset view from the log cabin where I stayed, looking toward the Gallatin mountains that make up the West side of Paradise Valley. I have a lot of work to do on this, but this is how it's starting out.