Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, June 22, 2012

Painter's Paradise

Front Row Seat
A couple of weeks ago i had the opportunity to visit Central Oregon with some friends and paint for the weekend. Destination..... Post, Oregon..... Yea, i had never heard of it either.
I wasn't sure what to expect, but when i arrived, i was not disappointed. The scenery there is absolutely stunning. It's one of those places where you could set up and paint just about anywhere and get a killer composition with amazing subject matter. A kind of painters paradise......
For me, the weekend was not without apprehension. I have not painted a great deal east of the Cascades, but i thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the lovely neutrals and stretching myself with new challenges.

Post Plateau
Pretty much the entire weekend was windy, with showers, and even included snow one night. And, as uncomfortable as it was weather wise, it did create some dynamic skies that were
All-in-all, it was an outstanding time, which i would love to do again. A HUGE thanks to David and Kendra for being such an awesome host and hostess. This was a treasured time that i will not soon forget.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Make it, Break it, Make it Again

Pumpkin Patch Barn
If you are a painter, i am sure that you have experienced the ugly stage of a painting. For those of you who are not painters; there is usually a time during the painting where the whole thing just looks like a mess and you may not even be able to tell where in the world you are going with it. This phenomenon occurs to me from time to time and this little guy was no exception.
I use the make it, break it, then make it again rule, and for me it's a matter of just getting enough paint on the panel until the majority of the piece is full and i am really able to work the entire surface; much like shifting into fourth gear and cruising to the finish line.
When i put down the brush with this piece, like with many of my paintings, i still wasn't sure it was completely finished. My initial thought was to have more of a sky painting, but that green field kept creepin' up on me. As you can see the 1/3 design came to be.
At first i was not satisfied with the outcome, which is pretty typical for me, but after i step away for a day or two, i view it with fresh eyes and suddenly i like it. I know many of you know what i am talking about.
The whole painting thought process is quite intense and very focused. The, can't see the forest through the trees, thing becomes my reality when painting. And believe it or not, i view that as a good thing. It tells me, i'm searching for values, shapes, colors and lines. Add emotion to the mix and POOF, its almost like David Copperfield making chocolate chips appear with the wave of his hand. You don't know how it happened, but there it is.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Straight from Lake Quinault

Lakeside List
Last weekend's trip to Quinault was mostly filled with work. However, Monday morning i did manage to get out and paint a couple plein aire studies. The Willaby Creek Campground has some interesting trees along the lake that are great subjects. The real treat with the trees in this area are their shapes and how few of them stand like a stagnant Beefeater. They're all over the place directionally and it helps to create some fun compositions.
 It was an overcast day, so there is not much in the way of dramatic light. Instead, i am trying to let the ccomposition do most of the speaking. There was some fresh spring color laden on the tentacle like branches of these two twisting listing trees that helps gives some zip to the piece.
However, on par with my thought process in painting, i want the viewer to feel the mood, feel the subject and become connected with the piece on a soulful level. This is something the Russian Masters were awesome at capturing. The work of painters like, Levitan, Korovan, and many others; the list goes on.....  are very inspiring to me and is certainly a level of painting that i strive for.
What list inspires you?.....