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Friday, March 26, 2010

March plein-air---early spring on Indain Creek

Todays Plein air painting was just a blast.  My Friend, Carole drove over form Dayton , Nevada and we spent the day in Art!  First, we went out in the field at our Ranch in Dutch Valley and painted Indain Creek  on this early spring morning.  I used Uart , with a underpainting using achohol and Nupastel # 244---which gave me a great start,  Carole used her pastelmat which is a great surface, and did an underpainting also.  We both had a very enjoyabole time.   Can't wait to go again!  This one is 7  x 12 inches and we painted for about 3 hours.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Morning - Plein-air

Daylight Savings time again, and this morning was beautifully sunny and warm.  Thank Goodness, because I have been so cold these days.  I don't understand that at all, but at least I had enough energy to load my car with my plein-air stuff, just 3 things,  and drive about 1/2 mile from the house to find a good quiet spot along Indian Creek.  I was looking for the beaver damns I knew to be here, but saw that they had been taken out to allow the water to flow more easily thru the canyon.   This is a good thing, but it probably won't be too long before the beaver have their damns back up!    I felt a bit dauted by the scene, however, as there are a lot of willows, and grasses, rocks, and mud-----but I was lucky enough to be able to simplify the scene by squinting, and doing the thumbnails that are so important  and help you to get what you want of the scene.  I used Uart sanded paper,  7 x 12---mounted to an 8 ply. mat board, and it was really nice to work on.   I drew my scene in, using a viewfinder, with a # 244 nupastel, getting the darks where they needed to be.  Going thru my mind was " darkest darks, lightest lights , most easy color" Well, a lot of things were going thru my head!  When I have my value drawing on the paper, I used alcohol to melt it down and make a very loose, painterly under painting.   It dries very fast, and I was ready to go into it with color.   I used a wide array of pastels, hard, mediums , and then finished with my amazing Terry Ludwigs Plein-air set.     The colors in the area are plenty muted as its not even spring yet, and these colors did a great job.    I had a wonderful time, and it was about 2 hours in all.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Winter light--Our Willows

  I spent yesterday morning, in doors doing this one in Pastel.  Its on colorfix board, with a simple watercolor underpainting.  I recently read in Stapleton Kearn's Blog a nice way of thinking of the underpainting.  He wrote---"An underpainting is a way of separating the problems of drawing and design from the problems of color"---And that works for me.  You need to think of the underlying abstract patterns that hold your paintings together.  Doing your Notans.......Dark/light explorations are well worth the time and thought it takes, and makes all that follows easier.  Anyhow, I am really trying to learn these things. This is a snow scene on the ranch on Foothill---Winter willows are just so pretty, with the reds and pinks in them, add the light and maybe a painting is born!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Last day of February, 2010---spring on the way!

Yesterday was such a sunny, cloudy, beautiful day, beginning with a morning that had skies so full of movement and color you could of watched it all day.  I should of, as thats the best way to understand skies.  I decided to get out there and paint!  Then comes the age old thing..........Where?   Are you kidding? I says to meself,  as I stood in my driveway and just looked around.   So I set up right in my driveway, and this is the scene north of the house. The fields are just trying to show some green. and that sagebrush hill always looks the same, and beyond it you can see clear down the valley and far mountains.   My problem here is I think I made the dark Mountain, while it is close to us, a bit to large.  Its hard right out there in the open, as it all looks so big!  I did use a veiw-finder, did a thumbnail, and used the small pond and creek as a lead-in to take you thru the field, and back to the mountains.    9 x 12 on rose -grey canson paper.      I am going to try a compostion a day, thing, sometimes in pastle and sometimes in pencil, and hope it improves my compotion skills for the entire year.