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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Woodfords canyon from the meadow--plein~air

Woodfords canyon

Today I was up early again, and headed for the meadow we lease .  I walked down thru it, with the dogs, just looking around.   I thought I saw a composition I could maybe I went and got  my things and set up with the river running behind me, under a nice tree.  Very cool, and very beautiful.  I did a small thumbnail.....but I must not have given it a great deal of thought still.   I did only one, and we are told by the pros to do always at least 3!!!  Take heed, folks, they know what they are talking about! I worked for about 3 hours, and today used Canson paper in a grey tone, sorta med-dark.  I was just thinking, ( well , not hard enough)..... When I was three, I went back to the house , and found an old Pastel Journal from 2003.   There are two articles in there that really are worth the ink and paper they were printed on!!!  One is by Margot Schulzke, and the other , of course, by Richard McKinley. I propped up my effort  across the room, and began reading.
Margot 's article was titled  "Simplify, Simplify, Simplify"    and brother that's a mouthful.   I thought I did.  Of course I did not.   I did get my large shapes, 5 of them.  But when I worked on this,  I added more and more.  Also, I sure could of thought of "Composition" a lot more.
I should of figured out what was essential for me, about this scene-----and began editing.  I should of thought about a lead-in,  an area of interest, and the value plan.......As Richard McKinley says  "  Putting Everything you see into your painting is like trying to write using every word in your vocabulary"   I do this  all the time and it never works!     These two articles are so well written, and they were right in front of me at a time I really needed to re-read them!!!   The out doors is so BIG.  So much out there, and I need to slow down!       But I do have  a plan now----and I will be out there, in this location until I get what it is I want!   Plus a lot of what I don't want I have a feeling,  But oh well.......that's what learning is about.  


  1. I know what you mean! I do the same thing. Even tho the painting did not come out the way you wanted, I looked at it and the name of the valley and I thought "what a beautiful spot". I find the second and third time I do the same view, I work out some of those things you mentioned. Even the masters did multiple paintings of the same view. Keep trying and keep learning!

  2. Wow, thanks a lot . I know we all do this, and when I was really into watercolor, boy, did I ever have to re-do and re-think things!! Learning is what keeps me going with this on-going puzzle that is ART!

  3. I have been enjoying your plein air paintngs. And your doing great work! Your dedication to learning and striving to improve is really inspiring. My last plein air was a total bust! But was fun to be out doing it anyway.