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Sunday, October 4, 2015

My few summer plein-air pastels

   I have 5 pastels I completed over the summer and would like to post them with a few comments.  Each one has been a fact searching project.  Always have had a difficult times with trees and getting them to set in my paintings as they should to express the feeling I was trying for.  We all love trees, and they should be as you want them to be.  And sometimes they are just in the background, and still should appear natural.  Color for them is hard, so much green!  And ruggedness, and tangly, and so on - -largeness is a big problem.  Well, it all is, but a great journey.


So here is an assortment of trees in different places done over the summer.  That is Wolf creek meadow, the forth one down.  I love this place, so many trails come out of this area along to the east where the Carson river runs.  The little pinion tree is near my house,  and the bright one with the willows is actually a lake!   Its so dry here, and the lakes are very low as it was done in Sept. on an outing with the Reno Tahoe Plein air painters at Silver lake.  
It was  a great summer with experiments made into Plein-air painting but still I should of worked much harder!  I did reduce the colors in my small double sketch box made by Heilman, and put in many greys and neutrals, and still got plenty of color!  The one done at Silver lake was mid-morning, and on a reclaimed piece of Uart with a orange-red wash of acrylic paint which helped brighten it a lot.  I do use watercolor under paintings as well.
Also this bear was in my yard this summer, mid-morning, and I got this picture from my kitchen window!  He was quite large but didn't stay long.
Can't wait until the snow flies, to try and paint then. Hope you are all painting!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

across the pasture in Dutch Valley

This was done this morning in pastel on  small piece of Sansfix, dark blue.  I had gotten a small tablet of this for just sketching and thinking.  I have been thinking about something a friend had gone through while attending a clinic.  That was the color of the mountains in a lot of the west that are covered with sage. As they go out in the distance its easy to pay attention the the atmospheric appearances of these hills and mt's and blue them out - - -but when they are not even 1/4 mile from you you tend to try for the colors that you see.  We have had a lot of rain lately and there is a lot of color!!  Trying not to get too hi-key, I wanted to play with these thoughts.  I did the mt. first with a mouse grey (almost purple) shade, and then added a little local color over it.  It made you think a lot - -sage can be so many different shades of sage-greenish purple, and when rained on can look lush. This range had burned off in 1985 and so most of the pinions are gone, leaving a lot of sagebrush to take over. I just st in my yard under a patio umbrella and day-dreamed the morning away!  I have many more things to try - -like now do something like this with Oils, getting distance, and matching values to show the sun touched color. The sun was almost overhead in this one, just before noon.  Still, the mt. had to be darker in value than the foreground or sky.  More to come.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Tuesday, June 9th's try

Well -  -- Here is the last oil painting I have tried to do.  I am still not using any black, and and a split complimentary palette.  I did use Transparent Yellow oxide to tone the canvas and leave a nice yellow glow under the sky and ground planes.  So many thing s to try - - -and to remember!  This was about 9 am until 11 am on a grey cloudy-skied Tuesday.   A few of the Ladies from Reno came out this morning to paint also.  They were down by the orchard, and close to the road, I was in the brush to learn brush colors - -how to get paint off my brush - -and to keep my dog safe.  She spent the time hunting squirrels!!!    The comp. on this isn't to great - -- just getting the colors for the time of day was enough for me this time I guess.  I sure miss judged the middle range of hills, with that spot of green!!  Well, it did help to get out there.    Happy painting!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Reno Tahoe Plein Airs painters came out to Paint!

I  am happy to say  the Reno Tahoe Plein  Air painters, a group of Plein air painter brought together by an BlogSpot post created by painter Carolyn Thompson from Reno made the trip out to the Carson Valley to paint  on June 1st.    It was great to see them all with their easels set up in various places that morning.  I was too excited  I guess to get pictures of them,  I am sorry.   3 ladies came from Fallon Nevada, and most from Reno, some from Carson City  and then myself.  This is always fun, and I love to see what they paint.  This is what I was able to do,  in pastel , 
on pastelmat, 9 x 12
I was surprised I was able to get these old building and the above ground gas tanks we have on the ranch , from their back sides.   I have never done so many buildings at one go before!   Going out with a group like this sure does get you going again and I am ready now to continue.  And Carolyn did 2 paintings, small, in Oil.  She did the cows in the corral, and the big tractor!  She said she might send me one and if she does I will post it here.   Happy painting!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring Sage--mid-morning

Yesterday in the mid morning, out painting to learn to deal with sage brush. I had a great time, and now feel a bit better about it and will do more. There is so much to learn using these oils. I did use a small palette of primaries on a burnt sienna toned ground. I do want to get more color into the brush, but this is a good start. So interesting learning these new things, I. E. color mixing - -catching the light--recession,---and even local color--as well as foregrounds!!!  Thanks goodness it's fun!  Hope you are all painting!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Painting at the ranch - -with a group from Tahoe

I  am sorry to say I forgot my camera this fun day, so didn't get pictures of all the busy painters that came out for the morning to paint as a group with David Russo, who teaches many art disciplines at Tahoe. Lots of watercolorists came, and a very interesting painter who used dyes and silk!!  Her work was beautiful when she was done, even putting in one of our old retired bulls! I think all enjoyed the morning, my painting friend from Silver Springs, Nv. came out and did a great pastel. Again, no camera, so I could show her work.  It was of lilacs and milk cans! I did this old car, that was in the brush, which was my main focus--Brush!  Unfortunately, I mainly looked at the car and the brush just is still a problem. I am trying  oils, and mixing from a split-primary palette  and get using to mixing this way.  No black at all on my palette, but its so easy to mix a dark.  I will continue to work out my sagebrush problems!  There is plenty around to paint from! Happy painting all.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

2015------been out panting a little

Now its the end of March 2015, and thats just amazing to me.  Time flies, no matter what.  Not much of a winter for the west this year, even in our area just below Lake Tahoe on the Sierra Crest.  We really need the water, and this year will be a trial. But have been painting---practicing with Oils, a medium I hardly use.  I have learned to enjoy pastels so much for Plein Air painting, while I know Oils are supposedly easier.  In so many ways they are, but there are some area's they take a bit more care or supplies to make things easier.  Like wet panel carriers, or a good turps container, but all in all , things can be down sized easily for taking out in the field.  Just all a learning curve, and I finally got a great pochade box and tri-pod - - -both by Sienna Plein Air.   I do think these things are nice and easy to use.
So . . . . ..  here are 3 recent efforts.  The first one is done indoors from a notan in one of my sketch books - -done to get into things.

This one is a bit bright---learning to mix from my chosen palette of a split-primary set of paints. Ater this I went out one late PM, and tried using pastels to get the light and shadow patterns as the sun went down behind the mountain on the home ranch. I managed to get this , in pastels.
  and so wanted to try it with oils.  The sun is in the south , the end of February - -and you can see, no snow - -its so odd for us as we are normally pretty buried with it in Feb.!
  Again I see I got my mixes quite bright - -even tho I know the cammera does push the blues . This was oils, a few weeks later in the same place. I painted fast as I was interrupted  quite a bit. So odd as I don't really see to many folks normally! This was mostly done on site, with some added after much thinking later.  I will do this again on site and hope for better results.
  This last one was done mid-morning in Hope Valley---again just for me to learn to mix from my palette a bit faster and hopefully more accurately.  I see many errors, but will continue in order to learn - - -  -but I do like my pastels at this point better!!!   So all for now - -hope  you are all happily painting.