My painting “Lost in Thought” will be a part of the Oil Painters of America National show May 18 – June 17, 2013 at the InSight Gallery in Fredricksburg TX. It’s always an honor to be a part of this show. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 18 from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M
I am honored and excited to be a featured artist at Plein Air Easton! 2013 in Easton Maryland this July. It’s time to start prepping panels!
After a long stretch of working in the studio, I finally got outside to paint last week. Of course, once I was out there I wondered why I had let so much time go by since the last time I was out. When else do you get to sit by a stream for a few hours and enjoy the soft gurgle of the water passing by? In the winter I don’t usually realize how cold I am until I am packing up.
12″ x 16″
12″ x 12″
Painting the model from life in a session with a group of artists is an age old tradition. Part study, part camaraderie, it is something I look forward to every week. This is a studio painting done from a study at one of these sessions. Working directly from a study instead of a photo allows for much more freedom to develop a mood and not be a slave to a static pose. The quick study below is what “Day Dream” was created from.
Tainter Hollow, 14″ x 18″
My children had the good fortune of attending a small country grade school just up the road from our place. The school had the most wonderful art teacher. I stopped by during school hours one day and Laura had the first and second graders out on the front steps with drawing boards and pastels painting the atmospheric perspective. This is that view looking out from the school. Sadly, Liberty Pole Elementary School is now closed, but I could hear the echos of children on the kickball field and sledding hill as I painted this.
I’ve been experimenting with the palette knife. It wasn’t intended. A friend gave me some canvases as she cleaned out her studio in preparations for a move, and when I set out to paint this dancer, I was dismayed to see the hairs from my brushes being broken off from the roughness of the canvas. To save my brushes, I pulled out the knife and kept painting. It’s been a fun challenge, and while I like to use the knife here and there in a painting, I think I will be pushing myself to use it even more.
As a child, I was intrigued by the sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci. We had an enormous book devoted to his life’s work. The book weighed almost as much as I did and I would sit with it across my lap and feel the weight of it crushing me into the cushions of the arm chair. I was fascinated by the sketches of gnarled faces, the swirling lines of horses in motion and his drawings of inventions. Of course I was disappointed that I wasn’t born left handed so I too could have a reason to write backwards as he did.
As an artist, my sketchbook is a visual journal. It’s a place to work out ideas, what I am studying, and what I find intriguing or inspiring. Sometimes the sketchbook is used to make note of the anatomy of a type of tree or plant. Another page might be a series of quick gestural sketches of people or animals that might make their way into a painting. Sometimes the sketchbook keeps me company at the bus stop or a waiting room. Sketching hones the artist’s skills of seeing light, shadow and form. It is not significant what tools are used. A ballpoint pen can do the job as well as a fancy pencil. But mostly, the artist’s sketchbook is simply because……. we can’t help it.
What an incredible winter we are having- January 10th and 50 degrees. So I trekked up to a special place on our farm that has never been tilled. Around here steep rocky ground is called a goat prairie, and isn’t much good to the farmer. Old prairie grasses and plants still grow there just as they did before the settlers arrived. As I painted, I thought about the trail that wanders through that wild patch, and I pictured all the activity that must happen to make such a well trodden path: the opossum waddling along with his nose to the ground, perhaps a couple of does walking single file, stopping to listen for a moment, followed a little later on by the buck following their scent, a coyote trotting up to the top of the hill who stopped to call out to see who else is out on the run, and then of course, me with my paintbox. Tomorrow we might have snow.
Another installation of panels went up today on the Viroqua Community Mural. The original mural that was completed in 1997 was so badly deteriorated that it came down to a decision of either removing the mural entirely, or completely repainting it using new panels. Off and on throughout the past year, I have been working with students from the Laurel Charter school transferring the old image onto newly primed 4 ft x 8 ft panels in my studio and repainting it. The mural takes the viewer through the seasons with scenes from Vernon County. The entire mural is made up of 24 panels and is 96 ft long. The day turned out to be windy and cold, not what the weatherman predicted earlier this week when our plans were made, but the guys stuck it out and got the panels hung. The plan is to have the rest up by this spring.
Lace ‘em Up 9″ x 12″ Oil
This painting will be auctioned off at the Viroqua Are Hockey Associations 13th Annual Mueller/Effinger Memorial Fun Night in the silent auction on Saturday, November 12th at the VFW club in Viroqua.