Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wasatch Plein Air Paradise 2013

12" x 16" Oil on Panel
The Midway plein air painting competition is in full swing. The paintings exhibit and sale begins on July 1st and runs through the 4th. It's nice to paint up in Heber Valley, where the temperature runs 10 to 12 degrees cooler than Utah Valley - where temperatures lately have been in the triple digits. My schedule allows me only to do a couple paintings in the main competition, but I'll miss the paint outs that take place during the exhibit.

The painting shown at the top of this post was painted yesterday (Saturday) near Midway. It was so nice to be outdoors on a warm summer day listening to nighthawks as I painted. Storms bubbled up over the mountains but seemed to stay away from where I was. Near the end of my painting a storm came close, bringing a welcome breeze.

11" x 14" Oil on Panel
The next painting shown here was actually made Friday. I set up next to the river where fly fishermen were having a great time catching trout. Apparently anglers from all over the country come to fish here. There was a mayfly hatch on which was great for the anglers, but I kept having to pick mayflys out of my paint.

These two paintings will be in the main competition exhibit. Even though I've painted both scenes before it's always interesting to see how the same landscape charges from one painting to the next. For more information about the Wasatch Plein Air Paradise, click the link.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Two More Recent Plein Airs, and an Upcoming Event!

11" x 14" Oil on Panel
The picture leading off this post was painted in west Springville. It's typical of Inter-mountain West ranches. The Wasatch Mountains are the backdrop for this painting and the one below.

9" x 12" Oil on Canvas Panel
The marshes by the lake are a favorite place for birdwatchers. There you can find ducks and geese, stilts, avocets, ibis, pelicans, cormorants, herons, egrets, yellow headed blackbirds, red wings, marsh wrens, eagles, owls, osprey, and so many other feathered fauna. It's also a favorite place for this painter.

Upcoming Event!

The annual Wasatch Plein Air Paradise is coming up very soon, and some of the plein air contestants are already out in the field painting. I plan to join them starting tomorrow morning. The exhibit and sale is next week. For more information click here.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Summer Solstice 2013

8" x 10" Oil on Panel
Here's a few more paintings I made on location in the last couple of months. The first one was painted in Heber Valley and is one of the few recent paintings done outside of Utah Valley. Heber Valley is usually just a short jaunt up the canyon, but on that particular day the trip seemed a lot longer. Just a couple miles or so up the canyon I came to this:

Traffic Jam - The Scene Ahead of Me
Traffic Jam - The Scene Behind Me
The traffic jam was caused by a traffic accident another couple miles up the canyon. For a while there was nothing to do but listen to tunes, chill out and inch forward as law enforcement allowed traffic through. I arrived in Heber Valley later than I would have liked, but there was still plenty of time to get a small painting done.

The next two were painted close to town. The first is a little painting of marshes near Utah Lake:

6" x 8" Oil on Panel
The next painting is of some tree lined meadows between town and lake:

8" x 10" Oil on Panel
A small river flows through the trees at the far edge of the meadow. A paved bicycle path follows along the river. A mile or two from where I painted this the path comes to a busy road. As one heads southwest along the trail, upon reaching the roadway the bike path turns right and follows the road for a short distance, crossing a bridge over the river. On the other end of the bridge the trail turns right again and spirals under the same bridge to continue along the river. Just before the spiraling right turn there's this sign:

Which just goes to show - two wrongs might not make a right, but three rights make a left!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Plein Air May

9" x 12" Oil on Panel
Around the middle of May trees have finally leafed out here, providing an endless variety of organic shapes and shapes-within-shapes. Oak, maple, cottonwood, willow, juniper; each species has it's own personality, and within each kind a wide range of individuality. The time I have spent among trees might add up to years, and to me it has been time well spent. I have felled trees and built things from the wood of pine, oak, maple, black walnut, cherry and butternut. I've enjoyed the company of songbirds, tree frogs, owls and hawks, squirrel and fox, elk and deer, and so many other wild residents who live under - and even within - the green forest canopy. Trees are among my favorite things to paint, and - especially within the setting of the Wasatch Mountains - an inexhaustible supply of subject matter. The painting shown above was painted a few weeks ago at the edge of a pasture between town and lake, and looks back towards Slate Canyon and Buckley Mountain.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


13" x 10" Charcoal on Paper

This sketch was made from life a few years ago at one of the drawing sessions I've attended. It was drawn with charcoal and "white charcoal" pencils on gray paper. The shadow cast around his eye by the leaf headdress was particularly fun to draw. 

For more about drawing sessions, go to "Labels" on the side bar and click on "sketching" or "drawing."