Monday, September 29, 2014

Big Finish to Summer

24" x 36" Oil on Panel
A few more big plein air paintings have come off my easel since the one I showed in my last post. The painting shown above is of one of those places I like to return to again and again to paint. It's not far from where I did the painting in the previous post.

These paintings take all day to paint! I also tend to get paint all over me when I paint this big.

22" x 28" Oil on Canvas Panel
The next painting was made last Wednesday high up on the "Nebo Loop" in the Wasatch Mountains. It was a windy day shared with a lot of elk hunters. I'd planned on coming to this spot but had forgotten about elk season. I was happy to find this spot free of the pickup trucks and horse trailers that crowded other places along the loop.

The photo above shows the mostly-finished painting along with the usual big red 4WD taboret. Note the big rock suspended halfway down the easel to keep the wind from blowing the easel and painting over. There's also a smaller rock inside the trash bag to keep it from whipping around in the wind. The rocks worked - this time. Below is a close-up of the rock and easel:

So often I get to enjoy the company of wildlife as I paint. On this day two blue grouse foraged in the grass nearby.

The last painting, a view of a barn through a line of willow trees, was made the following day after returning to Heber Valley. I'm out of big panels now, and am trying to get some more so I can go out and do more of these paintings - hopefully in the next few days.

22" x 28" Oil on Canvas Panel
These might be the last of this summer's plein air paintings for me. I guess the paintings I do next will begin to look more and more like Autumn. These ones already look that way a little.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Going BIG!

24" x 36" Oil on Panel
It's not the biggest plein air landscape in the history of painting outdoors, but it's pretty big! It's twice as big as any plein air painting I've ever done before. It's also probably bigger than anything I've seen at plein air shows I've attended over the years.

I've been toying with the idea of doing some very large (for me) outdoor paintings for quite some time. Recently a gallery that sells my work called and told me they had a client interested in my work, but they wanted to see paintings much larger than what I usually do. That provided the impetus for me to actually go out and paint bigger.

About a week and a half ago I went to Heber valley, set up my easel along a country road, secured a two foot by three foot primed panel to the easel, and set to painting. The painting was started around ten or eleven in the morning, and finished around six or seven in the evening. During that time I forgot to take any breaks. I had some food and water with me, but I forgot to use any of it. I did have one break imposed upon me, though. A small cattle drive came down the road so I tossed all my painting gear into the car and waited for a couple minutes as the cattle were driven past my parked car. After they passed I immediately set everything back up and got right back to work.

It was the smallest cattle drive I've ever seen. I might have been OK if I had not taken refuge in my car, but I've been stuck in some much bigger cattle drives where I was glad to be secure in my car. Cattle want to avoid you, but in much larger cattle drives cattle in the back of the herd press forward, pushing those ahead of them. I've had cattle pushed into my car hard enough to rock the car. I think it would not do to try to paint in something like that.

On this particular day, though, the cattle passed without incident. A little later a car full of teenagers stopped to see what I was doing. They complimented me on the painting, and one of them said from the back seat, "Dude! Your painting's sick!" 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Salon d' Automne 2014

Logan Fine Art's annual Salon d' Automne opens this Friday evening in Logan, Utah. I'm happy that one of my plein air landscapes (shown above) was accepted into the show. The show will be at the Logan Fine Art Gallery, 60 West, 100 North in Logan, Utah. Friday's opening will be the best time to meet many of the painters and sculptors who have works in the show, but there will be a lot of fine works by Utah artists on exhibit through the holidays. For more information you can visit Logan Fine Art's website at:

Or you can click on their banner which I've put at the top of this post. Hope you can come enjoy the show!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Substitute Model

12" x 9" Charcoal on Paper
Sitting still might have been a little challenging for the dancer who modeled for us at the drawing session yesterday evening, but she did a great job and was fun to draw. She filled in for the scheduled model who was unable to make it. When the scheduled model realized she couldn't be there, she was thoughtful enough to find a substitute model for us. The picture above shows my drawing of her.

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

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Plein Air Spring City 2014, Part Two.

8" x 10" Oil on Panel
This is part two of my post about this year's 2014 Spring City plein air event. You can read about part one here

After painting Wednesday and Thursday, I didn't manage to paint Friday. Instead, I entered the paintings I'd already done, then scouted around for other good painting locations. That evening was the artist's reception and awards presentation, where I found out both of my paintings had won merit awards. Saturday's "quick paint" event was a little challenging for me. First, I slept in a little late and had to drive as quickly as I could over wash boarded roads from my camp in the mountains to register for the event. Second, I still wasn't sure where I was going to paint. Third, the sky had a flat bright overcast - my least favorite light to paint in.

One solution I've recently discovered to the problem of painting on rainy or overcast days is to paint with a view through trees. After driving around a few blocks I came to the scene shown in the painting pictured above. Already having lost time because of sleeping in late and not knowing before hand where to paint, I set up and got to work. When time for the "quick paint" event was almost up, I framed the painting, threw everything into the car without cleaning up, and got the painting back to the show.

The paintings in the"quick paint" show were auctioned off around noon. I sat in the back with other painters to watch the show. It was interesting to see the auctioneer work the crowd, and watch the bidding for my painting.

The painting I made on Wednesday for the main show also sold.