Monday, October 19, 2015

Rural Road in a High Mountain Valley

24" x 36" Oil on Panel
Here's a painting from a couple weeks ago. I've painted this scene before, but never this big. It was painted on a beautiful early autumn day in Heber Valley. At least, the day began and ended nicely. A strong gusty wind picked up during the afternoon. It became a real struggle to keep the easel from blowing over. The leaves of the willow trees turned over in the wind, dramatically changing how the trees looked. Even painting became difficult as the painting and easel wobbled around unpredictably in the wind. I considered quitting and wiping the panel. In spite of all this I kept on keeping on, using the initial lay-in and memory to paint the way the trees looked before the wind came galumphing through the valley. Later in the day, the wind died down, allowing me to focus more on painting and less on avoiding disaster. The painting was finished a little after sunset.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Drawing Neural Pathways

12" x 16" Charcoal on Paper
This is a drawing of the woman who modeled for us at the most recent portrait session. The sessions last for three hours, broken up into twenty minute segments with five minute breaks in between segments. I never intend for my drawings from these sessions to be "finished" works. Generally, when the timer sounds at the end of the evening's final twenty minutes, I'm done, even if the drawing isn't. Rarely do I work on a drawing after that. One of the main reasons I attend these sessions is to continually improve hand/eye coordination for drawing. Exercising neurons and strengthening neural pathways related to drawing are probably more important at these sessions than coming away with any "finished work of art." Skills developed and refined at drawing sessions (and, of course, at other times) can later be used on your own time and at your own place for drawings and paintings that are intended to be finished works.

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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Late Summer - Ranch Trees

8" x 10" Oil on Panel
This is a little plein air painting I did around a month ago. I'll probably never tire of painting trees. This stand of trees on a ranch west of Springville has been painted by me before. I'm often drawn back to paint scenes more than once, but they never look the same - that's one of the draws for me. I'm always kind of sorry to see late October storms strip the leaves from trees. Bare trees can be interesting elements in landscape paintings, too, but they don't have that glorious "full" look summer foliage has.

The owner of the ranch stopped to visit with me as I painted. During our conversation he said how this ranch was under water during Utah's flood of 1983. He took some photos of me painting to show to his wife later, then got back to his ranch work.