Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wasatch Plein Air Paradise 2016

11" x 14" Oil on Panel
It's time for Midway's yearly plein air painting competition. I just turned in my entries for the main competition. The four pictures in this post are of the paintings I did last Saturday, Tuesday, Monday and Wednesday, respectively. The first three are the ones I put into the show. You can find out more about "Wasatch Plein Air Paradise" here

11" x 14" Oil on Panel
Sometimes, upon hearing that I'm an outdoor landscape painter, people will comment that it must be a relaxing thing to do. Well, here I am after a few days of painting, tired, sunburned, sweaty, bug bitten, and recovering from back spasms. "Relaxing" might be how the paintings look - and that's good - but it's not likely how they were painted.

9" x 12" Oil on Panel
"Relaxing" isn't the word for it. Sometimes it's not exactly fun, either. But it seems to me there's nothing better than to be outdoors, interacting with the landscape as I paint it, and hoping others might somehow benefit from the experience, too.

9" x 12" Oil on Panel
It's always satisfying to see my paintings framed and hung in galleries, or in shows like WPAP. It's fun to see what wonderful paintings other painters have put into the show, too. The show opens this evening in Midway at 7:00 PM and is free to the public. The show runs through the afternoon of July 4th, but paintings leave as they're sold so it's better to come early rather than late. That way you won't miss anything. There will be paint outs on Friday and Saturday, and a quick paint auction on Monday. I might be able to get one more painting into the show Saturday, depending on my schedule. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Solstice Week

11" x 14" Oil on Panel
Monday was the Summer Solstice. Afternoon temperature hit 100°F. I went out painting that day, but that day's blog post was about a painting I'd done a few days earlier. What was painted Monday is pictured above. Two trees on the Summer Solstice. Those two big ol' cottonwoods get painted a lot, not just by me but by a number of other painters. I'm sure to go back sometime and paint one, or both again.

11" x 14" Oil on Panel
While I painted Monday, a rancher mowed hay in a couple adjoining fields. I'd been waiting for those fields to be cut, so the next day I returned and painted one of the mowed hay fields. First cut hay. The day was hot, but not like the day before. The painting from that day is the second image in this post.

Upcoming: Next week is the annual Midway plein air competition. I'm planning on being there. Are you?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Summer Solstice 2016!

11" x 14" Oil on Panel
Went out painting today, the first day of summer. The picture at the beginning of this post, however, was painted last Saturday. It'll be a few days before I post the Summer Solstice painting. In the mean time, here's a couple-days-before-solstice painting.

This was my second attempt at this painting. I had gone to this spot last Thursday to paint. The work was coming along fine on that day until I turned and stepped away from the painting to get something out of the car. That's when a gust of wind seized the easel and shoved easel, palette and painting face down into the dirt and weeds. The painting was completely ruined, and it was too late in the day to start over. There was nothing to do but clean up the mess, salvage the panel, and vow to return.

I should have known better. Zephyrs sometimes turn mean. I've dealt with them before, but it seems I occasionally need to re-learn that lesson.

Saturday I returned to the same spot. It was easy to find - there's paint all over the place. This time the day went well; the painting was completed and safely made it home.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Two More Oil Portrait Sketches

10" x 8" Oil on Panel
Here's a couple portrait sketches in oil paint, made a few weeks ago at the weekly portrait sessions. Unlike the paintings in the "Profiles" post, I managed to get to these two sessions early enough to set up in front of the model.

12" x 9" Oil on Panel
My usual three color palette was used in these paintings; yellow, red, and black, plus white. The specific colors can vary from painting to painting. For me, the yellow might be cadmium yellow, or yellow ochre. Red can be cadmium red, medium, or deep. So far the black used has always been ivory black.

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

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Early Summer 2016

8" x 10" Oil on Panel
Technically, it's not summer yet, but the weather feels like it, and the painting kind of looks like it, so that's what I'm calling it. Early Summer. I haven't posted a plein air piece in a long while because I've been focusing on painting portraits from life. However the season, and the weather, are beckoning me to come outside and paint, and it's about time I did.

Friday, June 3, 2016


10" x 8" Oil on Panel
...are what happens when you're late for a portrait session. People who are on time for the session get their choice of where to set up, and that usually means a spot right in front of the model. Latecomers have to take what's left, which often means a spot on the periphery. There's nothing wrong with profiles of course, but you learn a lot more by studying the human head, and face, from many different angles. If you're always late for the session and always get stuck way over on one side or the other, you'll probably only get really good at profiles.

10" x 8" Oil on Panel
Here's a couple profile portrait studies in oil paint I made at the portrait sessions last month. Both are painted with a limited palette of yellow, red, and black, plus white. Sometimes I'll do a profile portrait because that was my choice. Other times I'm just late.

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