Sunday, June 5, 2016

Getting Away....Finally

It has been a long winter.  Not necessarily cold or miserable bit basically I've just been to busy.  My wife and I have been doing a lot of remodels of our home and I'm currently in school getting my doctoral degree. To say the least my plein air painting has taken a backseat.  So this weekend my wife got some time off work, we packed our trailer, got the family, and bolted for the best mountains in America.  Here are a few paintings from our time in the Sawtooths.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Plein Air Rockies 2015

I just returned from the Plein Air Rockies 2015 show in Estes Park, CO.  It's a national plein air show with some really talented folks from all over the country.  What makes this show so interesting is the vast subject matter that is available to paint.  You can paint farms, ranches, cityscapes, and endless mountain scenery.  

Of course I choose the mountain scenery and spent the majority of my time being a human "Billy Goat" climbing (and I mean on all fours) up cliffs to reach lakes over 10,000 feet.  It was sublime!  It really is.  If you ever get a chance to head to Rocky Mountain National Park do it!  However, don't just drive around because the "real" beauty is back in the mountains.  It takes a little effort, but I promise you will never forget the scenery.

Anyhow, I painted about 8 or 9 pieces and about 6 were "keepers" and these 3 were put in the show, which runs till October.  If you're in the area stop on by the Estes Park Cultural Center and check out the great paintings!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

"Yeah, It's Been That Long"

Yeah, it's been way to long since I last blogged.  This is mostly because other media like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinetrest make it easier to share your thoughts and work.  Also, to be honest with you, I forgot my login....yeah it's been that long.

Anyhow, I'm back and I'm not sure for how long I'll be blogging but I'm excited to attempt to get this bad boy up and running again.  This past week I have been in Oregon painting at the Pacific Northwest Plein Air.  It is my second plein air festival and it was a great week.  I didn't win any awards or anything and painted fairly well (I graded myself a B) but it was wonderful to see other very talented artist and be a part of a well organized show.  So here is to you Columbia Arts Council!  Way to go!

I will soon be on the road once again heading to Colorado for the Plein Air Rockies show in Estes Park.  For now here is some work from Oregon.

Monday, February 3, 2014

When I was 15...

"Pine Creek Fall" 9 x 12 in.

It was my high school art teacher who really got me into painting.  He was a cool laid back kind of hippy guy who really let his students paint what they wanted.  He would provide instructional support as needed but he let us express ourselves and didn't try to guide us in any particular direction.

I was 15 at the time and all I wanted to do was paint landscapes and boats.  I remember one class period he had asked representatives from an art school in Seattle to come visit us.  I was very interested in attending art school and excited to learn about it.  However, the more I learned about the school the more weary I became.  Finally, I told the lady "Hey, all I really want to do is paint landscapes!" She looked at me with a kind smile and said, "I'm sorry dear, I don't think many art schools do that."  She went on to explain that they mostly focused on graphic design and such.  After she left,
I realized that perhaps art school wasn't a great idea for me.

I'm not sure why more art schools don't focus on the landscape.  Instead, they tend to push students into modern abstraction.  If that's what you like then that's cool but there should be an alternative for young kids like me who simply love the traditional art of landscape painting. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Off to a Bad Start

"Cold Shadows" 12 x 16 in.

So one of the things I wanted to do more this year was blog more.  However, three weeks into 2014 I have nothing to show for it.  I coming to the realization that I may always be blogger delinquent.   

Anyhow, I spent some time last month outdoors doing some paintings.  I headed towards the Weiser River in western Idaho.  It was just a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine (this would have been when most of the country was in the polar vortex a few weeks back).  After the day with the high around 40 I decided to head back to my car when I saw this scene.  The sun had just gone behind a hill and created a strong sense of light.  As I painted, the temp dropped at least 20 degrees. My fingers were numb and I shivered for the last 45 minutes of the painting hence giving it the title "Cold Shadows".  

I will be posting some more works from this winter soon. Happy painting in 2014!

Friday, November 15, 2013

"They like me, they really like me!"

I think it was Sally Field who went crazy when she won her first Oscar and in one of Hollywood's most honest moments, admitted how much recognition from her peers meant.   If we are truly honest with ourselves we all like to be recognized.  In art, I personally try to stay away from it.  I by know means mean that I don't like it or seek it out.  I just know for myself if I paint to "be recognized" by my peers or by some other entity my work will suffer.  I will be chasing some unattainable goal of being the next Picasso or something.  That is just my personality...I tend to be obsessive.

Having said that, being a painter is a pretty damn hard thing.  You struggle finding motifs, struggle with the actually painting itself, struggle finding buyers, struggle marketing yourself, and then you see all the other talented painters out there and you think, "man I wish I could paint like that!". 

So when I got an email a month ago or so about being recognized with a "Honorable Mention"
 I was ecstatic.  I had entered the Cumberland Society of Painters National Juried Show.  It included several painters that I highly admire and to have one of my paintings recognized amongst them meant a lot.  It meant that despite all the self doubt and frustration a painter can have, my work was making strides and making strides in life is really all one can hope for.

Monday, September 30, 2013

"Gold on the Wood"

I haven't posted in a while mostly due to my Facebook page as I am having trouble keeping up on both.  I decided to do a quick post with a recent large painting that I worked on for over a week of the Big Wood River in central Idaho.  It's one of my favorite places to fish especially in the fall. 

In about a week or two I plan on heading to the mountains for a few days to do some studies and fish.  I can't way.  Hope everyone is having a blessed fall!  Till next time...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Point Lobos

I've wanted to paint at Point Lobos in California for quite some time now.  I recently returned from a recent trip to California.  It was a great place to paint.  I found the California landscape was an easier landscape then most to paint because of all the moisture in the air helped cool things as they recede in the distance.  Compare that with bone dry Idaho (humidity was literal less the 1% the other day) and it's hard to tell if a distant mountain is 5 miles or 15 miles.

Anyhow, with waves crashing, a cool sea breeze, and the smell of salt water in the air you can't ask for much better.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dang You California....

Did this study in a hurry 6 x 8 in. from the North Shore Trail Point Lobos

It's true I am a native Californian and much of my family and my extended family still live there so I do love the place. However, there is a reason why I don't live there.  Take for instance today.  I drove hundreds of miles through the horrid Nevada desert (if you've done the Idaho to California drive you know what I mean and if you haven't don't bother).

I arrive in the "Golden State" only to be socked in by coastal fog all day long!  Yet, 300 yards off the beach it was crystal clear blue sky.  I walked along Point Lobos State Reserve taking photos and did a few small color studies (see above).  But the great California color was socked in by coastal haze....booo!

Then we decided to drive home only to be stuck in a typical California traffic jam.... 1 hour 25 minutes to drive 25 miles.  Forecast for tomorrow...coastal fog.......and traffic.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fish Out of Water!

 "That Green Bug is Cool!" 8 x 10 in.
This is my "keeper" from the first two days.  Painted this on 12th and O'Ferrel St in Boise.  Only one person came up to me and he was very nice.

For the last few years, I have focused solely on landscape painting.  Mostly because I love it and mostly because it gets me outside in nature.  However, this week I have been a fish out of water. I signed up for "Plein Air Boise" which is my very first plein air painting competition (above is my "keeper"....the others stunk)

I'm not big into competitions. I think I spent all my competitive spirit when I played sports but since it was local and since I had never done one before I thought, "ah, what the heck?"  What I realized is how different cityscapes are.  In general terms they're not that much different form landscapes, you still have to do all the art stuff like values, color, design, edges, brushwork, etc.  What is different is all the city "junk" like people asking for directions, honking horns, crazy people talking to themselves, bike riders bolting past you, foul smells form trash cans, little kids asking "what are you doing?", dogs sniffing you, delivery trucks driving right in front of your subject, and people listening to their I-pods way too loud. 

I guess some people love humanity and others don't....put me down in the don't category....till next time!