Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Heaven And Earth

I usually paint very representational images on paper with watercolor. However sometimes I like to leap off the edge and do something a little different, especially when it is 95 degrees outside and I am in the comfort of my air conditioned studio. I drew in the light colored roots and the moon with a masking fluid and let it dry. Then I pulled out all kinds of paint from my studio drawer and began my painting with lots of water and lots of pigments flowing together. Adding more warm colors in areas and more cool colors along the sides and in the sky. I threw is some water and some salt and let the painting dry. Sounds simple doesn't it? I repeated the process again and refined some of the tree shapes. Then I took off the masking fluid when the painting was completely dry, colored the moon and dropped in a few stars with a special secret recipe. Then the painting was done. What do you think, should I go back to documenting the landscape or continue with more of these experiences?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Grain Elevator

Do you know what a "Grain Elevator" is? This painting came from references of where I grew up in Ohio on a farm. While my dad was harvesting the grain and putting it into wagons, I would drive the truck from the farm to the grain elevator. There I would wait my turn in line and dump the grain into a bin and it would be stored until it was the right time to sell the grain. Depending on market conditions and when we needed money to pay the bills. I find buildings of any type interesting to paint. Especially if I have a story to tell in the painting. I put a few farmers in this painting to show it was a busy place to be. A few birds on the wires and a train track also help to tell the story. Growing up on the farm was an adventure in itself.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wildflowers & Palms

Every year in October the fields north of Lake Jessup come alive with a blanket of yellow wildflowers. Last year I took my camera and art supplies and walked through the fields at the Lake Jessup Conservation area. I took numerous photographs to use as references. It was still hot and humid in this area of Florida in October. As I walked through the wildflowers the bugs were still present so I didn't stop long enough to paint. One day in the studio all the artists participated in an event called Masterpiece In A Day. This event was a fund raiser for the local chapter of Meals on Wheels. I decided to create a painting featuring the Wildflowers & Palms that I experienced during that walk through the fields. At the end of the day the painting was sold to the highest bidder and the proceeds of the event were given to Meals On Wheels. It was a well accepted event and we have plans to do it again next February.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Key West Lighthouse

This week I went to Key West. Not really. I did this painting from a photo I took while in Key West a few years back. I used the photo as a reference for my demonstration in my watercolor workshop last week. I wanted to keep the sky simple, no clouds and do a wash dark to light. The light orange near the horizon was added later, as a nice compliment to the blue sky. I put in light washes of color on the buildings and fence so they they would not look plain white. A shadow of a palm on the front of the fence helped to break up the long fence and to lead your eye into the painting. The rooster was added on the fence to give some life to the painting. If you've ever been to Key West you probably saw some roosters running around, unless they were replaced by tourists.