Saturday, January 31, 2009

"I Think of You"

Oil on panel, 8"x6"
Another approach to roses, this time with more detail to one rose and very loose and impressionistic handling of all subordinate objects in the painting. These are challenging paintings for me to pull off quickly but they make me think before I paint. If I don't have a good plan before I start the results are very obvious and less than appealing. I think it's just a coincidence that I started doing these right before Valentines Day, however it might be the marketing side of me peaking through the creative side. The title just came to me because we often times think of roses as a gift for or from someone you love and just seeing them can make you think of that special person in your life. if you are so lucky as to have one.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"In the Garden"

Oil on canvas panel, 8"x8"

That last painting with all of its laboring, toil and lamenting has given way to this very loose and fresh approach to a garden of roses in bloom.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Title: "War of the Roses"

Oil on Raymar linen panel, 8"x6"

UPDATE: I have re-titled this painting from "Tres Rosas Rojas" (three red roses) to "War of the Roses" because I fought this painting to the bitter and not so beautiful end. I don't know who was the victor, but having labored like I did with it, it gave way to a very loose and fresh approach to my next painting. One I am considering a success.

This could have been titled "Persistence" because I wiped this piece down and started it over several times. When I first started this blog a few months ago my learning curve was very steep and I had a high ratio of "wipe downs". But, with more paintings under my belt (and my stomach is starting to show it) my wipe downs have become far and few between, But being the personality sort I am I could not let this painting get the better of me. So, after much scrutiny and a little perspiration it has found its way back to my liking.

However, it still requires a bit of work before it is complete which gives me yet another opportunity to become dissatisfied with it. I hope it finds its way to my blog. That in itself would feel like a victory.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Crusty Caballero"

Oil on panel, 8"x8"

I enjoy painting the prickly pear cactus, they seem to have so much personality. They always remind me of a weathered old man living in the desert like a character Robert Earl Keen Jr sang about in "Gringo Honeymoon"... "he knew a Crusty Caballero that played an old gut string guitar." That's all I need to create a vivid image of what this guy looks like, something about that short description speaks volumes.
*Lyrics by Robert Earl Keen Jr

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Songbird has Spoken"

OIl on canvas panel, 8"x8"

This is a creek near Lost Maples State Park as the sun rises above the hills and casts oblique lighting across the landscape. Painted from a photo taken on a trip with brother Tom in July of 2007. The inspiration of the title came from lyrics of an old Cat Stevens song, "Morning has Broken" which may have been a more appropriate name, however, I like the way the phrase "Songbird has Spoken" indicates that it isn't sunrise but shortly thereafter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Sunny Side Up"

Oil on Belgian linen panel, 14"x11"

Another older piece painted from life in my back yard. This was about 6 months ago I bought and arranged these sunflowers on my patio table and did several paintings of them. Sunflowers were not only my Mom's favorites but they are a lot of fun to paint. Big showy flowers with bold and bright color, they lend themselves to my loose technique very well. I'm sure I'll paint sunflowers every year for the rest of my life.

"Little Pink Houses"

Oil on Belgian line panel, 12"x9"

This was actually painted en plein air over a year ago in Old Town Spring and is one of my first attempts at outdoor painting. I decided to post it today because with all else I do on a daily basis, art is a business and today instead of painting I varnished some finished pieces and packaged a sold piece for shipping, then ran to the UPS store to bid it adieu. The house itself was a quaint little home on peer and beam with magnificent sycamore trees growing around it that had changed to beautiful fall colors. The home reminded me of the John Cougar song, "little Pink Houses... for You and Me"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Sundown on the Del Carmens"

Oil on archival Belgian linen panel, 10"x8"

A beautiful spot to watch the sunset, the Del Carmens go through quite a transformation as the sun sinks and sets the west face on fire.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

"Wishin' for Shade"

Oil on panel, 10"x10"

Another 2 session painting, this means I need to get out and do some plein air paintings. They require quicker observation, more speed in the painting process which equals looseness and touching upon those elements that draw you to the scene to begin with. Keep it simple and move on. There is so much to paint, so little time.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Oak and Rocks"

Oil on panel, 10"x10"

Ok, this wasn't exactly alla prima, another conceptual piece that required a second session like many of mine have lately. The smaller paintings I don't seem to have any trouble completing in a couple hours, but anything close to this size usually takes me a second session and winds up with more detail than I like to paint. I might need to use bigger brushes!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Sunlight in the Chisos"

Oil on Raymar linen panel, 8"x6"

I think something everyone appreciates about "The Bend" are the transition zones that occur, desert meets the sky and here where high in the Chisos among the conifers you are amazed that just below this altitude are desert badlands.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Bonnets at Dusk"

Oil on panel, 8"x6"

Another conceptual piece, just playing with establishing mood using dynamic perspective and very soft lighting.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"In the Thick of Things"

Oil on panel, 6"x8"

New growth on creosote and sage create impassable obstacles during a walk through the Bend.

Monday, January 12, 2009

"A Distant View"

Oil on panel, 8"x6"

I love doing these small paintings, they can be so spontaneous, quick, fun and come together as a whole so well. I always have to remind myself to create a design and a strong composition then only apply color and it is done, don't worry about painting objects, just paint the light then get on to the next.

"Mountain in Shadow"

Oil on panel, 5"x7"

This photo does not come close to accurately displaying the sense of light and shadow from this mountain. I don't know if the value is just to dark but the actual painting looks much better. I modified a photo to create this scene of the mountain in the distance in almost total shadow of itself with the lowland erosion channels in the foreground creating movement and design.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"20 Year Green"

Unfinished: This painting requires a little more punch and I might repaint the foreground.
Oil on Belgian linen panel, 9"x12"

2006 was one of the wettest years in recent history for the Texas transpecos. I made several trips into Big Bend that year and could not remember ever seeing so much lush green foliage in the desert. The Chihuahuan desert is lush as deserts go but this was one incredible year for the transpecos.

Friday, January 2, 2009

"Land of Monoliths"

Oil on panel, 8"x8"

This is a scene found along one of the trails in Big Bend National Park where you will find monolithic uplifts, something the geologists will understand much better than I.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

"Along the Ross Maxwell"

Oil on panel, 8"x8"

Another beautiful scene along the Ross Maxwell.
Happy New Year to everyone, I am excited to see where my art will take me in 2009. I have big plans and high expectations for myself.