Another treasure on the beautiful Rocker U Ranch northwest of Del Rio, Texas. This old shearing barn is a remnant from years past when shearing sheep and goats was common to Texas Hill Country ranch life.
This painting is a compilation of multiple reference photos of my sons' horses on the Crescent Cross Ranch in Point Comfort, Texas. The photo is a bit washed out on the right as the painting is hanging in a dining room with the windows to the right.
Another plein air peice from the Rocker U Ranch northwest of Del Rio. Just an incredible experience to paint there.
My setup for At the Water Trough. I purposely left the windmill out of this painting as the strong vertical structure would have been to high in the painting and caused the eye to run off the panel or would have been to close to the edge.
Oil on Panel, 12"x12"
I painted this scene en plein air in the late morning and early afternoon light at the Rocker U Ranch northwest of Del Rio, Texas. Just an incredibly beautiful place. I have to thank Mr. Dougal Cameron and family for allowing me the opportunity to visit and paint on this magnificent piece of heaven on earth. I am a true lover of this rugged transition between the Edwards Plateau and Chihuahuan Desert regions.
I did this painting at the beautiful Rocker U ranch northwest of Del Rio, Texas. This old rock house may have belonged to original homesteaders. The photo is a bit weak in color and contrast as it was taken indoors at night with poor lighting.
Here I am on location at the Rocker U painting the Old Rock House
Me and David Smith of Kerrville, Texas painting at Brooks Lake, high in the Absoroka Mountains of Wyoming. Photo from Parting Shots of OutdoorPainter.com. Note: Our identities were mixed up by the publication. That is me on the left of the photo. The painting I was working on was posted on Oct. 5th.
I have painted a similar scene before a little larger and with much more detail. I wanted to keep this piece as simple as possible, yet enough detail to describe the scene properly. Painted from photos taken in Big Bend National Park.
Oil on panel, 6"x8"
A close up of Sage growing in the Wyoming Badlands. I love the character of these bushes and they are fun to paint. I focused on accentuating the warm and cool contrasts of the scene.
Another plein air piece from Dubois that is 99% as I painted it on location and again, pretty pleased with this attempt. The only modification I had to make was covering the sky again because of streaks and unpainted holes in it. This lake is at a high altitude and the sun was incredibly intense on the day I was there. I know I could improve upon this painting if given another chance but it is definitely one of my better pieces of the week in Wyoming.
My painting of Brooks Lake in progress. I altered the mountain formations in the background to a more simplified shape.
I think this may have been my most successful piece while in Wyoming. I did have to repaint the sky after getting home, it had streaks and wasn't completely covered in paint, otherwise this is as it was completed in the Badlands of Wyoming. This scene reminded me of my many excursions to Big Bend. The land forms, colors and vegetation looked very familiar and made me feel like I was in Texas. The distant mountain actually has a well known and distinctive landmark named the Rams Horn as you can see in my setup photo below. I avoided painting that point because it would be way to distracting and stand out to much. By avoiding the peak it allows the eye to focus in the arroyo rather than the distant mountain.
My setup for the above painting.
My painting about 75% complete and about 2 hours in.
This painting was completed on location in Dubois, Wyoming in windy and cold conditions. Being from Texas and not having painted much in cold before I can say it isn't bad if the wind isn't blowing. Add the wind factor to cold and basically standing in one spot for a couple hours and that does not bode well for this native Texan. Below is the scene as I encountered it. I did not want to paint a large mass of trees with a small portion of mountain in view so I lowered the tree tops to below the mountain tops emphasizing the mountain heights and avoiding any tangents. I'm not real crazy about this painting as their are several things I would change for a studio piece.
Painted en plein air in the same location as "Glowing Aspens". I pulled way in on my view of this scene which made working out the composition more difficult. I wanted to emphasize the light on the background mountain but again lost the magic of this piece while chasing the light. All in all the painting isn't a total failure but it could have been much nicer.
A close up view of my scene.
My painting in progress. Again, the painting was nicer in this stage, I have to remind myself that finishing a piece is not my goal or purpose in painting plein air.
I started this piece a while back and put it aside for awhile. I wanted to try to finish it up and move on to some other projects. I don't know that I won't add a few strokes here and there but it is complete for the most part. Painted from photos I took in Basalt, Colorado.
I made slight modifications to this piece and also noticed the bright blues in the water did not match the actual painting, I had photographed this piece outside and did not compare the photo to the actual painting when I posted it. The second time around I photographed it inside as I normally do.
Oil on panel 6"x8"
Now this painting I feel like I totally ruined by chasing the light. If you plein air paint then I think you know what I mean. I blocked the painting in and began pushing my lights and shadows and after a while the light had changed so significantly that I tried to adjust to how the shadows and lights had changed. That can be disastrous.... live and learn right?
My setup of a beautiful scene that I just couldn't capture. This is one I would liked to have tried again but I had one ride out of this area and had to leave shortly after finishing the above painting.
This was before I ruined it. I wish I could revert back to where it is in this photo.
While attending the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation workshop in Dubois from September 15th -21st they provided a mentoring program for students of Dubois. I volunteered and was assigned a young man named Conner (seen in the photo below). We worked side by side as I instructed him through the process of attempting to complete a difficult river scene in rain, cold, and occasional sunny conditions. The elements made for a very difficult morning of painting but possibly the process of guiding Conner through his painting had me concentrating on what I know and I created what might be my best painting while there.
Conner, a student in Dubois, Wyoming painting alongside my easel with my painting in progress.
The initial setup of River from the Bridge in Rain.
Another piece painted on location in Dubois, Wyoming. Not many of the aspens had changed yet but this area was a higher elevation and maybe these trees had encountered more cold to get ahead of others. I took full advantage of bright sunlight hitting this group with layers of mountains just behind them to really set them off.
I just got back last weekend from a week long workshop in Dubois Wyoming, the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation workshop. What a great experience and much more to come about that later in my blog. I painted 9 pieces plein air but they all took quite a bit of abuse as I painted in wind, sun, clouds, rain and cold and all combinations thereof. I do not have a wet panel carrier.... (sheeesh) so I would place my wet paintings in a bag to carry around. One painting fell into my palette and I had to scrape large amounts (globs) of paint off the bottom. The above painting is actually the one that happened to. Many have hand and or thumbprints from catching my falling easel in the wind. A couple had streaks from the rain drops on the painting repelling the paint as I applied it. But I got through it all and came home with fever and a cold. I have spent the week attempting to touch up the scratches, nicks and smears on all the pieces and make some small adjustments. I am rusty doing plein air work and it shows but it was a lot of fun.
Oil on panel, 8"x10"
This piece is entirely conceptual and is very similar to one of my previous paintings. My focus was to keep it simple and with little detail, the color is the focus on this painting. The photo does not quite depict the intensity of the hillside color but it is close.
I have been toying with this piece since this past Saturday and have altered it beyond recognition of the original underpainting. Sometimes they evolve rather easily and maintain much of the original composition and other times nearly every detail is reworked until a balance exists between all elements. I'm not sure I will leave it alone or not, but time will tell.
A new photo of this painting shows the sky a little better without so much glare.
Oil on linen canvas, 24"x24"
This is a repaint of and older piece that was done way to dark and I felt was worth the effort to rework it. I got a little reflection off the right side of the canvas in the sky in the photo but it's the best I could do. I took quite a bit of liberty recreating this work from the original photo which had very little detail in it. I strengthened color and simplified the composition hopefully creating a stronger painting.
The above photo used as a reference for the painting Sundown in Cypresswood was taken through the windshield of my car while driving down the road in my neighborhood. I used the far left side and modified the tree structure and design. I removed the road and created a meadow. I thought this might be an insight into how I use reference material by recreating the scene to make the painting a work of art.