Saturday, December 21, 2013

Passport to Winter

"Bear Creek Tree Study" oil on canvas 8x8

Click to Bid on DPW--Thanks!
I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. 
Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn't show.

Andrew Wyeth

Happy Holidays and Winter Solstice Everyone!  Whew it’s been an exciting and hectic December which included completing and delivering a large commission (yay), a consulting project (yay again), and unfortunately a few days of being under the weather with a cold weather bug (which sounds a lot cuter than having it.)

This week though the sun returned (Wed. it was almost 70 degrees!) and that helped me quick recover and get back to teaching and painting—my two favorite things.

I also took some time out of holiday shopping to meet up with some fellow artists to see the beautiful “Passport to Paris” show at the Denver Art Museum which included 125 paintings from dozens of French masters painters.

The evolution of subject matter and style from pre French Revolution to the turn of the 20th Century was fascinating.  I particularly enjoyed the colors in these two works by Tissot and Sisley.
"The Fan" by James Tissot  1875

"The Pike" by Alfred Sisley 188
The show (as well as the Winter Solstice today) inspired me to paint a small snowscape study. After working on four 40x30 paintings I was really looking forward to painting a more manageable quick daily painting like my posting today. Looking for more winter art ideas and inspiration? Visit my Pinterest Winter's Wonderland board. Thanks and have a colorful first week of winter everyone!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Painting Around in Circles

Commission in progress 30x40 oil on canvas
Happy December everyone! This past weekend we had some nice sunny weather but tonight we’ve have an arctic cold front moving in.  As much as I’d like to get some holiday shopping done this frigid weather sounds ideal for putting finishing touches on this autumn inspired commission painting.

This is panel 2 of 3. Each “panel” is 30x40 and these have been a joy to work on—I’ve especially enjoy mixing the colors. Speaking of color, I decided to change up my color mixing routine (and when I say routine I mean like 20+ years!) for this series.

Quite simply (and intuitively) I switched to a larger circular palette. Technically I drew a large circle on a rectangular foam core board covered with plastic (paint drop cloth from Home Depot). You could also use a pizza pan or cut something into a large circle. I plan to have some foam core cut into a circle and use a large pizza box for the cover. This should work quite well.

I've used a circular palette before (the Quiller is one of my favorites for watercolor)  but like many artists for oils I’ve usually used the standard rectangle 12x16 plastic covered palette. Which is handy for pets, classes, etc. Even my small handheld palette for figure painting was a rectangle.

But I’ve found mixing in a circle even easier- I can see why it’s the preference for many artists. It feels very organic and natural. Plus, mixing color complements across the wheel is a snap. 

Since white is not one the color wheel, I’ve been putting the white sometimes in the middle and sometimes to the side. Both seem to work fine. So if you haven't painted in a circle give it a try and let me know what you think!

Before I go: Special thanks this time of year to my collectors and of course my students who continue to paint with me during a busy season.  Wishing you all a happy and colorful holiday season!