Sunday, December 30, 2012

Winding Down with 2012

Full Moon - Winter, pastel, 6x6, SOLD
A commissioned piece painted right before Christmas!
I used my small moon studies and past experiences with painting snow to quickly execute this  special painting for a some special art collectors.

Low Sun - Winter Evening, pastel, 12x18, SOLD
Also sold to a collector as a gift to his wife for Christmas.

Melting Snow, oil, 8x10, $400. unframed, $500 framed
This small oil painting was painted last year during a plein air session. I have always liked it and did a little enhancing of added contrast, in a demo during one of my recent painting classes. 

Thank you for viewing my artwork this year!
I have a special project planned for the New Year and will announce it in tomorrow's blog.... stay tuned.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Painting From Studies III

Along the Bay, pastel, 18x24, $1500. framed

I just finished this pastel based upon the oil plein air study below.  I totally relied on the study for most of the painting. I had a few photos of the water, rocks and foreground that helped a little.
I like the vibrant color of this pastel and the loose freshness of the study. It really is hard to capture that same feeling when painting in the studio. That is why painting on location is so important to a landscape painter. To remember the feeling of the day, to simplify and edit, to record the colors and tones that natures gives us that create a natural harmony.

Bell's Bay, oil, 6x8, $300. framed

Plein air study on Bell's Bay, Charlevoix, MI.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Working From Studies II

Bell's Bay Sunset - Charlevoix, oil, 6x8, $300. framed
I painted this study while camping at Fisherman's Island State Park, near Charlevoix, MI,  last summer.
It is one of four plein air studies from the area.

Michigan Sunset, oil on linen, 24x30
I was inspired to paint this studio piece by combining the ideas from my study and a photograph of the beautiful sunset from that evening.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Working from Studies

This is the first post in a series of studio paintings that were painted from plein air studies.
Kelderhouse Road, oil, 6x8, SOLD
This study was painted during the Glen Arbor AA paint out and sold during the reception. I am glad I took a photo of it because it reminded me of why I loved the composition. The day was also very hot and the thunderheads were rolling in. I also took several reference photos.

Summer Heat, oil, 24x30Fresh from the easel, I can still make adjustments if necessary.
The studio painting includes the cumulus clouds from the photos that I took. The photos also helped with the birch grove on the left.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Paintings accepted in 6x6 Show

Autumn Harvest, oil, 6x6
Wow, I am excited to have three of my 6x6 paintings accepted into the Randy Higbee Gallery 6x6 Exhibit in Costa Mesa, CA! The whole gallery will be filled with 6x6 paintings from artists across the nation, and a large gala reception will take place with awards and usually many of these small paintings sell.

Still Life with Leek, oil, 6x6

Garlic, Eggplant and Sloans, oil, 6x6

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More October Plein Air

Autumn Fields, oil, 12x12, $800.

From the Pumpkin Fields, oil, 9x12, $650.

Icehouse and Barn, oil, 12x16, $900.

October Morning II, oil, 6x6, $250 framed

October Morning I, oil, $250. framed

Pumpkins for Sale, oil, 9x12, $650.

River Banks, oil, 12x9, $650.

October Cornfields, oil, 9x12, $650.

I was very happy to get out on those warmer mid-October days to paint out in the field. My duck boots are still mud caked, but soon to be switched to warmer winter boots!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reworked Pastels

Sometimes a painting just tells you that something needs to be changed. I unframed several paintings like that. I liked the pastels paintings, in general, but knew in my heart that they could have been a little better. The older versions are still on my web site and will be switched over around the first of November when I do my web site changes.
Looking East, pastel, 24x30. $2300. framed 
This pastel only received slight changes. I added the tracks in the road,  and broke up the road shadows. The trees were improved and the distant field and road grayed down. Overall, I like this painting even if I am the only one who notices the changes. A word of wisdom that applies here is "never leave something in a painting that does not work."

Pond Reflections-Autumn, pastel, 18x24, $1500. framed
OK, I changed the name. It was "Glorious", which was appropriate, but kind of short and not descriptive of the whole painting. The original work was painted in 2009, so I have had this painting for a little while and it had not found a home. Overall, I think the stream did not read well as a stream because it lacked the needed reflections. I am very happy with these recent changes of the reflections and some implied detail along the water's edge.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Successful Show in Kentucky

Under the Weeping Cherry, SOLD
Pear Blossoms and Bee Box, SOLD
The weather was chilly, but the sun helped to keep us warm. Overall, the show was a success with some nice sales to my collectors. The St. James Court Art Fair is a large juried show with artists attending from many states. We enjoy the southern hospitality and love staying at the Gallery House B&B! Thank you Gordon and Leah!
Awaiting Fields, SOLD

Garden Brilliance, SOLD

Peony and Nectarines, SOLD

Nectarines in a Silver Bowl, SOLD

Sunflower Field, SOLD

October Plein Air

I haven't been able to get out to paint as much as I would have liked so far this month. Now that the St. James Court Art Fair is finished, I did get to paint with Holly Sturgis last week and I went to the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute just on Friday to join the PAAWM painters. The day was sunny and brisk, very enjoyable!
Cedar Creek, oil, 12x9
Painted on Dowling Road.

Natural Beauty Road, oil, 14x11
Painted on Giles Road, south of 4 mile.

Pond in Autumn, oil, 11x14
Painted on Cedar Creek Road.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September Plein Air

Country Home, oil, 9x12, $650.
Last week I painted with the GVA plein air group at the Frozen Creek Farm. 
Glad Fields, oil, 11x14, $800.

White Farm House, oil, 9x12, $650.The childhood home of an old school friend.

Hope you enjoy my recent plein air paintings for the month of September.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Blue Moon

OK, I must admit that I was geeked over the blue moon. I even had the event marked on my calendar. There is a small lake across the street, so if the conditions are right, the moon has a nice reflection early in the morning before it disappears over the horizon. So Friday morning, I took some photos, which did not turn out well. That is alright though because I mostly work from memory with this kind of subject.

Full Moon at Sunset, pastel, 12x9, $500.
On Saturday, we visited friends in Grand Marais,  MI in the Upper Penninsula, along Lake Superior. At evening, we had a bon fire on the beach and as the spectacular sun was setting in the west, the full moon was rising in the east! This painting is a result of that wonderful sight. Great friends, good wine, gourmet food and inspiring land throughout the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Harvest Moon, pastel, 12x9, $500.
This painting was started last year in 2011 during the harvest moon. It was started and I just finished it.
Red Moon II,  pastel, 6x6, $225.
I was surprised to learn that the "Blue Moon", which is a full moon that appears twice in the same month, is also called the red moon this time of year. The moon did have an orange cast to it.

Red Moon I , pastel, 6x6, $225.
I was most interested in this composition which I will enlarge to a vertical format .

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

August Garden

Garden Shadows, oil, 11x14
I arrived at Betty's garden last week eager to do a painting of her beautiful garden. She was apologetic on the state of the blooms, I should have been there three weeks ago! Anyway that did not deter me and I thought it was nice anyway. I decided to paint a back-lit view, one that I have not tried before. I am happy with the outcome and the impressionistic brush marks suggest the many shades of pink and dark red of the phlox.

Sunny Garden, oil, 11x14, $800. framed
I painted this in 2009 at Betty's garden and still love it. I try to paint there at least once a summer. I have decided to come up with a larger composition using both studies as reference.
I hope to have this finished for the upcoming art fair at St. James Court in Louisville, KY.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Recent Plein Air Paintings

Distant Shore - Wau-ke-na, oil, 12x9
Painted last Saturday, August 24 at the  Wau-ke-Na South tract  owned by the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) during the annual Art Walk. Many artists from the Plein Air Artists of West Michigan (PAAWM) set up to paint this beautiful property. Guests were able to walk from artist to artist, look at paintings and converse with the artists. Also, the 2013 "Painted Sanctuary" Calendar was debuted and for sale. See SWMLC to find out more about the calendars and land conservancy.

Field and Distant Farm, oil, 12x16
Yesterday, I returned to the Merizon Studio property  on Kalamazoo Ave. with Barb S. and Connie K. We wanted to paint a few more pieces for the upcoming exhibit to be held in the Merizon farmhouse. There will be 20 artists from the PAAWM group showing their plein air work. The exhibit opens on Saturday, September 15 from 3-7pm.

Rose of Sharon, oil, 11x14
The second painting of the Merizon property. This corncrib is in beautiful condition, though not as red as this photo makes my painting look! The flowering trees were in their prime as they framed the front of the building. I invented the foreground shadow to create more contrast and the added diagonal repeats the other diagonals within the composition. I like the feeling of bright light of this afternoon painting.

Two Pines, oil, 9x12
My second painting of the day at the Wau-ke-na Art Walk event.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

ARTPRIZE painting completed

Elements of Rock and Water, oil on linen, 40x60

Whew! I am finally finished. At least for now because I may still have to do some tweaking. The last stretch of finishing the sunlit rock in the middle and completing the water took at least 10 hours of very steady painting. It helped to make big piles of mixed colors and I did not want to stop too long for the color to dry out. I also tweaked the dry areas quite a bit by scumbling to lighten and gray down areas and glazing to darken and warm or cool areas.

This painting will be exhibited during ArtPrize 2012 at "THE SPOT", the Federal Square Building, 29 Pearl St., Grand Rapids. If you are wondering what ArtPrize is, check out the web site at   ArtPrize starts Wednesday, September 19. I will be there from 6-8pm on the opening day, Friday 6-10pm, Saturday 12-3pm, Sunday 3-6pm and the following Thursday the 27th from 12-2:30pm. Please stop in to say Hi!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Painting Progression III

 I had the opportunity to participate in the Water Street Wet Paint event last weekend in Douglas, MI. I will be posting the paintings that I did from that event soon. Still need to photograph them!
Painting at Oval Beach, Douglas, MI

Elements of Rock and Water, oil, 40x60

I just finished painting the rocks....for now. It took much longer than I anticipated. I will study the progress I have made and probably make some minor changes as I tackle the water. The turquoise strip of water you see will most likely change as I determine the colors to create a sense of depth.
Painting the water could take a few I hope to complete this painting by Friday.
Look for the final outcome then.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Painting Progression II

Here I have included my palette as I worked on the sky and distant trees. I have actually progressed much more than this, with much of the time focused on the large rock. I just need to work a few more hours and will photograph and post my most recent progress.

Watch for the next blog....coming soon.