Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Flower Still Life

Hydrangeas and Lilies, oil on linen panel, 20x16, currently $1350. unframed
Painted on a beautiful surface of fine linen (L600) from New Traditions Panels.

I started this painting about four weeks ago and it has been a work in progress. Even though the majority of the painting was finished from the still life, I repeatedly went in to repaint areas to soften edges and change small areas by glazing. I thought I would post it for this Easter weekend as the white lilies and blue hydrangeas give us hope for a new season. Rejoice!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Preview of Summer Color

Lilies and Phlox, pastel, 20x30, $1900. framed with AR glass

Summer is a few months away and I am craving more color! Michigan is very drab this time of year.
I have painted in this garden many times through the years and it has provided an large source of inspiration for me. This new painting is a studio painting. I used my artistic license to change the background and changed the pink phlox to white. This is the same corner garden, only looking towards the bench instead of the trellis, and I left out the fence. You can do those things as an artist and I hope you think it works. I may still paint a studio piece based on the Garden Shadows, below.This new pastel painting will be featured in my first summer show at the KIA, Bronson Park, Kalamazoo on June 7-8. See my web site for my complete summer show schedule for 2013.

oil plein air, 2011, SOLD

Garden Shadows, oil plein air, 2012, 11x14, $800.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Plein Air at Hemlock Crossing

Using my new EasyL Prochade box at Hemlock Crossing Park in West Olive, MI. I was here painting with the Plein Air Artists of West Michigan, and painting nearby was Barb Berens and Sharon Griffs-Tarr.
This is a very nice park with many walking trails, the Pigeon River and has a new educational nature center.

The day was overcast even though the forecast was for sunny weather! 

I decided to pushed the color a little to add variety and depth. You can see there are a lot of grays and browns in this landscape, so I mixed up a variety of warm and cool grays.

March Thaw, oil, 8x10, plein air on the Pigeon River.
The finished painting. I added a little more snow and warmed up the grasses.  I initially did not have any Yellow Ochre on my palette (I was mixing up a similar color), and then finally relented because the painting just needed the extra color intensity in the right bank and nearer grasses.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


This weekend I had the opportunity to participate in the Grand Rapids Art Museum's event called "Art in Bloom". The event was originally geared for floral designers to create a floral sculpture inspired by a work of art in the museum. In the last three years, they also have invited four "plein air" artists to set up a still life in the museum and paint while the guests meandered and voted on their favorite floral design. This year we painted for three hours on Saturday. I decided to keep it simple so I could finish my painting during that time. I choose to paint carnations and had the idea to paint them laying on the table in a simple arrangement. It wasn't as easy to arrange them as I thought it would be, but stuck to my initial concept. The painting surface is the same as the painting in the last blog, an 8x12 oil primed linen mounted on a birch panel. I am happy with the result.
Carnations, oil on linen panel, 8x16, $850. framed
at the museum

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March Plein Air

Today I went out plein air painting. It was in the mid 30's with bright sunshine, I soon felt overdressed!
This place is near to my home and I discovered it last fall, thinking it would be a good painting spot. I am set up on a flat earthen ledge, held up by a tree and the roots. I kind of felt safe, though I was concerned about my sled of equipment sliding down into the river. Overall, I was excited to try this new size format for a painting panel. I am also thinking that this composition will translate well into a larger painting of the same subject.
A start.... using a limited palette of Titanium white, Chromatic Black, Yellow Ochre Light, Yellow Ochre, Cad Red Light, Transparent Oxide Red, Transparent Brown, Alizarin Crimson, Ultra blue and Cobalt Blue.
The panel was already toned with raw sienna and dry before I started. My medium is Gamsol, Linseed oil and damar varnish in a 5-1-1 ratio. The easel is a ProChade box kit by Artwork Essentials. It fits into a backpack!

Making progress....
"River Banks - Spring Thaw", oil on linen, 8x16, $950 framed
The oil primed linen is mounted on a birch panel. A pleasure to use!

As you can see this final picture of the painting was taken in my studio and the lighting is different than the outdoor light. The studio light is more on the yellow side.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Few New Pastels

February Moon, pastel, 6x6, $225.
Again, I was excited by the possibilities of another full moon painting.
I was happy the sky was clear and the moon quite large as it rose up from the horizon. I drove around  that evening until I could decide on a composition, and memorized the colors as best as I could. Immediately upon returning home, I drew it out in pastel. The pink/orange glow was present.

Hay Bales After the Rain, pastel, 12x16. $750.

This pastel painting was referenced by on oil sketch done on location in 2011. The plein air outing was interupted by rain, so I painted it fast and furious! I loved the oil painting (9x12) and decided to try a larger size in pastel. I changed the shapes of the tree line and the foreground is more detailed in the pastel. Overall, I like both paintings a lot!

Bay Sunset, pastel, 18x12, $900.

Painted from a digital photo reference. This painting will probably be at North Seas Gallery this summer unless it sells first!

Thank you for viewing my art!