Tuesday, September 22, 2015

going up

About next location: the tree trunk leads up, side branch on left, top green, vines coming down diagonal from top center down to lower right corner, upper right silhouette leaves high up, reaching like a web across space to touch vine tendrils in center, central intersecting leafy vine. I admire Asher Durand trees that go up and wind around and trunk gets smaller. Can I do that? Can I depict the space between vines and leaf nets? After scouting my yard, I placed my stool where I had the best view. What I wanted would have been impossible to shoot with a camera. Close range. Looking straight up. Not about the sky or vanishing points per se.

After lunch and a nap, I was ready to T-R-Y another location. Today, Thursday, Sept. 3rd I worked from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on this "going up" piece.

With my wooden easel tied up by the pond, I tried a temporary easel to hold up my cradled panel. I used an iron planter post. After several tries and moving the post around, the panel was balanced on the hook, and the post leaned forward toward me, but kept the panel elevated fine the rest of that first afternoon. Ha.

To be sure, this was an extreme experiment. Could I paint something very close to me - that went up up up - without the aid of a preliminary drawing? The answer to that remained to be seen.

This is what is beside me. Shows left vertical branch and some of the upper foliage.

Above me. Shows crossing vines with light and darker leaf nets behind it.

The tip top branches in the sky. The labyrinth of crossing illumined leaves.
Leaves draped over vines, hanging down shapes.

Close up of trunk with olive green bark at a juncture.

What will I squeeze onto my 43 by 34 inch panel?

The seven videos gives you an idea of the time I am spending and practices I go through. Like, spraying down the area and my clothing with bug spray. The looking back and forth at the subject. And so forth.

Going Up 1. Seven minutes


Going Up 2. Fourteen minutes.

Going Up 3. Eleven minutes. During the course of the video notice how the light changes from cloudy to bright. Light changes the subject you paint outdoors. The artist paints in an ever changing environment.

Going Up 4. Four minutes. The next day, Friday, Sept. 4th, I worked in the afternoon again from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, or there about. I started out with the temporary easel, but found out once I started to paint that it wasn't going to work for me this day. Sigh.

Going Up 5. Thirty-five seconds. Ooops.

Going Up 6. Fourteen minutes. With the panel on the regular easel I went back to work. On this second afternoon the painting went through many changes. (See next photos. Double click to enlarge)

Going Up 7. Five minutes. By the time I stopped for the day, I had painted out much of the painting. Down to what I could call essentials.

On Saturday, Sept. 5th, I spoke about this work. Four minutes.

Because of what I learned from two other paintings, I returned to this work a week later Wednesday, Sept. 16th, from 2:00 to 4:40 pm. See the fresh paint, next. Double click to see enlarged. Compare with previous states.

painting notes C

Detail 1

Detail 2

On Saturday, Sept. 5th, 
I spoke about this piece. Five minutes.

Detail 3

Detail 4

Detail 5

Elements At Woodward, 
acrylic on panel, 
32 by 28 inches, 

Monday, September 21, 2015

painting notes J

On Sept. 5th I spoke about this piece.
Two minutes.

Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3

Detail 4

River Side, acrylic on panel, 24 by 37 inches, 2009. Double click to enlarge.

This is what it looked like when I painted the clouds that day, next.

Later, I decided I liked the bottom portion of the painting, next.

Monday, September 14, 2015

painting notes D

Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3

On Saturday, Sept. 5th, I spoke
about this work. Four minutes.

"Unlocked," graphite drawing, June 20, 2014
Double click to see enlarged.

 Unlocked, acrylic on canvas, 24 by 20 inches, 2013

painting outdoors

You are me. Questions that a painter asks when working outdoors.
Four minutes.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

painting notes B

On Saturday, Sept. 5th, I spoke about 
this piece. Four minutes.

Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3

Detail 4

Early layout.

Jungle In The Side Yard, 
acrylic on cradled panel, 24 x 24 inches.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

pond painting

      Our property has a natural waterway along the southern edge. Many tall trees, some with vines, and with some undergrowth. To the west, our lawn touches a pond that runs the length of the Colborn sub- division. As land was sold, houses have popped up around it. It has a shallow depth and in the summertime is completely covered with duckweed. People ask me how the fishing is. I have no idea. I do not fish. And it is not my pond to manage. For which the geese that frequent our property are grateful. The past three weeks a number of geese have bedded down in the shade, nibbing, and pooping, and not being disturbed by outside visitors.
     I had scouted a handful of scenes in our yard and placed a wooden stump seat by each. So when Thursday morning came I was ready to begin. Suited up, I carefully carried supplies down to the pond. As always, not knowing what would be accomplished. My main objective was to T-R-Y. As it turned out I spent two mornings on the pond piece. And after lunch and a nap, I worked on a second piece of equal size, at another location on the property. This post covers the progress I made over the mornings of Sept. 3rd and 4th.

A stump to sit on. Supplies ready. Blank canvas measured 30 by 40 inches, edged with blue tape.

The palette started out with Utrecht phthalo blue, titanium white, cadmium orange, and crimson alizarin red. From this I mixed the colors I needed. Later I added Hansa Yellow Pale.

Unpacking tripod and EasyL paint kit and paints.
Video is three minutes.

At 10 am the sun began to peek over the tree tops. That was an element I wanted to keep. (detail)

There were trunks standing in the water. (detail)
A lovely reddish dirt bank curving toward me on the left side.

And a swarm of small yellow pond flowers with orange stems and green leaves at my feet. A simple blue wash for that. (detail)

At 12:30 Thursday midday I stopped as the light had changed significantly.
    The next morning (Friday) I got up earlier and began at 7:00 am. I wanted to work on areas in the shade. The surface on the pond was questionable. I liked an sunlight on the left side of the middle trees near the bank, but I did not want scattered sunlight to the right. It was as you see in the above detail, all over the place. It would obscure the elements I wanted to showcase. See next detail. I removed the sunlight patterns my eye was seeing.

Next detail, off to the far left, the lawn grass was as green and vibrant as ever. Darker colors helped subdue their brilliance.

Where the trees meet the front yard was a problem. I wanted the eyes looking in the backyard, where my design was. So I darkened the edge. Compare next two details, before and after.


Above detail, I brought blues down into the flower area. Dotted yellow, orange green stem swoops, and some greens that I used elsewhere in the painting. That was one reason I got up earlier. To see what the flower patch looked like in the shade. Next detail. Double click to see enlarged.

This photo of the flowers showed its denseness. My version suggests what my eye was seeing. The color decisions are more valuable than the quantity of plants. The kind of yellow, the orange-green swoops, the strong blues, these make the flower area a part of the whole painting. The same colors need to be distributed in brush strokes throughout the painting. That is what gives the whole painting "harmony."

Nine minutes.
and then
 and then 

and then

The sun peeking over the tree tops was kept. White titanium sunburst. An off-white mixed-blue diffuses off to the left and the right. The way the tops of the tree clusters taper down to the sides and the way the sunburst is central at the top was intentional.

The reddish dirt bank was tricky. The colors on either side of the bank made it too blue or too purpley. It took some doing to make it reddish.
The eye goes to the sun patch and follows the bank on the left side forward to the flower patch. The secondary sun patterns also draw the eye forward to the patch.

Hoping only to work for an hour stretched into two and then three hours. Soon it was 10:00 am and the sun peeked over the tree tops. Now was the time to wrap it up. Keep the elements I wanted.

     The surface of the pond to the middle and right needed to be de-emphasized. Made uninteresting. I mixed a blue gray. It wasn't until the next day, and my wife pointed it out, that I realized what that gray shape did to the whole design. It helped create depth. It divided the pond to a far side and a near side. See next detail. It was not my intention, but I am going to keep it for now.

What I have so far, next image. Letting it breathe.
Me getting used to it. Okay with what I have.

This shows the painting on a wall in our house, next.