Burning the candle at both ends

My painting tonight is a representation of how I felt all day today. It’s a quick one: an unused background with a little overlay and some pen and ink.

18 - bothendofthecandleIt’s a little too serene to be a great representation of the day, but it’s certainly representative of a certain theme.

I’ve been tired this week. Last week’s painting really took it out of me. It’s was also a tough day at work. I’m glad tomorrow is Friday.

Trying a little collage

Last week I said I was working on a collage for my 6″x6″ Wild Arts Festival piece and promised to show it soon. And then I got sidetracked and made some changes and… well, I didn’t show it.

Tonight I sat down, determined to finish it and show it.

17 - ospreycollage

I’m showing it, but I’m not sure it’s finished. It still feels like it needs a little refinement.

I need to turn it in soon, though, so hopefully I’ll make up my mind soon!

First thoughts

Well, I’m halfway through with my daily painting challenge… and today it was really tough to make myself sit down and paint. Frankly, if I could have figured out a way to cheat, I would have. But I couldn’t find any new paintings to show, so I sat down anyway.

I knew I wasn’t going to produce anything great, so instead I chose to paint a photo I saw on the Driving Essentials Facebook page and asked for permission to paint.

1554411_679873638728054_1946163649547023821_nThere were several things that drew me to this photo: the horses, the birds, the quiet figure in the center of it all, and the mix of agriculture and architecture.

In the painting that I really see, the horses and the discer are smaller with the fields and birds spread out in back of them. But for tonight, I chose to just paint what I saw.

discingI can tell I’m tired, but I do see a lot of places to go in this quick study. I’m wondering if the silos are necessary; they felt like a nice contrast, but I’m wondering. The birds and their placement need a lot of work because I think they are the real story here, with the horses and discer being an entry point.

I’ll have to figure out a better way to simplfy the discer though. This is too ubrupt.

Still, it’s not a bad first thought.

Inspired by everything

Last fall I was driving home from the Watercolor Society of Oregon convention in Bandon, Oregon, when i saw an egret in a field/pond beside the road. I stopped and took some pictures

Last winter when it was so cold I did some ice painting and came up with this background.


But I NEVER would have though of putting them together until I saw “Snow Egret” by Tommer Gonser (click here to see the painting).

In order to get this just right I had to buy the white acrylic paint. And it’s taken me months to decide if it’s ready. But I think, with tonight’s coat of paint, it’s ready.

15 - egretTomorrow I will take it out in light and get a good shot of it, then I will submit this as my “critique piece” at the upcoming WSO convention. If that goes well (or I get some good feedback), I’ll probably enter this piece in the Aqueous show in the spring.

And I almost didn’t make it…

Today painting inspiration was thin on the ground and it took me until the last hours of my day to get to the drawing board. Things like grocery shopping, laundry, and putting out my first ever newsletter sucked up my time.

But when I finally sat down, my morning hike with the dogs came back to me and I decided to paint this photo of a lovely downy woodpecker I saw on our hike.

downywoodpeckerOne of my favorite bird artists is Lori Presthus because she does exquisite calm backgrounds. I resolved to try to mimic her style for this painting.

14 - downyIt’s harder than it looks, but considering how late in the day this is… I’m going to take it.

In addition to my painting a day challenge, maybe I’ll enter this in my vague idea for a “Birds of Canemah” series. So far I have my owl and this… but it’s a start.

No more painting today

Well, I did it. In fact, I more than did it. I got three paintings done, matted and framed, and entered in the Hillsboro Plein Air Plus for judging.

“In the Weeds 2” and “Turn” you saw started yesterday, but “Sunday Brunch” was all done today (inspired by the friendly ducks who hung around again.)

A heron also dropped by, but chose to hang out too far away to really do me any good (inconsiderate heron).

I spent the day out at celloplayerRood Bridge Park again, though this time no accidents (I fell in the duck pond for all those who asked (that was my accident). On the day God was giving out balance, I apparently got in some other line.) I stopped painting about 1:30 and spend the next two hours going back to the Walters Center and getting everything framed up for competition. I also talked with fiends Sandra Pearce, Steve Klier, Bonnie Burlew, and Marianne Ryder and met some new friends.

At 4:00 we we treated to a nice reception with FOOD (artists love food…) and music (a nice, very young, jazz group. I’m sorry I can’t tell you their name.)

judging1At 4:45 the artists were allowed in to look at the over 120 paintings turned in and allowed to cast their ballots for people’s choice. I don’t mind telling you, it was a touch choice for me!

Formal judging will take place in the next couple of weeks and the formal opening of the exhibit will be October 7, I’m going to mark my calendar and see if I can attend. I hope you do the same.

I have to tell you, though, I’m done painting today.

Day 1 and I should be halfway done…

So I woke up the morning and made my way across town to participate in the Hillsboro Plein Air Plus event. I scoped out the park I planned to paint in for the day, so after getting my paintings stamped, I headed over to Rood Bridge Park and set up on the side of the lily pond.

tealI started my first painting of the day. I wanted to convey the tranquility and coolness of the day, as well as busy antics of the ducks cavorting around the pond. Tentative title: “Morning Abolutions”

painting1I quickly lost the light, so I decided to switch to another view. Before I could get started, however, a friendly duck came up to check me out and have a few grains for breakfast.

One thing I liked about this area was that it is not heavily landscaped; there are weeds and native roses allowed to hip out and a variety of other interesting points.

I decided to try to capture this in my next piece, tentatively titled “In the Weeds II”; I plan to have it be similar in style to the painting that sold when I did the Johnson Creek Watershed project.

painting2I’m pleased with how this is going, though the color on this shot isn’t great. I stopped at this stage because the light was changing and I will come back to it tomorrow.

There was a lunch break, then I moved over to an afternoon spot I had picked out a few weeks ago. They have great fences here, and I thought a bright colorful painting could incorporate it.

painting3I was hoping to get more done here, but unfortunately I had an accident while I was waiting for it to dry and ended up sore and dirty. I really wanted to at least see the next stage of the event, which was a figurative quick draw, so I packed up and made my way across the park to the area the models had set up.

figurativeUnfortunately, this didn’t strike any artistic inspiration, so I went over to the duck pond and admired the ducks there.

ducks1This area has an interesting shelter, so I decided to do a little architecture piece.

painting4While the drawing on this is acceptable (and again the color isn’t coming up right on the camera I’m doing), at this point I recognized that I was getting tired. I saw sore from my accident, tired, and pretty windblown. So I decided to pack up and head home. I’ll go back tomorrow and try to finish these paintings. It’s my goal to turn in at least one for judging.

Finn and Willie were glad to see me… in a very mellow way, of course.

Cheating (ever so slightly…)

Tonight I am forced to cheat a little on my painting a day challenge.

1. I did do a painting (technically a mixed media) but it is currently covered in rocks waiting to dry. I will show it to you soon.

2. I started another painting, but the project above prevented me from getting more done on it due to lack of work space.

3. So I am showing you a piece that I almost finished last night in class; but it needed just a few more touches, which I did this evening, so I am going to count it.

11 - eri


4. Tomorrow I am headed over to the west side of town for the Hillsboro Plein Air Plus. This will be my first plein air competition. I am hoping to submit one painting for judging (heaven only knows how many I will start…) Saturday night there is a reception at the Walters Cultural Art Center. I hope some of you consider coming! I’ll try to post details soon.

5. However, I hope a lot of my friends are out doing the inaugural Highway 101 Yarn Crawl. That’s where I would be if I wasn’t doing that. My friend JJ helped organize it and it looks awesome.

7. Because JJ is organizing the crawl, I am puppy sitting this weekend. Meet Wilson (aka Willie).

wilsonWe are having a very good time so far, but I’m not sure the cats are too excited; however, they are bigger than him, so I’m not too worried. In fact, the oddest thing about Willie is that he is so small. He seems tiny to me. I don’t think of Finn (or the cats) as big, but compared to Willie, they are HUGE.

Thus ends today’s story. Hopefully I’ll have a better one tomorrow.

Traverse… super quick

Tonight I went out to a painting class at Angie Grainger‘s. She had just come back from a Robert Burridge seminar and had us do a warm up: we mixed two colors (one light, one dark), she chose a word from the dictionary, we painted in three minutes.

The word: Traverse.

I kind of like it.

10 - TraverseI did a lot of other work which I’ll detail tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’m counting this as today’s painting.

Marsh Song

I took the reference photo for this near Cascade Head on the Audubon Society of Lincoln City’s monthly trip.

09 - marshsong

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