Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Judicious Crop

Tidewater Reflection left cropped

Tidewater Reflection top/bottom cropped

Tidewater Reflection as painted
5"x5" oil on treated paper

One thing about painting on paper, if you don't like the result you can always do some cropping. Which one do you like best?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Cirrus Over Tidewater

Cirrus Over Tidewater
5"x5" oil on acrylic on treated paper
$50 (includes 8"x8" mat for framing)

I think I'll close out September with a couple more of the Tidewater paintings for which I've already done the under paintings. I wanted this one to be about the sky, and how better to make that happen than with the cirrus clouds (from a previous cloud study) that are with us so often this time of year?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Katahdin from Twin Pines

Katahdin from Twin Pines
8"x10" oil on linen panel

The initial drawing in paint with sky test dabs

On Friday I painted sitting in an Adirondack chair at the Twin Pines resort enjoying a beautiful view of Mount Katahdin. And had lunch in their nice restaurant. Some days it's so much fun to be a plein air painter!

I very much enjoyed my stay in Millinocket and environs. I highly recommend the Young House B and B, located around the corner from North Light Gallery. It's very comfortable and well appointed, and they have a great breakfast. I also enjoyed dinner at the Appalachian Trail Cafe, where I was able to find my friend Jim's trail name on the ceiling, where through hikers record their finish. And the food was great too.

For wonderful views of the mountain, take Millinocket Lake Road out of town toward the park. Just before Millinocket Lake, there's a road to the right for the Twin Pines resort, with the view in the painting above. Or, beyond the lake, take the Golden Road. It's dirt, so drive carefully and look out for fast moving logging trucks. Just after Abol Bridge, there's a parking lot on the left, with a road out the back that goes along the west branch of the Penobscot River. Along the left side of this road there are nice views of the mountain over the rushing river. Back on the Golden Road heading northwest, there are many places to view the mountain. Particularly nice, with the rushing river in the foreground, is the Cribworks, just of the Golden Road on Telos Road, where the painting from my last post was done. This is an area active with white water rafters in the summer. I'm sorry we were too late to see them.

The Katahdin area is beautiful, even without going into Baxter State Park. I'm looking forward to my next visit.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Artist Paints the Falls

Artist Paints the Falls
8"x10" oil on linen panel

Value under painting

The scene at the Cribworks

On Wednesday I drove to Millinocket Maine, to participate in the Katahdin Paint Out sponsored by Marsha Donahue and the North Light Gallery. I'd never been there before, and hadn't seen the mountain that I'd heard so much about. More about that tomorrow!

Marsha did such a good job for us, with organization, food and drink, and teaming those of us from away with local painters. Yesterday I went on a great tour with Candy McKellar and Peter Yesis, thanks Candy! We saw some beautiful places to paint, and spent some quality painting time at the Cribworks on the Golden Road. I was a bit overwhelmed by the scene, with the mountain, the cliffs, the trees, and the rushing water. People are not so intimating! So I quickly sketched in one of the other painters and did a value under painting. It only took a few minutes to paint the figure, but the rest was another story. Especially the foamy rushing water. I think I finally pulled it together.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Tidewater in progress
8"x10" oil

Do you ever quickly block in a painting and then not want to ruin it? That's where I am with this one. I was just playing around at the end of a teaching session, and wiped off the bottom at least once, but now I kind of like it. But I know it's not finished.

Note the barely visible grid marks I used to make sure I got the drawing flat enough. It's very easy in this kind of painting to make the water/mud part take up too much vertical space.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Red Sailboat Waits

Red Sailboat Waits
5"x5" acrylic on paper

I've painted this before in oil. It's interesting to try the same painting in different mediums.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Islands Again

Islands II
6"x8" acrylic on paper
$50, click here to purchase

After painting the Islands in pastel, I wanted to try it in acrylic, to see of I could get the same effect using a palette knife. What do you think? I'm thinking it might be kind of nice on a great big canvas...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Value Underpaintings

5"x5" value under paintings on Canson Canvapaper

These three paintings were done in acrylic. It took about 15 minutes to paint each one. Look at the dark part of the trees on the left side of the top image. Can you see the two dots of purple? Squint, and look again. Can you still both of them? Those dots were made as I was mixing the darks for the trees and testing that it was the right value. When the dot is the right value, it disappears when you squint. This is the approach I take with my students. We work on value under paintings first, and then paint over them, in either oil or acrylic, using the under painting to help us find the appropriate values. Another benefit of under painting is that it can also show through in places, and since it's basically a complimentary color to the blue and green of most landscapes, it provides a pleasing contrast.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Tidewater in Secondaries

Tidewater in Secondaries
5"x5" oil on paper
$50 click here to purchase

I'm enjoying playing around with color in this Tidewater scene. Alfred (Chip) Chadbourn, whose life and paintings we are currently celebrating in Yarmouth, was fond of the secondary colors, and used them frequently in his paintings. I took a leaf from his book for this one.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tidewater Greens

Tidewater Greens
5"x5" oil on treated paper
$50 (includes 8"x8" mat for framing)

I'm fascinated with this vista at Tidewater Farm. And the shady white pine and the breeze from the water make for a very pleasant painting experience. Here's the first of a series of color explorations of this scene. I added sap green and very little phthalo green to my normal limited palette.