First, I must thank my dear cousin, Mary Kay, for sharing photos of her recent travels to France. When my youngest has flown from the nest I plan to travel to Europe and paint to my heart's content.
This amazing opera house was built in 1860. One of my favorite artists, Degas, found his inspiration here for his stunning ballet paintings. If you get a chance, check out an image of this opera house, it is breathtaking. Here, I chose to focus on a more intimate image of a tourist on the steps of The Paris Opera.
Some days I get overwhelmed, usually by things outside of painting. When this happens I have to ride it out. One thing that helps is to hit the "reset" button. Go back to my familiar and one of those things is painting roosters or chickens. Ha! So when you see these little guys that is usually what this means. I just reread the other day something from one of my all time favorite painters (Kevin Macpherson) basically he says: You may find that you paint boldly some days and other days delicately this is a good thing and it keeps your process from becoming a formula. Hopefully this feisty guy will get me back in the groove.
Sometimes we may take for granted the amazing "show" in the sky that is put on everyday. Some of course are more spectacular than others. For instance this sunset almost seemed to take on a swirling life of its own, very mesmerizing. It almost appears to represent a globe with countries and oceans morphing in the sky. Almost makes me dizzy. Ok, I will stop talking now :)
While sitting in the stands at my kid's high school football game, I couldn't help notice how beautiful everything was with the beautiful backdrop of the sky at sunset. I took out my phone and took pictures. A lady next to me asked if we had a child playing. I told her no, my kids are here with friends and I just couldn't resist taking a pic of the gorgeous sky. but, I thought to my nerdy self, this would make a great painting.
Sometimes a painting paints itself, when that happens you enjoy the moment. Everything you've learned over the years seems to jump into place; the technical, the creative, the sensitivity, the feeling. However, many times are a learning experience. Sometimes things just don't flow, you may have to scrape the panel and start over. I did this a few times with the tree and foreground almost to the point of saying forget it. I am glad I stayed patient, I am happy with that darn tree now.
Soybeans to the left of me and cornfields to the right. It is very easy to fall into the trap of getting caught up in the details of a field. I try to capture them in as few well meaning strokes as I can but enough to read well. My favorite part is the subtleties of the sky of this lazy hazy summer day.
I was taking my Kindergartner to school yesterday and asked him to take my phone and snap away and the beautiful sunrise. My only request is that he get the ground and the sky in them. When I got home I was thrilled to see he took some very inspiring pics. Thanks Kiddo!
Driving home from a wedding reception, we chose to take the backroads. I had my camera out and was snapping away as usual. It was a hot, muggy day. The skies looked heavy like they could open up and rain any minute. For some reason this "spoke" to me. I am happier with this one in person than I am of this digital image but I think this comes close. Anyway, the lighting, the lines, the greens, the Queen Anne's Lace growing along this intersection grabbed my attention. Let me know what ya think. I love to hear if something strikes you when you least expect it.
The "dusk series" continues. I am really enjoying studying the colors of the landscape at dusk. Please note the extra texture in this photo is from the under layer of primer and is not as prominent in person. I love the texture, it might be a little primitive but it's how I roll. To me it is all a part of the process and I love looking closely at other artist's paintings and seeing the journey the artist took to the painting's completion.
I just love the richness of color as the dusk slips into night. Almost a melancholy feeling in a good way! On this painting I worked with texture and allowing a portion of the dark under-painting become an important part of the darker objects in the scene.
I really enjoy low light studies. The colors and value are subtle yet definite. These make me want to do some nocturne paintings soon. Unfortunately this is another one of those times that the camera just doesn't pick up the whole range of color. For instance the darker value in the sky is much richer with a warm lavender hue.
Back to the 6x6". I will definitely do some more 8x8's in the future. I really like the softness of the color and brushstrokes in this one. If you look at a large amount of my paintings I seem to have in general, one style but with two sub-styles if that makes any sense, ha. One being bold, sharp brush strokes and one being softer. I may be boring you with this, sorry if you are still reading my rambling, carry on :)
This will be my last 8x8 for a little while. I really enjoyed the "bigger" paintings. However, it is back to the 6x6" tomorrow. Here the cows were put out in the newly harvested corn field. I am not cow savvy, do they eat corn? They seemed pretty happy to be out there.
Today I tried to keep in mind that less is more. Keep it simple. In other words, put down as much as I can with as little as possible expressing it all with shape, tone and color. I have been painting for years and still have to remind myself of this little tidbit.
I am really enjoying these 8x8 sized paintings. You wouldn't think so, but they are so much bigger than the 6x6 I normally paint on. Anyway, this clear, crisp day up on a ridge was a lot of fun to paint. You could just feel in the air that Autumn is right around the corner. Of course, today is a different story. Very warm and humid, kind of like a rain forest. Like "they" say in so many places, "if you don't like the weather, stick around it will change".
Another larger painting for me. That's two in the last week, I am on a roll! I had to do a double-take when I saw these guys on an Indiana farm. When I think longhorns I think Texas. Sure enough there are longhorns in my area. Of course I stayed on my side of the fence this time!
These colorful, quaint little cottages are almost extinct. Most have given way to the high rise. Lot more money to be made that way. These 50's reminiscent structures take you back in time. Here the sun was setting on the palm tree lined strip behind the cottages. You almost had to squint to see them. However their silhouette of "muted" color was awesome.
I love taking pictures of cows and sheep. They are so curious. Painting them on the other hand is a handful. The wont to get into everything. Best to have a fence between you. As tasty as art supplies look they are not healthy to eat.
My older kids have helped out with volunteer work with their youth group for a few years now. They travel to West Virginia in the Spring and always come home with great stories and pictures. Kind of like home, the weather would change drastically within a few hours. Here the cold, misty morning was breaking into warm sunshine. Thanks for the great pics guys!