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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Creekside Birch Plein Air Oil Painting

Creekside Birch, 8X10 Oil on stretched Linen. SOLD I went to Caspers Wilderness Park out the Ortega Hwy on Friday the 13th, it was a lucky day for me. The rain held off in the distance while I sketched this lovely scene in tonal red-browns on my canvas. I spent the rest of the time mixing the colors I saw on my palette to match the values I placed down in the preliminary oil sketch.

I love creeks but this was a mountain lion country and I was alone out there after a group of artists who were a distance from me left. So being all alone was not a wise thing to be doing there. I was given a bright yellow warning sheet about it being mountain lion country and I didn't read it until afterwards. I heard one trail horse whinny it's heart out while it's owner's left it at the corral. I walked over to her, gave her a pet and left, happy to have been spared any wild animal confrontations. Back to the beginning, below you see the scenery where I first started the painting, blue sky was poking through the puffy clouds. It was brisk and windy. The trees in the background were shadowed as the sun was behind them and to the west. My umbrella took flight and crashed several times into the creek, it's time for a new one. I loved the sound of the babbling brook as it had many rocks. I found lots of animal tracks so I knew to make it quick here, I have been in many situations of seeing mountain lions and bears.

The second image shows the tonal oil sketch, it looks very antique like the old masters drawings. But this was an important first step to grab the values on the scene so I could then develop the composition and the real look. I began mixing colors after some breakfast and thoroughly enjoying my solitude, my Jeep was 200 feet away, so I felt okay for awhile. When I got many puddles of distinctive oil colors down on my glass palette, I packed it up, said my blessings to God and Almighty Nature for my splendid time and drove away. I had to stop and take several pictures of the windmill and old corral that was placed there in 1940 by O'Neill, a cattle rancher. I will paint that old red windmill sometime. When I got home and rested a bit, I began the color application of the painting and it went rapidly, I was done in less than 3 hours because I knew where to place my colors I mixed and had a bunch of fine digital images from my SLR camera. I also had a lot of the paint puddles left, so two days later while they were still wet, I painted this small 6X6 on gesso board with the same colors and I was tickled pink that the painting went super fast, like 45 minutes to finish a 6X6! Maybe it's the gessoboard, the brush slid that oil paint on like butter. I kind of like this little one better, it has spontaneity and freshness to it. I also departed from the first painting as I reached a comfort zone and dipped into my artistic soul for adding triumphant brushstrokes and color. Which one do you like? I really want to keep one because I would like to paint this scenery again, only larger and I need the actual colors I blended to do that. One last trick I placed scratch lines with a dental tool on each painting to make the white birch branches, it looks very natural and adds some spice.

Creekside Birch #2, 6X6, oil on gessoboard. $50.00, maybe it will go on eBay. I will add a link later.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Crystal Cove Beachgoers, Plein Air Oil Painting

2/3/2009, Image was updated. Crystal Cove Beachgoers, 20"Wide x 16" High. Plein Air style by Esther Williams, Oil on linen, hand stretched over stretchers bars. Wired at the back, ready for framing in a plein air style frame. Done completely on location en plein air. Price $650.00 plus S&H. This is the first time in five years that a painting this large has been done on site. I felt a surge this time to go large and I did with confidence. This is painted from the Burger Shack at Crystal Cove State Beach, in front of the Beachcomber Restaurant. So many people saw me paint this and they loved it. I was taken by the compliments during the two days of painting such a wonderful setting. I will sell the original and probably do limited edition giclees on canvas from order. I wanted to combine the ambiance of the beach attendees and the beauty of the tropical paradise. It is drying as we speak. This might go on exhibition. Stay tuned for more info. Send me an email via my Profile for any details. I handed out so many biography's this past weekend over this painting experience, it was exhilarating.