Saturday, June 27, 2009


This is a painting I did behind the Kingstad Center at the Wetlands. It is just 5 x 5 and I put it in a frame today. I am thinking about adding it to the show at the Gorge White House. I will be driving my paintings there on Monday. Today I submitted my entries to the Hood River Plein Air Competition. Don't forget to do this--the deadline is Tuesday. (How to apply) I hope I get in! I've painted in the competition every year so far...but every year that I submit I get nervous not knowing if I will be accepted or not. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Green...Green....Green... part II

Katherine van Schoonhoven and I went to Whitaker Pond Natural Area today. I spent quite a lot of time sketching the trees in my sketchbook before I started painting. Despite my good planning, my painting became a scraper in short order. I took a couple photos, however, and later in the afternoon I painted the painting above from my photo. I think it worked out pretty well-- I had spent so much time really looking at things earlier the memory was still fresh in my mind.  It was a very pleasant outing... Katherine and I agreed that it was a nice spot --worth the trip.
Pond oil on 8x8 canvas panel
Tree oil on 5 x 7 canvas panel

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Inspired by the Group of Seven

About a year ago I read a batch of articles on The Group of Seven. The Group of Seven were a group of Canadian landscape painters in the 1920s; (Franklin Carmichael, Lawren Harris, A. Y. Jackson, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Frederick Varley). Tom Thomson (who died in 1917) and Emily Carr were also associated with the Group of Seven, though neither were ever official members.The Group of Seven really appeals to me for the graphic look. I do like to go off on a graphic tangent now and then. This wound up looking like Minnesota to me.... (even though I used an Oregon photo for reference).

Enter to win--the Art Calendar Studio Makeover

With a 200 word essay and a photo you can enter Art Calendar's Studio Makeover contest. This is my basement studio--Even though I am perfectly happy in "der bunker" I know it could use a facelift! I entered...I hope I win--and if I don't.. I hope you do!
LINK: Art Calendar Studio Makeover

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Today in the PPASP art discussion group at Bread & Ink we spent a fair amount of time talking about my workshop with Mitch Baird. Mitch is the hands-down crowned prince of green. We all talked about how green is a challenge for the beginner plein air artist as well as the veteran. We wondered..why do we insist on exaggerating nature? Yesterday I had to scrap a green painting (painted in my back yard). I had felt hurried and that's no way to go into a painting.  Today was different...I read through all my notes from the workshop before I painted this and I took my time..thinking about all the relationships and warm versus cool greens. I know this is world's better than my earlier green paintings. 

Oil on 6 x 8 canvas panel 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Business-y things that artists should do

(click to enlarge)

Our group, PPASP, put together a nice notebook with biographies and statements for our current show at the Doll Gardner Gallery. The curator also asked us for a color sample sheet of our individual work. This is easy to do if you have Photoshop with the "Contact Sheet" feature.
I often get a lot of compliments for the business-y things I produce, but I am aware that I could do so much more! Business things for the artist is similar to what is called "housekeeping matters" for attorneys in courtrooms. You can bet that lawyers would rather spend their time on the more interesting aspects of the trial...instead of the more mundane tasks. No one WANTS to attend to the dull matters..but if you don't you are likely to lose the case! (I love analogies). 
Do you hate the business aspect of your (art) job...or are you making peace with it?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mitch Baird Workshop (Sunday)

Mitch began the day by talking about seeing major shapes in the landscape. He challenged us to paint in the simplest way ...only adding details after establishing all the big shapes in accurate values. I loved watching Mitch paint the refections in the water. I did two of the same scene Mitch painted and a second painting of trees in a distant field.
Without question..Mitch Baird gets 5 stars from me! We spent a lot of time discussing massing, major shapes and color temperature. The weather was gray again today--a perfect day for "direct observation". "We are all writers out here", Mitch said.."just taking notes that might develop into a complete story."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mitch Baird Workshop (Saturday)

Today was a rainy and overcast day. Mitch started with a lecture and then set about painting a demonstration (see Mitch's painting in the post below). Wow--if you ever want to get your money's worth in a workshop.. take one from Mitch Baird! He tells you absolutely everything he is thinking while he is painting--which is totally great! All the participants were hanging on every word. Probably the most helpful thing for me (as it was last year when I took his workshop) is to watch the masterful brushwork. It is one thing to read about brushwork --it is quite another to watch such deliberate brushwork accompanied by narrative. When I went to do my painting I still made lots of the same old mistakes that I make..but I know I understood edges much better after that lecture/demonstration. After the water painting I roughed out a sky scene because I wanted to try to capture the gray. I managed good gray colors, but again ..not quite enough variety in brushwork. This will be my big push..better brushwork and edges/better grays! It was a FABU day--can't wait til tomorrow!

Both paintings oil on 9 x 12 canvas panels

Mitch Baird Demonstration--(Day one)

(Plein air demonstration by Mitch Baird, Sauvie Island)

I got to stand right next to Mitch Baird for the entire time that it took to paint this...I can't explain how valuable an experience like this is. It was cold out and this went long through the lunch hour, but no one minded! It is magic to see it all come together and what a privilege to hear exactly what he is doing and why.... step by step. I took good notes and lots of photos. You can bet I am going to refer to it all again. Not to overstate it, but holy cow--! One thing he stressed is that the landscape is much grayer than we see it--and sure enough when I painted my version of this scene (a little farther down the road) I did not gray things back nearly as much as he did. I am going to work on the graying things accurately thing--it certainly makes for a beautiful painting.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Plein air in a place called Elk Rock

I got to paint with a painting friend of mine today...Katherine van Schoonhoven. She and I went to a place called Elk Rock. I spent 45 minutes on my first painting that included reflections in water. It had to be scrapped! Next I did a simple painting of what was right in front of me. I need to go back to Elk Rock again so I can give the water another college try. Some days things work out better than others. I am getting used to that. Like Katherine says...any day spent painting is a good day.

Oil on 8x8 canvas panel