Monday, August 31, 2009

Day five--2009 Hood River Plein Air Competition/Event

Started the day with a nice big cup of coffee and a blueberry scone at a cute coffee shop in Hood River. I took my submissions into the Columbia Art Gallery and saw some beautiful work in the intake room--The show will be on the walls soon. I'll be at the reception on Friday. (I'll post photos of what I submitted later in the week). It will be so fun to see what the other 31 painters produced. I loosely sketched some downtown walkers today--it was not easy--no one stands very still!
sketch in oil, 8 x 10 canvas panel

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day four--2009 Hood River Plein Air Competition/Event

I met up with lots of painters today at Hollenbeck Park in Trout Lake, WA. It's a pretty place with many choices, but I got there and just wandered around aimlessly. That happens sometimes. All the other people seem very decisive ...but I scuffle about ...unable to land on anything. I decided to swing over to a lake in the Gifford Pinchot area. I started a water lily sketch but then quickly realized it was too ambitious for me was getting late. I turned turn my attention to another part of the lake.  During the 2nd start it dawned on me that this was just about as complex a scene as the one I had abandoned! In the end I liked a lot about my painting ..but I heard the voices of my teachers (Eric, Mitch, Elio) all admonishing me that I didn't really establish a nice contrast anywhere...I used similar brushwork throughout (another drawback)...and I didn't really leave room for accents. It does have some successful areas--but it is not anything to write home to Mother about either. Sigh. I proved all my problems by checking it in grayscale. was a good day nevertheless and I am still glad I went to Trout Lake!
(Gifford Pinchot Lake oil on 8x10 canvas panel)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Today's oil sketch

I couldn't go to the Maryhill Museum paint out today...I had another commitment and that made it so I had to stay in Portland. This is a painting from close by..just an idea and not a finished piece. I could strengthen it some. I like parts of it. I'll let it be and look at it later.
oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Friday, August 28, 2009

day two--2009 Hood River Plein Air Competition/Event

We painted at Columbia Hills State Park today. I was surprised to find a cemetery near the entrance to the park. Those who know me know that cemeteries are an interest of mine! There were lots of "keep out" signs because this was an Indian cemetery. From there I drove to Dalles Mountain Road and along the way I came upon a huge rib cage hung on a fence! (scroll down) How is that for unusual? Do you think Georgia O'Keeffe might have chosen that as her subject? I sketched some views from Dalles Mountain Road and then called it a day. On the way home I got to see that big newsworthy fire in Mosier. I saw orange flames leaping into the sky and traffic was stalled heading east on 1-84. Finally, I want to report that my big woven tote bag that I use to haul my supplies has finally given out. I've replaced it with this big plastic file box from Office Depot. It is amazing how much that thing holds! I like my tote bag better, but this holds as much stuff as two tote bags! That is my cat Moofie...sitting on my gear.
(the vista sketch is oil on 8 x 8 gessoed hardwood panel)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day one--2009 Hood River Plein Air Event

Orientation was this morning at the Gorge White House. There are 32 painters this year and nearly all of them turned out to receive instructions and some great gifts from sponsors. I chose to paint on a street behind the property of the White House. This is a beautiful spot too...old buildings that looked so interesting in the shadows and the bright sunshine.
oil on 6 x 8 canvas panel
2009 Hood River Plein Air Competition and Exhibit

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Backyard tree

I've been putting all my materials together to begin the 2009 Hood River Plein Air Event that is begins tomorrow. Mid-way through doing that I went out into the backyard and did a quick oil study of the big tree out there.
oil on 5x7 canvas panel

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Waiting" Sketch and leftover paints painting

Last week I met a friend for lunch. We met at the Hollywood Burger Bar and I got there I sat at the bar. I needed something to do while I waited, so I sketched a woman there who was wearing very square glasses. Sketching makes the time go by so fast! Before I knew it my friend was there. The woman-subject caught my eye once and I read her thought..she wondered, "why are you looking at me?" I bet it is a little weird to be the subject of a sneaky sketcher.
Today I did a plein air painting (a landscape) that I am pretty happy with--but I put it away without photographing it. I have to let it sit for a day and look at it again. I have to doublecheck with myself about whether or not it is a good painting. I felt happy with it when I did it....but there have been times when something I was happy with morphed overnight into something I became unhpappy with. Funny how that could happen..! It has to do with "day-after objectivity".
When I got home I remembered how Michael Orwick did some paintings from his leftover paint on his I did just that! I used a photo reference to produce this painting, "Outside the All-Night Cafe" (6 x 8 on canvas panel). I know I like this one.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday afternoon studio party at George Broderick's in Rainier

It was a beautiful afternoon in Rainier at Broderick's studio party. There was some delicious food shared..including a cake baked for the "birthday" of two leonberger dogs (check the dog bone shapes on the frosting). Though the dogs didn't get to taste the cake..I can attest that it was stellar. It was great to see old friends and new...and to experience George's new cubist-inspired skinny paintings .....right along with the fishing boats and the osprey directly outside.

Some of my favorite things

1. Moofie the brown cat on his brown lookalike rug
2. old Sony Cybershot camera
3. Classic Oil Paint (currently in love with Hansa Yellow Orange)
4. Canson Sketch Pads (the 6x6 square format one)
5. My Grandfather & Brother--lookalike photos
6. Seattle Art Museum mesh tote bag
7. Tuesday art discussions at O'Connor's

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Plein air..revisited

I'm pleased to report that I was able to revisit my scrapped painting and salvage it. Part of the problem was that I had too much information in the painting (despite my simple value sketch). A painting suffers--when there is scads of tiny details that distract. I think I successfully scrubbed out the extraneous detail. It is a purposefully gray painting. There is beauty in the grayness and the "not knowing," especially when there is the promise of a new day.

Friday, August 14, 2009

3 value sketch

I like to do a quick sketch of what I am going to paint without getting overly involved with detail. In this case the sketch turned out much better than the painting... I scrapped the painting, but I like the drawing. Tomorrow is another day.
sketch, 6 x8

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Backyard" modeling session

Today I took part in Penny S's "backyard" modeling session. There were three models and we had our choice of painting whomever we wanted for three hours. There was plenty of room to spread out ..and it is a "private" backyard so there were options for painting nude vs. clothed models as well. The weather was overcast and I couldn't decide if that made me happy or not. I was glad on the one hand (I had forgotten my umbrella)..but stronger light would have been more interesting to paint. Nevertheless, I was happy to be outside painting people. It is always nice to be around so many "like-minded" people too. I enjoyed seeing the very different interpretations of the models. I only wish the session had been longer!
At the end of the day I learned that my friend and instructor Elio Camacho was seriously injured in a car accident last weekend. My heartfelt prayers are winging up for his recovery. Elio has many students/friends here in Portland.... and we all hold him in our hearts!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Charcoal (and turpentine) sketch (me!)

When you don't have a lot of time to lay out paints you can always reach for some charcoal and your sketchbook...that takes NO time at all. I spent the last two days cleaning my "bunker" studio. I have two mirrors on my drafting table so at the end of the day I dashed out this sketch of me. When the model is you...the model is always available!
I took drawing a long time ago. Our teacher taught us to mix turpentine with charcoal. Everything I drew back then had a decided Jim Dine influence. (I think Dine actually mixed graphite with shellac,..but his exquisite drawings were extra dark and wash-y). The whole turpentine thing became a bit of a crutch for me back then...but well, who's kidding who...I STILL love charcoal and turpentine.

(charcoal & turpentine sketch 6 x 8)
and yes..this is the AFTER photo of my studio clean up.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

D.K. Row getting the word out about alternative gallery spaces

D.K. Row maps out overlooked art dealers

I stumbled across this video of D.K. (David) Row showing a new pamphlet about Eastside and alternative art galleries in Portland. I thought it was great for TWO reasons--one--because he is giving the pamphlet his stamp of approval and is nice to know what he looks like! I've seen his name in print for years and for whatever reason I have never seen him before now. It's really nice to finally attach a face to the name.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

First Thursday (August 6) Pearl Design Center

Tonight I went to Eric Bowman's First Thursday at the Pearl Design Center. The show was installed in an unfinished commercial showroom. Eric's work looked so cool on those walls! His work is reminiscent of the California Impressionists..but the scenery is 100% Oregon. I also got to see Mandy Main and Scott Gellatly in this show (they were in different "rooms"). Everything was reliant on existing light..(no fixed light fixtures in any of the spaces). It made it buzz around to see the art before the light of the day completely faded. I'll see Eric next in Hood River when we both participate in the Columbia Art Gallery Annual Plein Air Competition.

"At the Beach"

It is nice to paint for a large area! (O'Connor's gives eight of us from our art discussion group these big walls for several months during the year). This is a copy of a painting by California artist Donna Schuster (1883-1953). It employs complementary colors, and "radiation composition" my own penchant for a tinge of the melancholy. I loved painting "At the Beach"!

Oil on 36x36 gallery wrap canvas

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Painting finished--unveiling tomorrow!

Alright! My painting on the red ground is complete. I started it two days ago and finished painting it on my patio today. Whenever I spend several hours painting on the patio my feet hurt the next day. (Concrete floor).
I painted the painting expressly for our new August show "Eight+, Artist's Choice" at O'Connor's in Multnomah Village. The painting is wet, but I am hanging it tomorrow anyway. I have noticed (from other O'Connor's exhibits) that the restaurant patrons can be trusted not to touch paintings, so I feel comfortable taking it in "fresh off the easel".
I'll post the painting after it is on the wall tomorrow. Wish my luck--I hope it doesn't get rejected like that other time. j/k.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pondering...possibilities, probabilities, plausibilities...

August is HOT. Geez! Well, I am excited about an idea I have for a new painting...if it turns out... it will be hot too! I am bouyed by the concept. Will it work out? I'll let you know. I didn't get very far with it today...but getting a clear idea--isn't that is half the battle?
On the subject of brushes...I sorted through a batch of mine today--I have too many and several of them are inferior. I saw Matt Smith's DVD a couple of months ago--( I highly recommend it)...Smith shows the viewer that he uses just one solitary brush size--- (#8)--- ONLY! Wow..would that simplify things or what!?Smith always has new #8 brushes on hand. I'm thinking strongly of adopting the #8 only wait...probably!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day two--Mt. Tabor Centennial Paint out and Exhibit

All the painters were out in force again today basking in the good vibrations of the Mt. Tabor Centennial Paint-Out. It was so much fun to meet interested onlookers and collectors! The Paint Out and Exhibit was successful on all levels. How can we begin to thank Shawn Demarest? This was her idea and she made it happen! Peter Rossing, owner of Muse Art + Design was a stellar sponsor--donating his time, the tents, prizes, and paints for everyone to try. Sales were excellent! People love Mt. Tabor Park and plein air painting. My painting from the event, "Mt. Tabor Sunset" sold during the final hour of the day. A perfect ending to a fabulous painting weekend!

photos (click to enlarge): Mt. Tabor Sunset: SOLD!, Organizer and artist Shawn Demarest, Artist Mark Larsen with his paintings and his dog "Bessie", "Colorist" artist Kat Sowa, The fanned envelopes are 20% donations to the Friends of Mt. Tabor (each envelope represents a painting sold!) Thanks to all involved for making it such an outstanding event!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Images from Day one of the Mt. Tabor Centennial Paint-out & Exhibit

Thanks expressly to Shawn Demarest, Peter Rossing, (owner/sponsor: Muse Art + Design) and to all the painters who painted for the Mt. Tabor 100 year celebration plein air paint out and exhibit. Most of these images are from today, day one...more happenings on day two---tomorrow!