Monday, June 18, 2018

Broken Streak

I had a long streak going. While painting, I have been cleaning my paint brush using the can with water rather than my water glass. An almost 2 1/2 year streak was broken today.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Take Two

Take one occurred during painting class and I never posted a picture of it. I also never finished it. Take one was the pinnacle of frustration when I had no basis and no understanding of how to break landscapes up into cohesive pieces or shapes. The first step has been learning how to see differently. Slowly, I am learning this or at least experimenting with it. It's an interesting process going from not being able to see or process something at all to taking baby steps towards taking in visual information differently.

I am so glad that I took another session of painting classes with Kat. I learned so much. As a result, take 2 went better. Plus, I enjoyed painting this scene this time.

#234 - Scene From A Car Window In Quebec - 8" x 8"- paper

Friday, June 15, 2018


Until I opened the paper this morning, I forgot that "The Incredibles 2" opens today. The first one is probably my partner's favorite movie or has to be close to his favorite. Since I am working from home today and he can ditch work a little early, we bought tickets to a 6:00 pm showing. We never seem to go to as many movies as we plan and we mostly go to them when they hit the second-run theaters. I can't wait until it's time to go to tonight's movie!!!

I started this landscape yesterday and finished it today.

#233 - Dirt Road Near The Cabin - 8" x 8" - paper

Painting landscape after landscape is helping. While I can't say that I like any of my landscape paintings, I am enjoying the thought process and trying to improve. There are several things I feel good about with this one. There is more of a distinction between the foreground, middle ground, and background than usual. The trees in the background recede to me. These trees really were an extremely dark green and I decided to use a blob of pthalo blue red shade in my green mix. I like what it did. While I don't care so much for the foreground trees, I do think the different parts of the painting read as being distinct. It was fun playing with different types of paint strokes to try and do this.

My plan is to keep working on landscapes, although I will take a break at some point during the month. One of things I learned from the recent session of painting class is that I need to occasionally re calibrate by doing some 10 minute paintings or one stroke paintings. Plus, it's good to mix up painting from pictures and painting still life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Two Tries Of A Simple Landscape

I took a break from water. These two paintings are from a picture I took at the MN Landscape Arboretum. The picture was taken mid-day with the sun overhead. Much of the picture was dark and I'm not great at adjusting for that. Still I really enjoyed painting the sky with this first attempt. The trees ended up being overworked with layers and layers of paint.

#231 - Simple Landscape Take 1 - 8" x 8" - paper
In the second one, I tried to not overwork the trees.

#233 - Simple Landscape Take 2 - 8" x 8" - paper
At first, I painted the dark shrub in the middle and left the shadow black. I didn't like how it looked, so I gessoed it out. I still don't like how it looks, but I'm ready to let go and move on.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Back To Landscapes

I continue to encounter all types of different issues when I try to paint a landscape. Rather than shying away, I'm feeling stubborn. My goal is to focus on landscapes for the rest of June from which I hope to gain some additional skills or ways to think about or approach a landscape painting.

This seems like a reasonable response given painting #228. I got lost while trying to do this painting. In spite of adding a 4 x 4 grid to the picture and to the painting surface, I managed to goof up the depth of things, so I decided not to finish it. This feels like a different chapter in the same book. When things like this happen, it's frustrating, but at least I can work to improve on things I'm aware of. There are many other problems with this, but messing up the depth of things was the biggest. I also think this was an issue when I went out painting plein air over Memorial Day weekend.

#229 - Minnehaha Creek - 8" x 10" - paper - not completed
In that vein, here is a painting from a smaller cropping of the same picture of Minnehaha Creek.

#230 - Minnehaha Creek - 8" x 8" - paper
I didn't sweat getting the color of the water accurate, but I did struggle with trying to figure out where the water was cooler in tone and warmer in tone. It seemed to be cooler in the light and warmer in the shadowed areas, which does not make sense to me. Given that and that I don't trust my eyes in making these distinctions, I want to keep thinking about the cool or warmth in the things I see.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Sometimes The Universe (Or Craigslist) Provides Something You Really Want

Once I started using the tabletop easel I borrowed from Kat, I thought to myself that it would be nice to have an easel. The first time I looked on Craigslist, this one was listed for a very modest price. I picked it up this morning. As a  hobbyist, I didn't want to buy new or spend a lot.

To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement.   

Thursday, June 7, 2018

My Masterpiece

My masterpiece gets no respect from Hammett. Whenever I go to take a picture of a completed painting, one of the orange cats always appears and gets in the way. It must be part of their job description.

Here is the completed painting with no obstruction. It does seem like it's my masterpiece. It must be because it's so large. On the blog, of course, it looks like the same size of all of the other pictures I post, but in person it takes up a lot of space and makes a statement.

#227 - Dorian - 18" x 24" - hard board
This was a terrific learning experience, plus it was fun! I adore this cat. In truth, I adore all of them, but this one is the easiest one to love. Looking at this painting makes me smile.

I want to focus on painting landscapes, but I am also going to have to work on some additional, large cat paintings.

With any luck, I am purchasing my own easel tomorrow. It would be a floor model, not a table top version. It was on Craig's List and the price was right.