Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Day 14.5 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 14.5 : Fence Line

I'll admit it - I'm a couple of days behind.
It's been a long week full of all kinds of things except the things I want to do.

This painting is one I'll likely do a few more times.
I like the clouds and I'm okay with the fence line and the hazy distant hills.
But I can't seem to get the foreground to look like a grassy field.
I keep getting soft green feathers instead.
Keep working it.

Details : Oil on canvas

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Day 14 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 14 : Just a beginning
Since I took yesterday and the evening before to prep more canvases,
last night I began another painting.
Not finished but about halfway.

More to come.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Day 13.5 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 13.5
Sometimes you've just gotta stop and regroup.
Today I hit reset and applied ground to 14 canvases.
Now I can resume my 30 Day Oil a Day Challenge and continue uninterrupted.
For 14 more days.

But I did lay out the next one to begin today.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Day 13 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 13 : July and Daylilies
Yes, I'm off a day or two.
But I broke my palette knife yesterday and it was hot and I went to a ball game.
Or something like that.
Ah, yes. Today.
This is taken from photo I took last summer of our barn that I have lined with orange daylilies all across the south side.
They were just lush.
Against the corrugated steel siding, the orange glowed.
Don't quite have the steel color right or the treeline but I've learned this:
there's no shame in painting the same subject over and over.
I'll be doing this one again and comparing my growth.

Details : Oil on canvas

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Day 12 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 12 : Almost
I'm a day behind thanks to this.
Okay, so maybe that's just an excuse but when the knife broke,
in the middle of a painting,
I thought it best to hang it up for a day.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Day 11 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 11 : Buffalo Gap Grassland

Taken from a photo I took on our trip through the Nebraska Panhandle last summer.
This is the road north through the Buffalo Gap Grassland leading into the Black Hills in southwest South Dakota.
For a wide open spaces prairie lover like me, this is heaven.
Breathtaking at every turn. Cannot wait to go back and see what we missed.
But the backroads really are what intrigue me.
Ranches far from the super-highways, malls, and grocery stores, noise, lights.
Those homes that are far from the every day life do exist.

Regarding the painting, I'm still not confident in my approach to trees 
and those horizons with anything on them.
I don't want them to be hard lined but haven't quite got the technique for softening 
when I am painting alla prima.
Still working.

Details : Oil on canvas

Monday, June 15, 2015

Day 10 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 10 : Two Farms
Maybe I should title this "Farm vs Farm"
Another expansive, vapor of a sky with grassland far and near.
One the left is the traditional farm with two silos, barn and outbuildings.
On the right are three windmill power generators.
(In need of a little more definition.)
The war will continue for some time over the land and the wind.

Details : Oil on canvas
6" x 6"

Friday, June 12, 2015

Day 9 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 9 : Emerald
Painted from a reference photo and I have no idea where it came from.
I thought it had an interesting composition but the colors I had to come up with.
I'm not sure I hit the mark but I continue to learn with every one of these paintings.
I learn every time I do some sort of a tree line that it really doesn't matter what shape the line is or how well the trees are balanced.
What matters is that it fades and is indefinite.
That you get a sense of foliage and trees.
If these were highly detailed as my colored pencil drawings are,
then you would see branches and holes where the sky shows through.
But this is almost like the gesture drawings I did in college.
The ones where you had 1 minute or less to show the essence of the figure.
I hadn't thought of that until now.

Details : Oil on canvas

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day 8 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 8 : Two Farms
If no one is impressed but me that I've stuck with my 30 Day Challenge, 
then hooray for me!
I'm starting the second full week of painting an oil painting a day and I cannot believe how energizing and affirming this is.
Especially when I posted Day 7 on my Facebook page and got 59 'likes'.
More 'likes' than I got on my birthday, I think =-D
This painting is another simple prairie landscape with some unexpected detail.
If you look closely, you can see that this is a painting of Two Farms
but not the traditional farm.

This is a painting of wind turbines that are cropping up all over the central states.
When I look at the maps for the amount of wind in the central US,
the highest amounts of wind are concentrated from Texas northward through North Dakota and Minnesota and the highest areas are through Iowa.
Traveling between Omaha and DesMoines is jaw-dropping.
One day I quit counting at over 100 near Walnut, Iowa.
This developing source of power is having serious consequences and affecting the true farming communities and farmers in ways not imagined.
So here you have Two Farms.

Details : Oil on canvas

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Day 7 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 7 : Untitled
Wow, a week! Seven days and seven paintings!
I have impressed even myself with this 'every day' thing.
Okay, what did I learn today?
That there are more artists than just me who paint the same subject matter more than once. I have been reluctant to repeat landscapes or clouds or grass because I think (well, who know what I think?) that it simply isn't done.
Boy, was I wrong.
Last night I got out a few basic painting and color theory books and found that this is exactly what I should be doing if I ever intend to improve on whatever my subject matter happens to be.
So there will be more gravel roads, more grass, more skyscapes, more more more.
Now I'm getting a bit more excited about this process.
All things unfold in their own time but I seriously wish I'd not been telling myself for these last 40+ years that I could not paint.

Detail : Oil on canvas

Monday, June 8, 2015

Day 6 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 6
Okay, here's the deal.
Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn't.
Here it doesn't quite make it.
Yesterday I started this landscape three times and three times I wiped it off.
Today, I was determined to stick with it.
I'm not happy with the way it went but I am happy that I 
held in there and finished the job.

Details : Oil on canvas

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Day 5 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 5
What did I learn today?
That it's okay to wipe off a painting and start over, once, twice, and three times.
What I was working on was a fading gravel road with a gold and green field.
Another distant horizon.
But it was all wrong. Color wrong. Grass wrong. Gravel wrong.
I wiped it off and went back to what I knew to work and maybe that's the key.
In my metalworking, when I try to hard to get detailed and intricate, I miss the mark.
But when I let my design go broad and expansive, I hit it almost every time.
So here you have another little painting of the expansive Nebraska grassland.
A big farm with two silos that is dwarfed by the vastness of sky.

Detail : Oil on canvas

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Day 4 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 4
Color mixing is almost as much fun at brush play right now.
Strange how reluctant I am to paint things as they are not in real life.
Somehow they are not jarring as I thought they might be.
Play is important for now.

Details : 6"x6"
Oil on canvas

Friday, June 5, 2015

Day 3 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 3 and I learned today that doing something a little different is hard.
This little painting originally had a diagonal road running through it but 
(and I say 'but' because I wiped it clean off the face of the earth)
gravel roads can look chalky and artificial.
I don't quite have the technique down, yet
(and I say 'yet' because it will come, it will come.)
For today, another landscape from a photo I took of the field across the road from us.
It is wide and open and the skies have been gorgeous this Spring.
On this day, high cirrus clouds and hard sunshine.

Details : 6"x6"
Oil on canvas

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Day 2 : An Oil a Day 30 Day Challenge . . .

Day 2
 What did we learn today?
We learned that in just a few strokes of the brush, 
a painting can go from okay to a little less than okay.
This one had a good feel to it until I messed with a cloud stroke. Sad face here.
But I learned some good stuff, too.
Like greying out the treeline so it isn't so harsh.
So back away from your computer screen a little and squint.
It'll all work better.
Until tomorrow and Day 3 of the Oil a Day Challenge.

Details : 5"x7"
Oil on canvas

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 1 : An Oil a Day 30-Day Challenge . . .

This may be harder than I thought.

I have committed myself to 30 oil paintings in 30 days 
and hope for several things to come out of this challenge.
1. I hope to become a better painter.
2. I hope I end up with some decent paintings for selling later. 
Not all paintings come easy and after no fewer than four wipe-offs, this one stuck.  
Not an all time favorite but a start.

Details : 10"x10"
Oil on canvas