Category Archives: oil paint

Life’s not easy if you’re a pine tree on a sand dune. / oils

Trees are like people.

I spent roughly 20 hours on the dune next to this tree and I was only trying to capture it’s image but when I got home I kept thinking about the tree, like the tree was communicating with me by mental telepathy or something! nah, I’m kidding. This is what the tree would like to say.

The sand doesn’t have enough nutrients. The wind is trying to blow me down all the time. Someone called me scraggly and now I have a low self esteem. I won’t live as long as other pine trees or ever get tall.

And still, the scraggy little tree lifts it’s dead bleached arms to the sky like a person who suffered but doesn’t give up hope.

There’s something going on in the shadows and places where you can see the dune grass through spaces between branches. It’s heavily textured.

You can’t go down the dune through the grass filled with burrs and give the tree a hug. The tree is prickly too, not to mention that’s a steep drop off and you have to climb back out.

You want to remind the tree that it is on prime real estate with a better view than most pine trees have and its head is above dune level.

Plus, the tree has a lot of grace, like people who have lived through some bad stuff. Then when something else bad happens, those people don’t freak out in the next dangerous situation. Like the tree, they remember a worse storm. And people or trees that had it easy fall apart under stress.

windswept tree painting progress report

This is how far I got on it after 4 mornings of going out on the dune to paint and staying for 2 or 3 hours each time. It was sunny and not hot so, very enjoyable out there. My Gluteus Maximus had a workout 4 mornings in a row hauling my art supplies up the dune on the deep soft sandy path. The beach cart makes it possible but not easy. And I have a dark tan, which is really only a darker shade of red because I don’t tan well. It doesn’t feel sunburned. They’re calling for cloudy and rainy days all week. bummer, because I’m almost finished with the painting. I could finish it this week if the sun comes out. I hope they change the weather forecast. I guess there are plenty of things for me to do at home that I neglected lately because this painting took a lot of energy last week.

The tree is still only roughed in. I had to work on the background first. I considered finishing it at home but most of the time when I work on a painting at home, when I get back to the scene I don’t like what I painted at home.

windswept tree underpainting / oils

It was real nice out on the dune this morning and yesterday. I’m excited that I got this far with the painting. Maybe tomorrow and Sun. I can make more progress.

I have two coats of paint on the sky and I’m going to call the sky finished. Before I paint the tree I need to work on the opposite shore, the sand, the water and the grass again and let it all dry a little so that when I paint the bare branches over the sky and water they don’t smear.

I changed my mind about adding a kite surfer into the picture. This painting is all about the tree. I’ll try painting a kite surfer another time.

The branches and sticks will be the last to paint along with the pine needles.

Stormy Weather Moving Through / oils

I used my sketch from a couple weeks ago and painted this at home because it was too hot and humid to paint on the beach. We had a few storms but it didn’t help. Tomorrow, rain, but then they’re calling for some nice days just in time for Labor Day! I’m so excited! I’ve been hanging around at home too much.

I went out walking a few times early in the morning but then didn’t want to go back out later. I saw some real neat things I want to draw while I was walking. I hope I can find them again, a washed up jellyfish with small waves lapping on it, and part of a fish skeleton, it mush have been a big fish. I also found some inspiring sand dune with water scenes for after Labor Day.

I taped my paint brushes onto yard sticks again, ala Matisse. You can see how wild the brush goes in this close up.

I tried to pick my colors from memory. The dark green was painted with my modified fan brush taped to a yardstick. It was easier than I thought it would be. I hope it’s a good representation of waves, maybe a little abstract.

At first I painted the clouds too dark and I scraped it off and went a little lighter but they’re still stormy. I smeared and blended my brush strokes on the clouds so they would have a different texture than the waves. Kind of winged it a little on the clouds because they were moving fast and I was looking out the window.

Here’s another wave close up. I’m trying to show dry sand, wet sand, wet sand with a thin layer of water on it which is reflecting the sky, moving water with a direction, and foamy breakers.

What’s so bad about overthinking? / monoprint

the warrior

I often hear people say, “Don’t overthink it.” when someone is mentally stuck on any certain subject. I never studied psyche so I can only tell my own experience. I’m an over thinker and I feel fine.

If you have a busy life you might feel like you have to decide anything right then so overthinking seems bad but if you retire you have time to reflect on everything and you can figure out a lot of your own life’s problems and the problems of others. Then you can learn from it and accept it. That’s when you get some peace in your mind. You have to go over it again and again in your head. until it goes away.

The same goes for small problems. Take your time deciding, make the better decision. Don’t let anyone rush you.

This kind of life I’m living would drive you crazy if you were an extrovert. I’m neither an introvert or an extrovert so it took a long time to get used to. Now I kind of like it. I’m free. And because my life is so simple I have endless inspiration and something else money can’t buy, intuition. It’s not ESP, it comes from trying to figure out whatthehell happened and seeing trends. Do you know what I mean? A person that never contemplates never gets intuition.

algorithms sucking marginalized people down rabbit holes / monoprint

This is a problem that recently came to my attention.

There are a lot of people out there who are not a part of society in general. They don’t have close ties to friends and family to run ideas by and help them decide what’s real and what’s fake on the internet. They also have more time on their hands to look up a topic and follow it online.

When someone like that does a search on a subject like, is the world flat? they find cool pictures of a flat Earth. They keep looking at flat Earth pix, because it’s more fun than looking at a real photo of the Earth from space. Then the algorithm thinks they want to see more fake news topics and they get led to more and more things like conspiracy theories, fake news, etc. That person might not realize it but they are being fed nonsense by the computer. It is becoming a danger to society. People are becoming more radicalized because of this.

another try at sea and sky / oils

One of these days I’ll say, “Yes! I nailed it!” This is not the day but I don’t hate this attempt. Each try is getting me one step closer to my wave masterpiece which will happen some time before I die.

In the background you can see condos at Sandbridge about 2 miles up the beach and some waves far away. You can’t go past those pilings. That’s a restricted area for wildlife.

The pilings and shadows make arrows pointing down to the water. This close up shows where I’m trying to give the illusion of a thin layer of water on top of wet sand. It soaks in fast and some runs back out. That’s the sweet spot where you can see reflections of sky or maybe shore birds if they’re there.

This is a little rough because I wanted to do dry brush and try to make the painting fuzzy. I didn’t use any Terpenoid or medium.

You can see my brush strokes but I didn’t achieve the ultimate fuzzy effect that I’d like to get. I’m talking fuzzy like William Turner.

There are so many scenes that I have in mind to paint, I can’t just do waves, I’ll do other subjects and go back to waves at different times. No rush.

beach underpainting / oils

I got this far with it a few days ago when it rained. Now it’s raining again. After propping it against the wall where I can look at it once in a while, I’m not sure about it. I was working from my sketch and trying to mix colors from memory. Now I want to redo it and forget about trying to make it lifelike. I’m considering using more colors or if I should keep it limited like this is. I’d like to try a painting technique that I never use, dry brush. I want to make it fuzzy if I can. Fuzzy is in style. hahahah Stay tuned. I’ll show it to you even if it’s a disaster.

This much is painted with my brushes taped to yard sticks, ala Matisse, and I might continue with that. It’s a little hard to get started on a project if you don’t know what you’re doing. I know a lot of artists work from the subconscious or somehow spontaneous, I like to have a plan.

Look at my beautiful palette

Am I crazy to be excited about my palette?

The greens, grays and blue are leftovers and I covered them with plastic wrap. They’ll stay soft and workable for weeks but will partially thicken up.

I tried to match the colors of my begonia and rejected a few of the mixes on the right which still look like neat blobs. I think the right colors for the flowers are between the ones I mixed. That’s close enough for lights and darks.

The two I liked for the light areas of the petals and the two I liked for the shadows are all messed up because I thinned them with terpenoid to make them slightly runny.

Mixing paints on the palette with a palette knife is real fun.

I decided to leave my begonia painting rough. I mean I’m not going over the background and leaves again. That’s the modern art way and I’m trying to go modern. Once and done.

I particularly like this smear. Now you see why I need the large palette. The blue is left over from the background and it’s covered with plastic wrap. I started thinning the red with turpentine and it accidentally bled over the blue and some blue got into the red. I had to quick scrape up the red and move it away from the blue.

The background is gray because I have duct tape on the back of the glass. It’s easier to see what colors you’re mixing on a gray background than on a white background. And the duct tape keeps the glass from breaking and making a problem when I’m out in plein air. I’ve had the same piece of glass on the palette for years.

These are the colors I want to use all thinned down nicely so they flow off my brush and make nice brush stroke textures.

ok, I’ll get back to painting, but I have all day and it’s hot and humid so you get to see this because I don’t want to go out. I have time to stop and take pictures of my palette and write a little. I hope it’s not boring.