Tag Archives: oils

bay painting update

This is a 24 x 30 canvas. Now I wish I had a 24 x 36 so I could paint more ships out there. They look huge when they come into the picture on the right but you can see them far away too. Sometimes if you hang around there for a couple hours you can see 12 or more boats of different kinds.

I’ll go back tomorrow and paint the sky when we get some nice clouds. Today it’s sunny and only a little haze. I’ll paint the fence when I get the clouds in then I’ll have to go back with my sketchbook and do some ship sketches. I want to paint people in the scene too. The water’s still too cold to get in but the kids are working on their sand excavations in the afternoon.

It was cool with a strong breeze out of the Southeast this morning. I had to keep a hand or foot on the canvas or it would blow down. Sand got all over it and into the paint on my palette.

wave close up with sandbar

A man came over to check my progress and he said he didn’t notice the sand bar until he saw it in my painting.

OH NO! Look at all those little lines I painted! Yikes! The jurors would h8 it! You’re supposed to use big brushes and simplify! Not spend hours painting lines!! hahahaha When some well meaning person tells me to use bigger brushes I say, “Yeah, I should use big brushes.” Then I use whatever brush I want to use.

beach scene underpainting / oils

It was great to get out on the beach today, cool, (45*F.) sunny and windy at around 10mph out of the West. I faced East so the wind was on my back and not blowing my canvas down, which was standing on the sand leaning on my beach cart. I sat on a washed up board and felt fine out there but not a lot of people were on the beach.

I have big plans for this painting. It could take a while. I’d like paint pilings, dune grass, people and a ship. I’ll have to take my sketchbook and try to get sketches of people and a ship. The waves looked like they will be easy because they’re small. This is close to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The Atlantic is 5 miles or so East.

modern art fun / oil paint

Kayaker on rapids

This is just another fun play thing I did by slapping down some paint and scraping through it with my palette knife in different directions. I didn’t have any idea in mind, just to go with the flow.

This is me reading a story to the kids at the Y

Next week I’ll get started on another Plein air painting but it’s too windy today and will probably be windy tomorrow too.

Boats
I don’t know what this thing is.

Do you see anything in this picture?

sketch of a lotus pod / the last time this painting will ever be seen

I scouted a little park on Sandbridge Rd. where a little bridge goes over some backwater and there’s only a few places to park, which are always used when the flowers bloom. These pods were all around in the mud.

I like to look at dry sticks, pods, trees without leaves, wilted leaves and flowers, etc. Decay is beautiful. Long ago I liked to make stick arrangements. hahaha I guess a flower painting would be more marketable than a still life of sticks and pods but I’d really like to paint a stick and dead plant still life. I could take my time with that too, where with live flowers they die before I finish the painting and I have to buy more, or hurry up and paint the ones in the garden as soon as they start to bloom.

This is the painting I did a few years ago at First Landing State Park of the Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in the background. I was going to redo the waves on the bottom of the canvas but I just decided to throw it away and start again. Next time I’ll do better and maybe put a ship way out there or a wind surfer.

This is one of the paintings that I almost lost. Someone was planning to steal it from an art supply store that had paintings in the windows including this one. I just happened to go to the store and noticed the painting wasn’t in the window and the store manager searched and searched for it and finally found it hidden behind carts so I took it home. It was right at the door.

When I got home I noticed someone had priced it with a red marker then scribbled out the first price and wrote $40. I never priced it but I would have asked more than that for it even if the waves aren’t finished.

I’d throw it away or give it away before I’d sell it for $40. I had it behind some stuff but sometimes I thought about reworking the waves. Now it’s going in the dumpster because every once in a while I throw away art and try again.

I’m pretty sure it almost got stolen and I was happy to have it back but I can do better on another canvas.I need to buy another big canvas and get it primed and tinted.

post update / I stood the painting in front of the dumpster with a sign taped on it that said, free. I was gone for a few hours and someone took it. It was unsigned but they will know who did it. I hope it spreads good vibes to a neighbor.

Tiny Happy People Walking on the Beach / oils

This is a very long beach. Back Bay extends about 3 miles then you come to False Cape which goes on for even more miles. I think I can see over 1 mile, maybe 2.

I’m calling this one finished for now. I have a painting I worked on about 4 years ago that I’d like to rework. It’s another wave painting from First Landing State Park on the bay side. Since I have some of the colors left over from this one, I might go back to that dune on the bay and try to redo the old painting the next time weather permits.

That’s the closest my camera will zoom in. I painted these tiny people with the edge of my palette knife instead of a brush to try to make them fuzzy, out of focus, to give the illusion of aerial perspective. I think it’s working out, like, you would know those are people and not pilings. At 1/2″ these are the tiniest people I ever painted.

oops, this isn’t a good photo.

Darn it, the shine on the wet paint is showing. Oh well, you get the idea.

I went fast and loose on the sea today. It was fun.

All wave paintings I do are just one more step closer to the day I paint my wave masterpiece.

sand sea and sky underpainting / oils

It was so nice on the beach today, sunny and cool with a breeze from the South. The sound of the waves is relaxing. You hear it for a while then when you get into the painting you don’t notice the sound again until you take a break. There were only a few people. The peacefulness sticks with you for a while after you leave.

That’s why I want to go back to the old ways for this painting. When I use complimentary colors it seems to give the scene an angsty mood and I’d rather project the peace even if the colors are muted.

I mean, can I paint something more beautiful than nature? Impossible. so I might as well try to copy the colors and values of nature. That’s one thing I like about painting in Plein air. If I could capture that it would mean more to me than my experimentations with colors. Plus, it is kind of fun sitting there mixing colors and comparing to nature. Do I need this color to be lighter or darker, warmer or cooler. It’s a step most artists skip because the exact color isn’t the most important thing to them and they want to start painting already.

It’s a very simple scene. Even the waves looked easy today. They’re small. It’s a workout getting my art supplies out on the beach. The beach cart makes it possible but it always gets my heart rate up when I climb over the dune. Maybe it won’t take a lot of trips to finish this. I have some colors mixed up for tomorrow.

swamp painting finally finished / oils

I might have to pay a pro photographer to take a decent shot of this because I’m not getting it.

Painters and poets, we all reveal ourselves through our work. When I look at this I think oh no! If there’s an art savvy shrink in the room they’ll be able to peel the layers of my personality down all the way to my subconscious which is represented here by a few inches of stagnant swamp water. I would advise you that even if you’re wearing hip boots you could sink in and get stuck in the muck.

It’s almost like feeling undressed in public when you feel like your life is shown in a painting. People who I don’t know will get to know me well.

That’s why I don’t feel the need to express my emotions through my painting. Even if I’m only trying to represent nature as accurately as I can it’s still all me there. Get 100 plein air artists to paint this scene and none will look like my painting.

This close up shows some Spanish moss on the right which I blobbed in some lines of dark green and very light green then scribbled through it with my palette knife, and some orange cypress needles done with my modified fan brush, some bark done with the modified fan brush, and some background trees painted with regular brushes taped to yardsticks.

This close up shows some Spanish moss at the top of the painting. It reminds me of a valence because I worked at sewing for most of my life. I made a lot of curtains and slipcovers but never anything as beautiful as a Spanish moss valence, so delicate, airy, graceful, and yet scary and spooky. I’d take it home and glue it to a cornice for my apartment but it probably has tons of tiny microscopic bugs in it that would come out and bite me. I’m afraid to pick it up when it’s on the ground.

This close up shows a lot of layers of paint. So many I can’t even count. Some in the background, middle ground, foreground and some yellow leaves on black sticks on top of all the rest.

It might seem like I painted every detail but I actually skipped a lot of things that I decided the painting didn’t need, lichens on the branches, stick bushes in the water and dead branches on the ground, dead leaves on the water etc.

The painting fell down again and picked up cypress needle dirt but that will brush off when it dries.

This close up shows my attempt to make sunlight on top of reflections because I could see the reflections through the sunlight. This is a calm place in a busy painting so the art viewer’s eye will find a place to rest. The eye will also go to rest in the background. So, hopefully, the Spanish moss and the orange cypress needles will keep the viewer’s eye going from background to foreground, and around the canvas again.

unfinished swamp painting update

There’s a slight glare on the painting because my Maroger medium makes it a little shiny. I tilted it forward and that helps but the glare is still showing on the left.

I’m excited about the progress I made in the past few days and it still needs a lot more work on the bottom of the canvas. There’s a bush on the left that I tried to sketch in a couple times already but then painted over because it wasn’t working. It has yellow leaves on thin black branches and some of the leaves cover the main cypress branch. I hope I can paint that in tomorrow. It could add some brightness to the left.

One thing about painting in plein air that most people don’t know is that you have to pick where you want your sunlight to show up and where you want shadows. So many artists think they have to paint fast so they can capture the changing light but it doesn’t have to be a rush rush thing. If I hang around there for 2 hours because that’s how long my concentration lasts, then it’s time for lunch or something, the light changes a lot over that time. Sometimes the light is perfect on the branch. Then it’s perfect on the Spanish moss or another part of the painting. When you keep going back to the same location day after day you get to know when the light is best for a certain part of the scene. Then you can plan how to use the light to create your focal points where you want them. The artist has to decide. If you’re copying a photo you don’t get those choices. The art viewer will never know part of it was painted at 9 and part was painted at 11.

I tried twice to start painting the water with reflections at home and both times it was so not good. I just can’t mix the right colors if I’m not there. This close up shows my 3rd try from today and I think this will work because I did it from life not from memory.

I was very excited to get that shiny wet mud painted in. I did that mess with my palette knife, scrumbling off white and a couple shades and tints of burnt umber in with it.

I hope the sun comes out again tomorrow so I can continue the beams of light over the water. My water should be dry enough tomorrow that I can put a layer of Maroger medium on top of it without smearing the reflections I painted today. The plan is to do a real thin glaze of white on top of the water going out on the same angle as the shadows from the trees. If I can make the glaze thin enough so that some of the reflections show through maybe I can make the effect of sunlight on water. If it works it will be an accomplishment for me.

After I’m all finished with the water I’ll have to continue the cypress branch sticks all the way down to the bottom of the canvas with bright orange foliage over the water. Then I have to do the Spanish moss last. So, maybe next week I can finish this. It depends on the weather. They’re calling for rain on Mon.