Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mankato Magazine Article

I was interviewed for an article in the local magazine a couple of months ago. The magazine likes to have articles about local artists. I was lucky enough to be chosen from a long list of artists in the area.  I concentrated on talking about plein air painting and that I am working toward a show at the Blue Earth County Historical Society in January. My friend Gerry and I proposed a show of local scenes painted plein air. We are working on paintings for that show this summer. I can't use their photos but this is the painting I was working on when I was interviewed. We were painting at Indian Lake....before the mosquitoes made working out doors so much fun.

The grasses were tall and swaying in the wind. It was fun catching them and now remembering the great day it was out there. Hope you can see the article in the August Mankato Magazine. Available at Cubs and HyVee and with your newspaper.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Started as Plein Air--finished in studio

I have a thing about water and falls. I like the changeability of water in it's many moods and settings. So I went to Minneopa Falls again a couple of weeks ago. With my grandson and niece. They went hiking and I set up to paint. In no time they were back and ready to be creative too. Hafsa, my niece, found a dangerous place on the wrong side of the fence to paint the falls. That is a drop off right at her feet to the bottom of the fall's gorge. My set up in the back ground.

Grandson, Avery, decided to do a life drawing of his grandpa. Here he is working hard to get the likeness just right.

 Grandpa was happy to pose for a while. I think he took a nap.

I started this painting of the falls on site but was using my new alkyd paints that dry very quickly .... too quickly for a hot day. I was getting quite frustrated and decided to bring it home blocked in. I took it to the studio today to finish it in between working on my commission. Using the alkyds in the studio worked much better. In the sun and heat the day I was at the water falls, the paints dried quickly and they were like working with glue. In studio they work just fine. You can still tell that they dry faster. I think I kept it fresh and not too over done. That is the problem with bringing a painting home to finish from a photo. I have the photo but did not use it except to check the bridge. And to keep the falls looking right. This has been a banner year for the falls. We have had lots of snow and rain this year and the falls have been full all summer long. Some years there is hardly any water falling.

The photo is a bit bluer than real life. Used ultramarine blue to make the grays and my camera always emphasizes  the blue in photos. Just think gray where there are blue shadows.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Plein Air paintings

Been trying to work on plein airs. Life gets in the way though. We had lots of company last week, grand kids and niece. Then we went camping up north for a hot weekend of biking on new trials at Cayuna State Park. Lots of fun and lots of sweating in the hot humid summer weather.

Here are some plein airs that I completed before the weather turned on us.

On the River, garden at a friend's house on the Blue Earth River. As always oil on board, 11x14

This is the Blue Earth river from a campground. We were in shade and managed to keep the bugs away. Later I added a little kayak to the sweet spot to give the painting a bit of interest. (not shown)  The Blue Earth River is in a bit of a gorge and has lots of water falls along the way. Most of which are not accessible except by the river. My painting buddy, Gerry and I, would really like to get to some of the waterfalls for paintings......someday.

Worked at a local park called Indian Lake. Breezy day.

Indian Lake again, looking the other way. It was a beautiful day.
With luck the weather will change and we will be able to get out again. Heat and humidity are not conductive to good paintings.