Saturday, May 31, 2014

Straight from the Easel!

You probably thought I'd fallen off the face of the earth. I've been painting quite a bit lately but failing to blog. I know that blogging is an important piece of art marketing. Qiang Huang taught me how important it is and he leads by example, blogging every time he posts a new painting. I'm just not in the habit, but it's a habit I must cultivate if I want to continue to grow.

Today my painting group, Plein Air Austin (PAA) painted out at the Johnson Wildflower Center just south of Austin. I'm ashamed to say I'd passed it many times but never taken the time to go in. It was well worth the trip. Beautiful grounds, lovely buildings made of natural stone, butterflies, rabbits, turtles, ponds, and of course fields of wildflowers. Even at the very end of May the wildflowers were spectacular. I passed a very pleasant morning painting away. I'm attaching a photo of my painting. I'm afraid the quality of the photo is not great, but I can't take another as it was bought right off my easel by a lovely lady from Dallas visiting with her grand daughter. Many of my paintings are sold online so I rarely get to meet the buyer, so it was a nice treat to meet her. I will definitely return to paint at the Wildflower Center again. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful. The facilities are beautiful and all in all it was a wonderful experience.

"Wildflower Vista" 8x10 oil on canvas board SOLD
Today's painting was a continuation of my recent experiment with the Anders Zorn palette, however, I did expand it slightly. I found it just too limiting with only 4 tubes of paint. This time I used 6 tubes of paint (white, cad. yellow pale, yellow ochre, vermillion, cobalt blue and ivory black). It's amazing how many variations you can make from such a limited palette. It's something I intend to continue to practice for all my plein air work. Transporting only 6 tubes instead of 12 or more is much lighter and more compact to carry when traveling.

Now back to my easel to complete my color charts. I've been steadily working my way though the color charts that Richard Schmid recommends each artist making. It is slow and tedious work but so worth it. The end results are not only beautiful to look at, but the process of creating them is so educational. Who knew you could get such subtle skin tone colors from transparent red oxide, terra rosa and white? Until I did the charts, I can't remember the last time I even opened my tube of terra rosa but it had to be a while because it took quite a bit of work with the pliers to get it open.