Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Karen Phipps and I arrived at Cedarburg just in time to get our canvases stamped before they closed for the morning. We immediately headed to the Cover Bridge Park to find a beautiful shady place to paint. I think we both prefer cityscapes but the heat and humidity was near 100 degrees so we decided to wait until later to paint their main street. Once I got here I knew I had to tackle my nemesis, thick greens. The bit of blue on the muddy river was reflected from the sky and gave me a mental relief from the heat. This is mostly palette knife as the canvas is larger than what I have been painting. The larger canvas gave me elbow room to use a palette knife.
11x14 oil

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Private Retreat" (Quilt Farm & Museum, Cedarburg, WI)

This painting didn't make it into the Cedarburg Plein Air Exhibition because I wasn't satisfied with it at the time. I painted it the last morning. The sun was playing hid n seek which means I had to depend on my poor memory skills to created the beautiful dappled light. The strong patterns of light and shadow is what initially drew me. I also enjoyed the challenge of the abstractness of the leaves.
14"x11" Oil on Linen

Friday, June 26, 2009

"Suspended Animation" (Floral Expressions, Cedarburg, WI)

The Cedarburg Plein Air Competition and Exhibition was great. Karen and I had an excellent time painting their beautiful town and countryside. Next year we plan on staying two nights so that we can make more paintings. As it was, we each painted four and scraped away one. My big problem was painting in +100 degree temperatures and humidity. This painting happens to be my favorite because I love painting at night. The atmospher is just right for me. Few people are around, the town is at rest, the temperatures have dropped (a bit) and the lighting from neon and street lights creates wonderful glows. That's why I call this "Suspended Animation." The artificial lights make what is illuminiated pulse. Now if I could just carve out the time to hit Chicago at night I'd be a really happy camper.
12"x9" Oil on Linen

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Peony Buds" 14"x11" Oil

Karen Phipps and I are participating in the Cedarburg Plein Air Competition and Exhibition. Wish us luck that we don't melt in the heat.
I tried to paint fast to catch these in bud form. I really liked the way the white peonies glowed against the dark background and wanted to recreated this in paint.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"3 Oaks" 8x6 oil on linen mounted

The past few days I was invited to participate with a group of nationally recognized artists called the "Fernwood Ten." It's a by invitation only plein air event ending in a gala reception. The proceeds from the sales of the art, which we created at Fernwood Botanical Gardens and surrounding area, help found this non-profit organization. If you're near Niles, Michigan, stopping at this botanical garden is so worth your while. Although we had high winds, thunder storms, --typical dreaded weather for plein air artists, we all were able to create paintings which we were happy with and pleased our audience. Unfortunately I wasn't able to photograph my paintings which all sold at the silent auction but hopefully one of my fellow artists will have and then I'll post them on my blog later this week.
In addition to this plein air event, the Fernwood Ten has sixty paintings on show (& sale) at the Clark Gallery until August. Once the show was hung and I saw all the art work, I was so impressed. My fellow Fernwood Ten artists are truely great artists exhibiting inspiringly compelling paintings.
This painting posted today was dash out quickly before the gala reception last Friday night. I was most interested in the high wires in relation to the low buildings. I hope to paint this again and do it better justice. It's a bit stiff and blocky but I did it this way as notes to myself.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Mickey's" 8"x6" Oil on Linen

I love this austere-looking corner pub for several artistic reason but also because it contrasts with the "fellowship" which happens within its walls.
This morning I had the company of two other Plein Air Painters of Chicago, Ellie and Karen Phipps (check their blogs for their take on this location). We had to paint very quickly as the lit side soon move into the shadow side of the building.
Although the bright morning sun made the shadows in general cooler, the red brick was relatively warmish with a purplish cast. The shadows on the sidewalk and road were much cooler than the shadow-side of the building.
Normally I don't sketch first rather I start with large masses of color and value. But for this piece I did "draw" with paint to create and redesign (just a bit) the angles of the roof tops to enhance my design. I really liked how the buildings pop against the sky.
I used two differnt sizes palette knives and my largest round bristle brush. No medium, just lots of lovely oil paint.
We still plan on getting some night painting done so please stop by again soon for those postings.
I'm off to paint with the "Fernwood Ten" in Niles Michigan. If you click on my events listings you'll see their beautiful website. In addition to a paint-out, the Clark Gallery will be showing six of my landscapes through the summer. Preceeds from these sales assist in operation costs of the Fernwood Botanical Gardens and Forest Preserve.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Student Art Works From Spring 2009

The following paintings are not mine rather the oil paintings of my students. I am so pleased with their results that I just had to post them. All paintings were done from life, not photos. We created still life set-ups in the LaGrange Art League studio. Some students haven't painted in years and decided to tap back into their creative-side, others have studied with me repeatedly. I think the results from this class were particularly stunning. I hope they all continue to explore oil painting because their discoveries and successes are simply wonderful, don't you agree









Wednesday, June 10, 2009

River Side Findings

Last night I was again at my new favorite spot to paint, along the river's edge. The river has finally receeded to reveal the rocks and the ground dry enough for me to walk. It was a nice surprise to see these wild flowers blooming in more than a foot of water. Just you in case you can't tell, the blops are suppose to be rocks. I think these rocks were placed here to prevent the riverbanks from washing away.
It was dusk when I started so I painted quickly with a palette knife and hoped my first strokes were accurate because there wasn't time for correcting.
6"x8" Oil on Linen

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Cabaret Pub

Early Saturday morning Karen and I painted in the peace and quiet of the day. I enjoyed the challenge of the quickly changing shadows and light on this blocky building. But I'm wondering if, since being a neighborhood bar, if we should return on a busy night and capture the buzz of a Saturday evening??? I'm thinking yes.
8"x6" Oil on Linen ($145. framed)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

"Scalawag Onion" (sold)

I love shopping at neighborhood farmers markets because they often have veggies that I normally don't see in my local grocery. Although green onions are very common these were so wild, fresh, and colors intense that I thought they'd make a nice study. The roots were long and had a life of their own which inspired the title of the painting. This is mostly a palette knife painting although I did use a brush in areas were I needed to tame down the rougher palette knife strokes. 6"x12" oil on linen