Friday, August 28, 2009

Quebec, Canada

We had a wonderful family trip exploring Quebec and the surrounding area. I most enjoyed exploring their beautiful countryside. The people were probably the warmest I've met on a trip. So much so I now want to learn French. One very new and different painting experience I had in Quebec city was when I decided to join one of their plein air events. I set up with several others in the old part of the city but saw that everyone was painting from a photo or copying a painting they had already painted. Since I don't speak a word of French I had no idea why this was happening. I was the only one painting the street scene. Anyone out there able to shed some light on this???
The above oil paintings are a sampling of some of the plein air pieces I painted and saved. They are 8x6 oil on linen mounted on 8ply museum archival board.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I'm going on another trip back east so this will be my last post until I return home.

Lottie's is a neighborhood bar in Bucktown. Cityscapes create so many questions. It seems to me the longer I study painting the more questions I discover.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Quilt Garden Paint-Out" and McCord Gallery Plein Air Exhibition

"Palos Woodlands" 6"x8" oil on Classens Belgium linen mounted on archival museum board

McCord Gallery is hosting a juried plein air exhibition of anything in the Palos Hills, Palos Park, Palos Heights area. They are surrounded by gorgeous forest preserves so that's where this one was painted. I was very much intrigued by how the warm humid air affected the quality of light and shadow.
I'm going to say it in ink, I'm happy with the balance between representationalism and the abstractness of paint application in this one.

Karen painting at the Quilt Garden Plein Air Paint-Out this past weekend.
The wind was very strong every day we painted and knocked us over a few times. We had all kinds of wild weather except for snow so it was a doubly fun experience. Sycamore Fine Art Gallery did an excellent job of organizing this event and I highly recommend all you plein air painters in the neighborhood to join next summer.

Friday, August 07, 2009

once again,...

I worked on a number of landscapes this week and thought these two sums up my efforts. I realized that I am now using a palette knife almost exclusively and I'm not sure why. And why do I keep carrying all those brushes that aren't getting used???

Karen and I are off again on another plein air competition/show, this time in Indiana. wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

"Off The Vine" (Fruit of the Vine series)

I've been so busy enjoying plein air painting that I haven't worked in my studio in over a month. But here is my first still life of the summer. I love these elongated horizontal formates and red grapes are one of my favorite challenges. Just as with the plein air pieces, I'm trying to find the right balance (for me) between abstract expressionism and classical realism. Hopefully I didn't make the grapes which are in the light too sparkly.
This palette knife oil painting is 10"x20" on gallery-wrapped oil prime linen, $995.

P.S. One of my large oil paintings was selected for the show called "ArtPrize." This international exhibition will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Several different venues will be hosting art work from around the world. The jurors are you, the public. Voting done mostly through Facebook, Twitter, etc with the grand prize of $250,000., wow! Stay tune for more info or go check out their website The show opens mid September 2009.

Monday, August 03, 2009

"Pastoral Dreams" (Pabst Farm)

This is another from the Oconomowoc Mid-Summer Brush Plein Air event. We happened upon this marsh-ey pasture and jumped out of the car to paint it. I wanted the challenge of creating a sense of depth and space while hinting at the water trailing through the pasture.
8"x10" oil

Saturday, August 01, 2009

"Oconomowoc Wild Flowers"

For the past couple of days Karen Phipps and I participated in Oconomowoc, WI 3rd annual plein air event called Mid-Summer Brush. We'd never been in this area which is between Milwaukee and Madison. Since we're both enthusiastic cityscape painters we thought we'd be painting their pretty town, wrong. We fell in love with their gorgeous countryside which was in full bloom with prairie wild flowers and breath-taking vista scenes. This is definitely a place we will return to and spend many more days painting.
This painting was created down a rough road probably created for farm equipment. Hopefully we didn't ruin the alignment on Karen's car. The sun seemed to fly across the open sky so I used my largest palette knife while trying to capture the breezy flowers/colors/atmosphere. It will be on exhibition through mid August in Oconomowoc, WI. (14"x16" framed, Oil $450. )