Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Buttercups" oil 6"x8"

Frederick Olmsted, landscape architect, designed our village in the forest way back when. "Buttercups" was painted in an area he left so that when the Des Plaines River overflows, our little village would be safe. After our recent flooding, buttercups rapidly sprouted up making a beautiful sea of bright yellows.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Old Town cathedral

Karen Phipps and I teased we should call the paintings we did this day "Stinky" because we had to stand next to full trash cans and in the alley (the alley was Karen's idea) with "watch out for rats" signs. Needless to say we did lots of mouth breathing and fast painting. We gave ourselves one hour to paint this church because we knew the light would change fast and limiting our time helps us get down to the business of what's necessary.
I thought mine was going to be about the steeple but the painting quickly told me it was about the geometry. I really don't like to think about perspective and all it's rules. Gives me a pain between the brows. Normally I don't care if the perspective isn't perfect. But for this piece I wanted the geometry and perspective to highlight the expressiveness of the design.
(8"x6" oil $149.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Forgotten Homestead" 40"x30" oil

"Forgotten Homestead" is a painting about a place that could probably tell a thousand stories if only it could speak. Hopefully my painting is strong enough to fill in some of the gaps. This old farm looked so beautiful half buried in the prairie grass and wild flowers.
Painted with my favorite tools, a palette knife and a #20 round.

For those of you who made the Marion Street Gallery opening, Thank You!!! so much for braving the horrid weather. I hope you enjoyed the live music and variety of art as much as I did. And if you didn't get to the gallery yet, please stop by soon. I will be hanging new paintings to replace the gaps from the opening week sales!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fields A Blooming

Since everything is in the light and there is very little shadow, I used the bits of darks as my anchors for the lights. I pushed this to my very edge before the piece would dissolve into a total mess. Hopefully I didn't go over and get carried away with all that wet paint into wet paint.
8"x8" palette knife painting in oil ($275.)

Friday, June 11, 2010

"Off the Path"

One of my students asked me if I ever worked from my imagination and I said "no." Never say never because that is exactly what I started doing after that particular conversation last spring. Thank you Afshin. "Off the Path" is a painting I created in my studio although my muse are numerous memories of living and revisiting the northwoods area. Also I have a couple of little 4x6 oil sketches created over the past eight years so it's not 100% invention. But working this way is a leap for me since I've always preferred painting on location and not re-working the painting later in the studio.
"Off the Path" is a 36"x24" palette knife painting. I was really thinking about Leffel's definition of background and spent a lot of time developing my "background" prior to hitting the lights.
This painting will be shown at the Marion Street Gallery, Oak Park, Il.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

"Jazz Note"

"Jazz Note" will be among several of my paintings shown at City Art Gallery Greenville in North Carolina. The salon style summer show opens Thursday evening, 6/10/2010. (
"Jazz Note" is an on-going series of night life oil paintings started a few years back. I like playing with the different mood artificial lighting brings to a scene compared to natural light. It is 20"x10" oil on stretched linen.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

studying background

Leffel's workshop was divided between figure studies and still life studies. During the 1 1/2 days we had with still lifes I focused on "background." David defines "background" as everything not in the light. This definition simplified things for me and helped me focus on creating a solid support for the "light."
12"x16" oil on Claussen #13ddp linen. Still life studies never to be finished because I got what I wanted from these studies - a better understanding of brush strokes and background.