Friday, May 29, 2009

Rain Barrel Out Back, 6x8, oil on canvas panel

A cloudy day and not a lot of bright color or shadows, but it was wonderful to be outside painting without being blown over by the wind or freezing. This is just a little scene from the other end of the back yard, looking southwest. It always takes me awhile to get back in the hang of painting outside. I think next week I'll try to use more paint!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spring Trees, 12x9, oil on canvas panel

These cottonwoods were begging to be painted. The bare branches hanging down against the newly leafed out branches caught my attention. It was a beautiful day and I was satisfied with the results of my efforts.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hydrangeas By The Window, 8x6, oil on canvas panel

It was a rainy day and these seemed like a good thing to paint. The photo is a little dark I think. I don't paint flowers very often. But it was fun, so maybe when the cold weather returns I'll start doing some floral still life paintings.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rabbit Brush Out Back, 6x8, pastel

This is a little morning scene from my back yard. I think Rabbit Brush is great. We have used it all over the place. Anyway, this is mostly very soft pastel. I don't think I quite got what I was after, but close. The light coming through the green stems made a more translucent effect. I think a better use of warm and cool together would have created that more fully. Next time!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Who, Me?, 9x12, oil on canvas panel

Here is another longhorn painting - a little bigger this time. I just love the gentle faces on these two. I hope to do more of these guys. There a few young ones down by the river that I'd like to capture with paint before they leave for other places. There's a great cut bank along the river where they pasture and I saw them drinking all together against the shadow of that bank the other day. Of course I was whizzing by at 65 mph and no camera. I have it in my mind though . . .

Friday, May 22, 2009

What A Drag, 6x8, oil on canvas panel

Here is another branding painting. From the same time as the other. I had a little trouble with the cowboy at first, but I think it came out okay. I would like to make a larger painting of this also. 

I am finding painting almost daily to be a great way to challenge myself. It is motivating to know I'm going to post a painting and someone is going to be seeing it. I am finding that I can return to favorite subjects again and again or even paint the same scene again to see if I can do a better job. There is a quote from Eugene Delacroix on my drawing board that says: 

"What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough." 

I like that. More next week. Have a great Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Branding Time, 6x8, oil on canvas panel

It's that time of year around here. This was done from a photo, though. It was a fun scene to paint and one of many I hope to be painting. I think I'll make a larger painting of this soon. The challenge, of course is to get the same fresh, spontaneous feel when making it much larger. Each brush stroke from the small study takes much thought and execution when translated in a larger painting. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Plein Air Cows, 6x8, oil on canvas panel

I finally managed to get out and paint some cows! These have been pastured down the road from us for awhile, but will probably be moved up into the mountains before long. I have been driving by them and telling myself to make sure I stop and paint them before they're gone. Finally got to it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Evening Light, 6x8, oil on canvas panel

This little painting was done partly from memory and partly from a photo. I was driving home - without my camera of course - and saw the light on this outcropping of rock that's about a mile from my house. The day had been off and on stormy and there were still clouds hanging around and then the sun peaked out just before sunset and lit up this spot. I went home, grabbed my camera and went back for a shot, but by this time the whole area was bathed in sun, so I got a picture anyway and went home and painted what I remembered it looking like. Its a good exercise - to paint from memory. I think John Carlson, in his book, Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting, says to observe a scene, then turn around away from it, and paint what you remember. One advantage to doing this is that you only remember what really made an impression on you. I think I'm going to make it a practice more often.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Near Chugwater, 6x8, pastel

Here's another pastel. I have driven by this spot many times on my way from Cheyenne to home. I always want to stop and paint it, but never have. This is done from a photo. I hope to make a special trip to this area this summer just to paint some of the rock formations. Its always windy there though, so we'll see . . . I think I have to do some more pastel paintings this week. Looking at this motivates me to get them out again. Today is supposed to be lovely and warm so I think I'll gather my stuff and head out.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Longhorns 3, 6x8, oil on paper

This is another painting on paper. Still haven't decided if I like the paper or not. But I do like this cow and calf. Hope you do too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fremont Canyon, 6x8, oil on paper

Another little painting on paper. I still haven't decided if I like the paper or not. Next I'm going to try Kitty Wallis sanded paper which was made for pastels, but some people use oil on it. I might get some synthetic brushes first though. Thats what is recommended for it. Hope you like this little painting!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Early Morning View, 6x8, oil on paper

Well, this is the view from my front door at about 6 a.m. I painted this on paper, which is something new for me. I wanted to try it because the paint dries so much faster. I haven't decided yet if I like it. It definitely feels different; more like using acrylics out here in the arid west.  I'll do a few more on different surfaces, but will probably stick with canvas.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sun and Shade 2, 6x8, pastel

Here's another pastel from the same spot. These trees are just to the left of the others. I like the immediacy of pastels for a refreshing break. But I like the endless variety of oil. Today promises to be a great day (so far) to go outside and paint. Hopefully the wind won't come up. I don't like having to fight the wind. I remember one time when it moved my hand holding the brush right across the canvas. That was when I decided I'd had enough for that day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sun and Shade, 6x8, pastel

Well, I had to do a couple of pastels. Every now and then I just have to get them out and paint/draw away until I get it out of my system. Sometimes when I see other people's pastels I know I have to do a few, and then I go right back to oils. I first began painting with pastels. When I started oils I would get frustrated because I couldn't just pick up the color I wanted, but had to mix it first. Now that I do oils more, when I paint with pastel I get frustrated because I can't find the color I would have mixed! But its all good practice to go back and forth between the two mediums.  Each have qualities that are wonderful to work with and explore. I have a few new colors coming and a plein air set-up for pastels I think will work better than anything else I've used so far. I can hardly wait to put them to use!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Water Runs Through It, 6x8, oil on canvas panel

I love this spot. Its about 20 miles from my house up Deer Creek Road. Just a little bit of Deer Creek running through the prairie. I think I might make a large painting from this one. It's so much what comes to mind when I think of the West. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cool Morning 2, 6x8, oil on canvas panel

This is an oil of the same scene I did in pastel last summer on location. It was fun. I just used my pastel painting as the reference since I didn't have a photo. I suppose thats cheating because all the compositional issues were there. The one thing I did try to change was to add more warmth to the rocks where the sun was hitting them. I think it worked.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ready, 8x6, oil on canvas panel

This little girl was so cute in her hat and her purse. We were at a ranch up in the mountains to do some painting and her mom was showing us around and so she was helping. I don't think I quite captured her expression, but it's a striking contrast none-the-less. Maybe we'll go back to that ranch this summer to paint again.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Warm Fields, 6x8, oil on canvas panel

This is what it will look like around here in about a month. I can hardly wait!! I am hoping to spend whole days outside painting over the summer. And photographing. I want to have a good amount of resources for those winter months when I don't feel like going outside! I like the lavender in this - it is a nice accent to all the green.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Quick Draw, 9x12, oil on canvas panel, SOLD

Friday evening I attended an art show and sale and participated in the "Quick Draw", during which each artist had one hour to paint and frame a piece and then they were auctioned off to the audience. This is the painting I did for it. You can see its still on my easel.I usually don't remember to photograph my works at these events, but one of the audience asked to take a picture which reminded me to do the same. Most of the time I paint so quickly that I really only have a vague idea of what the painting actually looked like when done. I was glad to have been reminded to photograph this. Its always a bit of a panic because you have people watching you and the time is so limited, but its also exhilarating! This painting was well received and I was satisfied with my work, which is always good.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Magnificent Cottonwood, 8x6, oil on canvas panel, SOLD

Here is the last post for the week - I think. This lovely tree is on a ranch in Medicine Bow, or just outside Medicine Bow. Its a place my husband came to about 30 years ago to hunt and we still visit occasionally. I couldn't resist photographing and painting this classic cottonwood.
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