Teton River Dreaming

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After the class with Scott Christensen, I stayed in the area for a few days to paint.  This shows the Teton River, and really, the flood plains.  I understand that when I return to Driggs, Idaho, for the Paint Out at the end of the summer, this water through the fields will no longer be there.  That’s a pity, it was beautiful.  Below, another painting of a very similar view.  These have not been shown yet, as I couldn’t manage to get the frames together.  Have had to order some lengths of molding and will put them together by the Driggs Show.
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Sorry about the Break in Blogs

Sometimes you’ve just got to take a Big American Break.  This summer has been crazy busy with art work, and frankly, I just get weary of the constant marketing effort.  

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Been a wonderful summer for my work.  I went and took an intensive workshop with Scott Christensen.  It helped my work then, and has changed my work going forward.  Scott teaches us to do a Plein Air study, and then work up a large painting from that in the studio later.  I haven’t had time to do that until yesterday.  I have begun.  In the mean time, here is a study I began in class, and touched up in the studio.  Put on beige suede, in a gold leaf frame and………………sold.    I have so much hope for the future.

The Good Life


This is as good as it gets.  Lovely day, not too hot, not too cold, little wind.
Painting outside 10 MINUTES from my house.
clarkCanyon 037The Canyon Road is one I have taken visitors to see.  Now for the first time, I went to paint.  There are little paved pull offs, just perfect for setting up an easel, and keeping the car safely off the road.  I think I saw three cars go by all day.
clarkCanyon 034The above photo was taken later in the afternoon.   Below you see the earlier painting set up.
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Notice how close the little fence is to me.  Now here is a photo of a visitor I had.  He came from the left, crossed the road, and walked towards me.  I tried to get a  photo with him and the easel to show how close he was to me.
clarkCanyon 033I always feel sorry for an antelope alone.  They are usually in herds.
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He was kind of scruffy looking, but I was happy to have the company.

Speaking of scruffy:

clarkCanyon 022Now here is the second painting.  These are both just oil sketches, totally done
en plein air and not retouched in the studio.

clarkCanyon 041Joy, joy, joy.  I am using them in a very important application that I’m preparing today.

Plein Air at the Indian Caves


Plein Air.  Plein Pouring Rain!  But so much fun with my painter friend, Jacquie Kittson!
These are the Indian Caves near Billings, MT
IndianCaves 007 We stuck it out in the rain.  Jacquie will be sending me photos of my painting in progress,
but here it is in a photo on the table taken this morning.

IndianCaves 010Now here is Jacquie, looking good and cheerful, despite the rain;
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Now brace yourselves.  This is brutal and not for the fainthearted; The rain increased and we packed up and left.  The photo below was taken on the way to the car.  Who IS THIS PERSON????  Terrible double chins, half a face, drowned rat?
And below you can see me painting.  Mind you, it was MAY 17th.  I am wearing, two sweaters, an apron, silk scarf and winter coat.  Summer?  Spring?  Best Brella is supposed to keep sun off canvas.  Here it was serving as a plain umbrella!


Meaty in the Cupcake Hat


cupcakemeaty 007Teee heee heee, I like this already.  Looks like a little piggy!  And the finished painting;
cupcakemeaty 011 - CopyThis little piggy goes to market.  Poor Meatball.
  As an “Only child,” he is made to model the hats and coats I make and sell on etsy…………even the GIRLY ones. Poor boy.  His humiliation is now complete, as this image is immortalized in oil.  Take him out of his misery and buy this painting now. 

Selling the Meatball

Here are the stages of a little painting I did yesterday.  Really happy with it.  You see, I have been pushing myself, getting outside to tackle subjects like mountains and landscapes, with nothing, “Cute” in sight.  All that experience is showing, I  hope.  Yesterday after messing around with some landscape fixes, I tackled my best subject; a bulldog.  Here are the stages for your enjoyment;
MeatyMASTER (2)Six by Eight inches is my new favorite, favorite size.

 MeatyMASTER (3)And now, the finished painting.  I never, ever, list sales on this blog.  But exceptionally, here is a link to the auction.  I’m selling the Meatball.  Let the bidding begin!
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See you at the auction!

Studio Fun


From nearly freezing, wearing ear muffs on Saturday, it has gone to over 100 in the studio yesterday. Crazy.  I stuck it out until after 6pm and had a lot of fun doing this scene from a restaurant in San Francisco.  Here I started with a pretty complete light and dark pattern;SanFranRestaurant (2)I let this rest while I cooled off a bit, then came back to finish it.  My goal is to paint everything in the scene, especially the faces, as I truly see them.  Not to include too much detail.  I think I got it.  What do you think?

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Logging in Hours


Mistakes are learning too.  I spent nearly two hours driving to this location.  Set up, suited up and began.  The wind was howling so badly down that canyon right into my left ear.  I put on more sweaters and jackets, and would have added a headband over my ears, had I had one.  Freezing on May11th.  This was at about 9000 feet.  Down in the town of Red Lodge, Mt. people were walking around in sleeveless shirts in the sunshine.  Ok, my complaining is done. 
Impressionist plein air painterWell, not really.  Now, at home, I am not happy with the way the two lines of the two major mountains are too similar.  They come down in a perfect “V”, and that’s bad.  Yes, look!  That’s the way it is!!!  Lesson learned?  You don’t have to, shouldn’t draw it that way!  I am going to alter the slope of the hill on the left, to make it different to the mountain on the right.  Ok, I did really enjoy my freezing time out in the wind.  When I paint I forget time.  Lesson learned is I need to be more MINDFUL of the painting itself, of the developing painting.  I get so excited to start noting the values and colors that I didnt even SEE the problem.  I do now, it’s glaring.  I can fix it.  And above all, I  have learned a lesson.
Impressionist LandscapeAbove you can see the painting after I worked on it for an hour or so in the studio.  I have totally changed the line of the hill on the left so that it is not identical to the slope of the mountain on the right.  Added more paint pretty much everywhere.  Tried to get an effect that drew me to the scene in the first place;  The rows and patterns of planted trees in the foreground.  The solution is not bad.  Overall, and improvement.  Don’t you think?

Bar Guys– Finished!


barguysFINISHED 009Lots of glazing, and a few details later.  Finished!

Exciting Breakthroughs?


First I did a little 5 x 7″ study from a photo I had taken through the window of a bar in San Francisco.
barguysSMALLI was pretty happy and couldn’t wait to use a large brush on a much larger panel.  So I began again;

barguys 004I like it!  Let’s go!
barguys 005Ok, at this point I was about to have an attack I was so pleased with myself!  Why, exactly?  Because I am finally painting the HUMAN FIGURE in LARGE SHAPES.  I can seem to manage to do this with landscapes and horses.  A common mistake artists make is to paint to much, to paint what they know is there, not what they can actually see.  This happens so often with the human face because we all know very well, every detail of what is there.  Simplify!  I did, above!
barguys 007 Ok, here is the larger painting so far.  LOTS of work left to do today.  I want to tone down the mural in the background, probably with a glaze.  A few more details on the hand to the front. Very important to put in the reflections on the table and lastly on the window through which we see the scene.