Once I walked onto this beach, I thought it had to be one of the most stunning places on earth. The mountains and cliffs perfectly framed the brilliant blue Pacific. I couldn't really focus on anything but painting. My family took off for a walk while I climbed up the sandy slopes to get a place out of the wind.
It was a little less windy but my paint and sketch are coated in sand. Very authentic.
I painted with a small set of casein which I find lacking the colors I am used to for mixing. But I did my best.
Photos can't do this place justice. Maybe a real finished painting could. I'm reviewing a book I have of the California impressionists. Fun to see what I saw through their eyes.
These girls were too wonderful to pass up! I saw them while visiting Tidewater Gallery in Swansboro, NC. The gallery is at the mouth of the river leading into the ocean. An amazing spot! Nearby is the beautiful Emerald Isle where these girls were playing in the surf.
Today's beach fashions are rather less romantic than the dresses seen in the nostalgic paintings of the wonderful Edward Posthast or the incomparable Sorolla. These girls are in our modern, protective fabrics, and, while I could have painted them out in white, I thought the bright pink was fabulous and cheerful... and contemporary. These are the days!
28x22 oil on linen
May is just crazy....
We're running towards 5th grade graduation and cramming as much in as possible it seems. Yesterday the kids went to the middle school for a tour. Today was a field trip. They have the talent show and career day and early release all happening this week too. Another field trip later in the month. My daughter has her Girl Scout Bronze Award to finish up and then there is the ceremony and bridging to cadets... and countless more things to remember. And this doesn't even touch on my own work and any other family obligations.
Is it any wonder my brain is on the beach?
Continuing my beach theme here. Wishful thinking. And time to work on large scenes that I can hopefully send to my gallery in Florida. Seems apropos.
I am loving the beach theme. I really can't wait to go back. We haven't been in a couple of years now, except for a quick trip to the Texas coast to show my parents around sometime last fall. This weekend I will be in the Hill Country with a large group of Girl Scouts camping. That might provide good fodder for sketching!
The 24 Hours of Art online show is over. Many thanks to Jane Haynie for arranging that and for all those who looked and contributed and went to my ETSY site and hopefully my website.
This little gem is available in my ETSY shop - click the image to get there to purchase.
I'm definitely going to work this one into a much larger piece.
This sketch was painted on Arches Oil Paper. Its a great paper, specially made for oil painters. No bleed through and protected from oxidation with a unique barrier. The surface is smooth. The paper is thick and can be mounted, varnished and framed as usual or placed into a ready made frame perhaps with a mat and glass.
This is my day to feature my work during the 24 hours of Art show on Facebook. See more at my ETSY shop - but make sure you join the virtual event today to view one-of-a-kind pieces and receive special discounts of 20% or more for event attendees only.
Here is a sneak peek at some new work I have available during the "24 Hours of Art Event." See more at my ETSY shop - but make sure you join the virtual event today to view one-of-a-kind pieces and receive special discounts of 20% or more for event attendees only.
I will post my works tomorrow (Wednesday) morning from 10:30 - 12 mountain time on the Facebook event page. I'm offering 20% off during this event only. You can sign up anytime to "attend" the show.
Here's the Top Reasons you should attend our free online art show:
1) To support local artists
All of our artists sell their own art through their own shops on ETSY or their website. Bypass the big box retailers, and cookie cutter options and support our communities!
2) To view amazing artwork right from your iPad, smartphone, or computer
The entire event takes place online. So you get to attend an art show and discover new artists without leaving your home, workplace, or errand-running!
3) To earn prizes! If the first two reasons aren't enough, then yes, there will be opportunities to earn Amazon gift cards by "liking" or "sharing" your favorite pieces on Facebook!
Are you ready? Me too! Click here to join the event right now. If you're already attending, please "share" the event through your preferred social network!
Sunday afternoon I painted a demo at our Plein Air Austin quarterly meeting. I basically did one of my "30 minute starts" on a 20x24 canvas. They timed me! I hope I was able to share some good info while painting. When painting like that, my brain has to be tuned totally to the task of getting paint on and making quick decisions. I have no idea what I said!
The idea of doing a quick start is that you can respond to a scene with all the energy and excitement that drew you to it at first. Once you quickly make those big marks, you can then slow down and work more carefully developing your focal point, correcting edges, etc. Its especially important to be able to work quickly when painting outdoors. The light can change so quickly that you may be continually updating your painting if you work for an hour or more. I see people who work for 2+ hours on a small scene and they are just noodling it to death.
By focusing just on shapes of color/value and exaggerating gesture at the start, I can retain more of the loose expressive strokes at the end of painting. Its very difficult to go back into a fully developed painting and make it more expressive.
Upon looking at this thumbnail now, I think it needs another element like a bucket. The scene feels a little bland.
Anyway - I had a nice email from a reader who was encouraged by my newsletter and a comment I made about painting for myself - and expressing myself. I thought I'd share a little bit of an old article I saved from Soutwest Art (Sept. 2000). Kevin Macpherson wrote about Passionate Painting:
"This artwork (referring to a Walt Gonske painting) although loosely painted, is by no means sloppy. On the contrary, creating it required the artist to make careful choices. His painting is based on keen observation and individual choices; it is not a compilation of facts but rather a careful selection of certain facts to express emotions.
An artist will never be able to compete with the imitative powers of a camera - photography has given us an unreasonable standard of representation. What the camera lacks, however, is the human element, the artist's personal vision and expression of human experience, which elevates a work to art.
If art is only a laborious mechanical re-creation of reality without any emotional direction or purpose, it is only a technical exercise. If the artist has no vision, no feelings to express, no emotions to share, what good is all of his or her acquired skill? The emotions must guide the artist to create a skillful rendition of a subject that evokes the sense and moves the spirit. Art is more about how the artist felt about the subject than about the subject itself."
Now, I think we all struggle with the painting loosely part. Its so much harder than one would think. I think as I evolve I have learned a couple of things... paint big masses with mixes of brushwork and color while holding the right values. Don't go back and correct or tighten up edges. Don't define separate THINGS - its all just shapes of color/value. Don't overmix on your palette. Let the brush work for you - scrub, twist, use the broad side for wide strokes, turn it around and scrape a twig or hair in with the end, etc.
If you want to see some wonderfully expressive beach scenes - look over at Roos Schuring's blog. She is inspiring! And a few other artists I really look to for inspiration are Bye Bitney, Carolyn Anderson and Tom Balderas. Enjoy hunting them down now!
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life.
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