Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oregon Beach

Acrylic   8''x10"   Canvas Board   NFS

I painted this to try to capture the feel of the beach our family enjoyed a few summers ago when we rented a house for a week on the Oregon coast. The proportions of the waves, the golden retrievers (Buck and Snoozer), and the two family members in the distance may not be exactly right. But, for me, the painting evokes memories of the wind in the sea grass, the bonfire we had on the beach our last night, the kites we flew, the freezing waves we played in, and the countless sand dollars we found every morning as we roamed far in each direction.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"A River Runs Through It"

Acrylic   18"x18"   (6"x6" stretched canvases)

This multi-panel painting came about through an interesting chain of ideas. After painting a series of small black and white value studies of various subjects just for practice, I decided to tape them up in a group on the wall of my studio. I wanted to enjoy the fruits of my labor and think about how I might use them in future paintings. I really enjoyed how they looked arranged close together, with the values leading your eye from one to the next and throughout the grouping. I thought it would be fun to purposefully design a piece of artwork made up of a series of small paintings, each depicting a different aspect of one subject. I liked the idea of nine parts making up the whole...multiples of three, which is a number that just seems to work when it comes to design. The subject that I chose is the landscape around Valley City, ND. Central to the artwork is the Sheyenne River that runs through that beautiful valley and three means of crossing those waters. I tried to make parts of each little painting pull you into the one next to it (maybe a similar color, shape, or value), and I especially wanted you to feel how the river, in all its forms, runs through it all.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

"Our Farm"

Oil   5"x7"   Canvas Board   NFS

This little painting of the farm I grew up on was done from one of those aerial photos taken in the 1950's. It was done quickly in oils, which I don't work with very often. I thought I'd go back and add more details after it dried a little, but I found I liked it just the way it is. Maybe it seems too soft and sketchy, but that's part of what I like about it. I could write volumes about each of the buildings, about where the treehouses were built, about the fields and what they grew. But I'll just say that these few acres, visible in this painting, are more special to me than any other spot on the planet, and leave it at that.