Monday, December 1, 2014

Piper J3 Cub

8"x 10"     Oil     Canvas Board
I did this little painting from a photo, but I pretended I was standing out in the sun at the airport, painting on location, even though we're in the midst of North Dakota sub-zero temperatures. This is sort of practice for when I can get out next summer and hopefully have a chance to paint aircraft in person.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Who Are You Calling Fat?"


18"x 24"     Acrylic     Gallery Wrapped Canvas

This painting is my entry in a local show in which all the artwork is supposed to fit the theme "Label." I went through so many ideas before arriving at this one. At first, I thought I should do something really deep, making a statement about how people end up with labels, maybe explore political or social issues. But, hey...I'm just not that deep, and my art leans more toward playful and "feel good." This piece is definitely not deep, though it is "weighty." Without the title, this one wouldn't make much sense. But, once the title popped into my head, these items seemed like obvious choices to address the "fat" label that nobody deserves...least of all, the skinny little cookie cutter pig in the painting.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Peggy's Cove

Oil     6"x 8"     Canvas Board

I painted this from a photo taken last summer in Nova Scotia. Besides the attraction of the famous lighthouse, the rocks around Peggy's Cove are amazing and just beg to be explored.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Plein Air Light and Shadow


Oil     10”x 8”     Canvas Board    

red window

Oil     8”x 10”     Canvas Board

After I got home from the workshop, I was determined to put into practice what I’d learned about light and shadow so I tried a couple views of this little garage at different times of day. I still have so much to learn, but I feel like, at the very least, I have a better idea of what I need to work on. Now I notice buildings as subject matter much more than I used to. It’ll be interesting to see if I go back to painting pure landscapes any time soon.

Plein Air Workshop Paintings

red roof (800x649)

About a month ago, I took part in a plein air painting workshop taught by one of my favorite artists, Tim Horn. I’ve admired his work for a long time and finally got the opportunity to sign up for one of his workshops. It was held in Door County, Wisconsin amid beautiful scenery. Tim’s demos focused on how to clearly show light and shadow with warm and cool colors and strong value patterns, so we pretty much gravitated toward painting buildings and structures instead of ordinary landscapes. I learned so much and had a great time with fellow artists. I’ve been trying to apply what I learned and I’ll post my efforts in the days to come. Meanwhile, these are paintings from the workshop. The top one was done on the last day…starting to get the idea. Below is a quick one done toward the end of Day 2, and the bottom one was our first “warm-up” exercise painted outdoors in the bright sun.

late in the day


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Who Are You Calling Chicken?


Acrylic     24”x36”     Gallery Wrapped Canvas

The idea for this painting came to me as I looked at the array of whimsical objects I have sitting around my house and I could almost imagine a conversation between two of them. The cast of characters witnessing the confrontation grew (mostly dog toys found at the pet shop) and it became a “dramatic” little narrative on name-calling. Who among us, when we were kids on the playground, hasn’t nervously stood by waiting to see how this was all going to unfold?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

New Plein Air Paintings

Spring River

Bend in the River

River in Spring

Yesterday, I took part in a plein air painting event in Breckenridge, MN where three rivers meet…the Red River of the North, the Otter Tail, and the Bois de Sioux. It was a chilly, WINDY spring day, but it was great to spend time with other artists doing what we love.

I have no idea which river I was painting at any given time. In the morning, I set up to try to capture shadows across a path to the river. The Canada geese were everywhere with their honking and splashing and the wind was another constant companion. In the afternoon, I did the two quicker studies of bends in the river. I actually like those better than my morning painting. I didn’t spend nearly as long on them, and they’re fresher and more spontaneous.

I want to thank Amy and everybody involved with the Three Rivers Arts Council for planning an carrying out this fun event!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

“They’re Here”

they're here

Acrylic     30”x 15”     Gallery Wrapped Canvas

This painting was done in two distinct stages. At first, I only planned to include these wonderful, whimsical, colorful toy robots, slowly advancing toward the viewer. But, when I looked at the painting for awhile with nothing going on in the foreground, I realized it needed something…both for the sake of composition and to create some drama. There was no sense of scale. The robots could have been any size. So, I added the little guy and his dog and now I love the results. This feels like it could be a page out of a children’s book. And, despite the fact that I’m the artist who created the painting, even I don’t know “the rest of the story.”