Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Trip out to California

Last week, Steve and I went on a five-day trip to Napa, Yosemite, and San Francisco (and everything in between!). Our original excuse to go was that I had a painting accepted into the OPA Western Regional Exhibition in Calistoga (Napa Valley), so we were going to the opening reception. But that ended up being a very small part of the trip. Having never been to California before, I was in complete awe of the diversity in the landscape and climate. I knew the landscape would be beautiful, but it was more than that... it was a breathtaking display of God's creation which offered unlimited opportunities for painting! We did it right as soon as we arrived by renting a red Camero convertible and driving down Hwy 1 from San Francisco to Monterey and Carmel. That afternoon, I had the wonderfu… Read more »


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Challenges of Self Portraits (from a mirror, or course!)

American Artist magazine is currently running a cover competition featuring self portraits, so that gave me some incentive to try my hand at, once again, the ever-intimidating self portrait done completely from a mirror. Some things I learned from the experience this time around: You have to cope with the model moving all the time. You'd think that since I look at myself in the mirror everyday, I'd have my features memorized. But this time it felt like I had to learn them all over again, in this specific lighting, under these specific circumstances. The lighting changes everything! I asked myself the question: "Do I want to idealize myself or paint me the way I look, in this moment?" True to my classical-realist tendencies, I answered with both. The idealization was uninte… Read more »


Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Plein Air Sketches

I have been doing more plein air painting, now that the weather is finally cooling down. Here are a few little studies, the first three of which are from the nature preserve that is within walking distance of my house. Because the rocky stream curves and bends so often, there are countless potential paintings waiting to be created just in this one small area. I went out with my painting students on a couple different occasions and created these sketches. 8" x 6" study - 1.25 hrs 7" x 9" study - 1.25 hrs 12" x 9"study - 3 hours This last one was painted at Lake Lavon in Wylie, Texas. It was about 95 degrees, with mid-day lighting, so all in all, VERY uninspiring. However, I decided to give it a shot. At least I had fun! Read more »

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