Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lower Hogback Trail

16" x 20" oil on stretched canvas
contact me if interested

This piece was done last week and was one of my submissions for the 1st Annual Autumn Painting Challenge and Competition on Facebook. The competition went on for the month of October. The number and quality of submissions is amazing: abundant and strong.

This hogback (a verticle geologic protusion from the earth) is an extension of the rock ridge which is part of the Garden of the Gods, and is not too far from my house. I was out there about 8 am to get the good light on the rocks.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October on the South Platte River

6" x 6" oil on panel

This piece is from last week, before the 4 inches of snow froze the leaves in South Park. I know, those of you who live elsewhere have bigger rivers, but the South Platte is a typical Colorado River.

Monday, October 26, 2009

October Meadow

5" x 7" oil on gessoed masonite

This is another view from the Bear Creek Park bike path. I try to walk everyday and more often than not I walk around this park. It has miles of trails and is so convenient, right out the door.

I'm trying to make sure that all my landscapes have a pattern of light, color, or shapes to draw the viewer's attention to a focal point, and to make the viewer's eye dance and move around the piece. In this painting the focal point was the unbelievable bright light on the chamisas (it's a little whiter here than in the painting) at the top of the meadow. I used color patterns to move you up to that point.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon Study IV

5" x 7" oil on gessoed masonite
$75.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

This is the last of my Palo Duro Canyon series which included plein air pieces, color studies, and studies done from photos. Jill, the owner of the B&B where we stayed in Canyon, Texas has made preliminary inquiries about selling some of our small pieces from her B&B. And, our group has started talking about another painting trip this spring.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon Study III

5" x 7" oil on gessoed masonite
$75.00 + $10.00 s/h
contact me if interested

One more study from my trip to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon, Tx.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bear Creek Fall

12" x 16" oil on stretched canvas
$195.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful fall day! The early morning light on the trees and bushes was spectacular. The fall colors this year are amazing. Yesterday was one of those days that my family says, "Now, this is Colorado!" There's a sign near Buena Vista, Co. overlooking a great view of the Collegiate Peaks that says that. So, since we first read that sign to our kids many years ago, whenever we see an incredible view, we say that. One of those family moments.

Anyway, I painted this yesterday of Bear Creek Park. Our house sits next to, and overlooks, this aprroximately 600 acre county park. I've painted it in every season and never tire of its fields, trails, hills, views. This is just out our back door, on a bike trail.

(I still have a couple more studies from my Palo Duro Canyon series, but wanted to post this piece.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon Study II

5" x 7" oil on gessoed masonite
$75.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

This is the 2nd of 5 studies I did from photos after I returned from our plein air trip to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. As I stated yesterday, I used a limited palette while traveling. Those colors were: alizaron, cad red light, yellow ochre, cad yellow light, sap green, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue and white.

During the Weekend with the Masters Workshop, I attended a talk and slide show by Scott Burdick (whose travel paintings are incredible). He stated that when he flies he uses water based oils. We drove to Texas, so this wasn't an issue, but I'm wondering if anyone else uses water based oils. I've never tried them.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon Study I

5" x 7" oil on gessoed masonite
$75.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

The next group of Palo Duro Canyon pieces are little studies that I did from photos after I got home. While on the trip I used a very limited palette, a warm and cool red, yellow, blue, sap green, and white. My palette at home has more colors and for these studies I added terra rosa, cad orange, and dioxazine violet. I got all the colors I needed on the trip by mixing the primaries. But I like the feel from more color choice.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Canyon Color Study III

5" x 7" oil on panel

This color study is of the "Spanish Skirts" which appear in the bottom of Palo Duro Canyon. This dark red oxidation is a combination of iron and oxygen.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Canyon Color Study II

5" x 7" oil on gessoed masonite

This is another color study from Palo Duro Canyon. My understanding of color studies is to block in flat colors of the main shapes. It was difficult to keep myself from painting the tree areas textured. I really simplified the peaks, mesas, and cliffs. But the trees aren't flat areas. I'll work on that next time.

Blogger friend Celeste Bergin, (look at her blog if you're not familiar w/ her great paintings) commented that the last color study was "diebenkorn-esque". That's about the 4th time in the last month or so tht I've heard someone mention Richard Diebenkorn. At the Weekend w/ the Masters workshop, both Kevin Mcpherson and Skip Whitcomb talked about him. I guess I need to know more about him, so I've put his book on hold at the library. I'm more of a book than internet researcher. But, what I do know about him is that he painted a lot in the abstract expressionist movement of the 50s, he created a mood of quiet and isolation, and he worked in broad areas of color in open rectangular planes. I found that little bit from an old college book, "The History of Modern Art" by HH Arnason.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Canyon Color Study

6" x 8" oil on panel

I did several color studies of Palo Duro Canyon. This one was from near the top looking into and over a broad vista of the canyon. While the front rock outcropping looks a little like it's going up, the depth and flattening would have appeared w/ the details, I like the effect of the color flatness and simplicity. More to come.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon IV

6" x 8" oil on panel

This piece was painted early Wednesday morning at the bottom of the Canyon. It was 42 degrees, I was wearing all the layers I had, my nose was running, there was absolutely no sun, so all the value and light was FLAT! When I look at this piece I see great colors, but w/ no value. There wasn't any! Because of the weather one group decided to go to Amarillo and view the sites, one group hiked, our group was hard core and painted. But it makes me think. Should I have pushed the values and created some? Should I have hiked? Or should I have done what I did...painted what I saw. I don't think there's a right or wrong. When you're painting plein air, you just get what you get and enjoy it.

You can see I really loved this outing. I have 5 more pieces to post! Maybe I'll post some others as well for variety. (Or not.)

It is said that Georgia O'Keeffes's early paintings were influenced by her visits to the Canyon. "It is a burning, seething cauldron, filled with dramatic light and color." GOK

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon III

8" x 10" oil on panel
$100.00 + $10. s./h
contact me if interested

This is the 3rd piece I painted on Tuesday afternoon at Palo Duro Canyon. It was late in the day and we switched to another picnic spot. As it was all day, the sun was in and out, causing color and value changes.

Before heading out to paint Tuesday morning we went to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum which is on the campus of WTA&M. It is one of the most beautiful, well set-up museums I've seen and is Texas' largest history museum. In the geology section of the musuem we were given a talk by Petroleum Geologist Chris Bright on the Colors of Palo Duro Canyon. Some of what he told us:
--The dark red at the bottom of the Canyon is the top layer of the Permian age. The earth has an abundance of iron, which in combination w/ oxygen resulted in the dark red oxidation found in the Permian Formations.
--Murky, blue shale was deposited in the Triassic swamp mud. Rivers flowed through this area and cut into the bright red Permian, which resulted in the purple shale.
--He explained that artists find the Canyon so pleasing because the layers compliment each other. Next to the purple layers, is the complementing yellow shale, which is oxygen rich swamp deposits.
--The off-white, or grey sandstone at the top of the Canyon is the white sandstone of the caprock.

We were so impressed that Chris had geared his whole talk to artists and teaching us about the colors and layers of the Canyon. I had never really thought about rocks and color in quite this way. I live in the west, I live in the Rocky Moutains, I live near the Garden of the Gods, our son is a Geology major, I know that colors in paint come from and mountains are not new to me. But, I had never before sat in front of a huge relief sculpture of a canyon showing all the layers and colors and had it explained to me in such a way. It made my paintings so much more meaningful to understand the origin of the color.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon II

6" x 8" oil on panel
$75.00 + $10. s/h
contact me if interested

For this painting, I simply turned my easel around and looked up the canyon. Everywhere you looked was another gorgeous spot to paint. I could stay there for days, and hope to go back. The white rock at the very top of the canyon is the sandstone of the Ogallala, which is the major water aquifer for the area.

This is the Hudspeth House, the B & B where we stayed while in Canyon, Texas. It was built in 1908 by Mr. Turk. The Texas Panhandle didn't (and still doesn't) have much in the way of lumber, so it is believed that he bought a boarding house kit from the Sears and Roebuck catalog for about $2,500.00 which came w/ a 75 page manual. In 1910 Mary Hudspeth was invited to join the faculty at the newly founded West Texas State Normal College, now West Texas A&M U. She boarded w/ the Turk family, and bought the house from them in 1912 when they lost everything in a drought.

In the days before dorms, Miss Hudspeth housed and fed students and faculty. The most famous of those eating meals there was Georgia O'Keefe, who was head of the Art Department from 1916-1918.

Georgia O'Keefe rented a room in this newly built home owned by a physics professor at the college. This 5 bedroom, 1 bath house is one block from the Hudspeth House, 2 blocks from the campus and is presently for sale. (It needs work.)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Palo Duro Canyon

6" x 8" oil on panel

I just got back from a 3 day trip to paint at Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Canyon, Texas with 10 other artists/friends. Canyon, Texas is about 10 minutes south of Amarillo in the Texas panhandle. Palo Duro Canyon is the 2nd largest canyon in the US. Palo Duro means "hard wood" in Spanish, after the mesquite and juniper.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park opened in 1934 and contains 29,182 acres of the scenic, northern most portion of the Palo Duro Canyon. The Civilian Conservation Corp of the 1930's constructed most of the buildings and roads still in use by park staff and visitors.

The Canyon is 120 miles long, about 20 miles wide, and has a maximum depth of more than 800 feet. Its elevation at the rim is 3,500 feet above sea level. Palo Duro Canyon was formed by water erosion from the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. The water deepens the canyon by moving sediment downstream. Wind and water erosion gradually widen the canyon.

Our first two paintings were done at the southern end of the park. It was partly cloudy with the sun going in and out, causing the incredible colors of the rock to change before my eyes. I painted just the center of the far ridge.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Light and Shadow

6" x 8" oil on panel

It was very windy when I went out to paint this morning. We often have high winds in Colorado, and it can be even windier in Hartsel, up in the mountains. So, my choices were to stand in the wind or go down into the woods. As you can see, I chose the woods. I thought I'd do another shadow and light study (like I mentioned in the last post) painting this piece w/ more light than shadow. But, I was drawn to these two trees, and so ended up w/ more shadow than light. That's ok, one day I'll do a study with more light than shadow.