Saturday, September 27, 2014

Last Days of Summer

Saturday, my friend, Chris, and I took a photo shoot up Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains just southeast of Salt Lake City. The sun was out, the leaves were past their prime but still very beautiful.

Our destination was Silver Lake, but we stopped several times to shoot some images before we arrived at the lake.
I'm standing at Cardiff Fork, a place where I used to sleigh ride in the winter.

We took LOTS of photographs. The nice thing about a digital camera is that you can delete all the rejects and it doesn't cost you anything!

This is Chris with her dog, Alice.

Autumn is a beautiful time to photograph nature!

We are fortunate to live so close to wilderness areas.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mt. Olympus Sunset

                              This is a quick study.

                             "Mt. Olympus Sunset"
                                 8" x 8" oil on panel

Light Descending

            Here's a new piece from my landscape series.

                                "Light Descending"
                                18" x 24" oil on panel

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Relax With "Family Art Night"

Half the fun of being an artist is sharing the experience with 
people you love. I held a "paint out" at my art studio with one 
of my sons and his family. It was relaxing and so much fun!

We used acrylic paint for easy clean-up. You should try this!



Monday, September 8, 2014

Autumn in a Silver Bowl

I wanted to combine an image of something natural with an object 
that was man-made and elegant. Voila! Autumn leaves in a silver bowl.

  "Autumn Leaves in a Silver Bowl"
     18" x 24" oil on panel

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Blog Hop - An Online Adventure!

 A couple of weeks ago, a friend and fellow artist, Brienne Brown (a fabulous watercolorist), asked me to be part of an "Art Blog Hop." It sounded like fun! So, here is how it works: Brienne posts on her blog and links to my blog (along with two other artists), introducing us to her readers and followers. Then she answers some questions about her own artwork.

In turn, I get to do the same; answer some hard questions and introduce you to 3 other artists of my choice...linking you to their blogs. This is a way for all of us to meet new artists and expand our art world. So, here it goes:

How does my creative process work?
I prefer painting directly from life because I can observe and appreciate the subtle colors and values of the real world that a camera cannot capture, but sometimes I do use a the case of pets, little children or bad weather when I am plein air painting. 

Setting up a still life in my studio is a favorite challenge of mine. Sometimes I want to complete the work รก la prima by capturing the essence of my subject all in one session. This encourages me to simplify my presentation and learn to paint quickly and intuitively.

Other times, I want to focus on the details, and I strive to include every tiny feature of my subject into the painting. This requires many sessions and a detailed examination of my subject. To me, this can be as rewarding as a science experiment!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I like to zoom in and capture an intimate view of my subject. Yes, I have painted plenty of traditional views - but the close-ups are my favorite. I would rather paint a single blossom than an entire garden or a pine cone instead of a pine tree. I love to use strong color and employ energetic brushwork. 

On what projects am I working?

I have recently started doing more work with a palette knife because of the boldness and vitality it introduces into a painting. Currently I’m working on a landscape series of local scenes here in Utah.

Why do I create artwork?

I simply cannot stop. It’s my passion. I have always been an artist and will likely go to my grave with a brush in my hand. Besides, on those rare occasions when I must delay my work, my family reminds me that I need to paint (maybe I get grumpy).

Now, the fun part: I’d like to introduce two other artists to you!

My good friend, Colleen Howe Bleinburger is a local artist here in Utah. I met her when I moved into the Rockwood Art Studios in Sugar House (her studio was across the hallway from mine). Her work is full of light and color. She captures the rhythm of nature in a soft and romantic way. Working in both oil and pastel, she renders beautiful paintings of rural farmland and outdoor landscape. She’s also an excellent teacher and blogs about her workshops and current projects. I think you’ll like her work!

Renon Hulet resides here in Salt Lake City. I met her through the Intermountain Society of Artists. Her lively work is evident when you browse her blog. Working in acrylic and oil, she paints landscape, people and architecture in a bright, sassy way. She also throws “Painting Parties” for Corporate Team Building, Girls Night Out, Family Reunions and the like! She also teaches art classes in her studio. check out her blog.

That’s it!  You’ve just been introduced to two wonderful artists! Perhaps this will inspire you to keep painting and growing as an artist!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Plein Air Paradise: Spring City, Utah!

Where can a plein air painter experience a 4-day thrill of stiff painting competition, surround themselves with beautiful scenery and share the camaraderie of other artists?

You guessed it...Spring City, Utah!

Here are some pictures of the town, the people and this year's plein air event. To get a feel for the action, scroll down and watch the video clips too.

Nestled in the rolling farm hills of Central Utah, Spring City is alive with the gentle sounds of lowing cattle, baaing sheep and crowing roosters (although at 6:00 am it's surprising how loud those animals can be). Spring City is one of the two cities recognized nationally as "historic cities" (Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia is the other city).

I stayed in the historically renovated home/art studio of Susan Gallacher. Susan has thoughtfully furnished her home with authentic antiques that reflect the style of the early Utah settlers.

Here's the bedroom, the living room and the dining room.

Thursday evening, we met at the home of Chris and Allison Anderson for a 
"welcome artists" bar-be-cue. Their home, barn and grounds were spectacular! 

Friday morning, I began a painting of the "Senker House" along Main Street.

While I was painting, the owner of the house came out and 
brought me an ice-cold glass of lemon tea (his own 
special recipe)...a friendliness typical of the townsfolk here!

When I finished my painting, Mr. Senker came out to look at my work 
and accidentally left the gate open. His mare "Freckles" bolted out and 
kicked up her heels through the streets of Spring City until a kind 
neighbor brought her back home.

Friday morning brought another round of outdoor painting.  A cowboy 
and his horse modeled for some of the artists.

I decided to paint a portrait of Susan Gallacher while she painted the horse and 
cowboy.  I observed her for a few minutes and then determined that the only 
consistent pose she maintained was when she leaned back to study her canvas.

Friday evening, all the plein air work was turned in at the Main Street Gallery.

  Bryan Mark Taylor was the judge for the competition. After an award ceremony and a scrumptious buffet, Bryan gave a painting demonstration with tips and pointers 
for plein air painting.

This is Bryan's block-in from the demo.

Later that night, several artists gathered on Susan Gallacher's front porch to relax.  
Steve and Greg played the guitar and there was plenty of laughter and singing.

"Das Cafe" is an awesome place to eat breakfast and lunch in Spring City! If you want 
good German cooking, you'll find it there! The walls are painted a sunny color,  
the food is terrific and the owner/operator couldn't be more gracious.

The kitchen is right in plain sight and you can watch the ladies do their magic as they cook!

Here's Tom Howard putting the finishing touches on his painting.

At the end of a fabulous week of painting, the locals and the remaining artists 
gathered together for another bar-be-cue and a barn dance. Holy cow!
These people can throw a party!!!

There was even a homemade zip-line!

After dinner, most folks went into the barn to dance.  

 A huge thank you to Chris Anderson and many others from Spring City who contributed 
to the success of this annual celebration. It was extraordinary and inspiring to see 
the tremendous support that this community has for the visual arts!