Sunday, May 31, 2009

I had a little more time today to do my art and tackled my Mule Deer painting. I think it is pretty well finished.
15"x30" Oil Painting

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ever now and then we all have one of those days when the paintbrush and colors and canvass seems to hold magic. Today was one of those days for me.
I spent a good portion of the morning visiting with gallery visitors who were in the mood of asking endless questions and explaining how Aunt Martha paints. I was able to put down a fast acrylic underpainting on this gessoed masonite with a quick color scheme that I wanted. This was done in about 15 minutes and I was happy with what I had done. Finally about mid afternoon I was able to get to my oils and get to work. It seemed like the paint flowed without any fighting on my part for values and adjustments. Everything seemed to work effortlessly. In an hour I set it in front of Tom my pardner for critiquing and he suggested the lighter light just behind the trees. Five more minutes it was done.
We have been having some incredible cloud displays the last few days and nights and this is the inspiration for that. Besides I love doing clouds.
It is a 11"x15" Oil Painting on 1/8" gessoed untempered masonite that I gesso myself.
Several posts ago a question was put to me about wheather I liked putting down an Acrylic underpainting. I was not sure when I did that painting[The Mule Deer in the snow on canvas]but I sure liked how it workd with this painting.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Today turned out to be the nicest day of the season and we at Silversage Gallery decided to have a barbeque out our back door next to the town Parking lot. We had picked up a brand new barbequer and I put it together and must have done a pretty good job as there were no parts left over. Some cooked chicken breasts and hotdogs and good friends and we were off. From left myself, Tom Lucas, Dan Miller peaking around the corner, my wife, Vicki, Tammy Lucas in the chair, Les LeFevre, and Chris Phelps. Les wife, Cathy was kind enough to take our picture.
Tom had a really great sales day but balked when I tried to change the menu from chicken to lobster.
We did shortly have to retire inside as we soon noticed a Mountain Bluebird pair were trying to build a nest in a hole in the cinderblock wall of the building just above the Barbequer. They were having a hard time trying to put up with our activity.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

As I
drove up into my yard this evening I was greeted by several deer. They merely looked me over and only this little fawn from last year even bothered to get up and nonchalantely checked out the ground for spring morsels. They are pretty rugged looking at this time of year.
I ended up the first part of the week doing picture framing for a rancher out east of town so it really feels good to get back behind the easle in the gallery. Things are beginning to get busy and there are a lot of interruptions but it is fun meeting and visiting with folks from all over the world. Especially today where we had a great sales day.
I have started this large sheet watercolor 22"x28" as my deer painting is still not dry enough to work on and I got a little excited about starting this instead of the Owl I had started[see posting somewhere down my blog]and should be trying to finish up. And it is keeping me from working on a commission I should be doing but can't seem to get started on.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My river this morning is running a little high and angry. We are in the middle of Spring runoff and it is up to my yard. A natural occurance that would have most folks a little apprehensive but we have a saving grace here. The elevation. It gets cold at night and that acts as a natural control on the flow. This morning it is 30 degrees and with the rain yesterday afternoon my yard is ice covered. Even the rains here are cold rains and you can be assured that it is snow in the mountains which also acts as a great control. As the snow melts higher and higher during the season it is controlled even further as it gets colder and colder at those elevations.
Notice the line of leaves along the left side of the picture. You can tell the high water mark from the night befor as the highest occurs about 2-3:00 A M That is the time it takes for the snow melt from the previous day to reach us.
Spring is here though as within the last few days the leaves have come out on the trees and bushes and I even saw some tulips yesterday in some folks yards. The town deer will love that.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Horses are even lead off into the cottonwoods here in the town park to further cool down. After a set time of rest at the start of the gun everything is again loaded up and the same process starts again only this time as they return they have to set up Wall tents and the gear distributed in a certain pattern such as would make a neat camp. At times during this event with all the speed and commotion going on it is not uncommon for riders to loose a horse or two and across the hills can be found a riderless horse racing along. Sometimes with saddle or even pack saddle and possibly gear scattered to the sagebrush. Even in the mountains this can happen as we have had horses roll and break pack saddles, buck them off. You just have to be prepared for anything. It is certainly a place to have as gentle a horse as you can find.

I was unable to stay for the continuation of this part of the race. Combined times for the series of events determines the winner along with penalty points factored in.

The next day the race involves womens teams which can be pretty wild.

Panniers[boxes built of wood and covered by rawhide or the modern ones made of fiberglass]that hold gear are unloaded from both sides of the pack saddle. After all the gear is neatly piled and covered by the manti the horses are unsaddled and let cool.

Unpacking. One rider is jsut removing the manti[the brown canvas tarp]while the other is stacking gear.

Memorial Day in Dubois. Typically cool rainey and even snowey at times. Today is no exception. It is raining pretty good this morning and about 40 degrees. I thought it might be of interest to post this series of pictures of one of our summer events. I have had to work in the Gallery over the weekend but escaped for a few minutes to catch the first leg of the Packhorse Races. This event some 15 years ago was pretty popular around the state of Wyoming but as far as I know Dubois is the only town still holding them.

The event begins with a 2 man team and three horses. At the sound of the starting gun each team[there were 8 teams this year]must take down a preset tent pack it and all other gear that one might find in the mountains at an outfitters camp and pack the pack horse. Judges are watching everything and the diamond hitch can get you points deducted if not done properly- then they are off for [I'm guessing]a 3-4 mile ride. One man pulling the pack horse and an outrider who cannot pass the rider with the packhorse. They also cannot break out of a trot or are penalized by judges who are stationed along the route. In this picture they are just riding back into "camp" where they must unpack and unsaddle their horses and neatly stack their gear

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I dug this painting out from my "Fire starter" pile with hopes of resurrecting it. It looks a whole lot better than it did. I have even put it in a frame and hung it in the gallery with a price tag on it. It is a 9"x12" Oil Painting, ALPINE MEADOW
I got back to work on my Mule Deer painting and have taken out the deer in the opening and put in the forground Buck. It is reading a lot better now.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I am letting the oil of the Deer dry for a few days and in the meantime I dug out this painting that had an unfinished sky and no landscape and spent the day working on it. I painted on it at the gallery and it was a chore as we are suddenly busy with the tourist season seemingly in full swing. A lot of interuptions and talking with a lot of folks from all over the country. Had one gentleman and his wife who were wildlife photographers fromn Florida who were kind enough to leave some money at the gallery. They were showing us on our gallery computer some of their photography and it was amazing. Any wildlife artist would be crazy not to drool over some of their material.
By this evening I am declaring this painting finished. It is an 18"x24" Oil and depicts the country just east of Encampment, Wyoming on the Wyoming-Colorado border. Guess I must have done pretty well as we had another couple in the Gallery talking with my pardner, Tom Lucas about filming him for an upcoming film on indian archeology and wanted Tom to demonstrate some of his indian artifact skills. Anyway they are from Encampment and she was delighted to recognize the scene as being about a mile east of their place. I call it PLATTE VALLEY SKIES

Thursday, May 21, 2009

View from the other side. This is approximately 6"x6"

Clay himself is a very talented artist. This is a recently completed Rainbow Trout busting out from Pond Lilies. Clay has a technique of using transparent colors on his patinas that he developed and works pretty nicely on a number of pieces. He had a Rodeo Clown series each with a different color scheme using those tranparent colors that made a pretty awesome presentation.
Our youngest daughter is a R N in the Lovell, Wyoming Hospital about 20 miles from where they live on the Wyoming-Montana border. She is in charge of the Emergency room. Her husband, Clay Ward runs a finishing studio where he does welding and patina work on bronzes mostly for J Michael Thomas who is one of the premier western bronze artists in America today. This is a monument that Clay is currently working on. The missing arm will be holding a hat with water dripping out for a drink. The smaller versions has a pond of water with the water then running out from the hat. I'm sure this will too. It will be installed in the town of Buffalo, Wyoming. Check out Michaels bronzes through Silver Sage Gallery blog or our web site, He is an amzzing artist.
It was also fun to have our daughter from Pine Haven, Wyoming[near Devils Tower] to come and bring our Great grand daughter, Evie Anna. She is a real charmer and all girl so it was fun to lift her over into the sheep pen and catch her reaction to getting a little do do on her shoe. She thought it was all great though.
We are pretty proud of Calli. She graduated salutorian of her class. Missing straight A's by receiving a B in Art class one semester. Seems she was in a disagreement with the teacher over some art project.??
She of course had to address the audience and did a great job. She also has 3 scholarships under her belt and plans on going into Radiology.
I have now gone to oil and worked on this this afternoon. I changed several of the deer on the right hand side and moved a buck out in the open. After I shot this pix I decided the deer back in the opening was in a terrible place as it commanded too much attention and messed up my size look for the three deer way back on the left side.
I had to put away my paints for a few days as Vicki and I drove up to Frannie, Wyoming NE of Cody, Wyoming where our daughter lives to attend our granddaughters high school graduation. A very worthwhile endeavor.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I have continued painting with acrylic blocking in my painting. I'm a little undecided yet if I like using acrylic for this stage of the painting and found myself continually wanting to get out my oils. The tranparency of the acrylics are hard to get used to. But I think tomorrow I will go to the oils. I will be running the gallery myself and will probably be interupted quit a bit but I'll see how far I can get on it.
I had planned to get back to work on my Owl painting that I had started several weeks ago but was hopeing for one more snow for research on my spruce boughs. Just when I needed that one more snow of course it has quit snowing. The trees are even budding out now. The river is a little higher and with over 8 feet of snow in the mountains it might be an exciting runoff particularly as I live along that river. We have one saving grace though in this area. With the high elevation it freezes every night and that puts a natural control on run off[famous last words??]
Any way I had taken several photos of the Jakeys ForkCreek area east of Dubois this past winter and have been wanting to do a couple of long narrow paintings of them. I am also exsperimenting with acrylic as an underpainting befor finishing off with oil. I don't know how far I will take it with the acrylic befor doing that so we will see where that will go. The painting is on linen canvas and is 15"x30". I am doing this in my gallery and it is interesting how the comments from folks coming in go. It is sure a great way of meeting folks. Last night a bear specialist and his wife came in on their way to Yellowstone where he works with gizzly bears to begin the summer season. They were fun people to visit with.
I will be including Mule Deer into the landscape as they slowly traverse the scene-browsing as they go.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It is amazing the ingenuity and imagination artists employ in creating. It is amazing to see the vast array of antlers and horns that have been collected. Nature has done her part in producing some pretty amazing anomolies and natural characteristics in growth patterns for the artists to bring out the best in them.

This is the second day of 4 days of the Antler Sales and display in Dubois and is the forerunner of the big Antler auction in Jackson this coming weekend when antlers are auctioned off from collections done on the National Elk Refuge by the Boy Scouts. Proceeds go towards buying feed for winter feeding. About 30 vendors are in Dubois currently selling antlers, art work done with antlers as well as furniture. Artisans from miles around come to this event to stock up on all types and kinds of antlers and horns which are then used in their various artistic forms. Dustin Stephenson who is our potter at the Silver Sage Gallery was here yesterday and claims he spent too much money. His young son who was with him said he was in big trouble with mom when they returned home.

Kurt and Lynn who have a gallery featuring Curts antler work are one of the vendors and was showing off the elk he crafted this winter made from Deer and Elk antlers. Several hundred of them. Lynn showing off the crafted elk here is also an amazing potter and does some unbelievable abstract work with her photography which she has received national attention for.

She was explaining to me that song birds at their gallery have taken to building nests within the cavity of the elk. That is pretty cool.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Both going to and returning from Jackson and dinner there we watched thousands of elk. They are moving across the 40 miles of Jackson Hole on their spring migration into the high country. It is a fun event to witness. Not seen by many.

Intense in spite of the cold and wind. Dinner at Bubbas[barbeque]in Jackson is my reward.

Not quite sure where I should post this. Here on my personal blog or on my Painting-a-day blog.

My wife and I went over to Jackson Hole yesterday with news from various folks that a grizzly was near the Oxbow Bend and easily photographed. We didn't find him but spent some time chasing around the countryside looking for critters and with the idea to do a little Plein Aire painting. Took the road up to Pilgrime Creek until we were stopped by a lot of snow. Had a picknic off the tailgate of the truck surrounded by snow and was wanting to do a painting there but it was cold and quite windy. Finally went to Pacific Creek and set up for this scene of the Grand Teton. Sometimes is fun to paint in the absense of much light as this was a very clousy day. Wind and cold. No grizzly but lots of elk. Saw probably 2-3000 head. One moose and various other critters.

9"x12" Plein Aire Oil Painting

Friday, May 8, 2009

I worked some more on this painting today and am getting close. Added more trees to divide the Aspens from the light struck Sagebrush middle ground. I think I am on the right track now. The burnt sienna's are way more intense in this pix then in the painting. Gonna have to learn how to manipulate that either through my camera or the computer.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I don't know why it is but after working so long on a commission painting I get to where I can't stand looking at it any more. It is sure money coming in but why is it so hard to stay focused on a commission piece? But. It has to be done though it is July befor my collector will be in town and so I have forced myself to get excited about finishing this up. For those of you who have followed me as I have painted on this I apologize for taking so long in getting back to it. I did spend a lot of time today on the painting and am getting close. I set it up and my pardner and I got to critiquing it and find a number of things that bothered us both about it. That opening of light on sagebrush is a terrible distraction and some of the light under the Aspens need work on. I am determined to work it out though so will promise to repost tommorow and that should give me incentive to finish it up.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This was my entry for the Petroleum Club purchase award. It is an Oil Painting 30"x36" BLUEBELLS AND PAINTBRUSH. Kinda gimmicky but I put this leather frame built by Dan Miller [see Dan's work through my blog on the Silver Sage Gallery]on the painting. If I had to do it over again I think I would have seperated the frame and painting with a liner of some sort. I was voted into the top 5 finalists. But. Lost out in the final judging by an artist from Cody. All was not lost though when a fellow approached me at the end of the show and bought the painting for his wife for Mothers Day.
I ended up having a great show.

I have decided to do Giclee prints of this painting. It will be my 4th Giclee print. The painting seems to be poular with a lot of folks. The giclee is 16"x20" image size and framed will be $250.00 signed and numbered with an edition of 50.
Friday night, May 1, was the Petroleum Club show in Casper, Wyoming. The show allows the invited artists to display and sell 3 miniatures at silent auction, a quick-draw for the artists who do that sort of thing. [We get 70% of the auction proceeds] and the main event the artists vie for which is the $4,000.00 purchase award decided on by the vote of the Petroleum Club members. The club in that way has amassed quite an art collection over the years.
This 12"x19" gouache watercolor was my quick-draw. We are allowed 1 hour to complete our paintings with no drawing done befor the opening whistle. I had wanted to do this off a photograph I had of the backside of Casper Mountain looking to the SE across the Laramie Range but setting up to get started I could not find my reference so did it from memory. I am allowed one guest and being as my father-in-law really enjoys this show-I take him every year and over the years he has aquired 3 of my quick-draws. He was high bidder on this piece. Another good reason to take him.