Friday, February 26, 2010

I have gotten my painting to this point today and will now have to wait for it to dry awhile. Still playing around with the light and now trying to decide just how far I should go putting in willows on the floor of this little canyon.
I had to give myself a break from the deer painting. Have gone back to try and finish this winter scene. FORK OF BROOKS LAKE CREEK 12"x24" Oil Painting, that I had started and posted about a week ago. Worked yesterday afternoon on it and am off on it again today.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I posted this Bighorn Sheep image that I photographed the other day on my OUTDOOR ADVENTURE blog and Sheila Tajima asked if she could use it for a painting. We thought it might be fun to issue it as a challenge for a painting to anyone interested in doing so. SO! You are challenged. Please let me know when you have finished yours. I'd like to see what comes of this. Not sure how these things work but if you would e-mail me your finished piece I will post them.
Transfered onto the canvas and ready to apply paint. I want yet to make one of these or even two Bucks but am thinking yet just which ones or may even add another.
More detailed drawings of the deer I will be using in the painting.
The last several days I have been working very diligently on my Deer Painting that I have previously mentioned and had a rough sketch made out. I had said this would be a lengthy project and it is sure turning out to be but not really unlike any other major painting undertaking. My original thought was to have a fairly vertical painting with the deer ascending a steep hillside sensing danger but not knowing where it was coming from. So far I am calling it UNSEEN BUT SENSED DANGER. After a day and a half of sketching, resketching I decided the whole design was not working as that vertical ascention was too scattered. So yesterday afternoon I scrapped that whole idea and drew the deer closer together but still with the idea that they were searching and slowly beginning to move up into the timber and possible safety beyond. Finally. I think I am onto what I wanted. The canvas size is now 25"wide by 28"high.
After I went to this decision I began sketching the deer out in more detail using my photo research to get the essential anatomy down on each deer. I like to use tracing paper as it begins as a quick sketch then is just easier to overlay with tracing paper and correct what is wrong and keep what is right. This pix shows my detail of the final deer drawings I have transfered to the canvas.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just to invoke a little humor into my blog. The caption on this photo that I took the other day seems to have the Bighorn Ewe saying, "Hey fellas, Could you open the gate for me" She could actually walk 30 feet to either side where there is no fence.
The camp in Torrey valley was once known as the Audubon Camp of the west as they held educational camps here for years . School teachers, biologists, archeologists and nature enthusiasts now do camps and courses here. Run by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission.
I have just posted a series of winter sheep photos on my OUTDOOR ADVENTURE BLOG from this great day in the field
For all those folks who gave me so much direction on how I should matt the Platte River Island I'll let you know I did change out the one shown on my post and opted for a kind of ochre color that really did it right. I think it was the perfect choice.
I also have been spending some time the last couple of days working on drawings for my deer painting I have been discussing some posts back. Struggled with the size relationship to the landscape but I think I am finally on to something.

12"X24" Oil Painting
I started this painting as I have been recently doing-with an underpainting of Acrylic just to get my main masses and a little bit of direction down as to where I might want to go with this painting depicting a mountain Stream NW of Dubois. It is a small side stream that flows into Brooks Lake Creek which is itself a great stream where I used to take my kids and nephews and nieces fishing as it was fairly easy for anyone to catch fish there and the kids loved it. I love to do cross country skiing in the area myself. I have now begun painting with oils at the top and down the left side trying to infuse light back behind the trees that is currently a dark blob. I want to have them in shadow and further down I will have light crossing the snow as if the early morning sun is just breaking through the lasndscape. The stream will course its way towards the painting bottom. Will be playing with that light as I go.
I have another snow scene I want to do in Gouache so I will be posting that in next day or so and will continue to do so as I progress with it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Last summer we had some folks in the gallery who were interested in buying a photograph of the Badlands out east of Dubois. They had just bought some property to build on for a family get away. They were from Kansas. I suggested that I could do the photogrphy and from their property. I exclaimed it might take a while to get just the right shot. For the next month I made 8 or 9 trips out to the location to get pictures. had just what I wanted on about the 3d trip but I had gotten dust inside my camera and that ruined the pictures with spots. It took nearly a month to get the pictures I wanted and they purchased them from me. About 6 weeks ago they called and wanted the same thing done with a winter view. We have had very little snow the last few months and again I have made several trips out there. Finally yesterday with fresh snow on the ground I made the trip out again and got some descent photos. Only to discover upon returning home that there were those spots again. Ruined. Am I jinxed with this project? It has never happened to me and this is the 2nd time on the same folks project. Snowed again last night and early this moring was breaking up weather wise so my wife and I headed out and with crutches I tromp off into the snow with another camera I have. Got the pictures and I think they are going to work. My wife insisted I put this picture on my blog just to show what I will do for a dollar. I am onto 1 crutch but thought it best to do this with both feet on the ground. There were a number of deer on the hill watching the procedure and all betting on how I would come out. Fooled them. Never fell once.

I didn't get a lot done yesterday but I did mange to finish my EAST FORK COTTONWOOD 11"x14" Oil Painting on canvas. Several posts back I said I was not pleased with a number of things on this painting. What really stuck out was the horizontal bands of hills each equal in size. Boring. So I have reworked it and this reads a lot better now.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I was sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of coffe and dunking the last ginger cookie in the cookie jar and a new Oatmeal-raisin that my wife made just last night. My soft time. Looking past the dinning room widow out the front of the house where a White breasted Nuthatch climbs and descends the cottonwood searhing for grubs or insects of any sort. Both Mountain and Black Capped Chickadees are on the same tree with their song that is always so positive in attitude. It is 8 degrees and for the third morning in a row it is snowing. 3" last night. Very dry as the sun tries to show its muted presence through the overcast with light snow continuing to fall and the light breeze picks up piled snow on branches and blows them off in soft plumes that being so dry turn to snowflakes themselves befor they reach the ground. On beyond the yard the river slows down just enough to form almost a small lake with little current. Ducks, Mallards, Golden Eyes and now and then a Common Merganser congregate. It is fun to watch them but makes one shiver to watch the Mallards tip up with heads underwater while the Goldeneyes plunge under only to resurface moments later. Over the years I have been priveleged to having seen unusual species on the river that were even recorded as unusual in national Birding journals. Old Squaw Ducks more thught of as being in the arctic, harlequins last year. I have several times in the last few weeks even watched a pair of Hooded Mergansers. Very unusual. Now and then a Muskrat will entertain us as he swims from one side of the river to the other side. We used to have beaver there also but neighbors didn't think they were very neighborly and had them trapped out. I even went and wired up all their trees for them so as to save them from the little loggers. There is a lot of willow which only makes them grow back thicker the next year and the beaver seemed to thrive on that arrangement. But to no avail as far as neighbors go. We used to have a lot of Moose that would winter along the river and were always passing through the yard but again they ate the nice deserts they thought folks were planting for them. Harrasement and cutting of willows ended that. I have not seen a Moose around here in 15 years.
The coffee cools off and it is time to end my soft time and climb the stairs to the studio. At the top of my stairs is a door out onto my Deck off the studio and I step out on it and take this picture across my back yard and the neighbors yard with one of his assortment of refurbished wagons that he does such a good job doing. Two Canadian Geese are on the river and are taking issue with one another. In the quiet of this snowy morning even this dissention sounds good. I turn to my desk to write this and start my morning accompanied even as I get to work by the various birds on my bird feeder just out the window from where I am sitting. The two kinds of Chickadees, the Nuthatch, pine Siskins, Cassin Finches, an occassional Goldfinch and Junco. Then there is the visit by our resident Pine Squirell. Life is good in spite of having a bum foot and recovering from this chest cold. It is enough to even want to go to work.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Last night after I had posted this painting onto my blog I set it up off to the side of the T V under a light I have set up for such viewing-which is something I do often-and while the Olympics played I studied it. The first thing that really grabbed me was the brush I had put in around the Deer. It was just too much. That bothered me more than the Buck Mule Deer being hidden. My wifes comment was the deer was too hidden. That sentiment was echoed in my blog comments from my good friend, Kay Abeyta. To me it wasn't so much as the deer being hidden as there was too much confusion with all that brush. So.. This afternoon I went back into the painting and painted over the brush. That was after this morning when I did some framing including building this frame for this painting. The liner is a linen mat and I wonder if it isn't too white? Awaitng comments. I know Kay will let me have it one way or the other.
I have used the painting of this piece as a guiding tool for a number of artists out there who have asked a lot of questions both through my personal e-mail and in comments about my gouache procedure. I welcome all. I hope I have been able to answer most. I had mentioned to someone that the beauty of gouache is that you can paint dark over light and light over dark and do it all again. I took a darkened yellow ochre-almost a raw sienna color and with the right consistency of water to paint-painted right over the brush. Rather thickly and not too wet so that it had an opaque quality to it and would cover the dark. Did so with a #8 Filbert brush. Let it dry completely.[just a few minutes here in Wyoming]then with the right consistency, again painted lights and darks of grass and some brush back into the painting. Did add a little Cad Orange straight for leaves on some of that brush to pop it a little. Added a little more detail to the Buck to make him pop some and I think I am a lot happier with it. Will await comments and see if I really am??
I did download the pix as a larger image when one clicks the image here. That way you can get a little larger view of it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The last couple of days I have been dragging along not getting a whole lot done as I and anti-biotics never did get along too well but I do feel a litle better today so maybe I have this whatever flue whipped. don't know what it is as I had the Swine Flue shot, the regular flue shot and the pneumonia shot. Guess I had not been shot enough. I have managed though to call this pretty well finished. I can all ready see a couple of minor details I'll need to fix and wondered about the deer being hidden and thought I might bring him out a little more until I began writing this blog entry and watching a doe from my studio window moving along the brush at the rivers edge. No. I think I will leave him the way he is.

This is pretty thoughtful and cool. I was awarded the Sunshine award from two different individuals on the same day. Doreen Cross and Diane Marshall. Thankyou ladies. I thought about who I might send this on to and have more than the names allowed so rather than make that kind of decision I would like to include everyone on my blog list. Everyone I sneak a peek at on occassion are all well deservant only because they have made the decision to do art, share it, and take the time to comment and encourage each and every one of us. God bless you all.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I had intended on getting to work on my Deer drawing for the painting we have been talking about but after a Clinic visit this morning with the anti-biotics they put me on I just didn't feel up to something like that which takes a lot of perseverance to get the drawings right-so I piddled around on this all afternoon and have finished my water and the back brush a little. Even more leaf structure in the trees.

I spent some time yesterday afternoon and this morning working on this painting, COTTONWOODS ON THE EAST FORK. It is 11"x14" Oil Painting on canvas. I still have another sitting on it bringing out a few more darks and lights in the trees and still not too happy with the ridge in the background.
My wonderful feeling chest cold was about to get to me so I made a little trip to the Dubois Clinic where I got checked out and some anti biotics prescribed. Nice thing about a little place like Dubois is getting checked out by folks you have known for years. Michelle, the nurse was trying to remember if it was Mollasas or Ginger cookies that were my favorite? or if there was a difference. I don't think so so I have a promise from her of getting a home delivery of Ginger cookies. The PA remembered what I was given two years ago for a bad cold and prescribed the same hoping it will work out again. He has a good memory. Now if it will work? Wonder how long it takes Michelle to make Ginger cookies?

Monday, February 15, 2010

I spent some time last night working on my Gouache, Platte River. Blocking in the rest of the painting and doing a little more detail on lower left side and in the water. At least now you can see where I am wanting to go with this one.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

For all my friends out there in the Art Blogging world. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY
This old bronc is still waiting for me to get back into the saddle.

I spent the better part of Friday and some of saturday working on drawings for the Deer painting that I have been discussing. After all that time I sat back and looked at what I was doing and told myself that I was getting away from the story I wanted to tell. I had drawn the Deer too big for the painting making it a Deer Painting rather than Deer within a lasndscape looking for an escape route from an undetected danger. So I am back to drawing them smaller. Well. Maybe tomorrow I'll start. I have been also thinking about this old Cottonwood that is up on the East Fork. It has so much character and color in it from the fall two years ago. It is begging to be painted so this morning I have put a quick wash of Acrylic on a 11"x14" Canvas. I'm all ready thinking it should be a larger painting but I'll stick with it.
This morning started out overcast and snow flurries falling at 16 degrees. It has since cleared off and my wife is talking about going for a ride up country if I am up to it. I have been fighting a chest and head cold but Cabin Fever also. Sun is bright. Sounds like a plan to me. Back to the easle tomorrow.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I have worked a few more hours on my Platte River gouache painting. It is coming along pretty slow but that is O K I am not in any hurry with this painting in that way. I didn't like the size of my Buck Deer against the cottonwoods so I spent most of my time enlarging him. I think it is looking a lot better now. I had taken a paper towel wet but not dripping and wiped out the deer and some of the immediate background. repainted him back in to the size I wanted paying close attention as to the wetness of the paint. I didn't want to get it very wet or work the paint at all or I would have picked up the underlying colors and it would have turned to mud. Is best to just put the paint on and leave it. If not right wait to let it dry and then another nearly drybrush application over that until I got it to where I want it-at least for now.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I have been working on this most of the day to finish things up and think I pretty well have it. After a few more days of drying I will put a few more touches to it but I am going to call it finished. PINNACLE MOUNTAIN STREAM 15"x22" Oil Painting. Odd size that means I will have to build a frame special for it but since I build most of my frames anyway that should be no problem.
I worked on this Oil Painting most of yesterday afternoon and have pretty well finished the left side and the water. Today I plan on finishing the grasses and brush on the right side and the rocky little bar at the bottom.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I spent some time working on my Gouache. getting the trees in and some forground water. I did sketch with paint the Buck Deer that I wanted along the cottonwoods.

This is a series of thumbnail sketches that I have done portraying various ideas for placement of the deer I have been discussing. I still like the idea of the deer climbing a steep ridgeline sensing danger from some undetected source so that they are looking everywhere as they slowly climb towards the timber at the top of the painting. In the photos I took for this idea there was a huge fallen Limber Pine but I am afraid it may be too much and to make it look right might take away from my story idea so I think I will just use trees instead. So it is the lower left sketch that I am leaning towards. I redid it a little at the bottom of page and now will go into more detail as far as sizing and placement of the deer still using paper but maybe to the size of the canvas it will all be done on. I'll try and get some of that worked out in the next day or two.
I worked all day on my PINNACLES STREAM Oil Painting working my way down towards the bottom building up my detailing as I go. Upon finishing I will still go back in and do touch up where appropriate to pull everything together. I didn't get to my Gouache as I had planned but feeling ever so guilty I did do a small Gouache that I posted on my painting-a-day blog. Not quite getting one-a-day. Guess I am having too much fun working on these larger pieces. Still working in my mind the Deer painting I have in my sub concious. I really am ready to start doing some sketches on it. Maybe I can get going on that today.
This is the day I get to go to the Dubois House of Horrors for continuing foot exercise. To heal they tell me I have to want to be in pain. Ouch!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I have been working on this Gouache watercolor for several days. I have thought about it for a while and working off several photos of an island on the North Platte River south of Saratoga, Wyoming near the Colorado border which is very near the headwaters of the North Platte. This painting is 18"x28" image size. After starting I decided to also put in a Buck Deer. He will be showing up very soon.

Worked on this painting for a while yesterday. As usual am working top to bottom and from left to right so as not to get my hand into my oils. So why do I have paint on the underside of my hand? Well. I try to stay out of it. Will hit it again today though I am also working on a Gouache watercolor that I am also posting.
Still doing some planning out in my head on the Deer painting. Will post some drwings later.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Our suffering to the winter weather woes are nothing compared to the rest of the country. We could really use some of the snow the rest of the country seems to be getting. This morning was cool at 8 degrees and overcast with low clouds and several flurries falling at the rate of a trace in two or three days if it keeps up that long. Early this morning my two welfare cottontails were waiting at the far end of the yard when I opened the door with a carrot for each. They are in full stampede to get their carrots. We have created monsters. Every now and then our resident Great Horned Owl thanks us for feeding those cottontails to make a nice fat meal for themselves. Natures way.
I am still in the thinking stage for my painting of the deer on the ridge line that I posted. I am leaning towards stacking them in an overlapping fashion up the hillside in a vertical format and as they were in the photographs I took, a little wary about what was going on. My thought is to pose them with the realization that something is not quite right and have them all peering in different directions trying to pinpoint where the danger is coming from. Next is to begin some sketches.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

In the mean time I have blocked in this painting 15"x22" Oil. This is a painting from several years ago when I took a number of photos above Brooks Lake. I did a gouache watercolor from that little trip that I won an award on and was published in an art magazine. Everytime I run across this photo it begs to be made into a painting. This past summer Les Llefevre and I were back up in this area on a hike into Jade Lake and I began thinking at that time about doing this painting. You can check out that trip with its beautiful waterfalls in my OUTDOOR ADVENTURES blog from early September of last year. There is in fact a photo from that trip that is tugging at me too. So here goes.
Last sunday Vicki and I drove up Horse Creek road just to try and cure a little cabin fever. Dubois has had very little snow this winter and the mountains are about 50% of normal but that doesn't mean there is no snow up there. All the roads around Dubois are unimproved and in some cases no more than cow trails. About 10 mile north of town we were in freshly fallen snow and no tracks showing that we were the only people to have traveled up that way in the past 24 hours. We had spotted 3 Buck Mule Deer and watched them awhile and a little further up the road decided to turn around. Still on crutches I don't relish becoming stuck and doing any digging out. Going back down the road we discovered a nice herd of does and fawns on the steep hillside from where the bucks had been and I took a number of photos of them. Thinking about this group I have begun to formulate an idea in my mind. I really like the setting and am playing with the idea of running these deer up the hillside in a verticle format. I am now playing around with some ideas to do a painting and thought I would start this one by giving my blogging friends insight of where my idea and thought patterns might take me. I'll try and show off some of my sketches and paper thoughts as I go along. It might take another week or so of still playing around but I do have that nagging plan to do something great. Aren't all our ideas on paintings great at this point. It may turn out to be a fire starter but lets see where it goes.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Back in a winter mood I have completed this painting that I have been working on the last few days. WINTER SO GRAND is an Oil Painting depicting the Grand Teton rising above a winter fog bank and frosted Cottonwoods and Willow. It is 12"x12"

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The biggest advantage to having a busted foot is not having to carry in firewood. My wonderful wife is getting her exercise this winter in doing that as we use 2 wood stoves to heat the house and studio. Plus Vicki is a fanatic when it comes to walking and does so for several miles every day. Snow, rain, sleet, sun and hail.
When I went to get the camera there were three deer just across the fence in background not the least bit concerned about her doing her chores. Soon as I showed up with this camera they departed. You can tell how awful the weather is here.
I spent a little more time working on this painting adjusting lights and darks in the myriad of leaves that I have going on here. I'll call it finished at this point but after letting it sit a while I may do a little more work on it.
INTO THE OPENING 18"x24" Oil Painting.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Look! One crutch. Not very comfortable but I am determined.