Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Today was my fathers birthday. He passed away in 1993 of cancer. His life was filled with work and adventure. He was definitely a Jack of all trades. I am sure he is where I get my sense of adventure and just having to know what is over the next hill. This picture is so typical of him. He built his own canoe and had so many coats of fiberglass that it was unsinkable and water tight. He fashioned the bar across the back for a 5 hp motor. One of his favorite places was the Green River, tributary of the Colorado River that begins in the northern Wind River Mountains of Wyoming and just south of Dubois, Wyoming. In this scene from an old slide I had taken he is lining his canoe up the River between Lower Green River and Upper Green River Lake. Motors are allowed on the lower lake so he would use it that far then stash it in the brush and continue on by lining the canoe up to the second Lake. He actually paddled and lined it way beyond that. It was great to canoe down the river then. That is what we are doing in this pix. My wife, Vicki and oldest daughter, Kim, who was 4 at the time are taking advantage of Dads work. A friend of his is along for the trip. I remember on one occassion going up river with him when the Outward Bound students who had just been dropped off for their sojourne in the mountains with canoes passed us on the Lake only to get bogged down when they hit the river between the two lakes. They didn't have a clue how to handle their canoes. Dad taught them how and away they went.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I should be working on the Aspen, Mule Deer painting that I had been working on from some weeks ago and I apologize for those folks who are patiently waiting for me to finish it off. We have had a number of snow storms come through here in the last ten days or so and another this morning. I have a huge old Engleman Spruce tree just out my front door that really spoke to me with the way the snow had collected on its boughs. Every morning I have been greeted by the hooting of 2 Great Horned Owls that nest every year in a neighbors Pole barn. These are the same ones who put a pretty big dent in my cottontail population. It just seemed the perfect time and with inspiration I have begun this oil painting depicting the Owl on snow covered Spruce boughs. I've got things pretty well blocked in and beginning to detail out the top from left to right and quite a bit done on the Owl. Been working pretty steady at it as I will probably be interupted beginning wednesday as we will be opening up the gallery and the girls want to shampoo the carpet and will be pretty intense getting things hung properly, getting the water turned back on and all the other things it takes to get the season started. We are all anxious to be back in the gallery and this new season. My pardner, Tom Lucas has finished the Celebration in Arts show in Scottsdale, Arizona and I know he is sure anxious to get back home and get things going. Its been a long 3 months for him.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It is springtime in Wyoming but if you were not familiar with Wyoming you might wonder. Newcomers in our area are moaning but this is just normal for us. After all it is not July 4th yet. Yesterday it got clear up to 42 and melted about 4" of the white stuff. This morning it dumped about 3-4 inches more but is now up to 36 and "melting". It really is spring though as these geeese who have taken over my yard this morning will attest to. Love this time of year when the Canadian Honkers are flying up and down the river and voicing their opinions at first light. It is the perfect alarm clock.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring snowstorms are a part of Wyoming. We missed a good one this past week that really struck eastern and central Wyoming. It was a full fledged blizzard. We didn't miss last nights storm whcih is now headed for Colorado. It was not very spring like as it was quite a dry snow and at 13 degrees this morning. My neighbors sheep wagon from my studio window is cloaked pretty good with 6" of snow on top.
I am slowly getting back into the swing of things working on my smaller Painting-A-Day[see my blog site here]project. A little sore yet but puttering around and getting a little painting done.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I finished installing the fish on my mural this afternoon. Newspaper showed up to get some pictures and I had Andrea at the Museum take a few for myself. The 6 Wyoming trout species are represented her, Actually 2 Brown Trout; Mackinaw or Lake Trout; Brook Trout; Rainbow Trout; Golden Trout; Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout;[I have put a bug in the museum staffs ear for including a Snake River Cutthroat] A Whitefish; and a Grayling.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I havn't been posting any new work recently and many are wondering what happened to the Deer through the Aspens I have been progressing on. Things went a little haywire here for the time being. I finally went to Denver for the operation that was inevitable. This is supposed to be the last of what has been an ordeal for 3 1/2 years. I sure hope so. It was a pretty miserable trip back home but we survived it. Don't know if Vicki was more stressed out about the drive up I25 to Wyoming or putting up with a sick patient. She is the real thing and did a great job. About last saturday I was wondering if I was on my way to heaven or what and can't believe how much better I am doing this saturday. Still a little sore but really bored and trying to figure out how to get in just the right position to push a paintbrush. I think I could get started on some small watercolors if nothing else. Sure gonna try it in the next few days. My pardner, Chris Phelps says there are a ton of elk all around her place right now. Maybe if I drove by doing ? ? Probably not but it is an enticement.
Good news though. PEAKS AND PLAINS magazine which is a magazine the airline industry puts out want to do a 3 page story on me. It is a quarterly magazine and features stories and photos of various tourist related places around the country. I think that will be pretty cool.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Finished. Have cleaned up my mess and the Museum folks have all come by and given their approval. Blaze is wagging his tail so guess he is O K with it too. Thanks to Andrea who has dogged my progress with my camera. Had asked her to take an occassional picture as the day went on. She has taken 50 pictures. When an artist has as much paint on himself as on the painting it has turned out O K. The finished display will have moulding put in, a glass front and mounted fish hanging against the front of the mural. It will consist of the 6 trout species found in our area as well as a Grayling and White Fish. I have silhoueted a whitefish just to my right just above the log. It should look pretty neat when put together. I have done a number of backgrounds for the museum over the years including eco-system murals which are the various fauna and flora of our region as they exist in different elevational life zones. I had painted 3 of them almost 20 years ago and am after the powers that be to add 2 more. A Riparian Zone and a Prairie Zone. It really needs to be done to finish their natural history area. The other zones I completed were Alpine, Subalpine, Montaine

I have painted myself into the corner but am getting close to the finish.
After lunch I put the acrylics aside and go to Oil paint. I pretty well have the fish in and detailing begun on the log and rocks.
I pretty well get the log and rocks I want in the mural by noon. I also have my first fish that is merely a silhouette painted in.

I had a constant art critic who occassionaly voiced his opinion about the whole procedure. Blaze, the Museum pappilon mascot

Today I had quite a project, painting a background at the Dubois Museum for a fish display. It is approximately 4'x12'. I began by putting in a rather streaky background coloring using Acrylic Paint which I just hate working with as it dries so fast and I am used to working the paint.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

After working on this painting for some time I have finally called it finished.
It is a commissioned piece for a collector of mine. At one time I did many wildlife vignettes and had a great market for them. Wyoming Wildlife magazine[Wyoming Game & Fish Commission]used a number of them on magazine covers and educational materials. I think the last time I did any was for the National Parkways for some of their poster art. It has been a number of years since I have tried another, this watercolor vignette, Pronghorn Antelope-14"x18", and it took a while getting back into the swing of what at one time seemed so effortless.

Monday, March 2, 2009

After a week being away from this painting I got back into it this afternoon. I have enlarged the Deer and straightened up their anatomy and have put in a little more work on the Aspens.
In my next session I will be working on the forground vegetation and the lighting so that I can see how the deer will fit into what I have going.