Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013 - re-evaluating

It's 2013. I'm busy at work and busy at art.

I am again participating in the "Arts to Zion Studio Tour" on January 19, 20, and 21. There is still a lot to get ready for. I sent my announncement postcards yesterday. Although I invite anyone in who wants to, I suggest purchasing a ticket online so you will have the map and the punch card to enter the drawing for about four nice vacation items.

Yesterday I submitted my application for St George's 2013 Arts Festival on Easter weekend. Maybe this year will be the golden year.

I am on the Dixie Watercolor Society (DWS) board and we are planning our Spring show in February to coincide with the Parade of Homes show. I'm excited about a technique that I am improving on that assists with portraying rocks. I wrote an earlier discussion about it and included some pieces. I will include others when I get them organized better.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'm continuing to do Red Rock painting in watercolor. I went with Valerie Orlemann on a plein air excursion up Cedar Canyon a while back. I started this one:
I am still working on it. We didn't have to hike, but painted it pretty much from the trail near the road. Valerie paints in oils and her pieces are remarkable. Here is another I completed in my studio from a photo taken that day. This hill is just left of the hill in the above painting:
Again, I am still working on this. I want to add more debth to the shadows and a bit more greenery to the foreground. You can tell I am more light-handed in my studio than I am on site.

Here is another I am working on. The photo was included in Roland Lee's student packet in his Red Rock class. He suggested we could continue doing Red Rock with these photos. I couldn't resist:
You can't beat a great photo. As you can see, I am still working the foreground on this one. Valerie and I plan on doing more plein air excusions.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two Roland Lee workshops
It has been a while since I have posted. I have been busy with work and home and watercolor workshops. I completed two Roland Lee workshops, the first on snow and negative painting, and the second on Red Rock painting. here are the items I started in the class. I completed them all afterwards.
Here they are...the first I completed in class, then went home and did this next one:
We also started this one in class and I completed it at home:
This last one is from the second day. I also completed it at home:
Notice the negative painting...painting around something to create it rather than painting the item. I painted around the weeds in the foreground, and painted around the tree branches in the background.

This next group is from the Zion's or "Red Rock" class. This is from the first day. I completed it at home:
This is also from the first day, and I completed it at home:

This is from the second day, also a home completion:
Roland is a great teacher. He is very organized and fills the day with good images and good information. He always has a training packet. His website is:, He offers some training online with step-by-step slides of how he finishes a piece.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More Plein Air and the new mirror

This is gettting to be too much fun. I started this 9x12 piece yesterday morning and am really close to finishing. Again, I only paint from 5:30 to 6:30am each morning, so it goes pretty fast. I let the painting sit for at least a couple of days, just in case I see something that I want to change. This is the road to Charles Dayton's ranch again. In fact coming up on the barns.
The most fun is coming back on the second day to add sky back into the trees. The plein air folks do this while still on site, so I need to get more aggressive with loading paint onto my brush and dealing with wet paint. Plein air painters go through a lot of paint and layer it on the board without mixing with what is already there. This is an art and takes practice.

We remodeled this home last year and I haven't had a mirror in this studio until last week. Paul built this mirror for me so I can see what I am painting from a distance--the mirror tilts as well as rotates. You attach a small mirror next to your piece and line up with the large mirror across the room. This allows you to look into your little mirror and see what you are doing from a distance. The camera is pointed into the little mirror attached to  my easel, so you can see what I see while painting. It is adjusted based on the heighth of the artist.
When you paint too close to your piece for so long, you can lose the concept of what you are painting. You get too caught up in the details and forget the "big picture". This way, you see the lights and darks and how the shapes fit with each other--and whether your piece is doing what you expected.  You can't do this while plein air painting...outdoors you step back from your painting often. In a small studio, or even a large one, this saves time and allows you to instantly correct what you see as wrong.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Recent Work

I have participated in the Cokeville, Wyoming Minerva Teichert festival for the last two years. Plein Air painting is a must in the Cokeville area. Capturing the character in the trees is key in much of the scenery. The cottonwoods appear to take on their own personality and the painters express this in their pieces.

I have done a bit of plein air, but am still working on capturing those cottonwoods. I've pulled some of my photographs from the last visit and am working through them. I hope with practice I can feel more comfortable portraying them next year.

This first piece is on an 11x14 board. This scene is driving out to a ranch just North of Cokeville--This is Charles Dayton's family ranch. Charles is an incredible Western Painter and promotes the festival each year:

This second piece is on an 8x10 canvas
This last piece is on a tiny 5x7 canvas I found at a second-hand store here in St. George. The trees are the same as those in the painting above, with a bit of variation--also "landscape" versus "portrait":

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

St. George Susquicentennial - Arts to Zion Studio Tour

The studio tour was a success. I had between 50 and 60 people tour my home and studio. It was fun to see friends, old and new.

The whole event was Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Nine other home studios were open for the tour, and about 30 other artists were represented at local galleries around the Saint George area. The Saint George Art Center was also open all weekend, presenting workshops, art demonstrations, and lectures. In addition, there was a silent art auction, and "Desert to a Dream" art contest, and the Zion's bank sponsored an art show in their "Staircase Gallery". I submitted entries to all three. I do not know the outcome of the Zion's bank show, but my painting in the silent auction sold, and I won first place in the "Desert to a Dream" contest with my 9x12 oil painting below.

Just before, and during the weekend I worked on the following pieces:
This is a 7 1/2 x 11 abstract of trees:
 This is a winter study from one of the upper valleys in Utah:
This is a variation of the above, but using a mountain that can be seen from I-15 between Payson and Spanish Fork canyon. I used "negative painting" to portray the birch trees:
 I completed this last one this morning. It is a watercolor on 140-pound paper that has had gesso applied to it. This creates a different effect that might be hard to identify as a watercolor. I call this painting "Red Hat lady #3".
I started working on the following monday it is not complete. It is another winter variation. This is more like the photograph I took, although this will have more snow than I saw when taking the photograph.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Closing out 2011

The year is almost over, and although I haven't participated in many art festivals, it has been a very busy year with moving and setting up a new studio. But I'm in. I will be participating in St George's Susquicentennial in a couple of weeks on January 14, 15, and 16, as one of the open Studio sites. I am excited to open my studio to guests.
I also just submitted my application to St. George's Easter Art Festival. I have not yet determined what it takes to be chosen consistently every year.

What I've been doing:
I've almost completed a series of "rock" studies in watercolor. This involves a technique that prepares the watercolor paper with oil color thinned with turpentine. Here are some examples:

The turpentine wash creates a great background texture for rock images. This can be used for brick walls and stone fences as well as creek beds. More examples:

In these I began adding other images such as the fish and a leaf. more examples:

All of the above are on approximately 5x7 140 pound rough pressed paper. I then completed a 22x30 piece:
One would think I have exhausted this series, but have some additional ideas for more pieces.

I've also been doing a few cowboy scenes:

and just finished this one....another watercolor on gesso textured surface...