Saturday, December 9, 2017

Back to Charcoal Sketching for a Session

12" x 9" Charcoal on Paper
I found another place to attend live model drawing sessions. The Beaux-Arts Academy has an open session on Saturday mornings. There are so many places around this valley that have live model sessions (and affordable ones, too. $7 to $10 a session.) There's no excuse for anyone who wants to practice drawing or painting people from life to not find places where they can do that with other painters and drawers. The sketch at the top of this post is my effort from this morning's session at Beaux-Arts.

Sketching from life with charcoal is a bit like going for a walk in nature. It's simple, basic, and it feels good. Charcoal sketching enables me to focus on things I don't when sketching with oil paints, and in ways I hope will translate over to my oils. I'll continue to sketch in oils, too, but I plan to intersperse oil sessions with charcoal sessions.

For more about portrait sessions, go to "Labels" on the side bar and click on "portrait", "sketching" or "drawing".

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New Group Show Opens This Friday

NOVEMBER 17th, 6 - 9 PM

Gallery Stroll and Artist Reception
Kara Aina, James Gunter, Annie K. Blake,
M'Lisa Paulsen & Jenni Thompson

3295 SOUTH 2000 EAST
(801) 467-8770

Here's a sample of plein air oil paintings I'll have at the show:

Come visit the show's opening and see these paintings in real life! While you're there, take a look at other paintings and works of art in the gallery. The show will be up for a few weeks, but don't wait - These could be headed for other peoples walls very soon!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Throwback Thursday

Colored Pencil on Paper
This painting goes way back to before I started using oil paints. Probably even before I made any paintings with pastels. It's a studio piece that brings together various experiences I've had on night hikes in the wild. The moon was done using a sketch of a lunar eclipse I made from my back porch in Pennsylvania (back porches can be wilder than you might imagine.) The cliff is based on one I came across in the Wasatch Mountains. The bighorns are based on ones I saw while passing through the Colorado Rockies, and alludes to the many times I've been aware of wildlife not far from me on walks in dark forests and canyons.

Here's some thumbnail sketches I did while working out the composition for this picture:

I wish I had gotten a better photo of it before it was gone. The painting was sold at a gallery that closed years ago. The picture at the top of this post is a digital image of a bad 35mm film photo, heavily edited to try and bring it up to the quality I think I remember in the original piece. It's the best editing I can do, but still falls rather short of the original. Nonetheless I hope there's yet something in the image the reader can find to enjoy. 

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Canyon Cottonwoods

9" x 12" Oil on Panel
I spent a few days in the four corners region of southeast Utah recently. It wasn't nearly enough time. Of course, maybe there's no such thing as "enough time," especially with all there is to see and do in that area.

The weather was great for camping. Aside from all the wonderful landscape scenery, I enjoyed a little wildlife viewing. Pronghorn antelope, mule deer, a couple tarantulas, a few little lizards, a golden eagle, and some wild turkeys (pictured above) were among the native fauna I was privileged to see.

As you can see from the photograph above, I lived lavishly on this trip. Suite #34, from right to left: bedroom, kitchen, and bath. Well, sort of bath.

I did most of my hiking in the canyon shown above. It's where I made the painting shown at the top of this post. As is fairly common in this region, the canyon has several Anasazi ruins and other ancient sites. I wanted to spend time exploring and painting in Bears Ears, but time and resources came up short. I plan to make it there in the relatively near future, hoping it doesn't become too controversial a place to visit. Or maybe even if it does. This picture shows about as close as I was able to get (Bears Ears is that distant bump on the horizon):

Here's a photo taken from the top of a mesa looking towards the Abajo Mountains:

There's so much to see, and so much to paint in this place. More exploration will be needed before I can do more than the occasional painting there. Right now I still feel like I'm just beginning to learn the place. That may take a while. In the mean time, here's a couple more photos taken from inside the canyon:

Thanks for taking time to visit my blog!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wallsburg Willows

12" x 16" Oil on Panel
A week or so ago I drove up to the little mountain town of Wallsburg. Wallsburg is a side trip off of the main route through the mountains. It's an agricultural town in a valley along the Wasatch Back. There are no convenience stores. No gas stations. Just ranches and homes. The road into town leads only to town. It goes nowhere else, unless you want to drive off the pavement and take dirt trails up into the mountains.

I rarely go to Wallsburg. Usually I feel an urge to continue on up to Midway, passing the turnoff to Wallsburg without a second glance. I've only painted once before in that little mountain town. In the last week or so, however, I've spent more time exploring the town and it's surrounding valley. There's a lot to paint there.

About a week and a half ago I drove into the valley to paint. Most of the day was spent driving around; exploring. Aspen trees on the mountainsides had already been stripped of their fall foliage, but willows along the valley bottom were in peak color. There was time for one little landscape study. I found a place where late afternoon sun had cast the east-facing mountain slopes in shadow, but sunlight brightly illuminated stands of willow farther away from those slopes. The contrast was stunning! Here's the little painting I made that day:

6" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel
As I painted, a sizable flock of wild turkeys foraged in the field in front of me. At one point a few elk moved through the far end of the field, partially shielded from view by the trees and brush shown in the painting. Later in the  day deer ventured out in twos and threes to browse in the open fields. It was such a wonderful afternoon, and I was happy with the little painting. A couple days later I returned to the same place to experience it again. That time I made the larger painting shown at the top of this post.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Oil Portrait Studies from Last Week

7" x 5" Oil on Panel
Lately I've been using rather small panels at the portrait study sessions. The first oil portrait study is from last Wednesday's session at Howard Lyon's studio. The second is from last Thursdays session at Casey Child's studio. Colors used were titanium white, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, and a color by Holbein called blue black. 

7" x 5" Oil on Panel
For more about portrait sessions, go to "Labels" on the side bar and click on "portrait", "sketching" or "drawing".

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Another Throwback Tuesday...or, The Girl in the Green Shirt.

22" x  15" Pastel on Paper
Here are a couple pastel portraits mentioned in an earlier post. Years ago I worked exclusively in dry media, such as graphite, charcoal and colored pencil. In the early 90's, wanting to make larger works and finding colored pencil unsuited for that, I switched from colored pencils to pastel. The pastel paintings were done on archival printmaking paper that had the right kind of  "tooth" for the kind of pastel painting I wanted to do. Pastel not only made larger works so much easier to do, but also improved value range and color saturation.

30" x  22" Pastel on Paper
Coincidentally, the model's family lived in the same neighborhood as a well-known painter named William Whitakerand were friends with him. When the second painting shown in this post was accepted and hung in the Springville museum's Spring Salon, I was surprised to see it on the wall right beside a painting by the model's neighbor, William Whitaker.

Photographs by Hawkinson Photography.