The clay is calling. Working again in 3D uses all my senses. Mixing the earth into a moldable state and observing the changes as the moisture escapes and the clay goes through different stages I use the appropriate tools to get the effect I want.

The human head is always a challenge. I’m making a few different characters, taking molds from some and building a textural environment around them.

After these dry I’ll bisque fire them and use slips and glazes to create their surfaces.

Posted in Art.

It’s been almost a year since Covid19 raised it’s ugly head and it will be another year till the vaccines have any effect. Feeling the depth of change that is happening to the world, my general enthusiasm is not holding up and I need some new ideas to explore. I envision doing a quick loose idea sketch everyday for a while. Not sure where it will go ….. let’s see.

I’ve been putting some final glazes on these flowers and foliage and really enjoying it. Some manners of painting don’t use glazes at all, going after that modern matte flatness, the truth of paint on a surface. In this type of painting I want the illusion of depth. I want the viewer to look right through the picture plane, with forward parts almost popping in front of the painting itself. It’s a dimensional composition leading your eye in, around and back out again. And when you are up close there is no doubt it’s just paint on a board. We always have to simplify, leaving out as apposed to leaving in. I’m leaving a lot in at this point, it’s consciously full. Now I want it even brighter… maybe the next one.

A fine morning to get outside and paint..

The weather is holding here in Eastern Washington, calm and cool as the long shadows fall across the drive. Leaves are starting to turn just in time to pull out the quinacridone burnt orange, sienna and gold.

Oregon Coast – oil on panel 12 x 16

With all the restrictions these days we are missing being able to travel. I was finished up this little oil yesterday and thinking of the folks affected by the fires all over the west. We are still under a smoky haze but the closest fires are gladly under control… for now. This painting is from a trip to Yachats Oregon, a beautiful small town on the coast that I hope to see again some day.

Posted in Art.

Plein Art in the garden with the dahlias

I’m trying to spend enough time this summer to get a few garden paintings done. They don’t come easy. I have a tendency to put in way too much and not simplify enough. It’s one of the issues with working “Plein Air”. Nature has more than a simple painting can handle. Every place you look is beauty beyond belief. I’ll just keep trying and appreciate every moment spent outside observing. This painting is coming along, started while sitting in these flowers, then worked on for a while in my studio and now back outside. It’s changed so much in a few days that I don’t know it this will help.

Down our drive the morning light is low and casts long shadows. This shot is a little later in the day than the painting.

I’ve been getting up pretty early for me, and heading outside for the morning light. I usually have a piece of paper taped-off and readied on a watercolor block. If I get to it I might even do a wet into wet sky the night before so the paper will have time to dry and be ready to work on in the morning. After the initial layin out in the field I take it back to the studio to finish.