This is an example of what I sometimes do…this has been a favorite 8×10 painting that I did several years ago (the one on the right is the first edition). I think it was one of the first times that I really tried to push my colors to be brighter and bolder than what I was seeing in my reference pic. As I have gotten older, I have come to enjoy that brighter array of color rather than all muted tones. So I really liked leaving this bright.
As time went on, I wanted to tone it down just a little, and play with some of the techniques that I had learned regarding color schemes. I have to say I am very happy with the results. Do you have a preference?
This piece is 10x 8 inches and was mostly done outside on location. I did do some adjustments when I got it back to the studio, but this was my most challenging paintings outside. I particularly like the contrast of the greens with the maroon in the tree bark on the spruce trees here. This is a very typical scene here in Juneau.
This piece measures 8×24 inch and sold at a recent showing at the Juneau Artists Gallery which I belong to. It is an artists co operative gallery. Sunshine Cove is one of my favorite spots here in Juneau. These little islands are just a little way from shore, but just far enough to give them a wonderful distance to be viewed. The roadside is also quite a bit above sea level, so that also lends to wonderful viewing. And the Chilkat Range of mountains on the far side are just spectacular as a backdrop.
This time I worked on more challenging mountain views from the back yard. I tried these views many times with a variety of success and failure. The pic on the left, I feel is more of a success, and the one on the right sort of ok. It is very tricky to learn to paint lots of tree branches, especially when they are covering distant objects that are peaking through them. The process of learning can sometimes seem insurmountable. There are times when one wants to just totally give up. It is very important to realize that the learning process is a long journey. Personally, when I started painting many years ago, I determined that I was going to do my very best to enjoy all the steps along the way. For the most part, I can say that I do enjoy it. But every once in a while there has been times of absolute discouragement and frustration. It’s imperative to push on through these time and not to give up. Sometimes I go back to a so called failed attempt and re work it. Overall I have learned a lot from this process. But once in a while I just have to toss the picture because it is too frustrating to look at any more (= That’s just the way it goes. And everyone goes through these times.
These are two more attempts at painting the mountains in my front yard en plein air. I really like the lighting that I was able to capture in the first one. It looks really warm and filled with light bouncing off other areas. The paintings are oil on board and measure 6×6 and 6×8 which are good sizes to use when beginning to learn to paint outside.
It would be possible to paint these mountains many, many times without ever repeating the look. They look a bit different every single day. So I actually took advantage of this fact to get in some practice using my outdoor painting set up. I definitely was learning a lot.
My studio window looks out over our vegetable garden and on this particular, and rare sunny morning, I just had to capture the intense warm light shed upon it. I love the changing light on it whether it is cloudy or sunny, but this was irresistible! It is 6×6 oil on gesso board
This is from a photo I took of a spot near my best friend. It is pretty farm country in central Maine. Again, I just love this snowy atmosphere where all the lines get blurred. It is challenging and thrilling to paint. I think I like to try to make it feel like I am enveloped in the painting sensing the snow all around me. This is an 8×10
The mountains in Juneau, AK are amazing! I never tire of them. I am always amazed at how many different faces they have depending on the light and weather situation. I enjoy the challenge of painting scenes with subtle variations, and trying to portray a certain lighting effect. These mountains are part of the Chilkat Range.
This is from a photo I took at our place in Maine. I love all the trees in Maine! The changing light throughout the day just makes me have to keep my camera very close. I am always ready for a pic ( = I have been a bit afraid to try this scene for some time but have learned quite a bit from Phil Starke’s workshops and decided to go for it. I would like to do it again and do it looser, but was at least somewhat pleased with the outcome.