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Saturday, January 19, 2013

OK, I've painted I'll try ice!

11 x 12 pastel in progrerss

I was taking pictures of the cow pastures a few weeks ago and really wanted to try one that had snow, cows and a big ice patch.  I've never painted ice before, and I am winging it.  I'll work some more on this, but that is all for today....

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The last two paint-outs: variety!

The last two paint-outs were sunny and clear skies.  We had another artist, Emma, join us.  We are growing!   On Jan. 8 we met at an historic cattle ranch "park" outside of Carson City, called Silver Saddle Ranch.  Here are some pictures showing the views.  It is amazing that calves are being born in this frigid weather.

On Jan. 15 we three met on Mt. Rose at the ski school location of Sky Tavern when it was closed for skiing.  It was warmer ---- a toasty 37 degrees!  I have a new set-up for my oils - an old paintbox mounted on a tripod.  Much easier and lighter than the french easel!  I actually needed to snowshoe where I painted because the snow was not packed down there and was quite deep.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pastel in progress - beginning with abstract shapes

pastel in progress....

I am trying to train myself to look for abstract shapes and start off a painting by painting those abstract shapes, rather than the "things".

It is a lot of fun!!!  I really enjoy it.  To help me, I take a good photo of mine (good contrast of darks and lights and interesting patterns of the same).  Then on Photoshop, I use the "Cut Out" filter.  It simplifies the shapes into about 5 colors and 5 values.  It is what I am supposed to do in my brain by squinting, but some pattern shapes are difficult to comprehend, so this method really helps me.  I print the "cut out" version of my photo and then follow it as a guide.  I tried to match the pastels to the shapes in print, and I drew by hand (I don't want to TOTALLY copy a photo - even a filter version) and filled in with the colored pastel.  Then I had a "map" to which I can lay strokes of pastel and add more definition where I want.

Now I will work from the actual photo, to guide me with the next stage....I'm really looking forward to finishing this.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Painting cattle...for the first time....

9 x 12 oil on panel

Yesterday two other artists and I went to an historic ranch called Silver Saddle Ranch outside of Carson City, NV.  It was a charming old ranch with cattle in different fields.  Some had given birth to calves already.

I worked with my new oil set up (oops - I forgot to post pictures of it) and it was much better than the French Easel.  You can see a little of my set up below:

I worked longer in the field - maybe 2 or 2-1/2 hours.  It was hard!  The cattle keep moving!  So I finished it today at home.  The only problem is...I think my cattle look like pot-bellied pigs!  (Kinda small).  The cattle in the background were real hard - they are just blobs, but they have to LOOK like cattle blobs!   Oh was fun to try!  And I enjoy a good challenge.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

"Winter in Washoe Valley" oil painting

"Winter in Washoe Valley" 8 x 10 oil on panel
This is the painting I did out in the field on January 1st.  It was finished there, but was so wet, I did not take it out of the wet panel carrier until today to photograph it.

I am preparing for another outdoor paint-out with my friend in 2 days.  I have been preparing a new set-up for my oil kit.  I'll post it tomorrow.  I think the new set up is going to work better for me and I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"November Snow" pastel painting

9 x 12 pastel on terracotta LaCarte

This is the first pastel painting I have done in a while!  It was fun to do again after time-off with watercolor and oil paints.  I painted this on a reddish-colored pastel paper, because the willows were a rich reddish and orange color in November.  This location is at the top of Mt. Rose Highway in the meadows.  We had some snow and it was cold enough to start freezing the edges of the wetlands.  The sky was a brilliant dark blue that reflected in the water.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Paint-Out in the snow!

On New Years Day, an art friend and I went painting!  Yes, it was cold!  It was 24 degrees when we got there, but it felt like it got warmer as the sun got higher.

I tried something that worked real well for me - I knew where we were going and what the colors would be. I also knew it was going to be cold.  I premixed my oil paints at home!  I also partially set up my french easel in the back of my subaru.  All I had to do was turn it rightside up and extend the legs.  I didn't want to expose my fingers very long - tightening wingnuts.

I also brought hot tea and I painted right out the back of my car.  My friend walked out to the end of the boardwalk to the wildlife viewing platform for a great view out there.

We had a great time!