Friday, February 20, 2009

Late Day Light Display

Late Day Light Display, 9X12, oil/panel

Hi Everybody, while at a plein air workshop in Wyoming some years ago, I painted at this scene. The painting I did on site was of a different view and was more of a quick study. But I stopped long enough to snap a picture of this scene to paint at a later date. When I finally got round to painting it this past week, I decided to add this late day light effect as the focal point.

Monday, February 16, 2009

study for future painting "King of the Hill"

King of the Hill, study, oil/panel, 12X12

This is a study I did for a painting I'm beginning work on called "King of the Hill". The larger more ambitious painting is being done for a fall auction and won't be available until then. So, why do this painting? Artists who do studies have lots of reasons for why they do them. I did this small 12X12 painting for a number of reasons. First, I wanted to work out the general sunlight value for this work. I wanted to make sure I had gotten the illusion of sunlight right before starting on the bigger work. Also, this longhorn was very mottled and confusing in places in the original photo I took. This gave me the opportunity to simplify the effect and get it right before tackling the much larger version. I've struggled in the past with painting a dog that was mottled, and I wasn't looking forward to a repeat of that, yikes! Another reason to do this version was to workout the line of rocks and path leading your eye to the focal point. My goal was to put something in that wasn't too obvious or overwhelming. I think I ended up with a nice balance. And finally, I wanted to have something for the Texas Art Gallery Fixed Price Draw coming up in May. These paintings are generally smaller, so this painting will work well for that. Besides, Texas loves their longhorns. So do I. You know what I mean if you've ever had the opportunity to see a herd of them in the wild. They are impressive. This study is just a small portion of what the larger version will be. That one will have a small herd tucked in the grass lower on the hillside, and of course much more landscape. The setting is the rolling hills of central Texas, otherwise known as the Texas Hill Country. For me, it's one of the most beautiful places in the United States.

Thanks for looking, Steve

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Big Dreams

Big Dreams, 24X18,oil on linen, ©2009

Close-Up Detail

Close-Up Detail

The idea for this painting came to me when I attended a junior rodeo last year. I was amazed at the kids, who were competing in most of the same events as any regular rodeo, calf roping, team roping, barrel racing and of course mutton busting. The other thing I noticed was that everyone was laughing and having the time of their lives. That is until it was time to take their turn. Then they became as serious and steely eyed as any seasoned hand. I mean, they were serious as a heart attack. The boy in my painting wasn't any one competitor from that day, but rather an idealized young man with his hand on his rope and his eye to the future.

Big Dreams will be at Trailside Gallery's Western Classics show, March 16th-28th, 2009 at the Scottsdale gallery location.

One piece of news I've been meaning to share with you is last December, the Oil Painters of America awarded me Signature Status. It was a goal I had set for myself in 2005 when I attended my first OPA National show. I was only a visitor to the show and was blown away by the talent and quality of the art on display. Then and there I decided to work as hard as I could to get into the next Nationals, and to attain the designation of signature member no matter how long it took. To gain this designation, a member must be juried into three national shows. These shows happen only one time a year, so it takes members at least three years to accomplish this. Once you've reached this goal, you still need to apply to the membership committee by submitting eight to ten of your paintings along with a bio, show history and any other info you think might sway them in your favor. They then vote on your application, and if all goes well, you get the thumbs up. I'm truly honored to be in such good company. Thanks guys!!

Whew!!! I finally was able to get a new blog posted. It was forever since the last one. Believe it or not, I've been spending all of my time chained to my easel trying to finish several paintings for some up coming shows. Painting is as close as I'll ever get to giving birth. It's not an easy process usually, though some definitely go easier than others. But hopefully, when you're done you have something that brings you joy. Not to mention, you hope it has all it's fingers and toes, and can stand on its own! Thanks for your patience. I'll be posting more new work very soon.