Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cowboys and Miniatures are like peas and carrots...

Saddlin' Up, 11X14, oil on linen panel

Hi Everybody,
This painting is of a Texas Cowboy. After lunch he's ready to get back out to finish the day's work. It's a simple scene, with a simple story. But those are the one's I seem to gravitate to. Nothing preachy or profound or political. Just regular people going about their business. Of course, when I try to saddle up, my horse jigs and dances all over the place. Cow horses have a lot more training than the one's I get to ride. Or maybe it's just user error (more likely).

In this sun drenched painting, there is light bouncing all over the place. It really does hurt your eyes when you are actually on site. So it's important to paint reflected light, but not to paint it so brightly that it competes with the sunlit areas. I used to paint the reflected light too bright and wondered why things were out of whack. After all, if a little is good, then a lot must be better, right? Always control and compare your values and you won't have to regret (or repaint) it later.

I'm going through this stage where I'm finding that I enjoy painting the miniatures more than I enjoy doing the larger paintings. Although, I really like how the larger paintings look when they're done and hanging on a wall. There is much more enjoyment for me to paint something quickly and see it come together. It must be AADD, Artist Attention Deficit Disorder.

I'll be visiting Alaska to see family, and will be bringing my paintbox to finally get out of the studio and get some location work done! I expect to do a lot of scraping. I'll post anything that makes it past my palette knife.

Thanks for lookin', Steve

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New painting for upcoming one man show

Into The Light
oil/linen, 16X20

Close-up view of brushwork

Closeup view of brushwork

Hi Everyone,
As I've mentioned in passing in some of my other blogs, I'm getting ready for my first one person show, coming up at the Bosque Art Center, July 21-August 8, 2009. I'm thrilled to be given this opportunity to have my first solo show at the venue that essentially launched my professional career. I'm sure you can imagine that I've been painting furiously to have the number of paintings I'll need to fill the space. In fact, I've probably more than enough now, but I'm always trying to do better and larger pieces, so that it's not a show of 6X8, 8X10, or 9X12 paintings. I'm just about done with the "King of the Hill Country" 30X40 painting which is to be the centerpiece of my show. You may remember the King of the Hill, study, that I posted a while back. That's the study that I did before I tackled the more ambitious piece. I'll post the large one when I'm done, which will be soon....I hope.

This painting is all about light. It really doesn't matter where this country road is. It could be anywhere. It just happens to be in Clifton, Texas, the site of my upcoming summer show. I'm pretty sure, even the folks there would have a hard time identifying it's location. But like all backlit scenes, I love the play of warms and cools, lights and darks. Everything has to be in correct proportion to everything else for these lighting effects to read properly. There isn't much room to fudge. It's one of the reasons I like painting them so much. It's like painting people. You can't fool the eye with incorrect values or color temps. They have to be right. It keeps my eye sharp. The focal point of where the road bends behind the shadowed trees is the area of greatest contrast and interest. Everything else had to be painted to be subordinate to that. I separated the shadowed tree from the trees behind it by cooling the background and lightening the value.

Thanks for visiting, Steve