Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Spending some quality time in the field

Lanternman Falls, field study, 9X12, O/C

Mill Creek Morning, field study , 9X12, O/C

Six AM is too Early to Paint, field study, 9X12, O/C

Heavy Rain, field study, 9X12, O/C

Breaker Point, field study, 9X12, O/C


I've been getting outside and exercising my plein air muscle. I'm not sure where that muscle is, exactly, but I know I have one, 'cause it gets flabby if I don't use it. So when I went for my annual trip to Ohio to visit family, I got out in the mornings and painted one painting each day. Unfortunately, it was cloudy or rained just about every day. Well, that's not exactly true. The sun did peek out occasionally. The paintings I'm posting here are from that trip, all except for the last one. That one I did a couple of weeks ago on location in Minnesota. The light effect on the "Lanternman Falls" painting was only there for about 10-15 minutes, so I painted that part on site quickly. When I got back home I spent about an 45 minutes refining it. I don't have a problem with doing that to the field studies if it makes them better. The values and colors are still fresh in my mind when I get back, and I'm able to make corrections quickly. Most of these have had some touch up in the studio. Not alot of touch up, but some. Things sometimes don't read exactly right and until I get home and get it under studio lighting, I can't always see it on site. The only one that I didn't touch up was "Mill Creek Morning", field study. That was the first painting I did that week, and worked on site. The painting "Six AM is too Early to Paint", originally had a telephone pole on the right side. I removed it because I felt it was too important and distracting for this painting. I've never painted this early on location before. In fact, when I got set up and was ready to start, I realized that it was too dark to see my colors. I had to wait long enough for the light to be bright enough to mix my colors. Next time, I'll bring a head lamp. The study, Heavy Rain, was started on location and taken to about 90% completion. But I packed it in when the thunder and lightning started. I was chuckling to myself when I was painting in that thunderstorm, remembering Bill Murray in Caddie Shack, telling the priest who was playing in the lightning storm, that the hard stuff wasn't going to start for a while yet. So I finally gave in and packed up and left. Thanks for looking and I hope you like them. I'll be out of town for the labor day weekend, so I won't have access to your emails till then. Have a great holiday!!


labrown said...

Totally feeling the one at the top Steve. Beautiful work. Do you paint these in one sitting? I hope to see your work at Trailside soon. /Lee

Steve Atkinson said...

Thanks Lee,
Yep, they usually take about 2 hours to complete.

Glad you checked in. Hope to see you at Trailside...

Karen Hargett said...

What a treat! I love them all. Have a great holiday weekend and stay safe. I'll be home doing some DIY in my guest bathroom ;-)

Tony Hilscher said...

Beautiful work Steve!
you have really captured the mood of the weather in these. Your color harmonies and subtle shifts in value and temp without getting too chromatic is very difficult for most of us to see, let alone paint. I especially like "Lanternman Falls"
You should have left the illustration scene for fine art long before you did!

Steve Atkinson said...

Hi Karen, I hope your DIY went well. I schlepped my paintbox all the way down to Cancun Mexico and didn't even crack it open to do one study. I was too busy being a tourist, oh and melting too :0) Minnesota never felt so good to get back to.

Steve Atkinson said...

Hi Tony!
It's great to hear from you. And thanks for the nice comments about these studies. I just spent some quality time on your website and absolutely loved what I saw. Your style is so natural and you make it look so easy (which we all know it ain't). Hope you don't mind, but I added a link to your website on my main page. I better buy one of your pieces while I can still afford it!

Let's get together to paint!

Jennifer McChristian said...

All around stunning pieces Steve!