Sunday, January 8, 2012
FRESH OFF THE EASEL
"Blanco River Cliffs" 12" x 16" oil/linen
Last November I taught a plein air workshop in Wimberley, Texas for the Wimberley Artists Workshops (www.wimberleyartistsworkshops.com) I did a demo (seen below) in the morning then the students had the afternoon to paint along the river. The property was made available to us by one of my collectors, Bob Bradshaw.
"Bradshaw's Point" 9" x 12" oil/linen
When the class was done for the day and everyone was packing up to head to dinner, I took the opportunity to walk along the bank and take pictures.
I'm asked all the time whether or not I take a camera with me when I go outdoors to paint and the answer is an emphatic yes and "Blanco River Cliffs" is a prime example. In about twenty minutes I shot over 60 photos to use as reference for later paintings. Without the photos this reference would be lost and in reviewing my pics I see at least four to five other paintings I will get out the twenty minutes of photo time.
I have wanted to do one of these cliff paintings for quite some time. Unfortunately most of this type of landscape is on private property and is hard to find unless you know someone.
Below are two close photos of the painting so you can see my brushwork.
As I look at these close ups I amaze even myself with the expressiveness of the paint application and variety of color. I consider myself to be an intuitive painter meaning I have no real color theory training so the colors I mix are just my reaction to the painting as it progresses. I mix a general color on the palette that I think is close to what I want, put it up on the canvas then either leave it alone because it is spot on or I "bend it" by adding other color to it.
As far as the expressiveness of the paint application...I start out painting thin, then as the painting moves into final stages I usually hit it with really thick paint to either cover up mistakes, or make a bold and decisive stroke.
"Blanco River Cliffs" will be available at Marta Stafford Fine Art when the gallery opens in February.