Thursday, June 10, 2010

Back from a paint out

I spent 4 days last week with three friends ( one old and two new) painting in Surprise Valley.  The valley straddles the Nevada and California line about 180 miles north of Reno.  It was not hard to see how the valley possibly got it's name...remarkable scenery.  The only down side of the trip was the wind and rain; almost continuous.  But despite the weather I came away with many photos for future work and a few windblown and rain-soaked paintings that can be fixed in the studio.  I was also able to learn from three very good artists that willingly shared their thoughts and techniques...thanks to: Mike Callahan (the ultimate organizer and chef!!!); Ron Spears and John Youssi.  Each of these guys have a blog using their full name and blog  You can see their work on their blogs.  The two attached pictures are a couple recent works.  The portrait is Ken as a Confederate artillery Captain painted at the Reno portrait society on June 9.  My plan is to finish this from some photos I took.The landscape is of the Nevada desert near Thompson (an abandoned town and mill site in Mason Valley).  I started this painting before going on the paint-out; it is 20 X 30 and will be in a Scenic Nevada show later this summer.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Looking ahead

The buckaroo heritage show will be here before I know it, so I've started getting some new pieces ready.  I finished Pan of the Spokane Tribe since my last posting and this morning I put the finishing touches on a pastel ("Bruce's Best Buckaroo and Team") for the Winnemucca show.  Hope you enjoy both.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

catching up

I am finally getting back to a normal routine. 

The above image is my painting of Pan, a member of the Spokane Tribe of Washington.  Pan now resides in Reno and modeled for the Reno Portrait Society yesterday.  Pan was a great model but I found it difficult not to get caught up in the many accouterments of his garments and focus on the facial features.  I don't normally finish the portraits from the weekly sessions but I couldn't resist completing this one.  I took some photos for that purpose.  This painting is on a sheet of canvas 20 X 16 and, if I'm satisfied when it is complete, I will probably mount it to a panel.

Last week was spent at the first annual Genoa Cowboy Poetry and Music gathering.  The event organizers included a juried art show and they provided space for artists to display their work.  I feel fortunate to have been selected as one of the artists invited. As with most first time shows, there were wrinkles, but the show was a success.  I received notification yesterday that 2 of the 4 mustang paintings I submitted to the Wildhorse Show in Wyoming were selected for inclusion in the show by the jury and I'm now looking forward to a short family trip.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Heeding Harley Brown's advice

I've been busy painting several pictures of mustangs (from photos of local heards) which I hope to enter in a show this July in Rock Springs, Wyoming.  I've also just reread three of Harley Brown's books and was inspired to do a pastel at the Reno Portrait Society yesterday.  Above is Kacey, completed using only the greens in my Nu-Pastel set, as a tribute to St. Patrick.  I enjoyed trying something different and stretched my brain at the same time.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Here are my most recent paintings.  On the right is an octagonal building, one of several buildings on the property, which were once  used for rearing chickens, but are now abandoned. My artist friend, Ida, was able to get us on the property, as she often does because of her many many contacts in the area (and I'm always greatful for her efforts). The colors are very much a typical winter day in the valley.  This is a plein aire painting (8 X 10 oil on linen panel), except for some of the tree limbs  and some of the lighter passages on the front of the building, which were finished in the studio.  The day was overcast with high thin clouds and an occasional spot of sun.  I attempted to capture to the sun each time it peek out.
The other is a small (9 X 12 oil on linen panel) completed in the studio, from a photograph taken in August, 2009.  We've had an unusual number of gray days this winter and I was longing for a bright Nevada sky to paint.  However, we have had several years of drought conditions and need the water (via the Sierra snow pack), so I'll gratefully accept God's blessing of the moisture and look forward to painting those bright blue skies in a few months.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finally Back Painting

I've been back from the Elko show for a couple of weeks but have not been able to paint with any consistancy, except with the Portrait Society; below are my last two paintings.  Christa and Frank are both painted in oil on a sheet of linen 20 X 16.  Christa was our model two weeks ago and Frank modeled earlier today.  Each week I wish we could paint longer than the three hours, but I suspose the models are happy to see the session end since they are not professionals.  I do appreciate their willingness to pose!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Two good days

I was able to spend an afternoon in the foothills of the Sierra last Thursday, which is always refreshing.  Being able to paint in such a place makes me remember just how blessed I am to live here.  This painting was about 90% complete in an hour and a half, when we lost our light (poor planning on my part).  I finished it at home.  This is an oil on an 8X10 linen panel.

This morning I again enjoyed a great painting day at the Portrait Society of Reno.  Our model this morning was Gene, a local professional photographer and jazz musician.  Gene posed for three hours with one of his horns.  One of the other artists commented on the difficulty of painting the hands.  I suggested that if one painted slower, one wouldn't have to attempt the hands...this is oil on a 16 X 20 sheet of linen.