Saturday, October 30, 2010

Autumn in the high Sierras

I get glimpses of this view from my balcony every day ........ so I had to go up there several times to see if it is just as gorgeous when standing right there on the grass... or amoungst the sage. yup. It is even better up there. A couple of folks live up there on the mountainside.... what a view. After driving up and taking lots of fotos I wanted to go back and do some plein air painting... but it got too cold right after that. This week it will warm up to the high 60's (so says the weather service on line) ... maybe I can get out for some plein air painting this week..... I can always hope :-)

oil on canvas board 12 x 16

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I love these sunny days

During the transition from fall to winter we always have some of these incredibly gorgeous sunny days .... actually here we have more of them than the blustery cold wet days ... ya gotta love it. Maybe I can slip out and do some plein air painting today.
Here is another view of the rainy days from last week. this was taken Sunday, one of the rainiest, windiest days we've had in a long time. Many branches blew off the trees and avery large cottonwood hit the ground during that storm...... the fact that they were loaded with leaves and very wet from the rain may have helped when the winds got up to 65 mph :-) ... hey, a little natural pruning once in a while probably helps. It helps us when we do a natural cleanse every once in a while..... try it once or twice a year.

oil on canvas board 8x10

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


No... not the gesture you were thinking .... but between a number of tel calls and paperwork I did manage to paint a couple more gesture portraits. It sure was nice outside today... got out for a few minutes then came back in. Might be cold tonight if the weatherman is right... somewhere in the 20's..... all you folks down South will be smiling.

Oil on canvas pad  9x11
This will be John's reaction when he see's this... Hmmmm, I'l have to think about that.  :-)

Oil on canvas pad 9x11
No one is safe when in public and Mo has his camera...... Marge gave a demo at the CVAA meeting in Sept.

Gesture Painting Portraits

Getting back to painting portraits so I am going to be doing gestures ... what is that?
Let Marcelo explain

On gesture drawing

Gesture drawing implies that the object of observation is not stationary and that the lines, as products of the movement of the hand, are able to convey the sense, rhythms, speed, feeling and gestalt (configuration) of the actions of the moving object. The aim in gesture drawing is to depict what the object is doing.

If we think of objects, any object, as resisting the forces of gravity, there are no immobile objects in the world. Even a stone is somehow occupied in keeping its shape, resisting, standing against the forces of the elements and against the pull of gravity of the earth, as well as the gravity of every other object and their fields of force. What we see in the world is the product of a conflict of forces, balance is a sum of efforts. Balance in life as in art is activity, not passivity.

In gesture drawing the physical act of marking the surface of the paper is the clue to the product. The drawing will reflect or express at the same time the qualities of movements of the subject and of the object. Both the physical involvement of the artist with the medium by means of the artist's own bodily actions (including hand, arm and by extension the whole body, physical posture, muscular tone, energy, speed, ect.), the artist's gestures, and the configurations of the object in space, the object's actions and what those actions communicate, that is, the understanding of the object's form and dynamics also as gesture, that is, as expressive form.

Posted by Marcelo Guimaraes Lima at 3:35 AM
What we are doing is taking a little training from Jeffrey Watts dvd "Gesture Portraits".... he wants us to paint a portrait in 30 minutes... use a timer and QUIT when the bell rings. Being a beginner like I am , I upped the time to 60 minutes...... for me, it seems ... at least until I get the hang of it... a one hour portrait is really cookin' for us in this studio :-)...... After I get some mileage under the belt maybe they will improve in color, quality, likeness and speed. The likeness is not the critical point at this stage.... we are working on freedom of expression, looseness and technique.... altho this one came out fairly close (maybe John doesn't think so). Watts reccomends a live model which I do not have so I am going to be painting from my foto archives.
"Representation" in painting is being more exact and take more time to finish the details. We are not working on this with gesture painting.
Sooooooo.... here is my first attempt. I will try to do a couple more today.
Oil on canvas pad 9x11

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rain is good

It rain good and hard for several days.... and the wind blew something fierce. Night before last AI could hear limbs falling on the roof all night...... in the morning, sure 'nuf, BIG limbs were down everywhere... even on my deck. ..... a large cottonwood was laid over. Well, the rain and wind continued all day yesterday so I did not get out to paint....but I did take some fotos for references. When we can't paint outside we can always paint inside..... well maybe... the power was off for a while and it was pretty dark in here... no heat... no cooking.... no lights...... but to me, still better than living in a cave during this weather :-)
there's always something to do... just use a little imagination.

oil on canvas board 8x10

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Painting Outdoors

The plan was to paint outdoors today ..... lots of wind and rain last night and 90% chance of rain today .... remained inside.... what a wimp.... who knows, with all that wind and rain we might have turned out a very spontaneous painting. Well, Friday I went for a walk in the desert of East Carson Valley and this is one of the views .... shot over 120 fotos for painting references and just plain future enjoyment.

oil knife painting on canvas board 8x10

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Is a Rose Just a Rose?

Fall is definitely in with cool -cold days alternating with some great warm and lovely days. It has come close to freezing and a freeze is expected this week so who would have expected a rose to still be in bloom. Check it out. It was there yesterday.... today's cold rains and the coming week will probably be the end of this last rose. Some people last unseasonally long. It's always a pleaseure to meet a flower or a person who has lasted so long and still smiles brightly.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

End of the Season

Ahhhh, the end of the season is here .... the leaves are turning color big time now and the mornings are cooler ... nice that the mid-day is still in the high 60's.
Going out to lunch today with daughter #1 who is in town for a few days. While waiting for her to arrive I had to paint these sunflowers  which are sitting in a jar here in the studio. Might not get a chance to paint flowers in real life for a while  ..... unless there are winter flowers out there somewhere. I would grow some flowers inside but it seems something always comes up and I leave for a few days.... the poor things die of hunger and thirst while I'm away....tain't fair to them and it's too sad having to pick up the carcass from a premature death .....even if it is only a dead flower. I want to enjoy the bright shining life of the flower. Guess I'll just have to buy some occasionally.
This morning, early, I went out for a bike ride in the cool, crisp air. The shadows are different in the early morning..... makes the whole world look different..... and it's great to huff and puff in the morning air after a rainy night.
At least go for a walk today.... and sit down to think on the good things of like.

2 Sun Flowers oil on canvas board 8x10

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Many birds are still here

For today's meditation, we turn to John James Audubon,
an American original, who writes...

  When the bird and the book disagree, always
  believe the bird.

You might be asking, "Why believe the bird?"

Meditate on that question this week. Peace and wisdom
await when you have the answer.

Wind blown tree on old hwy 395 oil 5.5 x 7.5

the Fall weather here is truely great... I surely hope it holds up for quite some time :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Looking out the window

Some days it seems all we get to do is look out the window ... but that beats not beeing able to see out the window. Catch that view.... it's always great to look out there. Now what we're seeing is the last of Summer around here. The leaves have started to fall.... some of them... some are changing color and some are not. Some of the oak trees will take a while to change.... and it seems they only get brown but hang on the tree until next Spring when the new ones start to pop out. The sun is now moving fast towards the southern horizon making the shadows long and different. I'll be out there taking fotos and painting some of the changes beginning this week end. Today is interesting out there... mostly cloudy.... the foto was yesterday

meadow east of Mt Shasta City oil on canvas board 9x12
Another painting from my trip to Weed and Mt Shasta area

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fall is in the Air

I poke my head outside the door
The scene is great
I want some more
Fall is in the Air

The work piles up
and I don't care
For now the Fall is in the Air

The air is fresh
and a slight breeze
drifts slowly thru the Autumn trees
Fall is in the Air

The leaves do change
they float on down
do softly land without a sound
Fall is in the Air

Round the valley I will walk
Up the hill a scene I stalk
Paints on pallet
Brush in hand
I will paint this here great land :-)
Fall is in the Air

sooooo..... on today's bike ride I snapped a couple.... dang!..... what a place to ride.

Friday, October 8, 2010

End of stormy days for a while

We like the dramatic weather changes here. Rain for a few days... then a light shines from the sky

The clouds break up

the sun shines on spots here and there

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Old Friends

It's great when old friends and family stop by. Today Eric pop'd in and we chatted for a couple hours catching up on happenings of the past year ... then he split to go back to Reno and pick up his wife who was about to get off work. Time flies...the world turns ... nothing changes...just happens in different spots to different people. It's always good to take time to visit with friends and family.
It is raining again today ... a little thunder and lightning again at night....lights dim ... lights blink ... it all goes black .... then the lights come on again and everything is back to normal ... life is like that, Penny.
Today was more paperwork and painting. I love to paint the things around me ... so here is a tree out there by the creek

Oil on canvas pad 5.5x7

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall moving in with thunder and clouds

Rained very hard again last night ... surely is restful with the sound of the falling rain. Ran out to the mail box earlier this morning... this is what I saw .... a few low flying clouds and leaves quickly changing colors. It is cloudy but bright out there today. The weather people thing it will be thunderstorms for most of the week with temps in the high 60's. OK with me,,, bring it on .... if I can't get out to paint I will paint indoors ..... or, slip out in the van and park somewhere while I paint a local scene from inside the van... that would be fun.

Sometimes I am able to slip in a little time painting in the studio between paperwork... here's yesterday's

A tree in the meadow 5.5x7 oil on canvas pad

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Every Day's a good day

It rained last night. ... seems like all night ... a hardy downpour ... which brought with it all those wonder smells and sounds. This morning everything outside was very fresh and clean... and very wet. this is the storm that was approaching yesterday when I was out in the meadow painting :-)
Painting outside is very inspiring. The sun is shining out there right now making all the wet trees and grass glisten. I'd like to go out and paint... must be some magic out there for the brush.
Here's yesterday's

Storm coming in over Jim's Meadow oil 9x12

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mixing water and oil

The first day in the Shasta area there were clouds everywhere but the entire sky was not dark clouds sun came out here and there ... but the clouds were definitely moving in. We all headed out to Louie Road, stopping by the old bridge to set up. Some of us had French easels and others had guerrilla boxes or the tripod field boxes. There were not 2 paintings in the bunch that were alike but they all captured the feeling of the spot we visited. No sun, really, but we had a great time. Here's what I got out of that spot:

Louie Road Meadow oil  9x12

This morning I had to run a few errands and deliver some paintings to the NAA (Nevada Artists Association - an organization over 50 years old) which is having their annual Nevada Day show. After returning I poped outside to paint a local scene in Jim's meadow.... the bright clouds moved on fast and sure enough, the rain started before I was finished so I ran for cover. It has been a great day.
By the way, last night there was a furious commotion on the deck outside the door here. The mild pussy cat that lives out in the barn hangs out up here often. I have never heard a peep out of her all this time ... but last night...WOW...such a commotion.... yelling and hollering and thumping and bumping ... not what you think either .... I ran for the gun and carefully slipped out the door. Whatever it was was long gone and I had the lights on outside by now. The cat was sitting high on the porch rail... I 've never seen anything like it in my life except in Halloween pictures... all her hair was standing straight up... no lie... it seemed like all of it... her eyes were very wide open ... she seemed to be frozen.. did not move, flinch or blink ( she usually comes right over when I come on the scene)   this was one frightened cat. So what attacked her?   We do not know ... but it was something shocking. I saw nothing, Jim saw nothing. We do not think the cat was hurt but she has lots more grey hair now :-)
Sorry, I got no pictures of this event for you.