Saturday, May 15, 2010

What's on the Easel

Easel is a term that I'm using to describe what's in progress but I actually paint on a drafting table. I have a show coming up in Ellensburg, WA this May 21-23 and a show coming up in October (Wild Wings Fall Festival). Needless to say, I am working to finish several new paintings. Below are some (not all) of the ones I am currently working on with a few notes about each one....

This 18" x 24" painting is nearly complete and titled First Light - Pintail. When they are close to being finished, I take time and stare at each painting. Sometimes, after a bit of time, I'll get an idea to add something, or something will stick out that needs changing. But, I am happy with this one and do not foresee any changes. It will be going to the Fall Festival.

I am excited about this one! Those are the Grand Tetons in the background and it is a different angle of them. I'm not sure yet if I am going to incorporate wildlife inot the paintitng. If I do, whatever species it is will be secondary and much smaller in the landscape because the striking light in the aspens is the main subject. This painting is 18" x 32".

Here is 16" x 20" painting that is just started. If you can't tell what it is yet - those are a coastal rock formation that will have tons of lichens, mollusks, algae, etc on them in the near future. I am pretty sure that I am going to put loons in this one.

This painting has been in progress for a couple of years It is large at 24" x 36" but I have been feeling a need to get back to it. The distant shoreline needs to drop a bit lower to make it closer and a few more species may be added as well. It is a good example of a painting in the middle stages. There will be a lot more water detail as well.
See below for the detailed progress of this painting. Like the first painting (First Light - Pintails), I have been sitting on this one seeing if it might need a change or if an idea hits. This one has also been chosen for the Fall Festival.

Another older painting that I thought was finished, but an idea hit recently and it is being changed - a butterfly will grace this summer meadow - not sure what kind yet though. It is 8" x 10".

Another older painting that I haven't really exhibited anywhere. The background is being reworked to include a horizon line and some water detail. It will completely change the dynamic of this painting for the better. Something was missing and I couldn't put my finger on it for the longest time. Also, I love the color variation in the rocks. This one measures 16" x 20"

This painting was finished as a landscape a year ago, but will have a swooping Cooper's Hawk added, or possible a Harris' Hawk. I'll do sketches of both and whichever one it is, the bird will be backlit and small in the background echoing the directional lines of the Catalina Mountains. 9" x 12".

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Greater Scaup Painting

A few posts down, there is a photo of hundreds of scaup on the Columbia River in the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge. That day on the river was spectacular and I wanted to do a painting that captured a memorable morning. Waves of greater scaup would emerge from the fog and land just outside the decoys. After landing they would audibly mill around on the water before diving for their food. This painting depicts a flock of several species of ducks that are being joined by greater scaup. To start with, a gray background is painted in then the birds are sketched onto the board and each individual duck gets started.
More ducks have been added both in the water and coming in...

Alot has happened here.... Value has been added to the background and water; more ducks have been added and some females have been turned into males.

More species have been added as has fog. The species in the painting are three canvasbacks, one common goldeneye, one bufflehead, and lots of greater scaup (26, I think). If you look at the image above and the one below, you can see that one of the scaup has been changed into a goldeneye. The bird looked to small for the rest, so to add a bit of variety and interest, I made the duck larger and turned it into a goldeneye. Stay tuned to see the painting finished...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Miniature Show

The inaugural Nature in Miniature opens this weekend at the Fallbrook Art Center in Fallbrook, CA. The show will run in conjunction with Reflections in Nature and will feature 5 of my miniature originals including "Tundra Swan" pictured to the left. None of my paintings in the show are larger than 5" x 7" inches. More information is available at the link above.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Progression of a Painting - Blue Jay 5" x 7" acrylic

Below is the progression of a recent commissioned painting of a blue jay on a whitetail shed. In this first image, the shed is painted in with Titanium White and a touch of Raw Umber as is the bird. The bird hs a unique, transparent and ghostly look to it. The only parts painted on the bird so far are the white feathers so all of the blue and black are not there yet.

Here, the blue has been started. The entire painting was done with a Connoisseur #2 liner. The leaves in the background were painted in very loosely using Paynes Gray and Raw Umber for the dark areas. Then, they were covered with very watery washes of Burnt Siena and Orange.

Here the footless bird is nearly comleted and the only thing left to do is tighten the leaves, the antler and the bird then add some extra branches and leaves to help anchor the antler into the ground a bit more.

...more habitat added

...and, the finished product.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Late Season Waterfowl

The end of the waterfow season brought many opportunities to hunt and gather reference material for future paintings. Hunts included a local pond north of town that I have already painted several times, a diving duck hunt, a hunt on some open sheet water, and a trip to Sauvie Island. All are completely different types of habitat and attract different species of waterfowl. Here are a few highlights and many paintings will follow over the next weeks, months and even years...

A nice flock of northern pintail

Hundreds of greater scaup out on the Columbia R.

Friday, January 22, 2010

2010 Texas Stamp Paintings

Here are my two most recent paintitngs. The wigeon can be seen in the blog post below in progress. It will be the 2010 Texas Migratory Gamebird Stamp. The Cedar Waxwings will be the 2010 Texas Nongame Stamp.

Both stamps and prints will be released within the next couple of months will be used to raise monies to acquire and/or enhance wildlife habitat in the state of Texas. Currently there is more information available about these paintings on my daily paintings blog. As the dates near for the release of the stamps and prints more information will be available as well.
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wigeon Painting in Progress

Here is a picture of my studio desk and the painting I am working on which consists of a pair of wigeon drakes standing among some marsh grasses. On my desk is also a pair of actual wigeon drakes that I was lucky enough to get while hunting this past weekend. These "in hand" specimens are allowing me to add incredible feather detail to my painting. It reminds me of the way John James Audubon used to paint for his field guides. He shot his birds first, which enabled him to closely observe the feathers and the anatomy of birds. There truly is no better reference than a bird in hand (better than two in the bush).

On the computer are wigeon photographs that I have taken and am also using for various parts of the painting, but they compare little to the actual birds. I will post the finished painting soon.
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year

I hope you have a safe and very Happy New Year!

My family and I traveled to the Lake Tahoe area for the Christmas Holiday and have returned after a wonderful vacation. Check back soon for the first blog post of 2010!
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Robert Paul Galleries

I am very excited to announce that Robert Paul Galleries in Stowe, Vermont will be representing my artwork in the New England area. Stowe is a 200 year old ski town that thrives year around in a picturesque part of our country. Robert Paul Galleries, whose main emphasis is on realistic art, showcases both local Vermont artists as well as artists from around the world. Two of the paintings that will be exhibited in the gallery are pictured here. The first is Evening Waters that features a flyfisherman on a misty, evening trout stream. The second is Icy Ride featuring a pair of hooded mergansers cascading down a wintery tributary. These birds love fishing in open moving water when everything else is frozen. For more informationa and more paintings and prints that they will be carrying feel free to click on the website link above.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Audubon Wild Arts Festival

It's been a crazy couple of weeks with the Thanksgiving holiday and lots of family in town. And just before that was the Audubon Wild Arts Festival in which I set up a booth to exhibit my work. The show was a success and, hopefully, a sign of things to come as the crowds were large and people were purchasing artwork from everybody. Despite the rainy weather, there was an energy at the show that I haven't seen in a while and it was definitely a welcome sight. Here are a few pictures of my booth before the show started on Saturday morning.

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