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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Paint Out with Paul Kratter

This was my second paint out with Paul.  My first paint out with Paul marked my first my plein air painting.  This was the location of the first paint out with Paul.
The paint out started at 9 am but I did not get there until after the demo at 10 am.  I had worked from 8 pm until 9 am and then I drove down to the back bay for the paint out.
This is Paul's finished demonstration painting.  He spoke about enhancing the center of interest through values and the size of his subject.  He spoke about exaggerating the subject to support the focal point of the painting.
Paul uses his sketch book to try out his compositions before putting them down on canvas.  He also uses to capture transitory situations that he wants to add to the painting.  Paul uses a ball point pen to sketch.  He uses hatching to denote values in his sketches.
Paul used the same size brushes for the entire painting.  Instead of cleaning them he had the same size brush for each color in the painting.
There were only two of us painting at the paint out.  I was very disappointed that more members of our association did not show up.  This was the first time that I had painted without any sleep.  That is why I only did a 2x2 painting.
Paul offered very little constructive criticism of my painting.  I was hoping for more interaction in the intimate setting.
By the time I had finished everything had changed.  The tide had gone out, the sun had come out, and Paul was looking to move on.  I was not very satisfied with my effort.                                                                                                     
The finished painting.

Paul wanted to come back on Monday to capture the high tide. When I saw him later in the week he said that the tide never came in like it was during the paint out.
Paul gave his demonstration painting to my fellow painter who was on time to the event.  I was so jealous.  I thought Paul did a great job in his communication about his painting.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Rock Pile

This was my fourth attempt at a 3 foot by 3 foot plein air painting.  I think that by pushing my limits in the size of my paintings, I am continuing to push my growth as an artist.  This style of mine is mine; it is not the product of forced, contrived efforts.  I was reading an article about growth as an artist.  It stressed not over thinking your painting.
I agree with this to a certain extent.  I think there is a time for painting and a time for thinking about painting.  Of course there is always a certain amount of thinking when painting.  The choices are guided by many different decisions and the mind has the final say in everything.  I liken this type of thinking as "automatic".  The eternal judge, critic, technician, and artist makes my decisions quickly in the heat of the moment.  There is no second guessing.  There is only decision and execution.  The products of which are evaluated and adjusted for thousands of times a painting.
The time for thinking about changing elements in my artistic efforts happens after the painting is complete.  There is always a focus on improving the quality within my painting.  There are times when I go into a painting with certain painting thoughts.  For instance, in this painting I wanted to really focus on holding onto painting as darkly as I could as long as I could.  By doing this my intent was to make the conclusion of the painting quicker, not over worked, and concise.  I wanted the highlights to really pop out.  However, the adjustments to my style and content are gradual.  My growth as a artist is driven more by my growth in the handling of my tools.
I think it is critical to keep your paintings at the edge of your ability to pull them off in a seemingly effortless manner.  The overworked, poorly executed painting is more a function of an over ambitious effort relative to my skill level than anything else.  My other big mistake I make when painting is jumping into the middle of it before the beginning is finished.
When I can get a painting to the point where I do not have to correct specific problems that were not resolved at the start, I can completely focus on being my best.
My finished painting. " Rock Pile"  This is a pastel painting on a board treated with pumice gel and acrylic paint.  The painting measures 36"X 36".

Monday, October 6, 2014

High Tide and Sinking Sun

 I ended up getting a late start.  I got to the beach around 3 pm.  The temperature was unseasonably warm.  It was over 90 at the beach.  Because of the high surf over the last month, there was very little sand.
 I found the highest point I could on the beach.  I came when the tide was just starting to come in.  Because I had been painting here the week before, I was pretty sure I was safe from the incoming tide.
 This was my third time painting 36"X 36".  Budgeting my time was going to be more of an issue than usual.  
 Because I paint quickly and because I paint with pastels, I am able to wait a lot longer than oil painters when deciding on the final color choices.  I am able to chase the light.  When I want to paint the dusk's dramatic lighting, the key is a slow build up of the painting.
The key for me when I am waiting till the last minute to paint the highlights is to wait till the last minute to paint the highlights.
In order to paint those last minute highlights, I make sure the values are tight everywhere.  With pastel you really don't have to worry about the vibrancy of the highlights.  There is no wet into wet painting which diminishes the brightness of you highlights.  The last touch of pastel is the color you apply in dry applications.
 You can see in this photo that I have moved all my supplies out of the reach of the ocean.  As I was packing up the waves lapped the legs of my easel. 
I finished the painting with about 10 minutes of daylight left.  As I packed up and gathered my stuff,  I jumped into the crashing waves.  This is the latest in the year that I have been swimming in the last 25 years.  I believe the ocean was warmer than my pool.
This painting measures 36"X 36".  It was painted on a board that was primed with pumice gel and acrylic paint.  It was painted with soft pastels.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Peters Canyon

Shaw's Cove

Woods Cove Twilight

Shaw's Sunset

Orchard Hill

Back Bay Dusk

Back Bay Morning

Crescent Morning


Bluff at Crescent

Twilight at Little Corona

Fisherman's Cove

Fullerton Arboretum


Little Corona

Newport Harbor Nocturne

Newport Harbor

Path to Santa Ana River

Shaw's Cove

Above Fisherman's Cove

Salt Creek

Brea Canyon

Incoming Tide at Crescent