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Thursday, May 28, 2015

In the Shade of the Jacaranda

 I did not have a lot of time because I got started later than I wanted.  Picked something close to the house and seasonal in nature.  My mom had been admiring the trees the week before so I took up her cue and painted the Jacaranda tree.
 I was in the shadow of the tree looking through it and into the sun.  This created a some interest in the patterns of the branches and the abstract nature of the light between the branches of the tree.
 I chose to define the tree in terms of what it wasn't.  I created the space next to the object that I was painting to approach an idea of what it was in terms of abstract mark making.  This was my way of capturing the interest I had in the light coming through the tree.
 I did not like what was in the background so I removed the idea of anything behind the tree.
 Painting in the shade with pastels has an element of mystery to it.  I knew I had built up some solid differences in value within the painting; but I was not sure how it turned out until I viewed it in the sunlight. 
 The finished pastel painting 24"X24".
The value shot.
The detail shot.  I like the fact that you can fill the view with marks from this painting and not really tell what it is until you pull back from it.  It could be a number of different abstract paintings strung together.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

In This Moment

I stand before the landscape the sum of all my experience.  In this moment I am full of emptiness and I am full of the possibility that lies before me.  What happens next if everything goes well is out of my control.  By giving myself up to the moment, I am able to capture my feelings and reaction to what is before me.  The trust and fearlessness I have in my ability comes from my investment in my practice.  My trust in myself allows me to step out of my way and give in to what is around me.  The beauty in the moment of creation and the beauty before me merge and blur into a seamless trance which is my painting. Because I am not afraid to make a mistake, I am able to paint with honesty and
what I feel in this moment.  

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fullerton Arboretum Again

 The Southern California Plein Air Painters Association were meeting at CSUF arboretum.  
 I had the board already made in the trunk of the car.  I think if I was going to create a board for the day it would have been a medium to dark purple.  Because the day was overcast the dark underpainting would have sped everything up.
 I had to make sure to stay dark as long as I could in the painting because of the overcast day.
 A couple of fellow plein air painters.  Because I live pretty close to the campus I was able to start a little before 9 am.
 It seemed like it was going to rain several times during the day.  I was thankful that I did not have to pack everything up while everything dissolved in the rain.
 One of the challenges of painting when it is overcast is to save the color until the very end.  It can be difficult to get the variation in color when everything is getting flattened out by the overcast indirect lighting.
 The size of the blooms always get exaggerated when I paint flowers.  If I were to paint them to scale they would be lost in a sea of green.
 Finished.  After four hours.  
 My mom checking out the flowers.  She came out for my son's graduation from CSUF over the weekend.  I drug her along for the trip.  Watching someone paint is not very exciting.  

 The finished painting.  The painting measures 24"X36" and is soft pastels on sanded board with acrylic paint and pumice gel.
The value shot.
The detail shot.  Simplification is over rated.  When it detracts from the quality of the painting it is needless. The idea that we could even paint near the detail that we see in the subject is ridiculous.  Our brain simplifies the complexity before we try to simplify things any further.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mothers Day

I went to the Cal State Fullerton Arboretum to paint after having a nice morning with the wife and kids.
 I knocked out a quick sketch and went right into the painting.  I thought that the arboretum was going to close around three in the afternoon.  I did not start painting till around 12:30 pm.
 I set up in the shade with a nice view of the flower garden.  I picked the arboretum because it would give me a chance to paint in an even more abstract manner.

 There were three of these little guys running around all afternoon.  They were really funny to watch.
 I am getting really close at this point.  The focus shifts from being in the painting to being outside the painting and seeing what it needs.

I finished and packed up, took a picture, packed up the car and headed home.

The finished painting 24"X36" soft pastel on sanded plywood with a underpainting of acrylic paint and pumice gel.
 The value shot.
The detail shot.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

For Your Consideration...

 #1 24"X36"
 #2 24"X32"
 #3 36"X36"
 #4 24"X36"
 #5 24"X36"
 #6 24"X36"
 #7 24"X24"
 #8 24"X36"
#9 24"X36"