After learning this week that I have been invited to paint at the 2017 Red Brick Plein Air Festival in Aspen this August, I was eager to get outside and paint plein air again. I found a perfectly limey green aspen scene not far from home, and I set up by the side of the road and went to it. Wonderful to be outside with the birdsong and quaking aspen. I ended up tweaking my painting quite a bit after I got home...usually it's best to just leave it alone!
With the onset of Spring comes the urge to start afresh, and move from one's comfort zone a bit. I decided recently to order new brushes, of a type called "rounds" that I never used before now. For oil paints I have always painted with long, flat brushes, because they hold quite a lot of paint and I can manipulate them to get all kinds of shapes and edges. So my most recent painting, "Mountain Serenade", which you see here, is the end result of my first attempt at using these round brushes, and I have to say, it was lots of fun - it slowed me down, and made me a bit more deliberate in my strokes...
Though it's true by January I am usually looking over the horizon for Spring, one of the most beautiful aspects of Winter for me is the exposed architecture of the trees. The bare limbs are all angles and asymmetry, and an absolute joy to paint. Last weekend I was in the Gunnison Gorge Conservation Area (about 20 minutes from home), on a bluebird sky day, and happened to look up at a nearby cottonwood. Like a cathedral with cobalt blue stained glass windows! So today I decided to try to capture that beauty with a small study, for a much larger canvas in future...
Here in Western Colorado we have been experiencing a very gray, very wet and snowy January (and we're only eleven days in!). Yesterday I could only think of painting something warm, something that I could immerse myself into for an hour or two that would make me feel something other than gray and cold. So, I grabbed a satsuma orange from the kitchen, and gave it a try.
Just finished a larger (24x24) painting, continuing in my aerial theme of "Final Approach". This piece I will title "Heaven and Earth" for its ethereal feel, and also for the emotional pull I felt during the painting process...
I am currently painting a small study on the "Final Approach" theme, which I began last week with a larger 20x16 work (see photos below).
I was inspired by the view out the plane window on a flight to Denver International Airport last February. On final approach to the airport the snowy wheat fields were lit from within with shades of gold and violet. The sky above was a shimmering turquoise, and the air was a clear, frosty gold. There and then, I vowed to capture this on canvas, but it's taken almost a year to get there. Had to get in winter mode again, I suppose.
Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog! I aim to write as often as possible on my creative process, with current "on My Easel Today" updates on current works.