Monday, February 27, 2012

Western Glow [oil, 11”x14”]

Western Glow

When God blesses us with a sunset here in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, it is spectacular! I painted this today from a photo I took last summer.  The sun sets far in the north in the summer and the view from the balcony of our Crestmont home was an amazing place to watch the magic – I miss that balcony now.  We don’t have the same view, but it’s a very short walk to another great sunset viewing spot here in Tuscany [Calgary NW].  These blue mountains are beautifully draped in snow right now – it’s another type of gorgeous.  Cheers!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spring’s Hidden Gems

Spring on the prairies is heralded by the crocus, purple/blue and feathery, opening with the cool spring sun.  I wanted to keep this feathery and wispy with the focus on the crocus blooms.  They last such a short time that they must be enjoyed in situ and quickly.  Enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rock Isle Lake Thaw [oil, 16”x20”]

This painting has been reworked since I posted it on February 18th.  Taking a more critical look at this made me realize that I had lost the value pattern [see the previous post for the red and black version] that I was going for.  Those of you that have been up to Sunshine Meadows know that there are many spots to view this lake from.  To get back to my original value pattern and simplify, I replaced a section of the foreground with water.  I also warmed up the bottom of the sky just a bit, showed some warmer and lighter sections on the mountain above the isle, and added more of a bank on the isle.  I hope you like it!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Gloaming at Sheep River Falls [oil, 24”x24”]

I’ve been preparing for the FCA Spring show and the CCPS juried show, which are both coming up on March 10 here in Calgary.  I will have 4 paintings in the CCPS show at Heritage Park and, hopefully, a few at the FCA “All Things Spring” show in Edgemont .  More to come on this later. 

Yesterday I did some more work on this painting and it’s off to the FCA jury now.  I’m getting the feeling that I was looking for in this painting now; the sense of late light across the foothills behind just hitting the tips of the trees and the bright sky still reflecting lightly on the river and rocks.  This spring day was beautiful!  Enjoy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Gloaming at Sheep River Falls WIP [oil, 24”x24”]

sheep river prelim

I’ve been working on this painting for the past couple of days.  I began it just like the last two and I think this subject is perfect for that method because of it’s distinct areas of lights and darks.  Subjects with lots of patterns of darks and lights would be much more difficult to pull off. 

I find it very useful to post my paintings as work in progress…  it forces me to do some of the critical thinking that may have gone by the wayside as I listen to music and push paint around.  In this case I think the larger shapes are holding together alright.  But, I’m struggling mightily with the trees that are overlapping on the left – one is on the foreground bank and the other is across the falls and below.  I’m pretty sure the far tree is going to be cut down tomorrow…  I’m mulling it’s fate over this evening :)


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rock Isle Lake Thaw [oil, 16”x20”]

 Rock Isle Lake ThawThis is the second painting done using a method demonstrated by Rick Berg last at my CCPS meeting.  The steps differ from the usual way I paint in oils in several respects.  For those that are interested in those steps, here they are in short:

IMG_7029This is a photo of Rock Isle Lake on Sunshine Meadows.  It’s gorgeous!  This was an early June day and we had 3 seasons in 5 hours – fall, winter, and spring.  I have another photo from a slightly lower and wider angle that I photoshopped [adjust, threshold] to convert to simple black and white shapes.  I had a board previously painted red and I sketched these large shapes onto it, first with pencil and then outlined with a black Sharpie. 

I then painted these shapes with black acrylic gesso.  Once that was dry I glazed the entire surface with acrylic Transparent Red Iron Oxide [Golden’s].   IMG_5034Then I got out my oil paints and worked in the lighter colors for sky, water, and the highlighted rock shapes.   RIL thawI left the greens and finishing the rocks until the last stage.  At this point I found I was painting as I normally do…  but I got a bit stuck on the reflections.  I found a YouTube video that helped quite a bit.  I’m pretty happy with how this one turned out and I think I’m finally beginning to paint with a particular style of my own.  It’s the largest oil painting I’ve done.  Once this is dry I may go back into it and up the contrast in the sky just a bit.  Enjoy!Rock Isle Lake Thaw

Monday, February 6, 2012

Elbow River Jam 2 [oil, 11”x14”]

Elbow River Jam Last fall I joined the Calgary Community Painters Society.  Our Wednesday meeting last week featured a 90 minute demo by Rick Berg.  He has a unique method for establishing his areas of dark and he shared it with us.  This painting was developed with that method.  In my next post I will spell out the steps.  Check out Rick’s work and the CCPS websites if you are looking for some eye candy.  Cheers!