Thursday, July 30, 2009
Early one Sunday morning, Craig and I checked the Lake Michigan marine report and decided to launch Sherry from the Howard Street Beach. It was really exciting to be on the huge lake and it made me feel young and dangerous. The canoe almost swamped in a swell and we quickly figured out that we needed to turn much faster. We packed it up when the swells and the wind picked up. The weather can on Lake Michigan can turn on a dime and we did not want to be caught too far from shore.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Churchill Park Morning, July 09
9" x 12"
oil on canvas
Last week, I attended a plein air workshop locally. Although the workshop leader had planned the logistics very well (good location, nice breaks and brought water etc), the content was very weak. Her demos were very sketchy and her information disorganized. I expected some real teaching moments about value, composition and handling of color. Instead, it was really a paint out. However, that said, I did learn a considerable amount by painting for two whole days out and watching one student who was the best in the group.
I focused on shapes, experimented with moving elements around and created deep space. After I got over feeling like I had wasted good money on a poorly taught workshop, I enjoyed myself. The spot was absolutely beautiful with lots of flowers in bloom and a pond (ah, water) in the middle. Very few people visited this park and only one person stopped to talk. This made it easy to concentrate on painting. So note to self: painting and studying the masters is really excellent instruction it itself!
Churchill Park photo
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thatcher Pond, July morning 2009
oil in sketchbook
Jeanette has started a Rock Challenge this month. Stop by and see what she's been up to. Her part of the world has very dramatic rock formations and I can see why she's inspired.
Lake Michigan Near Oak Street Beach
4" x 11"
Rocks Near Northwestern University
Oils in sketchbook
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Two Maples: Study
10" x 10"
oil on canvas
Monet had his water lilies.
Cezanne had his mountain.
And Andrew Wyeth had Kuerners Farm.
I've been looking at his watercolors in the book Wyeth at Kuerners, a deeply satisfying, large format book compiled by his wife after his death. Many of these paintings were found on the floor of his studio and one painting had been repaired after Wyeth accidentally cut out a piece from the reverse side for another watercolor. These paintings, drawings and studies were mostly executed in the winter months as Wyeth spent his summers in Main. The high contrast values, the dramatic vistas and quiet,spare designs show the master at his most elegant. To see him expressing such a deep love and understanding of the farm and it's family with such confidence inspires me. As I move my own work into plien air oils, I could ask for no better teacher.
Speaking of attachment to places, you must see what Ronell's been up to in her mountain retreat! I especially admire all the imagination it took to see what that basement would look like after clearing out the leavings of untold numbers of farm and wild life left behind.
The opening for the show at Prairie Title went beautifully. Lots of people showed up to lend their support and I also had a chance to organize aspects of marketing that will be useful for my up comingTools of the Trade Exhibit. Many thanks to family and friends for showing such great support.
There is still time for you to participate in Vivien's Tree Challenge.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Money Game II
22" x 30"
mixed media on paper
I'd like to officially announce the opening of the new Tools of the Trade Web site
I've up loaded all the drawings to date as well as the narratives for a few of the groupings. I'll be adding to this over the summer and will up date the site as new drawings are completed.
The state of Illinois has not passed a budget yet so my grant application for framing is in limbo. Keep your fingers crossed that the arts budget is not decimated. Craig and I are brainstorming some creative framing solutions here, just in case. To be continued....
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Des Plaines River at Chicago Avenue
9" x 12"
Oil on Canvas mounted on board
Matted and framed -Final size 16" x 20"
This is the latest painting to get framed and delivered today.PHEW. The show is ready for the opening and I'd cordially like to invite anyone in the area to attend the opening on Thursday July July 16Th from 6PM-8PM
At Prairie Title
6821 W. North Avenue
Oak Park, IL
It's been a very busy week here at Non-Linear-Arts with preparations for the show, and working on the marketing aspects for my Tools of the Trade work. I'm considering moving the work off the blog and on to a static web site. What do you think? So far there has not been much traffic on the blog so I'm wondering if my time would be better spent in setting up a static web page and leaving it at that. Advice welcome!
I'd also like to take this opportunity to make a little public service announcement:
Of all the many commandments of computer use, one that we ignore at our peril, is to BACK UP THY HARD DRIVE. Imagine how sad you'd feel loosing years of images. :>(
Here's a link for more information.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
A while back, onmyTools Blog I did a post on a recent drawing that I'd worked on dealing with foresnics. When I arrived at the shop to have all the drawings scanned, Franklyn took one look at the mixed media on this one and said it would be damaged in the scanner. Hum. Visions of a very expensive trip to the photographer were not exactly dancing in my head.
This morning I found this post on the famous Katherine's site about how to do color corrections in Photo Shop Elements. (This is a much cheaper version of the expensive Photo Shop and seems to be all the PS I need!) What a huge difference this very easy corrections makes! Try this on any drawing or painting before posting and watch how saturated all the colors become.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Lower Fox River # 2
Recently, Craig and I along with 6 other people had a chance to revisit the Lower Fox River. A sunny day for a change, we faced a different challenge this day. Gusting winds buffeted the bow of the canoe (30 miles an hour!) and under these conditions, it's the front person (me) who has to keep the boat on course. Usually, I'm not encouraged to do any steering. Much like dancing, only one person can lead. This leaves plenty of time for me to get good use out of the floating studio.
This day, however, I was really trying hard to attend to my steering responsibilities while dipping the brush in the paint pot occasionally. These were very fast sketches executed with some fancy paddling in between.
This is a dangerous situation for the inexperienced paddler. Any downed tree forces the current to be funneled into a much narrower channel and the water really picks up speed. One boat in our party swamped right in front of this beautiful sycamore tree. Fortunately, no one was hurt and several of the guys rolled the canoe over and righted her in 2 minutes! The two women were real troopers and were not discouraged about going out again.
Lower Fox River #4
Lower Fox Rive #1
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Thatcher Pond, Dead Tree, More Rain Arriving
10" x 10"
oil on canvas panel
I've been working hard to prepare for a Waterways show in my village next week. I wanted to frame some of my recent plein air paintings. All the days I went out to paint, the light was flat and the weather threatening. They all hang together if for no other reason that they were all done in flat light! Hopefully, I'll have a chance to work on some paintings with good, strong light this month.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
DesPlaines River,Lake Street Bridge, November 2009
Mixed media on paper
22" x 24"
I'd like to thank Tony Moffitt, for highlighting my Waterways Project on his blog today. He's running his blog to help artist sell and market their work. Please check out his very sensible and generous site.