Oh my friends...This Saturday I am doing a first! I will be doing a complete painting from start to finish on the morning news from 7-9am on Channel 4 (http://www.todaystmj4.com/)! I am doing this to help promote the Shorewood Plein Air Event! Tune in and then come see me in person as I do my "quick paint" on Saturday! Then come to the Gala Saturday to see what we've been up to for three days!! (https://www.facebook.com/pleinairshorewood)
It's September the 11th at this writing. The 12th year anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States by a well trained group of Islamic Militants. I have thought today about the women in their lives...mothers, sisters daughters...
Untitled 9x12 oil
We are also this month dealing with a situation in Syria where a large group of people...men, women and children...were slaughtered by people using chemical weapons putting the world we know at the brink of a world war. The images of both of these events are seared on my mind. Today I painted my feelings about these things.
I am behind in the challenge but I am still painting! No need to explain...just normal for my crazy life these days!! On Monday I decided to paint from a plein air study I did earlier in the summer in a beautiful garden center near me. There was something about the study I really liked and it is closer to the direction I want my work to take so I got out my 20x16 canvas and began by laying in an under painting using only paper towel. Where was the darkest dark going...the lightest light? What were the dominant contrasting colors and what colors were supporting? Mindfully defining the abstract shapes under the painting. The under painting only took maybe a half hour and as you can see a big chunk of the work was done.
Next I got out my palette knife which has become my best friend these days. Then I began to lay in the design on top of the still very wet under painting. As this can become a muddy mess very quickly I concentrated on keeping the "pieces of color" fresh and separate from each other so the eye does the blending and not the paint! That's how "Daisy Riot" was born!!
"Daisy Riot" 20x16 oil on linen panel
Here's a photo of both the field study and the completed painting...
Then on Tuesday I painted from my mind and memory "Tall Grass Meditation" (12x12) and a small 6x6 cloud study. If I can do two today I will be caught up!!! Whew!!
Did I tell you how much I love to paint Plein Air? I got to spend most of the day today painting outdoors in a beautiful apple orchard/vineyard (Auntie Evie's Orchard) in the City of New Berlin WI. I got two paintings done, framed and turned in for the competition! I also got a little sunburned! Wish me luck! I'll let you know how I did tomorrow!
Nothing worthwhile comes without work. This piece got scrapped off 4 times today and I still don't know if it's exactly what I wanted but I got closer with each scrape. That's what I like about this challenge...I am guaranteed to learn something. I have been working on the figure in landscape while staying true to my thick paint aesthetic...not easy. While I have a bunch of Plein Air competitions to do this month...in between I will be working on this. Let me know what you think...OK???
Love in the Third Ward. Day two is a plein air study done while caring for my booth in the Third Ward (arts district) of Milwaukee. These two came and went pretty fast but not before they were imprinted on my mind! Happy Holiday everyone!
OK...what do you do when you've made a commitment to paint a painting each day for 30 days and the first day your also have a commitment to show your work in a booth at an art show??? Why Plein Air of course!! So glad having people around me when I paint doesn't make me nervous anymore. The big challenge was finishing before the light changed too much while handling the crowds at the Third Ward Art Festival and Harley-Davidson's 110th Anniversary! Fun!!