Saturday, April 26, 2008

Casper Park #3

Here's another study from this regional park in Orange County.

We had a good deal of rain this year in Southern California and it really shows in the abundance of new greens and wildflowers!

I'm collecting several of these studies in preparation for something on a larger scale.


9x12 oil on board

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Au Sable River, MI

Almost every summer I get to spend some time at my wife's family cabin on Lake Huron. As beautiful as it is there, within a few miles is the Au Sable river. In the past I always spent most of my time fishing. Now that I'm painting more I can't wait to get back there with my kit.

In the mean time, this is from a photo that I took a few years ago while I was on the river.


8x10 oil on linen

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mission at Capistrano #1

This is from the Mission in San Juan Capistrano. Boy, I haven't been there in like 10 years. It was a bit cool but everything was blooming and the light was soft and warm.

There's so much to paint here that it took me 15 minutes to decide what to set up. It was getting a little crowded so I hid in a corner and worked on a sort of telescopic view of the opposite side of the court yard. In photography I like to call these "intimate landscapes".


8x10 oil on linen

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Virgin River Dawn

More fun with palette knives. On this one I didn't even pick up a brush. These things are fun!

I'm enjoying the thick paint and clean colors that you get from this technique.


9x12  oil on linen

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yucca at 6 am

From an early morning trip to Joshua Tree NP. Good thing, too because by 10 am it was already 90 deg.

9x12  oil on linen

I had very little room to set up so I did this much like a wide angle lens photo. I'm used to seeing this kind of a view in my photos but it was a bit strange trying to translate the near-far distortion to a painting.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Making Time...

The more I paint, the more I want to paint. This appears to be one of the basic symptoms of the "Painting Disease". And apparently, I have it!

One thing I'm learning is that the only way to really learn how to paint is to paint, paint and paint more. Reading books is good. Watching videos is fun. But in the end, only brush time teaches me anything that sticks.

Problem is, I already have a full time job. 50 or more hours a week of concentrated, mind boggling software engineering that often leaves me light headed and spent by the end of the day. Family time doesn't count because that's happily built into the foundation of everything.

As serene as it may look to an observer, Painting is a creative endeavor and requires a lot of energy. After a long day at the "salt mines", energy can be a scarce commodity.

Oh, and did I mention the fact that it takes a really long time to learn to paint well?

So... how do you feed a desire to paint when you only have a few hours a week to devote to it? I haven't figured that out yet. In fact, I have no constructive insights to offer others - yet. I'm mostly just thinking out loud. OK, maybe venting a little bit too.

I've been scouring the Net looking for some sort of time extending plug-in for my computer. Maybe a 36 hour day or something like that. No luck so far.

I guess I'll just have to find some other way to treat the disease and pay the bills at the same time. If I figure it out I'll let your know!