Friday, November 28, 2014

Sedona Workshop, November 2014

I taught a 3-day workshop in Sedona, Arizona in early November, with 12 students from all over, including a young woman from Alberta! We spent the first day in the classroom, where I did this demonstration painting from what one of the students referred to as a "butt-ugly" photo.

For day two, we drove 40 minutes to the historic town of Jerome, which  was full of old buildings, perched on a mountainside. 

I set up first thing in the morning to do a demo -- perhaps my coldest painting experience ever. The Roman style seating was perfect for viewing.

The view across the street.

My finished painting, 8 x 10"

The drive home at the end of the day was always spectacular.

For our last day, we visited the charming Gold King Mine, with over 100 trucks (all facing East)

One of my students pointed out the (frightening) resemblance between me and the proprietor. Or maybe it's just that we shop at the same clothing stores. He called himself a 'truckaholic'.

The place was filled with old vehicles, and sprinkled with animal curiosities, like a pair of chi hua huas living in an old yellow coup.

I did a demo painting of an old rusty truck (what else?). A little warmer on this morning with lots of sun.

Not my typical subject matter, I much prefer cars and trucks from the 50's and 60's. But this one had perfect light on it with a view to the distant hills beyond.

The finished painting, 8x10".

Tom hard at work.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Door County Plein Air Festival 2014

This was my first year participating in the Door County event. I had heard nothing but great things about the festival and I was not disappointed. Forty artists from all over the country were invited to participate. We had great weather and there was lots of good scenery in the area to paint. In the middle of the summer, the days are long, so I was easily able to do 3 paintings per day. This was my first -- a popular ice cream place on the main road. Early in the morning it was empty, but later in the day it was always packed. 
"Before The Rush" 9x12"

This was a property owned by the Door County Land Trust where about a dozen of us painted one day. The light was mixed in the beginning, but later turned sunny. The green sign at the end of the driveway is used throughout the county and indicates the street address. "First House on the Left" 8x16

I was thrilled to gain access to this private property and did several paintings here. The sky and clouds were the last thing I put in, and also the most fun. The whole time I was painting, in the background I heard the intermittent gentle squeaking of the weather vane as it swung atop the silo nearby. "Forty Acres" 8x16

This was a challenge, with customers coming and going the whole time I was painting. Even more difficult was the mix of warm and cool light, both inside and out. It was a general store / museum, selling mostly candy. "Candy Store" 10x8

Back at the farm -- the tall grass was up to my waist and very wet with morning dew at 7:30. My shoes and socks were soaked by the time I was finished. Behind the tractor, and across the street was a big barn with a tree in front of it. I wanted a smaller, simpler structure back there, so after I painted the tractor and everything else, I moved my easel to a view of this farmhouse and put it in with an adjustment to scale and perspective. "Hay Maker" 9x12

I saw this scene on my first day of location scouting. After stopping 4 times to knock on the door to ask permission to set up in the driveway (with no luck), I finally just went ahead and did it. Sometimes I feel like a thief, stealing a view before the owner gets home. "July" 8x10

I couldn't believe how perfect this set up was for me -- the old car, the building, the lamp and flag. The former garage had 2 very old, dusty snowmobiles from the '60's inside. 
"Old Glory" 11x14 

One of my favorites from the week. It wasn't until I was halfway through painting it that I noticed the lightening rod with glass ball on the roof. It didn't sell during the first couple days of the show, and now I'm thinking I just might keep it. "Lightening Rod" 9x12

This was my Quick Paint painting done in 2 hrs on Saturday morning. I was hoping for some sun but . . . The house was for sale, and I know whoever buys it is going to tear it down. Such a prime location. "Cottage View" 9x12

I saw this old Ford sitting behind a repair garage in Fish Creek on an overcast day. The owner let me set up and paint it. I was hoping for some sun, but in the end was content with the soft light. The only painting of the week I did sitting down. "Cream Puff" 8x10

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sonoma Plein Air 2013

This is 9 of the 13 paintings I did during the Sonoma Plein Air event this year. This one was difficult because these buildings were so far away, I had difficulty seeing the details clearly. Normally I would get closer to them, but the field between me and the subject was private property. Back of the Ranch 6x12"

It was a hot day when I discovered this trailer. Fortunately I had my huge patio umbrella with me and was able to stand in the shade. The most difficult and most time consuming painting of the week, I spent over 3 hours staring at this shiny monster. Back Yard Camper 12x16"

I've painted this truck before -- a beautiful old Studebaker. I had not planned to paint it this particular morning, but the light was so perfect at 8am when I saw it on my way to another painting location, that I changed my plans. Big Red 8x12"

By the time I got to this one, I had a good amount of paintings already, so I was more experimental, using stronger colors and simplifying the shapes more. Curve Ahead  11x14"

This view is from within a private vineyard where we had special permission to paint. The challenge was to get the middle ground greens to fade into the distant blues. Harvest Time 12x16"

I had an hour to kill before the Quick Draw began, so I did a little 6x8" of this Airstream I found nearby. Airstream 6x8"

This was my piece for the Quick Draw. This beautiful old brick building used to be a hardware store I'm told. I was pretty happy with it considering I only had 90 minutes, and there was a big truck parked to the left blocking my view of the sidewalk and store windows. Corner Store 8x10"

I've painted this old Chevy many times over the years in Sonoma, but never this small. I wanted to do something using this proportion, but this was the largest canvas I had left. Yellow in shadow often gives me a hard time but feel I captured it fairly accurately. I'm happy with how it came out, and would like to try it on a 12x24" sometime. Old Yeller 6x12"

When I first did my pencil sketch of this, I was immediately excited about the big shadow shapes connecting the barns. Everything came together pretty easily on this one, and I was happy I didn't get stung by any of the bees from the 30 or so hives across the street and behind me. My favorite of the week. Near the Bees  11x14"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Crew Commission

This is the small pencil sketch for a commission painting. I went out on the assistant coach's boat for about an hour, taking photos of my subject in a single. I shot around 110 photos, and this particular set up just seemed perfect from the first moment i saw the photo.

This is a 6x8" oil study.

This is the first stage of the block-in of the final commission painting.

Further along in the block-in.

With the block-in finished, I decided to tackle the face first, knowing that would be the most difficult part.

Finished painting 24x30"

Monday, December 3, 2012

2013 Calendars

My new calendars are here! Go to the 'contact' page of my website, click on 'buy now' button, and fill out the necessary fields. $20 each, or 2 for $35, includes shipping.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October workshop in Taos

This was the first painting location for the workshop in Taos. We had perfect weather, with beautiful fall color in the trees. It's difficult to see, but there are 9 painters in this photo.

I did a demonstration painting to start the morning at 9.

La Mirada  6x12"

This is another demo from the town of Arroyo Seco, where we spent day 3. 
Seco Yellow, 8x10"

Afternoon truck demo by popular demand. Seco Truck, 9x12"  sold

On the high road to Taos, I met a guy who lives on about 5 acres, half of which is covered with old rusty cars. I fell in love with this '64 Galaxie.

I had painted an old Cadillac in the morning, and needed a break from heavy structure and drawing. I set up on the same property at the fence line, and painted this view of the neighbors house.

In progress . . .

Penasco Yellow, 9x12"

Another day, another rusty car.