Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ranch on Wood River

Started a new painting tonight based on some photo's I took while down visiting my dad and stepmom. They have the most wonderful cabin in Rocky Point, OR, I nice little town along the north shore of Klamath Lake.  I grew up in southern Oregon and it was nice to get back there for a long weekend.  You can take boy out of southern Oregon countryside, but you can't take the southern Oregon countryside out of this boy.  I miss it!

So's a start from a picture I took along the Wood River...

9"x12" oil on canvas board

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thomas Kitts Plein Air Workshop - Day 5

Whew!  Last day of the workshop.  What a great week it's been.  Awesome teaching, wonderful folks to paint with and a lot of hard work.  This morning we painted Vista House and the gorge from Portland Women's Forum.  So here's a few pics from today...

So here's my setup...not a bad view, eh?!
(the Gorge that is)

My easel at the finish line.

...and the finished painting.

We sort of took over this little section
of the park.

Thomas did a little drawing at the end of the workshop
and gave away three of his demos...I won Monday's

Over lunch Thomas talked about varnishing and
demoed some varnishes, including this painting
I did some time ago.  The darks had sunk in, but
the varnish REALLY brought them back to life!
So in another post I'll talk about some of the take-away's for me from this workshop, but I'll this workshop was worth every penny!  Thomas is a terrific instructor and really hones in on the areas your struggling with with clear instruction on how to deal with the problems you're having in your painting.  I'd recommend a Thomas Kitts workshop and I'm hoping to take another one in the future.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thomas Kitts Plein Air Workshop - Day 4

Another good day painting!  Started off on Portland's eastside water front.  Thomas did a 3 hour demo...lot's of good teaching.  He picked a tough subject so it was interesting watching him solve a host of problems.  We were down on the dock and it was pretty cold in the morning.

Thomas working out a very loose sketch.

From there we headed to the Gamblin paint factory.  That was a blast!!  I was surprised at the size of the factory. The put out a lot of paint for 20 or so employees.  It was cool seeing the raw pigments which come in from all around the world.  They didn't allow us to take pictures in that area, but we were allowed pictures in the rest of the factory.

Fresh batches of newly mixed paint.  This is right after
mixing with the oil.

I got such a kick at watching them fill the paint tubes.  

Mmmmm.....Ultramarine Blue anyone!

Finally, we finished up the day at Sellwood Riverfront park.  This was a free paint.  Got some more great instruction from Thomas.  He gave me some good tips on establishing the value relationships between various parts of the painting.  I started out painting a scene that was lit by the sun which was slightly behind me, but by the time I was finished the sun well in front of me.  Painting in such bright light resulted in a very dark painting, especially when compared to a painting a did the day before in the shade which turned out much lighter.

My location at Sellwood Riverfront park.
Started off in the shade, ended in the sun - hot!

After I came in out of the sun I discovered the
intense light made me paint this way too dark.
Tomorrow, the location is Women's Forum up in the Gorge.  We'll also do some critiquing from this weeks efforts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thomas Kitts Plein Air Workshop - Day 3

What a fun AND educational day today!  We were back on Sauvie Island today.  Thomas started us off on this I high bluff with a 360° view of this nature reserve.  For the morning exercise he had us divide our canvas into four boxes.  Then he had us all face south and started a timer.  We had 15 minutes to paint what we saw in front of us using one box, then when his timer went off we had to rotate our easels 90° and paint what was in front of us and so on around 360°.  Didn't have much time to think, which of course was the point...less thinking about the mechanics of painting and just focusing on painting the SHAPES we saw.

My setup, ready to go!

After the exercise we lined up our easels and the group critiqued
set of painting.  A VERY valuable exercise!

After this exercise we picked which one of our four small paintings we liked and then had about 45 minutes to paint a larger version of that painting.

Then off for a lunch time lecture at Bybee Park and more painting in the afternoon.  Ahhh, this time with plenty of shade.  I chose to paint this the old farmhouse on this park land.

View from my easel.

The three (really six) paintings from today.  Thomas demoed
some finishing touches on my painting of the house.

That's it for another day of truly excellent teaching (thanks Thomas!) and alot of hard work!  Tomorrow, eastside of the river downtown, a tour of the Gamblin paint factory and more painting out at Sellwood Park.  Nite!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thomas Kitts Plein Air Workshop - Day 2

Man, today nature kicked my butt and reminded me I've got ALOT to learn.  We painted at Luscher Farm City Park in Lake Oswego.  Thomas started off with a drawing demo, teaching us alot about how to setup the correct proportions between various subjects in the painting, site-size method.  He then had us painting in a tight group so we could overhear as he went around and gave some one-on-one instruction to each person.  Many valuable lessons learned.

I tried tackling a portion of a large barn, a couple of outbuildings and some trees.  My perfectionism got the best of me as I spent too much time "drawing" and not enough time actually laying in paint to capture the shape. My morning painting was disappointing.

He turned us loose in the afternoon to paint where ever we wanted.  I still wanted to practice painting a structure so I tackled a white house near the barn.  Once again I got my artistic butt handed to me on a canvas!  I left my camera in the car so I didn't get any pictures on sight, but I've snapped a picture of the two paintings I did.

Tomorrow, back out to Sauvie Island. I'm learning alot, but I must say this plein air painting ain't for the faint of heart!  Geesh!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thomas Kitts Plein Air Workshop - Day 1

Whew!  What a day!  Tiring, but in a good way.  Joined up with a gang of about eight folks out on Sauvie Island.  Started the morning off at Bybee park (I think that's what the place was called).  Thomas went over materials and some color basics.  Thomas answered a lot of great questions and picked up a few new terms I hadn't heard before like "sinking-in".  Good discussion on the usage of various mediums.

Then off to the wildlife refuge at the west end of the island for a painting demo by Thomas.  He demoed while we ate lunch.  He did a fantastic job explaining his decision making processes as he painted, he pointed out trouble spots and what to do about them, the importance of transition colors, and much more.  He was up-staged a couple of times by a couple of Blue Herons duking it out in the background ;-)

Finally, he turned us loose to paint.  It was interesting to see the group spread out and the various things that caught each individual's eye.  I found a composition I liked and painted for about 3 hours.  While we painted Thomas went around and spent some good quality one-on-one time with each of us.  That was probably my favorite part and where I learned the most.  So here's a few pics before bed.  Headin' out to a Luscher Farm City Park for tomorrow's workshop!

Thomas Kitts Demo
My setup on location

Just a few of my fellow painters

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm Ready!

Just received a shipment from Jerry's Artarama with some new paints, 9x12 panels, and a few new brushes and other odds and ends.  Finished putting the handle on my homemade wet canvas carrier.  And went over Thomas Kitts checklist of things to bring for the workshop.  Got it!  Check!

Headin' off for some camping up at Little Crater Lake tomorrow with my three favorite girls and then Monday morning headin' out to Sauvie Island bright and early for the first day of the plein air workshop.  I'm excited...a whole week painting with a great artist.  He'll hand out the list of other painting locations on Monday.

Ooooh...midnight...I better get some sleep!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Homemade Wet Canvas Carrier

Well, in preparation for Thomas Kitts Plein Air workshop coming up next week my project for this evening was to build my own wet canvas carrier.  My little canvas carrier can carry 5 panels at a time up to 12"x16".  Or two canvas 3/4" canvas 12"x16".  Not bad for one evenings work!  All I need to do is put a handle on it tomorrow and I'm all set!!  Here's a few picks.

Still needs a handle...and some stain!

Use these small grooves when doing 1/4" panels.
These two large grooves are for 3/4" canvas.

Testing it out with some 9"x12" pa