Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sat 2-9-08

Here's a start.
Seeing the Tim has a daily blog and now that I've settled in to a new studio environment, I thought I'd start up the daily blogs once more just to get me ready for the warm weather of summer, just around the corner (I don't care what the ground hog said)

I woke up ambitious start on these daily paintings and looked outside to nothing but clouds and another day like those Virginia grays.
Jen was already up and working on computer, had my good morning kiss and hello and looked out my north studio window and found as usuall quite a scene unfolding along Heart Mtn just to the north of Cody.

I analized the scene and as usual found the sky to be the predominant screamer for me to base the painting on. It seems heart mtn really attracts some unbelievable skies around it. Ever since stumbling onto a famous artist quite a few years ago, Maynard Dixon, I have always been inspired by many of his paintings and his ability to capture unbelievably accurate sky paintings and still be able to keep his painterly recognizable style. So, nearly everytime i look out my studio window, i think about Dixon's paintings.

I almost always, 98% of time, premix my colors. Mostly due to the fact that morning light changes second by second and if i'm making the scene about color and value that it means i want to get that "ah ha" feeling with an instant, not that that happens very often, but i like the idea of trying and pushing for it. I learned the premix method acouple of years ago from Scott Christensen, and i haven't been able to break myself of it. I have done a few paintings over the year that involved not premixing, but i always find myself coming back to the premix method. I premix all of my "main" center of interest paint first. These paintings, mainly being about the sky, I always mix my sky colors first and then go with background (bg) to forground (fg) in that order. I also do something that many of my artist friends do NOT do. Work from a very limited palet of 1red, 1 blue, and 1 yellow, plus white. To me it forces me to think simply and it alieviates the problem of "which red did i use to get that", which i used to have trouble with, and having to think more about what color i used to mix a color while the light is changing so fast is not something i can do easily and it takes my head out of the painting. I've gotten into that habbit now and i no longer think of what color (red,blue,yellow) to go for and just go to the spot on my palet that will get the best results for color. When your in that habit your not mixing a green, per-say, your mixing a warmer or cooler color to match the color that's next to it on the painting.

Ok, enough rambling boy, get to the painting! Hopefully i will explain a little more about the painting in future cast but i'll keep it as simple as i can.

The clouds seem to cling to heart mountain everyday sometimes creating a funnel like shapes in the sky, very interesting how it reminds me of the movie "Wizard of Oz" and the tornado, but so often they seem to look like that as you will see hopefully from the paintings that come from these daily exercises.
Ok, I get right to the sky, it is the main center of interest, then block in heart mtn, it has a distinctive shape so i want to get is somewhat accurat the first time and not noodle around with refinements later. Heart mtn today, was in shadow, forground in light, a classic example of what us artist are looking for, mixed light.
After 20 mins the scene has become another scene right before my eyes not resembling anything that i wanted to paint. I used to chase those kinds of scenes, but learned to reframe and focus on your scene that you orig. had and stick to it. After block in came the time for refining the sky, these little six -by-eights do not take much time about 15 mins to do and then refine them to their original ideas, then presto DONE!
one painting don! ON TO THE NEXT!!!

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