Today's little oil study is a Great Blue Heron. My goal in doing this current batch of oil studies is to get better at softening edges. So much for soft edges on this piece! It fought me all the way - so I left the edges harder than I wanted and spent way too much time on it. I do these quick studies in order to progress as a painter and sometimes it doesn't come as easily as I want it to. Though I'm happy with the final piece as a painting - it's not the soft-edged study I had envisioned.
A Spotted Towhee is today's little oil study. This bird used to be known as Rufous-sided Towhee but for some reason, the name has been changed.
I'm hoping to do a dozen (or more) pieces in the next week or two for my oil study project so I can mail them before heading back to New Zealand in late November. With this batch, I'm working on edges. Get a group of artists together and we can spend a lot of time talking about edges...or the lack of edges. The idea is to suggest an edge without painting a hard line. Birds are the perfect subject matter for this exercise.
I love these little guys - their beep-beep-beep calls make me think of aliens (from another planet) for some strange reason. Just as I put the last brush stroke on this piece, I heard one calling outside. It's a sign! When in New Zealand, I miss the N.American birds most of all; hummingbirds, nuthatches, chickadees and ravens.
This is number 307! That's a lot of little paintings. I wish I could see them all framed and hanging together in one exhibition. I really enjoy painting these little guys. For some reason, they usually jump off the brush unlike larger pieces which are sometimes a struggle.
This 12" x 9" oil was inspired by one of the little owls I did for my 75 for 75 oil study project. I painted it a while ago but this morning, repainted the background. Wow - what a difference!
This will be one of the 25 originals I'll be exhibiting at the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland - November 14-16.
I'm not sure if this is finished - but I'll know in a few days. I have to live with a piece for a while before deciding if it is truly done. Tern Beyond the Boom will be with the rest of my work at the Horton Hayes Fine Art Gallery in downtown Charleston, South Carolina for the opening of the group show Atmosphere, November 7th, 2014. I'll be at the opening - hope to see you there.
I'm back in the U.S. for two months and while here, have been sorting through some things I left in the U.S. I've found the motherlode....a few little studies that either weren't finished, hadn't been posted or I've saved from larger pieces that were discarded. There is still more stuff to sort through - so stay tuned!
This is a 12" x 9" oil of my favorite kitty model, Mouser. Unfortunately Mouser passed away a few years ago but I still love to paint her. She spent a lot of time looking at the wall - which made her an even better model.
I've exhibited my work at the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland for about 28 years. It's a huge event - and it isn't just paintings of waterfowl. The show benefits conservation projects for the Chesapeake and Eastern Shore, including school projects, habitat restoration and planting grains for the Canada Geese. It's not uncommon for the show to attract as many as 40,000 people over the weekend. The entire town is involved - so there is lots to see and do. If you come to the Waterfowl Festival, you'll find me, with my work, in the Armory.
This is one of the little oils I'll bring with me.
Maybe I should have titled this piece, I'm Going Around the Bend'. This small 10" x 8" oil is one of the many roads that winds through Ace Basin, about an hour south of Charleston, South Carolina. It is one of my favorite places to paint because of the muted colors of the landscape. This piece is heading for Horton Hayes Fine Art Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina for a show titled Atmosphere, opening November 7th - and yes, I will attend the opening!
The Santa Ysabel Gallery in, where else but Santa Ysabel, California, is having their umpteenth annual plein air group show. It might be the 18th year but I've lost track having participated in most of them. It opens with an opening reception on October 11th. The show will hang until November 16th. Annie Rowley, gallery owner, insists that these paintings must be strictly plein air (painted on location in 'the open air).
This year Annie has added a twist to the show and asked each artist to also bring something different, such as a sketch. As I've been experimenting in my studio work with removing layers by scraping and sanding, then painting over the exposed texture, I decided to do something along these lines for my sketchy piece. Beneath the Landscape was originally painted plein air in South Carolina in 2010 but not quite finished so I stuck it away in a cupboard and forgot about it. Thinking of the scraping/sanding paint removal that I've been having fun with, I removed some of the paint and found an ethereal landscape underneath. I like the process and the outcome so perhaps this will lead to other things.