Monday, September 2, 2013

Mt. Pleasant Sunset

Mt. Pleasant Sunset, 9.5x11.5 inches, oil on panel. I was out painting with a group of friends last week down in Sanpete County, Utah. We were participating in the Spring City 2013 Plein Air competition. This is the one and only study that actually worked.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Drawings in the Rain

I had the opportunity to head south this past weekend with the hope that I might fit in a little painting and sketching on a trip to St. George, Utah, with my wife. Unfortunately it rained and rained. Here we were in the desert, and it rains for two days. Just a little disappointing to say the least, but that's what you deal with when it comes to outdoor painting. I did squeeze in two half finished oil sketches in between the downpour, but we mostly sat in the car waiting for a break in the storm. I did some drawing in my sketchbook and my wife read books. This beautiful mesa is located on the west side of Zion National Park, I've seen it portrayed in many paintings by other artists. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cloud Sketch I

Here's a color sketch I worked up in Photoshop based on the drawing I posted a few days ago, "Bare Bones". I'm currently painting a large version, 36x36 inches oil on canvas, based on this color sketch. Hopefully I can pull it off and make this one work.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Flatback Mesa

Some of my paintings are a long journey of modification. This piece actually started out as a plein-air study of the mountains here in Morgan where I live, (11x14 inches, oil on canvas panel). I liked the clouds, but hated the mountains, so I created this mesa from my imagination. This process literally took a couple of years. My studio is cluttered with a boatload of paintings in various stages of completion. I hang on to them with the hope that time and inspiration will solve the problems they present. I'm glad I kept this one in my stack of riddles. I think I finally came up with a satisfactory solution that I'm happy with.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mountain Sketch I

One of the intimidating factors of painting outdoors in the winter is the frigid temperatures. My hands freeze up after about 15 minutes. If the wind is blowing, even a little, I'll be shivering within half an hour. Consequently, I work small and fast. It took me approximately 20 minutes to do this piece. (6x8 inches, oil on canvas panel) My intention is to capture the color, light and shapes that interest me, I might use this information in my studio as reference for a larger work later on if I'm successful. Capturing the world the way I see it, rather than just shooting a photograph, helps me clarify my artistic ideas. It's certainly frustrating at times, because of the many challenges outdoor painting presents, but in the end it's all worth it. I have stacks of failures from my many plein-air excursions, it's all okay though, because I have a license to fail in this journey. Each study is part of the learning process and a way to define my vision.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bare Bones

I doodled this in church yesterday and thought it might make for a good painting. Drawing from memory has it's positive advantages, I'm able to eliminate the minutia that tends to incumber my observation. I often find that when I paint outdoors or work from a photograph, it's easy to get caught up in the details of reality and lose my creative vision- "A landscape where the irrelevant details have been removed, where the world is reduced to bare bones." I enjoy working from nature, I find great value in the process and I know it can be a vital tool in expanding my creative memory. So I will continue to use the resources that the natural world provides, but at the same time I must remember to hold on to my own artistic philosophy.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mt. Ogden

Mt. Ogden, (Backside view), 6x8 inches, oil on canvas. I painted this study on location a few miles from my house last month. I'm very much a minimalist when it comes to painting on location. This piece is representative of that approach. I'm interested in the basic form as defined by the light and shadow. I don't care about the minutia, the stark land is what excites me. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1929 to Present

This painting is titled "The Funeral", oil on canvas, 18x24 inches. Originally painted in 1929 on location in Porterville, Utah, by LeConte Stewart. This is one of my favorite paintings by Mr. Stewart. I've often passed this church and felt a sentimental longing for the simplicity that once resided there. If you would like to see the original painting it is located in the Kaysville, Utah, Davis County Library.
Here's the church today. Unfortunately it was destroyed by fire a few years ago. I live a couple miles north, in the town of Morgan. It's a beautiful little valley nestled in the mountains northeast of Salt Lake City. This valley was one of LeConte's favorite painting destinations.
I tried to get a photograph of the church from the approximate location that Mr. Stewart might have painted it, but there is a house and tree partially obscuring the view.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Death Valley

I had the opportunity to travel to Death Valley, California last week to paint with two friends. It was great to be in the desert and enjoy the 70 degree temperatures. We had perfect weather the three days we painted. This is one of the studies I did while there, 6x8 inches, oil on canvas.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ebay Auction Fundraiser

I'm offering this painting on ebay as a fundraiser for a neighbor of mine who has a child with special needs. 100% of the money will be donated to Brennan to help with his care. This original landscape is 12x24 inches, oil on panel, titled "Riser Butte". Click to view Auction. This could be you opportunity to purchase one of my works at a discount price. This piece would normally be listed for $1200 at the gallery. The frame is also included.

Friday, September 28, 2012

September, Porterville

I had the opportunity to paint on location with a few other Utah artists this week. We painted on location at the old Porterville cemetery, a few miles south of where I live in Morgan. What a wonderful place to paint! The morning started out overcast and grey and later turned sunny. This is the piece I did, 7x9 inches, oil on panel.