Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer time in Colorado

There is no better time than Summer in the Colorado high country. (except maybe winter if you are a skier!) The real estate office where I have my real job is just across the street from this scene in Frisco. I love the activity in the summer, as people walk, ride bikes and sight see. We also have fabulous flowers. Our season is so short (at most, three months) that everything blooms at once. The light at this altitude is clear and bright too.

This painting is a 12 x24 and I painted it for a show that I have coming up at the Buffalo Mountain Gallery in July.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A touch of summer when it is still white outside!

It may not be white where you are, but it is still snowing in the mountains of Colorado! Here is is May 19th, almost Memorial Day, and summer still seems far away. Our winter is never ending! This painting is a little 6x8 oil. My reference photo was taken at the beach in New Zealand when I was there in March. New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere and the seasons are reversed, so it was late summer there. The North Island is a very temperate climate, so they never have snow and the gardens grow like crazy. Every time I go there, I have to get used to the sub-tropical look all over again.

My sister, Adele Earnshaw and I were there for three weeks preparing for the water color workshop she and Joe Garcia will be doing in February/March 2012. We just had a cancellation so we have an opening if you know anyone that would like to go. Send them to our blog for more information. Actually it has lots of info about New Zealand, and we are adding more every week or so, if you would like to go there just to see what my home country is like. I love it there!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Up on the Ridge

This is just a little 6x8 done with a synthetic brush instead of natural bristle. I have always used Robert Simmons bristle brushes, and when I first tried the Ruby Silver Synthetic, I didn't care for it as I thought it took as much paint off the canvas as it put on. However, I did like finishing with it as it really lays the paint down and looks like a definite brush stroke, which I have trouble getting the bristle brushes to do. The edges always seem to be softer with natural bristles.

This was done from the start with the synthetic, and I am beginning to like it. It just takes a lighter touch and a little practice to get used to it. The lighter touch lets you lay the paint over the top of the underneath wet paint and not drag it up to the top or take it off. Actually I used the fact that it takes paint off too to delineate edges and cut in where I wanted to. Maybe I will order a few more!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fly fishing on the lower Blue

I wish summer would come back! Here it is May 1st and it is snowing where I live, at 9,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies. Painting these types of scenes are fun when it is white outside, but during a long winter, I run out of reference photos. We always have fishermen on the Blue River, winter and summer,(it is Gold Medal fishing), but the best scenery is summer and fall. Perhaps in another month I will be able to get more photos again. I had lots of fun painting this one. I have not painted people very much before, so it was a good experience, and something new. I did a little study from this same reference photo a while ago and it sold as soon as I took it into the gallery, so I changed the composition a little and did this larger 24x28. The study was so small that the people were nothing more than a couple of dabs of paint. The larger version needed a lot more accuracy, but I still tried very hard not to noodle them. I really like the way Ken Valastro paints people, and while I didn't get anywhere near as loose as Ken gets, it was a good start in that direction.