Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Transitioning into Springtime

As I opened the door this morning, a springtime feeling came over me. It is the first day where the temperature felt warm, and there were dark stormclouds overhead which will bring showers throughout the day. 

Natured is waking up, and I am here for it. 
We get all 4 seasons here in Wisconsin, and I enjoy painting them all. 
However, only Springtime brings that fresh emotion and feeling of renewal.

During the winter, I changed my painting hours and tactics. I was at the easel most days from 9am-Noon, working mainly in the studio at a pace that I told myself was a slow burn. It was more important to me, this time around, to work at a turtles pace and to stay consitant with my hours.

Now that it is springtime, I will leave the winter studio behind and nature will dictate my painting schedule.

I am looking forward to this.

These paintings are some from last winter, 2020-2021 that were on the desktop of my computer here at school. I'll have to photograph my winter paintings and get them posted here. Most of these are spoken for, but the images are good to see a year later.

Thanks for checking in,


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Please Join us for the Fall Art Tour



Autumn is here, and that means it is time for the Fall Art Tour! The 2021 tour is taking place on October 15, 16 and 17 from 10am - 6pm daily.

This week I am framing paintings and hanging them on the walls of the Chicken Coop Studio. It is nice to be framing and hanging paintings in the cozy studio with a fire burning in the stove. In addition to the paintings, I have a couple of new surprises that I will announce later in the week through this newsletter!

I always hear that our tour guests love seeing our spaces - and it's true - the tour artists have re-purposed and inhabited some very interesting buildings. I am in an old chicken coop, Carol Naughton creates in a remodeled stone granary and Diana and Tom Johnston are in a historic limestone brewery. Everyone's studio is uniquely designed around their art practice and this is your chance to get a behind the scenes look at our spaces and to see how we create in them.

This year, I will have 140 framed paintings on display. If you are interested in any of the paintings shown, please drop me a message.

Please plan to join me, and the 45 other artists on the Fall Art Tour. You can plan your Fall Art Tour weekend by visiting

Thank You,
Kyle Martin

Monday, March 22, 2021

3 Day Plein Air and Studio Painting Workshop - April 30, May 1, May 2 2021

This is an example of the still life we will complete on the first day of class. 

To register, please email me at 

The hours are:
Friday and Saturday 10am-4pm
Sunday 10am-3pm

The 3 day class costs $300. I am limiting the class size to 6 students to respect the need for social distancing. Once you are registered, I will send out a supplies list.

If you would like to join us for dinner on Saturday evening, we will go out to Cancun Bay restaurant in Reedsburg around 6:30.

Thanks for looking!


Are you interested in becoming a colorist? In this class, I will present everything that I know working with color!

Color is the element of art that I am most interested in, and I am happy to share what I have learned with you in this three day workshop! The class curriculum is designed to take the mystery out of observing and mixing the colors that you see in the landscape. You will learn how different lighting situations effect the mood of nature in this class.

On Friday we will be working in the studio. We will start with a discussion of the tube colors that we will use, and different palette arrangements such as a limited-palette vs a split-complimentary palette vs a spectral-palette. These different palettes can all achieve different results and we will discuss each.
I will present the concept of color space and we will then have a mini project that will get you observing and mixing colors right away. You will get a lot of practice with mixing color during the first exercise.

Also on Friday we will work in the studio on a still life color study.
The landscape looks different at noon than it did at sunrise. The color of the light illuminating the subject effects the local color of every object, this is known as the light key.
By understanding light key you can create a mood in your paintings.
To get experience with this concept, we will paint a simple still life twice, once illuminated by a warm lightbulb, and once illuminated under a cool lightbulb. The local colors of your still life will be transformed in a similar way that the landscape is transformed at different times of day.

On the second day, we will be painting the landscape on location. I will demonstrate my full color seeing and painting technique that I use when painting en plein air. After my demonstration, you will set up your easel outdoors and and paint your own en plein air color study. We will build on the concepts from the first day, and you will gain even more mileage in observing the light key and mixing color while painting in the landscape.

On the third day, I will give a short demo, recapping all of the concepts from the first two days of class. You will have a large chunk of time to paint on the third day. At the end of the painting day, we will have a critique of all of our paintings, and some time to close up the class.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Frosty Vehicles and a couple Sunsets

We are in the middle of the Polar Vortex, this morning the temperatures were -20 and the school that I work at had a two hour delay. 
The paintings below were all painted this winter, but on warmer days. It is crazy to think that tomorrow's weather will bring temperatures nearly 40 degrees warmer than today, and it will still be below freezing.
I have always enjoyed those days, after the snowfall, when everything is covered in a fresh layer of snow. These paintings are all 6x8" (or 8x6" if vertical format) and I offered them as a part of my Valentines Box promotion. If you would like to check out my valentines boxes, you can check in at:
 and if you would like to be added to my email list, please send me a message at:
Have a great day!


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Painting Sky's

I am happy to announce 3 workshops at the Peninsula School of Art in Door County. You can find more info on the workshops by clicking here.

I am also going to plan a workshop or two at my farm for the summer of 2021. If you would like to be notified when those workshops are announced, please email me at 

I replied to a thread on the plein air forums on wetcanvas, and thought I would share my thoughts on painting sky's here as well. Thanks for checking in!



Concerning Sky's. 

One thing that I consider when starting a plein air work is, are we looking into the sun, or away from it? In the example below, I am looking into the sun under morning light. All of the particles of atmosphere are influencing the colors of the sky, and you can see a little lemon yellow color near the top of the painting, right in the middle. I was observing the sun in that space.

In this piece, I was painting during the golden hour. The sky was transforming very quickly before my eyes, and because I was looking away from the sun I was interested in the way that the color of the sky was different near the horizon vs higher up. I think that the key to painting a good sky is variety. 

The piece below was painted in late afternoon, in early summer. The light is coming from the left. You can see yellow/green in the upper left corner of the sky and the color gradiates to a pthalo blue in the middle and then to a different blue in the right corner. Also, I used a violet color to underpaint the sky, and let some of that show through.

There is a big thunderhead in the piece below, but still plenty of plain blue sky. I tend to underpaint my summer sky's with violets and pinks, and then paying attention to the landscape for clues as to how the sky color is changing from horizon to apex (having to do with atmospheric condititons), as well as how it gradates from side to side (having to do with where the sun is at).

Below here, I started with a yellow ochre toned surface, and then underpainted with purple. I did the underpainting a value stop darker than the sky greens and blues that are on top of it. 


There is much variety even on sunny days. One tip that you could do is to take a piece of cardboard, poke a hole in it, and observe the sky through the hole. Now, move it left to right, and up and down, and see how the sky color changes depending on where you look. 

Also, get a mirror out, and while observing the sky in front of your face, reflect the sky from behind you and you will see a big contrast. As with all things ion painting, variety is the key. Have fun and post the results! 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Virtual Fall Art Tour - Paintings are Live!


Thanks so much for joining me in the Chicken Coop Studio for the (Virtual) 2020 Fall Art Tour! The fun starts now and continues all weekend.  My new Golden Hour paintings are live now on my webstore.
All paintings are framed, and there is no charge for shipping and handling. If you have questions or need assistance, you can call or text me at: (608) 963 1306.

The YouTube video, below, shows off the new oil paintings and gives the stories behind them.

I have a couple more virtual events going on this weekend. I will be going live on Facebook on both Saturday Oct. 17 and Sunday Oct. 18 at noon (Central Time). I will be giving a tour of the Chicken Coop Studio and I will set up my easel and paint for a half hour each day. Please join the FB live!

I have two more YouTube video uploads this weekend as well:
Tomorrow at 10am I will post my pastel paintings, and I have a special treat for Sunday - 12 paintings, one from each year that I have been plein air painting.

This is the first time that I have participated in a virtual show, It won't be the same Fall Art Tour, without you all in my Chicken Coop Studio, but Iet's have some fun anyway!

Thank you,
Kyle Martin