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


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

GOLDEN LIGHT - New Paintings Premiere October 16

The Golden Hour has always inspired me and connected me to a sense of calm creative wonder. The subtle brilliance of the setting sun offers clarity and wipes away the business of the day. The golden hour offers inspiration in the moment, and it is a ritual for me to paint during this favorite time of day.

The Fall Art Tour has gone virtual for 2020. 

I will be premiering new art every day, virtually, during the Fall Art Tour. 

On Friday October 16, at 10 am, I will premiere a new video featuring my Golden Hour collection. The paintings will also go live on my website and online store for sale at that time. My Golden Hour pieces are my most treasured paintings, and  this show is my way to share the moment and the feeling of the Golden Hour with you. 

On Saturday, October 17, at 10 am, I will be showing my new pastel paintings here on my blog and also on my online store. I enjoy working with pastels and find that they are a great compliment to my oil paintings. As an impressionist painter, pastels work well to layer different colors and to create shimmering effects. Autumn leaves falling, brilliant blue skies, and and intense evening colors will all be shown in my pastel paintings.

On Sunday, October 18, at 10 am, I will be showing a selection of works from my archive. Some of these paintings will go back a dozen years. Standing at the easel, and painting on location burns the experience into my memory - when I look at paintings that I created over a decade ago, my mind travels back to the moment. It will be fun to revisit some works through the years and to share the stories of the paintings with you. 

It won't be the same Fall Art Tour, without you all in my Chicken Coop Studio, but I am going to do everything that I can to give you a great virtual show.


Many artists on the Fall Art Tour have online stores, and you can check everyone out at

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Late Summer Paintings

Autumn is such a wonderful time of year. As the late summer changes to fall, we are already starting to see so many signs of Autumn, including the changing leaves and falling temperatures. The days are beginning to shorten, the mornings are often foggy, and the corn is almost ready to harvest.

Late in the day, the brilliant sun still hangs onto that summer feeling, but the landscape is changing.
These paintings show that transition, and they were painted in August of 2020.