Here is something I worked on over the weekend. My reference was a (subjectively) not so good plein air piece painted in October. I thought there was something working with the composition and with the afternoon color (well, trust me this pic is BAD!). Working from reference material is very new to me and I'm very pleased to have something to lead me with color choices. It's so helpful to have the colors layed down so that you have some idea of what is going on. Another challenge is brushwork, but it alsways seems good to stick to the big masses and break it down from there. When I was going crazy with the impastos, for instance last autumn, it was much more difficult to work in this way. 20"x24" (better color photo coming soon)
I will be hanging new work at the Blue Heron the day after Thanksgiving. These past weeks have been event filled, feeling things out, finalizing what will go up and ordering frames. This autumn I have been working a bit differently by taking pieces done in the open to the studio, and these works reflect that. I am very excited to finish up the framing so that I can get back to working outdoors every day. The transition from late Fall to Winter is beautiful. Please stop by to see the work and say hello on Sunday November 28th from noon until 2pm.
Thanksgiving is coming soon. I will have some new pieces up in the Blue Heron during the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I will be in the store to talk about the new work on Sunday November 28th from Noon until 2pm.
Here is a piece painted just before the wind took the sugar maple leaves.
I think I live in the best neighborhood in Reedsburg. My neighbors are great. Last weekend Jenny and I were attempting to rake our leaves and the Coopers came out and lent us a rake, their big tarp to pile the leaves on and even their mulcher. Jenny raked the leaves as much as she could, and then I'd come around with the mower and clean it up, sort of like brushing oil primer onto a canvas. Then, we had a big outdoor block party on Haloween, Willard Gant fried up some fish and we also had plenty of other good food (think 5 pies!). This autumn, I was set up around Vine st. whenever I could. It's a good feeling, and really a dream to paint. 14"x14"
"There has never been a greater need for peaceful enjoyment, for a chance to refresh ones soul and spirit. Our age is in desperate need of faith in man and evidence that life is worth living" -Henry Hensche
Autumn is a special time. So special that I have felt the need to push further, to try new things. While I have not posted any work lately, the struggle part of experimenting being felt, I have been painting every day. In late September I drove from Reedsburg to Baraboo through North Freedom. This ride was so intense and filled with the different moods and feelings of autumn that I decided it would be of more value to paint several pieces in a day instead of one. The goal of doing this would be that it would be possible to use these as reference material for some studio work. Now, reflecting on this idea, I don't know if it worked, but it seems that it has been of value to growth. Part of the growth being simply in the act of pushing and trying for something else, if we always know what we are doing the results are not a step forward. I painted in several ways. Sometimes, trying for accurate color up front as in these pieces, time being the reason for attempting accuracy at the start. 8"x6" 12"x16" At other times, the building up of masses was more important, often starting with a warm massing and painting cooler on top to attempt color vibration. 12"x16" 16"x12"
Another consideration of these paintings is that several of the pieces are small. While it may have saved a bit of time, there were several instances where a larger canvas could have helped. I enjoy the gesture of a larger canvas as well as the way you can divide the masses more easily.
"The quality of the blue used, it's refinement reveals the stage of development of the artist making it. He begins with flat masses and modifies it as he makes comparisons and adjustments with the other masses of color, recording his light scheme. The big masses are most important, and those he improves as much as he is able before making variations within an area" - Henry Hensche
Well, the color is mostly gone now, Jenny and I have some raking to do. I hope to post more soon.
Here are a couple of recent pieces that show the diversity in weather that September provides. This really is the nicest time of year, temperatures in the 60's and your pick of cloudy days to really see the colors, or sun to paint the sparkle. A crummy day. 24"x30" oil on canvas.
A sunny day. This is Chris Gargan, finishing a piece that is going to be in his show for the Wisconsin Arts Board, opening next month. 6"x8"
I'm teaching an introduction to oils class this fall at UW Baraboo/Sauk Co. This class is designed for beginners, or for more experienced painters who want to get into the habit of painting more often. Students will create a new painting each class period.
The best part is, we provide all the supplies!
Following is the official writeup:
Thursday nights 6-9pm at the Art Studio here on campus. Class would meet October 7,14,21,28 Nov. 4,11. Instructor: Kyle Martin Experience oil painting, and complete a new painting every week. This studio class will be painting intensive, and is designed for those who have never lifted a brush. The focus will be on values (light and dark), color and composition. Each class period the instructor will set up and paint a still life, and lead a demo focusing on a different technique.
Class one - Value painting in black and white (a great warm up for those experiencing oils for the first time). Class two - Imprimatura (learn how the old masters used underpainting and layers to create dynamic effects). Class three - Full color (sensitize your color eye, and learn to paint what you see). Class four - Knife painting in brilliant color (leave the brushes behind an learn the joy of color.) Class five - Broken Color (the impressionist technique broken down) Class six - Bringing it all together (combining techniques).
Questions and conversation are encouraged during the class. The instructor will be able to suggest additional reading and websites. Please join us!
Cost is $119 which includes supplies. Register by sending me a note and check to: Continuing Education UW-Baraboo/Sauk County 1006 Connie Road Baraboo, WI 53913
Or call us at 355-5220.
Cindy McVenes Director of Continuing EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County 1006 Connie RoadBaraboo, WI. 53913 608-355-5234 (tel)608-355-5290 (fax)email@example.com
August was filled with Brewers games, Bachelors parties (nothing too wild), canoe and skateboarding trips and lots of painting along the way. August is always a nice month to paint, The brush moves a bit easier after a whole summer of painting. Some of these paintings feature the Queen Annes Lace in the ditches by the roads, which is mostly gone now after last weeks cold snap. There are still plenty of wildflowers out there, and the fields are beginning to turn rusty colors. Farmers are chopping corn and the leaves started changing color a few weeks ago.
Summer is over, but this is open for discussion. Please leave me a comment!
I have had a busy time preparing for the Blue Heron opening, which was last Friday. Framing and getting things ready to hang took up most of my time. I also painted "near daily" up until the show, attempting to get some last minute things done. Touching things up in the studio was especially challenging. I normally keep the door and windows open to help with fumes, but the mosquitos were so bad that I had to hole myself up and then waft the air in at regular intervals. I need some Gamasol!
The paintings are hung in three sections of the store. One section features the winter pieces, one still life and spring, and a summer display. It's nice to see winter paintings this time of year, it sort of cools you off. You can see many of the paintings by scrolling down this page.
On Friday, the day of the opening, there wasn't a quiet moment. Having the opening from noon until nine was a great idea. Several people stopped on their lunch break, and many more after work. The show was a big hit, twice as good as I could have expected. About a third of the paintings are sold. The paintings are available by emailing myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Blue Heron at email@example.com.
I'd like to thank Dana, Kay and Larry at the Blue Heron, as well as everyone else who came down on Friday.
More Pics to come.
David Armstong (with 2 wrapped up paintings!), Myself after a long day and "The Dude" Noah Anderson.