9 October, 2017

About a month ago, I painted a scene at Fort Ebey State Park here on Whidbey Island.  It was a scene looking through the fir trees towards the beach.  You could see the Olympic Mountain foot hills across the water but the mountains themselves were lost in the haze.  I was not satisfied with that painting but was attracted to the scene.  So, I did another take in my studio using my original painting and a photo taken at the time as reference.  I like this one better but still am not capturing something.  Stay posted; the third pass is coming soon.

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Fort Ebey Take two.
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8 October, 2017

I follow artist Mary Gilkerson’s facebook page. In one of her recent posts she provides some tips regarding the “Art of Seeing” that seem worthwhile to pass along.
 
These are:
1. The more you look and observe, the more you’ll see.
Slow down and pay attention to the world around you. Try taking 10 minutes every morning or evening just to sit and watch the surrounding world. No smart phone, no tablet, no laptop. Unplug and look. The more you practice looking and noticing, the more you’ll see.
 
2. Become familiar with the changes in patterns of light and color at different times of day.
Try taking a brief walk every day along the same route. Again, totally unplug. No electronics. When you’re not distracted by electronic devices, you’ll begin to see the way that different times of day and different times of year affect those patterns of light and color.
 
3. Draw and paint from direct observation as much as possible.
Cameras interpret visual information differently than the human eye. This doesn’t mean you can’t work from photographs. But start supplementing working from photographs with working from life. Start simply and work up to more complex subjects. Keep a sketchbook and try making small thumbnails that record the shape and value relationships that you see. To do that make a small sketch, about 2 x 3”, that includes the 5-7 general large shapes and 3-5 values. Keep the shapes very simple, without details. Assign only one value or color for each shape or color mass.
 
These are simple things which contain, I think, great value for all of us working in any of the arts not just visual artists. I credit myself for being observant but wonder just how “in the here and now” I am. Try these and let me know what your reaction and/or results are.
 
You can see her work at https//marygilkerson.com.
 
Gherry

21 September, 2017

Spots of rain and cooler weather as we head into Autumn, tomorrow.  I completed two more water colors shown here.  The first is a beautiful old Locust tree on the corner of St. Huberts parking lot in Langley.  The second is a view through the trees along the path to the beach in Fort Ebey State Park.  I have to confess this second piece is not quite finished: I have yet to paint the remaining 4722 branches that stick out of 7 or 8 Douglas Fir trees.  Well maybe I exaggerate but it seems not by much.

 

There are so many beautiful spots here on Whidbey Island, that I will never come close to capturing nor even finding them all.  With the passing of Summer my excursions will change some but even the Winter weather here is full of mystery and beauty and I will continue to be out and about looking for the next painting.

I wanted, lest you have forgotten, that these paintings are for sale on my web-site.  The prices listed there include framing and shipping within the continental United States.

May the Autumnal Equinox be kind to you.

16 September, 2017

While out this evening I caught two photos which I have to share: The first one is the boats at the Langley Marina catching the late afternoon sun. The season’s parade of storms is approaching so we may not see this again until next May.

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Langley Marina

The second photo is the sun going down over Freeland park.

 

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Sunset at Freeland Park

11 September, 2017

This is 9/11 day.  When the world changed for Americans.  People died that day because of hate and fear.  Some died simply as victims; other died to kill, and yet others because they were heroes doing their jobs and going the extra mile so others might survive.  Today it seems that hate and fear has a new lease on life.  Let’s pray than we are a better people than some of the voices among us seem to say.

God bless you who died on that day.  We will not forget you…..any of you.

9 September, 2017

A drizzly morning here on Whidbey Island.  They say the Sun will be back tomorrow but we know we are seeing the last of the Summer weather until next year.  So I’ve been busy drinking in the sites and the sensations of the world around me for the long winter’s indoor efforts.  Our Plein Air group has worked in some pretty hostile weather in the past but such efforts are daunting and the call of a latte at the Langley Commons coffee shop is hard to resist.  We will meet in the Commons back room starting in October.

I am currently working out a design for our Christmas card and will post my progress as it happens.

This piece was done plein air last weekend at the Langley marina.  This is the view looking East along the shore line.

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2570-001 Shoreline looking East from the Marina

This is an 8 x 10 inch watercolor.

7 September, 2017

Painted with the Whidbey Plein Air painters today at Fort Casey here on Whidbey Island today.   Graceful old Cypress trees located near the lighthouse.

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Cypress Trees at Fort Casey, whidbey Island, WA

After months long warm dry weather a cool damp front swept in from the Pacific dropping the temperature some 10 degrees in twenty minutes.  Had just time to finish this before the cold air drove me away.  Of course I didn’t bring a jacket.

4 September, 2017

It has been very warm this past week with more on the way.  Of course our 80-90 degree weather is cold to our friends in California, Arizona, Nevada, and other hot spots which are “enjoying temperatures in the 110+ range.  Yet for us it is edging up past the comfortable zone but…….. but the evenings are splendid.  I have not ever spent as much time out on our deck after sun down than I have this summer.  Light a few candles, a margarita and you are close to paradise.

Haven’t posted for a while, but I have been working.  Spent yesterday late afternoon and early evening at the Langley Marina sketching and taking reference photos.  Just beautiful as you can see by this photo:

 

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Langley Marina 3 September 2017 7:00 p.m.

I also completed a number of water colors (One shown here of the Olympic Mountains as seen from our deck)  This one will be available for sale on my website.

I am still withholding judgement on water color.  Although I am rapidly gaining knowledge of it’s characteristics, I still feel somewhat limited as compared to acrylic pigments.  Water color is easier to deal with in the field for plein air stuff, though.  I am going back to the marina this evening to paint some water color pieces directly.

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Olympic Mountains – 2 September, 2017

9 August, 2017

Focus:

I drove into Seattle, yesterday to check out the Daniel Smith art supply store.  It is located in the South Seattle industrial and shipping terminal district with good parking, friendly and helpful staff, and relatively easy access from I-5 or I-90.  The store seemed a little cluttered but that made it interesting as I stumbled on various items.  It compares with the Dick Blick store up on Broadway well enough, although Blick’s prices are a little lower.

As I cruised through the huge variety of art material on hand, I realized how easy it is to get distracted from actually making art.  I found myself gathering stuff based on , “Wow, that’s interesting! I wonder how that will work?” all the while running up my supply bill.  This chasing the new shiny object can cause me and probably you, to be distracted from making your art.  When you are working in-the-groove, you will notice that there is usually a very small “go-to” set of supplies that is the basis of 80% of your art.

It is good to add  new things (brushes, paper, pigments, etc.) from time to time but if much of what you are using is new to you, you may be doing too much experimenting and not enough serious art making.  So be careful when shopping for art materials: It is an addiction.  Focus, focus, focus.

Just a thought and a word of caution.

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2569- 016  View up Holmes Harbor  Water Color 8 x 10 inches.

7 August, 2017

I went to the “Forgery” show at the Froggwell Institute here on Whidbey Island.  There were some very nice pieces in this show including one by my fellow artist Dan Burroughs.  My favorites were the Emily Carr pieces.  Just beautiful.

I also went to the Artists of South Whidbey show held at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts.  As was expected, the show was a mixed bag with some very good pieces in it. My family agreed that the best of show was Deon Matzen’s “Diamond T” painting.  This is an outstanding piece.

As I’ve mentioned, I am working with water color at present and becoming more enthused as my technical skill develops.  Water color presents exciting characteristics which constantly jump out at me as intentional accidents.  The piece below is one I finished today.2569-018