Monthly Archives: June 2012

Cameron Road Barn Update

I painted the water of the Admiralty Inlet shipping channel, reworked the Olympic mountain range, and lightened the trees in the left middle ground.  The painting is starting to work for me.  How about you?

Next is finishing the barn, the fence and last some dairy cows resting in the pasture up towards the barn.

This is a digital photo, I shot last month along Cameron Road from which the idea developed.  It seems that landscape artists, me included, just can’t resist barns.  It is a good thing, too, because real working barns are rapidly disappearing in this world.

Cameron Road Barn – Update

I am making some progress on the “Barn.”  I painted in some detail on the background mountains.  There are certain atmospherice and light conditions that cause the Olympic mountains to rise up and dominate the landscape.  I wanted to capture this feeling in Cameron Road Barn.  To break some of the horizontal bands in this composition, I added additional foliage to the trees on the left hand side.

Tomorrow, I’ll work on the water.

Cameron Road Barn – Adding Color

Each painting started, is an adventure.  Although I have firm ideas of where I want to go with the piece, I am very aware that frequently (almost always?) the path to the finish takes a different route and often arrives at a slightly different destination. Today I am adding some underlayment colors to get a feel for the tonal characteristics.

  Cameron Road Barn 6-18-12 12:30 p.m. 

Decisions made at this point can help keep me on track or send me into the wilderness. 

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New Artwork in Process

Whenever I set up a new canvas, I get excited about the possibilities – all that white space that I can fill with my ideas and talents.

Then there comes the sobering thought:  There’s all that white space to fill with my ideas and talents.  Are my ideas any good and do I have any talent?  I’m sure we’ve all felt that way about some endeavor or another. 

I’ve read somewhere that around 80% of successful people feel that they are not worthy of their success: That one day soon, they will be shown up for what they are, mediocre and will then fall back to that low level they really deserve.

I suspect that the reason they are and often remain successful, is that they continue doing whatever they do, as best they can do it, until such time they are “found out”.  Because they keep up this doing, they are never “found out!”.  So when you are feeling down about your talent and ability, This is normal for people with talent and ability, so just keep on working.

Successful people also found out that to become successful they have to do things, often over and over.  As Jack White stated in a recent article in Profession Artist, “You can’t learn to swim without getting wet.”

So I’m getting wet once more by sharing with you my latest start: Cameron Road Barn. 

 Cameron Road Barn Initial Layout  

This is the preliminary layout sketched on the canvas with a mixture of napthol Red and Ultra-marine Blue.

I am attracted to this scene by it’s inclusion of the Pacific Northwest skies (always beautiful), the Olympic Mountains, the waters of Puget Sound, the lushness of the grass and trees, and the stoic attitiude of that long standing barn in the distance.  You could say it has everything there is to have here in Washington.  Well, not quite.

Stick with me to see progr

Moments in Time

I read a recent article in PleinAir titled Painting Moments In Time by Kathleen Dunphy, the accomplished California landscape painter.  The point she made to me was that  everything is changing: No moment is ever the same as the last.  the light changes, the sea changes, the temperature becomes warmer or colder, people or animals suddenly impose themselves into your view the wind starts/stops blowing.  So to quote Ms. Dunphy:  “…to respond as creative artists, painters need to look more carefully at what exists at a moment in time and gauge how they feel and what they want to viewers of their paintings.” 

This is certainly sound advice for any artist and defines the largest (only?) obstacle to good art, that is; Looking carefully and acknowledging your emotional response and putting that into your artwork .

Such advice can be applied to more than just making art.  The same should be applied to everything in one’s life: Look closely at what and who is around you and how you react to them.  What is it you want to say to them?  How do you want them to respond to you?.  Each of them live in the moment and you may not get a second chance to view them.  Certainly never again in the same way.

So the question I pose to myself (and to you) is how does one stay aware of the moments in time and how does one best use them whether for painting or living one’s life?

Let’s give it a try.