Thursday, May 3, 2012

2012 May 03, new works

Three new works for now. Chinese ink and watercolor on rice paper, 18 x 27 inches each: 
Autumn Oaks, Black Pines. 

Narcissus and Sweet Woodruff A and B.

What the heck, I've decided to add the other four until I make the time to post them on the website. Same sizes as above.

Spring Hike in the Highlands

Up on the Hill (Wild Blueberries)

One Moment

New Growth/Spring Colors

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Yosemite paintings

In 2004, my family and I went to Yosemite National Park located in central eastern California reaching into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. A series of glaciers have carved the valley resulting in granite cliffs that measure three times the height of the Empire State Building. The park, larger than the state of Rhode Island also boasts several groves of sequoia trees, some measuring nearly 300 feet high. The park has an elevation range from 2,127 to 13,114 feet.

Suffice to say, the landscape there dwarfed anything I had ever seen on the east coast. As a landscape painter and lover of the great outdoors in general, it was overwhelming. I did some sketching and took a lot of pictures. Eventually I began using these sketches and photos as a basis for a series of twenty-six paintings, ranging from 18 x 27 inches to 27 x 54 inches, that I completed in 2008.

Following is a small selection of those sketches. Please remember that my sketches are meant for me. They are not exhibition pieces, but are visual note-taking and research of a sort. Sometimes I draw to help me better understand a tree’s structure (or example), or to work out a future painting’s layout and color scheme.

Ink sketches -- finding the silhouette and structure of ponderosa pines, red fir, sugar pines, and black oak. Sugar pines, btw, produce enormous pine cones 12 - 18 inches long. The third b&w sketch below is a detail of the second, showing the black oak with my scribbly notes. These were done on rice paper, then clipped out and pasted into my sketchbook for future reference.

Views of the famous Half Dome looking due north from Glacier Point at various times of the day. Pencil, ink, and pastels. Each sketch measures approx. 9 inches across.

These three little sketches, and many others, resulted in a couple large ink and watercolor paintings. This one below measures 27 x 54 inches. I had done months of prep work for it and was feeling quite confident when I began working on it early one morning. I finished the piece (along with another one the same size) much later that evening, a rare event for me. I'll typically work on a piece for a couple days (or a week) before finishing it, although I do like to work on several paintings at a time.

One more: Sequoia trees on a misty morning at Mariposa Grove in the southern section of Yosemite Park, ink and pastel, approx. 9 x 13 inches. I like to use pencil, ink and pastel for sketching. I find the immediacy of pastel really helpful for quick "idea" work. Smudged or not, it can be transparent or opaque. I tend to paint compositions with a limited palette, with and emphasis on warm and cool tones, so this works well for me.

 To see some of the completed paintings in my Yosemite Series, please go to my website.

Monday, April 30, 2012

I've been doing some new work lately; finished seven paintings last week. Here are some of my working sketches. First two are pencil sketches. The other three ink and pastel, approximately 11 x 14 inches each.