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Click on any thumbnail for an enlargement
Marchshhhhh
in progress
Spring Chatter
in progress
Afternoon Rhododendron
in progress
Inner Glow
Finished
Lilies Loudly
Finished
Shaded Pool
in progress
Fallen in the Afternoon
in progress
Beside Restful Waters
in progress
Morning Path
in progress
Summer's Ending Sparkles
in progress
Resting Place
in progress
December Bright
in progress
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It has become normal for me to have a set of medium to larger plein air paintings in progress throughout the year, and that was the inspiration for this page; so you could see what is coming along, and the stories of how some of my paintings are done.

Click on any thumbnail to see that painting's story. The first image is how the piece was begun, and you can click forward or backward with the arrows. Each image needs to load the first time through, which creates a minor "blink" between the phases. If you go forward through all the phases, then you can go between them without the blink. When you get to the most recent phase, it will include enlargements. Clicking on any of the larger images will bring you back to this page.

 
 
 

I begin all my paintings with a mineral spirits wash painting because of how quick and versatile that method is.  Things can be easily moved around with a paper towel “eraser” until everything has found its proper place. Then I wash in some basic colors, just something in the neighborhood, to begin those all-important relationships. The time this takes serves as an important introduction to the subject and some of its possibilities. 

One of the things I enjoy about plein air painting is the unique approach that every painting asks for. I usually begin a piece with an awareness of what I know and don’t know about it.  And so, a good starting point is in any area that I’m somewhat sure of.  As I work there, I keep an eye on the rest, and watching how the subject displays itself.  I liken this to listening to its stories, and my reactions to those moments are my guide.  It can’t be predicted when that awareness of really getting what a painting is about will happen, but I’ve learned to be patient, because it always comes along piece by piece, and it fully arrives eventually.

Of course, sometimes utterly practical matters can guide a painting. Flowers only bloom when they bloom, and clouds only float when they’re afloat.  One painting I’m currently working on has a set of trees in the foreground that are being undercut by the stream.  It appears that they may tumble into the stream any day now, so I’m painting them in earnest.  Wish them, and me luck!

Overall, the colors in the painting and their relation to each other, are my greatest joy, and highest priority.  One of my little jokes about the colors of nature is that "you have to see them to believe them,” and I sure enjoy seeing them, and all of the surprises they contain. It is an experience where nature is leading, and I am following along.  I hope you enjoy these little journeys.