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Photo Album
Ahhh summer, painting green in a very green room ... my easel at work on the painting titled: "Fallen in the Afternoon"
This painting has been such a nice meditation on tranquility, and watching a summer afternoon pass by. The irony is of course, that it's all pretty exciting stuff for me. Those spots of sun and shade on the creek bed really do move along ... but that's familiar and wonderful to have the sense of which patterns are right for the piece by seeing them again and again.
I have really enjoyed my summer mornings at this spot again. This painting was started 3 years ago, and had a 2-year delay because of the appearance of a rock wall at the top of the little water tumble I was painting. Fortunately, Nature restored the more natural look of things. It's fun to notice the changes to this scene over that time. There's a new fallen tree, and the pool is drier because the channel was deepened to build the wall. The painting has mostly the upper left to go, which is some pretty challenging stuff. Wish me luck : >)
Here is a "Flowers First" painting that worked out. I'll add 2 more photos, because they show the process unfold for this one. It was a real adventure of composing on the go, and using my instincts and best guesses. At this point I could see the flowers of the upper right had just opened, and the lower left were about to open.
Phew, finished the flowers just in time ...
Always touch ups, but mostly the lower right to go.
Here is the happy conclusion to last year's "Flowers First, Leaves Later" painting, that had come one flower short of finished. You could notice how the bush did grow and change in the year, but a suitable model for the remaining flower was found, along with some leafy additions.
I like how much this photo captures the mood of this season that I'm trying to paint: the forest coming back alive in May, new growth, and a new year of green : >)
With these photos, I just couldn't resist the joke that: "I normally don't take students, but in this case ... " the posture and the attentiveness of these moments were just so cute...
I'd previously seen this forest friend daydreaming in a crook of this same tree. I wanted to bridge the species gap and say: "I'm trying to paint the colors of Spring, they're incredible, aren't they?" I hope we get to high-5 in Heaven : >)
Here is my perch while working on the painting "Marchshhhhh." If it were a restaurant, it couldn't advertise ample parking, could it? I sure hope these photos don't make anyone seasick.
The weather in March varies, so different footwear for different days. At this spot, I do have a post-it note on my brain that says: "Do not step back," but with my brain I'm still amazed that I haven't fallen in ... YET. I have dropped a brush and the painting in, but all "fishable" with a stick.
It really is hard to overstate just how much I have loved working on this painting. It all speaks so directly to me, this bright March sun and moving water. It has earned the humorous nickname: "The painting he loved too much," because of how much reworking it has involved. But it has felt so natural to work towards the painting that does honor this little marvel of this time of year : >)
Here's my morning November - December painting titled: "Resting Place" and it was another good season on it. I really grew in understanding what this painting is about ... I never know how long it will take to arrive at that place. In this case, it was during my 3rd season.
Here's my November - December afternoon painting, titled "December Bright," just after the day's light show has come to another peaceful end.
The artist's path in November ... a pause on the way to my morning painting.
Apparently we stand just still enough not to be noticed right away when we're painting. I quietly got my camera out to catch this buck's moment of: "What the ...!?!"He drank a little more and then walked off to find a more relaxing place.
I've enjoyed this October piece so much, but it has involved one aesthetic compromise that I hope you won't mind. I slightly preferred the composition from right under the ginormous leaning tree ... but when I pondered its weight and mass, I decided the composition from 7 feet back was almost as good : >)
Here's the same piece at a later moment, at the close of the day's painting session. As you can see, my time at this spot has not been good for the grass on the bank where I've been standing ... maybe I should reseed it when the piece is finished, or is this covered by"leave only footprints?"
Here is a slightly comic take on why I nicknamed my outdoor garden process: "Flowers First, Leaves Later," and also pretty good documentation of why this painting came one flower short of being finished. By now, I'm quite used to having pieces carry over from one season to another, and it will be interesting to see how the bush grows and changes in a year.
Here is the location for the painting titled: "Morning Path." It's a pretty dazzling and dramatic metamorphosis as this view evolves over 2 hours or so. I'm looking almost exactly perpendicular to the sun's path, so the change is pretty fast. The complexity is also a little dazzling, and I spent this first season on it a little bewildered at times ... still getting to know lots of its essence, and looking forward to diving back in next year.
Working on this painting has been such a genuine uplift: March sun and the rush of the water is a sound that my soul just soaks up hour after hour. I hope some of that makes it into the painting.   Besides the fact that this painting spot rocks ... it has been plein air painlessness: March and April sun, while watching and listening to the earth come alive again.
Here is my setup and workplace for many sunny mornings one summer. The sun's path is across this viewpoint, so some of the light effects were especially brief. This made for many"Wait, what?" and "Aarrrrgh!" moments, but these were comforted by plans to revisit and hang out here as long as it took. Great place to hang out.   Here is a photo I like to call "painting peonies in the wild" ... as wild as the back patio gets. One of the challenges to this kind of painting is the new and compelling version of the flower that the changing sun offers every twenty minutes or so. I didn't do too bad with that this time around and only painted the flowers about two and a half times over the two days.
photo of robert painting david
Painting David Diaz at the MAPAPA Annual Meeting 2013. Thanks again for posing David, and to Kirk Larsen for such a great comic twist on the moment.
palette by snow stream   painting under a wonderful neighborhood magnolia tree
Here is my "Snow Stream" painting in progress. It's funny how some painting days in winter can be quite cushy, and this was one of those days.   Here is a souvenir of my painting time under an absolutely wonderful magnolia tree during Plein Air Easton. This painting was nothing but a pleasure all the way through, and the photographer displayed his expertise by bringing a ladder along with him. Thanks again for loaning such a great photo, Ted.
Photo of Robert and his daughter Sofia painting by the pond Photo of Sofia painting at her watercolor easel
Painting daddies don't get much happier than this.
Photo of Robert with his painting friends:  Scott Yeager and Ed Cooper   Photo of Robert's easel in a local stream, courtesy of his new rubber boots
From Right to Left: Ed Cooper, Scott Yeager, and the sunrise they insisted we paint. Thanks for the great photo Lisa.   A pair of rubber boots expanded my horizons ... and compositions.
Photo of Robert painting by Hamlin Lake in Michigan
Hamlin Lake, Michigan at a very reasonable hour.
Photo of Robert's outdoor palette.
Photo of Robert painting with two friendly citizens in Annapolis Maryland Photo of Robert painting sun dapples at the Easton Brunch
My outdoor palette indoors. Painting in Annapolis with two friendly citizens. Chasing after some sun dapples at the Easton brunch. Thanks for another great photo Lisa!
Robert's office in Octoer   Photo of Robert flattening some grass and making the hmmmm face
The office in early October.   Smashing grass and making the "hmmmmmmm" face.
Photo of Robert's easel in Alexandria, Virginia   Painting in front of the Maryland Inn in Annapolis
Painting in town just before Easter.