At the very end of HWY 66 past Bragg Creek is a great little spot in the Shadow of Forgetmenot Mt. beside Little Elbow Campground. I was up there last year to get some reference and came across this happy little scene. Hard tom paint as there is lots of stuff going on. Keeping in mind that these are designed to be sketches.
So after being completely bogged down with life, I have come to realize that getting 30 successive paintings done in a row is not going to happen. So I am going to simply paint 30 on as near a daily basis as I can muster. And in that spirit, I got busy last night and painted a scene which I saw west of the city on 53st. A lovely little wetland that straddled the road. I took the liberty of bringing the mountains closer as the camera as we know, likes to shove everything back as far as it can till you can barely see it. This was about an hour and a half total.
What an amazing experience this has been. After so many years of working in Photoshop professionally, I was able to relinquish control to serendipity, smell the chemistry that made it possible, and feel that magic I felt so long ago. It was 27 years since I stepped into a darkroom and I thank my wife Stephanie for nudging me to go and Diane Bos for being such an inspiration.
I was at the Banff Centre today for a workshop hosted by Diane Bos. A photographic fine artist specializing in pin hole photography. I made a camera from a large gift box and took it out and shot this image. Very cool considering there’s no lens.
Here’s another image from the Waterton Area. It was on a day that I saw a huge herd of Elk in a Valley behind where this shot was taken. I’m not posting over the weekend as I’m busy in a workshop at the Banff Centre but I’ll get back to it on Monday. I’ll probably retake the photo in the morning as it looks a bit wonky under my work light. I think I may trim off the most of the blue at the bottom when I mount the sheet. A bit much I think.
This was from a picture I took while I was down in Waterton. I rode out one morning to see what I could find and came across Spread Eagle Road just a few miles from the park gates towards Pincher Creek. Looked like decent gravel road and the Vstrom is born to ride on this stuff so up I went. After a long windy tour past some gas wells and random cattle, I ended up at the highest point on the journey with this convenient pull out. You can just see the trees over the hill. It was a beautiful spot to get some pics and have a bite and a break. The results are below.
One week in! Here is a scene I painted earlier this year and decided to give it another go. It’s along 69th St. West of the city where I have frequented many times in the car and on the motorcycle. Lots to paint out there.
I was just south of the city looking for a location for a commercial project when I came across this little gem. It has sat on the hard drive for awhile now but I decided that it was time to get it up on the laptop and get to work. There have been a few moments when I’ve been told that I get too much in my head when I paint, and I need to just “paint”. Let it out with a wistful freedom and an attitude that it will just happen and I don’t need to force it. Make decisions on the fly as in – the sky is too light or too dark, the road is too hard edged and the centre of interests needs more life. This happened with this painting and I can see the results as the image came into focus without working it to death. I could have gone on but I needed to stop. There could have been some refinement, but hey, done is done.
Not much to say about this one. It started off horribly. I was tight right out of the gate. Clouds tend to do that to me. Especially when you have a very detailed photo to refer to. I have a difficult time on occasion trying to simplify the basic structures. I did learn though, that starting out with more detail than you need can be a pretty good starting point. You can brush back as much as you want. In reality, I prefer to work the other direction. Start loose and stay loose – add detail as you need them.
John Singer Sargent painted very loose to start and said “The details will take care of themselves”.
This was a bit a bit of a departure for me. I decided to take on a particular rock in the Frank Slide that had a certain amount of appeal. I loved the simplicity of it. But as it turned out, this particular bit of rock was more than I bargained for. A bit of a struggle for sure. I was going to post it last night but the time-lapse was causing me issues. This one I not so happy with. Not sure about it.
Here’s my painting for Day 2. It took me about an hour and forty minutes to complete. I decided that I would do a time-lapse of the process and if I can, I’ll do the same with each of these paintings. I used a nifty little piece of software for the iPhone called Lapse-It and whats nice about using the iPhone over the Contour action cam is that you can frame the shot! Yes, you can actually see what your shooting. Sometime over the month I’ll take a pic of my set-up.
So I was nominated to do a thirty day painting challenge by Anne Aitken Anderson and Pamm Ciupa. They are just completing their challenge and I guess they thought I needed punishing for some reason. You can see there wonderful work here.
I’m not a fan of challenges as my fear level goes up and when I have a big fail, I just wipe it and try again another day. Nobody has to see it. But here? I have to post it regardless. I may have to adopt a different strategy for this. I’m going to try and get out and paint En Plein Air for at least a few of them. I’ll see. It is supposed to get up to 12C on Thursday and continue that way for a few days into the weekend. If Marc Hanson can paint four a day for a month, I think I can muster up one a day.
Redheads on Fields Edge 8.5×11 Oil on Canvas
So this is the first one and I can’t completely say it was done in one day. I was intending to start this challenge last Thursday and was able to get a brief start on it before I had to stop and wasn’t able to get to it till yesterday afternoon. I had the block in done and that was about it. Anyway, here it is. I had some issues with the foreground as it was a matted tall grass. Nothing was working and my brushwork looked awkward and was difficult to keep tamed. So, I pulled out the palette knife and after wiping down the previous attempts laid down a loose application of oil paint over the darker softer background. I instantly liked the effect and could move on to working the bushes and trees to get them to speak to each other nicely and not fight like they had been before. Overall, I think it worked out pretty good.