Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Manchester State Park

Weapons storage- Manchester State park
   Who knew that an abandoned building could be so inspiring? Reminding me of a series I did as a photographer "the passage series", again. I was drawn to the whole outside/ inside/ outside aspects of windows within doors and windows in windows. The perfect cloudiness enhanced my shade but soon chased me out when the clouds clears to practically blind me with reflection.- G.A. finding another occupational hazard.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Neither wind or cold, nor the scorch of light...

oil study Bay view state park 9x12

 ...the mail carriers aren't the only devoted souls with a creed! Despite the interstate bridge collapsing into the river less than a week before the event, dozens of us plein air artists descended upon Skaggit county for our paint out. Bay view and Deception State Parks rivaled the cute picturesque town of La Connor for my attention. Painting from 8 am until 9 pm the first day brought brief watercolor sketches and 2 oil studies. The second day yielded a less productive schedule of only one panel between packing and pacing for the long drive home.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Nothing but green

   While painting Dosewallip State Park this weekend a fellow artist asked "Well, how'd it go out there?" when I returned from the morning session. I looked at him exhausted and replied, "Nothing but green!" Twas an overcast day in the park but after driving 90 minutes I was determined to put paint to panel. The river looked blotto with the white sky (and perhaps a little threatening for some rain) so I took the wooded path. Being on the outskirts of the Olympic National Park forest, you can imagine the green and worse the cloudiness saturates the color while lessening the contrast especially under a canopy of trees. Challenged but determined I found an unusual root remaining renewal of a tree among all it's mossy friends; I see glazing in my future! Needless to say the 2nd session that day was along the river.- G.A. challenging myself to discover new ways to mix green.
Dosewallips State Park- morning session

Sneaky little studies

master gardener stuff- 6x8 oil study
   Out of pure guilt for wasteful possessions, I took my original 6x8 pochade box (bought 3 years ago but only used 3x in the 1st year... it was too small) from the cobwebs of the studio shelf. I have come to realize that at times there are events/places that I would like to paint but am not wanting to hoist around "the gear" and do a whole production of a 9x12 (or larger panel) but prefer a quick study... like a sketchbook. So in effort to work faster and paint more, last week I returned to my 6x8 set up and further tweaked the supplies so that it was an all in one carry out... to encourage me to take along oil paints more often/easily.
    I found a tiny turp bucket, sawed off the handles of small paint brushes, rigged a paint carry container within the ponchade and am using nice quality 6x8 loose canvas (like sheets of paper) taped to a lightweight  rigid substrate. Bingo- I'm back in business! While I do still bring a tripod and bolt the box to stand while painting,   this system does have a thumb hole where I may be able to work without a tripod. Furthermore the canvas sheets are maybe $1 for 3 sheets of that size opposed to $6-7 a panel for the 9x12 ampersand gessoboard of which I stopped buying last year when they passed $5. While last year my goal was to have the 9x12 plein air panel be the finished product, this year half of what I work on site are color sketch/references for possible bigger paintings in the future.
   While I am still using the 9x12  gessoboards for the events and client work or distant painting sessions (where I will probably only get one chance to go there and paint), I began this year's plein air season with my local group on the little format and actually got a nice little study. -G.A. painting more and paying less.