I always struggle with trees. I either simplify them too much or I get carried away with needless detail and the whole thing just becomes a big mess. When a student is struggling with something, I always suggest doing loads of studies. I also think it's pretty important to practice what I preach, and hence these studies done out at Dick Young Preserve in Batavia. It's a good place for studies like these because there is so little to compete with the small trees you come across here and there. Every thing you do is just practice for the next one.
I took a drive west of the Galena Territory toward Elizabeth last October and found myself in countryside that resembled parts of California I've visited much moreso than Illinois. I stopped and did a few sketches of the heavily rolling terrain and was struck, in this scene, by how much the cows appeared to be a part of the landscape and terrain rather than a group of beings moving about the top of it. The day was pretty warm and they were content to stay grouped for the most part while I worked. A loner wandered up to watch what I was doing - took a look - snorted and turned away. Hmm.
This is a studio piece done from those on-site sketches.
Right now we've been between -5 and +9 degrees for nearly three weeks. I detest the cold, I can't go outside and work, I don't like painting snow scenes, whine whine whinge. So it was a real treat to revisit this late August scene in a demo for my online oil painting class. It's rough because it was done in under an hour for the sake of a reasonable video size. But in preparing it for posting this morning, I realized just how warm I let this piece get: maybe overly so, but given what's outside right now, can you blame me?
It has been ages - I don't know how long - since I've done one of my donut paintings. I've done at least a hundred over the years - and a hundred of almost anything can get tiresome. However, I've given it a rest and I'm thinking it might be entertaining to do a Saturday morning Facebook Live event each week titled something like "Coffee and a Donut" in which I sample a new coffee and do a quick donut painting. This one is a maple frosted from our very own Jewel - they have great donuts. As there are many venues in town, I'll be moving around and sampling. Stay tuned.
My first post for this new blog comes with a bit of a heavy heart. By way of an introduction, we had to put our Lab of fourteen years down about a year ago. I don't think I faced up to it for about five months and then I just cracked.
I get physically ill when I hear of friends' pets suffering. There's nothing for it. So when I heard that my friend of some fifty years Mike's dog Lucky had internal bleeding, my guts clenched and all I could do in reaction to the photo he posted was to pick up my brushes.
I don't have the courage to ask about the outcome . . . I'll hear in time.
This is a new site. Last May my comprehensive web site was infected with Viagra malware. The ISP (iPage) would not do a thing to help, so - contrary to the action of Viagra, I deflated it. Building a site from scratch is just an enormous undertaking given the sheer volume of images - and so I happily and with great relief present both my new site and my new blog. I hope you'll find it interesting, informative and - oh yeah - beautiful!