Saturday, January 18, 2020

New Work: Sunset Composition, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Sunset Composition, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

Sometimes you just want to do a painting again in a larger version. The painting below, Just After the Sun has Set, was a study for the 30 x 40 oil above, Sunset Composition, For this new oil, the focus is on the warmer tones and the dark contrasts, so the blues in the clouds were left out.

Just After the Sun Has Set
Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches
Private collection, San Marcos, Texas
Saks Galleries, Denver
More about this oil on Ken's blog, For the Color
The larger painting and the more focused crop deals with a narrower range of colors, making the dark trees are more dramatic. This combination sets up the glowing sky and the elements behind the trees nicely and without the use of stronger colors.

The larger oil is more about the compositional elements rather than a bright sunset. Compared to the study, more time has passed after the sunset and the subtleties of the colors become more apparent. Going about the oil in a softer approach was a bit like using a standard, rather than an electric guitar to play a song... not as forceful, but both make for good performances.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

New work: Sunset Chroma, Purple and Yellow, oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches

Sunset Chroma, Purple and Yellow  Oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches  $2450 framed

There are so many sunsets to see and paint. Lately, I've been thinking about applying a soft, pastel-like palette to a good cloud composition and I finally made one happen. So much of this oil came about it a non-lineal way and that's a bonus.

Rather than trying to represent a scene accurately, different color combinations were being tried out. During that discovery process, the moment the aquas and the pale greens combined above the clouds, the oil immediately became much more interesting. I didn't plan on it - I had some aqua setting out from a previous painting session and I gave it a go. A lot of white was added - I figured too much, but it worked out beautifully and led me to use the other pale colors that followed.  

The mauve cloud mass in the center anchors the piece and provides 'shade' and a way to transition to the darker foreground. The entire scene is nicely lit but not too much. After all of the back and forth and sorting through endless options, a soft sunset emerged. 

I'm enjoying this view!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Grateful Notices: Light in the Forest, oil on canvas 40 x 30 inches

Light in the Forest, oil on canvas 40 x 30 inches
Private collection
Exhibited:  Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

My sincere thanks to the artist that purchased this work for her collection and  Dominique Boisjoli for putting it all together!

About this oil:
I went through a couple of permutations with this oil, including a discarded version. Starting on a new canvas the second time, the focus became the color red with an eye toward simplicity.

This composition is essentially 3 bands of color with a lot of moves to keep things interesting. About a third of the way into the creation of this oil, the yellows in the center began to take on a life of their own. It would be simple and perhaps even more dramatic to increase the amount of yellow in the background, but the painting seems to project something mysterious with the unnatural, yellow glow emerging from the forest. 

The leaf colors are saturated, unusual hues intentionally placed to add a random pattern and to further accelerate the effect of the reds.

The painting has a nice presence and it contains an interesting mystery unsolved.

Monday, December 30, 2019

New Work: Just After the Sun Has Set, oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches

Just After the Sun Has Set
Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches $5100 framed
Saks Galleries, Denver

This is a scene from Castle Rock, CO near where I lived until recently. There were so many good sunsets looking west and I painted a good number of them. For this oil, the focus was split between the sky and land forms below.

Rather than focusing all of the color in the sky, I saturated the bottom half of the painting with the purples, reds, mauves and greens. The dark trees on the right set up a soft contrast as well as a border between the foreground and all that happens beyond,

It has a soft richness that I like. The water on the left was added last to create even more light effects, an improvement over the actual highway there.

Grateful Notices: Red Wall at the Lake Pastel on paper, 17 5/8 x 23 3/8 inches

Red Wall at the Lake
Pastel on paper, 17 5/8 x 23 3/8  Sold, private collection
Exhibited,: Madelyn Jordan Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY
Also available as a limited edition giclee print

The trees are an excuse to make a red pattern and the pattern is a device for the yellow trees and blues of the lake to to emerge from the background. All the colors and compositional elements work together toward a common goal - to make the reds as bright as possible.

The plan was a simple one, to set up the depth like screens in a stage play and to have horizontal bands of colors dancing across. It was a straightforward enough idea but it took hundreds of pastel strokes to make it come to life. I had a lot of joy in the creation of it and hopefully it comes through in the work.

My thanks to the collector and Madelyn Jordan Fine Art!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Grateful Notices: Last Snow I, pastel, 8 3/8 x 12 3/8 inches

Pastel 8 3/8 X 12 3/8   private collection
Exhibited: Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

When I first moved to Colorado many years ago, I was living in a snow climate for the first time. This pastel was done soon after my arrival and I had kept it in my own collection for over 20 years. Creating snow scenes was a bit of a rarity for me and because this was my view almost every day when I lived in Castle Rock, Colorado, I felt compelled to make a pastel of the scene.

Now that I'm living in Steamboat Springs and surrounded by snowy landscapes for many months of the year, I am creating more winter artworks rather than the one or two in each of the past years.

When Dominique told me that a Denver collector added this work to their collection I was delighted and encouraged to create more. Thank you!