Because I constructed this large painting straight from the imagination, you can count me out as a realist. From the imagination counts as romanticism, and if it’s considered not ugly, it then falls within Romantic Positivism.
It’s a work in progress, as I see a few things, a few values worth fixing. Maybe some telephone poles. This painting is rather big at 4 feet by 5 feet and, I am getting very comfortable with the larger paintings. Stay tuned!
This is an exciting painting. The unified palette being the reasoning. I gravitate toward the secondary colors, and this one is exemplary of this focus on orange, green, and violet, with a touch of blue in the Harvestore Silo and the faded alizarin crimson in the sky and along the horizon.
I consider 10th and Locust, in downtown Des Moines, my neighborhood as it is three blocks from my studio. There is a rather decent Italian restaurant in the building you are looking at, along with the Temple Theater venue for live events. Across the street to the west is a Starbucks, also very convenient for coffee and meetings.
Keeping in mind that I am not a religious person, in fact, a recovering catholic as I’ve often called myself, I’ve often imagined illustrating a book of the Bible. Daunting, but probably fun. From what I understand, the apostles were all teenagers when they were called. This is why I would paint them as very young looking, as in the depiction here.
It took me a long time to finish this painting. And it’s brighter, with more of a pastel palette than this photo delivers. It’s so soft and quiet. One you have to see in person to allow it to complete its sentiments of the day.
While I am studying and formulating my next ideas of the landscape and it’s language, I’ve delved in to highly abstracted observations in an effort to better solidify my path and direction. I did a series of three 12×12 square panels, this being the first. Stay tuned!
2021 has come to a close with this last plein air study. Here I now stand, after following the rules of classical form for five years of painting, at the precipice of knowing that what lies ahead is toward the abstract. In order to avoid painting another ho-hum landscape, albeit ones with sound harmony and sensibilities, I’ve realized, from recent in-depth studies of the principles of Cezanne, that true art comes from the corruption and violation of nature. One is otherwise making a replica or a copy of her. The picture is the thing. It is its own thing. A two dimensional thing that must be created in its own right. I’m setting out. Wish me luck.
This is, most likely, my last signed painting of 2021. A little 11×14 house commission. Next year, I intend to turn a corner, instilling some new painting direction into my work. Stay tuned and Happy New Year!
The north view looking out of my studio in downtown Des Moines at approximately 4:00 PM on a misty Friday night. I had been reading Erle Loran’s book on Cezanne, and it has influenced me. The color planes, the open palette, the lines, and the means, which were his own, by which he created depth.
I’ve been driving around the surrounding farmlands this summer and fall, taking photos of future paintings. I just got around to facing, and finishing this one, after starting it a month ago, and being intimidated by the light in it.
It’s rewarding to knock off a small painting of, say, 12×16 but, I’d like to increase my production of larger paintings such as this one. This is still a work in progress and I’ll only fix a few small details.
To quote, and borrow a phrase from baseball, “I’m seeing the ball really well right now,” I’ve got 10,000 hours invested in getting to where I can execute this sky and palette. If you go out early in the morning and look, meditate, on the color in the atmosphere, you will soon see that, starting at the horizon, all six colors (the three primary, the three secondary) are there. Follow me: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. From bottom to top. So fun to paint. Enjoy.
I am beginning to drive around the state of Iowa more often, scouting for those special places that may be painted in the early or late light of day. This was a barn just east of Adel, Iowa that I found interesting enough to sketch out. The light, however, is the thing I am after.
This year, in many ways, is a moving year. One major change in my orbit is to get outside and paint more plein air. Here is a little one hour sketch, in order to begin to stretch the plein air muscles.
I was asked to paint a portrait of this guy as a gift and, could only find a few photos where he is looking at the camera. I settled on this one, which was black and white so, I had to invent the color palette. Happy with results.
I’ve lived in the State of Colorado twice in my lifetime. Loveland Co. for one year in 1975, before returning to Iowa to attend University. (ISU.) Then again for six years throughout the late 1980’s in Colorado Springs Co. I knew the state well and, often miss the open range feel of the West.
Clouds have inspired me lately and, there is every color in the sky. Ultramarine, Cerulean, Viridian, Yellow Ochre, and Alizarin are all used, though very highly tinted, with Titanium White. This, excluding Burnt Umber, is my entire palette.
This is a Work in Progress. Des Moines is, or was, home of the Travelers Life Insurance Company and, this rooftop sign is an iconic part of the downtown cityscape. I’ve still to add the letters under the Umbrella and, it is basically all the farther I intend to take it. Cheers.
Since first posting, I’ve updated the painting to include the letters of the classic sign.
I loved the photo of this little newborn calf I captured a few weeks ago and, had done a little study in oil previously. Here it is again, in a 12×12, painted for a second time and, a precursor to a large format piece.