Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kenny Rodgers and Painting

Painting in the open air has its challenges.
Well, it really is nothing but challenges. It is just that once and while things go well. To quote the great Kenny Rodgers, "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run. "

I just teared up a little.

Not sure if he was a painter, but this works for landscape painting as well as cards, or women, or plastic surgery- almost any decision making process really. So, after a bit of painting outside, one has to decide what do do with the canvas on the easel.
If it is deemed worthy of working on another day, I save it and try to come back to it in similar weather and lighting. If not, I utter a string of obscenities, scrape it down, wipe most of the paint off with a rag and turpentine, then I have a nice toned canvas to work on later.
This canvas had been wiped down 4 times, 3 of those were in one day. It had some history.
When I went to my parents for Easter, before everyone else got there, I went out to try again. They live in a lovely area about 70 miles northeast of Cincinnati on a sprawling farm. There was plenty to chose from. Some of my favorite views were in with the animals, but I could tell that my brother's horse was not going to leave me alone, and as she is shedding her winter coat I knew that my painting and I would be covered in hair.
I set up on the other side of the fence and painted this in about 2 hours. I spent a bit of time in the studio cleaning things up and making the design work a little better, but I was pretty happy. This photo is a bit blurry- I really need to get a better photographer.

Easter Morning, 12x9, oil on linen, 2009

Then this weekend I started teaching the Spring Landscape class.
I am not real fond of painting for a crowd. The most important part is the information that you offer, so I talk a lot. I find that I can either give a good talk and do a terrible painting, or a good painting and speak in incomprehensible gibberish. I usually prefer the former.
This was somewhere in between. I painted in silence a lot to try to get something done. I tried to stop, to talk rather than talk during, and while I did not get very far, I think I demonstrated some important points- one being that it does not happen easily and without a lot of careful consideration.
One of the students took some photos.
As you can see, one of the reason I teach is that it is one of the few times that I get to have large groups of women actually paying attention to me.

Again, using the advice of Kenny Rodgers, I wiped this painting down at the end of the demo.

No comments: