SOMIS BRACEROS

These Mexican laborers are appropriately called “braceros” because they make their living by using their “brazos”, arms.  I found these harvesting celery in Somis, Ventura County, California.  The “jefe” came running over and did not want me snapping photos of his men and women.  He though I was the “migra” – immigration authorities.  When I told him I was an “artista” he backed off.  Pastel on Arches watercolor paper.  Collection the artist.

My niece, Kathryn Brady, hung a photo of the California coast that showed fog creeping in near sunset.  The image remained in my mind for years.  Then one day I decided to paint a morning view of what I remembered.  Weather is nature, so it makes a good painting.  18 x 24.  Oil on board.

TODAY’S WEATHER, OR TOMORROW’S

 At the suggestion of a university art department advisor, I recently began a dedicated series on weather.  This 40 x30 oil on canvas is a fresh response to his suggestion.

WAITING FOR IVAN

Having lived on the Gulf Coast since 1973, we can be identified as “hurricane people.”  This acrylic on board of a view of St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach, FL shows the incursion of concrete, a natural enemy of storm surge.  It didn’t used to take a big blow to clear the beach off.  It was that way naturally.  16 x 20.  Acrylic.

TRYING FOR BANANA FISH

 It looks like I have been painting weather all along.  The banana fish reference can be attributed to my enjoyment of J. D. Salinger, a reclusive and famous writer of fiction; A Perfect Day For Bananafish.   30 x 24.  Oil on canvas.  Private collection.

BAD NEWS

 With few exceptions, my paintings are jolly.  I saw a black and white photo in the local news paper and painted this one in oil with a heavy heart, using complementary colors for effect.  Mankind does not learn much from history.   16 x 20.  Oil on canvas.  Collection the artist.

COWS THAT DELIVER FROZEN MOCHA

Could not help myself when I saw this image in a newspaper.  Deanie and I used to drive in the country and would make a game of shouting out titles of future cow paintings, thus creating an obligation on my part to put brush to canvas at a later date.   One viewer asked why the cows’ legs were cut off.  I wasn’t sure of myself in painting snow at that time.  15 x 30.  Oil on board.

A DAY FOR RAINBOWS

 My dad, Bill Sutherland, would take me fishing, favoring the North Fork of the Frying Pan River in Colorado .  Go past Rifle, Glenwood Springs, and Reudi (now a reservoir).  We would fish that narrow and busy stream from dawn to past dark.  It is a way to a boy’s heart.  This particular painting is of the Clark Fork River (Montana and Idaho). 16 x 20.  Oil on board.  Private collection.

SLOW DAY AT THE BEACH

 For ten years we traveled in our RV from the Florida panhandle to the Pacific Northwest, always including a visit to Newport, Oregon at a favorite campsite.  The beach south of town was littered with the leavings of many a Pacific storm.  Since the surf was quiescent on the day of this painting, surfers were waiting for action, waxing boards, while a gallery of locals between school days watched on a large and convenient log.   12 x 16.  Private collection.

A TREEZY DAY

I had no model for this.  Just felt like painting trees that day.  12 x 15   Oil on board.

FOUR FOR TOWN

 Until his untimely death, Ryan Bailey of Panama City and Winter Park, Florida was my art mentor.  Never having had any formal education in art, I took a class in air brush painting at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida where Ryan was teaching.  He taught us a lot more about art than we expected, which revealed to me a few bad habits I had developed.  This air brush of four cowboys heading for some refreshment after a hard day on the ranch was a result of my seeing a label on a brush popper (canvas) shirt I had bought for a selfish treat.  I did not need the shirt but I did need Ryan Bailey and his kind encouragement.  20 X 16.  Acrylic.

HOW PRAIRIE FIRES GET STARTED

 Another weather image.  From a report in a newspaper about the subject.  I traded this to an old family friend living near Tampa, Florida for one of my grandpa’s works, a shipwreck scene.  Oil on board.  Private collection.

ST. MARKS LIGHT

 We used to travel to the Big Bend country south of Tallahassee, Florida and invariably would visit the light house.  I could do more paintings of this structure (see following).  12 x 9.  Oil on board.

THE LIGHT AT ST. MARKS

 The light from an eastern view.  Here I was trying to hide the left edge of the tower to give an effect of atmosphere.  It worked better than using a hard edge which would have made the structure look like it was cut out and pasted on.  Oil on board.

SPOT

  As I recall, this image appeared on the cover of National Geographic and I could not resist yielding to some humor I saw in it.  Acrylic on board.  15 x 12.  Private collection.

GRAND CANYON FROM MOJAVE POINT

 We have visited the south rim of the Grand Canyon many times.  As all know, the canyon has infinite number of images to paint at all times of the day.  You can easily watch the light changing.  This offers a challenge to plein air artists.  This was painted using oil in the studio after a photograph.  30 x 36.  Collection the artist.

MOORPARK NARANJA

When we were visiting relatives on Deanie’s grandparents’ estate near Moorpark, California, I took a reference photo of a neighboring property when the orange grove and ranch house caught my eye.  Naranja is the Spanish word for orange.  Everyone who lived around there had plenty of oranges and avocados, so we were grateful recipients of what we could pick for our car trunk.  30 x 36.  Oil on board.  Private collection.

YOU AIN’T UGLY LIKE ME

 When we lived on a tree farm south of Dothan, Alabama, I had built a big shop.  From hardwoods I created images using an intarsia technique.  The trick was to exaggerate the boundaries between the different species, unlike in marquetry where the artist tries to match the boundaries perfectly.  One day I wondered how construction foam would work for the pieces.  That made this work hazardous to display because viewers stick their fingernails into the surface to see just how hard it is.  Sorry, it is not that hard.  So I gave up doing foam construction after about twenty works.  15 x 12.  Acrylic.  Private collection.

THERE JUST HAS TO BE A FISH

 Real fishermen never seem to stop trying.  Volumes have been written about the art and enjoyment of fishing, and, of course, the nourishment that derives from it.  Oil on board.  Private collection.

ELMER’S BOY

  I had read somewhere about using Elmer’s glue as a resist method.  This image of a child started as a coat of blue acrylic paint on a canvas board.  It was followed by a drip-and-pour application of white glue.  When that was dry I rubbed some gray oil paint into the interstices of the canvas and wiped it off thoroughly.  Another application of white glue and more oil paint.  It was fun, so I did a few more of them.  10 x 8.  Multi-media.  Collection the artist.

EUCALYPTUS SIX

 We had set up our RV in Camp Pendleton, California.  Near day’s end I thought I would try to get these eucalyptus trees down.  20 x 16.  Oil on canvas.  Enjoyed the exercise, so I did two of them.

 Someone sent me a postcard and this was the image.  Sometimes I like to take a palette knife and whack away at an idea.  Have no idea where it is today.  8 x 10.  Oil on canvas board.

DUKE WAYNE

 John Wayne didn’t know what a big fan I was of his many movies.  Wanted to try a low back light view of him on a horse.  If you could examine the work up close, you would see the distinct colors in what at first seems a black silhouette.  Lots of people liked this one.  8 x 16.  Oil on canvas.  Private collection.

RUB-A-DUB

 Another white glue painting.  A local resident here made a generous offer for this 8 x 10 mixed media of three men in heavy seas.  I wanted to keep it in the family, so I traded benefits.  She could hang this piece in her quarters and I could use some of her storage space for my work.  The painting comes back to my family in the event of her demise.  Good deal all around.  10 x 8.  Mixed media.

COWS THAT AVOID VITAMINS

 A long time friend had a farm in Jackson County, Florida.  During a visit I spotted  a particular cow that I thought looked emaciated.  Thus the painting.  This was the first of a series of cow paintings that were worth the effort just to think up titles to them.  18 x 26.  Acrylic on board.

COWS THAT CHEW LOCO WEED

We were camped in the Verde Valley in Arizona, not too far from Sedona, when cattlemen herded some beef across the river.  This image was once part of a much larger piece.  I used a table saw to recompose the galloping beast.  Of course, loco weed has a narcotic effect, so the cow is a bit high.  18x 24.  Oil on board.

SURF COWS

  As we traveled over the years I would patronize thrift stores for the purpose of buying used frames at low prices.  The frames always had some works mounted in them.  Being a painter I did not look to keeping images, so I would discard whatever the frame held and put my own work there.   A seascape had been painted in oil on a canvas board which I could use, so I got out a pad sander to scuff off the old paint, then painted this cow on what remained of a previous beach scene.   16 x 20.  Oil.

GRAND CANYON

 Another Grand Canyon idea, out of my head, using a palette knife.  Private collection.

HARD SAILS

  While stationed in Washington, D. C. I was much taken with hard edge styles of the Washington colorists and did plenty of large format canvases using acrylic and tape.  In those days I was in the air on business almost every week.  The sun icon in the upper right hand corner was taken from drink glasses used by now-defunct Southern Air.  Yes, in those days it was a pleasure to fly, drinks were served in glasses and American Airlines , not to be outdone, had a full size piano lounge in the back.  36 x 48.  Canvas on plywood.  Private collection.

BRACEROS

 This is the same scene as the pastel at the beginning of this series except it is rendered in oil on canvas.  24 x 39.  Private collection.

CHANNEL AT WAYSIDE PARK

 In the summer here in Pensacola, you often must stand in the shade to paint in plein air and you are hard put to last until ten a.m. as the heat and humidity get a grip on you.  This channel scene was done quickly with a palette knife.  12 x 16.  Oil on canvas board.

MESSAGE FROM MARINER IV

 Here is another white glue painting, yet there is no glue on it because I soaked it in a bath tub to dissolve all but the acrylic and oil paint.  The depiction is of ones and zeros comprising a digital data message sent from the vehicle sent to Mars.  The colors account for the music from space.  18 x 14.  Mixed media.  Collection the artist.

NO BULL, NOTHING DOING

 Now I had to paint another cow and was reminded of a poem by Ogden Nash about …cows in a marsh, mildly chewing fodder harsh…  This one is executed in acrylic on canvas.  16 x 20.

PRINTED CIRCUIT

Here is the engineer in me coming out in mixed media.  40 x 20.  Private collection

ST. MARKS RIVER COUNTRY

 Once again to the Big Bend country of Florida to record these Washingtonia palms and ever present saw grass so common in hammocks.  Pastel.  This day we saw a cougar following us, but he ducked into some brush.  Kept us fit walking backward.

HEADING FOR THE BARN

  When I was an ensign aboard my first ship, USS COLAHAN (DD658) we were one night out after a six-month deployment to the western Pacific in 1955.  Tomorrow families would meet us on the pier and we would go to a facility for voyage repairs.  This night, though, the black gang down below would be adding extra turns to the propeller shafts to get us home a little faster.  The view is looking aft toward the churning wake with depth charges at the ready.  24 x 36.  Acrylic on board.  Collection the artist.

WHITE WATER SAILOR

 National Geographic had a feature on those bold souls who go where others seldom are able.  12 x 15.  Acrylic on board.

RED NECKS AT WORK

 These gentlemen would hunt our land when we had a tree farm in NW Florida.  In return for the use of the territory they would construct things for us and bring deer sausage.  A pickup truck and a couple of cold beers made the scene just right for telling lies in the woods.  12 x 16.  Acrylic on canvas board.

SISTERS IN THE BLUE

These fillies are at peace in lowlands.  They do not have any work to do today.  20 x 16.  Oil on canvas.  Private collection.

KLEE ROCKS

In Virginia I had been studying the Pedagogical Sketchbook of Bauhaus artist Paul Klee, particularly where he was illustrating the pendulum and equilibrium and at the same time was discussing with a very old former Bauhaus student the idea of equivocal space, so made this 48 x 60 canvas of rocking sailboats.  Acrylic.

COLAHAN OFF DIAMOND HEAD (1963)

Having sailed as ship’s company in Colahan and then in her sister ship, Twining, for almost four years from 1954, and having recently visited another of the class, USS Kidd, on the river in Baton Rouge, I was fully ready to paint this nuts and bolts image with Oahu’s Diamond Head close by.  I had the acrylic painting, 36 x 24 professionally photographed so giclee prints could be made at full resolution of 300 ppi for any shipmates who would see a need for that.  Colahan shipmates correspond daily by email after over fifty years of kinship.  Collection the artist.

MOON MITTEN UP

A full moon rising in Monument Valley in remembrance of my grandfather’s many paintings of the area.  8 x 12.  Oil on canvas board.

   OREGON SEASTACK

Oil is the medium for this typical image of an old sea stack on a beach we would visit not so long ago.  16 x 20.  Board.

BIG BEND HAMMOCK

Back to the Big Bend country south of Tallahassee for a typical Florida scene.  8 x 12.  Oil on canvas board.  Private collection.

PHOTO OF THIS PLEIN AIR PAINTER

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Posted by: ikachusa | March 29, 2013

AFTER THREE YEARS OF DEGREE WORK

Stanza II

STANZA II

This image represents the second verse of a poem by Wallace Stephens: Thirteen Ways to See a Blackbird.  In the real world it is a snap of the disorganized state of the brain of an old man trying to learn how to paint.

New Mexico Yesterday
COLORADO RANGE

I can never seem to break away from the influence of my grandfather, D. P. Sims, who painted cowboys, Indians, ranchers, horses, cows, and the land and trees of the Rockies

My El Toro

MY EL TORO

My favorite dinghy.  Built these out of wood and fiberglass.  My last one had a red sail.

LTwo Hue2

NEW MEXICO JUNIPERS

Been playing around with the idea of using two transparent pigments plus white to do a painting.  This one uses raw sienna and ultramarine blue plus white to achieve a full range of values.  There are more examples below.

LSagami Wan2

SAGAMI WAN

These days I will sneak in a nostalgic painting reminding me a days gone by.  This view from Sagami Wan in Tokyo Bay was a favorite when I was a junior officer aboard a Navy destroyer.  In the foothills of Mt. Fuji is the little resort town of Atami, a favorite with Japanese people on Honshu who wish to travel the short distance from Yokohama.

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OH, PEAR

I guess every artist has to try on some fruit.

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ORANGE FLOAT

LHome Of The Blackbird

HOME OF THE BLACKBIRD

Here I am beginning quite a stretch of playing with complementary colors.

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HOME IS THE SAILOR
Here we are caught up in two techniques: the use of only two pigments (magenta and viridian) plus white in producing the image and the use of a totally diminished scale to announce the grandeur of the mountains.  A bonus is the mystery of what lies up the channel. This gallery-wrap measures 36″ X 48.”

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VISUAL FLIGHT RULES

Another image using two pigments plus white with the added idea of a large scale excursion to heighten the idea of the a big storm.

My beautiful picture

FOUR LEGS, TWO HEARTS

Here I am getting into the excitement for me of the tango.  Did a series of these, some of which follow later.  I would don ear bods from my iPod while painting with a run of Carlos Gardel vocals.

My beautiful picture

MY BEAUTIFUL PICTURE

The idea for this painting was derived from a DVD of migratory birds.  I placed a camera in front of a 55″ HDTV screen and took about thirty shots of birds for reference.  This is one painting I made from the experience.  The title comes from the fact that our instructors hate student critiques that describe a work as being “beautiful” and a painting as a “picture.”  When a student makes this mistake, the prof always asks, “Tell me in detail why you see it as being ‘beautiful.'”

My beautiful picture

HORSES THAT RUN AT HOLLYWOOD PARK

Oh, I love to paint horses, and this one is the subject of some unfair social comment about Hollywood.  Only there would the horses’ manes be dyed.  I am also studying the abstract presentation that results when one zooms in on an object.

My beautiful picture

 TECHNITUNA

Stole this idea from the internet with a view toward showing what daylight filtered by the ocean could result in some flashy color on a fish.

Cow's Daughter

COW’S DAUGHTER

Somewhere on this blog is a blue cow that loves starry nights.  This is the calf that goes with cow.  We shouldn’t be surprised that the calf did not turn out to be blue, but in the title we must acknowledge the poet Ogden Nash and his two cows in a marsh.

Bandon Beach

BANDON BEACH

I had originally painted this view of Bandon Beach, Oregon as a conventional seascape but came back to it with a new head full of color and an abandonment of detail.  I like this version better.

My beautiful picture

 ALL AT SEA

Lately I have been using oriented strand board (OSB) for images of nature where the natural texture of compressed wood chips seems to add a dimension through which a scene is viewed.  Once again I am zeroing in on a small part of the whole, in this case using a knife and a brush to produce a wanted effect.  OSB, although non-archival, is very cheap for a poor painter, is very sturdy yet somewhat heavy compared to canvas, and if you find after a while that the paint has dried and you want to recompose the scene, all you need to do is run it through a table saw.

Tango Passion (2)

BANDONEON SINGS

Here I am back at the passion of tango with a bandoneon player singing his heart out in a smoky café.  These tango paintings kept my interest alive during a long semester of painting under the instructor’s personal direction.  I could go back to this genre anytime, since the Carlos Gardel album I play in my ears to drown out the noise of the studio air handler contains thirty songs from Argentina.

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HEART TO HEART

The tango starts with a walk and ends with a walk with the middle a rush of passion.

MOTHER OF ALL TOOTHPICKS

MOTHER OF ALL TOOTHPICKS

Every now and then I paint the canvas with black acrylic as a ground for the oil to follow.  I told my prof I was going to put yellow leaves on the trees and he made it very clear that I was finished with the painting just as it was.  Glad I listened to him.

Trees Too Close

BETTER THAN TWINS

My prof said I might want to turn to abstract painting or landscapes, so I thought, well, you can see that I thought the combination of actions would be fun.

They Feed Horses, Don't They

THEY FEED HORSES, DON’T THEY?

This may be a great fraud in a painting if it were not that we are exercised in letting the paint speak for itself.  Since being poor usually goes along with being a student, I developed a habit of taking paint left over at the end of the painting period and brushing it on to a canvas where it can collect until something appears out of the colors and the composition.  On this one I saw the eye of a horse and a hand to feed the horse.  All I had to do then was to take a liner brush and some linseed oil and brush in the grass the horse would like to eat.

Saguaros At The Test Site

MARCHING SAGUAROS NEAR THE TEST SITE

The material is OSB painted black.  I underpainted the cactus white, then applied a light green  pigment to create a glow effect.  Here I am dedicating myself to a fascination with complementary colors while making a little statement about nuclear testing.

Remembrance of Fujisan

FUJISAN

Here we are again with nostalgia for my old days aboard ship.  Although I got the slope of Fujiama too shallow in this work, the introduction of the cherry branch makes this a piece for the piano in my home.  In 1955 two friends and I climbed the sacred mountain beginning in the afternoon and arriving at the top and down into the volcano’s crater at daybreak.  We stood shivering in the direct sun several thousand feet above a vast cloud layer over Honshu.  One of life’s religious experiences not to be forgotten.  Note the effect of the OSB.

Musical Trees

FORESTATION

Another of several attempts to emulate the effect of distant light shown to us by Claude Lorain (b. 1604 Champagne, France, d. 1682 Rome) who, among others of his ilk, depicted distance as a circle of light between trees left and right.  Every time I try this method, I get so involved in the construction of the trees and the use of complementary colors that I forget Lorains’s composition.

Fog Riders

FOG RIDERS

Every year for ten years of our retirement we ran off to Oregon in May from the Gulf Coast and entered the cool groves and beaches of Oregon and Washington where I recorded our memories with a frequently used camera.  One such day we arrived on the beach in the fog and saw but very dimly two riders disappearing in front of us.  When the fog lifted a little, we spotted some thirty horses and riders and made quite a day of it taking photo after photo that will serve for many future paintings.

Filmside of Soundside

SOUND NEGATIVE

With Pensacola Plein Air Painters I had made other trips to Santa Rosa Sound to draw and paint a nature set-aside called The Reserve.  After drawing this image in my sketch book, I determined it was so much like another I had painted that I would paint it as if it were the negative of a film.  Hot would be cold, blue would be orange, brown or black would become white.  The effect is surrealistic, not my style, but I thought it was interesting.  In the background is Pensacola Beach.

Colors of Passion

EMBRACE UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Not obviously another use of left-over paint; nevertheless, that is what it is.  Of course, I saw the tango image in it and added a touch of hair for a tiny taste of recognition.

Albinos

PENSACOLA PELICAN ALBINO

Just some harmless fun with Pensacola’s image.

Yaquina Head Light

.YAQUINA HEAD LIGHT

Having painted this often photographed (by me) a couple of times in the past, I thought to execute the scene in an abstract mode.

Tropic of Aries

TROPIC OF ARIES

Some of these small (8X10) paintings can serve as studies for larger panels.  Tried to think of blue skies, orange sunsets, and palm trees on this OSB base.

Green Head

GREEN HEAD

This is another example of the use of two complementary colors plus white to produce a striking image.  I stole this idea from Don Jusko, a famous colorist who has painted the Hawaiian Islands out of door for years and years.  Google him for some spectacularly fresh out-of-doors paintings to view.

FW Pond

EUCALYPTUS LIGHT

Having tried in vain many times to get that ‘Claude Lorain” look, I found myself coming closer with this little 8 X 10 on canvas.  Always fun to try to achieve a certain effect running around in your brain case.
Small Craft Warning

SMALL CRAFT WARNING

Unless you are an artist, you probably can’t tell that this was an exercise in removing paint.  Apparently I should have removed more of it, no kidding.  Maybe all of it.  This could be a sailer.  What is that?  A panel you sail over the roof.

Resurrection

ASCENCION

I have had dreams like this where I am in the abyss and can see the light above the top of the water.  I would float up into the heavens in a symbolic move to achieve nirvana: freedom from desire, hostility, and delusion.  I understand several of those of the Buddhist faith have managed to do this.  Too hard.

Daughter of Beach Motif

DAUGHTER OF BEACH MOTIF

If you paint and you live on the coast you are going to try on of these.  I feel the OSB in 8 X10 format served me well here.  When they are dry you can stack these things in a bookcase and rotate them on top of the piano.

Bosque Solitaire

BOSQUE SOLITAIRE

Here’s that lone tree again.  This 6 X 6 format fits on the piano also, but if you do not encase it in epoxy the OSB will disintegrate when you use it as a coaster.

Blue Head

BLUE HEAD

In this one I tried for brushwork using upward strokes only.  It is not all that good of an idea.  But it shows I was working that day.

Poplars a la Monet

POPLARS A LA MONET

If you study Monet you will see he loved to paint poplars in various seasons.  Per David Dunlop, a blogger I admire and top plein air artist, if you lay in cool horizontals (sky, mountains , water and lay these vertical trees against them, you can use complementary or analogous colors in the trunks and cause the trees to stand forward.  I did this, finishing with yellow leaves complementary to the purple mountain and blue sky.  The bonus I achieved here was having the warm colors push the cool of the water even farther forward.  Usually you think of cool colors receding and warm colors advancing.  Here I feel I achieved the opposite effect.  Which version of this painting do you prefer and why?

poplars-cropped

POPLARS FORWARD

   This is a cropped version of a painting I did for art class.  The idea of the entire painting, below, was accepted but this version was recommended.  One of the niceties of painting on canvas supported by mahogany door skin is that you can change the composition by using a table saw.  The whole painting 18 X 24 oil was an exercise in having warm colors come forward to the front plane of the canvas and cool colors to recede.  As you will see in the next image, I achieved a bonus in doing that.

horses-that-listen-for-distant-thunder

HORSES THAT LISTEN FOR DISTANT THUNDER

   .  Seldom, but every now and then, I will produce a canvas that may merit showing here, even if it is silly.  Lately I have had a tendency to paint farm animals that are “in your face.”  I am struggling to get away from recording the mistakes of nature exactly.  This horse does not like thunder, so I gave him a blue eye.  After all, why should a painting (as suggested by famous art critic E. H. Gombrich) be a police report?

cows-that-love-starry-nights

COWS THAT LOVE STARRY NIGHTS

    This requires an apology to a long gone and very well-loved artist, Vincent van Gogh, whom we mourn as never having received his due, the millions of dollars brought at auction by his excellent paintings.  Van Gogh’s painting is, of course,”Starry Nights,” and I could not resist bringing his method of depiction into a painting of a blue cow.  Residents where we live could not help reciting a poem attributed to Ogden Nash but actually written by Gelett Burgess in 1895: “I never saw a purple cow; I never hope to see one; but I can tell you anyhow; I’d rather see than be one!”

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GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS

Once I had learned that an artist could combine two  transparent pigments, preferably complements on the color wheel, and add white, that a full range of values could be reached.  This was my first attempt, showing a stormy day over the mesas in Texas and New Mexico.  The colors are raw sienna and ultramarine blue.  24″ X 48″ oil on canvas gallery wrap.  I buy my canvas on 40% off days and rip straight-grained fir for the stretchers, making sure to leave a small relief so that paint won’t collect at the full width of the support..  Canvas pliers come in handy.  About three coats of water-based latex from the unwanted paint shelf at the hardware store prepare the ground by filling in most of the interstices.  Is it archival?  No.  Do I care?  No.

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SHORES ROCK

Just a 20 X 16 oil study to see the effects of a yellow glaze.  Good for sailing over the back fence.

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PASTEL LOOK-ALIKE

This 16 X 20 was twice painted, knife over brush.  Look in vain for crops.

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NEW MEXICO

Trying for a minimalist approach while thinking of the cobalt blue of a southwest sky.

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BEACHY WITH SHADE

Forcing myself to abstract Gulf Coast motif.  Something missing here.  Cooler?  Note use of OSB panel for texture.

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PERDIDO BAY HAMMOCK

Third time I have painted this scene.  The first was an insipid oil sketch while painting with my plein air buddies.  Tried to repaint that in the studio and it sill looked lifeless.  Then I decided to let fly with much more imagination and a much greater separation between hots and cools.

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SYLVAN ORANGE

I can’t get off of the idea of trees as an opportunity to seek color combinations in nature.  Haven’t figured out why I do this, but it can be identified as a harmless activity.

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LAMBDA LAGOON

It is the shape of this composition which gives away its name.  Painting abstract landscapes seems to be the attraction.  Sometimes when I am doing these I feel like I am in a dream.

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WAS IT SAN ANDREA’S FAULT?

This image keeps arising in my mind ever since I thought of it many years ago in a class on air brush techniques.  I like the low grade pun of it, having been raised on the west coast as an earthquake person instead of a hurricane or a tornado person.  Another in a considerable series of abstract landscapes.

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POPSICLE TREE

Another obsession, an image of a single tree on a plane with hills in background.  One woman who saw this told me there are no trees like this–and what was with the dirty water, anyway”  Myself, I liked the image of a big-mouthed man face up.

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NIGHT LAND

Here I had the idea of (1) priming the canvas with black acrylic, and (2) painting the canvas with pure linseed oil, and (3) wiping all the linseed oil off before beginning painting.  This made the panel slick so that a brush loaded with oil pigment glided everywhere I wanted it to go without dragging.  It won’t be long before I try this again–this time with horses.  This one looks like it might appeal to viewers who claim not to like abstract art.

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POPSICLE HAMMOCK

Here is a large (36 X 48) canvas promoting the idea of the popsicle tree and setting them into a mound as seen in a painting of Perdido Bay shown above.  With some more detail, it could be classified as surrealistic, but I am happy just to show earth, water, and sky.

Posted by: ikachusa | April 21, 2010

IN WITH THE TIDE

 
COWS THAT ISSUE COMPLEMENTS

       

This post is for work in 2010 and downstream.  It should reflect some changes in approach to painting because I am going to the University of West Florida as a regular student now with high hopes of learning something about painting.  It is a good time to experiment.  I was unable to get this announcement above the image of the sunburned cow, so will make do with this.       

A check on the previous post will show this cow as an avatar with an implication that it has a terrific sunburn.  Actually the title refers to the use by the artist of complementary colors to bring the cow forth.  The canvas board was painted in blue oil paint and allowed to dry.  The cow and corral she is busting into was then drawn with black marker and the cow painted with hardware store enamel.  The paint cleans up with soap and water but dries water proof.  As in painting with acrylics, as long as you keep your brush wet and clean out the paint when you are finished, you will have a brush to use another day.  For a palette I purchased a 24-cup teflon bake pan.  This allowed me to mix a lot of variations in color with water as a soluble.  The cleanup was over when I let the paint dry in the cups and then picked it off the teflon coating with my fingers to produce a pristine palette from which to paint again.       

KATRINA'S WORLD

 

This acrylic study is not the latest, as promised, but the image would not make it into the previous bucket due to file size constraints and I thought it deserved a look.  Once again, a black and white photo in a newspaper got me into doing this in sketch fashion, as breezy as the hurricane that brought up the subject of this poor woman whose single-wide trailer in the Florida pines has been lifted off its angle iron foundation and distributed the pieces here and there, never to be reassembled as if factory fresh.       

I  had previously said most of my paintings are jolly, but this sad depiction shows how vulnerable a majority of those who life on the Gulf Coast are to wind and wave.  At this moment this single woman has no immediate prospects for a trip back to a comfortable life.  During Katrina we offered our RV for temporary housing but had no takers.  Recently a huge number of government purchased units, being empty, were sold at auction.  Life is a puzzle these days.  24 x 30.  Acrylic and marker on canvas board.       

ON THE WAY TO FORT PICKENS

 

This is from a picture post card.  I liked the way the fort was not shown but was anticipated to rise into your view during the next few barefoot steps in the sand on this stretch of the National Seashore.  If you have not made that short trip to Fort Pickens via Pensacola Beach you should do so before the hurricane season arrives.  Rumor has it that if the road is washed over with sand one more time, there will be no road access to the fort.  You will have to take a boat.  This may not be true, but I know from living around here that it can take forever to get the road back in shape.  8 x 10 Oil on canvas board.      

      

This is a photo of Bandon Beach, Oregon.  It was taken on the easel.  The idea is to illustrate a technique I dreamed up that will have serious artists rolling their eyes, and I don’t blame them.  Yet it serves a purpose.  We have people in a life care program where I live who would go ahead and paint but their predictable complaint is that “I can’t draw.”  Actually, if they could paint something it would be an image of their family, a pet, a favorite landscape, their old house….something they probably have a photo of.  Just to see if it could be done, I cut a piece of canvas to fit in my large format printer, 13 x 19, and made a print of it.  I took some carpenter’s glue and a brayer and tightly fastened the canvas to a piece of 3/16 birch plywood.  When all was dry, I took some of that hardware store enamel mentioned above and painted over the photo image on the canvas.  In this case I only painted half of it to show the effect of the photo with and without paint.  Then I put the piece on a table saw and cut it to 12 x 15 to fit a frame I had handy.  As you can see, the printer did not do a smashing job of printing the photo on the cloth.  But the idea is there, goofy as it may seem, and the paint colors do wonders for the lousy photo.  This idea will relieve these retired people of having to draw.  Is this as bad as by-the-numbers art?  No doubt.  But in this case, who cares? 

TRY ME

  

Back in 1973, just before I retired from the Navy, I was chatting with a Navy Captain with whom I had been working on development equipment for a new class of submarine.  He let me know that he had decided to retire and that he was going to move to Florida to finish his sailboat, TRY ME, and put some time in sailing off shore, a dream of many a man who has followed the sea.  After I had retired and moved my family to Florida, I tried to contact him and learned that shortly after leaving the service he had died of cancer.  After I got over the shock I thought to paint a tribute to his dream, a small dingy that would have belonged to the boat and possibly was all that was left, adrift on a back bayou somewhere.  24 X 18  Oil on board.  Private collection.

Posted by: ikachusa | April 7, 2010

Hello world!

Hi.  The idea of this blog is to display some of my art work painted over the past few years.  I am active these days as a member of Pensacola Plein Air Painters and as a candidate for an art degree at the University of West Florida.  Artists are invited to link to this site for networking.  We could all use the help, couldn’t we?

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