Posted by: ikachusa | April 8, 2010

WORK (OR PLAY) IN OIL, ACRYLIC, PASTEL – SAMPLES SINCE 1965

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


Responses

  1. Terry! Great Works!
    I’m no art-judge, but if I was, I’d give huge cash prizes for…
    Surf Cows
    Braceros (both)
    St. Marks River Country.

    I’m glad some nice-pleinair-person was there to snap this pic of you!


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