2010 #14

June 29, 2010

boy with boat...8x8 acrylic on paper and panel, pencil...28 Jun 2010

The blue colors of this painting is the leftover paint from the background of the Spring version of the Hedge Apple Tree.  I didn’t have a much leftover, so I grabbed a nearby architectural magazine and applied the remaining paint before it all dried up.

I have two more sheets with leftover paint applied to them and I keep looking at them and trying to find the potential.  I know its there, but I am waiting for it to hit me.  I like these little projects…they are like design challenges.  Make something creative and beautiful…out of this!  You have till midnight.

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2010 #4

February 24, 2010

the growing tree...30x40 acrylic on canvas and paper...23 Feb 2010

The Growing Tree is a collaborative painting I did with my son’s first grade class.  Instead of fundraisers, the PTA at his school has an annual banquet and silent auction at the local country club.  Each class is responsible for providing a class gift and so “The Growing Tree” is the class gift for this auction.

 The concept for this tree is similar to my winter tree series.  Specifically this one here.  The scale is much larger.  It went from an 8”x8” panel board to 30”x40” canvas. 

Here is the process of how this was created:

 Step 1 – Paint the Background.  I met up with about 10 students who were able to stay a bit after school one day.  I brought in the blank canvas, and easel, a bunch of paints, and cheap brushes and an old bed sheet to protect the floor.  I split the students into groups of two.  I would then squirt some blue and white and maybe mix-in another color onto the canvas the group of two would spread that paint around for a few minutes.  Then it was the next groups turn to repeat that process.  Each group had about 3 or 4 turns.  I encouraged them to paint on top of the previous work and to use big broad strokes…squiggle, circles, and to ride it like a roller coaster.  This created a pretty neat layering of color and gave the background a uniform look rather than 10 individual looks.

 Step 2 – Paint the Circles.  We passed out 22 random pre-cut circles on different colored construction paper to the 22 students in the class.  There are 3 different size circles on the painting – 3”, 3-1/2”, and 4”.  At first I was going to use the same size, but I felt the painting would be more dynamic if the circles were not uniform.  The students were sitting at tables in groups of 3 or 4 and I passed out plates that had the basic colors and paint brushes.  The instruction was that they could paint whatever they want – crazy color designs or more concrete like something you would  find in a tree, but the most important instruction was that they were to paint over the entire circle so that the original color of  paper was not visible.  This was really fun and they all had a good time.

 Step 3 – Paint the Tree.  This was my only visible contribution to the project.  Everything that is black was done by my hand.  Basically, I painted the tree on to the canvas.

 Step 4 – Add the Circles to the Tree.  Once the tree was painted, I used a gel medium to apply the circles onto the canvas.

 Step 5 – Varnish.  After the piece was complete, I added a gloss varnish.  This really make the colors POP!

 This morning I took the painting to the classroom for the kids to enjoy before it is auctioned off this weekend.  I took the above picture with my hand held camera, so I am sorry it is not the best quality.  This was a fun project.  Kids love to paint and I think it turned out well.

Week 50

December 14, 2009

Winter Tree...8x8 panel board...13 Dec 2009

Again, this is another attempt at a real simple painting.  Things are getting super busy around our house, so the more simple this can be will hopefully mean less stress on me.  This tree was inspired by a Christmas lighting display in my neighborhood.  Instead of the traditional light wrapping around the tree, it has balls of lights hanging from branches.

Week 46

November 17, 2009

Autumn in the Flint Hills of Kansas, #3...9x12 panel board...15 Nov 2009

This concludes my 3 part series on the subtle Flint Hills.  I will continue to explore the Kansas landscape and vernacular in the future.  Now I need to dream up something new.

Week 45

November 9, 2009

wk45

Autumn in the Flint Hills of Kansas, #2...9x12 panel board...07 Nov 2009

I don’t have much to say about this other than “Here is another painting of the Flint Hills with little cows.”  I am going to do at least one more next week.  I just thought maybe a group of three would look good together.

Week 44

November 2, 2009

wk44

Autumn in the Flint Hills of Kansas, #1...9x12 panel board...01 Nov 2009

Last week, I had a work related trip that sent me on a drive through the Flint Hill of Kansas.  I knew right away what I would be painting this week and the next following weeks.  I grabbed my camera and took a few photos for reference.  It was early in the morning and the eastern sunrise gave these hills a reddish glow.

This week I worked quick and loose and tried to keep things in their simple elements.  I kept the background sky sloppy rather than try to blend the blue values.  I was very happy to finish on time and also to have caught up on sleep.

Week 40

October 6, 2009

Moon Costume...9x12 Panel Board...05 Oct 2009

Moon Costume...9x12 Panel Board...05 Oct 2009

I really don’t know where this one came from.  The idea of the subject came from an old time theater photo I had laying around and the background was just an experiment with painted strips from different types of paper including a map of Arkansas.

I have ideas for using and taking from more old-time images.  I think I might move in that direction…oh, and maybe more cows, too!

Week 36

September 9, 2009

Untitled (week #36)...9x12 Panel Board...06 Sept 2009

Untitled (week #36)...9x12 Panel Board...06 Sept 2009

I took a mental break after last week and had nothing prepared for when it came time to paint for week 36.  So I decided to mess with colors and ambiguous shapes in hopes that it would be simple.  It wasn’t as simple as I would have liked.

My original intent with these weekly paintings was for them to be simple and minimal, but I feel like these have been getting more and more complex.   So far I have been enjoying the direction I have taken, but it is starting to take it’s toll (…time and lack of sleep on the weekends.)  I might need to rethink and redefine the simple and minimal.

Week 26

June 29, 2009

Iowa: Blue...9x12 panel board...28 June 2009

Iowa: Blue...9x12 panel board...28 June 2009

This is the 26th week with my 26th painting.  The year is half over and I am really proud of myself for sticking with this committment  (so far) to do one painting a week for a year.  I actually look forward to my time (usually late at night) during the weekend to work in the studio.  There was a time early in the year when I thought that I would run out of ideas.  Luckily, this discipline has taught me  to quickly come up with new ones and at the same time be planning future ideas.  The key is to always be looking for that potential and to keep a pen, sketchbook, and camera handy.

Iowa: Blue is part 1 of 3.  I recently took a work-related road trip up to northern Iowa.  We drove through heat, massive thunderstorms, incredible clouds and skies, wind farms, farmlands, farmhouses, barns, and small towns.  What fun!