Painting Outside

Posted by on Jan 18, 2018 in Oil Paintings | 2 Comments

By “painting outside”, I don’t mean painting plein air. I do mean that it was overcast and hard to see in the painting workshop, so I moved my stuff outside. It wasn’t cold, rainy or windy, so this was an easy solution. And White Chief needed a bit more drying time.

First, had to flip White Chief upside down to paint the bottom edge.

Next, I worked on Farewell Gap.

That’s sort of funny – photos, an oil painting and a mural, all of the same scene.

I haven’t done any singing over this one yet. Just not sure. . .

Flower Fix

Posted by on Jan 17, 2018 in Oil Paintings | No Comments

A little poppy painting has been hanging around longer than any other. Why?


So, I fixed it.

A Mineral King scene of Farewell Gap in morning sunlight has been hanging around for too long. Why?BECAUSE IT DIDN’T HAVE ANY FLOWERS!

So, I added some.

See? Flowers fix stuff, and I think fixed flowers sell. More will be revealed in the fullness of time. . .

Redwoods and Reality

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Oil Paintings | No Comments

I had an extra peach painting that was going to become an orange, and then after a reality check, it got turned into redwood trees. This is Three Rivers, gateway to Sequoia National Park, and I need to have paintings of sequoia trees.

Sequoia Gigantea = redwood = Big Tree. I went to Redwood High School so “redwood” is the name that comes most automatically.

Here are the paintings drying on the pegboard/chalkboard. I had to photoshop out a bunch of phone numbers from the background before I accidentally publicized my personal phone directory. This is how we do things when we don’t have cell phones. And no, it didn’t say “For a good time call. . .”

Why don’t I just photoshop the redwood trees onto the canvas??

Forget it. I’m an oil painting Central California artist, not a computer chick.

Art and Reality

Posted by on Jan 15, 2018 in Oil Paintings, the business of art | No Comments

Art and Reality is referring to the fact that I earn my living with art and have to be realistic about things.

The economy has definitely picked up. People are buying larger paintings and more of them. Paintings sold very well for me in December (perhaps I’ll do a blog post showing all the ones that are GONE, after I hear definite totals from the galleries.) 

This means it is time to paint new things and be realistic about old ones that haven’t sold. 

I think I have saturated the market for little fruit paintings, with the exception of pomegranates and of course, oranges! Sequoia trees, Mineral King scenery and oranges are my mainstay. Time for a do-over on paintings which I am the only one who likes. Hard truth, but still better than job hunting. . .

It hurts a little to go from looking good to the stage shown below, but it is temporary.

It’s all part of the business called art.

White Chief Finished

Posted by on Jan 12, 2018 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | 6 Comments

The White Chief oil painting might have been a teensy bit too hard for me, but I got-‘er-dun. Here is how it looked last time I showed you.

Now there is more detail on the bank above the pond and more detail on the lower left corner. The pond has some new color too. 

New day, new work on the painting: first thing in the morning is intense sunlight (and shadow from the window pane divider).I’ll work on the middle left. Here’s a close-up of the before:And here’s a close up of the after. The lighting has changed so it isn’t a completely fair comparison.

Now I am sort of going all over the lower half of the canvas, improving anything that I can see how to improve. The pond, lower right, and middle right all got some new layers of detail.

Just the lower right corner needed attention.

One more session, and the Fat Lady got to sing.

White Chief, oil on wrapped canvas, 18×24″, $650 (includes tax)

So, which task is harder: hiking to White Chief, or painting it?

Painting it, for sure!!

Sawtooth, Continued

Posted by on Jan 11, 2018 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | No Comments

The oil painting of Sawtooth was looking a bit rough when we last saw it.

It is only slightly less rough, because I chose to work on Farewell Gap more. It is tricky to fit in painting time around holidays, visitors from out of town, short daylight hours, colder temperatures, and year-end business to wrap up. But, I’ll keep layering, tightening up the detail, improving the color and accuracy.

Progress on One of Those Largish Paintings

Posted by on Jan 9, 2018 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | 5 Comments

This is the classic Mineral King view of Farewell Gap with the Crowley cabin, step by step. The bottom photo isn’t finished yet. What remains are the exacting details, the part that I enjoy the most about oil painting. I am drawing with my brush at that stage, and you may remember that I love to draw.

I don’t know how many hours. It would probably sicken me and horrify you. . . either you’d think, “Poor Schlub hardly earns anything for these paintings”, or you might think, “Dang! Easy money!”

Ignorance is bliss.

More Large Painting Situation

Posted by on Jan 8, 2018 in Mineral King, Oil Paintings | No Comments

Having “successfully” begun a second largish painting, I grabbed another largish canvas (18×24″) to begin a third. This is also a Mineral King scene. Mineral King is what people expect from me.

I drew it on, stepped back, and said, “Nope. Too much sky”.With another color, I drew it again, stepped back, and said, “Yeppers, get the first layer on.” I did not actually vocalize these words, but the attitude was “HUBBA HUBBA! CHOP CHOP!! ANDALE ANDALE!!”My plan is to use the colors and light and water from the photo on the right but the trees from the photo on the left. This plan isn’t evident just yet, particularly in light of the fact that those photos are too reflective for you to see.

So, I threw down my brushes and went outside for a cigarette.

JUST KIDDING!! I’ve never smoked anything in my entire 58 years.

I actually went back to the White Chief painting. Don’t want to get fired and have to go job hunting. . .!

Large Painting Situation Continued

Posted by on Jan 4, 2018 in Oil Paintings | No Comments

After working on the White Chief painting for awhile, the brushes and paint weren’t cooperating with me. I actually tossed a brush in the trash! It is so annoying to load a brush with paint and then have none come out when I place it on the canvas. I don’t have time for this baloney, so bye-bye bad brush.

Meanwhile, the amount of detail was making me feel as if I was walking on a treadmill, so I got another largish canvas out and began a second largish painting.  This is of Sawtooth, a landmark peak in Mineral King.

After this, I took a break and checked my email. A dear thoughtful friend had written to tell me how much she loves the poinsettia painting, and she asked the question, meant to be rhetorical, “Is there anything you can’t paint?” My response was, “Yeppers, 2 things, both sitting on my easels right now”.

My confidence in my painting ability is always a bit thin when there are no finished paintings around to reassure me that I can paint.


Large Painting Situation

Posted by on Jan 3, 2018 in Oil Paintings | No Comments

What is a “large painting situation”?

In the life of your Central California artist, this means that all my large paintings are gone. They are now gracing my dentist’s office in Three Rivers. 

It was time to dive into the largish painting of White Chief that I began back in October, working to git-‘er-dun so I will be ready for more largish paintings. “Largish”, because the largest canvases I have on hand right now are 18×24″, which is HUGE after 8×10″, but not very large on someone’s wall.

Lots of nondescript detail in rock formations, rock piles, rocks, stones, pebbles, dirt, and shrubs, trees, grasses, groups of trees, shrubs, grasses, all interspersed with rocks, et cetera, will I ever finish this. . .

The coloring varies on these photos of the same painting because it looks different in the morning light than the afternoon light.