Monday, May 7, 2012

Sunday Morning Sun at Bonnie Springs, Old Nevada/Last Day of Plein Air Convention

6"x8" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel
For more information about this painting, click here.

Back to blogging,  I have to admit I've been distracted lately. But I've had some wonderful days of plein air painting lately, so I'm determined to catch up.  I've also promised to share some nuggets of information that I learned while at the Plein Air Convention last month.  The last day, Sunday, the weather redeemed itself, and was sunny and bright! What a relief after our very cold & wet Saturday afternoon of painting. I'm usually very prepared when I go painting outdoors, but that afternoon I was not. Now, I've decided to just leave the gloves in my pack at all times. I've even put a pair of rain/wind pants in there, too. Never again will I put up with being wet and cold!
One of my favorite demos (now this is hard, as they were all excellent), was Ken Auster.  Ken completed a 40"x60" painting on stage in two hours! If that wasn't the most inspiring thing I've ever watched, I can't imagine what else might be. Yes, he worked from a photo (since he was on stage in a convention hall). But to be able to follow along as he shared his thoughts while painting....well, it was like seeing magic happen.  His key thoughts that he shared was this-especially when you are painting BIG like this, keep everything rather abstract- except for your focal point. In this case it was a San Francisco cable car.  I'm going to share this with you with just three cell phone photos, sorry, you'll have to believe me, this was truly incredible. Here's his initial marks just to indicate a rough placement of the elements (above). Next, this is a good bit into the painting, probably past the mid-point.  And last is the finished work- see how everything around his focal point is more finished, the rest less so. This is how the eye sees. (We don't see photographically!). 
Well, I certainly have been thinking of this one demo a lot! I have 2 big canvases ready to give it a shot!

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