Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Palette Talk

Like most artists, I love the stuff that goes with the job- luscious paint, new brushes, clean sharp palette knives, a big roll of my favorite canvas, a new kneaded eraser....I could go on and on. One thing that did not get updated much for many years was my palette. The first one you see here is about 20 years old and as you can tell, its been around the block a time or two. It is wood with a laminate surface. That's a tuna fish can for medium up there is the left hand corner. It is heavy!

And, over the years it has been abused and used.  It got bashed in in the back of my Suburban a few years back. For the last few year's I have not used it much- just taking it with me to demos when I need a portable, large mixing surface. It is about 27" wide at its widest point. I love it, but truthfully it is not only past its prime but also way too heavy for me to hold for any length of time these days.

For many years I used an Open Box M for painting outdoors and of course the palette is part of that rig. So I just needed something to replace the old clunker for studio work. So, I got this. I have had it for about 10 years. The mixing surface is glass with a neutral grey underneath. It has great storage for paint, brushes, medium, gamsol, etc. It's on wheels so it can easily be moved around the studio. It is 64" wide.

About a year and a half ago when I started to work on the Lennox Woods work and to tackle some larger canvases, I realized that there were times I might need a smaller palette. Oddly, the larger the canvas got, the more I seemed to need a small palette to work on specific areas. Having a small arm palette was the perfect choice. So, I got this. It is a small Turtlewood palette which is about 13" across. I have also been taking it with me out in the field since I switched back to using my Julien easel outdoors. It's a beautifully made,  really light small palette.

I really enjoyed using an arm palette again and liked having my colors right in front of me as I worked, particularly on a large canvas. But, sometimes the little Turtlewood was just too small. So, I just got this today - my New Wave Expressionist palette! It is amazingly light for a large palette- 25 + "- and has this very cool shape- which just happens to be ergonomically designed. It is so beautiful I just want to look at it and I will feel bad when it's awash in pigment and solvent and medium. But, I'm pretty sure I'll get over that...probably first thing tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Skies

This year I reorganized my online class schedule to better fit the course to the time of year. In the past, classes were added when a need seemed to arise and as a result some students in colder climes found themselves struggling to work outdoors. As a result, The Painted Sky is being offered again this summer (having just been taught in February). Summer is, of course, a glorious time to go skying.

Recently when I was looking through some old portfolios of drawings I came across these pastel cloud studies done in the summer of 2001 in Santa Fe. I wrote about The Summer of Santa Fe here. It made me smile to see them and think of those big New Mexico skies once again. Pardon the skewed cell phone photography.

The Painted Sky Online Class
July 26- August 23, 2013

For landscape painters, painting a believable sky means creating a sense of distance, atmosphere, light, and mood. This course is designed to give students the knowledge and techniques to paint beautiful atmospheric skies.
In this course we will cover:
~ gradation of colors in the sky at various times of day
~ gradation of values in the sky
~ types of cloud formations and how to depict them
~ use of atmospheric and linear perspective to create believable skies
~ glazes and scumbling techniques
~ using a variety of edges in painting skies
~ composing skies for maximum effect

Online classes are a great way to study at a slower, measured pace and on your own schedule. Participation is limited to ten students, so there is plenty of individual attention. To learn more about how these classes work, click here.
Many students find this way of learning to be challenging, effective and convenient. In any given class I may have students from throughout the US as well as Canada, the UK and Europe, so it makes for a lively, interesting learning experience. Click here to read what students have to say. And registration is here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer and a Studio Visitor

Late Afternoon Light
16 x 20

This painting recently found a home in Chicago. Thank you Hildt Galleries! It reminds me of those hazy afternoons that summer brings. So far, we have had a cool spring and our start to summer has been cooler than usual as well. I am not complaining!

My days start with an early morning walk and then the rest of the day is spent on Lennox Woods- working steadily toward my solo show next spring. But occasionally I have a studio visitor. A few days ago I came back from my lunch break and found this guy waiting on my studio steps!