Monday, September 30, 2013

Day Thirty - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

plein air, 8" x 8", oil, 'The End'

I finished what I started! 30 paintings in 30 days. This is what I learned. Paint! Paint often. Paint what you see. Paint what you don't see. Paint what is challenging. Paint what is easy. Paint what you like. Paint what you don't. Paint things out. Paint things in. Paint when you have something to say. Paint if you don't. Paint by yourself. Paint with someone. Paint while you are fresh and enthusiastic. Paint when you aren't. Paint in your studio. Paint outside. Paint when it's sunny and warm. Paint when it's cloudy and cold. Paint in the rain. Paint when it's windy. Paint in the morning. Paint at dusk. Paint at midnight. Just PAINT! and keep PAINTING!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day Twenty Nine - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

plein air, 10" x 12", oil, 'Eastern Idaho'

I just returned from visiting my family in Blackfoot, Idaho. Home of the Idaho Potato Museum. Blackfoot is designated as the "Potato Capital of the World", because it has the largest potato industry. In the museum you"ll find the world's largest baked potato and potato chip on display. 

Blackfoot got the name because of folks walking through the black ashes left after wildfires during the 1800's. There were no Blackfoot people in the area, but the early Hudson Bay Company traders and trappers who came through named it for all those folks with blackened footwear.

I love the open sky in Eastern Idaho! The sun hangs low in the western horizon at dusk creating brilliant sunsets.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Day Twenty Seven - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

plein air, 9" x 12", oil, 'Utah Meets Ireland'

This is my painting friend Louise Treacy from Wexford, Ireland. We met two years ago at the Plein Air Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada and again this past April in Monterey, California. She is here in the States visiting with her friend Phillip. We both entered the Escalante Plein Air Competition. Yesterday, we finished our last work together along with James Bradley Holt. 

This is one of the views from the Kiva KoffeeHouse in the Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument. Just breath taking! Do you agree?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day Twenty Three - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

plein air, 12" x 18", pastels, 'Escalante Sunday Morning'

Escalante is in Garfield County, Utah along Utah Scenic Byway 12. The town was named after a Franciscan missionary, Silvestre Velez de Escalante.  During the 1776 journey, referred to as the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition, Escalante and his companions passed by the Grand Canyon and were among the first white men to enter Utah. The community of Escalante was settled in 1875 by a group of Mormon settlers from Panguitch, Utah. It is surrounded by part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

On my way to breakfast Sunday from the Prospector Motel, I saw this spectacular Escalante sunrise and could not resist getting out my pastels and quickly captured the essence of what I saw and felt. The light changed so fast!!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day Twenty One - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

plein air, 9" x 12", oil, 'Escalante River Canyon'

This is the Escalante River. From the high mountain of the Aquarius Plateau, tiny springs and creeks gather to create this river as it flows 90 miles to Lake Powell. Draining a vast watershed, a maze of hundreds of miles of deep, stunning canyons formed as the Escalante carved through slickrock and sandstone over eons of time.

I painted this view from the 'Kiva Koffee House' just before the clouds blew over and the rain and hail pounded the area. What a beautiful Saturday to enjoy the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument making new friends and seeing old acquaintances.    

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day Sixteen - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

plein air, 9" x 12", oil, 'Bristlecone Sentinel'

I have always wanted to see a bristlecone pine and Saturday afternoon I hiked the Bristlecone Pine Trail in Utah's Dixie National Forest and stepped back in time. The bristlecone pine is one of nature's oldest living things reaching an age far greater than that of any other single living organism. It lives for thousands of years in a community of ancient trees, thriving on high, steep slopes. The needles can live for 40 years and it gives the tree branches an interesting bottle brush look which I found challenging to capture.  

As you can see from the photo below, its trunk and limbs are twisted and gnarly. I think I would be too, if I was over 5,000 years old! Wouldn't you? 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day Fifteen - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

plein air, 9" x 12", oil, 'Virgin River Valley'

Yesterday, I was off on a road trip to this area and painted with several artist friends. This is the headwaters of the Virgin River. In the distance, about 21 miles, you can see the Zion Narrows and West Temple, the highest point in Zion National Park. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day Seven - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

plein air, 12" x 9", oil, 'Late Summer'

This is one of my favorite trees I see every day on the farm. It is right on the line of the old irrigation ditch. When the pressurized sprinkler system was installed 16 years ago we all feared the tree would die from lack of water because of its size. Instead, it has been struck twice by lightning and is still thriving despite the adversity. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Day Six - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

plein air, 9" x 12", oil, 'In Between Fields'

This has been an amazing year to raise another crop of alfalfa hay.
The rain keeps coming and the sun keeps shining. 
A perfect combination!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day Three - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

plein air, 9" x 12", oil, 'A Peek Through the Trees'

My Gear and Set Up

This is a new Kelty pack. It is the largest pack I could buy and works great for all my painting gear. I secure it to my ATV and ride to paint.
I am just setting up the Strada for the first time. 

I attended the Plein Air Convention in Montery, California last April and bought the Strada from artist/designer Bryan Mark Taylor. It is built like a bullet! 

Laying out my oil paint favs.

Some colors look like worms racing to the bottom edge!

The landscape view. 

My drawing.

I use my drawing to sketch out my design.

Simplify the shapes.

My brushes.


Finished painting!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day Two - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

plein air, 9" x 12", oil, 'Morning after the Storm'

Yesterday, Sanpete County Utah was on flood watch. The mountain behind this group of trees is the burn scare from the 2012 Wood Hollow wild fire. The area is usually on high alert whenever rain is in the forecast. 

Early this morning, I was amazed at how beautiful the farm looked with moisture still hanging in the air. Everything so nice and fresh!  


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day One - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

studio, 9" x 12", oil, 'Don't Pick the Wild Flowers'

This time of year, the mountain hillsides are covered with gorgeous varieties of wild flowers. I painted this from a bouquet that was lovingly given to me.