Gallery: Art Connections Gallery 123 N. Main Street on the Square in La Grange, Texas.
979-206-2222 http://www.artconnectionsgallery.com/

See additional work on my website

Monday, July 28, 2014

Plein Air with Sue, Day 1 Photos

Our friend and my painting buddy, Sue Modrak, came for a visit.  We have a five day painting marathon every year.  This year Sue visited us in Angel Fire, New Mexico, and we painted out as much as we could.  We also sketch and explore, take photos, relax and get inspired for another year.

Painting outside is good for your "eye".  You see forms, shapes, colors and scenes in a different way.  Shadows have color as opposed to a photo that mainly shows black in the shadows.  The light changes quickly so the artist has to make decisions and put down large shapes of light and shadows.  It is a good idea to limit your shapes and not get too much going on.  Once you get your idea and light down it is best to ignore the changing light.  It is very tempting to keep changing the painting as you go.  When you do this, the light becomes very confusing.

Get the values in the big shapes and add detail at the end of the painting.  Two to two and a half hours is about all the time you have before the scene is completely different.

After I decide where to paint, I walk around to get the feel of the area in every direction.  I use a view finder or my camera to pick the area I am going to paint.  It is easy to get sidetracked and widen the view or add too much in the painting.

Sometimes I do an underpainting with either complements or the basic color of the items.  The paper or surface I choose determines this.  If I use a dark paper, I may only under paint the sky so that the dark color does not peek through causing too much contrast.  When all goes as planned I try to do a quick value sketch, well two or three to pick out my composition and lighting.  Then I roughly sketch in the large shapes.  Then I am ready to paint.

Painting in settings with so much green is a bit intimidating as well.  I try to use purples and oranges to soften the greens and make them more realistic.

Sue was preparing for a couple of paint outs, so was interested in painting wide vistas.  We tried several and had a great time.

The first morning found us near Black Lake.  There is an old house there with a paved area where I can paint in the shade.  That is always a plus for me!

Sue sketches a more complete drawing than I do.  This was her start on the first day.  Of course I didn't take any of my painting in the works.  I will do a complete painting with all the steps soon and post it here.

This is Sue's finished painting.  I call it Sue's Trader House.  Pastel on Colourfix sanded paper, 12 x 9 inches. (We traded paintings at the end and I chose this one for me.  You know I love houses.)

This is my "Houses".  I think it is a bit stiff and will make a couple of minor changes.  The first day was like starting all over again in painting for me.  I am still in a bit of a funk, but I do think painting with Sue helped a lot to get me thinking and trying out some ideas.  Pastel on Colourfix paper, dark rusty color, 12 x 9 inches.

The shady spot where I like to paint.

I painted this one from that spot a few years ago. Horse Pasture,  Acrylics, 9 x 12 inches.

In the afternoon we had a break at the Resort Coffee Shop and went searching for  other locations to paint.  There are many beautiful areas here.  If you have followed my blog, you will remember some of them and have favorites if you have visited here.

 This spot is near Angel Fire, taken in the middle of the day.  So lovely.

 Between Angel Fire and Eagle Nest.  The clouds are more prevalent and beautiful in the afternoon and we painted in the morning.

We had dinner at the Sunset Grill to top off the day.

A visitor near our house on the way home.

I will post more about our painting marathon.  Check back for the continuation.........

As I closed my Safari and was putting my computer to sleep, this photo was on my computer desktop.  The photos randomly change about every 30 minutes.    Do you hear the Twilight Zone music......???

This is Sue and I on another painting marathon in 2006 in Silver City, New Mexico.  This is an open pit copper mine behind us, the Santa Rita Mine if I'm not mistaken.


Bag Blog said...

I can't wait to come paint with you.

Jo Castillo said...

Bag Blog, me, too!! I got in a little practice thanks to Sue. I will try to keep in shape. Ha.

Joanna said...

JThe purples in that second photo are amazing!

Cool serendipity on the photo of you and Sue popping up. :-)


Joanna said...

I didn't know (or remember?) that Bag Blog was going out there. Y'all have fun!

Jo Castillo said...

Joanna, the purple flowers were great . I will try to post a close up so you can see what they are. We are looking forward to the Okies visit. :)

My desktop photos are like iTunes, unexpected coincidences. There were many of Angel Fire just before we left home. Hmmmm.

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About Me

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los Niños. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill


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