Jumpin' into Autumn

"Rock River Sunset," 24 x 48, acrylic on canvas

Even though it's 90 degrees today (that truly sucks), I was in the mood to start an autumn landscape. But before starting the landscape, I went back to the "Rock River Sunset" painting I started (and thought was finished) last week and gave the large tree on the right some more value adjustments (and in other little places). Now I feel it's finished.

First stage...underpainting

I still have lots of photos I took last year of fields in early autumn along the highways of Illinois and Wisconsin. The reason I'm using last year's photos is because there are hardly any soy bean fields around this year. They always turn a beautiful yellowy-orange before the trees start turning. Due to ethanol demands, the farmers cashed in and planted almost every field with corn. Don't blame them, but it sure isn't as pretty.

Second stage

This photo was taken on a famous trip (see last year in October) a bunch of us took the "rock star party bus" to Wisconsin for Monroe Cheese Days. I got some great highway shots, but the better pictures (or should I say "more fun" pictures) are staying off of this blog! Let's just say that we were asked to LEAVE a brewery tour. Shameful.

3rd Stage....almost done. One more day's work to go!
"Autumn Layers," 24 x 30, oil on board

Well it's time to clean up and make supper. Call me crazy, but I'm turning on the oven to make chicken enchiladas. Have had a taste for them for 2 days.

Landscape finished

"Com Ed Tree Sculpture: Early Autumn" 30" x 30", oil on gessobord
March 2007

Did you ever need someone to say, "Stop painting! Quit messing with it!"? That's what a lot of us need, don't you think? I was starting to fuss with it, when I just wanted it to remain powerful through its simplicity. Sorry for the bad lighting. There is a bit of glare on this because the light was being fickle in my studio.

I'm getting ready to set up my apple still lifes and try to finish them. Since they are still lifes, I naturally tend to be more realistic with these than landscapes. I really don't know why.

I will post again with the still lifes.

But first, a couple of pictures from a road trip with our friends, the Thompson's, yesterday. We drove to Galena, Illinois (northwest Illinois on the Mississippi River). A rather unique river town with steep bluffs, shops, and nice pubs.

The weather was truly crappy. Rainy and windy, it was a true Spring April Fool's Day. We muddled on though and managed to see some interesting things and have a nice dinner with a couple of visits to different liquor selling establishments.

We were in a rather odd neighboorhood, when we saw a house with 3 heads sitting on the front lawn. It looks like they keep it lit up at night. A block down was a garage done up good ole Uncle Sam colors. I don't wear patriotism on my sleeve, but this building shows that the owners have a sense of humor. There is some kind of animal skull right above the doors.

Later, after a nice, relaxing dinner at Vinny Vanucchi's, we left to head back home. Debbie insisted on stopping in Savanna, IL for a quick beer at Poopy's. A popular, biker bar/restaurant/tattoo parlor. What a hoot. Their website is down for updates and will be up again by 4/4/07. Those people have a sense of humor.

Back to oils today

After being away from my studio for over a week, my attitude was not in a good place.

Last evening, I toned and sketched out three, yes three, new oil paintings. Two are 12 x 12 still lifes on gessobord, and one is 30 x 30 fall landscape on gessobord. All the panels are 2" deep cradled gessobords. I really enjoy working on this kind of material better than canvas.

Here are all three paintings in stages. I am working on the smaller (apples) ones at the same time on the same easel. It's much easier to keep the color constant that way. Tomorrow, I hope to put a dent into finishing them. It will depend on if the paint will be dry enough to continue on.