Aspen Stand, finished

"Aspen Stand," 12" x 24", oil on gessobord, $375

Well, it's been snowing for over 24 hours and I'm going a bit cabin crazy.  We have at least a foot.  It's hard to tell since the snow is blowing sideways.  There are 2 and 3' drifts all around the house.  And Lead being Lead, there hasn't been a single plow on our road.

So, it was time to finish the painting I started last Sunday.  The studio was freezing which made for a quick studio afternoon.  There wasn't much to do since my last post. 

Isn't it grand when a painting practically paints itself?

A work in progress -- trees on a path





This was a nice Sunday.  Did some contract work for a couple of Facebook clients, did some laundry, actually wired up a painting (that I always put off), Jack did the cooking for supper, and I got into the studio and started a painting.  In fact, I almost finished it.  Sometimes it happens that way, doesn't it?

Earlier this summer, Jack and I rode our bikes on the Mickelson Trail in South Dakota.  There were so many beautiful scenes it was hard to pick which painting to do.  Private note:  Later on the ride, I was mesmerized  by the scenery so much that I rode right off the trail and down a rocky embankment.  That hurt like a son of a gun.

Anyhooo...
As most of you know, I always paint my gessobord or canvas first red or some warm color.  I don't like starting a painting on a a white background.  After the background is dry, I sketched in the landscape with pencil very lightly and then went over it in a dark paint.  Both the background and the sketching paint is acrylic.  No patience for waiting for the boring part to dry.  When I want to paint, I want to paint now, not in 2 days.

Then, the hard part was -- do I finish it in acrylics or oils.  That took about 45 seconds to decide.  Oil.  Then it was off to the races.

So, here is the painting in stages.  I hope to finish sometime this week and when I do I'll post again.

Have a great week!

"The Last Stand" all wired up

"The Last Stand,"  24" x 48," oil on gallery wrapped canvas, $1200 
This painting was finished a few months ago, but it took me forever to get it wired and ready to hang.  I even named it! 

Last spring, my daughters came out for a visit from Chicago.  We drove through Custer State Park in Custer, SD.  I don't live too far from there and had never gone through it before.  Isn't that the way?  The last people to play tourist are the people who live in the area!

We wanted to see the roaming buffalo and their new babies -- which we saw plenty of.  Along the way, we were slowly driving by this large grassy hill with only one tree on top.  Erin, my oldest, jumped out to run up and I took a bunch of pictures. 

So, that is why it is called "The Last Stand."

If interested in purchasing, please contact my gallery, The Matthews Opera House & Arts Center, 605.642.7973.

I need a new camera

"Tree on a Curve," 24"x48", oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Finished piece.  I really like it, but it's kind of hard to tell because the finished product is a bit blurry.  My good camera has uttered its last click and all I have is my phone.  

Just had a thought.  Jack has a good camera and he does a lot of photography.  Duh.  I'll just have to put him to work.  However, he just finished mowing the lawn with a push lawn mower.  He needs a bit of a rest!

The hill is in Custer State Park in Custer, SD.  Great place to see prairie dogs, antelope, and of course lots of free roaming buffalo.  We went when there were lots of baby buffalo.  This hill just stood apart from all the pine trees and aspens.  

Check out the pictures below of my process doing this painting.  In case some of you are new to my blog, I start every painting with a colored base...normally a cad red or orange or a variation of some warm tone.  It gives the painting a head start and isn't as intimidating as starting with a blank, white canvas.


detail of tree


getting some more color now


Added the tree and a bit more value

here's the red I was talking about