Saturday, July 30, 2011

Landscape with Oak and Cedar

Painted this one at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park today. Another hot one. Got eaten up with turkey mites also. If you've never had them, good on you. Hope you never do. It's like a combination chigger and no-see-um on steroids. UGH!

Landscape with Oak and Cedar
20" x 24", oil, plein air


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hay Bales on the Old Lane

Pushing 100 degrees today as I painted this one. I'm including some progress shots if anyone is interested in the process.

Hay Bales on the Old Lane
24" x 30", oil, plein air






Tuesday, July 26, 2011

AnnaBelle Quick Study

About 30 minutes work at lunch today. Almost didn't have enough paint to complete her tongue. It just keeps growing, and growing, and growing...

9" x 12", oil

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kentucky Farm

Here's one I painted on location today.

Kentucky Farm
24" x 36", oil, plein air



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trooper Island

This was a painting I worked on outside for two consecutive days. The first day was only about an hour and a half. I got the initial sketch finished, which was quite a feat since it was about 100 degrees. I finished it up on location today with about 3 hours color work. It was about 10 degrees cooler also.

The scene shows Trooper Island which sits in Dale Hollow Lake. The island itself is split between Kentucky and Tennessee. I painted this view of it from the deck at the Lodge at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park. I talked to many, many people while painting this one. At one point during the sketch there were 15 to 20 people on the deck watching me and asking questions.

This painting will be framed, varnished and auctioned off at the Esther House Evening of Hope on October 8, 2011.

Trooper Island
24" x 36", oil, plein air


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Landscape on Huddleston Farm

Saying it was hot today is quite an understatement. Had to use a smaller 12" x 16" canvas today. I'll probably paint larger on this farm soon.

Landscape on Huddleston Farm
12" x 16", oil, plein air


Take It Easel Setup Video

Here's a short video I made showing how I set up the Take It Easel to paint outdoors. Don't know what happened but I freeze up at the very end. So you really don't have to watch me, sweating in 110 degree heat index, standing absolutely still until the end. You can of course, but have no idea why you would want to...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Paintbox Fix

I've been using a Gloucester style easel for about a year and a half. I originally bought the Beauport easel. The easel is cheaply made in China and imported and sold through online art suppliers. It appears to be a copy of the Take It Easel, which was out of production at the time I bought it. The Beauport is almost unusable out of the box unless you know how to fix it. An artist from Maine, Dan Corey, posted on a forum how to fix the Beauport to make it useable.

After buying the Beauport I put together a paintbox to go with it. I built it in about 2 hours from wood I had laying around and hardware I bought at the store. It worked pretty good but I soon realized I had nowhere to put a wet canvas or panel to haul back to my vehicle after a painting session. Below is a pic of the first time I used both the box and the Beauport. As you can see, the box opened flat for painting purposes at this point.


It didn't take long to improvise a fix for the panel carrier. I scavanged a canvas holder off an old French easel and attached to the top outside of the box.


Notice in the picture above, how the bottom of the holder is very wide. This turned out to be a problem with which I've lived for quite a few months until today. What would happen with the improved box is that when opened, the long, bottom holder would hit the twin support bars of the easel and keep the lid from laying flat. In fact, the top lid was at an angle, unsupported at the end, making it pretty unstable to rest on the support bars. My fix to that was to leave the lid in an upright position, resting against the back leg of the easel, with a bungee cord attached to keep the lid from slamming shut. While this was an okay fix, it left me without the use of the inside of the lid of the paintbox. I would still like the box to open flat while retaining the ability to hold canvas or panels. See the pic below for the lid in the upraised position.


I recently bought the Take It Easel which is now back in production. I cannot stress how much an improvement this easel is over the Beauport. It is the Cadillac of outdoor easels. Beautifully made, extremely strong and sturdy, and very easy to set up and break down. I can paint a small 8" x 10" or as big as a 30" x 40" by simply changing the peg positions. I've been painting lots of 16" x 20", 18" x 24", and 24" x 36" paintings with it recently. Love it. Can you tell?

But I still had the frustrating problem of the box not laying flat. After speaking briefly to Stapleton Kearns, and looking at his paintbox on his blog, I had an idea to simply cut the bottom canvas holder down in size. This morning I brought out the handsaw and cut it down. Now, when opened on the support bars, the shorter bottom holder fits easily between the supports, and it lays open to the point that the upper holder lays against the support bar at the back leg. Making it essentially flat, just a very slight incline that is sturdy and flat enough to hold supplies and drinks. Below is a photo of the new, improved paintbox. The box itself is not pretty, but it does get the job done.


Make sure to check out the links in this post to Take It Easel's website, Dan Corey's blog and to Stape's blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Landscape at Dale Hollow

Painted next to the lake today while my daughter swam close by. We both had a good time. She played with friends and I painted this 24" x 36" and talked to people. I'm showing an early shot of the painting in the sketch stage on the easel and the finished painting. Finished on site.

Landscape at Dale Hollow
24" x 36", oil, plein air


Friday, July 15, 2011

Google+, Blogspot and a WARNING!

I joined Google+ a few days ago. It looks like it will be a great networking and branding tool. Pretty cool so far, but I really have to figure out how to use it for best results.

But I have to give a WARNING to blogspot users that venture into the Google+ realm. I had no idea, even after using Blogspot to create and share my blogs for years, that all those pictures I uploaded from my computer were actually being stored on Picasa web albums. I didn't even know I had a Picasa account.

Well, I messed up royally. After setting up my Google+ account I noticed that it had automatically populated my account with a LOT of my info from the web. My websites and blogs were listed. My artist statement was in my about me area, and more info around my pages. I also noticed that in my PHOTOS tab there were some folders that I hadn't named, that appeared to be stuff from both current blogs and some old ones I had a long time ago.

I thought I didn't want all those on my Google+ page and figured I'd delete and add pics to the account as I wanted. Well...I deleted the pics. What I didn't know was that those were the source pics from Picasa. I ended up deleting a couple thousand Virtual Paintout pictures, and over 500 posts of pic from my personal art blog.

I have now started the long and arduous task of uploading pics and figuring out where they go. The VPO is on its 30th month with an average of 70 - 100 pics per month.

Please bear with me as I work on the blogs as time permits. And please be careful with you photo albums on Google+.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hot Summer Pond

I think this is my largest outdoor painting yet. It measures 24" x 36" and was painted this sweltering evening on location. I touched it up a little back in the studio, adding mostly some grass colors in the foreground.

Hot Summer Pond
24" x 36", oil, plein air











Saturday, July 9, 2011

18th Green

Spent about 3 hours today painting this one from the woods. Every time I heard a club strike a ball I readied myself. Luckily, nobody sliced one close to me.

18th Green
20" x 24", oil, plein air

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sky Study

Here's a quick study of the clouds I did this evening.

12" x 14", oil, plein air

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lodge View of Dale Hollow Lake

Here's today's sweaty effort. Did this one looking from the Lodge at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park in Cumberland County, Kentucky. Talked to some very nice people today. Always enjoy painting at the park.

18" x 24", oil, plein air

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer Trees

Hot day out there today. I set up to paint this one about 10 am, later than I wanted. Finished up about 12:30 pm. Sweating pretty hard by that time. This is a view of a farm where I've painted before. I set up next to an intersection  of a road that goes to the State Park and lake, so I had a lot of lookers, some honking, some yelling out the windows (nothing mean), and one tourist that stopped and took a photograph.

Summer Trees
18" x 24", oil, plein air