This Land is My Land

This Land is My Land


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Monday, January 16, 2012


Well - so begins another week - we are getting snow showers at the moment - it's 38 degrees outside yet it's snowing - how can that happen?????/

I've started to clean up my painting area and came across an 8 x 8 canvas panel.  don't know when or why I got it so I decided to use my found treasure this morning.

I feel like doing a quick slam-bam-thank ya type of painting with a combination of palette knife - big brush and fan brush.  Real quick - wet into wet with all the spontaneity of a hyper-active kid who just downed 3 dark chocolate candy bars!!  :>) 

My aim is to use this as  a lesson for myself with new techniques and processes.  As most of you know, I most always put the BG in last - what can I say --- that's me!
Well, today I'm going to put part of the BG in first.  I've decided to do a painting titled:

"A Cluster of Sycamores"

Why?????? I guess because I can - besides which next to aspen trees I like the sycamores best.  Soooooooo off we -- ( I ) go!!!!

First - in goes the sky - this is normal procedure for me - however the next step is not normal for me

What I'm doing now is painting in the BG which will consist of distant brush-bushes-trees.  In the process of doing this, I will be painting around the shapes of the "TO-BE SYCAMORE TRUNKS"
Soooooo in this case it really does not matter if I paint around the shapes of the tree trunks - OR - paint the BG around the painted tree trunks.  Either way I've got to paint around something.  See those vertical white spaces???  These will become sycamore trunks!

We have tree trunks!!!  It's like magic!!!
Notice how visually the BG moved back and the tree trunks came forward?

OK - now we ( I ) have to make these look like sycamores and develop the FG and here a tweak - there a tweak.  This is the fun part - up to this point the process done is what I call "Housekeeping"  It is merely developing a road map as to where things go and what things there will be.
I digress---------- In Sedona AZ. there is a beautiful area called Oak Creek Canyon.  To me, this is a very magical place and I have painted plein air for many hours there.
Well, this is where I was introduced to sycamore trees - I never knew what they were.  I saw one outside a store - went in and asked the owner what kind of a tree was outside the store.  He looked at me - smiled - and said "Sycamore!"
Oak Creek Canyon is loaded with Sycamore trees which I have put to canvas many times - so this piece is from memory - and they say the memory is the first thing to go!!!  HA!!!!
In Sedona the locals talk a lot about areas of VORTEX - Oak Creek Canyon I can attest to and verify that it is an area of VORTEX powers.

OK - the completion of this piece will come quickly as I say it is only 8 x 8 - I'm using a big brush and a palette knife so maybe 15 - 20 swipes and we'll be home free!!


OK - some up close photos as usual for my


OK - my friends I shall get back to cleaning up my painting area - maybe this time I'll find some M O N E Y!!!!!!!

It was fun doing this painting with a slightly different process than normal and all in all it took 28 minutes which is a good exercise on loosening up my style. 
I talk about Style like I know what I'm talking about!!!!  I've been painting since I was 54 and that's a total of 17 years now.  The first 12 years were spent doing water color and the first 2 years can't be counted because I did not know what I was doing and most of my pieces really SUCKED!!!  Soooo I guess you could say of the 17 years 15 of these years have been developing whatever style it is that I settled into for the moment at least. 
I stopped painting when we moved to Santa Fe and I did not paint at all for about 6 months.  I was tired of it!!!!!
I came across some acrylic paints my DW Melissa had used off and on when we lived in Maine.  I played around with these paints and developed a liking and urge to start painting again - but NOT in watercolor -- I wanted to work in acrylics!!
I've been working in acrylics for 5 years now and I guess at this point my style is:

Semi-loose Expressionism with at times a touch of semi abstract.

If I had the space I would paint pretty much canvas that is no smaller than 24 x 36 or 30 x 48 - BIG CANVAS - with trowels used as palette knives and very large brushes 5 - inches wide. I would also switch to oils (assuming I had OUTDOOR) painting space - (oil paint stinks - is messy- and the fumes are dangerous for ones health.) 


The main thing is I enjoy painting and every time I pick up my tools I learn something new - I try something new - this is how one GROWS.
Our upcoming RV Adventure will provide so many more avenues of learning - it is going to be VERY COOL!!!!


JR   :>)