This Land is My Land

This Land is My Land


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Friday, March 1, 2013



It is good to be back with what I now feel is a blog format that works for me and works for the viewer.  As a reminder, it is not possible to comment on my blog - however you can email meat
to ask questions, make comments or inquire about a particular painting.

The thrust for the most part is to provide  insight as to how I paint and what processes I use.
For every painter there is a different process - so my process is mine - I've never been schooled in "HOW TO PAINT" - I am self taught with many many hours spent reading - learning - trying - reading - learning - trying - you get the picture.

I did it MY WAY - a great song and this is how I paint - MY WAY.

This is a demo on my palette knife style.  One needs to realize that palette knife painting is much more expensive then using brushes - I would guess you use 3 times the amount of paint when using a palette knife.  I love color and I love texture.

I had ( she passed away) a friend who was a professional painter and taught workshops for many - many years.  She came into my gallery in Maine - she look at my work - said very nice - however you need more color!  Her next comment has stayed with me for the past 18 years - she said;

"Use paint like you are a millionaire!"

A millionaire I'm not but if you want color and want high contrast - you need to use lots of paint whether using a brush or a palette knife.

OK I digressed long enough - if at any time I digress to long or too often - just raise your hand and interrupt me.  :>) 
This is a demo on a 14 x 11 sheet of heavy linen paper using Chroma Interactive acrylics which is a professional grade of paint - the only paint I use - it is thick - juicy - does not dry quickly and the array of colors is just amazing!

For those of you who are only interested in seeing the finished painting - and do not want to see the process of how the painting was created,  following is the finished painting of course - I must warn you that you will be missing some very valuable information and some of my very funny humor :>)
I will also add at this time the cost of this painting is $125 plus shipping within the USA.


I begin with just a few lines on the sheet - horizon - shore line - sand dune "bump"
I've darkened the photo so you can see the lines

Next I lay (throw) in the sky using 2 colors of blue as well as white.
I squeeze the paint out of the tubes directly onto the palette knife - big blobs are needed a the sky covers a good size area of the painting surface.
This is applied like one would butter a piece of toast in that the flat of the blade is held almost flat against the painting surface.
The knifing process is just a matter of putting paint onto the blade - applying it to the surface - apply more paint to the blade and apply to the surface.
When doing this, you need to pay attention to what I call modelling the sky so that it is not all the same level of paint - this will give the sky dimension.  I really don't like to paint clouds, I merely put in "Indications" of what would appear to the eye to be clouds.
The eye says "CLOUDS" the brains responds and says "CLOUDS" - so everyone is happy!

I lighten up the sky at the horizon and darken up the ocean at the horizon.
This keeps the two visually separated and this is how it is in real life 

OK - a breather--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now comes a part that I love - putting in that GULF COAST GREEN- this is the color that makes most people dream of going on vacation to the Gulf coast or to the Caribbean!!!
The color is sooooooo exciting it has also been know to cause people to pee in the ocean!!!


As it gets closer it gets lighter due to the light color of sand on the bottom as well as the shore line.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

Sooooo I throw in a tad of white

Some painters are PURISTS - they will not use white of black paint!!
DUH - I use what works - I never MIX white into other paints - but I will swipe my palette knife blade of brush with lightening speed over the surface.
To be honest I never MIX paint - I BLEND it on the painting surface

OK - moving right along - anyone need a bathroom break???
OK - go ahead!!!!!

OK back to business.
The sand at Fort Pickens beach is white-white-white like a new fallen snow.  It is very fine sand and as a matter of fact it blows all over the beach road and they have to use snow plows to plow it and load it onto big earth movers to put it back onto the beach!
So - to that end we need to get some white in there!

Applied using downward strokes as that is the direction of the dune - downward with a slight slant to the left

I also apply a sand color to the beach area - I darkened this photo so you could see the contrast - I will now BLEND in some white

I squeeze out some dark green as it is time to put in some "thingies" on the dunes - grasses etc

Before the grasses and "thingies"

After the application of the green with the smaller palette knife.
Now you should notice that the green is not very dark in many places. 
This is because I'm painting wet into wet and I'm dragging the knife in an upward motion as that is how the "thingies" grow - so the wet paint gets picked up by the knife along with the green on the knife and ends up what ever color it ends up.
This brings "UNITY" to the painting in that some of the sky, ocean, dune color are now in the grass and "thingie" colors.

I let this dry for a few minutes until the grasses are slightly tacky and then with a perfectly dry brush with nice stiff bristles I "sweep" the brush in an upward direction to further give texture and height to the grasses

OK - we now have a finished painting.
I put this in a corner of a room and glance at it when I walk by - just a quick glance - I don't STARE AT IT- no one likes to be stared at!!  Besides which a quick glance will give you more of an indication of things that may need to be tweaked.  It is also good to "squint"  at it so you can see lights and darks more easily.  I don't know if this really works but all the pros say it does so I do it!!!   :>)


Below are photos across the surface to try and show the various thicknesses of paint that the palette knife applies - giving dimension-  texture - unity - blending of colors - a surface upon which the eyes can dance across when viewing.
If a painting is "static" and lacking color and lights and darks the viewers will walk right by it.

This photo is up side down to try and give a better view of the thickness and texture of the paint.

Palette knife painting s lots of fun and rewarding to me - more so than normal brush work and this style of very-very loose - semi-abstract is the style I like best.
Hope you enjoyed - again this is my process of painting.
If you had 10 painters give a demo on palette knife painting there would be at least 12 different methods - try it - experiment and do YOUR THANG!!!

A lady in the front row has a question - Yes---------------------------------------------

Will all my painting demos be this long?


 This was the first post of my reorganized blog - giving the readers what they asked for and giving me what I wanted as well.


JR     :>)