Recent Work: Starting the New Year

January is off to a good start with seven new works on the go, many of them based on old studies that I wanted to revisit.

This blog post is a look at some of my favorites of the paintings I've completed. I'll add to it as I finish more of them.

 

Oil painting of pines trees on the Pacific Northwest Coast

Clam Bay. 8x10, oil on hemp panel. 2019.

This is one of the small coastal bays you pass while riding the Bremerton Ferry.

Three years ago I did a couple of studies of the same scene and I spent a lot of effort without making much headway. However, this time around I managed to find a nice solution.

Here's a good tip: whenever you find yourself painting something that didn't work on the first try, change both the composition AND the palette.

 

Oil painting of a polled ram

Cassidy. 8x10, oil on hemp linen. 2019.

A new sheep painting. Letting go of the detail in the fleece was harder than I want to admit. It's hard to tell from this image but I painted the shadow side neck with thin, drippy paint in an abstract way.

 

Oil painting landscape of backlit tree against gray sky

Warm Front. 6x12, oil on hemp linen. 2019.

Something I did as a keeper for myself. It's a reverse view of one I did in January 2018 which was sold even before it left the studio.

I often rely on this design pattern when painting on location. There are three main pillars: a simplified sky with two or three values, a simplified treeline with lots of edge work, and the principal color variations brought into the foreground.

 

 OIl painting of horses in an open field with a warm gray sky.

Warm Gray Sky. 6x12, oil on hemp panel. 2019.

It took longer than usual to paint this small landscape. I nearly scraped if off after painting the sky, but slept on it overnight and decided to battle on.

It turned out that I was committed to making this painting a success. It underwent five major revisions before I decided to call it finished.

 

 Oil painting of clouds over the water in the Pacific Northwest

Over Elliott Bay. 16x20 oil on linen. 2019.

We're having a surprisingly good winter for painting in Seattle. Instead of the usual four feet of rain there's occasional light in the sky.

This painting is based on the view from our house. I changed the viewer's elevation and the appearance of the horizon.

A painting of the waters edge near Laurelhurst in Seattle.

Laurelhurst. 12x12, oil on hemp panel. 2019.

Even though it appears to be complex on first glance, this painting is painted in an abstract way—a series of blobs and dashes of paint.

The reason I painted it was to start to explore the idea of using a negative space as the center of interest. It's something that I've rarely seen done—in representational landscapes it's usually the big objects like trees and clouds that appear at the focal point.

 

Footnote


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