View Full Version : Roadside Paintin' ....
11-07-2000, 03:27 PM
Larry – I’ve seen your lesson - Great stuff there! Well put together and first rate – you should be more than a little pleased – and I really like the painting! I had just had a few minutes to scan through it so I will get back to it later tonight when I can spend some time with it. I like to check out WetCanvas while I’m at the office and have DSL! The boss doesn’t care – http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
BTW are you a teacher? I got the impression from the one of your posts you were.
11-07-2000, 05:06 PM
Struggled to live off my work for 12 years Grace. Planned on exiting Wisconsin after the last son moved out. Come time we became empty nesters, my wife surprised me with..."but I'll miss family...and friends!" and..."what if our son (the older and married) announces we're going to be grandparents and we're way out in Colorado or something!"
hahahhaa....well, somethings seem to backfire and not go as planned. Couldn't see staying in Packer/beer country and keep struggling. So, I'll have to live the professional artist's dream during summer breaks and travel, paint when I can during the school year.
I do feed off the energy and everything being so new with young people. So, yes...I teach art; I enjoy it, and it hasn't sapped my drive to yet make art. Someday when my works are in big demand, I may have to face the decision again. Life on the other hand, is never dull!
Teaching has its moments....but as a whole, its a great job!
11-07-2000, 11:30 PM
I thought the lesson was great Larry. Hey,
I have a nephew who lives in Madison.
Just thought I'd stick that in there.
Tammy "I MUST be an Artist, artist".
11-08-2000, 12:20 AM
I'm very pleased with how the lastest plein air session I put together turned out. I think my best to date. I'm hoping each contribution helps some get a better grasp on the process/methods, and encourages some to get out there!
Look forward to any comments or questions you may have, and I'll try my best to explain or answer.
11-08-2000, 01:07 PM
GREAT WORK LARRY!!! I SEE A BOOK COMING!!! Seriously!!! I thought the demo was straightforward and gave some insight on how someone picks out an interesting site to paint. I loved your photo references and your writing was very easy to understand. The text moved along giving the reader, experienced, or inexperienced, a real treat!! I really enjoyed seeing your "finger" painting out of turp to begin your picture. I have always wondered how much detail goes into those underpaintings.
I think you should seriously consider doing a book!!! You're a natural!!!
11-08-2000, 01:15 PM
I am still attempting to start painting http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/redface.gif, but thought this lesson was great...pull over somewhere and paint what you see. I also see a book coming http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif I will try this when I get the chance http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
11-08-2000, 09:52 PM
Larry - your students are very fortunate to have an enthusastic and accomplished instructor and I hope you are well appreciated! I would think it would be inspiring to be in the creative mode all day long - after all you are doing art in one form or another! It is hard to pull up roots and leave a place - even if you think the opportunities are more numerous elsewhere. My husband and I are unique for Florida..... we were actually born here and moving would be incomprehensible - mainly because we would not last the winter in a cold place! If I meet someone that also originated from here, there's a pretty good chance we are related somehow. That is not always something you want to admit to. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
11-09-2000, 12:52 AM
Great stuff here Larry! Thank you so much. Could you please post the finished product after you 'tweaked' it in your studio? I've enjoyed this immensely!
11-09-2000, 01:05 AM
Ah But Grace, the painting opportunites here in Florida are splendid to say the least! We have a lot of beautiful scenery & the weather is so paint friendly (excep July & august, of course, when all good Floridians go into hibernation in the A.C. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif: ) I'm in North Central Fla & am never at a loss for things to paint. Where in Fla are you?
[This message has been edited by paintfool (edited November 09, 2000).]
11-09-2000, 01:30 AM
Thanks again all...
Learning to see a potential painting in almost everywhere you turn sure makes your world come alive. Indeed, I could do about a half-dozen different paintings from this one location, focusing on a different and unique perspective.
I feel fortunate at this time in life painting landscapes, because I never lack for subject matter. However people may feel about the subject, I am blessed not to have to sit around and mope wondering how to get out of a block.
A book has been in the back of the mind for a long time. Such things are good for an artist in promoting one's reputation, but I know an artist/author fairly well...and was surprised to find out that the artist really doesn't make money off these. A $29 book, for example...sends only about $1 the artist's direction. However, they are good promo and satisfying that others are benefiting from the information put out.
As far as pulling over and painting, a couple things have to happen (Animal), which I think benefit the artist. One, you are going to get a different product than one put together in the studio and thus...you need to give yourself permission. You are literally limited by the sun's cooperation, and you must develop a routine that nails what inspired you down quickly.
It takes awhile to get to this point, but it does come. Start small...6"x 9" panels, etc., When you find you can finish a piece, confidence will build.
You must not put a plein air next to a studio work and compare. A picture done in 1-1/2 hours versus a piece done in 75 hours will have a different look.
In giving myself permission to continue doing plein airs, I had to ask myself in light of the time restraints how well could any other artist do? It becomes like a game, a sport. To capture the minimal things necessary to suggest the real, "life" or the drama/spirit of the scene. So, you measure your expected outcomes differently to see if you are successful.
I don't have the detailing in the plein airs that my studio works have, but I'm learning that suggested detail, good use of color in capturing the effects of light has in its spontaneity a "life" that actually tends to make studio works feel stagnant by comparison.
A detailed studio painting is almost like a photograph in capturing and freezing a moment, but a painting from life requiring spontaneity seems to breathe. Not saying one is better than the other....but, you begin to feel better about your work not proving how good you are in producing detail because you learn that realism can still be convincing by suggesting detail. You also learn that the ability to suggest detail requires skill and developed talent.
Secondly...what comes from pulling over and paintng is confidence.
Thirdly...you feel like you are part of the pagentry of beauty by engaging rather than a passive observer, which makes painting feel like a means to celebrate life.
11-09-2000, 09:11 AM
I too am a Florida native. Born and Raised here. Lived all over the world but came back home to stay.
11-09-2000, 11:32 AM
The main principle I propose is that given a bit of aesthetic awakening, the eye can pick up unique compositions from what many might overlook as ordinary or routine, and our job is to UNVEIL the hidden beauty.
Florida, Rhode Island, Wisconsin...doesn't matter, Grace!
My inlaws live in North Fort Myers...and I know that there are pictures to be painted all over. What I don't have access to in Wisconsin which I envy you is markets like Naples, Florida...and all over where people have disposal money to acquire art. Lucky, lucky, lucky!!!
11-09-2000, 05:24 PM
Larry, it is probably true. There are a lot of people anxiuos for art with the money to purchase it here.
The most important thing i've gotten from plein air is probably the ability to find beauty where others may not. I never drive without getting excited about the things i am seeing as i pass by. I can drive down the same road hundreds of times & still find things that i intend to paint. So many landscapes...so little time.. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
11-09-2000, 06:18 PM
That's what its all about Cheryl! The excitement when going anywhere is having been made aesthetically intune, alive!!! It is that which we pass on to our public; it is that which we encourage our peers.
Many people have money, but sad, mundane lives. We as artists seek and need money ourselves...but we risk letting a lack of sales overshadow the joy in painting..or creating. Our message to the public is the joy our work brings as it connects them to rise above the mundane. How sad if our own work would not do the same for us. In fact, that would be hypocritical.
11-10-2000, 03:24 PM
I agree with you Larry. There is great beauty everywhere and it tends to be overlooked when one sees it everyday. I’m still in the stages of trying to figure out how to get that cap off of the tube of paint. It would be wonderful to have the confidence to try plein air. I admired your technique with the palette knife you demostrated in your lesson now that looks like fun! I suppose watercolor is not a good medium to try that with, maybe some acrylics will be in my future.
Our economy in Florida is based on tourism (and the influx of the winter residents). They have a higher standard of living and more disposable income then the permanent population (exponentially so). Often the more money they have the less they tend to dispose of it - which is how they got it in the first place – They hang on to it. Sigh. (We make our living here by wrangling that out of them -directly or indirectly)
But you are so right - I would say this is a great area to sell art. You have a great product in your art and a limited market. And I have the market here and no product. We all have our crosses to bear – but I would rather have your problem! I do enjoy the creative process more than the end result anyway. I am frustrated by my lack of skill (and knowledge), but not discouraged. (I am so impatient.)
Larry it is a small planet. I live in South Fort Myers now, was born here, but grew up in the Keys. Did you know that?
Cheryl and Linda, I am so pleased to meet some Floridians here on the forums– I live in Fort Myers on the southwest coast – draw a line from the south edge of Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf Coast and that’s about where I am. As measured from the epicenter of money - 30 minutes north of Naples. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
11-10-2000, 08:03 PM
Can you give us some info on the gallery scene in your area. Perhaps some info on which ones would be likely to show landscape paintings and plein air?
11-11-2000, 12:01 AM
Linda - You had to ask a question that would totally expose the fact that I really am an unschooled beginner with a big 0 in the art education department! The confession: I have never (not even once) been in a brick and mortar art gallery. And just last month I discovered the meaning of plein air. But since you asked here it goes:
I did go and look at your website and all of your work. Your style speaks to me of Sanibel, it fits right in with the character of the place. Much money there but a far more casual community, light years from Naples in attitude but not in $. The people that live and visit there are in love with nature, for example the amount of ‘developed area’ allowed on a residential lot is keyed to your ecological zone. Sanibel Island is just east of me, 20 minutes. In the winter it is wall to wall people, they post a sign at the bridge toll booth when the public parking lots are filled. I loved your landscapes – bright and loose. What is a pochade?
11-11-2000, 08:07 AM
Thanks for the info on Sanibel. Could you possibly get the gallery names and address there the next time you are in that area, and email them to me? I would appreciate it so much.
Pochades are small paintings done on location.
11-11-2000, 08:15 AM
"Pochade" is French term meaning, "oil sketch"....which an oil plein air would also fit into. Thus a "Pochade Box" would be a small wooden box, often a converted cigar type box...into a small portable easel, that holds small panels perhaps 6" x 9" and small supplies. I add that in, because you might hear the term "Pochade Box" once in awhile also.
painting plein airs has to be fun in Florida, though me...I'd be gator food in the swamps somewhere, or have water moccasins leapin off my easel. I'll take the ccccold!
My wife leaves Wednesday morning to visit her folks for two weeks in NFort Myers...so, yeah...wierd the small world we have. That's our deer hunting time up here. Our whole state practically shuts down for that week, and many schools are forced to close because so many kids are taken out. My wife figures I won't even notice she's gone!
11-11-2000, 01:02 PM
Larry you talk about"panels" and i was just wondering what theyre made of an for what medium,do they need priming?
11-14-2000, 01:22 PM
I want to go try this lesson out in the field and was wondering what type of easel is needed? one that comes with a box?
11-15-2000, 12:41 AM
French easels come with legs to extend, box, the whole kit and kaboodle, Animal.
But...heh, the first easel I used for outdoors was a home made tripod made from 1" x 2" pine 6' boards, carrying my stuff in a separate huge plastic tool box. The main thing is just getting out there and painting from life.
11-17-2000, 07:29 PM
That’s a great explanation of pochade Larry! I love the way you go into detail – suits my personality in wanting to know everything (I never succeed in that though and *really * don’t want to – how boring this world would be if you knew everything! LOL)
It’s CCCOLD here too! This week we got a cold front and it got down into the low 60’s . I was late to work trying to dig out one of my two sweaters! (I know you will laugh at this) Your wife, after enduring those northern winters, probably thinks the weather is great and is out sunbathing on the beach! Shouldn’t you be joining her?
I think you could do some great plein airs in Florida, Larry. If it’s swamps you want to paint – there are lots with nice pleasant boardwalks and you never have to get your feet wet at all - there is one a stone's throw from my house. In extreme South Florida we not only have Gators but also Crocs. (they are rarer and stick to the salt water). Gators are real prevalent on the golf course lakes - you are more likely to see them there!
BTW I was checking out some of the lessons in Wet Canvas - nd saw your Rat River demo - Great too and I really liked what you did in the studio after with all that warm/cool adaptations -not that it wasn’t great already! The more of your work I see, the more I like! For those of you reading this Go check out Larry's other plein air demo's on WetCanvas in the Online Art School, you won't be disappointed!
11-18-2000, 04:01 AM
Grace - if I may join the conversation - there is just nothing like the experience of plein air painting. I personally only do watercolours and sketches, but the 20 minutes it takes to record the scene means it is fixed in my memory for all time. By the way, 60 degrees is classed as warm in my part of the world, (NW England) - anything over 75 is a heatwave and means we retire indoors with cold drinks and portable fans. We don't get enough hot weather to have air conditioning installed!
11-18-2000, 07:32 PM
Yorky- Nice to meet you. I haven’t tried plein air painting. I am very inexperienced at painting and so slow. I couldn’t get much done in 20 minutes! But this is the time of year to be outside – summertime here is hot and humid - we really only have two seasons here – wet and dry! How long have you been doing watercolor? Do post some of your works!
11-19-2000, 08:21 AM
Hi Grace, I've been w/c sketching (not good enough to call painting) for 25 years on and off, but started to get more time when I retired 4 years ago and went to w/c class. I find that there's nothing better than a quick sketch to impress the scene on your memory. Neatness and accuracy are't that important, its the impression of the scene that counts - you should try it. I take my sketch book on holiday and do pencil and wash wherever I have the time or inclination. I will post an example of my sketch book as a seperate post. Cheers! (Doug)
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