Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Art of Study

I have been waiting out the wild weather by studying and  gathering supplies and resources to launch my big project. I have had to be patient as the delivery of the art supplies are often delayed due to road closures by weather and landslides. In the meantime I have been slowly making tools to do some serious study in the studio.

I have been inspired by Paul Foxton's Learning to See blog for quite sometime now. He has a wonderful blog on learning a methodical process for art study that is similar to how I was schooled. He is a big advocate and user of the Munsell system of color and I have become quite enthusiastic about it myself. I have dabbled in the method for a few years now but am buckling down and working through it.

The best site for serious study, in addition to Learning to See, is the Rational Painting site by Graydon Parrish. This site requires becoming a member to access it fully and I am grateful to have joined a few years ago. I have not been active due to several major life events but I am now working through it. Graydon and other members  have put in a great deal of time and energy into the exercises and forums. There is several years worth of information and processes to dive into.

I am starting with the Munsell neutrals. I am in the process of making my neutral value scales through precise mixing and matching of the Munsell value scale and am learning quite a bit. The above picture is of a set of value blocks that I have painted and will be using in several exercises. I just received supplies to mix and tube up my own set of Munsell values and will be working on that next.I could go on about this topic for quite a while, however, the two sites I listed above do a far better job than I can at the moment!

Finally, a note for those familiar with the Munsell system, I have purchased The New Munsell Student Color set (I have the 3rd edition) and a Munsell neutral value scale to work with. I am saving up my pennies to purchase the big Munsell Book of Color. It is quite a pricey tool, basically the cost of a good workshop, but I believe it worth the investment. Many of the exercises can be done with the tools I have but going deeper will require the big book.

I am getting close to starting to auction my small paintings and will be announcing the first auction and the links to it very soon! I have also been keeping busy working on our house and getting a new garden in. I am trying to be patient and productive while waiting out the weather so I can get back to painting on the beach and starting up my big project. I love winter but I am looking forward to spring.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Leaping Off The Wild Edge

I am taking a deep breath and officially announcing a major project that I have been dreaming about for the past few years. I am both excited, and nervous. This is a very big project for me. So, here it is:

I will be spending a great deal of time painting every state park, scenic point, recreational site, national preserve, wayside, estuary, wildlife refuge, outstanding natural area, interpretive center/area, and more along the entire Oregon Coast to the WEST  of Hwy. 101!

There, I said it. Just a little project that will probably take me a few years!

So why do I want to do this? Of course, there are several reasons. Oregon has one of the most stunning coastlines on the west coast. Sorry Washington and California, your coastlines are beautiful but this is my humble opinion. I have lived in all three states along the coast so I feel qualified to express this opinion! The idea for this project has been rattling around in my head for a while and has become very important to me. With all the changes our country, world, and planet has been going through, I feel a strong sense of urgency. I will have more to say on this as the project evolves.

Of course, I don't really feel that I am ready but I do feel, very strongly, that now is the time to begin. I would probably never feel like I was ready anyway!

My main guide to start with is the Oregon Coastal Access Guide by Kenn Oberrecht. It is a "Mile-by-Mile Guide to Scenic and Recreational Attractions." It has a lot more than the spots I mentioned above but it pretty much the spots I am interested in. It literally goes from mile post to milepost and includes viewpoints and scenic pullouts. The second book, The Photographer's Guide to the Oregon Coast, list very special scenic places to pay attention too. It is mainly for additional information.

I will have a lot more to blog about as this project unfolds but here is the general outline:

-I will be starting with the areas closest to me of course. That will allow me to work out the logistics with the comfort of home to retreat to.
-I will show/exhibit the paintings completed for the year for as long as the project takes.
-I will be painting plein air studies, drawings, and sketches from life.
-I will create larger studio paintings from the studies.
-There will be a final exhibit when the project is complete.
-A few of the better plein air studies and the studio paintings will be for sale. I am not sure at this point if I will wait until the project is complete and a final exhibit created.

Which brings me to how to fund such a project!

I am not planning to use a crowd funding service such as gofundme. I really do not want to have a deadline and I don't think a project like this would really fit the crowd-funding model. I want to allow this project the breathing space it deserves.I am also all too aware how life events can interrupt such an endeavor such as this one.

To start with, I have decided to take a little time each week to paint small wave paintings, still-life, and landscape paintings to auction on my Daily Paintworks page or my website. There will be links for each painting on this blog and my website. I will also be donating a certain percentage of the proceeds to organizations that support and protect the wild coastline.

This will very much be a work in progress and I will be changing various aspects as needed. I will also be blogging about the project so there will hopefully be an interesting story unfolding as the project continues.

This is a bare outline of the total project. I wanted to get the ball rolling. I will be happy to answer any questions. The only thing I ask is that negativity and discouragement be set aside. This is going to be a challenging enough project as it is and positive encouragement, suggestions, etc. are appreciated.

Finally I do have a working title for the project. If you have read my tagline, it might sound familiar. This project is called:

"Painting the Wild Edge"

I am looking forward to growing and learning as an artist and to exploring and appreciating the beauty of this wild coastline.
I hope you will enjoy following my progress!


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