Monday, June 25, 2018

Rain and more rain

Power Poles  pastel on sanded paper 6x9

Section Line 6/24  6x9 pastel on sanded paper
We've gotten so much rain lately, the roads are mud, the dams and ditches are flooded.   I admit to rather liking this weather, at least for a while.   It lends an atmosphere that we don't see as often in my area.   Since all my gear is still loaded into Big Alyce (my tahoe), I went out last night even with spitting mist.   The sun was coming out every so often, and with everything so soaked, it was beautiful.  

The greens were so intense, as were the blue of the clouds passing over.    I was able to sit outside the car for a couple little sketches, enjoying the freshness of it all.   I used a deep blue jean colored paper, and put a hussle on it in case one of those deep dark clouds opened up.  

Roads are holding my interest lately and I especially like the section line roads--they are not traveled much and most are just a couple tracks leading off into the distance.   I would love to ride a horse down each one!   

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Simple Life

I am trying more every year to keep my life simple.    One of the simplest ways to learn to draw, to learn to paint better, learn to SEE better, is to go out painting plein air.   Now, this isn't saying simple is easy, oh no, dear friend, far from it!   As an art buddy said to me recently, "the simple life is a lot of work!"  yup! 

To go do a simple plein air sketch, you gotta have your gear at the ready, and packed in the car is best.  I loaded my 3 set ups a few weeks ago and have gotten out a few times.    I always wonder why I dont' go more, and fully intend to; just somehow doesn't always turn out that way.  

But with my gear loaded, its pretty easy to just hop in the car and go!   Here's my sketches of recent...

Wet Road 5x5 pastel on canson paper   I didnt' even bother with sketchbook for a thumbnail, and this set fits in my lap in the drivers' seat, its very small!   Its somewhat a limited set but I was able to get what I wanted for the most part.

Field Studies, 6x6 and 6x9 copyrightCMCernetisch    These 2 are from sunnier days than the top on, and were both done on uart paper, with an underwash that you can still see.  

Monday, April 30, 2018

Continuing Education

We've all heard the cliche "when one door closes, another opens".  That's what happened to me last week;  for many years I've wanted to have a taste of atelier schooling.  This is very classical type of work for an artist to learn to see and render very accurately.    Its very intense, and most are far away.   I was dismayed that I couldn't go to one this summer, but a friend suggested a teacher only a few hours from me.  So I jumped at it!

Safet Musinovic has a studio in Sioux Falls SD.   I and my friend Bonnie decided on 3 days of several hours.  This seems simple enough, hahah, not so fast!   This was hard!  Its intense!   Its frustrating!   And I loved it!  Safet was a wonderful teacher, very patient and kind and helped every step of the way.  I learned sooo much, and I see so many ways I can use this in my own work, including plein air.  (painting outside).  

I worked on a cast of a mouth, while Bonnie continued on a full face of a bearded old man she'd started a few weeks ago.  A mouth, hmm...figured I'd get that done in a few hours.  Boy, was I wrong!   But its not about having a nice sketch of a mouth--I can do that in a few minutes.  Its digging deep to train the eye to see so very well.   Instead of fixing problems, you take time to be accurate from the start as much as possible.   Its making tiny marks and adjustments. 

We used hard and medium charcoal on white Canson paper, and a kneaded eraser.   Each day felt less awkward.   By day 3, Safet's words were sinking into my poor little overheated brain, and I finished my cast drawing.   All the way home I was thinking of his words, and looking in a new way.   As hard as it was, I am enthusiastic to start another learning project.   Guess this ol dog can learn new tricks.
Bonnie and I with our work

My patient teacher Safet


the beginning with a small sketch 'plan'
midway thru

Safet's super cool studio
My final drawing.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Taking the Back Roads

5'Oclock Shadows; 9x12 pastel   $145 ready to frame
I am a pretty serious homebody--I've made a life and home that is pretty great, so its got to be a good reason to pry me out of here.   But on occasion, I do, usually for art and or a horse event.    I do not care to be in the car much, especially on the interstate; I know, its quicker but so very boring!!   So, I take the back roads. 

On the back roads, there are so many things to see!   Horses and cattle grazing in lush pasture, barns in various states of health, rows of crops, kids playing on swingsets.    The back roads are slower, yes, but to me, oh so worth it!  

I was heading home just as the sun was setting last summer, and found this scene.   I pulled over, let Arty out (another bonus of those backroads--no traffic!)  and snapped some photos.  I also just took it in--smelled the fresh air, felt the breeze, you know "stopped to smell the roses" kinda thing.   This is what I kept in mind as I painted this piece, "5o'clock Shadows", hoping those things I was feeling will come across to the viewer.  

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Making my own sunshine

Ah, February in SD.  One day is warm and the hint of spring on the way...then a day later, its snow and bitter cold.   Blah!   So I am not into painting when I loose feeling in my extremities, so its time to visit my reference file.  

This is from this past summer, a lazy dirt road not far from my home.   I have driven and rode this road several times, and its not gotten old yet; I can see forever on the tops of those hills!   And the sky is so big from up there, too!  
So while we are being kept in the deep freeze, I am making my own sunshine.

Dirt Road; 9x12 pastel     $145.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Just sketchin'

I had a fun commission to do and since it cannot be shown yet, I will just show what I do in my free time...some sketching.   I need to do more, can never do enough really.   Its one of those things that is hard to sit down to do but yet when I finally get to it, I just can't believe I put it off!  

One of my favorite things to do is sit down with my laptop or phone and do small thumbnail sketches.   When one really makes me take notice, I'll set up to paint it either right away or at least very soon.  

This really is a good habit, far better than watching tv or endless facebook surfing.    Then when painting time comes around, I am not fiddling and wasting time finding something to paint.  My sketchbooks are messy and private, so I am free to mess up, scribble, and experiment. 

Here are some samples, some messier, some a bit more refined...


Friday, January 12, 2018

Dang, its cold!

"Winter Ride"   6x8 pastel    $45 unframed
One good thing about the cold is I get stuff done inside.   But sometimes, I just gotta get out for a bit regardless.   My daughter and I went for a short horse ride the other day and altho the temps were fairly warm, the wind slapped us hard!   So it was a short ride, but that sky!  

I snapped a photo and while sipping hot tea and snug in my studio, I painted it.   Its not a plein air (painted from life outdoors), but I think I caught that same feel as it was fresh in my mind and I worked quickly, so as not to dilly dally over details.

Its small as I have other commission work to do, but I felt I needed to get my artistic mojo going first.   I used a piece of paper I'd done color swatches on previously, and used alcohol to just blend them all together, making a deep purple underpainting.  Perfect for painting snow and cold winter skies!