Sunday, November 29, 2015

Into the Light at the Devil’s Kitchen

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

C1606
Into the Light at the Devil’s Kitchen
(Bandon, Oregon Coast)
Oil Sketch on Centurian Oil Primed Linen Panel

5" x 7"


I know it’s been awhile, and I will be posting intermittently for the next little while, while I finish up a number of things that need doing.  This one was done on a rainy day from a drawing done on my first day in Bandon (see the previous post).  As it turned out it was my best weather day, and I completed four or five sketches in my smallest sketchbook.  The following few days were spent working either from sketches, or from my vehicle, and/or photographing the always interesting Bandon, Oregon coast.  I’ve mentioned the Devil’s Oregon real estate before; well, this is his Kitchen ... he was not cooking anything up this particular day, much to my relief!

Imprimatura: Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre from Rublev; I’ve only used Yellow Ochre as in imprimatura once before, and quite successfully that first time.  This could have used a little more drying time before starting to paint over it, but that is not always possible.

Drawing/Block-in: Cobalt Blue.

The Pigments used were:  Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Flemish Lead White; Winsor & Newton Cobalt Blue, Venetian Red, and a minimal amount of Titanium White.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blown before the Approaching Storm

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

 C1605
"Blown before the Approaching Storm"
(China Creek, Bandon, Oregon Coast)
Oil Sketch on Centurian Oil Primed Linen Panel

5" x 7"


As indicated in my previous couple of postings, I did get down to the coast to deliver & pick up paintings to & from various galleries, and managed, in spite of the storms, to apply brush to panel, and pencil & chalk to several sketchbook leafs.  The first day upon arriving in the Bandon area I spent the day pottering about the Devil’s Kitchen (I told you the Devil had a lot of Oregon real estate), drawing in my sketchbook and taking reference photographs.  The next day I worked on the above image, glad to be painting on the spot again.  The weather reports were for rain and wind, and so it proved, as while working on this one the winds began to rise, and by evening the rain was coming in.  This is the way it was for the several days I was down on the coast.  Although I did not paint as much as I had planned, I was able to take advantage of the stormy conditions take a lot of reference photos of the Bandon coast with heavy seas pounding the cliffs and sea-stacks, dodging squalls and showers while doing so; all grist for future work.  I have a quantity of reference photos in my image library of this coast, but none with such heavy Autumn weather.  There were some sets of waves rolling in that were 20 feet high.  My estimate of wave heighth was derived as follows: standing on a low cliff about 15 feet above the water level, thus my eye level being about 5½ feet higher, thus totaling roughly 20 feet above the water level, any wave that breaks the line of the horizon (which is equivalent to your eye level), will be that high … namely about 20 feet.  If I had been standing on the shore with my toes in the water, those highest waves would have obliterated my view of the horizon line, and my estimates would have been guessed-imates, but of course the oncoming waves would have been impressive to see … and of course they were when I was down on near the waterline.  This one reason I do miss living on the Cornish Coast where I could experience the storms many times a Winter’s season.  I do not miss my automobiles rapidly rusting away, however.  I have been at China Creek before, but because there are no impressive rocks and sea-stacks for the waves to crash upon, as there are at most of the other parts of the Bandon beaches to the north of from here, I have not painted here before.  But this day the light on the dunes first grabbed my attention, and the deteriorating weather blowing the gulls around, as I painted, suggested the title for the sketch … I placed only one gull being blown before the approaching storm … I may add another, but perhaps not, as just the one should be enough to suggest a solitary walk on a windswept shore.

Imprimatura: Venetian Red.

Drawing: Cobalt Blue.

The Pigments used were:  Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Flemish Lead White; Winsor & Newton Cobalt Blue, Venetian Red, and a minimal amount of Titanium White.

Taken after the Storm a couple of days later at China Creek.

This was from the Face Rock overlook on the morning of my first day, when I went on to the Devil’s Kitchen to draw in my sketchbook.

From the beach near Elephant Island with Face Rock on the left and the Cat & Kittens, just to the right of center, obscured by waves … this is not the angle to observe the face on Face Rock.  This was taken on my last day in Bandon … all too short a stay this time.





Saturday, October 17, 2015

Into the Light at the Devil’s Elbow

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

C1604
"Into the Light at the Devil’s Elbow"
(Oregon Coast)
Oil on Canvas Panel

5" x 7"


Note: This work will be for sale via this blog for a few days only, as I will be framing it and taking it off to one of my Galleries the  next week or the week after.

After painting the Oil Sketch in the previous entry and then a bite to eat, I followed the now receding tide, and, at the same end of the beach as the morning’s sketch, I set up on a flattish rock to paint into the light.  It was later than I wished, but I pressed on, nevertheless, and began to fight the wind, and the glare off the water.  My wonderful sketching umbrella blew inside out more than once, so I closed it down, and persevered; it’s a tough umbrella and none the worse for its ordeal and I learned that there is a point where there is too much wind for it; working without it made it more difficult in the glare of the Sun.  I had more than one person taking photos of me as I worked, and thanks to a chap who kindly emailed me his shots I include some below … many thanks. 

Note: The following photographs are the copyright of M. Palmer ©2015.





You can work out my sketching outfit from these photos, and can also see that it is early in the work.  The imprimatura is evident, in the lower half of the painting, as is the drawing or block-in, and I am currently laying in the sky.  My waste bag is attached to the tripod below my sketch box.  I normally have a very small brush cleaning tin (complete with a screen and lid) hung off the tripod, as well, but with the windy conditions I either had it on the barnacles near my right foot, or did not use it at all; it normally contains safflower oil for the cleaning purposes.  I did what I could until fed up with the wind and the glare, and did about an hour of finishing off once I was back in the studio.

Imprimatura: Venetian Red.

Drawing: French Ultramarine.

The Pigments used were:  Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, with Winsor & Newton Cerulean, Cobalt & French Ultramarine Blues, Venetian Red, and Cremnitz & Titanium Whites.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Rising Tide at the Devil’s Elbow

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

C1603
"Rising Tide at the Devil’s Elbow … Looking South"
(Oregon Coast)
Oil on Centurian Oil Primed Linen Panel
with additional Coat of Rublev Lead Ground
4" x 6"


I walked up to the old lighthouse keeper’s residence, with a view to scramble down to the rocks below and paint there, as I did several years ago, but the trail down has been blocked off to aid erosion control, and when I returned to the beach to attempt to approach the rocks from below, the tide was too far in for me to do so, and had some hours yet to rise.  Thus a later start than I had hoped for.  The breeze began to rise as well, but not as bad as for the 2nd painting of the day, later that afternoon, to be published tomorrow.  But I liked this view looking south at the Devil’s Elbow State Park (below Heceta Head Light) … that pesky Devil has a lot of real estate here in Oregon; his Elbow here; his Backbone up on the rim of Crater Lake; he’s got a Kitchen down south of Bandon; A Punchbowl here … a Cauldron over there … a Churn somewhere else … that boy’s got body parts and implements all over Oregon … must like it here.

Note:  This work will be for sale via this blog for a few days only, as I will be framing it and taking it off to one of my Galleries the week after next.

Imprimatura: Venetian Red.

Drawing: French Ultramarine.

The Pigments used were:  Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, with Winsor & Newton Cerulean, Cobalt & French Ultramarine Blues, Venetian Red, and Cremnitz & Titanium Whites.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Memoriam

I’m back in Oregon from Oklahoma after some days helping my sister Jill sort out Mom’s little apartment; my other sister Jan and my brother Doug had already been down from the Twin Cities for over a couple of weeks … we overlapped for six days during which we all were sorting.  It was in some ways an act of frustration in that we were being constantly tantalized by old photos, letters and family memorabilia, with no real time to delve into deeply, if at all.  When I say family memorabilia, I mean there were photo albums that go back to my grandparent’s time before Mom was born.  I may have seen some of these before, but probably not since I was a wee lad … I have vague recollections of seeing some of those photos … way back when … 

Memories … and histories … we all have memories of old times … old friends … and of those who have gone on before … and old photos and memorabilia (objects, writings etc.) provide foci that jog those memories.  For example, I came across a 5 year diary that Mom must have been given on her 14th Christmas, 1938, as she began to fill it in on the 1st of January, 1939, and she was religious about writing each day’s allotted paragraph for the next 20½ months until the second day after her birthday, 1940.  There was no indication why she did not continue after that.  I had no time to delve into it, other than to see if an almost 15 year old American girl might have anything to say about the world events at the beginning of September 1939 … on the 2cn of September she says, “War in Europe!”, and on September 4th, “England declares war on Germany!”  It was not yet the obvious that Hitler’s invasion of Poland the day before on September 1st was beginning of hostilities that would become the Second World War, especially to a young Mid-Western schoolgirl.  A later diary when in college, would deal with the times a little more, but not in a world historical sense, but more on a social sense, in that persons are mentioned as in the armed forces, and where they might or might not be, and whose boy friend or fiancé they were.  Her future husband (our Dad), had joined the Marine Corps at the beginning of 1945, and I she mentions being given a Marine Corps “globe and anchor” pin on his first leave home; “… and his hair is so short!”  Later in our sorting I found a picture of that short hair, and I found the “globe and anchor” pin, the latter which I now have … memorabilia. 

When not sorting, Jill & Jan worked on a slide show of photos of Mom to place on one of those digital photo frames, and to be displayed at Mom’s Memorial Service at her church on Sunday the 20th September.  These were from throughout her life, and brought back many memories of parts of her life that we had shared, and many from before our existence.  The church was loaded with people on that Sunday afternoon, as many came out to remember our Mother … she made friends easily and wherever she went … you have no idea … for most of her life she belonged to the old Swedish Baptist Church (later to be reorganized as the Baptist General Conference … I suppose when they realized that many of their members were not Swedish), and she seemed to know everyone in it … all 100,000-plus of them spread throughout the land!  She was the fount of knowledge of where so many old acquaintances were, whether they were still alive, who might know if she did not (she remained in touch with so many people), that I fear we probably have lost more than just Mom with her passing.

She was born in Alcester, South Dakota, the granddaughter and great granddaughter of immigrants from Sweden … somewhere back there a Norwegian contingent appears as well, but as I write this I am not exactly sure of the details.  Be that as it may, I know that myself and my siblings are ⅞ths Swedish and ⅛th Norwegian … true Vikings one and all (all Swedish on our Father’s side).  I read “Giants in the Earth” by Ole Edvart Rølvåg (Rolvaag), in ninth or tenth grade in school, which is about Norwegian immigrants settling in the Dakotas, living in sod houses, and working the soil.  At present I am also reading the 4 volume set, “The Emigrants” by Vilhelm Moberg, which concerns Swedish immigrants settling at Lake Ki-Chi-Saga (later Lake Chisago), near Taylor’s Falls, and Stillwater in Minnesota Territory in 1850; it took them roughly 16 weeks to  make the journey (all familiar places to me … my carburetor froze up at -38ºF just between Lake Chicago and Lindstrom MN, at 04:30 one morning, and the local baker offered me a place to warm up, but I cleared the slushy snow-like condensation from the carburetor and managed to continue my journey, stopping occasionally to re-clear the slush).  The film of “The Emigrants,” starring Max von Sydow and & Liv Ullmann, was released in 1971; I did not see it since I had no money for anything extra that 2nd Summer in England … I lived on £1.50/week for food at the time.   Those are our people … both our Swedish and Norwegian forbears.  Olav Anderson, Mom’s Great Grandfather, brought his family (her Father was 10 years old at the time) over from Mogetorp, Sweden, to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1869.  In the nineteen years between those in the novel and our very real ancestors, times had changed so much so that it took only 3 weeks for our people to travel from their former home in Sweden to Lawrence, Kansas! 

They remained in Lawrence for four years, before taking a homestead outside of Alcester, SD, in 1873.  It is interesting to think that they arrived in Kansas just four years after the Civil War, and when they moved to the southeastern corner of South Dakota (not far from both the Iowa and Minnesota borders), three more years would pass by before Custer and the greater part of the 7th Cavalry were rubbed out by the Sioux and Cheyenne at the Little Bighorn in Montana; the James Gang (who’s stamping ground was only 40 or so miles east of Lawrence, Kansas), had not yet come to grief in their abortive raid on the Banks in Northfield, Minnesota; Billy the Kid was only 13 or so when Olav Anderson and Co. arrived in Alcester, and had another 8 years to live before meeting his end at Old Fort Sumter, New Mexico, from the bullets of Sheriff Pat Garrett (what can I say ... I like Westerns); and 51 years after arriving in the Alcester area, Olav’s descendent, our Mom, was born.

Her Father died just a couple weeks after her second birthday.  She had a memory or two of him, one of her doing a somersault for him, and she cherished these all her life.  Her older sister and she were then raised by their Mother.  Although they eventually left Alcester when Mom was 8, when her Mother’s work took them to Elk Point SD, she had many fond memories of that ‘little town on the Prairie, just 8 blocks by 8 blocks in size” (it still appears about that size on Google Earth) … childhood friends (Cyril, Bonnie Jean & Spuddy) … 3rd grade teacher, Miss Sogn … Saturday Night in Alcester when the town band played (her father had been in it), and many more memories.  They eventually lived in Muskegon MI, Chicago IL and Minneapolis MN, by the time Mom began her college days and eventually meeting our Father.  Her most happy and contented time of her life (and mine) was when we lived in the woods, 3 miles outside of Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin (and where I attended my first three grades of school).  Money was scarce, but she had everything she wanted, a young and growing family, a perfectly good roof over our heads, friends and “a lovely view of the birch wood through the kitchen window when doing the dishes.”  She was always interested in whatever was going on in the lives of her children, in the life of her church, what her many friends and acquaintances might be experiencing, and so on and so on.  She visited me 3 times during my years in England … never thought she would ever be able to go abroad when she was growing up … and the last time she came to Oregon, was so thrilled to spend two full days pottering about at Crater Lake … and at age 86 at that time.  

I could go on, but I think you get the picture.  Her life was full, and busy and full of memories … she was busy in her church activities (she was getting ready to go to one of her church groups, when she had her fainting spell) … and she still drove her own car (I was not nervous as her passenger two years ago) … and we had (and have) our memories at her Memorial.  And sometime in the Spring or early Summer we will go to the little cemetery on the gentle slope in the northwest part of the little prairie town of Alcester, and place her ashes beside her parents, and listen to the breeze rustling through the prairie grasses, and to the songs of the prairie birds as they welcome one who has been long away.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

On the Beach below Heceta Head Light

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

C1601
"Receding Tide at the Devil’s Elbow"
(Oregon Coast)
Oil on Centurian Oil Primed Linen Panel
with additional Coat of Rublev Lead Ground
4" x 6"


Getting back to my time at Heceta Head Light, I painted the above Oil Sketch from the south end of the beach at the Devil’s Elbow State Park, and looking towards Heceta Head Lighthouse which lurks behind the most seaward screen of trees.  I’m always intrigued that one parks the car and potters about on the beach at the Devil’s Elbow State Park, but the reason one is really there is for the views of, and the walk up to the lighthouse itself; it makes it confusing when deciding on how to entitle any sketch or painting done hereabouts, for the natural choice is the name of the lighthouse itself, somewhere in the title … as that is mostly why you’re here, or are drawn to the paining … but without then making the title too long.  I, of course, many times do not let a short title stand in the way, when a longer title is available … thank, the great JMW Turner for those proclivities of mine.  But I digress.  T’was a breezy day, but I managed with not too much difficulty to finish the work, save for the gulls which I stuck in later.  I have not managed to get this far out at low tide here before, as usually the state of the tide has not allowed it in the many times I have stopped here in the past.  Had I not been busy working on this I could have got much further out before the tide began to flow back in; that would have been for photos only, as I keep a healthy eye on the states of the tides, when working next the sea … my 23 years in Cornwall, England taught me thus.

Note:  This work will be for sale via this blog for a few days only, as I will be framing it and taking it off to one of my Galleries the week after next.

Imprimatura: Venetian Red.

Drawing: French Ultramarine.

The Pigments used were:  Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, with Winsor & Newton Cerulean, Cobalt & French Ultramarine Blues, Venetian Red, and Cremnitz & Titanium Whites.

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Time for Remembering

At 08:19 on the 9th of September, my Mother passed away, just five days short of her 91st birthday.  She was still living on her own, and still drove her own car, and as she reminded me not long ago, still had all her own teeth.  Mom had fainted in her home, and was not found for some time.  No bones were broken, which attests to her always drinking a glass of milk a day, building up the Calcium in my bones, as she would say.  In the hospital she was recovering from dehydration, and damage to her kidneys (brought on by lying on the floor so long before being found), and although she had suffered three or four micro strokes while lying there (they did not cause her fall, but came later), which affected her left arm and leg, she was even beginning to regain mobility in those limbs; in short she was doing well and was mentally sharp and even being humorous.  The sum total of fighting on all these fronts was, however, taking its toll, and in the end overwhelmed her.  My brother Doug, and sister Jan were with her when came the end, and it was peaceful, and with Love all around her as it should be, but for many so often isn’t.  Having recently listened to a couple of interviews on the radio with a 101 year old lady and a 99 year old man, and thinking, that might be Mom, it comes as a surprise that she is gone; but then … she lives on within our memories … and that is what we have … and they are good.  Perhaps I might say more, and perhaps I will do … in a few days time … when I meet up with my siblings … and we will share our memories. 

always to take a cargo of memories, whatever else, for when all is lost the memories remain.”  The Sacketts: To the Far Blue Mountains, by Lois LAmour, 1976 (Bantam edition, 1977, p. 88)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Classic Oregon Lighthouse … Again!

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

C1602
"Summer Morning Shadows & Low Tide at Heceta Head Light"
(Oregon Coast)
Oil on Panelli Telati Linen Panel
with additional Coat of Rublev Lead Ground
6" x 8"


Friday afternoon rolled around after a couple of very bland days on the coast and it was time to attend the Artists Preview of the Coos Art Museum Annual Maritime Show.  It is always enjoyable and what with seeing and chatting with friends and acquaintances, I’m always hard pressed to make it around to see the actual paintings themselves.  Several of the artists have made it to Britain more recently than I have been able to do, and it was nice to recognize familiar places in their paintings.  After all too brief a time we repaired across the road to the Mexican restaurant, where I searched the menu for the delicious dish I had discovered the year before, and was determined to have again should I find it; after perusing the novel-sized menu for awhile I was pretty sure I found it and ordered the Shrimp Monterey, I believe it was called.  It is a half dozen shrimp wrapped in bacon presented on a bed of rice, with refried beans on the side, and the usual trimmings to be found in such salubrious establishments.  It lived up to me recollections. 

The next day was the official private view and between this viewing and that of the night before I managed to see everything.  I was pleased to see that mine looked good on the wall … what you have to remember is that most of my career I have been a painter in Watercolour and I have only seen a very few of my Oil Paintings in an exhibition setting.  Even with my familiarity with Watercolour I am always surprised how those look once they are matted, and again once they are under glass and in their frames, and finally when they are up on the wall; the same happens with Oils, I see, and the good thing about the Oils is that I don’t have to go through the nerve-wracking exercise of glass cleaning.  Anyone who assembled a Watercolour or a print under glass will know what I mean.  I mean, how many times have I cleaned he glass; placed the matted Watercolour on the glass; turned it all over; placed the frame on to it and turned it over; shoved a few pins around the edge; turned it back over to inspect it to make sure that no flecks of dust or stray hairs have shot under the glass before you push in the rest of the pins and taped the back, only to find some nefarious desperadoes of the dusty persuasion have insinuated themselves under the glass, no doubt laughing all the way?  How often?!!  Let’s just say that I’m enjoying framing Oils.  After a time looking at the works and more chatting with and meeting people, we all sat down to the private view banquet, which is free to us artists, and being a port town the provided fare was seafood heavy, and so delicious. 

After the banquet I drove up the coast to my clearing in the old growth forest near Heceta Head Light that I know about, and camped for the next few nights and painted.  I know, I know … I’ve painted the above view before (here), but it is the classic Oregon lighthouse view, and I can’t resist it if I spend any time painting hereabouts.  Of course this is only the second time that this view has appeared in this journal, but it is the sixth time I have set down this view in paint, both in Watercolour & Oil.  This time it is a Summer Morning.  I no doubt will paint it again.

Imprimatura: Venetian Red.

Block-in: French Ultramarine.

The Pigments used were:  Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, with Winsor & Newton Cerulean, Cobalt & French Ultramarine Blues, Venetian Red, and Cremnitz & Titanium Whites.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Summer Winds

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

C1599
"A Light in the Storm"
(Oregon Coast)
Oil on Centurian Oil Primed Linen Panel
with additional Coat of Williamsburg Lead Ground
5" x 7"


Weather-wise I could have well stayed up in the Coast Range, as when I finally arrived in Bandon, six days after my intention to be there, I could see the usual Summer winds were up.  If you were following these postings from their inception last Summer, you might remember that on this central & southern Oregon Coast the winds in Summer are usually strong, from the north (and therefore cold), and fairly incessant.  Thus they were upon my arrival late in the day after I had left my charming forest road campsite high in the Oregon Coast Range, and toddled into Bandon.  The next day, however, they had dissipated, but a dull overcast had set in.  This would normally not have prevented my painting on the shore, but once down on the beach, and while looking for a spot to paint, I noticed that the sands had shifted from what they had been last Summer … deeper and therefore the low tide was further out past sea-stacks that I had never been able to walk around on past visits to Bandon.  Considering the bland lighting of the overcast, and this new configuration of the sands, I decided to concentrate taking photographs and making pencil sketches in my pocket sketchbook.  The Oil Painting above was done from one of my drawings in that sketchbook, and is shown below.


While rapidly jotting down this pencil sketch, I had in mind that I would use it as the basis for a dramatic storm with crashing waves.  This is the type of drawing I consider as informational note taking, as are many of the drawings in this pocket sketchbook.  This is one of those sketchbooks where I had cut and folded the paper into sections and then had a professional bookbinder in Cornwall, England bind it together; I had about twenty of various sizes bound at the same time, eleven years ago.  Not cheap but now I have sketchbooks bound with the various papers (some handmade), that I most enjoy working on.  This is a Fabriano Ingres paper, 160 gsm in weight; I love the way a laid* paper takes the graphite, when drawing.  The day after the drawing was done I worked up the Oil Sketch from my Pencil Sketch, as the cloud cover continued and the wind came up again … the Sun did come out later … still breezy.

Imprimatura: Venetian Red.

Block-in: French Ultramarine.

The Pigments used were:  Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, with Winsor & Newton Cobalt & French Ultramarine Blues, Venetian Red, and Cremnitz & Titanium Whites.

* A laid paper is one where you can see the laid lines (the close parallel lines), and the chain lines (parallel lines wider spaced and 90 degrees to the laid lines), indented in the paper, from the screen used during the paper making process.  A wove paper does not have these lines and is what you find as the surface of normal writing or printing paper.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Forest Road in the Coast Range

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

C1598
"Forest Road in the Coast Range"
(Oregon)
Oil on Ampersand Gesso Panel
5" x 7"


I moved camp a further five miles into the Oregon Coast Range onto a spur a half mile onto a side road.  Again I had views of the open sky and forested slopes from here, although these are a little behind me in the opposite direction as seen in this painting of the forest road.  The previous campsite was directly on the main forest road, and though sparse there was occasional traffic passing by.  This new campsite is a bit more secluded, and the three days & nights I stayed here only one vehicle appeared up where the road disappears in the painting, just as the sun was sinking below the horizon.  It reversed and no doubt found some other place to set up camp.  I am always on the lookout for the chance to capture a forest road in paint; all too often there is no place to set up and paint, but this was one of the good ones, where I could camp and paint.  The deer came browsing along while in the midst of my working on this, so I dabbed them in.  Actually there was only one, but I preferred there to be two (painters can do this, since we are Artists, and not reporters … we move things around, for example rocks or trees, and might selectively eliminate something altogether ... or put something in that was not there).  To watch her slowly strolling down the road, browsing on the vegetation along the verge, was enjoyable … and peaceful.  She came about as far as is depicted in the painting, and then decided that she wasn’t sure about what the obstruction in the road ahead was all about, and after studying me for awhile, she slowly reversed direction and browsed back up the lane.  I never moved so as not to frighten her, and so she never bolted, just decided that wariness was the better part of valor.  I’m always surprised how large their ears are … almost Mickey Mouse ears.  I love days like this.

I had to work on this on two consecutive days.  I tend to forget how slippery the paint is on these gesso panels if I haven’t previously applied a layer of lead ground, or if I don’t use an Alkyd Medium in the early stages, so that later in the process the paint will grab a bit more.  I got so far on what I might call and underpainting or a block-in on the first day, and packed it in until the next day when that first layer gripped the ensuing brush strokes a bit more, and thus more pleasing to work with.  The deer appeared during this second day.  I could have stayed longer at this campsite, but I thought I had better get on down to Bandon, and see what I might find on the coast … also I had emailed my friends and told them I probably would turn up to camp on their property six days earlier … it was time I made an appearance down there.

Imprimatura: Venetian Red.

The Pigments used were:  Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, with Winsor & Newton Cobalt, Cerulean & French Ultramarine Blues, Venetian Red, and Cremnitz & Titanium Whites.  The brighter greens are again a mixture of Yellow Ochre and Cerulean Blue … no Cadmiums used in the greens except for the touches of yellow flowers.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Early Morning in the Coast Range

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

C1596
"Early Morning in the Coast Range"
(Oregon)
Oil on Raymar Portrait Quality Linen Panel
6" x 8"


And the mists gathered in the valleys and folds of the Oregon Coast Range and rolled over the high ridges as the sun arose in the northeast.  Another beautiful morning and I stayed put and worked on this painting on the 4th of July, attempting to capture the feel of what I had seen for two consecutive mornings.  There were elk feeding in the valley immediately below, although to see them I had to walk past the stump on the left in this painting and look over the edge; I doubt they remained there during the day … wouldn't know ... I was busy painting. 

The fireworks I had seen on the evening of the 3rd were observed in the saddle of the far ridge.  I was surprised by another display the evening of the 4th, when they appeared to the left of the left-hand hill of the far ridge saddle.  I found out later in the week, when I attended the private view of the Coos Art Museum Maritime Show, that one evening the fireworks were at the casino and the other evening on the harbour front at Coos Bay.  Again, being nine or ten miles away, they were perfect through my binoculars, after a fine leisurely meal and interspersed with watching Venus & Jupiter sliding into the west and the Moon rising in the east.

You might think that in this painting I may have used a split palette as mentioned in the previous post of the Evening in the Coast Range, but no … it is my usual palette of earth pigments and the blues; it shows what can be done with coloured muds.  Of course the foxgloves and yellow flowers are dabbed in with the brighter pigments (W& N Cobalt Violet, Rose Madder Genuine, Cadmium Yellow Pale), but since they are incidentals to the main body of the painting, I don’t list them in my pigments information below.  Incidentally, even though I posted the Evening in the Coast Range before this painting, I actually did that one a day later … It took awhile for my signature to dry on this one before I could scan it. 

Imprimatura: Venetian Red, over the whole surface, not only where the ground is as I did in the last posted work.

The Pigments used were:  Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, with Winsor & Newton Cobalt, Cerulean & French Ultramarine Blues, Venetian Red, and Cremnitz & Titanium Whites.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Evening in the Coast Range

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

C1597
"Evening in the Coast Range"
(Oregon)
Oil on RayMar Portrait Quality Linen Panel
6" x 8"

Click here to make this your Own

At the beginning of July I downed tools on the two large commissioned Oils I’ve been working on and headed down to the coast to deliver the three paintings that are included in the Coos Art Museum 22nd Annual Maritime Show (here).  I usually camp on private property outside of Bandon, 25 miles further on than is Coos Bay, but as I approached Coos Bay, I decided there was no point in going further, just to retrace my steps in the morning to make my delivery; thus I headed up into the Coast Range and found a likely spot a few miles in.  After supper I enjoyed the Sunset, and later in the gloaming I watched Venus and Jupiter sinking into the west, while the full Moon rose to my left in the east, and a few bats flitted about enjoying their insectoid suppers.  I had been much taken by the evening colours as the sun fell through the trees and especially after it had set, so I thought I might delay my week of painting on the Bandon Coast, and return up here in the Coast Range to paint after I delivered the paintings to the Coos Art Museum.  Watching the mist rising in the valleys in the morning confirmed my decision.

I drove a roundabout route to the Museum, via Silver & Golden Falls State Park, as I had never been there before, although I had thought about it from time to time; well worth it, even though one has to walk further these days to view the two falls, since one must park much further away nowadays.  Silver & Golden Falls are not easily photographed, but I managed to get enough working shots, for future reference.  The views I would most like to paint are also footpath blocking spaces, so I will have to work from photos for these at some point; there would be several places to paint sections of the base of the falls, and maybe I will sometime.  I had to do some desperate bushwhacking scrambles around Golden Falls to get some of views I photographed, but that is many times de rigueur in my game, both for taking reference photos and for painting.  There will come a time when I will not be able to do this … but not yet.

After dropping off the works, in Coos Bay (the town), I drove back north through North Bend (not Bend across the Cascades in the High Desert 200 miles distant), and across Coos Bay (the water) over the big bridge, turned right onto North Bay Road, and before again turning right and heading back on the forest roads into the mountains, I stopped to take a few photos of North Bay in the late afternoon light; North Bay is an arm of Coos Bay.  I enjoyed another evening similar to the night before, but this time I got to see distant fireworks through a notch in the hills across the valley.  This was quite unexpected as it was only the 3rd of July, but I enjoyed the display, and they were seen best through my binoculars, and heard a lot of their thunder, even though they were about 9 or 10 miles distant.  Of course I only saw those that were shot into the sky, but I always prefer those to any those that are at ground level anyway.

With this painting I used a split palette, painting the evening sky with the more modern and brighter colours and darkened ground vegetation with the earth palette I’ve been using most of this past year.  I also applied my imprimatura only to the lower half of the panel, thus reserving the white of the ground to reflect the brighter pigments used in the evening sky.

Imprimatura: Venetian Red.

The Pigments used in the sky were: Winsor & Newton Cerulean & Cobalt Blues, Cadmiums Yellow Pale, Orange, & Red, Rose Madder Genuine, Cremnitz and Titanium Whites, and a bit of Venetian Red to mix with Cobalt Blue for the subtle pale purply greys in the clouds.

And for the ground Rublev Blue Ridge Yellow Ochre, Italian Burnt Sienna, with Winsor & Newton Cobalt & French Ultramarine Blues, Venetian Red, and Cremnitz White were the usual suspects.