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Bigger Paintings take Bigger time...and more Advil!

Fire In The Sky
Now that I am starting #5 in the series of paintings for a show in early Summer, I am reminded of how much time and physical work it is to paint on a larger scale. I put the finishing touches on this painting this morning and then started the underpainting for my next piece. Break out the Advil! Somehow at 23, when I was in grad. school, my shoulders held up better than they do now. But I do love painting larger, so it is worth it.
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Fewer, but bigger...

I am mid-way through my Big Sky Series...these will show later in the year. So i am not adding to my portfolio as quickly as when I am working on smaller pieces. However, working larger (minimum: 30x30) is great fun. In graduate school I never painted smaller than 30x30, so this is sort of "rejuvenating." This is the most recent piece...again, I am attracted to cliffs, and sky. Good thing, too, as I live on a cliff with a huge sky view! The heck with angst...I think a happy artist is a better artist!
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Sometimes It All Goes Right...

I took a break from my large format landscapes (for a show on Memorial Day) and from my auto court paintings (show in Sept.) to paint from a photo I had taken last year. Unfortunately, I can's seem to remember where the site was...Eastern Oregon, Utah, Idaho??? But when I found the photo I was struck by the same awe that I felt when I snapped the shot...through a rather dirty windshield. I don't know why it never got in my "to be painted" file...but there it was, and I found it when cleaning out my huge, huge, huge photo files on my computer.
Somehow, today was just the day I needed...bleak outside...up from 10 degrees to a watery 30something...painted...took a short walk with the dog....and returned to painting. It is days like this that I know painting is an all consuming passion...and a wonderful one. Still have some finishing touches, but I like this work, or rather the hunk of nature, so much that I will post it.
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Snowy Day/Work Day

I realized the other day that I actually like is a time to catch up on the large format paintings I generally don't do when good weather allows me to paint outside. I know that some painters do large format plein air paintings...but it is hard enough for me to shlep my gear and a modest size linen board. And there are the hearty souls who paint in the snow...I have done it and frankly, don't like it. So as I look out from my studio on the snow covered sage and juniper here in the high desert, I find extra warmth in painting from an old sketch and photo...this scene is of the dirt road off of the hwy to Burns...the route to some part of the Ochocos (Mountains). We have driven most of these dirt roads, but think this is one we have not taken. The lure of the unknown is just beyond the curve in this road. I will likely finish this painting tomorrow or next week...there is another piece of an amazing butte that I just must start, now!
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I will have show later in the year and the woman organizing the show has requested 5-8 large paintings....whew! So I am painting away...this is a 30x40 and expect to do a few of these. Actually, I have no complaints...painting the high desert is what I love, and a large format allows me to really explore the horizons and sky.

This scene is about 30-40 miles east of Bend, Oregon. The area is called Glass Mountain...I am not sure why, but probably because of a huge obsidian deposit just off the road. It is a fascinating place as there are flakes from arrowheads everywhere.
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My Old Adobe Home...not really...

gone an unfortunately also forgotten
I am painting two series of works. The first is my more traditional low horizon, dramatic sky paintings (for a show later this year) but I also am having a lot of fun with the abandoned motel series. This one (in Nevada?) is particularly abandoned...I am just attracted to these old remnants of past road trips. Hope some others are too!
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Starting the New Year Right...

As always, my goal for the new year is to paint, and learn through painting. After visiting the Matthews Gallery in Portland (one of my paintings will be on display there this month), I was completely taken (again) by the work of the 19th and 20th century western artists... So this inspired me to look through my dramatic photo reference (from 2009) of the Canadian Rockies. This is a digression from my current series, but I think sometimes taking a break is refreshes your vision.
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Back from our travels...

After a delightful two weeks of traveling, (amazingly we avoided the weather related problems by a few days), I am back on my Motel Series. Sometimes a break really makes you appreciate studio time...this is one of these times. I am energized and ready to progress on this series. I wwas attracted by the sign that barely indicates that a motel existed here...and the leaning electrical pole...vanished dreams.
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