June 12, 2015

Waterfalls at Franklin Park - Landscape Oil Painting

"Waterfalls at Franklin Park"

I recently completed my third session of plein air classes with Joe Lombardo, the first session being last spring.  In these classes we go to a different park each week, Joe does a demo, then we all paint and he comes around and provides constructive critique. Joe has really pushed me to paint faster and loser, two things that I always strive to achieve.
A couple of weeks ago we went to Franklin Park, and behind the Conservatory there are these nice waterfalls. However, running water is not easy to paint, an I usually dislike most waterfall paintings I see, be mine or other people's. There is always something "off" about them.
At first I thought I was going to choose another subject, but then I said to myself "what the heck, I'm here to learn, I should embrace challenges".

I decided to give it a try.
A photo of me at Franklin Park while painting the waterfall.

To make things a little more challenging, I used a new gesso board, much sleaker than the usual ones I buy, and at first I struggled making the paint stick to the surface, it was "sliding" everywhere. After the first thin layers it got better, thicker paint was easier to apply over a base coat.
It turns out I actually liked the resulting painting. I think it's true enough to the scene, and painterly enough to make me happy.

Overall a successful painting experience!  : )

June 11, 2015

Rolling Fields at Walnut Woods - Oil Painting

"Rolling Fields at Walnut Woods"

In Ohio it's pretty rare to find hills or mountains. So when I see places with clear terrain lines or a hint of hills, I get very excited about painting them.
Walnut Woods Metro Park is one of the few parks around Columbus that offers some nice terrain lines, and I painted this piece on location, a day in early spring, with a few strokes added later in the studio.

I realized that that happens a lot to me: finishing a plein air painting in the studio.
Truth is, it's hard for me to completely finish a painting on location. Part of it is due to the fact that most days I run out of time and I have to run home to get the kids from school.
But to be completely honest with myself, I have to admit that my brain needs a little detachment from the image, I need to see it after a break of time, with fresh eyes, and then I can really see what needs to be done next.
Sometimes when I see it again after a break I can "see" that there is nothing to be done, the painting is finished. Those are happy moments, but not the norm. Usually a fresh view let's me see exactly what needs to be finished or fixed.

Thanks a lot to my friend Stefania for purchasing this painting!

June 4, 2015

Field of Poppies, Landscape Oil Painting

"Field of Poppies"
Oil on Gessoboard

Red, a powerful color. It can really set the mood, and it's a good, vibrant, joyful mood.
: )