Five days have passed since my last post! Since then I've tackled a lot of life's little issues, hanging the wall at Gallery 135 for our Open House tomorrow, planning and publishing the specs on my May 2008 California workshop (contact me if interested in taking this one), and I spent a day with my oldest son who's in the middle of putting the finishing touches on his entrance portfolio for the Art Institute of Chicago's Art School! He went to a portfolio review at MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) on Sunday and the rep from that school gave him an admission recommendation, accepting the portfolio he brought along. I got lucky and traded art supplies for a few of his early paintings. Ahhh, the life of the art student when the only thing that counts, is having enough art supplies. Now he does... for a little while anyway.
Then a couple of days ago I started this 18x36 oil on stretched Yarka linen of a Mississippi River scene. This location is near LaCrosse, Wi and is painted from that side of the river looking west toward Minnesota. I love the slow moving life of the river down in southern Minnesota and central Wisconsin. Every turn of a corner is a heron or egret habitat, swampy, tall snags of trees, and wide open spaces. The aquatic life is so plentiful that if it didn't freeze and ice over, every heron and egret in the country would hang out here. I'm still considering adding a few of them as incidental accents in the distance. They're so prevalant that it seems unnatural not to see them in the painting.
For the painters who might read this. This is the 'fine' grade linen that Yarka makes with an alkyd priming. It's a little slippery until you get a layer of paint on it. I have a way to aviod that issue. That is to use a flake white. It adheres to the surface like glue and doesn't slide around like Titanium white does. The flake white that I am addicted to is Studio Product's 'Great White' Flake white. Once you try this stuff, you won't want to go back to any other white. Or at least, I don't. It requires some caution, no eating or drinking while painting, and every painting session I apply 'Gloves in a bottle'. When I do wash my hands a the end of a session, there's no residue of anything left on the hands.
I paint 'alla prima', sort of. Not all in one session, but in one 'wet' layer. There's no wet over dry painting. So, I use this paint on this canvas with as much thinner as is needed to get the paint moving. The flake white is a little stiff out of the tube, but once 'exercised' with a knife or brush becomes more fluid and stringy. Adding thinner makes it do what ever it is you want it to do! Love this stuff. Okay, enough talk, on with the show.
'River Silence', oil on canvas, 18x36
A closeup. This is a long painting and I want to show a little more of how I painted it with the closeup.