Friday, April 30, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 30, 2009

It’s over! I’m not happy about that. It’s been an incredible journey for me on several levels. The art of course, personal stamina and endurance (not to mention the organization question?), discovery of what is around me, a plethora of new subject matter that’s been here but that I haven’t taken stock of before this project. And finally to all of you who’ve emailed comments of support and encouragement, to those who’ve tried very hard to purchase one of these paintings, and of course to those of you who did purchase the paintings... My sincere and most humble ‘Thank You’.

There is a lot to write about all of this but I am going to take some time to let it all sink in and mature so that I can write my thoughts about the month with a little perspective.

A confession... Today I took the morning and went into the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to view the show “Noble Dreams and Simple Pleasures”, a show of American Masterworks from Minnesota Collections with Kami Polzin. She’s been hearing about the exhibit from her students and until then neither of us had. They all said that it was a great show, closing on Sunday and that it was a “must see”... and we hadn’t. That meant that I wouldn’t get home until this afternoon. So yesterday I painted a couple of extra paintings so that I’d have the four today, though two were painted yesterday. Well, it was worth it. The show had a number of paintings by Sargent, Tarbell, Inness, Chase, Glackens, Fournier, and many other important American painters.

My goal was met, other than I was not able to make up the days in the workshop. I made up three of those paintings, of the twelve. But, I managed to paint my rear off, I have no clothes left without paint on them, my car looks like it was painted by a maniac finger painter, Sargent the cat is so angry that I haven’t been around much that he’s stealing the avocados out of the cupboard and mauling them (crazy cat), there are flowers growing with the weeds from last year all around my house, my mother and my sons know that I’m alive... they just don’t know how or where, I get mail???... should open some, I have no good brushes left or paint, I used 2 gallons of Turpenoid, and I can’t stand the idea of not getting up tomorrow and heading out on another daily expedition.

I’m going to Santa Fe, but you know what I mean?

I thought hard about what to paint for the last paintings. What would be grand enough to end this month? Then I decided that the month started under a bridge with snow on the ground from the night before and an intimate scene of rocks and the snow. So I realized that the best finish to the month was to just do what I’d been doing each and every day so far. That is to go into my backyard ( Chisago County), keep my eyes open and paint what strikes me as magnificent and wonderful and is a sign of why it’s great to be alive again today!


“Little Shed” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I’m not sure why one little object stands out like this and makes me think it would be a good subject. However, that’s the kind of intuition as a painter that I try hard to listen to when it hits. My dad used to tell me that I had a different outlook as an artist. I wasn’t sure that was a good thing, but knowing him I knew that if he said that, it was probably a good thing. He had that kind of sense about most things and I tried to always listen and understand his ‘inner voice’ when he told me about it. My dad is the reason that I became an artist. He inspired me to love what I do.


“Stand” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
These trees, poplars?, are out in the middle of a field on an island of grass! It would be interesting to know ‘why’ they’re there. I’m glad they are, they’re interesting.


“Glorious Sky” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This afternoon was wonderful to watch. Fronts coming and going gave us nice clear air with broken clouds and blue skies until later when it completely clouded over. I caught this farm, one that I’ve painted before but not during this project, in the shadows of clouds with just a sliver of sun glancing across the fields and road. Very, very cool light.


“Little Lake Ending” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Little Lake was unknown to me before all of this began. It’s one of the jewels of discovery that has been my pleasure to realize. I’ve been here several times, mostly at the end of a day, where I always found the winding down of the day an interesting and beautiful experience to behold standing on the edge of Little Lake. Today was no exception.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 29, 2009

I had a stand in today... just couldn’t take it anymore! (I kid.)

Today was a ‘no complaints’ day even though there were the occasional sprinkles, it was easy to deal with. Light winds, but warm and great atmosphere. If I ever do this again, I’m calling it ‘Marc’s July Weather Report and Marathon’. But you know what? If you do anything outside every single day, the weather counts. Did you notice the month above, July? That would be another change in plans.


“Sherbert Morning” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
The light this morning made me want some Rainbow Sherbert. It was that kind of color, light yellows, golds, oranges, pinks and greens, with the same clarity that that frozen delight has to it. It was warm enough to eat some too. Where’s the ice cream truck when you need it?


“Change Is Coming” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
After the Sherbert Morning, I turned around and it looked like the treat was melting! Steel gray skies in all directions meant that the rest of the day would be up for question. I loved the cool sky against this piece of native grassland and trees.



“Lonely Road” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
The skies kept looking more ominous as the day wore on today. Just looking up into this treeline with the one old farm building in it gave me a sense of being the only one within miles of anyone. There was no real noise other than Trumpeter swans, Sandhill cranes and geese flying around. Yet the color was soothing and nice.


“Life Aquatic” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I almost missed this little remnant of winter as I drove by it. I imagine it was all of about 10 or 12 feet across, yet it gave me the opportunity to watch those crazy little muskrats chasing each other around and doing the ‘muskrat love’ thing again. Maybe it’s spring fed, but it didn’t look more than ankle deep to me. I got rained on doing this one, the rain providing me with the second artist, the one that is supposed to tell you to stop before you ruin a painting. I probably would have gone to far if not for the rain.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 28, 2009

Bright blue skies, temps in the low 60’s... a good day. I’m really late tonight so am going to get right to the paintings.
I had some good news last weekend. The Oil Painters of America have asked me to do a demonstration painting on Saturday, May 2 in Santa Fe for the National Conference and Exhibit. The painters demonstrating are Me, Kevin Macpherson, Calvin Liang, John Michael Carter, Kenneth Cadwallader, and George Gallo. So I will be heading to Santa Fe on Friday for the weekend. A nice end to April’s Marathon.



“Backyard Boys” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
You’ve got your Bobcat, your John Deere combine, and your Dump Truck. If you’ve got all of that, where are you going to park it? In the backyard of course. There were enough parked vehicles on this property to give me about 50 painting options, at least.


“Cobalt Blue” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Every once in awhile you run across buildings with these blue shingles. I love them but wonder who it was that decided that cobalt blue shingles would be all the rage? As I was painting the owner of this farm ( who I did not know was the owner ) and another close by stopped and asked me why I was painting this barn. I said because it was “beautiful”! She then told me that it was her barn and we had a very nice talk about the history and property. I love to meet the land owners while painting. They’re always very appreciative of what I’m doing. There was a lot of stacked up wood in the pasture, which I had thought was old wood from barns or houses. She told me that was exactly what is is and it’s going to be sold in a sale over Memorial Day weekend. Sure would make some gorgeous furniture, interior trim or something like that. I’m sure that some of it is over a 100 yrs old, maybe even 150 yrs+. Lot’s of buildings around here.



“Milk Barn” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Another unique barn. The styles around here are endless. I love the doors on this one, barely still on the track. The light was smashing right into the face of this barn and is what caught my eye. Love that barn!



“Last Light” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Boy oh boy... I almost missed #4 tonight. I was meandering around the country side after painting Milk Barn and drove for quite a while before finally realizing I had better just stop and paint or it would be too late. This was a view off of the road near Taylors Falls and was painted in about 25 minutes just as the light did it’s ‘thing’ for me. Any earlier and it wasn’t interesting to me to paint. But when the color lit up, it was time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 27, 2009

Today dawned as a cold, gray, windy one. That lasted for at least half of the day but towards the end, the winds calmed down and the sun gave a little bit of warmth to my bones. I’ve had the greatest wildlife experiences this month. I’ve seen almost everything with fur or feathers performing a courtship display, eagles on the nest now with eaglets, muskrat ‘love’ (their little whistling/squeaking chase around the pond), and today a fox family, mom and about 4 or 5 kits chasing each other around an old hay barn. If this wasn’t Minnesota, I’d swear I’m in South Dakota for all of the pheasants I’ve seen. Very, very cool.


“A Minnesota Farm” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This is so typical that it wins the title! Right off of the road for my pleasure. I met a little beagle while painting this, don’t know his name, but he sure liked my easel and truck.


“Old Hangar” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Lot’s of farmers used to have an airplane on the farm. That was when an airplane could be purchased for a few thousand dollars. Not anymore. The pasture in front of this was probably an airstrip at one time for a Cub or small Cessna. If it was my land and hangar, it’d have one in it still, I hope.


“Black Willow” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I think that this is actually a black willow, but would need to get the tree book out to be sure. The title refers to how dark it was against all of that grass and cool gray background. I was going to call it Blue Wing Teal because two pair of them were in the little stream doing their own courtship ritual of bobbing heads and little two or three note whistles followed by the males bashing wings and beaks with each other.


“Tranquil Little Lake” oil 5x7 Marc R. Hanson 2009
Sometimes at the end of my day, following a bout with the weather gods, it’s nice to paint something that is calming. This is one of those places, Little Lake. I’ve done a couple of this place and will probably do more in the years to come.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 26, 2009

A full day of rain made today a new challenge. I spent 3/4th’s of the painting time in the car, not an enjoyable way to work, but sometimes the only way to work. Painting one painting in the rain is, one thing. Painting all day in the rain, doesn’t make sense to me. I’d rather paint all day in the snow.


“St. Croix Falls D.Q.” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I was about to go get some flowers and fruit and make this an indoor painting day. Then I turned onto the main drag through St. Croix Falls, WI (across the river) and was immediately convinced to paint it.


“Green Shed” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I saw some pheasants in the ditch and stopped to watch them in a courtship display, two roosters and a hen making up the group. They did there thing, in... made new pheasants, and I stayed to paint.


“Red Boat Resting” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This little 12 foot boat was all alone on the beach and caught my eye as a willing subject. Usually about half way into the painting, the owner shows up and takes the boat out. I thought that I’d be safe today because of the rain.


“Curve” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
The white surface of this canopy shelter lit up the hillside as I came to the curve in the road. Seemed like a good choice for the last one of the day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 25, 2009

Today was a surprise! It was nice.


“Red Gates” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I’ve found a favorite painting road, another one, near by. Barns, yard ornaments and sheds all right next to the side of the road. It feels like you’re in the farmyard when you’re standing on the road painting. Today I noticed ‘red gates’ everywhere I looked. They’ve always been there and I know about them. But today they attracted me as subject matter or adornments to the main subject. Funny how that works, that you suddenly notice things that have always been around.



“Treeline Pasture” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Just a simple but beautiful piece of grazing land full of cows and sandhill cranes calling in the background. Farmers put together fence gates, place buildings and leave equipment around in ways that are incredibly beautiful arrangements that assume an ‘Organic Construction and Placement Patina”... that’s my phrase. You couldn’t purposefully place and weather a farmyard with such design if you tried. It’s just the by-product of a busy life, and it’s beautiful.



“Tape Fence” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This is a farm that’s on one of my main routes of travel between Taylors Falls and Center City, about 8 miles. Until a major crash of the injury variety, on rollerblades late last summer, I rollerskied this road nearly every day. The title refers to the electric tape fence that surrounds the pasture.



“Home Up There” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Kids of swings, 4th of July picnics, dogs barking... it reminds me of a place where those would be the norm, year in and year out. Very calming to see it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 24, 2009

Okay, change of plans! My goal is 120 paintings for the month of April. Four per day worked up to last weekend when I had a three day workshop to conduct. I’ve been intending to slip in an extra one or two per day until the 12 missing paintings are made up. That hasn’t been going well. The days have been tough in general and I haven’t been able to fit in the extra ones. That was until today. Most of the day was perfect for painting with only the last couple of hours taking a turn for the worse. I’m in now because of rain and thunderstorms, but had a good day. Rather than wait to post these like I thought I would do, I’m going to post them as they’re done. So today there are seven paintings.



“ ’42 Chevy” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I found this beautiful old truck and had to paint it. The land owner was extremely kind and has given me permission to access his farm and his dad’s farm. He has a collection of ‘yard ornaments’ as he called them, including about 5 or 6 old, I mean really old as in a horse drawn road grader, tractors and things like that.


“Single Silo” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
After painting the truck, I turned to the left and saw this single old silo, no longer accompanied by a farm house, barn or any other buildings from the past. It’s still used and in good shape and the color of the surrounding trees made it an art form this morning.



“Friendly Old Dog” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This is a gold mine of yard ornaments! I was greeted by two dogs, a large hairy, burr ridden ‘friendly old dog’ and a yappy Boston Terrier. They both became my buds as I painted, but the old dog stayed and laid down under the tailgate of my truck while I worked. Once in awhile he’d get up, snuggle against my leg and offer me a paw for a shake. Nice dog.



“Distant Thunder” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
The first sign of what was to come later happened around 3:00 pm or so. The sky all afternoon was the inspiration for nearly everything else that I painted. All I needed was a little bit of a foil to show it off, as in this one.



“ Leaves!” pastel 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This is a pastel! I might do more of these but the weather has to co-operate as in no heavy wind or rain. They’re actually more difficult to do at this size. My fingers are way too big and get in the way on these small ones.



“Little Water” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Driving along and who-o-aaa! I’ve driven this road a dozen times two times and never have seen this little creek. Maybe it’s the changes of the season showing me more, and the gray of the sky today. But this was beautiful. I didn’t spend too long on it, I thought that my day was about to be cut short.



“Barely Time” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
The title refers to the impending storms. I had it all around me and the wind all over me but managed to finish and get home just before it all hit. Not really as bad as the forecasters said, but wet enough and plenty of lightening. Again, the sky.

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 23, 2009

Today might be the day where I’d ask for a ‘gimme’, if that was an option. I can say for certain that this was the windiest day that I have ever painted in. I don’t know if the forecast gusts of 45mph were accurate, but I do know that today made the day when I painted the flags seem calm. There are no architectural pieces today, other than the distant farm buildings in one, because there was no way that I was going to be able to draw a straight line while constantly being blown off balance, confronting a tipping tripod or shaking paint box and brushes that were possessed! I write this as my daily reflection for interest, not to complain daily, though it might seem like that. But... remember yesterday’s comment... “Today was... peaceful!” I’ll take that again, thank you.


“Backwater” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
The water is dropping along the St.Croix now. I thought that if I dropped down into William O’Brien State Park and the river’s edge I’d avoid the winds this morning that were picking up already. The trees broke the gusts somewhat.



“Dark Water” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
There was an eerie, hazy light today that blanketed every thing up here. If I can remember my weather from flight training, when you get these incredibly high winds a lot of debris like dirt and water vapor is taken up into the atmosphere and the result is almost like having a translucent shade covering the sun. If you’ve ever been outside during a solar eclipse and seen the weird light of one of those, you’ll understand the type of light today. Very similar. No strong shadows, forms somewhat dissolved, but lit.



“Greening” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Yes it is! This scene attracted me because of the very light value but warm sky and how fast forms cooled as they receded. Honestly, it’s the hay bales that caused me to stop.

“Darn Near Airborne” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
The end of the day was the windiest period. I’m serious about being airborne too. I had my tripod legs splayed out to the point that they had about a 6 or 7 foot, foot print. I had to hold the easel with my hand the entire time that this one was painted. At one point the wind twisted the paint box in the tripod clamp and started to unscrew the adaptor that affixes to the bottom of the box and then is clamped into the tripod head. This scene is a great one and I’ll be going back when I can actually draw out the myriad of birch trees and this old cottonwood.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 22,2009

Today was... peaceful. I got a slow start today. First order of business was to mail my accepted painting to the OPA National Exhibition to be held at Sage Creek Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. A little change in plans about that too. I’ve been invited to give a public painting demonstration for the OPA conference on Saturday, May 2, along with four other painters. More on that in a few days when the official announcement is made by OPA.

I know I’ve posted this info before, but I keep getting questions about it. If you are not getting the Newsletter your email program might be rejecting it as Spam from time to time. If that happens, go into my website and “re-subscribe” again. I don’t have the time to do it for you. It happens often so check your email security and see if you can set it to allow my Newsletter to come through without being bumped. I’m not doing it, it’s your computers.

Also, people are still asking how to buy these paintings. Go to my website and to the Paintings page, then to the April Painting Marathon page. Open the images there to larger than thumbnails and they will have a PayPal buy now button... IF they are for sale. If not, then they’ve sold. The paintings are not for sale on my blog. Thanks.



“Freshly Plowed” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
As in... the farmer and tractor were getting closer to me the longer that I painted! This is my favorite white house from a totally new station point. I might find myself in their yard one of these days.



“CJ’s Bar and Grill” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I’ve never been in here, really, but I’ve driven past it a million times. This is sunny Palmdale, MN. The only thing in Palmdale is CJ’s, other than many farms and homes in the surrounding area. I don’t know what the geographic boundaries of Palmdale are, but if it’s all the country that I daily travel through and paint, it is beautiful. I have not seen any palms however.



“On The Balsam” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This is one of my favorite places to be. I feel like I’m in a remote northern place away from all the noise and hustle of most other places no matter how small. This is a little get away. It was a mill between 1902 and 1944. The Kennedy Mill, as I’ve mentioned before during this project. Who ever was here early on either planted or didn’t cut down some extremely large, beautiful white pine trees with the branches that speak of ages of enduring. If I had my choice in trees to surround my life they would be... White Pine, Balsam Fir, Eastern hemlock and American Chestnut. A piece of land full of those four main species of trees and I’d feel like I was in heaven.



“Balsam End’ oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
The end of a beautiful day in a beautiful place.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 21, 2009

Today’s theme is.... WIND!!! Gusts today pushing 35mph and sustained winds around 20 or so made the theme for the day a no brainer. I think that they were higher than that. I had laid my plastic lure box with about 15 large oil paint tubes in it on the gravel and the wind blew it about 2 feet across it. That’s a wind.

First, this eagle nest is just outside of town. Today the male was patrolling the grounds around the nest and seemed to be out intercepting a wandering Sandhill Crane. I took a lot of photos of this, one of the many marvels of nature that I encounter every day.






“Flailing Flags, Dancing Leaves” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This is a playful painting. My attempt at painting my impression of what it was like to watch the US flag and the Minnesota state flag almost being whipped to shreds before my very eyes. They were whipping in ways that even a shutter speed of 2000 or more would have had a hard time stopping the action of.



“Shelter From The Wind” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Even the big old spruce were moving to the beat today! It’s obvious that farms are planned to be in a sheltered position from the prevailing winds. Or at least as time passes, the plantings are made to make that a reality. This one probably had a pretty calm center yard area with chickens busily enjoying the nice sunshine of the day. Meanwhile I was grappling with an easel that wanted to take off into the wild blue yonder!



“Wind Shear” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I wandered into the Interstate Park, Wisconsin side, after lunch to see if it was calmer in there. Was a little. I found this edge of grasses on the water’s edge and decided to focus in on it.



“Virga” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Virga is rain falling from clouds that never reaches the ground. I was in the middle of a potential torrential rainfall but because the wind and dry air near the earth’s surface caused any falling moisture to evaporate before hitting ‘me’, all I had to do was hold onto the side of my truck, easel and hat and paint like a mad man! No Problem!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

(It would have actually been enjoyable to have done this marathon this year, 2010. The weather is SO much nicer...)

April 20, 2009

I would love to tell you how beautiful it was today. If you like Wind, Cold and Sleet, it was gorgeous! My portfolio for the day reflects what there was to deal with. It’s good to be back, but will be worlds better when this current front gets the heck out’a here.


“Ditch” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
As you can see... WE HAVE GREEN! Yipee!!! Once the sun returns, tomorrow or Wednesday, the color is going to be a riot to paint. Today was powerful. But this morning was just plain ‘hypothermia’ inducing chilly. The cows watched me as I painted this one.



“Noon Rain” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
By now it was blowing and raining so hard that I just pulled the truck over onto an easement and painted from the front seat. The photo of this is not very sharp, my apologies for that. I like the subtle shaft of light in the distance and that’s why this one was painted.



“Deer Stand” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Up here these are as common a sight as jungle gyms in suburbia are. There is a permanent stand in any good looking funnel or edge where the trees meet the open fields. Pretty big ones too.


“It’s Over” oil 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I was ready for today to close. Truthfully, the weather was as brutal as it’s been all month. Not as cold, but just plain nasty today. I grabbed what little bit of color there was towards the end and made the most out of it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 2009 Painting Marathon Redux

April 16, 2009


“Emergence” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
The water lilies are just beginning to poke their leaves above the waters’ surface. Winter’s over!



“Calling Goose” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
Mid day paintings are so tough. Another flat light situation. Weather is moving in so there was a lot of high altitude moisture in the upper atmosphere producing an overall grayed down color palette.



“Peeper Pond” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I’ve been to this little pond three times now during this project and it has always greeted me with a new painting idea. Frogs are still very, very loud!


“Red Cedars” oil, 5x7 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
I painted this evening on one of the most gorgeous pieces of land around. There were so many paintings that it required more than one painter to keep up with it. But this is what I did this time.