Thursday, July 30, 2009

For a wish...

'Firefly Dance' oil 11x14 © Marc R. Hanson '09
I painted this today for someone who hopes that her little girl gets to see fireflies someday soon. That's a gift from a mother
that I can admire. The painting is out of my own memory from the past, showing me anyway, just how valuable a gift of this kind is for a child. I based the landscape on a study I did a couple of years ago, but the rest, the nocturnal situation and the fireflies are from within.

Sorry about the glare but paintings this dark are really tough to photograph.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Painting today, painting last week and a paint box!

'Franconia Pontoons' oil 8x10 © Marc R. Hanson '09
This is a piece painted a few days before I left for Door County. Just a nice day on the river.

'Nick' oil 8x10 © Marc R. Hanson '09
I went painting with my friends today and painted one of them sitting in the grass looking for bugs. Beautiful day all the way around.

Every once in awhile I haul out a 20"to 30" wide canvas and do a large on site painting. These are usually painted over a couple days or so of return visits. Every time that I've done this I've had an incredible sense of accomplishment and feel like I've done something more than just another one or two hour study. Problem is that I haven't been consistent in the venture but plan to change that starting in the next day or two. In order to do this without fighting small easels and palette surfaces, I purchased a Beaumont folding easel. This is a cheaper version of the Take-It easel, two thirds cheaper, also known as the Gloucester or Anderson easel. The basic idea is that it has a huge foot print and is extremely stable. Many painters are using them now and have in the past, but it's new for me. If you are going to use one of these, you need a palette of some sort. So I decided to make an 18"x24" paint box that is HEAVY (solid oak and oak plywood) and made heavier because my supplies will also go in it. The palette surface is 1/4" plexiglass painted gray on the backside. My friend and painter Ken DeWaard turned me on to the cheaper version of the easel when I was in Telluride. This is all he uses now for small and large paintings. The first time I set it up I managed to have it standing and ready to be painted on faster than I can set up a tripod and EasyL or OpenBoxM. Hopefully you'll be seeing results before too long.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Door County Plein Air Festival

Back from Door County with many great memories of painting and new friends. I'm posting some of the work from the week and will photograph a few more tomorrow that need reshooting. Some of these pics were shot on the run and the paintings are gone so I am posting the best image that I can without having the paintings in hand.

I'll write more tomorrow when I post the new paintings. Please forgive any typos or grammatical fumbles... I'm tired and rushing to get this up. :)

'Evening Being Cast' oil 11x14 © Marc R. Hanson '09
Painted this on Sunday night the day we arrived. We found a location with great bales that we wanted to paint but didn't know if we should ask the property owner about stopping on the land. We did ask and the most generous man let us park in his driveway and gave us free reign of his entire property. It was good to get out and try to shake off a little rust.

'Longview Arrangement' oil 8x10 © Marc R. Hanson '09
The road along this group of farm buildings is called Longview Rd, to explain the title. First morning of Door County PA Fest. Just anxious to get to work painting and inspired by the depth of the reddish blue-gray sky color against the warm color of the wheat field.

'A Good View' oil 8x10 © Marc R. Hanson '09
On Monday night there was an artist reception at the Peninsula Players Theater, an incredible open air theater complex in Fish Creek. Many of us painted before the festivities began. I attempted this one but there was a lot of talking and visiting involved so the result wasn't quite what I had in mind.

'Wilson's' oil 11x14 © Marc R. Hanson '09
I didn't know when I set up to paint this ice cream parlor that it is world famous. It didn't take long before everyone who stopped by let me know that. This was in Ephraim, a gorgeous little town. Kami and I painted a few yards from each other in the middle of a lot of tourists. She painted 'The Chef's Hat' a great little restaurant that quickly became our lunch time eating establishment. They served very natural and delicious sandwiches and salads. Yummmm!

'Fish Boil' oil 12x16 © Marc R. Hanson '09
A pretty hard day this one. We were bushed by the end of it. Our last stop was at Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek. The light was really good but quickly became flat and overcast with a sprinkling of rain too. As I was painting this one everyonce in awhile a puff of smoke would lift out of the trees across the bay. This happened about five or six times before someone in the park was walking by and made a comment that that was the fish boil at a some restaurant that was creating the smoke. I thought that it was pretty cool as a note and had already painted it into the composition. Now I had a title for the painting too. The gulls in the air and the one on the rock must have been coming out of my bird painting past? They helped add a little interest to the scene.

'Crane's Calling' oil 11x14 © Marc R. Hanson '09
Wednesday morning started very moody, misty and Wonderful for painting. It didn't last long but while it was both of us produced what we would probably say were two of our best of the week. Sun is nice, but for my money there is nothing like a good heavy atmosphere to provide the fodder for the possibility to produce some very evocative work. As we were painting, a pair of cranes flew over not 40 yards above ground level. As they approached another pair about 60 yards away began to sound off, either telling the airborne pair to 'get the heck away', or 'please land'? I don't speak crane so I don't know but it was impressive as it broke the still quiet of the morning air. Seemed like as good a title as any for this one.

'Overgrown' oil 10x8 © Marc R. Hanson '09
Each painter was to pick a couple of 'demo days' during the week so that people who were following you could come by and watch you paint. It kept us from hiding in the forest to do that. Kami and I picked a Pottery studio to paint and we anxiously set up here at Clay Bay Pottery and started to work on some marvelous landscape. We also signed up for a lunch delivery for each of these two days. It was funny that the two of us were the only ones who showed though it was raining earlier. None the less, at least 5 other painters should have been there and that should have given us a clue. About 1pm we were really getting hungry so I called the school and inquired about our lunches? Our very nice and friendly 'artist container' person asked me where we were, I told her and she said that the reason we didn't have our lunches is because we were in the wrong place!!! We were supposed to be at the 'other' clay studio. Give artists choices and you're asking for trouble.

'She's A Beauty!' oil 10x8 © Marc R. Hanson '09
On Wednesday night the artists all participated in a sunset paint out in Ephraim. We started earlier than the actual sunset (which disappeared behind the clouds and didn't set at all) in order to get it in. I just painted this beautiful sloop that was moored along the Anderson Dock.

'Pump House' oil 11x14 © Marc R. Hanson '09
On Thursday morning we were scheduled along with about 7 other painters to do a demo painting at Edgewood Orchard Gallery in Fish Creek. During the four hours or so that we were scheduled to be there trolley's brought around people who signed up to come out and watch us paint. I met many very nice people, one of whom ended up purchasing this painting later in the week.

'Moonlight Bay' oil 11x14 © Marc R. Hanson '09
This was the last painting of the trip aside from the following painting from the quick paint day. We didn't spend much time on the 'quiet side', the Lake Michigan side, of the lake until this afternoon. Frankly, following the demo session earlier in the day I didn't have much juice left so following this one, a nice restaurant and a bottle of wine was the crowning event of the day and week's work. A good week, a good day and a good wine... not bad.

'Blue Shade' oil 9x12 © Marc R. Hanson '09
On Saturday morning we all participated in the 'Quick Paint in the Park' event. Two hours to paint followed by an auction. About a third of the auction was put on a rain delay and was continued that evening at the public opening of the show of the week's work back at the gallery at the Peninsula Art School. I painted the patio of this restaurant, liking the warmth of the umbrellas against the cool colored shaded side of the building. In the end, the gentleman in the painting with the silver hair and his wife ended up purchasing the painting at the auction! Very cool.

Monday, July 13, 2009

More Telluride Plein Air Fest Paintings

'Mountain Cabin' oil 8x10 © Marc R. Hanson '09
One of the first things that caught my eye was this little cabin. It reminded me of a little Swiss chateau.

'High On High' oil 8x10 © Marc R. Hanson '09
This is up on Lizard Head Pass a high elevation pass outside of Telluride. I met Jill Carver on this same road painting too that day. It was a four wheel drive road, no doubt.

'Jeep Trail' oil 11x14 © Marc R. Hanson '09
Tried to settle down on this one but was feeling the effects of too much heat and altitude. By the time this one was finished, so was I.

'Stars' oil 10x8 © Marc R. Hanson '09
The star is the sign for 'Stars' a garment store on the main drag through town. I found it an interesting juxtaposition of the Stars and Stripes, and the large star.

'Waste Management' oil 10x8 © Marc R. Hanson '09
This was my 'Quick Draw' painting.

'Prairie Dog Town' oil 8x10 © Marc R. Hanson '09
A situation where you set up to paint one light effect, it totally disappears so you paint whatever is there. I set up with the entire village lit up, that's the courthouse steeple in the distance, background in shadow. That changed to this situation with the sliver of light that shadowed the prairie dog village. There is an extremely healthy dog town in the valley so I painted them in in silhouette.

'Valley Shade' oil 10x8 © Marc R. Hanson '09
A 20-25 minute painting at the most. A few artists lined up along a road out of town to paint this scene one evening. The shadows moved so fast that it was hard to keep pace but the color just got better and better.

'Time To Go!' oil 10x8 © Marc R. Hanson '09
One of the nice things in the mountains is that you can stand many miles away from on high and watch as these storms approach without feeling like you should be in the basement. If I saw this in Minnesota, I'd be in the basement already! This was a nasty, large electrical storm that was beautiful to watch... from a distance. It did eventually hit me but I was already almost packed and in the truck.

'Road To Mountain Village' oil 6x8 © Marc R. Hanson '09
One day I did 5 paintings, some little studies like these. And the Quick Draw... and Time To Go!

'First View-Valley Floor' oil 6x8 © Marc R. Hanson '09

'Bear Creek Morning' oil 6x8 © Marc R. Hanson '09
First of the five of that day.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A couple of workshop dates fast approaching, and a new 2 day announced-

Taylors Falls, MN - 5 Day - August 10 - 14.

Brewster, NY - 5 Day- August 24 - 28. ( 2 days outside producing studies, 3 days working up larger paintings from those studies)

Zumbrota, MN - 2 Day - September 19 & 20.

Details on my website - or email me at -

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Telluride Plein Air Festival

(Another box canyon town up the mountain from Telluride)

'First View-Telluride, CO' oil 6x8 © Marc R. Hanson '09
That's where I've been for the last week. What a spectacular place that is! If you ever have the chance, GO...

We painted for about 3-1/2 days or so, then set up our displays and greeted the crowds on Friday and Saturday the 4th of July. I had a great time meeting so many other artists, local residents and visitors to what might be the most beautiful mountain setting that I've ever been to. The Telluride Plein Air Festival staff were a pleasure to deal with I must say. One of the really great things that most of these events do for the artists is arrange 'host families' to house us for the week, saving a lot of money but also allowing us the chance to meet and become friends with people who live in the area. My host family was more than I would have expected, kind, understanding of the strange schedules that artists keep when deep into painting and socializing, and completely available if needed. A funny side note... I was trying to find their house using GPS and the address. The 'lady' on the GPS took me to a road with a very large gate, security and all. I tried to get in, tried to call my host but couldn't reach them. I found out later that they had been called to a location for their work around the mountain and were out of cell phone range. Anyway we did eventually connect later that evening and I told my host Sheilagh that I had been at the gate but didn't know how to get in. She told me that they didn't have a gate and asked me what the gate looked like and where I was. I told her, she told me that the gate that I was trying my all to get into (called the security guy, the assistant?, etc..) was in fact Tom Cruise's gate! I couldn't see his house, he has a nice place. I don't know why the GPS thought that I should go up that way? They're very accurate. Could it be that the GPS Lady (the female who's voice is constantly giving me directions) had an ulterior motive???

The week finished with a great 4th of July parade, fireworks and a rain storm. I loved being in Telluride. Back when I thought skiing was ALL there was in the world, I would have been in heaven to have landed there. I think that I will go back when the white stuff is covering the green and see what that time of year is like. NO lift lines from what I've been told.

Here are a few from the week that I've edited for posting. I painted about 15 or so pieces and will post them as they get edited too.

'Vermont Volvo' oil 10x8 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
This is an alley painting, very popular in Telluride because they have a ton of old alleys to be painted. I sold this one at the Artist Choice Gala event in a silent auction.

'Flash Boom!' oil 10x8 © Marc R. Hanson 2009
The last day was the 4th of July. Most of us in the exhibit decided to paint that day. Ken DeWaard and I painted the parade, Walter porter painted me painting the parade. It was your a typical small town parade full of characters, children, dogs (lot's of dogs in Telluride), and red, white and blue. The painting was done in about an hour. I started it when there were only a few people in front of me. By the time I finished there were about 4000 people in front of me. This is as impressionistic as I probably paint but it was fun to do. A very nice lady saw it and decided that she should have it for her house.

'Down Valley' oil 6x8 © Marc R. Hanson '09
One of the nice things about being in a large mountain range is that you can watch weather happen at some distance away without it affecting you... meaning I could paint rainstorms while staying dry. This is one looking out the valley from Telluride.