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Here you will find adventures in painting. . . . Victories, absolute defeats, frustrations, highs, lows, lessons learned, commentary and thoughts from me and other artists.

As an art instructor, I don't wish to hide the fact that I crash and burn often. I will always be learning. So, it all gets shown here . . .good and bad. Every painting we do counts in the learning and experience process. The failures actually are much better teachers than successes. Every piece made is a teacher. That's the fun of it: the challenge to learn.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hee'zzz Baaaaaack !!!!




"Perigord Pasture"
oil on canvas panel, 12" x 16"


Take a deep breath, Mike, and exhale! Again. Now, once more.


Whew! It has been toooo long! So, after posting my new year greetings this morning, I fired up the new computer (with the big jazzy monitor) and pulled out a 12 x 16 canvas panel and painted this piece! I can hardly stand still, I am so excited!! If you are painting in a studio from photos, then this is a tool you cannot be without! There is so much one can do to the photo to stimulate a great painting . . . .well . . . .at least it'll get you excited and raise your hopes!! ;-)


Today, I began this with a size 12 flat brush and didn't put it down until I was ready to begin highlighting with higher key values. Keeping the paint thin while I blocked it in, I kept my darks transparent and thin so I could layer those juicy highlights over them. Having never painted a cow or four legged creature in my life, this was a challenge I had been avoiding. So, true to the stuff I teach, I decided that it was NOT a cow. It was just a combination of shapes of color. Having talked myself into that, the number 12 brush skipped along with no problem.


I tried a few 'cute tricks' too. Palette knife work with some broken color in the tree, branches, and a few little lines at the base of the painting. Also, having painted a warm, medium value orangish color where the lit grass is, I scumbled over it laying a big dry brush on its back. All sorts of wonderful stuff happened with just a light touch and effortless pass just grazing (that is an intended pun) over the canvas.


What a way to welcome myself back!!! I am dancing a jig!!

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike, welcome back and happy end of 2007.


I love the new painting -- takes me back to the top of the hill in Dordogne! You complained in an earlier post that your paintings were too dark. You sure managed the light in this one. I love the results. Sounds like you received a wonderful Christmas present

Mary Paquet

Myrna Wacknov said...

Great Painting, Mike! Inspired greens. I got excited about painting, myself, today. Had to get back to the texture! Found a way to put watercolor over heavy texture and voila! You continue to inspire me to reach higher and stretch farther. Thank you.

Mike said...

Hi Mary! That is exactly where these rascals were! That morning light was really something that day, wasn't it!

Mike said...

Hi Mary! That is exactly where these rascals were! That morning light was really something that day, wasn't it!

Mike said...

I sure don't know how I am inspiring you, Mryn, but it sure is nice to hear! Thanks!

Don Gray said...

What a lively, lovely painting, Mike. And your "it's not a cow" cows came out looking pretty darn bovine to me!

Barbie Bud said...

This is wonderful Mike. Such a great sense of bright light and the cows are perfect. Barb

Mike said...

Hey Don! Thanks alot! Happy New Year!

Mike said...

Barbie! Thanks for coming by and saying such nice things!! ;-)

Nava said...

Woo Hoo - what a comeback!!!

It's like all those non-painting days have simmered inside you and erupted with a flare.

Cool, very cool! Luscious color, great shapes, vigorous brush strokes - these cows (uhm, shapes) are very, very happy!

Have a wonderful 2008, full of color as well as size, line, shape, direction - - - (well, y'know!).

Nancy said...

Wow! What a great painting! I wish I lived near you, so I could take lessons from you! I'm going to practice on getting those wonderful greens that just jump off the canvas! Any tips?
BTW-glad you're back -- I've been looking every day for a new painting.

Dean H. said...

Glad to see ya back, Mike! Wow, look at all the comments...you were missed. I have painted from the monitor screen for around three years now...absolutely love the advantages! Love the great high key greens plus the super grass munching "shapes" in this painting.

Dean

Mike said...

Hi Nava! Happy New Year! Yes, you could say that there was some pent up desire to paint when I came to this one!

I sure hope we will get to see each other soon!

Mike said...

Thanks, Nancy. The only 'magic' to this process is to paint paint paint and paint some more. Painting a lot diminishes the doubt and establishes confidence. Keep at it!

Mike said...

Dean! Thanks for coming by! I have seen your bovine efforts too. All during the holidays I was checking the blogs and wishing I could be swatting away with a brush. Now, I gotta compete with working! Is there no justice? :-)