More on my artistic side.

I would like to share some of my paintings and drawings.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Golden Oldie.....


I ran into this acrylic painting in one of my old art folders.  It had to have been done at least 35 years ago. It looks like I was spreading my wings into the style of impressionism. I know that it had to have been done in Minnesota.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Grand Portage, Minnesota


This is an oil pastel done on site along the shore of Lake Superior.  The area is a park near the Fort that was recreated to show the ways of the fur  trading business of a long time ago in northern Minnesota.  The area of land is where the Indians and trappers had to pick up their canoes and goods and carry them on land to get to the next set of waters that were inland. The building is one of the fort's buildings where the captain of the fort lived.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Small Reference Source.......




When I was starting out to paint in my early years I would find the oddest things to inspire me.  This was a small photograph in a National Geographic Magazine. I really liked the composition with the three boats moored while the tide was out.  The two guys in the photo and the seagulls helped to show the size of the fishing boats in the scene in comparison. The whole scene was a great photograph taken by a magazine contributor.

I did try to duplicate all of the colors with the water and shoreline of rocks and clay.   I bet I could paint better seagulls now than back when I did this painting. I liked seeing the poles that helped to stay the boats and all the rigging was fun to portray.  I did name the one boat after my wife.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Two Geese......




This was painted a long time ago when I was young.  I really am not a wildlife painter but I took a stab at it. I really did get into the real and not so real foliage.  I a not sure if I was doing real things but at the time I probably thought that I was.   The black and white shown below the colored painting has no purpose other than to show the value contrast in the painting.

The Minnesota shoreline of some lake is pretty much authentic looking as I have painted many times the shores of the lakes in the state. The sky also seems to be one that I have studied for many different kinds of paintings.  I think I have done more watercolor paintings as well as pastel paintings creating this same sky.

Artists sometimes says that they will return to a painting but it really is not a good idea..  Maybe a newer pose of some Canada geese on the water would be worth a try instead.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Southwest Theme........


A painting that I created many years ago was done in oil paint.  I had found the photo of this church in a New Mexico magazine.  The photo in the magazine was a small one and it didn't stop me from trying to capture the feeling of the building.  The stucco walls and the roof construction really fascinated me and the decorated carved doors accented this building.  The one modern window above the door seems to be contradictory to the style of everything but utilitarian practices usually win out when you need to replace a window.. Playing with the light on the building and adding stones and greens gave the painting better color balance. One could never know if the sun is rising or if it is setting.  The shadows are so great to add the dimensional qualities to bring it closer to realism. The photo quality is bad on the right side of the painting as there is not white areas in the sky of the real work.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Early Oil Painting


As I started to paint in oil I would find small pictures in travel magazines to copy.  This photo probably was a 2 inch by 3 inch photo.  I picked it because of its colors and also the French church that was in the photo.  Oil paint allows an artist to blend colors so uniquely having gradual value and color changes.  I see that I did this back in 1987 when I had started to paint many things during my summer break.

Monday, August 22, 2016

My Early Work.......C.Y Stephens

During a time of shifting and moving artwork around in our gallery recently we got into a few of my earlier works of art.  If they have been posted before that is ok as I have taken better photos of them and want to repost them to share.

While attending Iowa State University I took one of the painting courses offered.  The course was one that required much discipline to accomplish a number of paintings in a very short period of time.  I really was not an experienced artist and was in college to learn the skills of teaching and the art mediums.   During the painting class I produced many different kinds of painting as I really didn't have any established style of painting.  I was very inexperienced.

I had taken a photography class earlier and I took a picture of the C.Y. Stephens Auditorium.  Being that the photo was mine I could project the photo onto a canvas and I could then start painting.  C.Y. Stephens is a modern building with lots of concrete and windows.  The stairs is a one of many stairs design to take the public up to the main entrances of the auditorium.

The black and white version of the painting gives you a feeling of what I had for references as I mixed the paints to make the values of color for the painting.  My instructor did not give directions or opinions about the students work but this one she felt that I had perfected a great work of art.



I was 20 years old then and fresh out of a small town high school.  It amazes me to this day that I could figure it out as best that I did to get the colors working in the composition. It was trial and error being a major part of the job.  I am sure some of those squares have been painted many layers before I got the right colors to work. At the time this was a popular way of doing paintings fitting into the Pop Art world in some way. I remember specifically a person drawing out the side view of a threshing machine into shapes and painting it in a similar color scheme.

Forty some years later the painting is in good shape. The varnish that we were taught to apply with a brush has yellowed in places.  I am sure there is a process to remove it and replace it with a thin spray of varnish. The modern paining hangs at the top of the stairs in our house and it has always fit into our everyday life.