Monday, December 13, 2010

New series - Southwestern Skies

Finally something done in the studio!  For the past week, I've been totally absorbed in listening to daily 3+ hr. webinar lectures  from landscape artist and instructor Johannes Vloothius, who has been graciously sharing his extensive knowledge for free to anyone interested.  The information has been invaluable, and is probably the equivalent of 3-4 artist workshops.  In addition to critiquing participant's work, he has also used the work of top landscape artists Clyde Aspevig, Jim Wilcox and Scott Christenson.  My head is exploding with all the information I've learned and it has almost totally changed the way I look at paintings.
He will be holding these daily webinars through Dec 22, along with live videos of painting demos on Sundays (I believe).  Here is a link to his artwork, and for anyone interested in attending the webinars through Dec 22, here is the link to his cyber art learning website.  Click on the yellow bus to register for and join the webinar (starts at 5 p.m. EST).  Follow the instructions for registering, and you're in.

In the meantime, I have been cogitating on what to begin as my next series.  I kept coming back to the photos I took during our Thanksgiving trip, so I decided that they will be the basis for the new series, which I've informally titled "Southwestern Skies".

The emphasis will be on the clouds and the patterns and abstracted shapes they form in conjunction with the desert landscape of southern NM and northern AZ.  No particular order - just what suits my fancy at the moment.  These all have one thing in common:  Drama.  Uncertainty.  Nothing cozy or predictable.

Clear Skies Ahead
 oil on canvas panel

There is definitely a challenge to working wet-in-wet with abrupt value changes, such as those of the highlighted cloud edges against the sky.  It's also a challenge to prevent mechanical, contrived edges and produce nice abstract shapes with melodic lines, as Johannes says.  Experimenting with a different palette here - Indian red, purple lake, cad. orange, yellow ochre and ultramarine blue, with titanium white.  I will probably re-work the clouds and reduce their value; it's a bit too close to the land, and see if I can get improved edges by drybrushing the edges.

And - some sunsets from a few days ago:

Dec 9 - pink cumulus gang
Dec 10 - to the northwest

Dec 10 - over Perins Peak


  1. I'm looking forward to your new series. I'll post your post this week, I hope.

  2. Hi Casey - thanks; I'm excited about it - a new set of challenges and hopefully more learned. I'll look forward to your post, as always.

  3. Great colors in the sky...
    this is the infamous pink cum.ulous...

  4. Jala - hahahaha! I tell ya....

    But, these winter sunsets we've been having here - amazing! No direct sun now; it's way south of Smelter Mtn. by the time it sets, so we get these indirect sunset colors.


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