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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Painting Parenting, or Making Time to Paint

Being a dedicated father is taking time on Saturday morning to go with my sons on a longish bike ride and then treating them to cookies and juice at their favorite coffee shop, where they love to play with their toy cars at the low coffee table...

Being a dedicated artist is finding time in my busy schedule to paint, even if it means bringing my paints and easel with me on the bike ride to the coffee shop so I can add a few more touches to my painting in progress in the 15 minutes the kids take to play...

Painting parenting is not rare: Carol Marine painted while her child napped; Ali Cavanaugh painted while her baby played in the playpen. I have sketched my children while they played in the sandbox, or rode their bikes around me or tried the monkey bars. I started sketching construction machinery after I discovered the boys would be quiet for a long time observing the constructions site on weekend mornings. At times the boys will pull out their own sketchbooks and doodle alongside me.

Sometimes there is enough time to do some work; sometimes I barely get started before the kids need to move on, need to use the restroom, get hurt, or somehow need assistance. Persistence pays off though; those little sketches done at these opportunities keep my visual mind and my hands nimble for more serious work.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sandstone Ranch in Acrylics

Sandstone Morning, acrylic on board, 8x10, plein air

This is only my third attempt at painting in acrylic, and the first acrylic done en plein air (done on location at Sandstone Ranch park in Longmont on Friday). It was quite a departure from working in watercolors, but the same challenge of rushing against the hot, dry weather.

I used Golden Open acrylics in five colors: Titanium white, phthalo blue, transparent red iron oxide, yellow and naphthol red light. I covered the board with a thin warm orange layer, drew the main large shapes with red oxide, blocked the darker shapes of color before applying the middle and light tones. I must say I really like the Rosemary & Co brushes from the Ivory line that I am using.

I wish I had done a thumbnail value and composition study but I was concerned about the time and wanted to start right away... it would have helped me improve the design, by avoiding lining up the foreground rocks with the cliff, and making the grass line at the bottom less repetitive with the one farther back. Well, working my way through a new medium is hard enough, I think this ended up pretty nicely all things considered.

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