Sandpiper Watching

"Sandpiper Watching"
6x8 oil on wood panel

I'm in the middle of packing for a vacation down south to Florida. I decided to take time out and see if I could do a seascape from Karin Juirick's photo in the DSFDF Challenge. This is a bit of a stretch for me since I rarely paint figures in my oil paintings or the seashore. Now I can’t wait to do some plain air painting down in the Florida Keys.

This the most fun I had in Karin’s challenge because I loved painting with a beautiful tube of Winsor & Newton Manganese Blue Hue oil paint which hadn't been opened in years. I also realized that the little girl who I made to look younger started looking more and more like my daughter Carrie when she was a child.

Now back to packing for a couple weeks of lying on the beach in the sun and a littler sandpiper watching after a long cold winter. Maybe I will even get a chance to paint some seascapes!

Tracy's Tipi

"Tracy's Tipi"
oil  on Canvas

Last week I went plein air painting again at Kettle Moraine State Forest. While walking along the fence I was surprised to see a huge tipi in a clearing on the other side of the fence. I decided right then to sit down with my pochade box and paint what I saw. I didn’t have a clear view since there were so many bushes and I also had to look through the fence but could see good enough to capture the scene.

When I was halfway through my painting a very friendly woman named Tracy who owns the property came over to see what I was doing. She invited me to see her tipi closeup and walk inside to see the fire ring. She also said I could come back and paint on her property. I am really looking forward to painting when her apple orchard starts blooming.

I finished this painting in my studio from a photo and probably spent way too much time on it. My next challenge is to look for a simple scene that I can finish on location. I hope to do that while on a camping trip in Florida during the first two weeks of April.

That Darn Cat!

"That Darn Cat"
oil on canvas

This is my contribution to Karin Jurick’s DSFDF Challenge. Sometimes I like to tell a story with my paintings. Karin strongly suggested that we follow our intuitions on this challenge so I allowed my illustration background to come though on this project.

This is what I imagine would happen if I put a dish of sushi with crabmeat and soy sauce on my kitchen counter. My "counter kitty" Dorie loves anything with fish and I recently found out she likes soy sauce too.

The hardest thing to paint was her tongue licking up soy sauce and getting the right color. I found an old tube of Rose Madder made just the right pink I was looking for. Now I think it would be fun to paint Dorie licking up milk.

Ottawa Dog Trail

"Ottawa Dog Trail"
oil on canvas

The weather was nice enough to do some Plein Air Painting yesterday. Being a novice at this I forgot to take off my sunglasses and didn’t notice it until I was almost done. I decided to keep painting that way and see what it will look like later. At least it was easier on the eyes this way. I was surprised the colors looked alright when I got back to my studio. I was also surprised I was able to paint a landscape in an hour with just a bit of touch up from my photo. What a difference to paint from real life rather than just a photo!
Oil on canvas 6x8

Ottawa Dog Trail is a huge dog training area for hunters in Kettle Moraine State Forest. Yesterday there were several horseback riders and hunters training their dogs. With the receding snow and warm temperature, it was a great day to be outdoors here in Wisconsin.

Main Street Wigs

"Main Street Wigs"
6x7.5 oil on canvas

This is my contribution to this weeks Different Strokes from Different Folks challenge. Karin Jurick submitted a photo for artist to paint their interpretation of an array of mannequins wearing wigs. I was really intimidated by so many mannequins at first and almost decided to skip this challenge. Then I was inspired by a little shop with a colorful awning on Main St. in Waukesha Wisconsin and decided to incorporate the mannequins in the shop window. As I got further along I was wishing I had planned a larger format so I could paint more details of the mannequins. This ended up being a really fun project to work on. Thanks again to Karin Jurick for all her hard work and dedication even during a frustrating eight days of being without the Internet.

I had a problem getting the colors in the photo of my painting close to the original painting but thanks to my daughter Carrie Griesmer she did a nice job of color correcting. It is very close to a perfect likeness of my painting. Check her blog, she has "how to" instructions on correcting photos in Adobe Photoshop.