Thursday, August 30, 2012

Late August Wheat Harvest

I went out to paint a different georgic scene, some hay rolls I spotted the night before, but they had already been picked up before I arrived.  A short distance farther along the road, they were harvesting wheat and the bright red trucks and harvester surrounded by the glowing chaff cloud, the golden field, and the blue mountains, were too tempting to pass up. I usually avoid painting Chief Joseph Mountain because it is such a difficult shape to compose around, and because of its imposing size, and the fact that it seems to have a personality of its own, but today I couldn't resist.  Looking at it from the western end, it doesn't look like such a big lump rising straight out of the flat valley floor.  The truck drivers were very patient and friendly as they drove by.  Study 10x6", Oil on Linen. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Evening Pond

The smoke was pretty thick yesterday evening when I painted this study, however the winds last evening blew a lot of it away so it is clearer today.  The sun near sunset yesterday was brilliant red from the dense smoke.  It was pretty, but it is nice to not be breathing so much of it today.  We have had at least one night of freezing temperatures and the maple trees have started to bronze already; autumn feels early this year, it isn't even September yet.  Study, 10x7", Oil on Linen.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Trees and Grass

As I was painting this little study, a tiny curious fawn, still with spots, wandered up to me a couple of times to see what I was doing.  I could hear a larger deer, perhaps the protective doe, just out of view, stomping and snorting.  Yesterday evening when I painted this study, it was clear despite the persistent nearby wildfires; today is quite smoky.  During the last few days there has been a constant drone of single and large double-rotor helicopters hauling buckets, flying to the fire from the heli-base in Joseph.  Study 8x10", Oil on Linen.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Afternoon Pond

The short hike into this location was through grass and thistle taller than my head, I was picking burrs out of my hair when I got home.  I haven't tackled the boot laces yet, they seem permanently welded together.  Study 10x8", Oil on Linen.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sheep Pasture

I rushed the composition of this study in an effort to have time to capture the quickly changing light.  I'm hoping that my photo reference will be adequate to help recompose it later if I decide to make a painting of the scene.  I was standing on the side of the road in some very tall grass; tall enough that the seed tops of the grass tried to repaint my painting for me in the wind.  I don't think they liked the composition either.  There is also a stream in this scene that I didn't work into it that may be the missing balancing element.  The wind last night blew away much of this smoky atmosphere, so it is somewhat clearer today if I decide to paint this evening.  Study 10x7", Oil on Linen.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Afternoon Clouds

The last couple of days I waited too late in the day to go out painting and the weather became overcast and flat.  So today when I noticed the clouds starting to form, I stopped my chores mid-stream and painted from my yard.  This is the view toward the south, looking across the valley at the Hurricane Creek drainage.  Study 8x10", Oil on Linen.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Evening Crickets

Painting this study was one of the most pleasant painting outings I've ever experienced: perfect weather, beautiful light, a nice scene, and a friendly property owner who came over to take a look.  I painted this scene once before on an early morning in the late spring, but I like this summer evening version much better.  One thing that I miss from the first version though is the paint horses which provided scale and secondary focal points.  Study, 10x8", Oil on Linen.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Christmas in August

I painted this scene once early on a gorgeous snowy Christmas morning, and it will forever remind me of Christmas even when painted on an August evening.  Study, 10x8", Oil on Linen.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wallowa River

A section of the upstream Wallowa River, near our house, actually a short walk away; but I was lazy and rode the ATV down the hill.  This is another scene that I have wanted to paint in the snowy winter.  Study 10x8", Oil on Linen.  If I were to repaint this scene, I would probably re-compose it to be something more like the image below:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Prairie Creek

I have been tempted to paint this scene in the winter, maybe now that I have done a summer study, I'll return to paint it in the snow.  10x6", Oil on Linen.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Neighbors

The neighbor's farm below our house, so pretty this morning in the morning smoky light.  The backlit  Scotch thistle was lovely to paint, but the shoelaces to my hiking boots now function more like Velcro. 10x8", Oil on Linen.  

Smoky Dawn

The smoky light was very painterly this morning.  10x6", Oil on Linen.  

Afternoon Haze

I wasn't able to go on my annual eastern Sierra trip this year, but I'm getting out to paint anyway.  This small study was from a couple of days ago.  We have been having quite a bit of smoky atmosphere due to wildfires, which flattens the light, but depending on the time of day can also create some beautiful color.  10x8", Oil on Linen.