Friday, August 27, 2010

Bare Bones, Village at Hendrix Show

Ozark Stonehenge #2
Oil on Canvas, 12X16

Well, it's way past due for another post here.  The above painting is one of 2 pieces selected for the Diamond National Show at the Hot Springs Fine Arts Center.  This is roughly based on an actual location in Newton County between Vendor and Highway 7.  I've painted it before and I expect I'll paint it again.  I'm fascinated by the rocks poking their heads out of the earth poised precariously at the edge of the hill.  In other areas near here, many similar rocks have been uncovered by the processes of rain and have tumbled into piles.  That would also make a few fine paintings!  The Art Center called today and asked if my 2 pieces could stay for another month.  They've gotten a lot of interest so I'll probably be going down there next Friday for the Hot Springs Art Walk and hopefully meet a few people who like my work.

Last night I was in Conway at the Village at Hendrix for a show with the Conway League of Artists.  Hendrix is a prestigious private liberal arts college.  Hendrix was one of my first choices of colleges way back when.  I got accepted and was planning to major in Physics but their scholarship offer was eclipsed by the good old University or Arkansas.  It's hard to beat a full ride for 4 years and Engineering was a much more in demand degree.  Interesting to note, Hendrix also has the ONLY fully sanctioned lacrosse program in the state.  Lacrosse is one of my favorite sports along with hockey.

But I digress.  Hendrix Village is a mixed use development that is being developed by the college (more info on that here).  One of the first residential units is being finished out and the developers wanted to show it off.  They invited the Conway League of Artists to bring some work out with a focus on contemporary pieces so that local interior designers could see the space and maybe get a look at some of the artistic talent as well.  A team of designers will be decorating the home for a month long show beginning at the end of September.  One of my pieces caught the eye of one of the designers and she asked if I would be willing to do more work like that for her space!  I, of course, said yes.  It's a fantastic opportunity and I hope it pans out.  My fingers are crossed!

Below are some pictures from the event.

Yes, that is mine.  I do more than landscapes!

Outside of the building

Beautiful home inside!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Deer, Newton County

Deer, Arkansas
8X10, Oil on Board

Deer is a town way up in the in the Ozark highlands in Newton County. At over 2200 feet above sea level, it may be the town at the highest altitude in the state. Despite having been in much of Newton County, I had never been to Deer before last fall when I made a point to pass through when attending an event called ColorFest at the Arkansas Game and Fish Elk Education Center in Ponca. The sky was full of leaden clouds and a mist hung over the hills, not at all unusual for a fall day in the Ozarks. I took a few pictures and whipped this out a week or two later. I'm looking forward to getting back up that way this fall for ColorFest again.

I'm going to start posting the prices of my pieces just in case someone sees something of interest. At this time, I will not be accepting Paypal because I'm a bit of a Luddite in some regards and the world is unfortunately full of nastiness. I will gladly accept check, money order and of course cash. Prices are shipped anywhere in the continental US.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Still Pumping, Highway 371 North of Magnolia, Columbia County

Still Pumping
8X10, Oil on Wood

Oil was discovered in Arkansas in sizable quantities in January of 1921. The first discoveries were in Ouachita County just to the east of Columbia County. Oil fields in Arkansas are almost entirely in the southern part of the state which were largely swampy millions of years ago when the Gulf of Mexico extended much further to the north than it does today. The region boomed during the 1920's as over 3000 wells pumped at full capacity and exhausted much of the supply before the end of the decade. Some oil is still being produced though as evidenced by this modern pumping station still in use. This location is on Highway 371 and is a few miles north of Magnolia.

It was not intentional but my color scheme turns out to be a nice homage to a beautiful mural in Magnolia telling some of the story of the oil boom as it related specifically to Magnolia and Columbia County. Magnolia has some fantastic murals!

Speaking of which, that painting is still in works. I'm terribly anxious to finish it but I just can't rush it. I think it would do terrible injustice to a city I found to be a gem. So, you'll have to keep waiting as I try to make it perfect...a tall order made tougher by the fact I don't like I'm doing particularly fine work at the moment. I can't put my finger on precisely what I think the problem is but they just aren't living up to my expectations.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Bluff at Pruitt, Buffalo National River, Newton County

The Bluff at Pruitt
24X30, Oil on Canvas

The Arkansas heat machine has cranked up to full strength. Little Rock set a record for this date today with a temperature of 107°F (almost 42°C)! Yesterday the heat index was 120°F(49°C). No relief in sight right now. Needless to say, I don't think I'll be doing much plein air painting in the coming weeks. I did go out on a hike at Petit Jean State Park the weekend before last with my oldest son and did some painting along the way. It's in the studio for touchups right now.

The above painting was begun in February or March. I finally decided it was done late in June. It was tough one. I spent a lot of time staring at it waiting for it to tell me how to proceed. There were times in it's upbringing when I thought I'd never get it to resolve. But finally, it told me what it wanted and I complied. I remember it still being pretty chilly and dreary when I started it and I was anxious for some sun shine. Now I'm anxious for the chill of fall and some Razorback football.

Pruitt is right off of Highway 7 between Jasper and Harrison in Newton County. I've spent a good deal of time here. This is the little swimming access upstream of the Highway 7 bridge. Those who are very familiar with this area may realize I've taken some liberties here with this scene. The gravel bar is in considerable shade in reality but I wanted to get some sunshine in to work on trying to depict some hot sky with a flood of sunshine. Getting ready for summer and all that...

The Magnolia painting for Columbia County hit a snag last week. It's pretty decent size for me at 18X24 so it's no surprise it's taking a bit of time to bring to resolution. The bones of the painting were sound and most of my initial planning was good as well. Some of my execution was lacking. I've gone back and laid in a whole new sky and increased the overall warmth of the piece. I also turned the clock back from a midday time frame when the actual reference photo was taken to a late morning exposure to bring more interesting shadows into play. I think it's finally rounding a corner and may be ready fairly soon.

In the meantime, I plan on a drive eastward into the delta early one morning this coming weekend before the sun blisters the landscape. After that one, I think I'll work off a substantial backlog of reference photos until the weather begins to cool some.

Till then, stay cool folks...