Sunday, November 21, 2010

Art of John D. Wooldridge Blog

As promised, I've put up a second blog to showcase my work that is not related to Arkansas.  Every so often, when I think a piece warrants it, I'll cross post some Arkansas work over at the new one.  So without further ado, please visit my other blog here and I hope everyone who is following this blog will go ahead and add that one as well. 

As of right now, I have about 5 or 6 pieces I think that I'm working on.  I put in a big 8 hour day of work today and made significant progress on a new painting of the Heights area in Little Rock.  I think I want to put most all of those to bed before getting started on anything new.  I think I suffer from creative ADHD sometimes:  I have way more ideas than I have time to execute paintings!  It's a good prediciment I think.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Grinder's Ferry, Buffalo National River, Searcy County

Lean to the Light
14X18, Oil on Canvas

I almost can't believe I hadn't posted this one already.  This is a place called Grinder's Ferry on the Buffalo National River.  If you can't tell, the Buffalo is one of my favorite places in the state.  Grinder's Ferry is just downstream from the Hwy 65 bridge.  I did a small arts and crafts show this summer in Marshall, AR and had this one on display.  A young boy who was maybe 12 came up, looked at it and announced that he knew exactly where this was and that he and his dad spent a great deal of time here.  He even made note of changes I had made to it!  Turns out, his family was descended from the Grinders for whom this place is named.

The logging industry used to be the king in Searcy County and Grinders Ferry was a place where logs were rolled into the river to transport downstream.  I believe most of the time they were pulled out at the town now called Gilbert to be loaded onto the train.

The photo references for this piece came from February of this year.  Early rains often swell the river and turn it a beautiful blue green color from suspended rock solids.  I leaned the tops of some of the trees to the left, where the light was coming from, and that's the source of the name of this one.

Tomorrow I'll try to start up a second blog to show all my work that is not related to Arkansas.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Old Methodist Church, Harrison, Boone

Old Methodist Church, Harrison AR
8X10 Oil on Board

This old church is on Stephenson Avenue in the Boone County seat of Harrison, only a few blocks from the town square.  When I was growing up, Harrison was the big city to me.  We went to town every Saturday to shop and buy groceries for the entire week. 

These days, this building is an apartment building and not one for folks making a ton of money.  The ivy growing on it that looks so nice in a painting is most assuredly raising the roof, resulting in extensive damage to the interior of the structure.  It's quite a shame.

This piece was one of the first of my experimentations with painting small, which I think has really advanced my work this past year greatly.  It has given me the opportunity to do many more compositions than I would have otherwise.

I lied a little bit in my last post it turns out.  I've started another landscape from Little Rock and have also been working some other Arkansas scenes.  This is in addition to more still lifes and a couple of beach scenes from Laguna beach!  November has been busy and productive.  No promises on when I'll roll out new Arkansas material.  I've been giving some thought as to starting a second blog for all of my non-Arkansas work.  This would include still lifes, landscapes from elsewhere, my code paintings or anything else that just doesn't fit here.  Anyone interested in seeing these? 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tyler Bend Field, Buffalo National River, Searcy County

Tyler Bend Sunset
8X10, Oil on Wood

I've been doing solely still lifes lately and no landscapes at all.  Even though I posted a couple of these, I think I'll forego posting more of them since they really don't fit the intent of this blog.  So, I'll use this down time to post older paintings that have not made it up here yet.  The above painting is in the Tyler Bend camping area on the Buffalo National River.  Tyler Bend is right off of the Highway 65 and is one of the more popular camping areas on the river.  I tried to do a larger painting of this but failed miserably at it. 

Once I get off my still life kick and mentally ready to tackle landscapes again, I plan on actually doing some paintings from our trip this summer to Laguna Beach.  Hopefully I can space out my postings of older stuff to fill the gap until I hit Arkansas landscapes back full tilt!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Some Jalapenos

As promised, here a couple of still lifes I've done recently.  They were definitely very fun and a great change of pace from the landscapes.  I'm beginning to feel rejunivated and my confidence is picking back up for another run at plein air painting this Saturday.  The top one is about 4X4 and the bottom is about 12X14.  The peppers in both paintings are the same!  The greenish pepper in the top painting ripened very quickly overnight and was a nice bright red when I went to paint the 2nd painting the following evening.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Buckstaff Baths, Hot Springs, Garland County

Buckstaff Baths
11X14, Oil on Canvas

If there's one place in Arkansas that is commonly known about outside the state, it would have to be Hot Springs.  There are lots of great locations in Spa City for paintings.  The Ozark Bathhouse is actually one of my favorites but the best composition I had in a photo was of Buckstaff.

This one's been on my easel for a while.  In the end I had to get some critiques from fellow artists over at to help me figure out how to put the finishing touches on it.

Last night I did a small still life.  A little over a year ago, I started doing some still lifes and I noticed a remarkable improvement in my landscapes shortly thereafter.  I was pretty pleased with the results of the one I did last night.  It sure was nice to feel like I had some idea of what I was doing again.  It was definitely a fun little piece and fun has been missing in my landscapes lately.  I'll show that still life tomorrow night.

I've decided I'll definitely do the plein air event in Little Rock this weekend but I dont plan on doing any complete compositions.  Instead, I'll concentrate on studies, possibly in grisaille only.