Monday, February 23, 2009

Square Bales

Square Bales | 5"x10" | oil on hardboard

The scene is one I drive past nearly every day on my way to Orange City. I glance off toward the south and see these long red buildings stretched out about a half mile away from me.

This is a painting I started a long time ago and it wasn't turning out the way I wanted, so it sat idle for months. Then a couple weeks ago I decided to just rip into it and do some major changes. I took a flat brush that is about 1/4" wide and started dropping in squares in the sky, giving it an almost pixelated look. (click on the photo to see them better) Then I used the same brush to add squares of yellow and green to the foreground to add some texture and contrast there. But the addition of the bales in the mid-section of the painting is what finally worked for me.

For the record, I miss the old days when the traditional rectangular or square bales dotted the landscape of Iowa. Over the years huge round bales have become the bale you now commonly see. I have to admit I have developed a love for seeing these big round bales as they create patterns in fields.

Ironically, by painting these round bales as squares, I get the best of both worlds. Round bales made out of squares!

Square Bales | detail of bales in field


Monday, February 16, 2009

Anne's Barn

Anne's Barn | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

Anne Plageman is a talented artist friend of mine who lives on an acreage a few miles east of town. I'll occasionally drop in unannounced for a cup of coffee and some good conversation. A couple weeks ago I stopped and had a good visit with her and Mark.

A cup of coffee and a time to talk. Simple treasures. I based this on a shot I took as I left the yard that day. Her barn is abandoned and I suspect it is only a home for pigeons, swallows and perhaps a few rodents. I was drawn to the angular profile of the roof. Something about it that I like.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Buick Eight

Buick Eight | 5"x10" | oil on hardboard

This is something a bit different from anything else I've posted on the blog. It's a painting of the ornament that adorns the trunk of a 1953 Buick. They sure don't make 'em like this anymore. I'm not super happy with how the chrome turned out, but had fun painting it.

My Dad finished restoring the interior of this car last summer for one of his customers. Dad is an artist too, although he doesn't push paint around with a brush. He has been in the upholstery business for 50+ years and is a true master craftsman at his trade, and someone who can always find a creative solution to any project.

My Dad and the interior of the Buick

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Monday, February 2, 2009


Whiteout | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

You know the old joke as a kid, where you showed someone a blank piece of paper and said it was a picture of a white cow in a snowstorm? Well, this is something along those lines.

A couple weekends ago my son Jack and I decided to venture out to take some photos of the winter landscape outside of Maurice. Little did we realize that the wind was whipping up a pretty furious amount of drifting snow and near whiteout conditions.

This is Pete Hibma's place which is on a gravel road a mile west of town. I hope the painting gives the impression of a whiteout kind of day. I like the three poles and blurry buildings on the left side of the road as well as the fact that there is really no horizon line. Simple and almost abstract I suppose. Click on the picture for a closer look.

Do you see the white cow?