Monday, June 29, 2009

Field North of Maurice

Field North of Maurice| 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

Here is a painting of a freshly cut field just North of town. The sky gives the impression that rain is looming and the combination of the two is a bad thing. It reminds me ever so slightly of one of my favorite Van Gogh paintings.

Wheat Field with Crows | Vincent Van Gogh

Wheat Field with Crows is one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings and probably the one most subject to speculation. It was executed in July 1890, in the last weeks of Van Gogh’s life. Many have claimed it was his last work, seeing the dramatic, cloudy sky filled with crows and the cut-off path as obvious clues to his impending fate.

I saw this piece at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam over 25 years ago and still remember being struck by the dark beauty of it.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Monarch Moment

Monarch Moment| 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

As kids we would spend lots of time chasing butterflies around trying to catch them; often without much success. And when we did finally catch one, we really didn't really know what to do with it other than stick it in an old mayonnaise jar with the token small twig and some grass in order to create a kids version of a natural habitat. Oh, and of course punch some holes in the lid with a nail.

I captured this one quite some time ago with my camera instead of a net. No mayonnaise jar required.

Available for $125

Monday, June 8, 2009

Trosky Elevator

Trosky Elevator| 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

Back to the midwestern skyline. This was based on a photo shot from the car as we drove past Trosky, Minnesota last year. I know nothing about Trosky, but imagine it to be like Maurice in most ways. A small railroad town with the elevator dominating the skyline.

I have some other elevator paintings that will be coming up. I've heard them referred to as the cathedrals of the prairie, and I find that fitting. These old wooden elevators are a dying breed, but there are still many to be enjoyed and I believe most of the remaining ones are still being used for their original purpose. They store a small portion of the harvest, often positioned beside their much larger concrete elevator counterparts.

Available for $100

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Palette

It has been a different week. Mostly because my Dad had heart bypass surgery this past Thursday, which many of you are aware. He is making some slow progress in his recovery but your prayers for him would be appreciated.

No painting this week. I thought I'd share something different. These are a couple photos of a recent palette of paint. For many years I have used 5 quart ice cream pail lids as palettes. I even have certain friends and family who save them for me and drop them off occasionally. They are a good size, fairly neutral in tone, easy to mix on and donated to me free of charge (a good thing for a Dutchman).

There is also something interesting about each one after they are filled with color. I have stacks of these painted lids in my painting closet. Someday I'm going to do something with them. Maybe staple them all side by side to a gallery wall or cover an old car in paint palette lids. It'll probably never happen, but the stacks are there if I become inspired.

Some artists have a set system of how they arrange the colors on their palette. As for me, not so much. I do have those colors that I lean on a lot. Colors I couldn't imagine living without. Prussian blue, raw umber, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, cadmiums red and yellow, and cerulean blue to name a few of my favorites. It's rare for me to add new colors to the family of colors I use. I'm not sure why. It's probably like having a favorite sweatshirt that you love to wear. It feels like a part of you and the more years you wear it, the more attached to it you become. So a new one takes a while to break in and become comfortable with.