Friday, January 13, 2017

Embracing the Snowy Marsh

A few weeks ago I headed out to paint a quick study on location, and also gather some photos for studio work. The spot was Sawyer Park along the Deschutes River here in Bend, OR where I live. There was snow on the ground, some good late afternoon light (if I got there early enough), and this location had some great views of the river and interesting rock formations, which I knew would be nicely snow covered.


Because of a sore back that day, I didn’t want to carry my gear too far, so I painted a view near the parking lot that I normally passed right by on previous visits. The sun was already going down too fast by the time I was packing up, so I didn’t have time to get to the better views of the river and rocks for photos. But I noticed a marshy area also near the parking lot that caught my eye. 

Although the light was almost gone, the water was still capturing a glorious golden glow that contrasted vividly up against the snow that was now almost all in shadow. This created a beautiful contrast of warms against cools … in a slightly different way than when snow and water are lit more directly from the sun. I took lots of photos and knew I’d want to tackle at least a quick study back in my studio while the color temperature contrasts were still fresh in my memory.


6x8 pastel study

reference photo

Soon after I created the study, I dove right into a larger pastel piece. Although I liked the bold colors I used in the study, I thought they would be too intense in a larger format, and I also wanted to convey more of the fading light of that time of day, so I toned down the chroma of the vegetation in the larger piece.

Below are some progression shots and the finished painting based on the 6x8 study.


underpainting (alcohol wash over Nupastel block-in)

About 2/3 completed.

Faded Glory, pastel, 14x18

Then I had a request from one of my galleries for a pastel snow scene. I enjoyed working with the snowy marsh subject, and knew I had other reference photos with various compositions of the same area (and my pastels weren’t put away yet from the last painting!), so I moved right along with “Evening’s Sparkling Entrance” (shown below, with the reference photo, a preliminary stage and the finished piece).

reference photo

About 1/3 completed.

Evening's Sparkling Entrance, pastel, 11x14

So after completing a few pastel paintings of the snowy marsh, I did what I normally do when the subject matter intrigues me … I tried it in a different medium!

Below are a few progression shots for “Twilight’s Radiant Descent” (oil), which was from a similar view of the same spot as I used for "Faded Glory" but a different vantage point. (There's a moire pattern that unfortunately shows up in the photos of the preliminary stages.)


block-in

Early stage.

I thought it was almost completed here.


But as the painting was nearing completion, I wasn’t happy with the composition on this one. When I initially planned out my composition, I did have a concern that the grass in the water was too centered. Most of the value contrast would be below center, which I thought would offset it (but later decided that it didn't), and I initially liked the large shapes in the foreground contrasted with the smaller shapes in the background (but later decided the foreground shapes were too equal). I was working on a panel that could be trimmed, so I had the option to crop it to a better composition. I first cropped it on my phone's camera, and then decided to go for it. My 14x18 became a 12x16.


Twilight's Radiant Descent, oil, 12x16


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop - ONE SPOT LEFT
January 21, 22 & 23, 2017 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
SageBrushers Art Society
117 SW Roosevelt Ave., Bend, OR  97702
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com
$375

Fresno, CA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL  workshop
February 9, 10 & 11, 2017 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
A Sense of Place Art Gallery
2003 North Van Ness Blvd.
Fresno, CA  93704
Contact: Ginny Burdick, gallery@ginnyburdick.com, 559-392-6775
$375

Redondo Beach, CA - 3-day PASTEL workshop -- FULL W/WAIT LIST
April 20, 21& 22, 2017 
Pastel Society of Southern California
Contact: Arturo Fribourg, Fribourgarch@aol.com
$350 (tentative price, may change slightly)

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
May 19, 20& 21, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
"Meet & Greet" Thursday evening (5/18)
Carrie Moore Studios, Oregon City, OR
Contact: Carrie Moore, carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com, 503-866-5507
$400

Cumberland, MD - 1-day Plein Air workshop (all media/demo will be in oil)
June 25, 2017 (Sun)
Part of the Mountain Maryland Plein Air event happening June 19-24.
Contact: Chris Sloan, csloan@alleganyarts.org, 301-777-2787
$150


For FULL WORKSHOP SCHEDULE, go to www.barbarajaenicke.com

My INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS are available at www.paintingthepoeticlandscape.com.

ONLINE CRITIQUES - Visit www.proartcritique.com where I and other painting instructors give quick, affordable online critiques of your work.










Sunday, January 1, 2017

Ready or Not, 2017 is Here!



I hope this holiday season has been a fun-filled one for you, and I wish you all the best for 2017!

With snow on the ground here in Bend, I hope to have plenty of snow scenes on the easel over the next few months, and I look forward to sharing them with you!

I'm getting revved up for an active year ahead! In addition to my workshops, I'm excited to be part of the faculty of this year's Plein Air Convention in San Diego and the IAPS (pastel) Convention in Albuquerque. I'm also thrilled to announce that I'll be among the featured artists in this year's Door County Plein Air Festival in Wisconsin this July!

One other piece of news to let you in on ... I'm in the initial planning stages of developing an ongoing online instructional program. This is what I can tell you so far: It would be through my Painting the Poetic Landscape website, which houses my instructional video series that was launched this past fall. My plan is to provide short lessons online through this same website, as an extension to the lessons taught in the video series. Students will be able to complete their own painting based on each exercise and submit it for critique. Stay tuned ... more info to come!

In the meantime, I hope to continue sharing some painting tidbits, teachings and thoughts here on my blog. If you'd like to study with me "live and in person," please take a look at my workshop schedule below and see if I might be coming to a studio near you this year!

2017 Workshops:

Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
January 21, 22 & 23, 2017 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
SageBrushers Art Society
117 SW Roosevelt Ave., Bend, OR  97702
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com
$375

Fresno, CA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL  workshop
February 9, 10 & 11, 2017 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
A Sense of Place Art Gallery
2003 North Van Ness Blvd.
Fresno, CA  93704
Contact: Ginny Burdick, gallery@ginnyburdick.com, 559-392-6775
$375

Redondo Beach, CA - 3-day PASTEL workshop
April 20, 21 & 22, 2017 
Pastel Society of Southern California
Contact: Arturo Fribourg, Fribourgarch@aol.com
$350 (tentative price, may change slightly)

San Diego, CA - Plein Air Convention
April 24 - 28, 2017
Faculty/Pastel demonstrator
Exact day/time of demo TDB. Must be registered for convention to attend.

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
May 19, 20 & 21, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
"Meet & Greet" Thursday evening (5/18)
Carrie Moore Studios, Oregon City, OR
Contact: Carrie Moore, carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com, 503-866-5507
$400

Albuquerque, NM - 1-day PASTEL workshop, plus two separate demos
IAPS Convention week, June 7-11, 2017 
(Must be registered for convention to participate in workshop or demos.)
3-hour demo, June 8: Rich, Vibrant Snow Scenes
2-hour demo, June 9: Making Your Mark
1-day workshop, June 11: The Landscape Composition Puzzle

Cumberland, MD - 1-day Plein Air workshop (all media/demo will be in oil)
June 25, 2017 (Sun)
Part of the Mountain Maryland Plein Air event happening June 19-24.
Contact: Chris Sloan, csloan@alleganyarts.org, 301-777-2787
$150

Bainbridge Island, WA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop (studio & plein air)
July 19, 20 & 21, 2017 (Wed/Thurs/Fri)
Winslow Art Center
278 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Contact: Martha Jordan, martha@winslowartcenter.com, 206-715-6663
(Price TBD)

Richmond, IN - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Aug. 17, 18 & 19, 2017 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
Richmond Art Museum
350 Hub Etchison Parkway, Richmond, Indiana, 47374
Contact: Lance Crow, lance@richmondartmuseum.org, 765-966-0256
$395/member; $450/non-member

Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Sept. 23, 24 & 25, 2017 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
SageBrushers Art Society
117 SW Roosevelt Ave., Bend, OR  97702
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com
$375

Landgrove, VT - 4-day PASTEL/OIL workshop (studio with some plein air, weather permitting)
Oct. 16, 17, 18 & 19, 2017 (MonTues/Wed/Thurs)
InView Center for the Arts at the Landgrove Inn
132 Landgrove Road
Landgrove, VT  05148
802-824-6673
$480

Bridgewater, NJ - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
Nov. 3, 4 & 5, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun)
York Art Studio
350 Grove St. #4, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
yorkartstudio@gmail.com
908-392-0998
$400
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

New Workshop Added for Early 2017

Los Carneros Park, pastel, 8x10

Just a quick announcement to let you know I've just added a workshop to my 2017 schedule happening pretty soon! Here are the details:

February 9 - 11, 2017
A Sense of Place Art Gallery
Fresno, California
$375
Studio landscape workshop for pastel and oil.
Contact Ginny Burdick, gallery@ginnyburdick.com, 559-392-6775

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Searching for the Gems in Your Landscape

I’ve lived in my new neighborhood in my new town for almost a year and a half now. As I expected, it took me awhile to get acclimated to my new subject matter. I now live in a high desert region, so the vegetation is very different from where I lived for 23 years in Georgia and also before that in New Jersey. Settling into the new color palette has been one hurdle, but this new landscape also has me approaching composition a bit differently at times, since I have more distant views to work with now. Not that I always have to capture the whole vast view—sometimes I still like to zoom in to a more intimate view.


The paintings I’ve shown here in this post are all from the same general area across the street from my neighborhood. The first three are all within several yards of each other, along a canal (although the canal is only visible in one of them), at different times throughout the past year, with the top one being from just this past week.


Distant Light, pastel, 8x10

Winter Color, pastel, 11x14

High Desert Afternoon, oil, 8x10

I’ve completed many more paintings from this same general area, on location and from photos. Some worked. Many more didn’t. But it’s all part of the process of searching and understanding the landscape.

Last week after our first significant snowfall, I spent about an hour walking around this area, visually absorbing the light and color palette, and trying to visualize potential compositions for snow scenes.  The photo below shows the typical busy view of snow covered vegetation all around this area.  In this particular photo, there’s not a real strong composition to work with. 


The typical "snowy" landscape vegetation my area. 

As the artist, you have to search for the composition. If you’re working from reference photos, take LOTS of photos…from different angles and different directions. Look for a variety of shapes and possibly interesting diagonals rather than the first, more obvious, composition you see. Consider what’s special about this view of the landscape and how to best feature it in a composition.


Wintry Climb, oil, 14x11

Toward the end of my walk, I came upon this spot ("Wintry Climb" above).  I was immediately attracted to the strong light on the snow-covered rocks. After playing a bit with the composition, I decided that an upward view and high placement of the horizon would add some drama and nicely showcase the light.

Some days I wander my neighborhood and can’t find a thing to paint. And then other times the painting potential seems endless. Of course the light direction and light quality on a particular day has a lot to do with it. But otherwise, I think it’s just how well our vision is tuned into the landscape and how thoroughly we search for paintings within a given landscape. As with any skill, it takes plenty of practice. And some days you have it; some days you don’t. I personally LIVE for those days when I find a hidden gem in the landscape.


INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS
Visit www.paintingthepoeticlandscape.com for my instructional video series. Available for pastel or oil, as a DVD or online, and comes with an instructional booklet that's also available either as a hard copy or digital download.



UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
January 21, 22 &23, 2017 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
SageBrushers Art Society
117 SW Roosevelt Ave., Bend, OR  97702
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com
$375

Redondo Beach, CA - 3-day PASTEL workshop
April 20, 21 & 22, 2017 
Pastel Society of Southern California
Contact: Arturo Fribourg, Fribourgarch@aol.com
$350 (tentative price, may change slightly)

San Diego, CA - Plein Air Convention
April 24 - 28, 2017
Faculty/Pastel demonstrator
Exact day/time of demo TDB. Must be registered for convention to attend.

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
May 19, 20 & 21, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun), with a "meet & greet" Thursday evening before the workshop
Carrie Moore Studios, Oregon City, OR
Contact: Carrie Moore, carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com, 503-866-5507
$400

For full workshop schedule, go to www.barbarajaenicke.com


ONLINE CRITIQUES
Visit www.proartcritique.com where I and other painting instructors give quick, affordable online critiques of your work.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Something Special for my Blog readers on Small Business Saturday!

I love the idea of having a day dedicated to purchasing something unique from a small business rather than a gigantic corporation, as is usually the case with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So I thought I'd offer something special to my faithful blog readers on Small Business Saturday!

For just this one day--Saturday, November 26th--I'm offering a price of $95 plus shipping on each of the following three 8x10 studies (normally $235). They can be purchased through Daily Paintworks/PayPal by clicking on the links below. After this day, they'll each go back up to their normal prices.This won't be posted anywhere else; I'm announcing it only through my blog.

Whether it's by purchasing one of my little paintings or something else from another small business owner, I hope you'll consider supporting Small Business Saturday!


Springtime's Arrival, 8x10, oil on panel (unframed)
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Creekside Sparkle, 8x10, oil on panel (unframed)
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Los Carneros Park, 8x10, pastel on panel (unframed)
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE


UPDATE: Thanks for the support! All three sold before I had breakfast this morning! Although my little promotion is over, I do still have several other 8x10s for sale on Daily Paintworks. CLICK HERE to go to my Daily Paintworks gallery page.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Exploring a Landscape Subject

Early on in my painting journey, I would never consider painting a subject more than once. But these days I spend quite a bit of time exploring multiple studies of a particular subject. Since I’m not trying to replicate my subject, I’m instead searching for a way to visually interpret what's special about it. And sometimes it takes some searching to find how I want to do that.

Black Butte Ranch Aspens, 8x10, oil

I painted “Black Butte Ranch Aspens” on location recently. Although there was beautiful subject matter everywhere I looked, I wanted to focus on the brilliant light on the sides of the Aspen trees. I wasn’t too sure about the composition I was attempting as I was painting it—with the trees on the right ending almost at the center—but I wanted to paint just a portion of the tree mass since I knew the light would change quickly, and I took my best shot at this type of composition.


Last Glimpse of Autumn, 12x16, pastel

Back in the studio, I wanted to include more of the tree mass in the composition, so I backed up my view, which is more like how I photographed this spot.


reference photo

After looking at the 12x16 version, I was okay with it, but I didn’t think it captured the light on the Aspen tree trunks like I had wanted. It seemed that the light and shadow on the foreground grass had stolen some attention from the tree trunks.  So I decided to zoom back in on the composition—not as much as the plein air study, but a little closer so that it better featured the light on the trunk trunks. I also pulled the base of the trees down to lengthen the tree trunks, and created more “breathing space” in the sky on the left between the tree foliage at the top and the distant mountain by reducing the size of the mountain. 

In all three versions I exaggerated the size of the mountain to create additional depth. The mountain is indeed there in the photo, but barely visible.  When I was there painting my plein air study, I noticed that the mountain was higher further to the left of the view I was painting, and I loved the contrast against the other elements in the landscape, so I moved it into my composition.


Autumn's Fade at Black Butte Ranch, pastel, 14x18

I’ll look at my third version for a while and decide if I might want to explore it some more in oil. I find that moving back and forth between oil and pastel helps keep the exploring process interesting!

Stay tuned for a little special surprise I have planned for my blog readers on Saturday, November 26th ... Small Business Saturday!


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS;

Bend, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
January 21, 22 &23, 2017 (Sat/Sun/Mon)
SageBrushers Art Society
117 SW Roosevelt Ave., Bend, OR  97702
Contact: Barbara Jaenicke, barbarajaenicke@msn.com
$375

Redondo Beach, CA - 3-day PASTEL workshop
April 20, 21 & 22, 2017 
Pastel Society of Southern California
Contact: Arturo Fribourg, Fribourgarch@aol.com
$350 (tentative price, may change slightly)

San Diego, CA - Plein Air Convention
April 24 - 28, 2017
Faculty/Pastel demonstrator
Exact day/time of demo TDB. Must be registered for convention to attend.

Oregon City, OR - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
May 19, 20 & 21, 2017 (Fri/Sat/Sun), with a "meet & greet" Thursday evening before the workshop
Carrie Moore Studios, Oregon City, OR
Contact: Carrie Moore, carriemoorestudios5@gmail.com, 503-866-5507
$400

For full schedule, go to www.barbarajaenicke.com

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Painting Instructional Series Now Available!

I'm excited to announce that my pastel and oil painting instructional series is now available! 






For those of you who have followed my blog, I'm thrilled to be able to share this instructional series with you. With this series, you'll be able to watch step-by-step demonstrations of the key skills I discuss frequently on my blog, with thorough explanations.

The video series is available in oil and pastel, and can be purchased as a combined package or just the one medium. Each medium shows a total viewing time of 4 hours and is broken down into 4 segments: Composition, Color Harmony, Color Temperature, and Edges & Editing.

Available online or on DVD, the series also comes with a 28-page booklet, which serves as a companion piece to the videos. The booklet is available as a .PDF download or a printed hardcopy, and contains summaries of each lesson and demo, all of the reference photos and thumbnail sketches used in the demos, and suggested exercises based on the topics covered in the video series.

For more details, to watch an introductory video, or to purchase, click the image above or go to www.paintingthepoeticlandscape.com.




Thursday, September 15, 2016

Choosing a Reference Photo

Everything Has Its Place, pastel, 9x12

While it's certainly best for the landscape artist to spend lots of time painting on location, we still need to spend time in the studio as well, where we can slow down a bit and experiment. So when we do work in the studio, it's important to have good reference photos from which to work.

As I look back over photo files from many years ago, I can see that I've become more discerning about what types of landscape subjects work well for my paintings, and which ones don't. A good reference photo doesn't necessarily require expert photography skills. It just needs to meet certain criteria. Here's a list of what I look for:

1. COMPOSITION - A variety of large and small shapes, possibly with some depth between the shapes. You can, of course, manipulate your composition to find the most eye-pleasing design of landscape elements (which I always encourage!), but you still need a fairly good arrangement to start with.

2. VALUES - A clear range of at least 3- 4 values, without the shadow areas turning solid black. If you have photo editing software (such as Photoshop) you may be able to bring back those areas by lightening just the shadows.

3. LIGHT SOURCE - Clear directional light and shadow. (This is, of course, not always necessary in situations such as haze, mist, or rain which can also be very beautiful and effective.)  Often midday flat light can be tricky to work with from photos, which is why most artists prefer early morning or late afternoon/early evening light.

4. COLOR RELATIONSHIPS - Usually based on sunlight and shadow, a clear indication of warms and cools. Even if the local color of your camera's image is slightly off, as long as the color temperature (warms and cools) isn't too obscured in the photographic or printing process, it will still give you the information you need for a painting. You mainly need to be able to see the warm-to-cool comparisons, even if the color is a tad off. Time spent at the actual location will also help you correct color from memory...I talk more about that in my last post.

During my workshops, I try to spend a good amount of time helping students choose their reference photos, explaining why one would be better than another. Often students make the mistake of choosing a photo based on subject matter, rather than the criteria shown above.

Here are some examples of my reference photos, and  why I think one works better than the other:




I used this reference photo above for my pastel painting, "Everything Has Its Place" (at top of this post). It had a good variety of large and small shapes, and a clear range of depth between the shapes (foreground, middle ground and background). The value and color temperature--and even chroma (saturation vs. grays)--in the photo was clear and accurate.




This photo above was from the same location. It has a nice, clear view of the mountains, which is very tempting! But it doesn't have the variety of shapes and depth between shapes that the other one has. It also has a very awkward crop of the foreground tree on the right. It would take lots of guess work to incorporate that tree in a visually appealing way, and would likely need to be left out.



I used this photo (above) for my painting (below).

Broken Top Mountain From South Sister Mountain, oil, 18x24

Below are additional photos also taken at the same location:




Although this photo directly above has a clearer view of the mountain and nice tree shapes, the scraggly tree in the other one above has lots of eye appeal in regard to variety of shapes, edges, values and color temperature. (Lot of great stuff for me to sink my artistic teeth into!) Also, the strong diagonal in photo directly above cuts the composition in half. I might be able to move that a bit, but it might be tough to shift it to an ideal spot and still keep other important elements where they need to be.

This photo below is lacking the variety of large and small shapes, would need lots of work on composition manipulation, and doesn't have much in the way of a foreground.




However, this photo below has possibilities! Good variety of shapes and depth, and good value range.





One more thing to note: In the studio, I work from a back lit screen such as my laptop or iPad, which displays a more accurate image than prints. Even a good quality print often obscures at least to some degree your values and color temperatures.


VIDEO SERIES:

Coming very soon!! (It's almost ready!) To be notified when it's ready for purchase, visit www.paintingthepoeticlandscape.com. (By the way, the painting shown at the top of this post is one of the demos from the series!)


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

DEMO AT THE ART LOFT IN DAHLONEGA, GA
The workshop below is full, but we've added a 3-hour oil painting demo on Sun., Sept. 25.
Topic - Painting Genuine Light and Shadow in the Snow Scene
10 am - 1 pm, $50
For those of you in the Atlanta area, it's a very easy drive to get to The Art Loft!
3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop - FULL WITH WAIT LIST
Sept., 22, 23 & 24, 2016 (Thurs/Fri/Sat)
The Art Loft
Dahlonega, GA
$465

Santa Barbara, CA - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop (studio & plein air) - FULL WITH WAIT LIST
Oct. 11, 12 & 13, 2016 (Tues/Wed/Thurs)
Studio & Plein Air
Santa Barbara, CA
Contact Kris Buck: 805-964-1464, mbuck18@cox.net 
$400

Stevensville, MD - 3-day PASTEL/OIL workshop
November 2, 3 & 4, 2016 (Wed/Thurs/Fri) - REVISED DATES
Chesapeake Fine Art Studio 
609 Thompson Creek Rd.
Stevensville, MD 21666
(about 40 minutes from downtown Baltimore)
410-200-8019
$450

Visit my workshop page at www.barbarajaenicke.com for my 2017 schedule.