Monday, July 7, 2014

3D sidewalk chalk art

For Independence Day I did a 3D chalk drawing on the driveway. This was a test run. I have done one of these before but not this big. It worked out pretty well but I learned a few things. First it is pretty exhausting going up and down to draw and check. Felt like I was doing hundreds of burpies. Also it sure eats up the chalk. This is about 20'x12' which is quite a big area to cover.  Doesn't look nearly that high because of the angle though. The large size made it a little tough to photograph with a person in it. I think if I move the viewing point further away from the drawing that should help. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Evening in Prior Lake

A couple of weeks ago I spent the evening painting in Prior Lake. This was before all the rain and the flooding. This painting is from the bridge on Hwy 21 looking west towards the marina. I was joined by several of the fishermen that fish on either side of the bridge. Not sure if they were catching anything but it sure was a great night to spend at the lake.

Prior Lake Marina 9"x12"
While I was painting this painting a 12 or 13 yr old boy and a girl came up to me. I think they were brother and sister. The boy put out his hand holding $5 and said "I think your painting is so great I want to give you this." I thanked him and told him to keep his money. He was very sweet. I think that was the first time I was ever offered money just because someone liked looking at a painting.
Lake Front Park Sunset 8"x10"
As I finished the marina painting I watched the clouds begin to open up. With the sun close to setting I headed to the highest point I know in Prior Lake, the top Lake Front Park hill by the tennis courts. As I hoped the sky opened up enough to let the sun peek through before disappearing behind the horizon. I figured I had 20 to 30 mins before it was gone so I worked quickly, finishing up just after the sun set and the mosquitoes came out. It is a good exercise to paint such a fleeting subject. You have to respond quickly and not over think things.

Prior Lake Stadium

Dropped my son off at football practice a month ago and decided to squeeze in a painting. The football field was getting a make over so I was able to slip in the construction entrance and onto the track.  It was awful quiet when I painted this, very different from a typical fall friday night.
Contact me if you would like to purchase. 8'x10'

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Duluth News Station Video

When I was in Duluth for a painting weekend a local news station did a segment on me painting on Bridge Street at night. I was standing right next to the stations studios in Canal Park. I guess someone saw me there and called the station. They sent out a reporter wit a camera and did a quick story. My wife, Heidi, teases me about standing outside of a TV station and not expecting to get on the news.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Northshore Painting Weekend

The paintings are dry enough to scan and post. So here are the 10 paintings from a week and a half ago. It was a nice warm spring weekend in Duluth and the north shore area. I arrived on Thursday afternoon at Jay Cooke State Park. Because of the snow cover and late spring I didn't go to Grand Marais, my usual destination. My wanderings took my as far north as Silver Bay and south to Sandstone. The weather turned colder and rainy on Saturday but I was still able to squeeze in a couple of paintings.
To Purchase

I set up just to the right of the new swing bridge. With the warm temperature the spring melt the river was roaring. This is looking a little past the main flow of the river at the island.

To Purchase
This is painted at the mouth of the Kettle River. Lake Superior still had lots of ice near the shore and father out into the lake.   
To Purchase
This is the harbor and beacon in Two Harbors. I talked to a fisherman try his luck at fishing for salmon without much luck.

To Purchase
I love painting at night and my favorite subject is the Lift Bridge in Canal Park.

To Purchase
I this is the painting I did at Gooseberry Falls before the ice let go up stream and nearly swept me and my easel down stream. The brown in the lower portion of the painting is the river before the river rose. It was nearly six feet deeper afterwards.

To Purchase
This is looking down Bridge Street in Canal Park towards the lift bridge. I was standing next to the KBJR TV studios. A reported came out and interviewed me while I was painting. You can see the video here.

To Purchase
This is the Lester River, in Duluth, just upstream of the falls. As I was painting two kayakers came down the river and went over the 15' falls behind me. I watched in amazement.

To Purchase
The St. Louis River was in full force coming out of the Thomson dam by Carlton Mn.

To Purchase
This is painted from the scenic overlook in Silver Bay looking down on the North Shore Mining Cliff plant.
To Purchase
On the way home I stopped in Sandstone MN and painted the old sandstone quarry by the river.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Near Death Experience on the North shore

Each spring and fall I take a weekend trip to the north shore to plein air paint. Usually I head to Grand Marais but with the spring being colder than normal I stayed in Duluth. There is still snow on the ground but the temps were warm. This is a time for me to get out into the north woods and paint. I paint from sun up to sun down, and sometimes after dark. I shoot for 4 to 5 paintings a day.
Usually the most interesting event is having a moose cross my path or getting lost on an old forest road. This year was different.
Friday around noon I headed to Gooseberry falls to paint. I think this was the first time I have ever painted there. I have visited countless times but try to find quieter places to paint. I set up just below the middle falls. If you have been to the park you will know the spot with the board walk and rock wall that is the main viewing area of the middle falls. I took the stairs down below the viewing area to the river level. All through the park are signs warning of dangerous river ice. I surveyed the spot I set up to make sure I would be safe. I was on ice but it didn't appear that there was flowing water below it. Five feet ahead of me (visible in the painting) was where the river cut through the ice. It was only about five feet wide at that spot.
While I was painting a gentleman asked if he could take my picture. He explained that he was from the Duluth Tribune and just happened to be visiting the park. He took a dozen or so photos and thanked me. I painted for an hour and a half until I was nearly finished when I heard a distant boom. Kind of like thunder but almost like an explosion. I took notice but didn't think too much about it. A couple of minutes later the roar of the river doubled and it started to rise rapidly. Ice chunks tumbled with the current. What was a five foot wide stream was now filling the entire area in front of my easel. I jumped back, grabbed my back pack and watched as the water was up to the front leg of my easel. As I go to grab my easel I heard several more booms. This really shook me. I thought if I don't grab the easel my painting weekend will end abruptly with my paints, brushes and easel floating down the Gooseberry to Lake Superior. As I pulled the easel up to the stairs I watched the river fully engulf the area that five minutes earlier I was standing on. The flow of water and ice chunks rose to a depth of over 6 feet above the spot I was painting at. My heart was pounding as I stood at the viewing area watching in awe at the river.
It hit me that if I would have set up a little further on the ice or not heard the booms the headline with the photos the photographer took of me would have read quite different.
From "Artists paints the melting Gooseberry River" to "Last picture taken of artist before engulfed by river".
To see the Duluth News Tribune Article. (there is a photo of my painting in the photos area)

My easel after I pulled it from the River. It was set up down below the two trees where the water is now. This is after the first boom.

The tan strip in my painting is where the river was when before the boom.

After the second set of booms. Where the stairs end and to the left is where I was set up. The river has engulfed the whole area.
The viewing area above where I painted.

Twin Cities Live

I just finished painting a mural at the Prairie View Elementary School library in Eden Prairie Mn. The schools mascot is the eagles and the area of the library that the mural is located is called the Eagle's Nest. I painted one large wall (approx 9"x15") and three smaller spots. The murals reflected the theme of the room with eagles reading to their young. I made the eagles look like could have come out of a children's book, realistic but with a fun personality.
Prairie View Elementary School
While I was painting the mural a reported from a local news program, Twin Cities Live, interviewed me. I always joke that Heidi, my wife, works really hard to get me into the news because she knows that it is not my favorite thing. It was a great honor. TCL is a very popular program and for them to do a segment on my mural business was wonderful. Heidi had been in contact with them from almost the start of our mural business over five years ago. She is very tenacious. If you would like the view the clip click here.
To view some of my other mural projects go to The Big Picture Murals

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Late Night Painting

I started painting in the later evenings when my girls were consistently staying up late to work on homework. They liked having the company. I liked getting in the extra uninterrupted painting time. I am a morning person but adjusted to the later nights pretty well. A good boost of caffeine usually helps.

This is last night's up late project. I had an old plein air painting that was a bit dull but I liked the shape of the pines and the composition. It was to be my inspiration for the evening. I didn't really have a goal other than getting in some painting time and trying something a little different. Changing the color changed the feel from the foggy overcast light to an evening light. I usually don't paint with black but thought I would experiment with it. It was on my palette from another late night session where I was copying a Rembrandt painting. I limited myself to cad red, yellow ochre and ivory black.
I find it good to set out of my normal every once in a while. I don't want to get to comfortable. Sometimes these experiments work out well other times you stack them up in the reuse category. Either way you end up learning something. So far this one seems to be working out okay. Still in progress. I will post again when complete.
Painting in Progress

Plein Air Painting


This blog will be where I post what I am working on and what's on my easel. It will include small projects, doodles, studies for new pieces and works in progress. My hope is that it will be a way for you to up on what I am doing.