Archive for March, 2010

Practice makes perfect

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2010 by Eldon

Doug Martin, Dan Beck and I went to see Scott Christensen yesterday.  He gave an hour and a half talk to about 50 people at the Denver Art Museum and he got us to realize, (me at least) what makes a painting great. It was nearly all old stuff. Things I’d heard before and in my haste to become  the next Rembrandt or Picasso these things got pushed back into my head and forgotten.

He talked about tension in a painting and what creates chaos and unity (and boredom) and how it all relates to music with its tempo and rhythm. He also talked about how easy it is to end up on the back road to Bangladesh, lost with no map if you ignore things like light and shadow and accents and reflected light and……all that other stuff we’re supposed to know.    Most of us have probably at least heard this stuff.  And most of us probably believe these ideas to be valid. But sometimes in our haste to be the next great painter it skips our minds and pales in importance while we quest for our next best painting. Now I know why it’s such a pleasure to watch Scott wield a brush. He paints to a different tune than a lot of us. But remembering that stuff and researching it and knowing it is the easy part.

So what’s the hard part? So what “did” I learn?

I learned what it means to be a football player and what it takes to be a winner.


And practicing at full speed if I expect to succeed when I’m doing the real thing. Scott believes it’s the preparing and the practicing that puts us on our game in the studio. And I think he’s right. It’s all in the doing and the doing and the doing.

You may be wondering what the image above has to do with all that. Not much. It’s just a small plein air painting that might have been a lot different had I been practicing and learning instead of trying to make something I could take to the gallery. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Just sayin.



Evergreen Demo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2010 by Eldon

Today I drove out to Evergreen and did a demonstration painting at Stoneheart Gallery.

This is what became of it. Mark, the owner of the gallery showed me how to better prepare these photos for the blog. I hope I’ve learned well enough that one could see an improvement over what used to be. (Thank you Mark) These computers are wonderful things if you know what you’re doing I guess. And about half the time I’m lost. Much to the dismay of those of whom I ask dumb questions. But….

…..I can paint a hell of a painting. It makes up for being a little short on the computer end of this business. I hope you enjoy this one, it just kind of came off the brush and made my life easy. I love it when a plan comes together.


Outdoors and In

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by Eldon

This post had painting in it several days ago but between the plein air painting, the after plein air painting naps and the “other” stuff I’ve managed to neglect it. So…. I put in a couple more images to make up for making everyone wait.

The piece above is one of the “outdoor” pieces. This was my first paint trip to that particular location on Bear Creek. Despite the look of it being so cold it was actually pretty comfortable. I left my thermal coveralls  in the car. It was an incredibly brave thing to do for someone who feels about the cold as I do. No Wind.

My friends Wes Hyde and Mark Coulter went with me to a favorite painting spot along Coal Creek. This painting above was painted on another one of those warm cold days. It’s the wind that makes ya hate it! No wind that day either.

And above, an indoor piece. It is a mixture of two photos taken near Salida Colorado. It measures 10×20 inches and will be a part of the next delivery to the Earthwood gallery. I’m beginning to enjoy these foggy pieces.

And the Mamooey sky painting for Stoneheart. I’ve got to do a little edge work on this one and it’s ready to go. It’s a 30×40 inch piece and is an inny painting.

I was amazed at how this painting translated to black and white. It give me an idea how I did with the values.

And this old fat truck is from a photo I took about 30 years ago. It was, of course, on film so I had to scan it and get it to where I could print it out and paint from it. I have a sort of vision of how I want this to work out. Cross your fingers.  I have painter friends who would knock this out in a New York second and make it look fresh and loose. I’ve worked with steel and blue prints for so long I’m going to have to work really hard at keeping it from being hard edged and photo like.  A 12×16 inch inny.