Archive for Oil Painters of America

From the Graveyard

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by Eldon

It’s not what the title might lead one to believe with Halloween just around the corner but Fright Day IS coming and I’ll post some weird stuff for everyone in a few days in honor of that frightful occasion but for now I’ll post a piece from the tractor graveyard.

I was in Pueblo a week or so ago and was exploring South East of the city hoping to find a place to set up my easel and maybe take a few photographs.  Seems I got skunked in the painting arena but I did manage a few photos. This painting was done from a photo I took as I passed Mr. No Trespassings place. I think the guy is a little narrow minded (for the record I think there should be a law passed allowing an artist to have access to anything anywhere anytime) but what the heck, my camera gets things to come up close, so I stuck it as far across the fence as I could and snapped a photo of what I call a real tractor.

David Leffel showed me this block in method of getting a painting started several years ago. A while back I saw another artist doing the same thing so Naturally I thought I’d see if I could make it work with this old tractor.  🙂

The under painting is just Alizarin Crimson and the block in is a mixture of that and Sap Green. It makes a heck of a Burnt Sienna. Anyway, once the initial block in was finished I just started modeling the tractor to be more and more dimensional. The block in lead to color and I just kept modeling and refining shapes until it seemed the plan had come together. It was fun.

No title yet. I’m considering “Lurch”. Not because it can but because it wants to.



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

Practicing, preparing and painting to the highest level equals PLAY! As far as I’m concerned the 4th P may be the most important of  all. (With the exception perhaps of the one needed in the field)

Anyway, you get the picture. I’m serious about those 3 P’s and incorporating them into my routine but the 4th is most important to me. If I can’t have a little bit of fun smooshing and digging around in those piles of juicy paint while the radio blasts rock and roll what good is it?

Below is the latest piece off the easel. It’s a 30×40 done after the 12×16 in my last post. No guts no glory right? It was properly practiced, properly prepared and hopefully properly painted. PLAY took care of it’s self.  Look closely and have fun, it’s in there.


A Progression

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2009 by Eldon

12x24 oil on canvas

This is the start of a landscape I’ve been trying to get to for a while.

What I concentrated on most with the upper area was painting space and getting the landscape to go as far into the distance as I could get it to go. I began with the darks of the pine trees close up and painted them lighter and a little more gray as they went back into the picture plane. Beyond that, in the row of trees further back and the hill sides, I painted with a lot less detail and a lot of grayed color to keep things going away into the distance. I brushed in the sky and clouds even more pale  but fairly light as the sky in that area holds the light source for this piece.

Then I pulled back and painted the brush along the river banks. The color here is warmer and I’ll keep painting warm as I get back closer to the foreground. The red/brown shadows of the pine tree are my first intrusion into this area.

12x24 oil on canvas 100_4250

This bright blue (cobalt + white) area in the water is warmed with a bit of alizarine crimson and brushed in pretty quickly. This passage is going to give me something to paint into (wet into wet) with some of the sky color a little later.

I also darkened those shadows on the water cast by the pine trees. The light source is behind the trees and the trees are casting a shadow onto the water. When the light source is directly behind an object, in this case the pine trees, a shadow is cast into the foreground. The shadows cast on to  water blocks a reflection from the sky and lets someone from this point of view see down into the water to the bottom of the river bed. The color here seems to be very warm and rusty. Also I laid in the foliage lower right keeping the same concept in mind of warmer color up front, cooler in the distance.

12x24 oilon canvas 100_4252

Here is where I began painting wet, lighter color into the water. I’ve also started painting in some reflections and color from the sky. The shadows on the water were a little hard edged so I took this opportunity to soften edges and get them to become more a part of the surface of the water.

12x24 oil on canvas 100_4253

Next the base color for the sand bar. I’ll use this base like I did the blue in the water. I’ll paint back into it wet in wet and develope the textures and shapes of the rocks in that area.

detail 100_4254

detail 100_4255

detail 100_4256

The above three details show how I worked my way across the sand bar. Up close it simply looks a little lacy but takes on shape and detail as the viewer gets further away from the piece. I used a round to do the detail in this are. (I’ve only recently found that a flat isn’t the only brush in the world.)

12x24 oil on canvas 100_4264

Now the painting is more or less complete. I’ve finished the sand bar and placed a few details in the trees such as the trunks and a few branches. The trunks on the left and close up are warmer and a little more distinct than those on the right. My center of interest was put in last.

Happy Daize!!


Potato Rock

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2009 by Eldon

18x24 oil on canvas  #1

Never mind that green tint under my drawing. That’s what’s left of something that seemed like a good idea at the time and then begged to be wiped off. It was OK with me so off it went. (Wiped off very thin then rubbed with thinner until all I had left was a little color.) Waste not want not right? Any way it’s dry now and I can paint this new one over top.

16x20 #2

There’s a rock just above center and just right of the big bush in this composition. I had no problem with the placement but I was having trouble making it  look like a rock. I didn’t take any pictures of it while  in process but believe me it was ugly. I painted and wiped and painted and wiped until I was tired of goofin with it. 

16x20 #4

Then!!  Lo and behold a rock.    And “IT” didn’t come all that easy either. I continued to work on it right up to the time the painting  finished. I decided this big ole rock,  was going to look like a rock if it killed me. It doesn’t look like the rock I started painting but it’s a rock. I like this one better any way, the first one looked like a potato.



And some how in the end it came out and I quit frettin about it.

18x24 #6

Now I’m wondering if I should put back that figure I had standing on Potato Rock from back in step #2. It’s always nice, as my friend Rob puts  it, to have that human element in a painting. On the other hand, if the dude doesn’t go back in, we’ll probably think less about plastic bottles, blue Wal Mart bags, foot prints, candy wrappers, traffic noise, smog, plein air painters and other riff raff and……on and on. Maybe he stays out this time. Whadda ya think?


Old One New One

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by Eldon

16x20 oil on canvas

This weeks painting. (Actually it’s one of three.) I didn’t get the progression on this one because I had to share the camera. Debra got to spend three days in Vail so the camera was away doing other things. Lucky girl, I had to work.

When finishing this one up it reminded of a painting I’d done five or six years ago. I called it Bear Creek August. Its the same size, 16×20, as the new one above and after spending quite a bit of time searching for it and getting it dug out I thought everyone might enjoy comparing.  I just found it interesting to see a painting from the past and a painting just done  have so much in common when I thought I’d changed so much. Is this new one a throw back or was Bear Creek August ahead of it’s time. Probably neither and probably it makes no difference.  They are what they are and I’m happy with both of them.

16x20 oil on canvas

Below is the start of some Iris. I’ll post the finish next week. For now (once I get this sent) I’m heading up to sleep. This weather, I think, makes me tired.  🙂


20x10 oil on Canvas

What The Heck Was I Thinkin?!! :)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2009 by Eldon

Most of the painters who read this post will probably relate.

12x16 oil on canvas

Every once in a while we have to prove  to ourselves that we have even a smidgen of talent. A run of bad luck, whether it’s bad days or poor choices, leaves us with a twisted face wondering what the heck were we thinkin! We think we “had” it once (maybe) and it aint never coming back. Let the wailing and gnashing commence! 


Taking a step forward leaves us with a feeling of confidence that, perhaps finally, we’ve paid our dues to the art world. We’ve arrived one more time so those big guys just as well move over and make a little room for the latest talent.


A run of poor luck has just the opposite effect.


And we work and sweat and muddle around trying to resurrect one painting after another until we’re totally sure we’ve been kiddin ourselves. (perhaps for years)  We throw good paint after bad. We think another piece of paint in just the right place or a stroke born of geniuse is going to pull an entire painting together. Then in the end we (I do anyway) wipe and scrape until what we were trying to do is unrecognizable and the canvas becomes a square frisbee that careens wildly off the neighbors picket fence!!!


I could turn this studio into a nice den or put some wieghts down here and get back into shape like I used to be. I wouldn’t have to deal with the framer any more and I’d most likely have a little more money in the bank. You’d think we’d learn our lesson and retire from this business of painting.


But we don’t do we?  Because we keep at it until something turns around and we can feel good about what we’re doing again.


Then its:     What?!!  Quit?!!  What the heck was I thinkin?!! Aint it great when a plan comes together?  🙂 It aint no Schmid but it aint bad.


Sun Rise on Fall River

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2009 by Eldon

18x24 Arts For The Parks-04

The painting above, “Sun Rise on Fall River” was selected in 2004 as one of the Top 100 for the Arts For The Parks show. I’d tried two or three times before and had had no luck. The first notification you get is them telling you they’ve received your entry and it’s going to be something like 60 days before you know if you’re even in the running. That notification doesn’t make your heart rate go up but it’s nice to know they have it and it hasn’t been put up on a shelf at the post office in some out of the way place like Bird City, Kansas. (Yep! It’s there, way up in the north west corner.) Then ya wait! And ya try not to think about it.

Then like 60 days later you get this notice telling you whether you’ve gotten into the jury process or the other thing. The other thing being where they tell you to keep the piece and better luck next time and thanks for spending all that cash to let us see your less than Schmid art work. I’d received those sort of messages at least a couple of times but in 2004 I didn’t. I was told I’d been accepted into the show but I’d have to wait like 30 or 40 days to see if I would be juried into the 2nd hundred or into the TOP 100 and please check here if you’re willing to be in the 2nd 100. And everyone would know which 100 was which. Geez Louise. I went with thanks but no thanks.

I was at work. My wife was keeping an eye on the mail for me and we’d decided she could open the envelope when it came, then call. I’d be a basket case anyway and probably wouldn’t have opened the thing for days and days. But the call came and the lady who answers our phones at work brought out this little blue piece of paper and all it said was “you’re in the top 100”.

That was even worse! I couldn’t run through the shop screaming “I got in, I got in!” I couldn’t let myself pass out either and I knew I was dangerously close to hyperventilation. I’d end up embarrassing the crap out of myself if I didn’t get my lungs under control. So I held my breath until I was out the back door into the yard and I stood out there (breath in, breath out) for the several minutes it took for me to regain my composure.

This last week I decided “Sun Rise on Fall River” needed to be a Do Over. (click here for more do overs) I love the painting. It gave to me one of the most exciting moments of my painting career. I’m going to keep it and someday someone will inherit it. Still I couldn’t help thinking I could do better and what better time than nearly five years later to see if I can. You be the judge.

30x40 @99% complete (or so)

30x40 #1 30x40#2 30x40#3