Friday, April 29, 2011
I hear Rowdy is a famous bulldog, with a prestigious bloodline! I was given the commission by one of the galleries that represents my work in Tennessee, Up Against The Wall Gallery.
Rowdy is the grandson of the Bulldog mascot at the University of Georgia (UGA VI)....this must be why he is so handsome! (He is described to me as a "sweet dog with a gigantic personality") I suppose when he is not posing for the pictures he is wild and crazy and was given his special name....I hope the collector who Mr. G, who commissioned this likes it!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
A few days ago I posted the location study for this painting. Click to see and read about it: http://vvaughan.blogspot.com/2011/04/april-moon-enidok.html When I do a small one that "works" for me, I enjoy using that small canvas as reference for a larger work. Since I have no photos of the scene I saw, I could only use the small canvas to refer to. This was fun and freed me up to make changes and play with the subject a little bit. Also, I gave it a new title, that makes the location more generic...just in case viewers cannot relate to Enid, OK...Now, hopefully, the scene will stir up something that others have seen before...something that brings back a good memory...
Monday, April 25, 2011
Saturday I posted a "drive-by" painting from my April plains trip...this one is from my late-February Plains Trip. it is a different view of the same location, not far from my home. I just realized this and am fascinated by the differences. The paintings were completed a month apart, so the change of seasons is noticeable. All the "art words" can be used to describe the differences: The COLOR, VALUE, CONTRAST, TEXTURE, EDGES, INTENSITY, Warm colors, Cool colors, COMPLEMENTS...ALL of these are DIFFERENT in each painting, giving each one it's personality, and specific "voice"...this is why a student artist should never have a formula! Rather, the artist needs to OBSERVE and simply match their paint with what they see! If you can match the color of something, and its relationship to the things around it, your painting will give the IMPRESSION of what you are seeing: its mood, season, temperature and all!
Happy Easter, everyone...I hope your weekend was blessed!
Friday, April 22, 2011
The landscape from my home on the southern reaches of the Great Plains to the middle of our American Heartland does not change much, superficially: pastures alternate with wooded fence lines, horizons punctuated with water towers or grain elevators, and the distant "line" where plain meets sky. The main difference I observed on my early April trip was the progressive change from spring in Texas to Late Winter in Nebraska. Careful observation tells a story of uniqueness of the regions from state to state, though. I notice subtle differences in crops, architecture, wild places between the farms and even the attire of the farmers! Things that Lady Bird Johnson once described in her book as each region "speaking in its own accent". I agree with her that each area of the country has a story to tell and it ought to "speak" and retain its personality...
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Leaving Enid we had a spectacular sunrise, and I was able to start several canvases for "drive- by" paintings...this one is about the sky. As we drove I snapped photos between brush strokes, and this rail yard was my favorite foreground. I imagine the cars will be full of farm products in a few months, but this day things looked quiet there.
The route for this leg of my recent plains trip a few weeks ago was the Meridian Highway. We call it US 81, now, and it was EXACTLY what I'd hoped it would be: A BIG ROAD FOR FARMS! It passed through MANY towns, and unlike to towns in the Texas Panhandle Plains, these towns were ALIVE with commerce, mostly driven by agriculture. This Meridian Highway has a great history and even its own web site.
As the only primary north-south highway girding America’s heartland, the Meridian intersected with dozens of named trails, including the Old Spanish Trail at San Antonio; the Bankead Highway at Fort Worth; the Ozark Trails at Oklahoma City; the National Old Trails at Wichita; the Santa Fe Trail at Newton, Kansas; the Victory Highway at Salina, Kansas; the Lincoln Highway at Columbus, Nebraska; and the Yellowstone Trail, at Millbank, South Dakota.
In 1926 most of the 2,400-mile-long Meridian Road was converted into U.S. 81, an improved two-lane highway connecting Laredo to Joliette, North Dakota.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Yesterday's post was a painting at this same location, the lavender fields at Becker Vineyards in Fredericksburg, TX. Just as this is not a banner year for our bluebonnets, it looks like the lavender crop might be sparse, too. But then, maybe lavender plants peak later in the spring....for now, the plants are not very big or lush, but I like the scruffy colors in the foliage with just hints of blooming flower. Sometimes a BEAUTIFUL, thick growth of blooms can look too "fantastic" in a painting...bordering on "cartoonish"...like yesterday, I painted this from my sketch, (below). See the difference in composition?