Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Painting, a Challenge & a Shadow Shot

6" x 6" acrylic on board, an outdoor scene, derived from a friend's photo
Six months ago, a friend e-mailed me his photo of an outdoor scene.  "You should paint this :)," he wrote.  That was all.  This sort of directive is not characteristic.


It turns out that he stood in that place, and was greatly moved.  It was more than the scene, it was the feel of the place.


I could understand that.  This has happened to me so many times.  I remember stretching my arms outward at the woods and sky around me, overcome.  And the birds:  being captivated by song piercing the fresh morning silence, then witnessing an Eastern meadowlark on a stump singing in a vast field;  watching slack-jawed as a young eagle carrying a fish endured the high-speed pursuit of an osprey, eventually yielding its prey; strolling under a tree branch, feeling odd, then turning to encounter the learned scrutiny of a great horned owl.  And so on.

All from stepping outside and looking.


Even a walk outside, well within the confines of the city, reveals the beauty of nature. Look close, and there are textures,  patterns, and shapes to experience everywhere, courtesy of nature:





















And personality too (for Shadow Shot Sunday):


So I painted my friend's scene - my first painting of 2014.  It is a small painting.  I was inspired, as always, by Leslie Saeta's Thirty Paintings in 30 Days challenge even though, again, I figure I will not have time.  She recommends painting small to accomplish the aim.  But I fuss too much on each painting, and spend far too much time on my blog posts.  I may need to do 1" x 1", you know?


I HAVE NEWS:  For the new year, the joint blog with Raena, 2'nFro, has returned!!  We are sending our sketchbook back and forth between Miami and Boise, 2,829.6 miles (but who's counting?) and collaborating on each and every page.  I have a new post - please come visit if you have time! I'd love to see you there!

41 comments:

  1. Beautiful Dan, as beautiful as your abstract paintings.

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  2. what a treat; great shadows

    *•. ¸*•.¸*•.¸*•. *•.¸ ¸.•*¸.•*¸.•*¸.•*¸.•*
    *... *...*...*¦ HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!¦* * *...*...*
    ¸.•* ¸.•*¸.•* ¸.•*¸.•* *•.¸*•.¸*•.¸*•.¸*•

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    1. Better than the fireworks on tv! Thank you and Happy New Year to you!

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  3. I love the colors and painterly feel to this painting. I have always wanted to do Leslie's 30-day challenge as well but not sure I could commit the time. Like you I spend too much time. Maybe now that I am working in Encaustic I can make this a reality. You have me thinking :)

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    1. Is encaustic quicker? I am so curious about the medium - I'd love to see a post on it. Last challenge I did one out of 30 - lol! At this point, eight days in, I've tied that amount. Maybe I can double it!

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  4. I believe artist's see and feel differently, there's always something to see that's interesting, beautiful or inspiring in every corner, cities and urban spaces included. Great painting!

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    1. No question we all see differently. That's why it'd be so cool to have a group of us take a walk together and sketch what we see. We'd have to go slow, so maybe we should crawl. Oh that's right, this is already being done. Thanks! (My attempt to be funny - all old man jokes today, before I am entitled).

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  5. I know that feeling, to me its the perfect time when you don't realize it was the perfect spot until after when you think of it... Its like the time stood still for a moment and you feel complete {not sure how to describe it}. Love the abstract style and the light in the water of this painting.
    And happy to see that I'm not the only one out in the woods looking at bark : )
    fun to see different kind of textures, the top one looks a bit cork like?

    For a challenge, I would like to do something and it would be good to challenge my self, just have to find the time and also learn to be less fussy or let go of details.

    Great post and painting! Happy New Years again!!!

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    1. Well I'm not really challenging myself - 30 is way out of reach, given life's demands of late. I am putting my toe in the water - that's all. A token participation.

      I know you and the stunning outdoor photos - and I often see my eye in your photos (even though yours are so so much better than mine). Thanks - Happy New Years Again to you!!

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  6. I miss the blues and greens as I sit looking at gray and brown and white outside my window.

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    1. Aye, I know. I kind of thought about this afterwards. Not trying to bring anyone down with this one.

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  7. i understand that feeling totally. best of luck on your painting for 30 days. great textures you'd captured of nature.

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    1. Well, I'm not really trying - just putting a foot in the challenge door. I dream of using a day to paint 7 paintings at once! No way. Thank you, Robin!

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  8. This one is scrumptious, Dan.

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    1. Scrumptious I love that word! Thank you, Melissa!

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  9. The 1"X1" comment made me laugh. My husband looked over and asked what was so funny and I told him. He just looked at me like I was crazy!

    Fantastic painting! So impressionistic. I love being in nature so much and have many times experienced that feeling. Raising the arms to the sky as if it will help you just absorb all of that energy! Yesterday, a bald eagle landed on the tree branch just a few feet from our balcony. I could do nothing...didn't have my camera! Incredible moment.

    I'm so excited by your addition...and already know what I'm going to add to it. I forgot to mention in my comment on 2nfro that I appreciate your description of how you went about researching your addition. Not just finding an image, but adapting several. I will need to do the same if I am to be successful at what I have planned!

    PS...come out of that fetal position and stand tall...I have nothing on you! (For everyone else reading this...that is an inside joke we have going.)

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    1. This compulsion to express ourselves in art - we are all a bit crazy, I think.

      Re the eagle: Aye, sometimes a camera ruins the moment. You just have to stand very still, not move a hair, and breathe.

      Re the addition: I'm glad you like my addition - I cannot imagine what you are going to add. All I can think of is background. I am glad you liked the description of how I did it; I am also glad that it actually worked. I look forward to seeing your perspective on it.

      Re the fetal position (whining): But it's so comfortable!!

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  10. Oh forgot to mention...I thought of you yesterday as I left my apartment. Our building was casting a shadow on our garage roof...made the more interesting because of the frost still in the shadow but no where else!

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    1. It's so nice, and kind of amazing to be thought of in Idaho. I had to look at my map to remind myself where it is - it's much further west than I realized.

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  11. So glad to hear you and Raena are collaborating again… I LOVE that green on green painting… your friend sent you a very nice photo… glad you took his direction and painted it. Nice shadow shot too.

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    1. Thanks, Captain! I am so thrilled that you LOVE it!

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    1. And also with you, great teacher of haiku and photo.

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  13. Great blues in your painting with touches of light. 1 x 1 - whatever it takes Haha! Happy New Year and Happy Art Year to you.
    So glad you and Raena are back working!

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    1. And I wanted to go bigger!! And a heap of HAY to you too, Pamo!! [HAY - Happy Art Year - get it?]

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  14. A lush painting. Your description of stepping outside and looking is dreamlike.

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  15. Hi Dan.
    That is a gorgeous painting with a wonderful feel & fantastic colours. You really know what you are doing with acrylics!
    Now...on to 2 'nFro :-)
    Stew.

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    1. I actually don't know how these acrylics come out okay. I start out a mess, it continues a mess, then I start dabbling here and there and suddenly it's okay! I'm not complaining though. :)

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  16. I like the painting. It looks so fresh. Those 1 inch pictures actually have a name. They are called inches and like ATC's are done in many different ways. They can actually be quite challenging since they ARE so small. Was your friend happy with your interpretation of his scene?

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    1. That is so funny - inches! Never heard of them! I am sure they would be challenging. He was very happy!! And it will be his too, as soon as it's varnished.

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  17. I wanted to let you know I also think these colors are quite good and the different marks you made throughout the piece to create different surface and texture is appealing too. Timaree, I'm off to find out more about the 1" paintings, I didn't know they had a specific name - very exciting!

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    1. Lisa - Thank you so much for visiting! What a surprise! I actually thought of you while I was doing the painting (and other recent ones - still in the works). You have such economy with your brush strokes - and they create such beauty. I am so glad you like my colors, marks and texture. Wow! Thank you!

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  18. Happy New Year Dan.

    It's a lovely painting, your friend must be very happy.

    30 in 30??? I can't even manage 30 sketches let alone find time for painting, scans, blogging etc. even at 1"x1" :) However, if your painting continues like this, you will have a very successful year.

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  19. Happy New Year Dan, and WOW! It looks like you had great fun with painting your outdoor scene. It feels fresh and, well, like someone was outdoors, arms outstretched, watching the world go by! I know what you mean about the 30 in 30. I thought about it, but figure I can do 30 in 30 at a time that suits me, if it suits me.

    PS. I'm glad the osprey got the fish; often its the eagle stealing from the osprey. And, I like your blog posts.

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  20. Lovely painting Dan. I've enjoyed catching up with your posts.Happy New Year. I'm loving the acrylic works, you've inspired me to blow the dust off mine

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  21. that is a gorgeous painting...seems like you were able to harness your friend's joy in being there. Beautifully done!

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  22. wonderful photos dan ...all the best with the challenge , you're off to a good start :)

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  23. Ready for a new painting or drawing! tap tap tap (fingers drumming on tabletop) tap tap tap!

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  24. What a beautiful, RICH painting! The colors really do invoke that feeling one gets, being outdoors, and just SEEING. What an overwhelming joy!

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