About a month ago the art gallery next door to where I work put up a solo exhibit by a local artist named Rich Bowman. Rich paints gloriously colorful cloud-filled landscapes in oil, you can see pictures of them on his website. Everyday as I walked in to work I was thinking "wow those paintings look great, I should really go in there and get a closer look". Well last Friday (I know, a month later) I noticed they were taking the show down to make room for the next and so I rushed in and waylayed the poor gallery owner in the middle of her lunch to beg her to let me look through the canvases that were still up. It was worth it, they are spectacular in person. Anyway, after that I was in the local bookstore and happened to be flipping through an art instruction book about landscape paintings and there was one of Rich's pieces as an example by the author. The other work in the book was pretty great too, so I broke down and bought myself a little early holiday gift . The book is Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts and Techniques for Plein Air and Studio Practice by Mitchell Albala.
I'm still only a few chapters in but so far the book's been instructive. Ever since my oil painting class ended I've been thinking about doing some plein air painting but it's a little cold outside here in Kansas at the moment. Instead I've been taking snapshots with my camera as reference for later, and reading through the book got me all ginned up to try something (plus I just wanted to say "ginned up").
After all the fun I had with the gouache earlier in the week I thought I might give that a try again. It's pretty small, 10 1/4 in. x 7 in., small seems to work a lot better with gouache.
This is the four way stop at the entrance to my neighborhood. I took the photo while waiting at the stop sign (I was stopped so it's OK). All the trees here are bare save the evergreens, and the grass is dormant. At mid day it can look a bit bleak but around 4 in the afternoon when the sun is low it's kind of picturesque.