Monday, December 27, 2010

Upcoming Art Exhibition @ Fandangles' Restaurant

Patiently Waiting 24 x 36" $450

Well, my blog has certainly been neglected for the past six months or so. I had hoped to have regular updates every few weeks or so, but unfortunately that did not occur. Up to my last post, I was basically preparing my plein air painting strategies for a change from winter greys to spring greens. I completely missed the boat on making many lush, green paintings. Instead, I spent much of my time outside enjoying the summer months without my trusty paintbrushes. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I just had my first child, Vann J. Nelson, on July 30, 2010. Not too long after my last blog post, I realized that I had more to be concerned with than painting: becoming a father!

It has taken several months to get used to his demanding schedule interweaving with mine, but somehow I had found some time to paint this winter. So I think it actually helped me some, in not painting for several months. It gave me a little time to step back a bit from where I was at in my own mission as a painter. So these new paintings are similar to past pieces, but slightly different in their own ways; most notably, they are slightly more saturated and brighter (less greys).

Anyhow, with all that being said, I have a two-person art show, with artist Robert J. Huebel this upcoming January at Fandangles' Restaurant in Flushing, Mi. For those that are unaware, Fandangles' is a quaint, elegant restaurant offering fine cuisine and a unique dining experience. As their slogan suggests, " The Gallery for Artistic Palettes". Each month they feature two artists to adorn their walls with artwork. The piece shown above is an example of new work and will be at the upcoming exhibit. Hope to see you there.

Opening Artist Reception: Sunday, January 9, 2011 1-3 pm.

Exhibition Dates: January 9- February 4

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Green is the new grey.....

5-15-2010 Oil 9 x 12"

This plein air painting was made at Formar Arboretum, near my home in Burton. It's nice to have a place like this in your "own backyard" to go and paint. My only complaint is that the park is closed on Monday and Tuesday?? Anyhow, this was my first painting of the hot season....It feels like full blown summer here and it's only early June! It was also my first painting this year that contained more greens than greys. And from this point onward, it looks like I will be dealing with some "green" for quite some time. I have seldom painted the summer greens in the past due to my own lack of interest in the overall palette, but I think this year might be different. I think that it will forcibly enable me into the practice of monochrome painting (using one color, with several variations). Besides, after a long Michigan fall and winter, who can really complain??

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tough stuff here....

5/3/2010 Oil 9 x 12"

I painted this one day after work. I remember it was a beautiful day with wonderful billowing cloud patterns in the sky. I hurried home to get my easel and then out to the trails. Due to the increasing clouds and dwindling light, I threw my easel on my back and ran about a mile or so to a place I had in mind. Hot, sweaty, and slightly winded I quickly assembled my easel and began to paint. After about twenty minutes, the sun just disappeared behind what appeared to be a coming storm. A few minutes later a couple sprinkles warned of the approaching storm, so I packed up my easel and ran all the way back to my truck. And sure enough, a couple miles into the journey home, the heavens began to pour. The upside was that I did not have to jog on the treadmill that night. The downside was the fact that I had to finish the painting by memory at home. I really don't like to touch my plein air paintings once finished, but this one seemed like it was worth the additional effort. Overall, it was a pretty eventful evening to say the least.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Last of the Greys.....

3/24/10 Oil 9 x 12"

This plein air piece was created in the first days of spring and is of a chopped corn field that was readying itself for new life. Small bits of green were beginning to emerge, but the overall chroma of the landscape was still grey. It's a good thing that I truly admire neutral and grey paintings because I live in a state (Michigan) that has more cloudy days that sunny ones. I liked this composition because it was a wide open space, something that is sometimes hard to find in my area of the state due to all the tree-lines, etc. As for now, the landscape is definitely very green and far from the grey days of late March. This overall "greenness" can be difficult to paint and means that, as a painter, I have some very near challenges to face. In fact, the last four ventures out haven't been so hot. Well, it's a good thing that the gratification of one small fragment success far outweighs many failures.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Amongst the Hills......

3/20/2010 Oil 9 x 12"

This is yet another scenic view from an area near by my house known as the "hogbacks". The property has unusually steep hills (for Michigan) thoughout with a winding river that meanders at it's heart. I've painted this stream so many times, but for some reason it is a difficult subject for me to capture from life. But for some reason I liked this particular composition and thought that I would share it......until next time.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ok, now I 'm really ready....

3/17/2010 Oil 9 x 12"

Ok, yeah, now I'm ready for spring......except for all of the rain.....and the bugs. This painting demonstrates my first attempt at a plein air painting this season. Overall, I was pleased with the results, namely the pale, warm palette of the piece. I think I also captured the stream, for once. I don't know how many various paintings of this stream I have thrown away because they were just a little too funky. I guess this one's a little funky, but it aint no Cole Medina. Later All.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ready for Spring, But......

Falling Twilight II Oil 2010 12 x 16"

Well, I did say that I was ready for spring, which I am. Although, this painting is obviously of snow and the frigid winter months. I guess I really loved this scene and wanted to create it as a second companion painting for the piece I posted on January 30, 2010. This one was painted in my studio as well. Overall, I felt the painting was successful and would be a good complement to Falling Twilight I for my upcoming exhibit at Buckham Gallery this June/July. Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ready for Spring.....

9/2009 Oil 9 x 12"

Well, I'd have to say the warm weather is near. I have been out this season and have had a couple of fairly successful paintings, although I have not had a chance to photograph them. This painting displayed I captured last fall just as winter was nearing. A local farmer offered me hiking access to his 140 acre farm, and this is a piece of his property. This painting, in particular, is important to me because it represents a period of growth in my own attempts plein air painting....a tipping point you might say. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Falling Twilight......

16 x 20" Oil 2009

This painting was made last year. It kind of reminds me of landscape around me now...snow. Aside from the snow, the moonlight, when it's clear out, has an amazing effect on the early evening landscape. I took the reference photo of this painting when I was outside painting one evening late last winter. I was all into my plein air painting, I finished, cleaned my brushes, packed my stuff, and turned around a saw this beautiful image directly behind me. Too bad, because that particular plein air piece wasn't that great, where this scene would have been nice to paint from life. Nevertheless, I captured the image and made this painting from it. I really tried to control the values and saturation of this image, making it calm and meditative. I think I want to revisit this type of subject, but maybe with a bit more color this time around.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Recent Exhibition @ Fandangles' Restaurant

Just had an opening reception earlier today. I was fortunate to be involved in a two person show at Fandangles' Restaurant of Flushing, Michigan. The walls of this fine establishment have featured artists works every month for more than the past decade. The current landscape exhibit features my oil paintings and the masterful collage works of Robert J. Huebel. Overall, the exhibit had a nice lively turn out with a mixture of art and cuisine. I was even fortunate enough to find a few new homes for a few of my paintings. The exhibit runs through January 30. Thanks again to Fandangles' ( for hosting the event.