"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"Heaven Trail" Traveler #1-The Painting Battle.

"Heaven's Trail" by James Swanson and Traveler Jerry

Join me in my effort to paint the planet from my studio, one painting at a time. Become a friend and we will travel together to make beautiful pictures. Signing in is the first step or contact me at

Video of "Heaven's Trail" start to finish

In this First Traveler painting, our Traveler Jerry has finished making his long drive from Beloit Wisconsin to Portland Oregon. He battled the whole way on his trip. First he was driving the 2000 miles alone, well almost alone he did have Winnie with him. A 150-pound St. Bernard, jpg]" border="0">who liked every state they went, threw. And second Jerry in a wheel chair. I'm sure it was a lot rougher on him than it would be on anyone else.Jerry you’re the toughest guy I know, thanks for being a part of this journey. I couldn't have found a better place to start.

Remember to be a Traveler in this project, just become friends with the Artist, have a great story to share, and some type of small souvenir like a postcard or used lift ticket to contribute to the blog and painting. Jerry was kind enough to send me some pictures and postcards from Portland as all good Travelers do. Connecting with old friends, making new ones, and learning about new places is what this project is about. Like I always say, "Come find me, I'll be painting somewhere." and join in the adventure to cover the world in paint.

Battle for Portland, painting style: In every painting there comes a point of make or break. There can be a fine line to keep working on a painting or forget it and start a new one. I call these points Battle Points. Places in a painting were the painting seems to fight you. Spots where big choices have too be made about either color or design and a lot of times both. These places are where your painting will come a live and live. I never feel a painting is finished until I've battled with it at least once. Pushing it to be what I want it to see and feel like, to bending it to my will, make the painting cross over to my side, the side of victory. Ah! The smell of oil paints in the morning.

With this First Portland painting I've battled. I had battles with parts of the right side of it, parts of the left, and don't forget about that middle. It's all about making adjustments as you paint. Making one adjustment and how that affects other areas of the painting, and then making more adjustments. It's kind of like putting out a wild fire-you fight it in one spot and it jumps across and starts up in another place. When you work a painting as a whole this happens. Juggling adjustments until the whole painting comes into focus.

End of Day 1

There always seems there is one area in a painting that battles a painter the most. In this case, it was the tree side of the painting. When I started the painting I thought the dark trees, as a mass would hold some interest.

Then I felt no it needs something.

Something more.


Getting closer.

Got it.

As you can see a battle sometimes never goes away, but you have to keep painting until it does. Thanks for looking in on this painting journey to see the world and experience it from my friendly Travelers view. Remember if you want to hook up on a painting contact me here or through my web site www.jamesswansondesign.com/paintings . I 'm going to be moving on down the road here in Portland to meet up with my next Traveler Jackie. Keep checking in I nave many day paints to come, along with so good painting tips, and great Traveler stories.

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Have a good travel story and some fun and interesting pictures and we can get started on a painting journey.E mail me here with
name, place, and a few pics of the spot,and I'll get back to you.