"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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Games We Play.

"The Captains Game"
by James Swanson & Traveler Linda
18"x 14"Oil on Linen

See this Painting Journey from Start to Finish.

Ever have that deja vu feeling? Well, my next painting journey was something like that, I kept having this feeling that I painted this painting before. Strange?
And no wonder with our next Traveler in this series being my old friend Linda. When I started this Painting adventure around world, Linda was one of my first old friends to say yes to taking part in it.

Traveler Linda

We were friends in college -CCAD if you need to know- but lost touch after graduation. Like a lot of my old cums, after I have hooked myself into the network, I started reconnecting with friends. Traveler Linda being one of them.

Door at Captain's Whidbey Inn-All photos shot by Traveler Linda

One of the things that I noticed after remaking old connections was that these people had gotten around since I last seen them as staving artists, and have some great photos to prove it. Traveler Linda has been most gracious in letting me use what ever photos that I want from her albums. And for that I say thanks, because Linda loves to travel and take photos. Linda must carry her camera around everywhere.

Next Stop Whidbey Island

Whidbey Island Map

Traveler Linda's Story: The Captain Whidbey Inn on Whidbey Island a couple hours north of Seattle is pretty special because it is historic and because it is made from madrona logs.

This is the only madrona log building that I have every heard of, and it's pretty large, which is somewhat rare for old log structures.

Madrona is very dense, hardwood, and doesn't rot very fast which is why it's still around I guess. The dartboard is in the bar off the restaurant in the inn. I love that room with it's expansive view of Penn Cove, known for its mussels.

Love them too. I heard about this in while hanging out in Coupeville nearby when I was staying in a beach house on the other side of the island.

This is a great place to escape to since the island is close to Seattle, and the historic aspects of the inn are like a time warp.

It's like you are the visitor to the inn one hundred years ago!

Traveler Linda's Painting:"The Captain's Game" When Linda gave me the OK to paint some of her travel photos I had a tough choice. She had so many nice shots and interesting places that I decided after a couple of sketches and different painting starts to trying something different for me and this series of paintings. I picked to paint this Dart Board from Captain's Whidbey Inn. I just liked the feeling of it. The marked up pale blue/green door and the old dart board. I'm thinking of this as a still life painting.

The sketch- knowing your subject really makes a difference in painting. I know I'm not there physically to paint this board, but do have a dart board and I am thinking more about the design right now.

The sketch on the canvas. The hardest part of this sketch was laying out the dart board's numbered areas. I had to count them a few times to get them right.

Artist Tip: Paint quality, there's a saying "A good Artist never blames his art materials." I think the opposite can be true also. I try and paint with the best materials that I can afford, but sometimes I do buy what's on sale rather than the usual. And then, being the thrifty Artist that I am I end up paying for the mistake in more than money.

Good professional paint does make a huge difference in painting. Professional paint is stronger in pigment and in tinting. The money you saved on the cheap paint will be lost when you use half the tube to get the right strenght of hue. Not to speak about the time waste either! Good materials will take one worry away from what you are doing, so you can concentrate at what is at hand.

Adding in the Darks first. Like pretty much all my paintings, the darks are the first things painted in. This will help me keep control of the many dart board segments.

Bringing in the door color to get the right color contrast.
Painting is blocked in. Time to start making adjustments in the drawing and the colors.

Working on the numbers. Getting the numbers to work right with this painting took a little doing. Here the painting is getting close, but something was missing, and the painting had no flow to it.

Final adjustments have been made and piece of the red sign has been added. I played with the painting in photoshop to figure out what was needed in this painting. The sign helps lead the viewer into the painting and up around the board.

Details from the Captain's Game

Finished and Framed

"The Captains Game"
by James Swanson & Traveler Linda
18"x 14"Oil on Linen

This painting was almost like painting a still life, except I wasn't there again and had to rely on my good friend Linda for this photo. If you would like to join me in this painting adventure look me up at the artist and the traveler .org web site
Traveler Linda has just returned from a very cool trip to Japan where she helped build a hay bale house and climbed Mt. Fuji. But that is another story and painting.

All righty then, I'm going to be moving along to meet up with a couple of new travelers from the UK. Until next time, keep those brushes clean and your wrist loose.

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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.