"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.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Spell Check Answered.

"Along Wait"
By James Swanson  / Pastor Rick
30" x 24" oil on canvas
See the journey of this painting. Read about the painting steps below.

 Ever look at a simple word and all of a sudden you don't recognize it? That's where spell check comes in right? This artist is a pretty bad speller and I don't trust spell check to help me out either.
Traveler Pastor Rick
And that is how we meet our new Traveler Pastor Rick.
I was working on a blog for a painting and was thinking that the word "winding" just didn't look right. So I Googled the word to see if I was right, or an idiot. Well, I wasn't an idiot, and for my reward I was blessed to see some winding roads images that Google bestowed on me.
All these photo are from Pastor Rick's photo stream.
They were some of  Pastor Rick"s photos that I came upon, and knew I had to contact Rick and find out more.

Photos are from Pastor Rick's North Dakota album
Traveler Pastor Rick story: This old car and windmill are located on what was once a farmstead in rural Towner County, ND. All of the buildings are gone, only the windmill, and some rusty machinery remain. You can see the windmill from a nearby highway that I frequently travel. So I came to photograph the windmill and found the other treasures there as well.
The photo of Pastor Ricks that I will be working with.
Traveler Painting "Along Wait" The name for this painting came from the rust and age of the car of the scene. I really loved Pastor Ricks photo. I could feel the lonely coldness of the spot with the sun ready to set one more time on the scene. That's what I wanted to capture in this painting. Here are the steps I took in making this painting.
I started with a fairly large canvas for me 30"x24". I want the open space in the painting to mean something and making a large painting really helps get that across. Here I've already sketched in the composition with a mixture of Venetian red and Burnt Sienna.
My color palette. I premix a lot of colors before I paint. Here you can see the colors that will go up on the painting.
The dark colors are painted in first. The darks in the car are a warm dark a lot of red in there. I liked the way it went on and plan not to touch the area too much and leave it kind of pure.
I decided to paint the foreground in first. I wanted to give the car some structure before it rusted away on me.

I worked my way to the back on this painting.  Putting in the sky to finish the block-in.

The sky in this painting had to be painted in and finished off because the wind vane was going to be laid right on top of it and no mistakes could be made. I marked the spot where the wind vane was going to end up and then started building it piece by piece.
My palette knife came in real handy in putting up the wind vane.
Done. I wanted to keep this painting fresh, so I put a time limit on myself to keep me from trying to noodle out everything.
Details from the painting.

"Along Wait"
By James Swanson  / Pastor Rick
30" x 24" oil on canvas
Spell check is a really good thing for me and I wish  every time I check on a word I could meet a nice Traveler like Pastor Rick. To see more of Pastor Ricks photos go here and tell him I sent ya. Thanks Rick and I look forward to painting some more  of North Dakota.
The Artist and The Traveler are always on the look out for new Travelers. If you see one let me know here or at www.theartistandthetraveler.org
Until next time so long.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Triple Treat.

"Snowy Day at Sponds"
By James Swanson / Traveler Angela
14" x 18"

"Waltham Farm"
By James Swanson / Traveler Angela
12" x 16"oil on canvas

"Green Valley Shack"
By James Swanson / Traveler Angela
10" x 20" oil on canvas
Sometimes you come across something to good to be true, in the case of our next Traveler. 
Our Friend traveler Angela and walking pal Bailey.
Traveler Angela from the UK has been featured once before here for the Artist and the Traveler, but this time instead of showing just 1 painting from one of here great walks, James will be showing three. 
Angela's photo  that was used for the painting.

 Traveler Painting "Waltham Farm" Finding inspiration is one of the hardest things for an artist. Finding something that interests you and motivates you to not just start an image, but to finish it. Traveler Angela's photo albums have inspired 4 paintings for this project so far. The first one was Hay Day at Waltham which was painted earlier. Here are the other 3. First one up "Waltham Farm".
The sketch on canvas-
What I liked about Angela's photo was this big empty coldness.
In my design for the painting I  wanted to capture that same feeling.

I went for big snow instead of a big sky for the painting.
 I wanted to have some fun with the snow. 
Traveler Tale from Angela on the farm she past: Yes, it was but it's been empty for a long time. We expect it to be being renovated every time we pass, although it's quite a long way from the road & amp; doesn't seem to have an access track.
With the buildings blocked in the sky needed to be addressed.
It was a good time to paint it in with the  area underneath it wet.
It made for easy soft edges, which help create depth.

With the sky in, all that's left to fill in is the snow
and the painting will be blocked-in.

It really getting there now. just a few more details and clean up.

Done.  A few of the windows were put in and the sky was cleaned up

Details from the painting.

"Waltham Farm"
By James Swanson / Traveler Angela
12" x 16"
I started the painting off with a large canvas knowing that later
I would cut the canvas down to a different size.
With the sketch drawn in the dark colors were painted in.
 Traveler Painting:" Green Valley Shack"Our friend Angela was on another one of her wonderful walks for this next one. I came across this next project painting while painting the above painting Waltham Farm.
Next the greens were put in.
I wanted these colors laid in now before
 I paint in the lighter snow colors.

Next the sky is painted in.
The sky needed to be painted in because all the
cool  colors  coming up next need to work with it.

The snow colors are next to be added.
 I like to getting the lightest light color in about 
here in a painting. It's far enough along 
to help judging them other colors next to it.

Alright, it's all blocked in and the details are next to be added.

I painted this painting with the option to re size it to where
I wanted it in the end.
Done. I moved some snow around, 
added a few small details to the pen and cleaned up the sky

"Green Valley Shack"
By James Swanson / Traveler Angela
10" x 20" oil

Done, Finally after painting a few others from Angela I saw what needed to be done to finish this painting. Adding the house she past by helped give some weight to the right side that was missing. The sky also was too dark and bright.

"Snowy Day at Sponds"
By James Swanson / Traveler Angela
14" x 18"

Three paintings for the price of one on this one. Traveler Angela has really been very kind to this project with the use of her photos. As a thanks she will be receiving this last painting in the mail when it is totally dry. Thanks Angela!!!
If you or someone you know has been to some place interesting and have a story to tell contact the artist Jim Swanson here or at the website www.theartistandthetraveler.org
I'm in the mood for some more snow, so our next Traveler will be from North Dakota. Until then keep on the straight and narrow.