Sunday, May 20, 2007

Plein Air Cheat

Above: Oil, 10 X 15 inches.

Above: Oil, 9 X 11 inches.

I'd been having some problems blogging lately. It seems to be solved now. I switched from Safari to Firefox and everything is fine. All this would've gone up sooner had I not run into these problems and some others.

The pictures above were done last weekend a short walk from my house. There's a lot of nature out there and I find that area an inspirational place to walk through. These paintings were done by climbing down into a ravine where the brook flows. I've been meaning to paint something down there for a while. Last weekend was the perfect time to do it.

I don't paint from life much although I see its value. For the most part the ideas in my head keep me pretty busy. Lately I've been inspired by a number of plein air painting blogs to get me out painting (some of those blogs have just been added to my links on the right). I cheated a little on these paintings because I worked on both of them a little once I got back to the studio. That's why I titled this "Plein Air Cheat."


Coming back from plein airing I saw something very cool. The animal in these pictures on my brand new blog -- Shutterbuggy Kidd -- that I thought might be sick, turned out to be a fledgling. There's a little story you can read about it there too.

And finally here's the updated Microvision painting I did (below):


Blogger Stefan Nuetzel said...

Wow!! Tom, these paintings are great. In the first one you have dealt with the reflections so well and it is very good how you create depth with the left tree, which makes one enter the composition. There is a french expression for that: Repoussoir.

In the second one I like the simplicity of subject matter, the composition and the way you have painted the different surfaces.

Hopefully you will do more PA work.

I also enjoyed looking at your shutterbuggy.

Cheers from Vienna...Nue!

4:19 PM  
Blogger Jared Shear said...

Beautiful plein air Tom! I definitely want to see more of these from you. I love the reflections in the water, it gives it a really nice "wet" feeling. I want to spend lazy days in this part of the world you have captured.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Ron Morrison said...

They look good to me. Makes me want to give it a shot, no not put it out of its misery- I mean try it...

10:32 PM  
Blogger goutwort said...

Those are some good looking paintings. I especially like the top one. It has a great mix of realism and graphic design to it.

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I found it on a very discouraging day and it made me feel better.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Brothergrimm said...

I like the stuff that comes from your head, too, but these are friggin fantastic. It looks like you had some hard elements to work with (literally, get it? Water, earth, haha), but I think thy turned out great!

3:21 AM  
Blogger Ben Foster said...

The first plein air painting is simply stellar. I love the woods of western CT, and you really captured so many of the elements that attract me to this lovely state.

The microvisions painting turned out great. I think you've mostly solved the depth of field issue with the woman blowing the blimp (the early versions looked like the zeppelin was more in the background than a tiny ship she was pushing along via lung power).

9:05 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Wow...I had to link you on my pagein the hopes that others will come see your work. It's absolutely wonderful...


7:24 PM  
Blogger Cara Dawn Romero said...

Great work here - I love the new postings.

9:50 PM  
Blogger George Cwirko-Godycki said...

wow, i love the two paintings of the creek, you have such skill with color and painterly-ness

12:43 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

These are nice Tom. The main thing when you go outside is to relax and recharge the batteries. Absorb the nature. I think it also helps use to see more variety in nature as it's easy when your skilled to fall into a comfort zone of painting things that one perfect way we labored on teaching ourselves for so long.
One of my pet art theories is I think to much of the same repetition of approach to producing art can lead or be a form of obsessive compulsiveness. Always painting the same way can be similar to folding your sox's just so and pacing them in neat rows. Going outside forces one to deal with the moment more, to have to adapt to something unplanned or solve a new problem. There is also a subtle a thing with light that photo's (and imaginations) never capture.
You can do what makes you happy (cheating,) but I humbly recommend that you try and lets these Plain Air paintings not be perfect as studio work. Let it all hang out. Run naked in the jungle. ;-) An unfinished quality or rough spot might lead you in a new interesting artistic direction. What you thinks isn't good might be better than you think if you have time to live with it for awhile. The less I polish my work, the more intuitively I express myself the better the work seems to be evolving. That's what I loved about Sergeant, he explored so many different approaches thus was a great artist in his totality of knowledge and styles.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful place to recharge. I would love to see this scene change over the seasons. Nice sense of light.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Leslie Sealey said...

Hey Tom, there's no such thing as cheating in art! All that matters is the end result, and both of your plein air paintings look wonderful. Both of them would work as very large paintings, too.

10:54 AM  
Blogger PaulSketch said...

WHOA! damn, your landscapes are beautiful! I did one last weekend too
- and i cant wait to check out the new blog

12:23 PM  
Blogger spleenal said...

Thank god you're back. I was getting worried that you'd given up showing us your stuff.

Great painting and photos too.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Marcelo Vignali said...

Wow, these are really beautiful little "plein air" paintings.

7:39 PM  
Blogger marcobucci said...

These are looking really nice! The light is convincing. Inspiring for my plein air outing tomorrow!

11:33 PM  
Blogger Tom Kidd said...

Thanks all. This is great feedback. Bill's philosophy is exactly my own. I just don't follow it as well as he does. Part of outdoor painting is being correctly prepared for it. I didn't anticipate the dappled light going across my painting as I worked. An umbrella would've helped and I had one for this purpose, but not with me. I also forgot my pliers for those stubborn paint tubes.

I'm quite pleased that you very fine artists take the time to comment on my blog. A lot of the time I work/live in a vacuum, one that still has room for feelings of disappointment and melancholy. It's very nice of you to lift me out of it with your thoughts.

Blogs work well for me because I fluctuate between being misanthropic and being sociable. My everyday friends can find this frustrating. My wife can find it infuriating. Who can tell the mood you're in in blog world? I should write more formally about this on my blog one day.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Marianne said...


These are exquisite! Such a peaceful feeling they exude. There's a lot of loving care and attention to the atmosphere and brushstrokes. Love the colour too. :-D


1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great paintings Tom, I have to agree with William Wray, not only is painting outside a great leaning tool, but it gives me an opportunity to enjoy nature while fueling my imagination.

I love your final microvision painting as well.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Brothergrimm said...

I call it "selectively triggered Social Misanthropy". I think some of the artistically inclined suffer/embrace this duality, as well as painting at strange hours of the day or night as befits them.
I liked Bill's mini-manifesto, too. Sometimes the routine is so comfortable, you don't realize you needed a break until you REALLY need it.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Jörn Gebert said...

Awesome paintings! Very impressive!
9 X 11 inches? its about 23 x 28 cm?!
I like a lot and it inspires me to make analog pictures the next time. Thanx for inspiring and please show more of this!

8:26 AM  
Blogger Shawn Escott said...

Great paintings Tom! I like the plein air paintings a lot. That hawk was crazy! Good reference photos :)

12:51 PM  

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