Friday, September 4, 2015

Amana day 1

Boy it was hot here...but there are a lot of dedicated painters in Iowa - they just soldier on. I decided this weekend I'm going to attempt subjects outside my usual stuff. And subjects I haven't done in past years. So that means staying away from the mill race and the lily lake. In the morning I went after this big wood barrel in front of the wine, cheese and jelly house (there's an eclectic business for you).
  One of the best reasons to go to these paint outs is hanging with your tribe. Face it: Painters are just not neuro-typical. Everybody checks each other out and makes genuinely helpful comments. You'd never guess we are competing with one another for cash prizes. If the UN had painters for delegates we'd be closer to world peace. The advice flows at these things.
  For starters I used info from Jessica Kirby's most recent blog post to get the barrel right. Then, I was on my way to over working the picture till Iowa City artist Lianne Wescott reminded me of something I should know...and in fact have taught...and I've had Lianne in my workshops!!! SCHOOLED. Though it's gratifying to know people listen.

In the afternoon I went to the lily lake but picked this nearby bridge because it was not what I'd normally do there. There were probably 5-6 other artists there over the course of the afternoon. I was on my way to a truly mediocre effort until Richland pastelist John Evans pointed out the compositional errors. I wiped off and restarted...SCHOOLED AGAIN! These photos differ a bit from the lighting I was after because they're shot at the end. They have a bit of glare too...apologies.

WHICH LEADS ME TO TODAY'S TIP: Amana and Marceline are alike in that they are catty-corner to the sun's path. When the shadows change they CHANGE! It can throw you off big time if you're not expecting it. If you're headed to a location look it up on Google maps or the equivalent ahead of time to see how it's oriented. Fore warned is forearmed.
The day ended with a fajita dinner at the Festhalle thrown by Catiri's, the event sponsor. Replete with Millstream beer and little girls doing karaoke covers of Taylor Swift...THANK YOU MILLSTREAM!!
Tomorrow may include a nocturne...Solon artist Jeff Allen and I walked Main Amana after dark to scout the possibilities.


  1. These paintings look great and the shadows in the gate painting are especially nice. They make the painting come alive. Your posts are entertaining and instructional. I am looking forward to what I can learn from day 2 at Amana.

  2. Actually, sorry you had to start over, but in some way it's encouraging to us newbies, that you occasionally start over!

  3. Look how well you did that one of the bridge. The bottom left hand corner merges seamlessly into the real life foliage.