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October Canticle

October Canticle

October Canticle

Painting the beautiful colors of fall reflected in Mill Creek is sheer joy.  This oil painting is 9×12, framed in a gold leaf plein air style which gives it a sort of  timeless old world look.  It is one of three autumn theme paintings presently hanging at Yeldarb Gallery on N. Kansas Avenue, Topeka in the NOTO arts district.  This area is rapidly growing into a colorful artful place to visit with lots of open studios, unique shops, and lunch spots!

September Sonata

September Sonata 16x20 Oil

September Sonata 16×20 Oil

Mill Creek is my ongoing inspiration. This painting, recently finished, is the view I see every day from my studio window.

Mill Creek Visitor

I have been busy painting in my own backyard lately.  The breeze and bird sounds that drift across the creek are pleasant accompaniments to the painting process.  Here is the first stage of a work I finished recently that is now hanging at Yeldarb Gallery in Topeka:

Stage 1 of the Painting

Stage 1 of the Painting

Ruby and Chuck Bradley, owners of Yeldarb Gallery which is in the heart of the north Topeka NOTO Arts District, have come up with a bright new idea.  In addition to hosting monthly First Friday Art Walk Shows, they are adding a new monthly event: Last Saturday Art Show Openings which will take place in their spacious quarters from 1-4 pm starting tomorrow, August 31.  Light refreshments will be provided, and there should be plenty of parking space.  Treat yourself to a relaxing Saturday outing, see fresh new art works, and please invite your friends to come join the fun.

I will be there along with many of the participating artists and “Mill Creek Visitor” will be one of the new paintings I am offering.  Here is a sneak preview:

“Mill Creek Visitor
24×30 oil, gallery wrapped

Cloud Dance

Cloud Dance 9x12 Oil

Cloud Dance
9×12 Oil

In the windy Flint Hills of northeast Kansas you can watch  captivating cloud dances all day, every day. This one is probably a waltz…what do you think?

IMG_3443It started with a photo and a quick sketch…

I softened, simplified, upped the green tones, and added a bit of water…to arrive at this:

Sundrop
18×24 Oil

Imagine This

"Summer Dream"

“Summer Dream”

This 16×20 oil landscape started with a photo taken at a plein air workshop a couple of years ago.  After a disastrous first attempt to convey the actual place…just couldn’t seem to warm up to it having been away from the scene for so long…I decided to wing it and “paint from the soul” rather than from the picture.  This dreamlike composition appeared as I pushed and pulled the thinned oil paint around the canvas.  Thus the title: “Summer Dream”.  May all your summer dreams come true!

I spent a glorious day in the country last  fall-Chase County precisely-looking for painting prospects in the company of a photographer friend and our congenial host and his dog Scout.  As we ambled around through woods, across creeks, and over fields I snapped a few choice photos for painting reference.  Here is one of Scout taking a dip and enjoying himself immensely. He fancied himself our official tour guide and took the job quite seriously.

IMG_2669I dashed off this pencil sketch in preparation for a future painting:

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Later I completed a small watercolor version of the same scene…

IMG_2706and finally began preparation for a large oil painting using a canvas that had been scraped down from an earlier unfinished project…

You can see the scraped canvas at the top of this photo

You can see the scraped canvas at the top of this photo

I decided to change the background scenery to suggest an open panoramic view of the Flint Hills in the distance.  This seemed to suit the large format of the canvas.  Here is the finished oil painting:

"Beside Restful Waters", 24x30 Oil

“Beside Restful Waters”, 24×30 Oil

Sincere thanks to Scout who inspired me!

IMG_2909

The Kansas River from the Belvue Bridge

Stopping the car in the middle of a two lane bridge on a spring day is not the ideal set up for snapping a photo.  But the fact is, Opportunity doesn’t  often knock twice, and this particular day the view was just too good to waste so I rolled down my squeaky window and snapped a quick one with my trusty Canon PowerShot.

Recent heavy rains have brought our Kansas waterways back to life and there’s nothing like a landscape with water to get my paintbrush flowing, so I hurried back to the studio and set up my palette.  The photo didn’t quite  capture the soft breeziness of that day, so I sparked up the color notes and rearranged Nature’s furniture a bit and created this version of a memorable spring moment…

Kansas River View, 16x20 Oil

Kansas River View, 16×20 Oil

Painting water and reflections is the next best thing to splashing around in the real thing!  I hope to see you in the studio soon…

Prairie Pond: Chase County

Prairie Pond: Chase County

How does one paint the tall grass prairie of the Kansas Flint Hills?  By dabbing, scumbling, pushing, and pulling a brush loaded with oil paint back and forth across a canvas.  The grasses almost commence to paint themselves around a mirror-like pond…and suddenly, voila!…you have  something like “Prairie Pond: Chase County”.  This 9×12 oil painting is available through Yeldarb Gallery located in the NOTO Arts District of Topeka.

Yes, we are painting summer landscapes in The Brown Rabbit Studio in Paxico. Outside the window Mill Creek is coming to life again moving and murmuring happily along after our recent big rains.  And the majestic Flint Hills around us are emerald green and dotted with grazing cows.  God is in His heaven and all is well.

You have a standing invitation to stop by the studio any time, or just sit outside by the creek and rest a spell.  Y’all  come!

Mill Creek, May 2013

Mill Creek, May 2013

IMG_2829-001

“Mill Creek in Blue” is one of four landscape oil paintings available for sale at Yeldarb Art and Antiques in the NOTO Arts District of North Topeka.  The present exhibit will hang throughout the month of May and is well worth a visit with many artists and styles represented.  Check it out!