Friday, December 31, 2010


Earth shaking kind of things happen everyday. Today an epicenter was 25 miles form where we call home. Still after being awakened by the 4.7  shaking, today was a painting day. Tim was driving the now named the
"painting vehicle" but my turn to select the spot we would paint. The snow had melted and the scenery had changed from high contrast white and dark grays and browns to muddy yellows, greens and lots of grays. I had some spots in mind but as usual the pull offs were on a highway shoulder or too much of an angle to make it a doable subject. I decided to try one more location down a side road and this time the direction of the road coincided with the way we had to sit to paint, out of the side window. The temperature was warmer today than it as been for awhile so I rolled the side window down just to stay cool enough while painting. 
I have a new palette that I ma trying today. It is a 4 tray sealable tupperware. 
My paints were drying out between sessions and this would allow for the acrylics to thicken some for the next session. I like a more viscous paint. Tim was busy in the front seat dabbing soft pastel on top of a base layer of color. The cars springs translate that motion to the whole car so I am unable to make the brush strokes I typically use. I had to adapt by drawing with the paint like making a pastel mark. A quick sudden definite stroke with a small filbert style loaded paintbrush. The brush is probably 20 plus years old. I hate to lose old brushes. This one falls off the handle. I push it back on after wiping the paint off the ferrule which has fallen in the palette. What I create is an adaptation of painting in a car which is parked along a road berm with almost no room to move with a brush that falls off occasionally into the paint. Tim as well using fewer colors and less space creates like me plein air masterpieces. And then there's the steak and cheese, "drag it through the garden" submarine sandwich and jalopeno chips. "C'mon is this great or what?" PhilandTimpaintoutdoors is just a cover for retirement.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Today was a great day for painting. We started on a clear cold blue day with snow on the ground. Tim was driving the 'old painting car' and we drove east wandering the back roads of Indiana. It's really hard to find a place to pull off and make a painting. Everything is posted  with no trespassing, and prosecution warnings. We found a place to pull off with a farm landscape up the road. We started working on our paintings when a big work truck pulled up next to us. "Hey, what are you guys doing? I own the place up the hill."  "We're painters. You know" "Oh, hey, you can't be too sure. The way things are these days. When your done come up the road." We completed our paintings and headed up the road. The owner saw us pull up and greeted us. "Want to see some buffalo?" "Sure."  Mr. B. walked us all over the farm which would have provided a dozen weeks worth of subject material plus a fenced area with four young buffalo! We then went into his home followed by his two dogs who earlier had warned they'd tear us apart if we got out of our car. Once, we were 'okayed'  the dogs practically adopted us, rolling over to be rubbed and patted. Mr. B.s wife turned out to be an artist also. I am not using their names to protect their privacy. 

Mr.s B, Kathy by name, was also a painter and had won awards at the Honeywell Center. Mr. B, Ron was such a hospitable man along with his wife. We wanted to thank him and his wife and also show one of his wife's paintings. Thank you Ron and Kathy B.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tim's Pastel

My Painting

     Today was a great day for painting outdoors. The weather was cold but not too cold to paint in. Tim had to go to Logansport so we headed over. He had to get a new drill. On the way back we would find our painting place. We took the back road that followed the Eel river to the east. Each road turned this way and that as we went north and east then north again.
     Winding like a snake we ended up near an old bridge. I noticed the steps remaining from a fire to an old country house. It stood not like a grave marker but a historical landmark that a family had lived there. Tim focused on the the old early 1900 iron bridge. In the car we set up our art boards.I was in the back and Tim in the front. The minimal space allowed the meager-est of art supplies. Tim had pared down to one set of pastels and his board with paper taped on. Me in the back had my art board also with paper taped up. A bag of acrylic colors, a water bottle with a screw cap and an old cotton t-shirt rag. The rest of the space was needed for the "act of painting."  Painting in a car makes winter a do-able event. I think of all the artists who painted in their cars: Higgins, Hopper, Blumenthal, O'Keefe, on and on. We finished up and headed for SUBWAY, what away to finish an already red letter day:the gift of sight, the gift of creation, the gift of friendship, the gift of art and the gift of the day.That's what happens when .................................... philandtimpaintoutdoors.                                                                         


The location.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Hey Do You Guys Need Help?
Tims pastel

my photo
my painting

PhilandTimPaintOutdoors means just that. We headed out from the comfort of central heat and a wood fired kitchen stove for Tim's heat. We headed for my choice today was a spot up the road across from the place we had painted the last time we were out.Tim eased his old "painting car" off the road onto the shoulder blanketed with snow. We didn't know how deep orwhen the shoulder would drop off suddenly. "We'd slide down to the river." "Turn around and see if 
there's something from the other direction to park." We came upon the same vantage. Tim pulled off where we were looking at earlier. This is a great space.Look at the vantage view from here. The long vista, the barn up the road, or the barn with the grain silo fallen in front of the barn.
We pulled off.  got out and moved to the back sea, my atelier for the next hour while Tim set up his work aganst the seat and opened his pastels. This setup worked as long as we kept our thinking small. I had a screw cap water bottle to wash my brushes a lidded snap palette and a drawing board with paper taped in place.
        In the time it took to start to finish three cars stopped to see if we were stranded. No,we are making art...painting. People were surprised to two guys out  painting in the cold in a car. We held our work up. They smiled like the idea was great that someone still could fun things.
Tim skecthed in hs drawing with alonger view while I painted dircetly the darkest value on the landscape. Whites mixed in with small amounts of color and filled in closed shapes left. The whole point was to keep the brushwork immediate and not overworked. Tim had left a large area of raw gray paper in the center of his pastel drawing.That was great.Leave it. Well neither of us did. I overworked my brushwork and Tim closed up the gray area. Well thats' the name of the game. If your afraid to push it and lose it you'll never make a painter.  That's what makes art exciting. See you next time.
at philandtimpaintoutdoors.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


 When is a cow not a cow?  Okay here's a riddle, What do you call a cow that is too long? A dachshund! How does that fit in here? The story goes like this. Tim's turn to drive I think but it doesn't matter. He is driving because we are trying to paintoutdoors this winter in his older car. He got the heater fixed along with the alternator and battery after lightning hit a tree and I think his car. The car, well, because it was broken after the storm and lightning struck  with the car only yards away from the tree. I've included the cave painting because that's what we felt like we were trying to paint in a sedan with me in the backseat and Tim in the front.Tim gets set up a little quicker as he has his paper on the board and he only has to open his two boxes of pastels, the hard pastels and the soft pastels. Me on the other hand,in the backseat am trying to balance my canvas on my knees, get my paints out of the bucket, pour water into a pail and sort out my brushes. This doesn't include squeezing paint into my lidded palette box. Soooo,we get started. Tim is a 'pastel pecker' that is, he applies his pastels like a woodpecker taps on a tree, no 'not taps' bangs on the tree. Me in the back am trying to lay down a brush stroke with the canvas bobbing like a red and white float at the end of a cane pole with a bluegill on the other end. I start laughing and can't stop. He starts laughing and pretty soon the windows fog up Now, a truck pulls up and a man rolls down his window."Hey you guys ok? Need any help." We have pulled off the main road which is out in the county somewhere. It's a lane, more like it. Tim tells him "no." we are just painters. The guy nods. Tim holds up his pastel and the guy is satisfied. He pulls away and Tim and I bust out laughing cause it looks suspicious! Hell, now how else are we going to paint outdoors with out people coming along and asking us if we are all right with the windows fogged up and the car running with the heater blasting away. I'm getting so hot that I have to lay everything on the seat where there is little room to do anything like paint and open the door to strip off my two sweatshirts and climb back in. Guess whose laughing? A few minutes later Tim starts laughing again and tells me his cows look like horses. Mine, I reply look like pigs. Well, we start laughing again and I swear we haven't had a drop of liquor. Those cave painters making cows I mean "aurachs" on the cave walls must have had some fun. Up on scaffolding brushing raw pigment onto the rock surface a few inches inches in front of their noses with little room to move around and see what they are doing.Add to this a crappy little fat wick lamp supplying a 1/4 candlewatt. "Hey Grok,do my horses look like horses? Smorg falls off the scaffolding laughing at Grok because his horses look like pigs and dachunds. That accounts for the broken arm and the three scratches of red on the wall as Smorg angrily jabs at the wall with a loaded brush in his hand as he is falling. And you now know why painting outdoors in the winter is a test of endurance and the those big muscles on the sides of our heads that make us all laugh.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


It's here. Winter! Tim and I have rethought plein air painting. The temperature is 19 degrees out and my water is frozen in the car. Soooooo...we decided to paint indoors for the time being using images that I took with my camera of landscapes we didn't paint this summer. I took them because they interested me but weren't the most engaging at the time. Still the day is different and the images have a different appearance. I file through them on y desktop screen on my laptop as Tim makes faces which mean "no not this one." Finally, we both spot this one which is a gravel pit operation near Logansport. It's harder than it looks at first. I plop down next to the sink. Our "woodstove" is really a gas "wood stove" and it is off. So the central air is turned down to 62 to give us a little discomfort common for plein air painters. I'm in front of the screen and Tim is off to the side. We set up without the sun being too hot or the breeze blowing our paper off the boards. But the image is sharp. We start like we always do and continue working quietly except for the odd comment now and then."This is hard." "I know it seemed easy but is tougher because of the complexity of the objects...big machinery and industrial style buildings." We continue working until Tim announces he is nearly done. I still am putting in small descriptive marks that will read as details from the viewers take on the subject. It is like a large outdoor still life. The colors of the machinery and buildings work well as an interesting arrangement of patterns. We celebrate the completion of the paintings with cake. We will continue this approach as the mercury stays below reasonable plein air painting conditions.
Turn your computer on its side..I loaded it with the correct orientation but hey, its digital! 
See you next to the woodstove as Phil and Tim paint outdoors, sort off.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Today started in the 50's and deteriorated from there to snowing and 31 degrees when we finished up. Tim had put off Monday's outdoor session. Tim was too busy on Monday to paint. We decided that Tuesday would be good because it would be warmer. I had just eaten breakfast at 11:00 and Tim called to ask what was the 'call' for today to paint or not. Let's paint. I miss the outdoor exercise and pushing myself to create whatever the circumstances. I suggested we eat later and paint while it was moderately cool and would drop by the hour. We headed towards the Eel river out to US31. Along the way he asked, "I haven't thought about where to paint today; what do you think?" I had passed a small island out in the middle of the Eel day after day on the same road towards home. I wanted to photograph it. "Look over there, that small island. Let's try it. It would work I thought as a good subject. Tim pointed out that the property was posted on the other side and no where to park on this side near the island. Let's try the other side and there's a small pull-off on that side just past the house. He drove over to the side where I walked. I had forgotten the view from the side I walked during the summer months because of all the growth hiding it. Now it was open. We headed over to the pull-off and unloaded. Tim walked around looking for a good spot to set up. I spotted a vine wrapped around a small tree like a boa or python. I wanted it. "Tim do you have a knife?" He handed me a small pocket knife. I looked at the vine and knew it  take would a while to cut through both ends. Tim had just finished setting up and was already starting. The cold was settling in and a light breeze making it even more uncomfortable. I started whittling. This was going to be hard. I continued to cut and tried to hurry it up. The knife kept closing on my fingers. This would have to wait. I moved my paints and easel down towards a tree as a wind break. Finally, I was painting. I could not get into the zone. I knew I was thinking to hard about what I was doing. I couldn't get into the painting. I had to stop thinking about making a 'painting.' The cold was sufficient, so I took off my gloves. The cold took my attention. I painted and finished while Tim sprayed his pastel. I went back to the vine and started whittling again.
Twisting and cutting the vine finally broke free. Tim got back to the car. "I can't feel my fingers." I couldn't either but I sure enjoyed  "painting outdoors". Tim turned on the heat after getting into the car. "You know I sure enjoyed that; I needed it."

Monday, November 22, 2010


LIVE and IN 3D!

64 degrees and Nov.22,...Tims birthday.HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIM. We are headed to Wabash today since I'm driving. We are driving around Wabash looking for  inspiration. Several 'false stops' looking for the right landscape layout later we pull into a road train crossing and a siding for repair vehicles. The sky is clouded up and windy but not too cool, actually. Tim and I are both sitting in front of my car. The wind is picking up. The only really bad thing about painting where we are, are the trains. Moments after starting, a whistle sounds from far away. Tim turns to me and says," It's coming this way. "No." "Yes." Five minutes later 1000 plus tons of locomotives and rail cars, tankers, etc. are grinding past us at 25-30 m.p.h. They are so close the wind is pulling my paper from the drawing board. My hat flies off  while Tim is fighting to keep his pastel and paper from blowing away.
As we continue to work, I am thinking what if this train derails. Will I feel anything? I play the scenario though in my mind. Yes, for a second or two I feel an unbelievable experience of being in several places at the same time with something akin to a 3rd degree sunburn rushing into my mind all at once from all over... then nothing. I turn my attention to my painting and the feeling disappears. Amazing the art in front of me steels my mind to continue my painting. That's the power of creativity. Tim looks over and says that the train is pulling a lot of wind like a truck does on the highway as you pass it. We are standing still so the wind is much greater. The train finally ends and I re-tape my paper half-finished. Another whistle sounds from behind us.
Tim looks over. It's coming from the opposite direction this time. How? The other one is on the track heading towards it. No, it is on a siding while the second one passes by. That's how it works the tracks double duty. Just then the whistle is loud enough to cause me to tense up knowing 1000 plus tons of locomotive and cars is rushing towards us at about the same speed as the previous one. My gosh it's like a 3-D stereo movie only we are in the movie. Again the tunnel of air whips us like flags with the paint jars blowing away from my chair as well as the towels I use to dry my brushes. We are plein-air painter and pastel artist. This is part of the process that makes our work spontaneous and unique. 3-D with stereo is what makes our art 'real.' Tim smiles. Yes and I'm still burping grease from my burger and onion rings at C_______s. It's totally 3-D with a real 'grease' taste.

Monday, November 15, 2010


(Phil to left by Gary)  It's Nov. 15th the temperature these mornings are below 50 degrees and getting colder each day as we finish out the year. Today Gary is coming with us. Actually, he is driving so we have to stop and get me which he has already done then Tim. Gary is a "decent!" photographer. That means he is serious about his work as Tim and I are about painting. 
   (Tim to the left by Gary)  Gary gives workshops out in West Virginia with Jim Clark, a nature photo- grapher.Gary has website. It's above on the list of websites on our blog. Check it out. We are headed for the auto junkyard in New Waverly if we can find a place to park and walk in. The last time, we parked where we thought Bob Canfield said we could, who owns the junkyard. But we parked in a place when this old grouch comes out and tells us this is his land "like we were going to steal it." So we drive around and after knocking on some doors then we give up and head for France Park on the west side of Logansport.

       Gary knows the back lake area because he has been here several times with another friend of his also a 

(Gary's images)

photographer.We stop at the pay station at the ranger cabin but he knows Gary and waves us on back.Gary follows this winding road just as wide as his truck and no bigger when we finally come onto a 100+ acre lake. Reeds, cattails, Canadian geese and wood ducks are sporting around on the lake. Nice!, we all agree. 

      Tim and I walk over to a creek fed by the overflow from the lake which has cut through a limestone sea-floor rock ridge creating a pass onto another further back area which winds back into the deeper woods. I like this immediately but take a few trial pictures with my Iphone. Gary's setting up his tripod and connecting telephoto lenses. When he is done it looks like a small cannon with a large bore on one end. Can you see the moon with that thing? That would be cool. Gary wanders off and Tim and I head for the little creek and set-up and sit down. I arrange my easel on the flat crooked slab of stone facing down the creek but one leg is too short. After piddling with it and grunting and groaning getting up and down, Tim says he hasn't heard me make so much noise setting up.
     Well I finally plant my ass on my carrying bucket with paints laid out and my palette open. I start squeezing out color which goes all over the rock in front of me which I try to wipe off and it smears larger and larger like ballpoint ink . Damn it! I'm still trying to get color arranged in my lidded palette. I have enough squeezed out from last time to brush on a random under-painting which will help put the distances in their correct place. I also brought my black oil sticks which make for a great easy and quick lay in drawing . 

      Tim and I get to laughing over the grunting and groaning we both are making from the cold and just getting setup to work. I took off my heavy winter coat and now have on a T-shirt. Without spoiling the sponateity a sweatshirt and cottongloves gives.
After settling down we get quiet with an occasional sniggle now and then. Both of our fingers sound like dry twigs mine trying to hold brushes Tim's trying to grab soft pastels. "Plugging on...." is what we do till one of us says the magic words..."I can't go any further I'm ruining it." Then you gotta stop or throw it away,Tim agrees. About that time Gary comes around the edge of the lake and looks in on us. I don't know how you guys get done so fast. "Well, what have you been doing, Gary?" When we pack up he walks us over to the area he has been shooting with and 800mm power zoom lens. I could see  a good clear cratered moon on a half or quarter moon night. Pretty impressive but you have to have a tripod to steady the viewer. We load up and climb in his club cab and enjoy the soft bench seat after sitting on 5 gallon buckets and Tim a camp chair that folds up to a small  3x5 X- slung canvas.
Gary said he'd send me one of his photos via email so I'll check to see if he has...maybe later. He did. Yeah okay, Laaaaaater y'all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Tim's turn to drive my turn to buy. It's really a gorgeous day in early Nov. "Indian Summer"  is what we called it. A respite from the cold which is fast approaching.A day of revelry for the great time of summer is returned for a few days. Today it will be 70 degrees. We headed out for the days painting. An old farm deserted would be todays subject. A few windows were broken out in the house which seemed forlorn and abandoned too early in its life. An old style steel clad barn was still in good shape as for an outbuilding which showed more promise artistically for my subject Tim liked the barn. We unpacked our supplies and tried to find a spot in the sun. The day was just too perfect with the sky a brilliant blue like in Santa Fe, NM most of the year. I have a 22"x30" sheet of print paper which I had prepainted with an under-painting of thalocyanine-blue and dioxane violet for another purpose. I figured I'd use it since I had forgotten what I had originally planned to do with it. Tim had been working for a few minutes already and I was still getting ready to squeeze out the acrylic paint for my color palette. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Today is  one of the closing days of fall as the leaves drop away and leave the trees bare as upturned . Tim and I are headed out to paint up near Macy in 'Amish country.' Carolyn has decided to tag along. "Bring your fiddle. we ask." We stop at SUBWAY and have lunch. It's modest with very little greasy aftertaste. It's cold these mornings so we decided to start in the afternoon. I am driving today. I promise to find a place today since Carolyn is coming along. We head up where Tim said that a herd of cattle had been grazing and laid down in the afternoon to chew their cud. Sounded like a challenge. After about a half hour later I spot a herd of Angus mozying around a field in groups of two or three. There!, that's where we'll paint today. It's been thirty minutes and that's the rule. We stop and unload. Carolyn is cold and she can't play the fiddle with her fingers chilled . Sit in the car with the sun on you I suggest. Tim plants himself west of the car in direct sunlight,while I am to the rear of the hatchback of my Scion. Carolyn is tuning up.

The cows feel like a good subject today but in the shade my paint and fingers both don't want to cooperate. I figure I'll concentrate on a colored drawing made with paint strokes like soft pastels  that Tim works with. Carolyn is playing a mournful tune that fits today with the passing of summer. It really helps put me and Tim in the mood to paint. Funny how powerful music can be. 
We work feverishly, me in the cold while Tim in the sun getting hot,to get something down on the paper. Carolyn continues to soldier o playing a reel,a jig,and a few other sailing tunes. I am tuned in to the work in front of me and the drawing starts to take shape. Tim judging by his results was reacting in a similar fashion. Carolyn says the temperature has caused the strings to lay nearer the neck which gives the music a gravely sound but I like it. It is 'homey' and familiar. As we near the second hour Tim announces he is almost done and  have a few more minutes to tie the drawing together the cows with the land. A few added color strokes of acrylic rose madder finishes up the painting. I'm done I announce. Tim has sprayed his pastel as the scent of the fixative is overpowering. Carolyn has been walking around for the last half hour just looking at the cattle grazing almost half-heartedly as they too know the snow is coming. We pack up and I turn up the car heat to warm myself and Carolyn up. Tim says he had been sweating out in the direct sunlight.I should have moved but the shade of the hatch had cooled my color palette so that in direct sunlight it would be even more intense. We bid the cows goodbye with a few loud 'moos' and drove back to Tim and Carolyn's little piece of heaven in the country. He was ready for a nap and I back to my school work getting ready for classes on Thursday and Friday later this week. Carolyn gathered up her fiddle and case and headed for the house. Tim walked me to the gate and with a "Laaaaaater" I replied, "Laaaaaaater" as I drove out of sight. A good day with friends with the fiddle music still playing in my head.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Whoa, today was a harbinger of what's to come.Tim and I started at 8:30 A.M. for the days plein air painting. Breakfast was the usual 'The Brakeman' at the RR "dorm". Eggs over,dry hash browns,dry bacon, dry toast,and Joe. I drove and Tim bough today so it was a definite great way to start the day.But the weather predicted showers and cooler temps. Tim wanted to know where we were headed today. I thought the orchard would be cool. A family owns the place over three or four generations.The Doud's were horticulturists second to none. Actually I don't care for apples except in pies. Yeah that's ala mode. Hey Joe if you're reading this I'm laughing with you. Tim likes pies too in fact Tim and I like just about any thing that is food. But I digress. We were headed for Doud's but arrived to find the site pretty boring artistically. O.K. where now? I said we'd drive west and look for something challenging. Just down the road I pulled into a field gravel apron for combines or other farm equipment. Let's start here.You know find something interesting from the vantage up the road west or down the road east. Tim seemed uninspired by the views but decided he could find something art worthy. Me, I liked the round hay bales stacked along the fence line up the side of the road. The weather was nippy and windy. I setup in the lee of the Scion. Tim parked on the west side facing the farmhouse. We worked for several minutes before we both started complaining of the cold. I was working on a large sheet of rag print stock meaning it was cotton paper 22"x30". Tim's pastel paper was about 9"x12" pastel stock. The wind and low temperature was causing my fingers to lock up in the joints. Nevertheless,we stayed with it for another hour and a half. We loaded up and Tim suggested the heater on high. As our fingers thawed the cold in the joints actually stung like hornet stingers. Ouch. But Tim nailed it and I was pretty happy with the abstraction of laying in impasto color like a barbeque brush. Hey Joe, BBQ!
Awesome piece Tim. It even looks cold!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


A day we thought might not come arrived. The day before we drove after a moderate and almost healthy breakfast everywhere in Cass and Miami county. It was a beautiful day and we headed north towards Rochester taking all the back roads in search for that special landscape never came but the drive was nice so we continued to drive until the noon whistle sounded..quittin' time! Hey even today after the thirty minute rule we kept looking. But a piece of cherry lattice sour pie and ice cream beckoned. Neither of us felt much like painting. Today we tried again since I had my classwork all finished for Thurs. and Friday. We ate and got on the road immediately. Jared that guy who lost all the weight at SUBWAY inspired us to have  breakfast..a bacon, egg and cheese on grilled Asiago 6" bun and for Tim Black Forest ham and cheese on a flatbread.  I don' think the ham was ever near the black forest except in the little piggies minds. We headed for New Waverly an old car junkyard which dates back several decades and very cool.
We wandered around collecting 'sticktights' on every cloth surface and decided for me and old dump truck and Tim a twin collection of adjacent pickup trucks in red and sunny yellow. We noticed very few mosquitoes and worked at a frantic pace to complete before the announced afternoon rainfall of 1/4 ". Never came ,in fact, it cleared up. as we were leaving some old guy stopped us and said this was his land, at least the easement was his. Sorrrrry. We were just painting a few old cars. The owners had given us permission but Grumpy was intent on letting us know we were lowlife trespassers regardless of our reasons. After all you know how artists are....bohemians and 'shiftless shonks',to quote old Dick Tracy.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Today was cooler but the sun was out so it promised to be a good painting day for plein air. Tim called and asked me to drive. I didn't mind since it comes out in the they say. We ate and headed for someplace. Where are we going today? Since I was driving and driver chooses I said the power plant. We got there in a few minutes and I pulled into the train access path. We've done this before. No we haven't I replied.Yes we have. Well let's try it anyway. I had had a good run on the elevators and I didn't want it to end. I figured another tall structure would work with all of it's angles. We've done this before. Okaaaay. Let's head out 19 and see what we can find, was my reply. We drove for awhile and I spotted  an electrical sub-station with some of the elements we had been doing with the elevators. I pulled into the service lot which was in front of the fenced area. A big sign printed in large letters said NO TRESPASSING. We aren't we are outside the fence. We decided to get started. Tim started his drawing with a few paragraphs of non-expletives. I felt the wind pick up a little and the sun slipped behind a cloud. Damn. It slowly cooled down to a crisp 65 degrees. Tim was clicking away with the pastels tapping the paper surface while I started brushing in a drawing in blue-violet. Once done I started laying in some of the base color. The paper was dry and sucking the moisture up as quick as it hit the surface.This was going to be a dab-scumble dab-scumble piece. Scumbling is scrubbing the paint onto the canvas. The longer we painted the cooler it got. Tim was staring to complain that he was cold...I know I am too. Damn fingers are cold beneath my two left handed cotton work gloves. I know where are my rights? We were committed to the task. This is hard he said. I know. We have a challenge in this one. Maybe, we need to try more challenges like this one. After a few hours of painting we both were voicing the same ending...comments. I'm just messing around now ruining my earlier work. It's time to stop. We started to pack up. I need to get some pictures for the blog. Tim didn't want this one to be posted but mine was also as weird dealing with the subject. Tim's closing argument, "You win some you lose some." Mine looks weird. Nah, we just have to get more challenges like this one. Yah, we need more challenges. Tim smiled and got in the car. Turn on the heat!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Grain Elevators of Summer

It's the grain elevators again today. This time after the sausage, eggs and western omellete are mopped up we are heading for Mexico Indiana. It's just up the road.We've been here before but it's been a good run so far painting these elevators. Logansport, Rich Valley and Mexico have a similar structures but each has variations that provide Tim and I a range of subject matter. More and more my paintings have become abstract and work within a limited range of color. Tim also seems to be following a similar path in the treatment of his landscapes.. I have limited my color range to turquoise,cobalt
blue, deep yellow, cad. red, and white. Tim has been working on a gray paper with strong primaries and secondaries...I don't know the names of his pastels as they are all in a box sort of mixed. 
The manager saw us and waved. We seem to be becoming a fixture this summer around these
grain elevators. I mix my color in a small lidded palette. Having the colors close together allows for a slowly changing range of similar mixed hues. The sky in this piece has a variety of fifteen different grays. Tim's work today was stronly geometric with strong color contrast. The summer is gone, the leaves are starting to change and we are already talking about working indoors for the winter. 
If you get a chance stop by philandtimpaint(indoors)Later.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's the ELEVATORS again.

There's something  mysterious about the grain elevators we have been painting now for several weeks. Last year it was the wheat fields. This year it's the river and the elevators. It also has come to mind that this painting process plein air is an excuse to hang out with Tim and to just be 'the guys'. It's hard work being with the ladies...the wives, I mean here. If Tim belches at the table I don't care.We're eating beakfast and we both grew up with brothers where belching and the like was more of a contest than a faux pas. Okay were cave men.So what? So back to the elevator which I keep calling again the mill. But these never did grist grain. They were used to store grain between transfer from field to processing. Still, there's something awesome in their structure.The height of these old monsters is amazing to me. This was when a local three story building was a big thing in this area. Indianapolis, of course, would have large buildings but even the small town of Mexico Indiana has an elevator. I did a really nice painting of the elevator office from that location. 
Tim is way over by the trees. He went over there to get out of the sun. I decided to stick it out in the sun because that was the best vantage point for the mill, I mean elevator. We've been at this for about two hours and I'm finishing up. The last time we were out, we painted the elevator at Rich Valley again.This is my seventh elevator painting. The sun was drying my paints out so fast I had to put great gobs of color on the paper and scrub it in to the areas I wanted to cool down or warm up depending on whether or not it was in sun or shade. Tim walked over when he saw me packing up. This 'paper'.. I can't do it. That means he doesn't like the paper he's working on because it has a large grain design on the surface. He works better on smooth pastel paper. His work is more painterly on that smooth texture. Well, these are what we did last time and this time since we were at elevators I threw them together. Summer's leaving and fall is well on it's way here. Even the trees are hinting at changing color. Days grow shorter and nights even shorter. I'm teaching three classes this semester at Ivy Tech in Art Appreciation and Art History 101,102 so when we get out to paint it is a big deal for me. Hey, Tim next Monday? 9? Tim replies Surrrrrrrrrrre...later.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Its' summer and we are not at it like usual. Tim went to Milwaukee and I started teaching 3 college courses. Today we tried to sneak this one in. We ate at the Circus City Grill former Lincoln...I can't even recall it's name. Lincoln Square! Anyway the prices were up and they served us each enough food to feed two or three, hungry, no starving! lumberjacks. I ate about half and stopped. Tim took on the challenge and finished 'er up. As we walked out of the diner...his growl and 'brap' confirmed that I did the right thing in stopping with one lumberjack's portion. I took the rest home in a small suitcase size plastic box.
After we left, Tim's driving, he headed for Kokomo but he turned and headed toward Onward...not much there. How about Logansport? Yes, I replied. There's an old grain elevator in Logansport, I seem to have good luck with old elevators. We drove past the new Ivy Tech and headed back into town. On the way we passed a processing plant for corn. Not much there too industrial looking. So it was the elevator. Both of s headed for the shadow side of one of the silos as it (thermometer) was going to climb today. I set up closer to the gain elevator and begin with some large washes i acrylic over a large sheet of Reeves printmaking paper. I like the beige color and thickness a swell as it's hot press surface.Just as we were getting started a truck pulls up and the driver starts talking to Tim..he laughs and smiles real big and I figure he is smooth talking the guy. The truck pulls off and ask, Who was that? The owner. There were no trespassing signs all over the place but hell we just want paint the thing.It's not much more than looking at it real close...a crime? We finished up in about two and a half hours and we took a look at them standing back. Not bad! We did pretty good today and the sun is calling it a day,temperature-wise. Besides, I think Tim's breakfast started an intestinal avalanche.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


    Someday it's just better to stay in bed. The week before had been like that. The two works we did started out at Mississinewa Reservoir which has been a good location to paint. Tim and I had breakfast and I think that it was mdoest and mediocre.
By the time we arrive on location the temperature was more than unkind. We pulled up to the Red Bridge Marina and boat entry ramp. This was going to be a day for shade no questions.  We walked around awhile and decided, after I had taken a few snapshots with my I-phone/computer/camera that the area with the trees on the hill. No place to park since it was cordoned off for the likes of us. Namely,
we don't have the cabbage to park a high priced floating island. These two pontoon boats were litteraly named " _________ Island."  And the other floating eight car garage was some silly name like "Ted's Playhouse." So we sat down and started to make art. These two pieces were so bad that I'm going to end this blog right here. Hey, every one has a bad day. PhilandTimpaintoutdoors is just like
everyone lese. Give us a break.