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.