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.