Thursday, November 26, 2015

ANOTHER BRIDGE

I'm looking through my plein air work for four entries to send to this year's Plein Air Southwest Salon. This is my small plein air study done for a larger painting that sold earlier this year. Seems like when I have to look back at my paintings for something that I feel would make a good entry, everything looks inadequate. After a good number of years painting, I understand this feeling. If you're continually painting and trying to improve, what was previously acceptable to us may appear sadly lacking in retrospect. A lot of painters go through periodic episodes of thinking, "What ever made me think I could paint?". It usually happens at the end of a cycle of focused work on improving weaknesses in what we do. The focused effort eventually produces growth and positive results.  

Sometimes we refer to this "breakthrough" as moving up to a new plateau. We can see, and understand things we previously over-looked or that frustrated us. There's always the next "plateau", and the struggle to overcome weaknesses we are painfully aware of. What we see in our mind is always ahead of what we see on our canvas, and there's always the next bridge to cross. For this reason, selecting paintings to enter in an up-coming exhibit or competition can at times be frustrating. It's good to remember that we painters are a work in progress, and our past work doesn't define our future success. Painting requires doing a lot of "bad" paintings in order to get closer to where we want to go. Continually clarifying for ourselves what we're trying to do and where we want to go is what builds the bridges.

WALKING BRIDGE
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
8x10 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

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Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Friday, November 6, 2015

AN EXTRAORDINARY PLEIN AIR DVD by Jason Sacran


I usually think of plein air painting in terms of capturing a particular effect of light or time of day, and I guess that’s fine, but a new plein air instructional video by Jason Sacran (suh-crahn) entitled “Painting The Effects of Late Light” has opened my thinking to new poetic painting possibilities.  Most of you are familiar with Jason’s paintings, as he has been winning major plein air events across the country for the last few years, so a chance to watch him paint and talk about his approach would be a treat for any of us.  But, something very interesting happens in this video.  Something unplanned.

In the making of the video, Jason set out to demonstrate for us how he captures the charm and opportunities of a subject in late afternoon light.  However, in the process of filming the video, he was confronted with a radical shift in light.  His painting had begun on a late sunny afternoon, with the subject in bright, warm, slanting light.  But, as plein air painters know, the light can sometimes change dramatically on the way to a finish.  With the lay-in completed, and preparing for the finish, the sky became overcast, values and color harmonies shifted, shapes changed!  The extraordinary thing is that instead of panicking, and abandoning the project, Jason decides to walk the tight-rope for us!  He quietly explains how he will try to finish the painting, adapting his approach to integrate and make use of the changes.  The finished painting is a skillfully harmonized statement, wrought from the artist’s will to create a beautiful record of his experience.

Besides being a useful and informative presentation of one artist’s skill and methods, Jason’s video records the unplanned, on-the-spot reaction to a problem every plein air painter faces at some time.  Want to be inspired and encouraged to get out and grow your own painting skill?  Check out Jason’s video HERE.   


Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, November 5, 2015

PERSIST, ADAPT, AND OVERCOME!

I've been traveling to teach workshops, and just returned from a week-long event in San Angelo, Texas.  The second annual En Plein Air Texas competition.  Thirty-five painters were invited to compete, and the organizers have incorporated all that's fun and good about taking part in these events:  the locations, hospitality, promotion, opportunities to meet the public and art collectors, and a field of very talented painters.

NOON SHADOWS was my first painting of the week.  Actually, it was the second.  Monday morning was unexpectedly cold.  After finding a very nice subject, I enthusiastically set-up to paint…standing under the shade of a giant tree in a stiff and continual breeze.  After two and a half ours of struggling to paint with stiff fingers, shivers and a runny-nose, I scraped the canvas down and wiped it off.  Great start for a painting competition! As I sullenly loaded up my gear, I vowed to my canvas panel that I would make good use of it before the day was over.  I needed to get back in the saddle, or this cowboy's confidence would be crushed.

Right after eating my lunch-sandwich and cookie, I set-up my easel and panel in the sun, on the banks of the Concho River and challenged myself to capture the lovely warm reflected light in the shadows of these trees.  (By the way, knowing from the start why you're doing a particular painting is your best insurance of its success!) I usually am not drawn to paint at noon, because of the less dramatic light, but I needed to get painting, again.  I could feel early on that it was going pretty well, and enjoyed recovering my confidence that I can actually paint!  After meeting my little personal challenge, I felt that the rest of my painting week would be a good one, and it was.

I finished eight paintings, all of which I was happy with, and sold four at the weekend exhibit.  More importantly, I strengthened my personal resolve that I don't quit, I can get it done, have fun, and keep growing.  Here's the secret:  persist, adapt, and overcome.  

NOON SHADOWS
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
11X14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

COLORADO GOLD RUSH

My trip to southern Colorado was more spectacular than I could have imagined. We arrived at just the right time for the change of color in the aspens that are laced all through the mountains. One of the best-dressed trees in the forest. Several factors influence when, how brilliant and how long the display will last, and the season is about the length of our bluebonnet season, here in Texas. Beauty, everywhere you look!

ASPEN GOLD
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
14X11 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Friday, October 9, 2015

SPENDING TIME


We arrived in Durango just as the Fall color change was beginning. The road up to Silverton and Ouray climbs a couple of thousand feet, so the colors were coming into full brilliance, and the mountains were awash with Aspens changing from lime green to bright golden yellow and some into glowing orange. I had been looking forward to this trip, but now I was there, and it was time to paint…something! I took a turn in the road onto a rough dirt track. and saw how I would spend the next couple of hours.


TURN IN THE ROAD
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
12X9 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, October 8, 2015

BREAKING ROUTINE

A refreshing, rushing mountain creek that parallels the road into Ouray. Just returned from two weeks of painting in the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado. Very stimulating! Getting away, with time to focus on my painting usually seems to open my eyes. Not only seeing unfamiliar landscape, but the heightened enjoyment of a new environment seems to release endorphins and good things happen. Putting myself outside of my usual routine provides new input and an increased sense of experimentation. Of course, traveling isn't the only way to break-up encroaching habits, but for me, it's one of the most pleasant.

UMCOMPAGRE IN OCTOBER
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
11x14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

FROM PLEIN AIR SKETCH TO THE STUDIO


This one was developed from a smaller plein air sketch. For those of you who are interested, this will be the subject of some of my workshops this coming year. I'll post the schedule in November. I'm on my way to southern Colorado for two weeks of painting. When I return, I have a workshop in Georgetown, Texas. Then, the En Plein Air Texas, annual competition in San Angelo. I love the fall!


BANKS OF THE FRIO
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
11x14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Friday, September 18, 2015

GET A ROUND TUIT

When I'm driving into Austin, I will usually take this exit into town.  So many of those times I've thought to myself, "There's a paintng here.  Isn't there?"  I finally made a point of making the trip to get a painting done, and it rained.  Such is plein air painting.  I wound up enjoying painting the solemn harmony of grayed color and laying on those lozenges of paint that make-up the bridge.  I just needed to get round tuit.  You never know, 'til you try.

CRANES TRAINS AND LANES
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
9x12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

BEAUTY IS WHERE OUR HEART SEES


Mid-September, and the bleaching summer sun has left its mark on the hill country landscape. Dry grass, oak and limestone. Still, there's a harmony I've always loved. For me there's an enduring attraction to the olive, ochre, almond, and soft blues that clothe the landscape here most of the year. Of course, there's beauty and harmony in any landscape under the sun, but over the years the sun-bleached hills have become special to me. When I first started painting outdoors, I went looking for my idealized version of the Texas hill country. It can be found, but more often we find the harsh reality of draught and high temperatures.  The bluebonnets and flowing creeks only last two to three weeks. Survival is the theme. Persistence, toughness. Everything that lasts pays a price to endure.


HILL COUNTRY PALETTE
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
11x14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

VAL-HUES – Can't do without 'em!


This was the first painting I did while visiting Taos in July. Just found it hiding in one of my panel carriers. I was surprised, when I pulled it out, how good I felt about it. I remember setting-up to paint that dag and being very excited by the sparkling morning. Having a distant mountain back-drop with all that beautiful atmospheric color is not something I often get a chance at here in the Texas hill country. My eyes wanted to dive into the distance and develop all the beautiful things they could find in that mountain. It was a problem reminding myself to squint and only paint what I can see as simple shapes in terms of value and hue. "VAL- HUES". I think that Kevin McPherson was the first I heard use that term to describe the inseparable importance of those two in painting.  

The important thing is that neither form or color can come out correctly if the values are wrong. Things will just look and feel off, unsatisfying, dull…wrong! We are able to see form because of light falling on objects and creating shadows. In painting, color is inseparable from value. Every color has an inherent value. Color is composed of hue, value and chroma, or intensity. Color, especially in representational painting cannot be harmonious or accurately descriptive of a particular light source unless it is in right relationship of value with the prevailing light source.

Sunlight, for instance, will have about four value steps between light and shade on any one object (assuming my nine step value scale). If the object appears as a number 3 value in the light, it will be a number 7 value in the shade, and this four-step value shift holds true for every object under that prevailing light source. The light to dark value shift changes in accord with different light sources, indoor sky light, lamp light, candle light, whatever. For form to appear believable the value shift characteristic to a particular light source must remain constant throughout the painting. Beautiful color harmony is more the result of rightly related values than the particular hue of the color. The effect is, however, beautifully enhanced by the contrast or similarities in the selected hues, but that's another post.


TAOS MORNING COLORS
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
9x12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A CHANGE IS GONNA COME!


You still have to get out early, if you're going to get a paintng done before it's unbearable. 8 a.m. is about when there's light on the fields and hills, if you're not in a valley. If all goes well I can usually be wrapping up around 10 to 10:30, and it's starting to pour on the heat by then. I'm looking forward to the temperature change!


SEPTEMBER ONE, 8 A.M.
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
9X12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, August 13, 2015

FEELING AND PREPARATION

Here is the sketch (12x12, and the finished painting (16x20).  I decided to make it into a horizontal composition to introduce more context for what felt to me like an overly dominant capital building.  I also brightened the color relationships a bit.  I used to resent doing sketches in preparation for larger paintings.  I just wanted to get with it, and it seemed like a burden to have to paint a subject again.  It isn't really the case, though.  As I became more interested in capturing the feeling I want in a subject, it began to be an enjoyable exploration of possibilities.  I've also found it to be an invaluable rehearsal for having more fun with the larger painting, since I have a better idea of what I'm trying to do.

RAINSHINE
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
16x20 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Sunday, August 9, 2015

STUDIO EXERCISES



These are a lot of fun to do, and great stretching exercise.  I set these up next to my easel, in the studio, click on my spotlight, and do multiple studies to explore things that make me want to paint: color, arrangement, the look of the paint, etc.


PITCHER & PEAR,  GREEN GLASS PLATE
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
6x8 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

SOME DAZZLE ON A RAINY DAY

GRAY RAINY DAYS call for something other than the snappy light and dark patterns of a sunny day.  You have to look for contrasts of a different sort, local color patterns, textures, chromatic shifts.  This subject had all that going on.  The truck was a gorgeous pale tourquoise, with shiny,sparkling paint and chrome.  It was fun to set it against the background of dark oaks and to play up the complementary notes of the roadside wildflowers.

BLUE CHEVY PICK-UP
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
??x?? oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Saturday, July 25, 2015

QUICK APPROACH and PAINTER'S VISION

SEEING AND DESIGNING THE BIG LIGHT/DARK PATTERN is the quickest way I know of for launching into a painting with confidence. Whether outside or in the studio, a quick assessment of the light and dark shapes offers an overview of whether the painting will have "snap".  If there isn't an underlying order to the pattern, the chances are good that I'll become lost trying to make something happen with a subject.

The tendency for the inexperienced painter is to begin trying to draw the "things" in the subject.  The problem with that is that we blind ourselves to the elements that give any painting impact: shape, value, color and edges.  Our usual mode of seeing, I call "common vision".  This is when we see the multitude of "things" before us with endless detail and non-descriminate focus.
We're just taking it all in as information.  "Painter's vision" requires an intentional shift of mode.  In this mode we see the simple shapes of light and dark and their connectedness as pattern.  Until we see the subject in this way, we're faced with the thankless task of attempting to transcribe things and details.

Here are a couple of paintings from my recent trip to my Taos workshop.  I found these subjects in a garden at one of the places we went to paint.  Each subject offered the potential for a "good" painting.  Both had correctible flaws in their arrangement of light and dark shapes.  Taking a moment to make those adjustments in a quick note of how the light and dark silhouettes could be made to interact as a balanced pattern gave me the assurance that the paintings would be fun and worthwhile. Below, is the simplified steps, beginning with the arrangement of light and dark shapes, or "notan.




THE YELLOW WATERING CAN
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
12X12 oil on canvas panel

THE GARDEN VASE
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
18X14 oil on canvas panel


Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Friday, July 3, 2015

LAST WORKSHOP AT WENMOS RANCH


It was my pleasure to do the last workshop at Dena Wenmos' Ranch, last weekend. Dena has had many painting workshops at her Texas hill country ranch over the past 16 years. It was a wonderful workshop environment and an enthusiastic group of talented painters. This is the little 8x10 demo I did for the group, and a blog comment posted by one of the painters who attended.
My two remaining workshops for 2015 are already full, but I will be posting my workshop schedule for 2016.  It's been a great year, and I look forward to meeting those of you who have written asking about my workshops.

BLUE FIELD (demo)
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
8x10 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, June 25, 2015

SUGGESTION AND INTERPRETATION

I'm usually a daylight painter.  Mostly because I haven't arranged to get out and paint at night.    We've had so much rain, recently, and I've had this idea for over a year that I'd like to try painting downtown Austin.  Just looks like a lot of fun whenever I've seen wet nights treated by some of my friends and favorite painters.  So, I drove into town hoping to catch the evening light and wet streets.  

I discovered that controlling values was imperative to pull off the effect I was after.  This was finished in the studio as I tried to get things into balance.  I like the mysterious quality of the dark shapes played against the effects of direct and reflected light.  There's also a kind of romantic feeling that moves my sense of interpretation.  Interpretation is what fascinates me in painting.  The desire to pull something out that has little to do with description, but a lot to do with the design and paint handling.

Oddly enough, this night time painting experience is teaching me what I should be doing with daytime subjects.  It's more difficult to make the shift to painter's vision in the daytime, because it's so easy to get caught painting things and details.  You can't see so much detail at night, so you have to work with the shapes, and forego seeing exactly what's what.  Suggestion and interpretation are far more fun than description.

A MISTY MONDAY'S EVE
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
16X20 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Saturday, June 20, 2015

TUNE-UPS!

People tell me we shouldn't fiddle with our plein air paintings after we've left the field.  I've watched this topic be endlessly argued on Facebook and blogs.  Some say it's no longer a plein air piece if you do anything to it later.  First of all, let me say, I've been in many plein air competitions and I can tell you, as a matter of fact, the overwhelming majority of pieces done in the heat of the field are turned in after they have been tuned-up in the cool of the motel room.

The practice doesn't bother me a bit, as long as we're not talking about a cold re-do from photo-reference.  And those who resort to such tactics are kidding themselves about the importance of winning the fleeting recognition of some event.  Even if you win, you lose because you know you've stooped to violate your own conscience, and this makes you a smaller person.

If you've read here before, you know I'm not a plein air "purist", who thinks that plein air is an ideal inviolable.  Some seem actually to believe that a flawed work done alla prima, in the field, has some mystical quality that makes it superior to a painting finished in the studio.  To me, plein air painting is a tremendous means of learning by painting directly from life, not showing-off.  I really don't see the value in leaving a painting less than it could be when you strongly feel it can be made better.  I enjoy going back through my field studies to see what jumps out at me that could be improved.

I've included a sample of such a "tune-up here, so you can see what I'm talking about.  The top painting includes the "tune-ups" done weeks after the painting done in the field (shown below).  See if you can discover what I've done.  You may feel its worse, now, but I've done what I feel needed to be done to make the best painting I could from the information I gathered en plein air.

APRIL COLORS
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
9X12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

THE TIME AWAY EFFECT

It seems that after a prolonged period of focused creative work, in which we're trying to improve or develop certain skills, we often reach a kind of impasse.  Sometimes, we may even doubt that we're meant to be painting at all.  It's a common byproduct born out of dissatisfaction with our lack of improvement.

Yes, the answer is to persevere, and there are things we can do to assist in breaking through to a new level.  But, there is also something I call "The Time Away Effect".  You can't really plan this out, but it often occurs when something temporarily distracts us from our usual painting routine.  I recently was stopped from painting for over a week, while we took care of the passing of a close family member, and another one's wedding.  We were completely absorbed in all the things that go along with such events.  I gave no time at all to my painting during this period.

When I was able to return to my studio, I found that I had a perceptible hunger to paint something…anything!  I prepared my palette and went at it, creating this painting from a field study I had done over a year ago.  As I worked my way through the stages of the process, I found myself spontaneously doing things with the design and the paint-handling that were the answer to my previous blockage.  I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process, and felt that I was gaining a natural charge over creating and taking advantage of the "happy accidents" that accompany moments when we're painting with freedom and confidence. A real delight, and a motivator to push on.

I think that our amazing brain understands on a deep unconscious level what we want and are struggling with. If we sustain a focused state of effort and experimentation with what we want to achieve we prepare our mind to "discover" the solution.  Sometimes a night's sleep will yield the results, but other times an extended period of "time away" allows all kinds of unconscious connections to be made.  This is the natural creative cycle I find at work in my painting:  desire to create; intense study to raise conscious awareness; extended focused experimentation and effort; a period of saturation and dissatisfaction; and then …a break from the frustrating dilemma that allows the assimilation of needed awareness and skill to percolate and surface.  The joy and release that comes with the breakthrough is predicated on the sustained focused desire and effort.  The cycle begins anew.  Work hard, but don't discount taking some "time away" when you hit the frustration and discouragement point.

UP IN MY HILLS
©Jimmy Longacre 2015

12X16 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Friday, May 15, 2015

COMPELLING SILHOUETTES

Here's another one based on a very strong notan pattern.  Backlighting will do that. It can be such an enticing way to go, when everything conspires to show off the effect.  Backlighting will create compelling silhouette shape patterns.  From there, you can design the shapes as you like.  Moving things around to emphasize the effect is 80% of the fun.  Once you have the design resolved you can sample from the way things look in the light and shade to create all the drama you want. 

ROAD INTO THE LIGHT
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
9x12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, May 14, 2015

THE IMPORTANCE OF SIMPLICITY OF DESIGN

One of my studies from my recent trip to Utah.  The simple design for this was so much fun to paint.  There are really two big interlocking shapes that make it work:  the shape containing everything in the shade, and the shape containing everything in the light.  It's a good example of the fact that if you have a strong notan idea, and you stick to it, you'll get to paint an exciting painting.  The idea is to avoid compromising either shape by including values that do not belong to the proper group.  Everything in the light is a value 4 or higher (I number from 1-white to 9-black), and everything in the shade is value 6 or lower.  Keep the integrity of the value groups and you can have a ball with your interpretation of the information before you.

I'm getting excited about my July workshop in Taos, New Mexico.  If you're looking for an ideal painter's get away check this out.

SHADOW ON THE VALLEY
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
9X12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, April 30, 2015

GOOD BEING ALIVE!

Spring, full sun, noontime, 80 degrees. Good being alive.  Drove out to meet friends to paint on a ranch.  The fence gate was locked, and the sun was quickly climbing to mid-morning.  I like to catch the light around nine.  Standing around wondering what to do.  I was all packed and ready, with no where to go.  I got in my car determined to paint.  It was eleven before I found a place to set-up.  Felt good just to go for the painting.  Mixing the paint and piling it on.  Good for my soul.

PATHWAY INTO THE WOODS
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
11X14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, April 23, 2015

CLOUDY DAY APPROACH


Overcast days is what we're having in the Texas Hill Country. A friend of mine enjoys them because they don't trigger her chronic migraines. They can be another kind of headache for painters. 

This one was interpreted from Willow Creek.  When the sun is shining compositions are driven by the contrasting shapes of light and shade.  I have to admit, that's where my preference lies, however due to the prevailing cloudy days, I've been practicing interpreting those circumstances.  For cloudy day paintings, we usually need to find shape contrasts in the local coloration of the elements in the scene.  Not only is the compositional problem different, but the mood is usually quite different as well.

  
EASY ON THE EYES 
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
12x16 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

HAPPY WORKSHOP PAINTERS!

Just returned from my San Angelo Workshop, "INTERPRETING THE LANDSCAPE - INDOORS AND OUT".  What an enthusiastic and talented group of 16 painters!  Even though my pictures are from an iPhone, I want you to see these happy artists and their work.  I'll post more in a couple of days.  I'm so proud of every one of them!

We studied what I consider to be three essential skills for success in painting landscapes en plein air or in the studio:  The elements of light, Arranging the light / dark pattern, and color temperature mixing.

I still have a few openings left in my Taos, Plein Air workshop. 


GALLERY LINKS



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Jimmy Longacre_subjective realist landscape paintings_ APRIL COLORS

Here's another on the spot painting from my trip to Rockwall. It was another overcast, blustery day. I was ready to give up finding a subject when I saw this spunky little stand of cedar. A lot of folks don't respond to gray day paintings, but it's part of what I study when painting outdoors.

APRIL COLORS
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
9X12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Friday, April 10, 2015

WHEN THE SUN WON'T SHINE


I usually choose sunny weather to paint outdoors, but on a recent visit to Rockwall, Texas, It was cloudy and rainy for four days straight, and a great exercise in finding subjects to paint.  When it's sunny, you have warm, bright colors in the light contrasting with cool, muted colors in the shade.  On sunny days you get strong value shapes and patterns to design the canvas with.  When it's overcast, you have to look for light/dark patterns that are more the result of local color and value contrasts.  The light is cooler, because it's being filtered through the clouds, and the shadows appear warmer, because the sky isn't infusing them with its blue cast.

Another thing to look for on cloudy days:  colors will take on a richer saturation, because they aren't being bleached out by the strong warm light.  I'll show you another couple of the results, in a day or two.  Meanwhile, I'm watching for some sunny weather!

SWOLLEN CREEK

©Jimmy Longacre 2015
10x8 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

SPRING BLING


I'm always surprised how quickly the blankets of Bluebonnets cover the ground.  One day I'm driving looking for the first signs, the next, they're everywhere.  They won't last long.  It was fun designing and painting this one.


SPRING BLING
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
8x10 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Friday, March 27, 2015

WHEN TO STOP?

This was completed, originally, as a study, and then evolved in the studio. Something I will commonly do in my process, unless of course, I am participating in a competition that asks that paintings be completed entirely on sight. That's a demonstration of a particular painting skill that surely has great value.  However, for me my objective is not a particular technique argued for by "purists".  I'm attracted by the act of interpretation.  Some interpretations are quick as a sandwich, while others are simmered in the crockpot.

I value my outdoor studies as the gathering of information for my own interest and imagination. Some of them remain just as they happened, but I have no rules to limit what I may choose to do to a painting.  Most of the time, I'm not painting to create a product.  I am evolving experiments concerning things that I am interested in for one reason or another.  Painting "en plein air" is a wonderful tool, and the fastest way I know of to improve painting skills.  However, some seem to want to raise it to an immutable style deriving its worth from the fact that it was accomplished out of doors.  I fail to see the value in that position. 

COLOR OF A DREAM
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
9x12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

THE BUNKHOUSE GALLERY'S ANNUAL SHOW


LOOKING FOR A FUN TEXAS HILL COUNTRY ART TRIP 
FOR THIS WEEKEND OR NEXT?
The BUNKHOUSE GALLERY is just the place!
Check out the website for more details:
http://www.wenmohsranch.com/


Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
Fredericksburg Art Gallery Fredericksburg TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX