Sunday, May 21, 2017

Green and Out

Continuing my palette knife series, this time an abandoned 1957 Chevy heavy truck left to rot in a grassy field viewed from the front.

art painting truck palette knife Chevy vintage abandoned
Click on image to enlarge

"Green and Out"

Acrylic, 12" X 12" on 2" deep cradled panel


I again I pushed the abstraction on this one, almost as much as I did in "Red Abstract Tractor"  In some ways that's a bigger challenge on a truck, there are more details that need to remain recognizable, I still want someone to be able to recognize the make and year of the truck, using a palette knife to paint sure makes that a challenge.

I painted this one in a square format, not only is the square perfect for these head on vehicle views but I just happened to have a deep cradled panel on hand that was 12x12 and wanted to use it, I painted the sides black.  What I like about deep cradled panels is not only can they be hung without a frame but since the sides are perfectly flat unlike gallery wrapped canvases they can just be set down on a shelf or any other flat, horizontal surface.

Here are a couple close up of areas of the painting so you can see the texture and knife strokes.

art painting palette knife green Chevy truck abstract
Click on image to enlarge


art painting abstract detail palette knife stroke
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Friday, May 5, 2017

Thicker and More Abstract

Using a palette knife instead of a brush for painting presents the opportunity for thicker paint application and a more abstract painting style.  I decided to try pushing both of those qualities when painting this small landscape.

art painting palette knife abstract landscape rural country land
Click on image to enlarge

"Open Spaces"

12" X 9", acrylic on 1/8" panel

Available on Ebay



As you can see the wide open spaces of the countryside is my inspiration for this painting, it often is.  I kept the palette knife loaded heavily and the strokes free and overlapping to help push the abstraction while keeping the subject recognizable. There's a great deal of freedom in painting this way.

Here are a couple of zoomed in details of small areas of the painting.  Here you can really see how thick the paint is and how random the strokes appear to be but when you zoom out and see the whole image it becomes something familiar.

art abstract painting landscape detail zooomed in
Click on image to enlarge

art abstract painting landscape detail zooomed in
Click on image to enlarge




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Farm Memories

It seems like old farms in the rural areas of Utah and I'm sure other places are almost like outdoor museums displaying historic relics of times gone by.  You'll find everything from horse drawn plows to tractors from the 1960's, manure spreaders from the 1920's to grain trucks from the 70's and everything in between.  Sometimes you'll come across items that aren't even farm implements such as antique gas pumps or manual washing machines and more.  Of course my favorite "farm finds" are old trucks and tractors.

art painting palette knife truck Chevy antique abandoned

"Farm Memories"

16" X 20", acrylic on 1/8" panel
Available

I found this old Chevy flatbed truck in this painting in the small Sanpete County town of Fountain Green.  It was actually part of a display that could be called an outdoor museum of sorts.  Not only were tractors displayed with it but an old wood barn was there covered in old signs, license plates and hubcaps.

fine art photograph old barn sign vintage Phillps 66

Cool, huh?  This is just one of those special treats you just might find while wandering the back roads.

The painting was done entirely with a palette knife.  On the body I tried to keep the palette knife strokes simple, just lay them down and leave them alone, it created a bit of a patchwork effect yet the form of the body is still quite clear.  I just love these kinds of visual tricks that make an abstract application of paint look like something recognizable.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hemi Hot Rod

I like my hot rods "old school", which means I like the traditional styling from the late 40's into the early 60's.  To me that era was the epitome of cool in the hot rod and custom car world.  It can be hard to find a car around here built strictly to that style, many come close but then install modern street radials which often kill the look.  I admire a car owner that keeps true to the old school aesthetic, it isn't exactly easy and you have to give up a bit of comfort and drivability, to me the look is worth it.


"Hemi Hot Rod"

12" X 16", Acrylic on 1/8" panel



The hot rod depicted in this painting is one of those cars that gets it right.  The early hemi engine makes this ride even sweeter.  The Chrysler corporation hemispherical engines were in the thick of the early overhead valve engine displacement wars of the early 1950's and so were a prime candidate for an engine swap into a Model A Ford or '32 Ford hot rod like this one.  This is one of my favorite local cars, I love it.

I feel this is one of my most successful abstraction attempts to date, as abstract as the engine is I think anybody that's into vintage cars will recognize it as an early hemi...one hot rodded with four single barrel carbs and lakester headers.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Abstract Red Tractor

By the late 1960's tractors were becoming more angular in design, more modern I guess but a little less visually appealing.  However most still didn't have cabs, fenders and fully enclosed engine bays yet so that can still make interesting art subjects.

art painting tractor farmall red abandoned abstract

"Red Abstract Tractor"

11" X 14", acrylic on panel

Available on Ebay


The tractor that is the subject of this painting is an example of the direction the designs were going by the mid 60's, though it might be hard to tell since I painted it semi-abstract using a palette knife.  The tractor in my reference photo was actually missing the hood, but I'm fairly confident it was a Farmall by International Harvester. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Abstract Johnny

For some people all tractors are green, as in John Deere green.  Early John Deere tractors are often referred to as "Johnny's", or "Poppin' Johnny's" if they are running the two cylinder engine that kind of "pops" as the tractor lopes long.

"Abstract Johnny"

20" X 16", acrylic on panel

Available

Lately abstraction has been on my mind.  Not that I want to paint abstracts, but rather I want to paint representational images that are nearly abstract but still readily recognizable.  I figure the best way to achieve that is to paint using palette knives, or even better, "wedges".  What's a wedge?  It's what Princeton calls it's line of paint application tools that are basically a thin contoured wedge shape, some come with shaped edges for creating special textures.  On this painting I used the wedge they call "Contour C-83" for almost the whole painting.  I kept the background totally abstract and just applied blocks of various colors which is kind of what I did for the body of the tractor as well. 

When using alternative tools to paint with you often give up a degree of control, which is fine, it keeps you from getting too fussy.  I really like the effect and enjoy painting this way, as a bonus I don't have to rinse out and clean any brushes.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Late Afternoon Light

I think the lighting during late autumn is often the most dramatic.  In particular late afternoon just an hour or two before the sun hits the horizon, the light is low but bright, the trees are nearly bare yet the ground is not yet covered in snow.  I think this situation creates a stark contrast between light and shadow with ground foliage still showing to add interest.  I think taking a walk amongst nature alone at these times has a very special mood that's hard to describe in words, so I tried to describe it in a charcoal drawing.


"Late Afternoon Walk"

9.5" X 12", charcoal on paper

Available

The  drawing is based on a photo I took in the South Jordan area of the Jordan River Parkway.  This was one of the few places on the parkway where there is a significant hill to climb or descend, it's fairly steep and not real short.  I think the perspective of looking uphill added to the effect.  I made some small composition changes, adding the distant bush at the upper right and the distant hill for balance.  I think I captured the mood pretty well, makes me want to go out for a late afternoon walk.