During my 4-hour demo at LaFontsee, a number of the visiting artists who came during the second half wanted to see the beginning stages of the painting process they had missed. I was happy to oblige them, so the Mackinac Island scene made an appearance in one form or another on 3 different canvases! The photo above is the newly finished second one: “Mackinac Island Dock 2.”
Below: setting up for the demo.
Below: paints laid out, tools at the ready, and pouring some white peach tea for the much-needed caffeine boost.
Below: some of the artists and art lovers who came to observe. Many thanks to ALL of you who came by (it was a pleasure to finally meet some new faces in person!). You all made my day very enjoyable.
I’ve been hitting the “repeat” button lately on the Magnificent Mile, but have also painted the lakefront, views from Lake Shore Drive, cityscapes at dusk, cityscapes at night, and cityscapes that are not quite downtown. And of course, I haven’t begun to scratch the surface.
This painting was started during my demo at LaFontsee Galleries on Dec. 8. I finally added the remaining touches this week, with the goal to keep it as loose and wild as it began. Acrylic Artist Magazine, in their cover-page article about me in the Fall, 2016 issue, described my art this way: “Nelson balances abandonment with restraint.” This piece is probably one of my stronger examples of that tight-rope balancing act.
I don’t often paint still life scenes, although early in my painting days (2009-2011) I painted a LOT of pears! So this was really exciting to depict flowers with a new approach. Each of the paintings below began with a foundation of bright primary colors. As the subsequent layers were added, some of the bright backgrounds and other layers were allowed to show through.
The two pink paintings would make great companions, as would the two green flowers. (The pinks appear to not have the same colored background, but that’s a photo issue; they’re actually extremely compatible.)
I hope you enjoy this series; I’d love to hear what you think about them. Thanks for following me!
Of all the gorgeous vistas to be enjoyed on the scenic drives in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, this is my favorite, because of the barn.
I knew that barn was down there (can you feel the intensity in my words?!?!), and wanted to catch it with strong angled light before the sun got too low. However, there were many things working against me: 1) It took longer to race there from our campground than I thought. 2) We forgot to bring our National Park pass, and wasted precious moments talking the man in the booth into letting us have free entrance, just 15 minutes before it was going to be free for the evening anyway…sheesh. 3) We didn’t know which scenic pull-off it was on, so we had to zoom in and out of a number of them before we found it. (Picture, if you will, an occasional intense conversation between driver and passenger-also-known-as-artist along the lines of, “This is it.” “No, this can’t be it.” I’m sure it’s not this one.” “But how do you KNOW? We don’t dare miss it, because we won’t have time to come back!!” And so on. 4) Last of all, I forgot to bring my zoom camera; all I had was my iPhone, and this view is a very long way down!
But as you can see by the painting, in spite of the challenges, the pursuit paid off, elevated pulse rate, and all! And to think that viewers of this piece have described it as “serene.” I love it.
October was an “Aha!” month. I painted over, or made necessary revisions to, five paintings! This is one of them. Its first identify (much darker) was chosen for a top-notch juried exhibition, and I personally liked it a lot. But I couldn’t hang it in my own home (although I tried), because it came off too severe. So I softened and whitened the daylights out of it.
For the curious, below is a photo of the original version. Last is a photo of the revision, hanging happily on the wall.