March 20th, 2011
“How does a 53 year old man spend his Spring Break?”
This past week, the 3rd week of March, I was finally able to take the time, as well as find enough clear weather, to paint plein air. I met my good friend Dennis Millard, and a friend of his, Bob Winegar, at Wheeler Farm. We intended to paint there, but everything was too gray yet, especially in the rather flat light of the mostly cloudy day. So, I had the bright idea of heading up on the east side of the Salt Lake Valley, along Wasatch Drive, and painting from that vantage point. It actually turned out to be a good spot.
Lone Peak, just south of our vantage point, became my subject for the morning. Dennis chose the view west across the valley, while Bob did a watercolor. The painting wasn’t as important at the time as it was for me to just be out there working from life again after the long winter. Plein air painting for me is a way of connecting with the real world, face to face, and capturing life and nature as it is happening. Working from photos I’ve found is easy, sometimes too easy. Bad habits can creep into an artist’s working process. I feel that plein air painting helps keep me honest and sharp as an artist.
Wednesday I went to Sanpete County to visit my good friend Doug Fryer. My apologies to his wife Teresa for taking up his time and taking him away from his studio and family for most of the day. We met up with Brad Aldridge, and then later on Ron Richmond, both artists, at Juanita’s in Moroni for lunch. It was great to see Brad’s studio, talk shop with friends, and get energized for the new season of painting. By season I mean every time of year but winter. Not that I have anything against winter, but you’ve got to admit it sure feels liberating when the snow has melted and the weather warms. Doug is working on a body of work for his show at Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe in June. Now there is a guy with some pretty outstanding images on his blog. Check it out, douglasfryer.blogspot.com. Ron finished up a mural last fall that was installed in a new facility in Vernal. It turned out to be very successful for him. Way to go Ron. Thursday I started some new panels and canvases for new works. Friday I started painting in earnest on a couple. I went with my family to the Gallery Stroll in Salt Lake that night, and had dinner with my wife Marilynn and our oldest daughter Meghan.
Well, there you have it, 53 year old man gone wild. I hope to make a habit of writing every once in a while, and I hope you find this little view in to an artists routine engaging. Along with these occasional writings I will be posting new works. They could be new oil paintings, charcoals, or watercolors. Until next time.