Posted on Leave a comment

Stone City, Iowa 1 June 2021

photo of stone city iowa
Greetings from Stone City, Iowa.
Almost 100 years ago, Grant Wood made some famous paintings in this tiny town. It hasn’t changed much, I’m going to try and make a “soon to be famous” Ken Swinson painting of the same view. Stay tuned!
sketch of stone city iowa
Here is my sketch. I love the way the lines in the grass show off the contour of the land…and the road that goes up the hill. Lets start painting!
oil painting underpainting of stone city iowa
Here’s my underpainting! There’s a lot happening in this scene. Let’s hope I am able to hold it all together. Time for color!
oil painting first colors of stone city iowa
I have a little bit of color started. I hope you all like the color green, because this scene is 50 shades of GREEN!
oil painting of stone city iowa by ken swinson
was so into figuring the painting out, i didnt take any inbetween step photos. ill admit, it was a little bit intimidating to paint a view that was painted by a world famous artist. i know better than to compare my work to anyone else…im on my journey. here is the finished painting from that trip.
Posted on Leave a comment

grant wood studio, cedar rapids, iowa 1 june 2021

photo of grant wood's studio in cedar rapids iowa
greetings from cedar rapids iowa. im at the studio of one of my favorite artists, Grant Wood!! even though its a foggy morning, im going to try and pay tribute by painting the studio.
sketch of grant wood's studio in cedar rapids iowa
this is a tricky subject, so i did a few sketches. t think the vertical format will make the better painting…lets get setup!
oil painting underpainting of grant wood' studio in cedar rapids iowa
the underpainting. my first impression of cedar rapids…some of the friendly and nicest people i have ever met.
work in progress oil painting of grant woods studio in cedar rapids iowa
im at the stage of the painting where i add color,but theres a challenge, its a foggy overcast day (no sun) and the building is mostly grey and white. ive learned with plein air painting that i have to take whatever the day gives me. today its grey, lol
artist palette with different shades of grey
look at all the “colors” on my palette so far…i might have to title this painting, 50 shades of grey.
oil painting of grant woods studio in cedar rapids iowa
building up more and more “colors” and details…
oil painting of grant woods studio in Cedar Rapids Iowa
ok, im done painting, so now the sun can come out! hahahahahahaha!!!!!
Posted on Leave a comment

Lewis County Plein Air 30 May 2021

i needed a change of scenery, so i drove a few miles east to our neighbor, lewis county. this scene (especially the garden ready to be planted) would make a great plein air painting.
here is my sketch. lets start painting!
the underpainting took a little bit of squeezing to fit everything, but i think im ready for color!
i have some colors laid down,but there are some challenges. see the pretty blue peeking out at the top of the mountain? that wasn’t there when i started! lol. painting from life (no cameras) if nothing else, makes a painting dynamic
the light has changed again since taking this picture!!! its a wild day for painting!! would be so much easier to just work from a photo, but the painting is alive when i work like this. going to try and wrap it up in the next session. stay tuned!
Posted on Leave a comment

Poppies With Betsy – Plein Air 13 May 2021

This morning we are painting poppies in my yard. Here’s my sketch
My artist friend from Ripley Ohio joined me…a peek at her sketch.
my underpainting…
betsy is working in pastel…laying down her darks and getting color on her panel.
the panel is covered with some color…next building up more colors and details
betsy building up darks for her pastel
Poppies are popping…down to the last details
The poppies are coming!!!
I think i’m finished! The camera did a weird light balance thing…let me take a better photo for you all.
Betsy works a lot slower than me. She cropped her panel, and is building up the poppies!
poppies plein air 13 May 2021 – Oil on Hardboard 7×14″
Poppies – Pastel by Betsy Adams
“Friends Are Flowers In The Garden Of Life! -thank you Betsy for visiting my garden, and making art with me…what a fun morning! — with Betsy Adams.
Posted on Leave a comment

Poppies plein Air – 11 May 2021

hello everybody!
these poppies are popping in my yard. lets paint them!
here’s my sketch. today, im going to paint a big one (12×24”).
lets start painting!
here is the underpainting. i love this composition…now for the fun part…color!
oh, wow! these colors are wild!! its a mess right now, but i’ll keep building colors and details, hopefully settle on some kind of color harmony.
its starting to come together….some more details, and ill be finished!!
These poppies are finished!!! This color combination is NOT what I set out to do, but I love it, and how it highlights the poppies.

This original oil painting is AVAILABLE to purchase. Click below for a better look, and more information on how to order for your art collection.

Thanks for painting with me today!!

Posted on Leave a comment

Dottie’s Irises – Plein air 11 May 2021

My neighbor, Dottie, has the prettiest irises right now. I thought they would make a good model for today’s painting…
Here is the rough sketch… after making the sketch, i realized i was out of panels with that proportion. I’m going to paint it on an 8×10 instead…stay tuned!
i was getting so excited with the underpainting, i almost got started on the color, without sharing the step before that.
…ok, now it’s COLOR TIME!!!
I have the panel covered with color…now time to refine the colors, and develop the details
almost finished…just a few more details.
Dottie’s Irises
Oil on panel 8×10″

thank you Dottie, for letting my paint your pretty flowers…and supporting my work, by giving this painting a home!!!

Thanks all for painting with me today!
Posted on Leave a comment

Plein Air in Old Washington 8 May 2021

I’ve been trying to paint without sharing, so I can have a collection to show you all at once. But I can’t resist showing off, and it’s a rainy Mother’s day here in Kentucky, so I thought I’d share some good weather plein air sunshine with you!

I’m working on a series of iris paintings, and thought these pretty purple irises would make a good painting. Here’s my sketch…stay tuned to see how it works out!
Here’s the messy underpainting. I have the darks and lights worked out…and composition. Now time for the colors!!!
I’m not sure this one is going to work out…Everything has been in shadow, and these colors are a mess…thinking about calling it a loss, and wiping the board clean.
Never easy, but sometimes an artist has to ‘kill their darlings’ I went ahead and wiped all the paint from the board. I’m going to try to use the rest of the day to paint the church (in light) contrast with the flowers (in shadow)
ok, let’s try again…here’s my sketch, lets paint!
Here’s the second try underpainting for today’s painting.
I am already in LOVE with this painting. It has good light/dark contrast and should work! Can’t wait to start adding COLOR!!!
I have the base colors down. The sun hitting the church and green grass are so warm, I almost need sunglasses. Now it’s time to build up the details and colors…stay tuned!
I think i’m done!!! it’s funny how sometimes the best paintings come right after a failure. I’ve joked before how: yo have to push through the breakdown if you want to have the breakthrough!!! This was one of those days!!! I’m thrilled with it, AND this painting already has a home!! Thank you so much for experiencing this with me!
Posted on Leave a comment

Plein air old washinton- the barn on old main street 6 may 2021

The wildflowers in front of this barn would make an interesting painting.

Here’s my preliminary sketch…time to paint!!!
I think this wants to be horizontal instead of vertical.
The underpainting
Laying in some colors…I’m getting nervous because they are cutting grass all around the building. I don’t want to delay work, but hopefully they hold off until I paint the wildflowers
Im at the stage of painting where I am calling it a “hot mess”. The sun played some tricks on me(went behind clouds) , and i really don’t know where I’m going with it…I’ve learned to just push through…sometimes these messes transform into masterpieces. Other times they become lessons.
i was able to pull it all together…whew!!! The wildflowers were what attracted me to the scene, and they make the painting!
Thanks everyone for joining me on this afternoon of painting!
Posted on Leave a comment

Plein air painting/meet up Ripley ohio

Greetings from the river village of Ripley, Ohio! There’s no rain, but today’s forecast is cloudy. Still lots of pretty scenes to choose from. Stay tuned!

I decided to paint some of the flowers in Roses memorial garden. Joined by Northern Ky and Ohio artists, Ivanka lempitskiy, Jackie Braden and Margie lakeberg
I really like the sign at the entrance to the garden. It got cropped from our group photo, but it really set the vibe for the day!
These flowers caught my eye…maybe they will be in today’s painting?
I also like the house with Pickett fence…
a rough sketch…still trying to decide: house, or nah?
The underpainting
laying down some colors…
my new painting buddy!!! Refuses to model unless I have tuna. I left my tuna at home–next time!
more color and details…
the finished painting!
a time lapse of the finished painting
Posted on Leave a comment

Downtown Maysville, plein air 25 April 2021

I’m spending the next couple of days working with an artist friend who is JUST getting started with plein air painting. I don’t have step by step progress photos to share, because i wanted to be able to give them my full attention. This is the scene they chose for our first lesson/demo. We almost delayed the session because of fog, but i’m glad we didn’t! The scene was perfect for a paninting! Stay tuned!

Here is my finished ‘demo’ plein air painting. For our session, we only used 3 colors 2 earth tones (yellow ochre and burnt sienna) and ultramarine blue –and then Titanium white.

this is a big (to me) canvas panel (18×14) I was supposed to be the ‘teacher’ but I think i learned more than the ‘student’. I really enjoyed the bigger surface…and using only 3 colors really pushed my color mixing.

sorry the painting is out of focus, ill share a close up so you can better see the details next

Here is my finished ‘demo’ plein air painting. For our session, we only used 3 colors 2 earth tones (yellow ochre and burnt sienna) and ultramarine blue –and then Titanium white.

this is a big (to me) canvas panel (18×14) I was supposed to be the ‘teacher’ but I think i learned more than the ‘student’. I really enjoyed the bigger surface…and using only 3 colors really pushed my color mixing.

sorry the painting is out of focus, ill share a close up so you can better see the details next

here’s the finished ‘demo’ plein air painting.

This one is big (18×14″) -out of my comfort zone–but was a lot of fun to make.

It was created with only 3 colors (burnt sienna, yellow ochre and ultramine blue) — and titanium white.