The weather is cooling down, so I have the outdoor painting bug!
I decided to visit my friends, Mike Averdick and John Gerwe. Two friends that live nearby, who have been restoring an old stone house from the 1700’s.
Most of the trees still have their leaves, which makes it a little tricky to get certain views of architecture. Behind the house are some apple trees, and a clear view of the house, so I decided to paint there.
Here’s a 1 1/2 hour long LIVE video with a walk around the house, and the first hour of painting
Thanks Mike and John for the hospitality! I had a great time painting at the house! I want to come back later, when the leaves aren’t in front of the house 🙂
The weather is finally cooling down. That means it’s time to get the paints out and do some plein air painting!
Some artist friends and I (8 of us) decided to meet at the river park in Aberdeen, Ohio, to paint from life. Since we’ve had a sudden drop in temperature, the cool air hitting the warm river water caused a lot of fog.
I’m used to using the directional light from the sun to make colors and shapes look good in a painting. Fog diffuses all that light, and mutes the colors of the landscape…making painting from life a bigger challenge for me.
Every now and then, I have been broadcasting LIVE videos on facebook, while i make art. With this scene being such a challenge, i thought i’d try to tackle it with an audience watching the struggle. If you are interested, you can see a replay of the video here:
During the live demo, I decided to challenge myself, and use a limited palette. A palette that does not include the color BLUE. My goal was to demonstrate that the color choices aren’t as important as values (dark and light). To my eye, a foggy morning scene has LOTS of blue in nature, so painting from life without using blue would be tricky…but if i am careful about my values, it should still look ‘right’
Another challenge of painting ‘plein air’ (from life) is that the sun moves, and the scene is always changing. Towards the end of the painting, all the beautiful fog has disappeared!
In addition to the challenges of the limited palette, fog, and a changing landscape; it was the first time I had ever seen many of my artist friends in person since the pandemic started in March…so there was some long overdue socializing as well.
In spite of all that, i’m happy with the finished painting. I learned a lot about fog and color theory…and captured a memory of a really fun day!
We had so much fun, we are going to try to meet (weather permitting) again in 2 weeks (september 30, 2020). If you live close to the Maysville area and want to join us, send me a message for more details.
So far, this has been the summer of porcelain, but I am still making paintings.
I just finished this group of charming little 6″x4 1/2″ oil paintings (below) . My originals have been popular, but sometimes tricky for collectors to get…especially online. Since they are one-of-a-kind, i struggled to figure out how to display them on the website and keep everything up-to-date.
It’s been awhile since I have been Plein air painting. All my recenty projects have been in the studio. When an artist friend invited me to meet up somewhere to paint outside, I said ‘sure! Where do you want to go? ‘ It didn’t matter to her, so I got to pick.
I picked the Rankin House in Ripley, Ohio. It’s a historic site that was once the home of John Rankin, an abolitionist who helped many people escape slavery. Perched on a hill, overlooking the village and ohio river, the rankins were able to give signals from their home to Kentucky.
Not only is the rankin house an important part of the underground railroad, it offers artists a magnificant view!
I wasn’t fully prepared to capture the view. I *should* have brought a panoramic canvas to capture everything. To improvise, I used 2 8×10″ wood panels, and set them beside each other to make a dyptich.
I have been experimenting with live videos and I tried live streaming the entire painting. It put a little bit of pressure on me…having a live live audience brought out some of the best of my talent, and I am happy with the finished painting!
Ins addition to my ‘virtual’ audience online, some friends (1 a fellow artist) came up the hill to watch me work.
Thanks again for a great day!
Here is the full length stream of the painting…originally live streamed on Facebook.
Awhile ago I started 3 paintings. They were different interpretations of the same scene. Since then, I’ve made some progress
also, since then, I have been gifted with an old drafting/artist table. It belonged to one of my best friends, also an artist, Lucciano Moral. He was making room in his house, and thought I would like it. He was RIGHT!!! It’s perfect! Thank you!
I want to start the year doing more painting. Over the summer, while in Vicco, KY, I sketched a scene of a little church beside a creek. Using the original sketch as reference, i drew these three compositions, using a sharpie marker.
I like all 3 for different reasons, so I’m going to make 3 different paintings
the one on the left has it’s base colors…now time to color the other 2
UPDATE: 7pm a little more color, will do some more painting tomorrow
Thought id give you all a closer look at some of the stoneware pots ive been making. Best experienced in person, but this video gives you an idea of whats happening at my studio right now. Yup, clay has taken over my life!
Greetings from US Route 62! I’m trying to explore and get to know the entire highway. Yesterday, I was inspired to try to make it to the highways furthest east/north point: Niagara Falls.
I DID make it past Columbus (my previous furthest distance) and stopped at ye old mill in Utica, Ohio. It is the home of Velvet Ice Cream. Their headquarters is located in a historic old mill. I was tempted to make a painting, but wanted to cover more distance, so I settled on a few sketches
After driving through picture perfect Amish Country (I am going to stop on my way home) I arrived at lanterman’s mill in Youngstown, Ohio.
Lanterman’s Mill is a beautifully restored mill, located by a waterfall in a beautiful gorge. (it’s gorgeous!)
I had a feeling my theme for the trip was going to be mills.
The next day, I arrived at Niagara Falls. I was prepared for a big and beautiful waterfall, but STILL was unprepared for the majesty of the falls…especially the iconic horseshoe falls.
I was too intimidated to try to capture the horseshoe falls. I don’t think a photo even get’s close to giving you an idea of what it is like.
It was also very busy, and i didn’t want to try to push through a crowd of people to try to setup my easel and paint.
Instead, I chose to paint the bridge between the USA and Canada. It is actually the very beginning of US 62, which I thought was appropriate. I also love the symbolism of bridges, because they bring people together!
The overlook where I stood has so much mist from the Niagara Falls, that the painting was covered with water from the falls. Good thing I was painting in oils!
Now that I have surveyed the entire East of Old Washington section of US Route 62, I am taking my time, stopping to study, or get to know places that got my interest on the way up. I won’t lie to you…it’s not always easy for me to travel. I’ve seen so much on this trip, i’m visually and creatively overwhelmed. I’m stopping to make sketches on my drive home, but I’m also feeling a little tired, and I miss my studio. I’d like to dive deeper and start some big studio paintings. Stay tuned, I’ll have more to share soon!
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Ken is a self-taught artist from rural Kentucky, whose work includes painting, printmaking, and pottery. He considers himself to be a 'lifetime learner' and he uses art as the vehicle to explore and learn more about the world around him. Much of his work reflect his optimistic views on rural folk culture, river life and simple pleasures.
Before the pandemic, You could visit Ken every Final Friday of the month at studio 400 at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. Now, he's mostly sitting on his front porch ,keeping a social distance, in the Historic Village of Old Washington, KY.