Posts Tagged ‘west’

Painting a day 2016-Day 11-Mulie Study 1

March 14, 2016

Mulie+Study+1For today’s painting, I started out with the intent of painting a mulie buck that we’d spotted, lying in the tall grass while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.  I was excited about the subject and have thought about eventually doing a larger painting of it, so, now’s the time to do a little study and practice, right?  Right.  Well, no matter what I did, the painting was just not coming along.  I wiped parts of it out twice and finally wiped the whole canvas down and decided to move on to another subject.  This doe, on the other hand, almost painted herself.

So, today was a lesson in knowing when to persevere and when to save that subject for another day–it’s all learning!

“Every struggle arises for a reason for experience or a lesson. A great journey is never easy, and no dose of adversity along the way is ever a waste of time if you learn and grow from it.”  ~M. Lim




Saddle Up–Day 20

February 22, 2015
5"x7" oil on canvas panel

5″x7″ oil on canvas panel

I’m not sure of the origin of this saying but I fell in love with it when I saw it awhile back on Pinterest.

While on this ride called life, you have to take the good with the bad, smile when you’re sad, love what you’ve got and remember what you’ve had, always forgive, never forget, learn from your mistakes, but never regret.  People change, things go wrong but just remember, the ride goes on.

Here’s the link to this painting on the Daily Paintworks Gallery, thanks for looking.

Pioneer–Day 15

February 15, 2015
Pioneer-value study

7″x5″ oil on panel

Day 15–I’m on the back half of the challenge.

“There will always be a frontier where there is an open mind and a willing hand.” ~Charles Kettering.

Here’s the link to the Daily Paintworks Gallery, thanks for looking:


February 13, 2015
7"x5" oil on canvas

7″x5″ oil on canvas

My 100th blog post!!  Wow….and on Friday 13th no less!  That has to mean something, right??

I’m almost 1/2 way through my painting a day challenge for the month of February 2015.  It doesn’t seem like a lot when you take it day by day but when I look at all of my little paintings laying out on the table, it’s pretty satisfying.  I did those.  I can see room for improvement but I can also see improvement.  I can also see which paintings I was “feeling” and which were a bit more “forced”.  It’s all a process.

And with that….I’m going to end this post with one of my favorite quotes by the Duke….. “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway!”

Until tomorrow…….

Thanks for following along.

Here’s the link for this painting on the Daily Paintworks Gallery:

Soldier-Day 11

February 13, 2015
Day 11-Soldier

7″x5″ oil on canvas

Playing catch up once again on my posts and paintings.  This challenge is proving to be great practice in values and drawing.  Each one, I usually see something I would’ve done a bit differently or something I would probably change but, I’m trying to limit myself to no more than an hour or hour and a half at the very most.  Most of them are less than an hour.  I’m trying to remind myself these are practice studies and therefore they are what they are.  If I don’t like the concept or drawing, I give myself two options; wipe it off and start over but still finish within the hour, or, try the subject matter on another day in another study painting.  This painting was done during my lunch hour the other day, I did rush it a bit.  Now that I study it, I do see a couple of things I would “tweek”… is what it is and I’m on to another painting!

Here is the link for this painting in the Daily Paintworks Gallery, thanks for looking!


Pioneer Woman-Day 9

February 11, 2015
Pioneer woman

7″x5″ oil on canvas panel


Be Brave, Strong, and Courageous & Seek Adventure and Truth.


Here is the link to this painting in my Daily Paintworks Gallery, thanks for looking!

In Thought-Day 8

February 11, 2015
In Thought

7″x5″ oil on canvas panel

“Learn from yesterday, Live for today, Hope for tomorrow” -A. Einstein
One of my favorite quotes and a reminder that I have to tell myself often.  I am a worrier–yep, I admit it…today….though, ask me tomorrow and I may not admit it then.

Here’s the link for this painting in my Daily Paintworks Gallery, thanks for looking!

Plainsman-value study–Day 5

February 5, 2015


7"x5" oil on canvas panel

7″x5″ oil on canvas panel

Plainsman-value study

Day 5—Painting a day challenge for February

Here is the link to the painting in Daily Paintworks Gallery:–value-study/330572

Continuing with the value studies theme, here is another one of Bob, the same guy from day 1. He too, has such a great look and I have so much reference material to work from. Again, I could probably do a whole month of paintings of him as well.

With today’s painting, I thought it would be fun to share a bit of trivia about plainsmen and the old west way of life. I’ve been reading a little book that surprisingly enough, I found at a local resale shop—it’s been quite a little “treasure” and proved to be more than worth the $1 I paid for it!

Barbed wire, a fencing material made of twisted wire with spaced coiled barbs, turned the open plains of the West into enclosed pastures and forever changed the society and economy of the region. It was the invention of Illinois farmer Joseph Farwell Glidden who received his patent in November 24, 1874. Ranchers could now isolate their cattle and control breeding.

On the vast prairie where firewood was often scarce, cowchips were regularly used for fires. Camp cooks relied on them, as when they were dry, they made a hot fire. Of course the burning chips gave off an unsavory smell, but, thankfully, it did not affect the food. One old range cook who used his hat for a bellows claimed that in one season he “wore out three good hats trying to get the damned things to burn.”

On the cattle drives, when the chuck wagon cook was finished with his work for the day and before hitting the sack, he would always place the tongue of the chuck wagon facing north. When the trail master started in the morning he would look at the tongue and then know what direction he would be moving the herd.



Ace–Day 4

February 4, 2015
7"x5" oil on canvas panel

7″x5″ oil on canvas panel


Ace-value study

Day 4—Painting a day challenge for February

Here is the link to the painting in Daily Paintworks Gallery:–value-study/330498

Continuing with the value studies theme, I decided to get back into my equine subjects. Meet Ace—this guy is quite a personality. A bit ball of muscle and energy wrapped in horse hide. This guy LOVES to run and LOVES to play. He can be just wired one minute and then nonchalantly grazing without a care in the world. He is one of the nosiest, or should I say, most curious horses in our little herd. The problem is, he also seems to be the most accident prone….not always a good combo. There isn’t a whole lot that seems to rattle this guy; gunshots, farm equipment, ATVs, you name it. Ace takes it all in stride, unless he wants it to rattle him. By that, I mean, he took a page from Murdock’s playbook and sometimes uses something odd as an excuse to spook, just because he wants to take a moment to get loose and get squirrely. Did I mention, he also likes to strut his stuff once in a while and show off a bit?

Along with a bit about Ace, I thought it would be fun to post an “in the process” photo. With these value studies, I’m taking a bit of a different approach. Most of my paintings start out with a line drawing, however, with these little studies, I’m starting out with a wet, burnt sienna washed canvas and then proceeding to “carve out” my subject. This process is proving to be A LOT of fun and really refreshing my creativity. I’ve done this process a few times before when doing Plein air studies but, I tended to favor the “line drawing” approach more. That may not be the case any longer after this month!


7"x5" value study in process

7″x5″ value study in process

Frontiersman-value study-Day 3

February 3, 2015
Frontiersman painting

7″x5″ oil on canvas panel

Here’s the link to my painting in the Daily Paintworks gallery:–value-study/330410

Frontiersman-value study

Day 3—Painting a day challenge for February

Continuing with the value studies theme, I decided to do another one from my historic photo shoot last May. This guy was a friend/co-worker of the man that helped organize the shoot (and the “Gunslinger” from Day 1’s painting). This guy had such a great “look”. I could probably do the whole month of studies /paintings of just him using the reference material I gathered that day. This western sort of material really lends itself to sepia toned values studies.