Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oak At Nipomo

"Oak At Nipomo"
15" X 30" Oil on Canvas
I had a painting at a benefit show to help raise funds to restore the Dana Adobe in Nipomo a few months back. While there I took some reference photos and did a plein air painting. The adobe is on a long dead end street and this oak tree is on the property next to the adobe. It's a huge tree that has to be tens and tens of years old with a great spot overlooking the farmlands of Nipomo. Always a sucker for a good looking tree I wanted to paint it so that's what I did.

The interesting thing about this painting is that I ended up really working hard to paint better grasses and the smaller plants in the foreground. Had I painted my usual grasses I would have had this done in 2 days instead of the 3 that it took to complete. I've been admiring the way Clyde Aspevig paints his foregrounds grasses. I stared at his for a good few hours and thought I needed to work more on mine instead of doing my usual "flick of the wrist" grasses that I normally do. Mine are ok but they probably needed to evolve some more. I don't usually paint many small bushes either so that was something I wanted to work more into this painting. I like Clydes grasses but he attains a much more realistic look than I do or can do at this point. That guy sure can paint small plants though...makes me drool.


Marian Fortunati said...

Nicely handled, Ron... Unusual format too!

Did you see Aspevig's huge painting at the Autry for the Masters of the American West show two years ago??? It was the most amazing painting. The ENTIRE painting was a field of grasses and their little bitty flowers.... And the painting was like 10 feet or more high with an equally impressive width....
(And it sold for something close to a hundred thousand dollars too.)

I always like his work but that one has really stuck with me!

Ron Guthrie said...

Hi Marian,
I have never been fortunate enough t see any of Aspevig's work in person....only online. I need to one day see some of his work somewhere. As a painter I am drawn to his ability to capture the simplest details so well in his work. It's pretty amazing.
Thanks Marian!

Mick Carney said...

Powerful image beautifully handled. There is an almost granular quality to the surface. The value range is great and adds to the strength of the picture. The distant mountain and the way you have rendered it give the picture great depth.

Ron Guthrie said...

Hey Mick,
The surface of the paint is really not that "granular" and is more due to the photograph. I took the pic at night under nothing but the lights and because it is so wide had to back the camera up a bit. I guess that is why it has that look. It is pretty normal looking actually. I wanted a nice range of values here, strong darks, bright lights etc so I'm happy with that.

Glad you like the distant mountain area too. I wanted to push that area a bit and add some suggested detail back there which I think came out really nice. Thanks Mick!