Spring has Sprung and there is Action!

Spring has Sprung and there is action everywhere!

Shift Change
Shift Change
Cottonwood Stand
Cottonwood Stand

 

These two pieces, 'Shift Change' and 'Cottonwood Stand', have both sold in the last couple of weeks!  Both are done in pastel.  I am thrilled that they have found happy homes - one in Queretero, Mexico, the other in San Antonio, Texas.  Thank you to those who have purchased these pieces!  I would like to put forth a special thank you to Guchiebird's in Driggs, Idaho for showing my work.

I am heading out today for Texas to take a workshop with Jill Carver.  I am super excited.  Her sense of form is very strong... but her execution is fluid and loose.  I think that I have much to learn from her... not to mention getting to interact with a group of incredible artists while there!  Keep posted for my experience while in Texas.

What a nice send off I have gotten over the last couple of weeks!

You Know That Winter Has Been Mild When...

...  you get out plein air painting in January and February!

Corner of the Track In Process
Corner of the Track In Process
Early Spring in the Tetons
Early Spring in the Tetons
January Thaw
January Thaw
Corner of the Track
Corner of the Track

 

I have been thrilled to get out and work on my 2014 theme of SIMPLIFICATION.  How can it be SO difficult to 'keep it simple'?  As you can see from the pieces above, I have kept my subject matter to a manageable number of shapes, focusing on basic shapes in light and shadow only.  This is accomplished by changing color temperatures within these shapes rather than extreme value changes... gee, it sounds easy enough!

I have a feeling that this is going to be my 2015 theme as well!  After all, practice makes perfect, right?

Keep posted as I will be attending workshops, making an appearance at the CLICK Visual Artists Conference, teaching workshops and THRILLED to be invited back to do a residency at the Whitney Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming... not to mention painting!

TAC Class was FANTASTIC!

Yesterday, I taught a day long workshop, Basic Practices for Drawing and Composition for the Teton Arts Council.  I feel so honored to have worked with such a great group of people.  The focus was high and the work successful!

IMG_4896
IMG_4896

 

The class was designed to give helpful tips on 'checking' your work when it doesn't feel quite right.  We worked on contour drawing through prints and freehand work, line quality, checking angles/negative shapes and sizes as well as notan studies through still life, proportions of the human figure and face.  With our last bit of time, we played with brushwork.  Yes, I am worn out... but feeling so fortunate to have spent the day with this group.  What a great day!

Thank you to the Teton Arts Council for their support!

The Challenge of a Vehicle...

A few months ago, I took a workshop with Time Horn, who paints incredible light on buildings and vehicles, among other things.  During the workshop, I couldn't resist attempting my first vehicle.

Out Back of the Shed
Out Back of the Shed

 

I had two hours until the car pool was leaving so I made haste!  The layout (which is basically a drawing with brush and paint) went in quickly and reasonably accurate.  I felt like I was on a roll!  The wonderful experience was actually observing that the colors on the truck were  reflections of the environment - not the truck itself.  It is so obvious... but very exciting to truly observe it while painting!  Oh so fun!

Of course, I ran out of time.  Lucky for me, Tim came over at the last minute and told me to get the highlights in quick - I only had 5 minutes!  I wanted to fuss with colors and temperatures, but forgot all of that and just laid in highlights.  What a difference that it made!

I have worked a little more on this piece at home but have decided to leave it mainly the way it was in the field... it is too easy to loose the spontaneity that I love so very much.

Tim Horn Workshop cropped 72
Tim Horn Workshop cropped 72

I will definitely be looking for vehicles to paint in the future!

Christmas Card is Ready to Go!

Printing Christmas cards is one of my favorite holiday traditions.

Snow Bunnies
Snow Bunnies

I decided to add figures to my cards this year so I had a great time doing field studies of people playing in the snow.  It got me right into the spirit!  I hope that it does for you too!

Linoleum Print 51/2" x 51/2"

'Morning at the Grain Bins' Receives First Place at the TAC Visual Arts Showcase!

I am honored 'Morning at the Grain Bins' received the first place award at the TAC Visual Arts Show 2014!

Morning at the Grain Bins
Morning at the Grain Bins

 

'Morning at the Grain Bins' was painted in plein air this summer.  The location is a series of old grain elevators that reminds us of the recent past here in Teton Valley.  The train used to go through this complex of buildings, moving grain to it's destination.  The site hold tremendous history and incredible visuals.  I will be back here to paint!

When painting 'Morning at the Grain Bins', my focus was on simplicity of composition and color relationships.  The challenge is ever present and so satisfying when it works out!  You can see the development of this painting through a series of images in the August 2, 2014 post on this blog.

Oil  11" x 14"

Another Painting from Maynard Dixon Country

This little house in Mount Carmel screams to be painted in the morning light!  The warmth that is reflected in the porch area is nothing short of striking.  Between that and the shadows on the street in front, I was captured!

Reflected Warmth 

Reflected Warmth 

 

I have spent the summer striving to keep on task with simplicity of subject and color relationships in order to clarify form to it's purest.  This was a great subject matter for me to attempt.

The trees behind the house quickly defined the space and value scale for me - I was pleased.

Of all funny things, I had the most difficulty with the shaded area of the porch, wanting to redefine my drawing repeatedly... it took a fair bit of talking to myself to get it all figured out!

I am thrilled with the reflected light that I got on the porch and find that I am still drawn to that warmth... I think that is a good sign!

'Reflected Warmth' is painted in oil.  It is 12x12".

Maynard Dixon Country was Inspirational!

I decided last minute to head off to Mount Carmel, Utah for the Maynard Dixon Country.  I went as a spectator... but of course brought along paints!

Evening Cliff Study Maynard Dixon Country
Evening Cliff Study Maynard Dixon Country

 

The first couple of days I painted alone exploring the landscape and discovering where was the best place to be for morning and evening light.  It was great to be on my own and searching out options.

Then, the weekend events started up.  There were a number of well organized events including a gallery show, wet paint sale, social media discussion, dinner and campfire - all packed into a day and a half.  The event was held on the grounds of Maynard Dixon's home and studio - both of historic and emotional significance.  I met many incredibly skilled artists and collectors, learning while talking to them and enjoying their paintings.  What an informative, social, relaxing and motivational experience!

I have special thanks in my heart for Susan and Paul Bingham who own the property and make everyone feel as if they were visiting them for the weekend.  Also all of the artists that were so accommodating and fun... I will be back!

...Back at the Grain Bins...

I have spent the summer working on simplification and color relationship... which keeps bringing me back to these grain bins.  The forms are basic, yet their are a number of buildings together, giving me a lot of compositional options.  The warm of the sun on the buildings vs the cool of the shadows is just too inviting for me to pass by!

Morning at the Grain Bins
Morning at the Grain Bins

 

You may be seeing more of these silos yet!

'Morning at the Grain Bins' is done in oil.  It is 11" x 13".

Summer Evenings Are Fading Into Fall

This morning I woke to a dusting of snow all around us.  It made me happy that I had been out painting in the field while the summer heat lasted.

End of Summer
End of Summer

 

I painted 'End of Summer' plein air one evening last week.  Much to my delight, as I was painting, I heard a voice over my should asking me what I was doing.  It was a 4th grade boy, Michael, on his bike cruisin' the neighborhood where I was painting.  He spent an hour visiting with me while I painted.  I was surprised how my focus stayed with me as we visited and I painted.  A lot of our conversation was about painting and what I think about... I did a lot of thinking out loud...

At any rate, I felt that my color relationships worked well on this piece.  It must have been Michael's input - when I explained that I was trying to mix the color of the light on the phone pole, he spoke up quickly...'Why, that is maple syrup, for sure.'  By George... he was right!  ;).

Life is full of unexpected treasures!

'End of Summer' is painted in oil.  It is 12" x 12".

...Some Oils from Driggs Digs Plein Air...

I can hardly believe that the week is already over.  It was a time of a lot of field work, great camaraderie, too much sunshine and wonderful learning opportunities.

I had decided to challenge myself for the week and work only in oils.  This ended up being a great goal for me.  I enjoyed myself immensely and got into the rhythm quickly.  All in all, I am pleased!

Silo Still Life
Silo Still Life
Summer Shower
Summer Shower

 

It was interesting for me to see how much crossover there was in my pastel and oil work.  As you can see from previous blog entries, I stuck to my interest in a primary layer representing the temperature of the colors that I see prior to putting down the local color.  I feel that in both mediums this helps to communicate to the viewer what it truly felt like to be there, which is what I strive for. I am hoping you feel the same.

Until the next post, enjoy this delightful summer weather!

Wyoming Artist Roster Hot Off the Press!

The Wyoming Arts Council just sent out the latest artist roster... you Wyoming non-profits... jump on the bandwagon for state support with visual, performing and literary artist workshops!
http://wyoarts.state.wy.us/wac-artist/michele-farrier/

MICHELE FARRIER

michele at snake river300dpi


Michele’s interest in plein air has been a joy for her. She is active and enjoys time out-of-doors observing for hours at a time. Her passion is evident in her many workshops and residencies. She taught K-12 art for Teton County School District for 19 years. She has a B.A. in Art from UC Davis and a K-12 Art Teaching Credential from CSU, Sacramento. Her work can be found at DeSelms Fine Art in Cheyenne, Guchiebird’s in Driggs, Idaho, the Wyoming State Collection and in the new Ivinson Hospital in Laramie.

Forth Day of Driggs Digs Plein Air

Today was more difficult as the light kept changing. I did a lot of 'hurry up and waiting' as I had started with a clear sky. There is more I would like to do to complete this, but here it is... straight off the easel.

Once again there are 3 photos: sketch in oil, temperature layer and local color... sticking with the week's mantra of simplify, simplify, simplify!

GM Silo drawing with oil 

GM Silo drawing with oil 

GM Silo Temperature layer 

GM Silo Temperature layer 

GM Silo local color 

GM Silo local color 

Back to Basics for me!

After being gone for the Plein Air Convention, Whitney Museum residency and shows, I was completely overwhelmed with all of that GREEN in the landscape... befuddlement... so, BACK TO BASICS for me.

block study
block study

 

I have spent the last couple of weeks working on color relationship studies with the good old blocks!  They are painted primary colors and are a great way to carefully examine one color in relationship to another... it feels great to refresh my mind of the obvious!

Ah, the challenges of plein air painting!

Art Residency at Buffalo Bill Center of the West was Incredible!

I had a wonderful time as a resident artist at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum in Cody, Wyoming... how often does someone get to paint in front of a couple of large Rungius paintings?... Not to mention the paintings and sculptures of Russell, Remington and Bierstadt that surrounded me!

MZF residency Buffalo Bill Center of the West
MZF residency Buffalo Bill Center of the West

 

I learned a lot, felt tremendous support, met hundred of interesting people and managed to get a few paintings well on their way!

I am feeling so grateful for the opportunity!

On My Way to the Buffalo Bill Museum for an Artist Residency

I got one more pastel started before leaving for Cody.  The light became flat, so I think I will take this piece up to the Buffalo Bill Museum and work on it during my residency.  I would much rather work in the field, but the light changes so quickly this time of year that by the time I return, everything will look quite different.

Pastel Start - Milk Creek
Pastel Start - Milk Creek

 

I head off to Cody today and am very excited.  I will be painting in the Buffalo Bill Museum and visiting with Yellowstone Park visitors for 15 days... I should have some great stories soon!  Wish me luck!

Pastel Start is in vine charcoal.  18" x 18"

2 pieces juried into the Rail Art Show

I am thrilled to announce that I have had two pieces juried into the 2014 Rail Art Show in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Shift Change
Shift Change
Vastness of the Train Yard
Vastness of the Train Yard

 

As I have mentioned in earlier blog posts, I developed a keen interest in trains after visiting the pedestrian catwalk over the Green River, Wyoming train yard.  The experience really captured my imagination!

I am inspired to do more paintings involving people in their work environments.

The show will be open from May 15 - Aug 1, 2014 at the Cheyenne Depot Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming.