Long time gone … Plein Air Fall 2017

I’ve been gone at Plein Air events for the last 3 1/2 weeks. We traveled and parked our camper at great people’s houses who were so hospitable to us. It made the events even more fun! Below are some shots of my work. Why am I not in any of them  you wonder? Well because Tova wouldn’t take a photo of me, she was busy snoozing.

Tova is holding down that rock at Fisher Towers, UT

This is at the Escalante Canyons plein air event. It was 11 days long! Whew

Painting hay fields in Escalante Utah. Red rocks, too!

The ones below are at the Colorado National Monument Plein Air, near Grand Junction, Colorado. That Plein Air event lasted almost a week.

Coke Ovens in early morning light.

Painting in full sunlight is tough on the eyes! Independence Rock

The 3 below are from the Red Rocks Arts Festival in Moab, UT.  That Plein Air event lasted over 8 days! Wow. I did a lot of painting in all types of weather from wind and snow to wind and sunshine.

Of course the famous Fisher Towers are behind me.

It was a cold and windy day but I kept on painting and the sun peaked out for a bit.

A smoky Dead Horse Point State Park!

I’ve cleaned out the sand and grit from my gear and have been resting the last day or two. It is good to be home but I’m ready to paint outside again. Just not so far from my bed and kitchen, ha ha ha!


"Mrs. Norris' Root Cellar" Plein Air oil, 9" x 12"

“Mrs. Norris’ Root Cellar” Plein Air oil, 9″ x 12″

I’ve been painting up a storm lately. Tomorrow we head out to Meeker for the Plein Air Meeker competition. Its in conjunction with their “Range Call” which is Meeker’s way of celebrating July 4th.

"Rocks and Wyethia" Plein Air study, Oil

“Rocks and Wyethia” Plein Air study, Oil 6″ x 9″

I’ve have lots of studies from places around Paonia so I’m looking forward to the change of scenery and alpine vistas in the White River National Forest and Flat Top Wilderness area.

"Pipe Organ" Oil, 8" x 15" en Plein Air

“Pipe Organ” Oil, 8″ x 15″ en Plein Air

I did paint at the Colorado National Monument on Friday, so I had a change of scenery for a couple days. But this is yet another change. Stay tune for more posts about the week in Meeker! Although I don’t know how I’ll be able to compete with the Meeker Massacre Pageant, Meeker Bank Robbery Reenactment or Jon Wangnild Memorial Shoot. Painting versus shooting weapons and pretending to kill people? Hum? At any rate, I am leaving for Paonia before Range Call to join in my town’s own July 4th celebration, Cherry Days, which honors the first fruit of the season to be ripe. Yep, shooting people or eating cherry pie, eating lots of ripe sweet cherries and drinking hard cherry cider,  my choice is for the cherries.

Plein Air season 2017 is beginning!

Plein Air Painting view of Mt. Lamborn

I’ve been painting every day the last couple of weeks to get in shape for the upcoming Plein Air painting season. On the 26th, I leave for Meeker, CO and the Plein Air Meeker competition. In August its the Red Brick Plein Air Festival in Aspen, CO.

I’m getting ready and will get my hat on, bug spray applied and set up my easel and umbrella and paint away!

Plein Air painting right near my house

Follow me on Instagram at Plein Air Cedar for the the latest news.

Cedar’s work in May at the Village Smithy

Back wall in the Village Smithy Restaurant

My work is in Carbondale, CO at the Village Smithy Restaurant, 3rd and Main, during the month of May. If you’re in Carbondale, grab a bite to eat from 7-2 and check out my paintings. Its a pretty setting and very vital and happening. And the baked goods are yummy!

This is the main wall in the Village Smithy Restaurant.

Western Colorado Center for the Arts 2017 Member Exhibition



"Elk Hay"

“Elk Hay” at the Art Center in Grand Junction’s 2017 Member Show.

"Zion Sentinel"

“Zion Sentinel” at the Art Center in Grand Junction’s 2017 Member Show.

These two paintings are on exhibit at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts or the Grand Junction Art Center as I like to think of it. There are over 240 works by 140 or so artists. There is everything from paintings to fiber to ceramics to some things that defy description.

I am honored to be included in this interesting and creative show.

DIY workshop “How to See Color and Paint it” by Arthur Stern

I have started a new self-improvement project. I am going through the exercises in a book recommended to me by Jill Soukup called “How to See Color and Paint it” by Arthur Stern.

I started by reading the whole book. Then I set about to get all the things I needed to go through the book and do the exercises. That involved buying paints and canvas paper, constructing a little set-up box, buying a few inexpensive supplies and making some shapes. I also had to dig around in my cabinets for things to go in the still life set-ups.
I look at it like attending a workshop, only the instructor is the book and there are not any other students. I am glad I can muster the discipline to follow through with projects like these. Of course I do like to take a break and get on a mule for an afternoon, too.

Me on Foley, its cold out but not too bad.

Me on Foley, its cold out but not too bad.

Each exercise involves painting a set up in the three-sided box. In each exercise you do either 1, 2 or 3 “statements” for each painting. Statement 1 is just flat planes of color in general. Statement 2 expands on that and adds a few more areas of color within Statement 1. Statement 3 involves finding many patches of color to paint. The paintings are exercises and not “masterpieces”. Use of a palette knife instead of brushes makes it a bit more challenging, especially since my palette knives have seen better days but I didn’t want to get new ones because I basically forgot to get them when I got the student grade oil paint. Palette knife use also is there to keep me from blending the colors. Which happens anyhow, some how I just am a bit messy with the edges of things.

The very first exercise I did in this book was to make a color chart. Its a lot like the color charts that Richard Schmid has in his book, Alla Prima. But no where as complex. So I was up for that!

Here is my color chart.

Here is my color chart.

Below is one page from Schmid’s book:



Sketches are the bones of painting

Sketches are the structure on which I base almost all of my paintings.

Wild Horse Crossing Campground

Wild Horse Crossing Campground

I love to do sketches, even if they are tiny small thumbnail ones, of a painting before I begin.

Moses Lake baseball field, WA

Moses Lake baseball field, WA

So I sketch a lot.

Big Southern Butte, from Crators of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

Big Southern Butte, from Crators of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

I’ve included some sketches I did while on our trip through 5 states earlier this month.

Firehold Canyon Campground view, Flaming Gorge, WY

Firehold Canyon Campground view, Flaming Gorge, WY

Painting gets in a show: San Xavier in Tubac

St Xavier, en Plein Air Oil, 8" x 10"

St Xavier, en Plein Air Oil, 8″ x 10″

San Xavier (A-Vear) is a mission south of Tucson, AZ.  Ansel Adams made it famous in his photos he did mid 20th century. I painted it en Plein Air when I was at the Plein Air conference in April 2016. It has been accepted to the exhibition: “Wish You Were Here”. It is a national juried exhibit of art that focuses on Southwestern Arizona. The show opens July 29 through August 28, 2016.


Showing unfinished paintings: To do or not to do

I know some artists who don’t like the public to see their unfinished works. Its supposed to convey a sense of professionalism to only display the finest and finished products and leave the public in a state of mysterious awe and wonderment. But I like for people to follow the drama, work, soul and transformation that a painting goes through before the artist (me) deems it complete.

In that vein of thought, I am showing a couple of my unfinished paintings I did while on my plein air slash camping trip through Nevada, Oregon, Washington, back through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and finally back in Colorado. The first one is a little creek, Clear Creek, in the Malhuer National Forest. It was along a road to a state park. Weather was clear and temps were mild, perfect!

The next one is of Silver Peak just north of Ketchum near Easely hot springs. Again a great day, slight breeze, cool temps, sunny with some fluffy clouds chasing by. Enjoy!

Clear Creek, work in progress

Clear Creek, work in progress

Silver Peak, work in progress

Silver Peak, work in progress


Plein Air Painting Trip Part 7: Plein Air painting in Idaho

Hiking out along the Harriman Trail near Easely Creek, ID.

Hiking out along the Harriman Trail near Easely Creek, ID.

The day after we got together with the McKelvy family, I got to do some painting! Tova and I hiked out into a field with a great view of Silver Peak.

Me, painting Silver Peak

Me, painting Silver Peak

Almost finished!

Almost finished!

Tova has a certain distinct style of assisting me when I’m painting. I am documenting it.

Tova, en Plein Air assistant!

Tova, en Plein Air assistant!