Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hollyhocks, Echinacea, Lilies, Daisies, and Queen Anne's Lace Code #121515 S 12x12

Let's end the year with a lovely flower painting! 

I first make a panel by cutting the hardboard into the size I want then sealing the panel with GAC 100.  I apply two coats of gesso to the front and back sides of the panel.  Then I tint the panel with a napthol crimson red acrylic paint.   Using alizarin crimson and cerulean oil paints thinned with cold pressed linseed oil, I sketch the initial drawing on the panel staying very loose with the drawing.  This preliminary sketch is used to place where I want the flowers and pool and birdbath to go and the basic structure of the painting.

I start with the darkest darks of the background trees and the foreground space.  I also pop in the pure reds and pinks of the flowers.
I have a rubber tipped implement -- looks kinda like an eraser tip -- to loosely add branches and tendrils.  I also put in the birdbath.  I work back and forth between the foreground and background as well as all over the entire surface at the same time.
Flowers are added and then pushed back or painted over and even painted out, in an ongoing "back and forth" play throughout the entire surface.

The finished painting, "Hollyhocks, Echinacea, Lilies, Daisies, and Queen Anne's Lace" next to a gold fish pool.  Oil on panel, 12" x 12", c. 2015. Code #121515 S 12x1SOLD.

I want to wish you a Happy New Year and many blessings in 2016!  I appreciate you very much!  You are the reason I continue to paint and create beautiful artwork to enrich our living spaces and lives!  Thank you for your interest and support over the years!  I plan to make 2016 the best year ever with more fabulous paintings!

Please be sure to sign up for my email newsletter in the upper right box so you can get a once a week email with new paintings in progress and also when they become available as well as upcoming shows, news, specials, info about classes and workshops, tools and gear, and fun insights into the life of an artist.  Thanks!



Monday, December 21, 2015

Dad in Brown County

Loren Marsh on the front porch of his cabin in Brown County, Indiana, 1946-48.

Blog updated 12-22-15.

At a family gathering this past weekend, my sister gave me a packet of photos that had been stashed in our uncle's barn.  At first she tried to tell me this picture with our Dad was from the Philippines during WW II but I knew right away from the log cabin, the trees and the hills in the background that it was from my home, Brown County!  I was very excited to find this photo of my Dad, Loren Charles Marsh, sitting on the front porch of his Brown County cabin where he lived while attending law school one county over in Bloomington, Indiana.  Despite the numbers "44" written on the back, the photo must have been taken sometime between 1946 and 1948.

I got this email from my brother with updated and corrected information:

Hi Charlene,

1.  Dad tried to join the Navy after Pearl Harbor, but was rejected due to eye sight.  He graduated from University of Chicago in June, 1942 and was drafted into the Army after that.  He was not considered I-A.   I think he was I-B because of his vision.

2. He taught radar, which was secret and highly classified, in Norfolk, Virginia his first two years.  He told me that the army forgot about his classification sometime in 1943 or 1944 and shipped him to New Guinea and then the Philippines.   He said when they were at sea, they had to be very quiet and keep all the lights out.  Dad said he should have stopped smoking and used the cigarettes to start a laundry. He said he could have made a lot of money.  <<Side note:  Mom wouldn't marry a smoker so Dad quit before they got married.>>

3.  Dad did have appendicitis in the army.   I think it was around 1944.  I'm pretty sure he was not sent home.

4.  He also told me he got one combat star as he was on an island that had action on the other side.  I think I have it and some of his other WWII stuff.  In a soldier's parents' homes, a blue star was displayed for active duty and a gold star for a son killed in action.

5.  There were 16,000,000 men from the US in WWII and 250,000 were killed, which is around 1400 per week or 5600 per month.   Obviously, this was not advertised widely.   Grandma and Grandpa were very worried about Dad being killed in the war.
6.  He also told me that generally the Marines would go in first and the Army followed.  If the Army saw action, that meant the Marines were losing.
7.  He returned in January,1946.  He said he returned to the "world" by sailing under the Golden Gate bridge in SF.   He said the first thing he drank was milk and it was great.   Of course he had a beer after that.   He said it took months to get everyone out of the army.  After he landed in CA, he took a train home to Indiana.
8.  After he returned, he signed up for the GI bill, was admitted to IU Law School and went 2 1/2 years, graduating in 1948.  After graduation he returned to Muncie, met Mom, got married, started a law practice, and had us.
8.  As you may know, I have videos of Grandpa discussing WWI and Dad discussing WWII.  I need to get them edited, maybe with John Marsh's help.
9.  Dad died in 2007 and is buried at Butler, a military cemetery in Springfield, IL, dating back to the Civil War.

P.S.  Dad's favorite poet was JW Riley and artist TC Steele.

James Whitcomb Riley (October 7, 1849 – July 22, 1916)
Theodore Clement Steele (September 11, 1847 – July 24, 1926)

Love, Keith

Dad would speak fondly of his time in the Brown County Art Colony where he enjoyed hob nobbing with the artists and seemed to be particularly fond of Jack (Georges) LaChance.  He also knew Marie Goth, V.J. Cariani, and C. Curry Bohm, among others.  I am very proud to continue the legacy of Brown County artists that my Dad always spoke so highly of and was thrilled to be a part of in the hay day of the 1940's.  As far as I know, this is the only picture of him in Brown County during this time period.  I do not know who took the picture.

Loren Marsh in either New Guinea or the Philippines during World War II.

Sometimes I wonder if Dad retreated to Brown County to decompress after the war.  Commuting to Bloomington every day could not have been easy back then given the bad roads and distance and winter weather.

My Dad was a gentle, kind, friendly, sensitive soul so it doesn't surprise me to see all the photos of him socializing with the indigenous peoples and even holding their babies.  Growing up, whenever I would hear people disparage and joke about cut throat lawyers, I was always a bit mystified because my Dad, a lawyer, was such a good guy with more integrity in his pinky finger than most people have in their whole body! And it wasn't just a naive, starry eyed daughter's opinion.  Many folks have come to me in later years to tell me what a great guy my Dad was and all the wonderful things he did to help them.

If anyone has any additional information or corrections please contact me.  I plan to update this blog as I get new information.  

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Thanks for reading!  Happy Trails and Merry Christmas! 


Monday, December 14, 2015

Poppies 112215 S 12x12

I start the painting on a panel tinted with naphthol crimson and sketch the basic elements using a brush dipped in linseed oil and a cerulean and magenta mix.  I use a very limited palette when I paint and will cover that in another blog.

I paint 99% with a palette knife once the initial sketch is drawn.  The knife is great for mixing colors and applying the paint to the panel.  The panel provides a sturdy support for the vigorous knife work. 

I paint in the dark shapes first then the bright pure color of the flowers.

I cover the entire support with the basic colors and values before I go back in with details and fine tuning.

I add the final details and pull out any foreground elements.  The final painting:  Poppies, #112215 S 12x12, oil on panel.

Arts in the Park Grant

I am really excited to announce that I have been awarded a $3000 Arts in the Park grant by the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, in celebration of Indiana's bicentennial in 2016.  Here is the summary of my proposed project:  

"The artist will backpack oil painting supplies into the forest in all four seasons to paint "en plein air" in the Brown County State Park to capture the spirit and beauty of the forest. The artist will demonstrate to and engage with the public while working to raise awareness of fine art and the natural environment. The artist plans to create four, plein air oil paintings, one in each season of the year.  The artist will use social media to promote the events and engage the public."

I plan to keep you updated with the progress of the paintings and grant project as we go along.  Stay tuned!

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Thanks so much for checking in!

Happy trails!


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