Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An adjusted plein air painting

This is a painting that I started when Jerome was down visiting last month. We were painting the church and field with some cows in it. The cows kept moving around really really fast. I tried to catch at least the gestures on the spot. I was not real successful with all three of the cows.
It looked rather busy and unfocused when I got it back to the studio, so I reworked it a bit. I decided to take out two of the cows and add the guy who was spreading out these dried corn stalks for the cows. It is a smart way to get the fertilizer where he wants it. He put piles of the stalks here and there in his field and the cows did all the work.


"Feed for the Cows", 11" x 14" oil on linen, Frank Gardner © 2009



As it came home from the field , © 2009



The scene

25 comments:

Jack Riddle said...

Frank--this is a beauty! Love the composition--the way you created the focus with the red church tower, the two "live" subjects interacting, even the cut stalks and the wires going into the church. Also appreciate your showing the field piece vs the finished one. It shows exactly how a field sketch can be used. It's a keeper!

Pam Holnback said...

Great little tidbit of info about the fertilizer. Pulls me into the painting a little more. Have you ever shipped a painting from the states to Mexico? Someone in Patzcuaro wants to buy a pic from my blog, and I'm wondering how to go about it. thanks.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Jack. You know this place well, so that means a lot.
There were quite a few changes from the field to the frame, but I did leave a lot of the field work in there. Sometimes you just can't finish them up on the spot.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Pam, glad you like the little verbal embellishment.
I ship both ways a lot. Usually I use some sort of private mail service or shipper. Coming this way, I ship things to a US address and then it is brought down to me.
Does your client have a US address where mail is brought down to them?
That is how I have bought paintings on ebay before.

Fed EX, UPS and DHL all service Mexico as well.

Marian Fortunati said...

Love the way you warmed up and added some darks to the foreground. This one really sings now.
Where is this red church???
I agree with Jack's comment... it's so instructive when you show us how you go from study to studio!!

Dean H. said...

You applied your "home work' very well to this painting! Much improved focal area and great field! Thanks for sharing, Frank!

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Marian. The church is San Miguel Viejo, The Casqueros Chapel is what I think the real name is.
It is about 5 minutes from the center of town.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Dean, I thought the focal area would work much better like this. Glad it does.

Jennifer said...

Great color and composition on this one, Frank! Love seeing how you revise a piece.

Hey that farmer is on to something! Maybe I need to get some cows now, too...

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Jennifer. Yeah, he really has it made. He went for his cows, spread the corn stalks around and laid down in the shade for a while. Checked out our paintings, laid down some more. The whole while the cows were doing the work.

Jennifer said...

Laid down in the shade too? I'm sold. ;-)

mike rooney studios said...

great farmer frank- a couple of strokes, perfect!

milindmulick said...

great work here ..energiatic brush work..nice to find your blog

Barbara Pask said...

Hi Frank, I really like your changes. The three cows did have your eye jumping around a bit maybe. I like the man with the straw, so interesting and my eye goes right for the man and the cow. Your paintings always tell a story.

Dan Corey said...

Hey Frank, This upgrade really adds the "story" to this piece. Just great!

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Mike!

Hi Milind. Thanks.

Hi Barb, thanks. I like to have the eye jump around a lot sometimes, but in this one a more peaceful composition seemed to go better with the idea of the painting.

Yo Dan, thanks. That is sort of what I was thinking too.

bonnieluria said...

Love this bit of mystery explained and as well, the farmer facing in pulls the eye right into the story and the painting. Another good one Frank.

How do you " take out and add in " without it looking like a cut and paste Frankenstein?

Hope I'm not asking you to reveal ALL your secrets, but when I try to do a major fix after the fact, it looks it.

Looks a lot like cow pies, now that I think about it.....

Robin Roberts said...

Frank, great little painting. Thanks for giving us the whole picture including how you changed it once you got it home. Great piece with excellent design now too.

RR

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Bonnie, thanks. Ummm, well.... carefully.
I happen to have pictures I took along the way but was starting to feel like I was getting boring putting all these step by step blog posts.
If there is interest maybe I could post a few.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Robin.

http://www.onpainting.wordpress.com said...

So great of you to share this information. Good painting to start with, better when you finished. I feel like I'm getting a free workshop when I come here. THANKS.

Solvay said...

Hey, Frank!
I add my applause over the farmer's ingenuity - I could use a little inspiration like that - I really liked the painting, too, even before I read what was going on. (Is your process for taking away cows the same as it was for taking away sheep - a few posts back? ---Bonnie could see your secrets there - though I have to say I am NEVER BORED reading the details of your longer posts!!!, and would have loved seeing/reading your step-by-step, here, tooI. I also love how there can be cows and fields and churches all in one viewpoint - very Mexico.
(hope you're staying clear of the swine flu, by the way......have been thinking of you and your famiy....hope that hasn't travelled up to where you are.....)
Solveg

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Bill, it is a workshop, but it's not free, you did not get the bill in the mail?

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Solveg, no, I just wiped off the sheep in that other painting because they were still wet. In this one the painting was dry when I went back into it, so it is a totally different approach.
Yeah, we are flu free so far. That thing is getting a little blown out of proportion I think.

Solvay said...

OH!!! wet/dry. I get it!
: )
And, flu-free- excellent!
Out-of-proportion: that's the media for you. They need to sell papers and advertising......that's about all they're about. Pfft, as a friend of mine likes to say. Media, shmedia.
Still glad you're fine all the same!
: )