"Misty Morning in Olympic National Park" The first time I traveled to Olympic National Park, I went to paint a scene of a foggy morning on the coastline in the Park for my PBS series, “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the Eyes of an Artist." We drove through the Elma Valley and over to the Olympic peninsula where more than 73 miles of the northern Pacific coast is protected by the Olympic National Park. Visitors are able to experience miles of magnificent coastline full of tide pools, sandy beaches, and rocky cliffs. I chose a cold and foggy landscape… continue reading
These posts focus on the beauty and adventure of painting on location as well as the skills and techniques needed for painting en plein air.
"Asilomar at Sunset" It’s Tuesday, Day 2 of the Plein Air Convention in Monterey, and all I can say is “WOW!” Eric Rhoads and the Plein Air Magazine staff are presenting a convention that is over the top. This event has the best organization, the best presentations and the largest number of noted plein air artists in the same location than I have ever experienced, and I’m so glad I’m here. And, I never thought so many artists would recognize me from “The Grand View” PBS show, but it is a blast that they do. The first three days are… continue reading
"Mount Shasta Dogwood Blossoms" by Stefan Baumann Let's talk about methods for creating movement in your paintings. I painted this composition of "Mount Shasta Dogwood Blossoms" outdoors from my deck. When I composed this painting, I wanted to create a circular movement with the effect of light on the blossoms as the central focal point. When composing a painting, we are concerned with abstract shape as well as "eye magnets." Eye magnets are subliminal lines that lead the viewer into the painting and to the focal point. In this painting, you can see that the abstract shape looks like a wreath… continue reading
Ashland Orchard by Stefan Baumann Technique and style are the tools of creative expression for an artist. They support his ability to communicate his artistic vision. Technique includes the artist's ability to use brushes and paint to create a unique appearance using interesting brushstrokes, choices of color, the use of thick or thin paint, and the effect of light. Techniques punctuate a painting with personal artistic choices. Style includes broader artistic choices such as the content, composition, mood, and the placement of focal points as well as the artist's approach: impressionistic, realistic, or abstract. An artist's style contributes to… continue reading
"Farmhouse Near Winter's Cutoff" by Stefan Baumann I painted today’s painting, “Farmhouse Near Winter's Cutoff,” in a different way than usual. I painted it entirely from memory in my studio in two hours. I pass this place on the freeway every time I drive to San Jose to teach my classes. Each time I see this scene, I think to myself, "How would I paint that?" This painting is the outcome of practicing lots of memory exercises. In this day of instant gratification with TVs, videos, computer games and digital photography, we look less to the natural world for… continue reading