Saturday, April 08, 2006

Joshua Tree and Dead Stand

Here is a studio painting done from a photo from a recent Joshua Tree visit. 12x12"oil on a Ray Mar linen board. I was to busy hiking and photographing to set up. Along with the fact the place has tons of tourists makes it less inviting to actually set up and paint. I like it the painting, but think it's slightly more realistic than I'd prefer.

This was my first desert subject and certainly I want to do more.

Here is the opposite of the quite Joshua tree painting. Oil on linen applied to wood.9x12. On the way to JT is that restaurant on the 10 that severs the Ostrich burger's called Hadley's in the town of Carbazon. Right next to Hadley's there was a burned out closed business with this stand of dead palms. It felt like it had been closed for awhile. Knowing I was going to do a painting of some part of the scene I asked the oldest woman working at Hadley's what the name of the place that closed down next door. She looked flummoxed and wondered: "There's a abandoned business next door? I never noticed." Then and there I thanked God I don't live next to a factory town, even though I like painting the subject.

I can't paint the desert with thinking of on of my favorite landscape artists and teachers Matt Smith. He grew up in the Senora desert and that gives his work an authenticity that visiting artists would be hard pressed to capture.
He's one of the most thorough, friendly and concise teachers I've had and somehow keeps his nice clothes clean while painting despite not wearing an apron. I just bought his new DVD and it was everything I remembered from his workshop, but I didn't have to fight for a good angle to see him paint or take notes. Visit his website for details, he's in my links to the right.>>>>

Here is a picture of the class workshop and a painting I bought from him.

When I started to get serious a few years ago about landscape painting Matt's work was one of the first contemporary paintings who's work I actually liked as much as the old masters like Edgar Payne. I since found more like Ray Roberts Carolyn Anderson and other contemporary painters, but Matt was the first one who made me think I could do it.


Blogger Chris Sterritt said...

The Joshua Tree picture is great.

Which one is you in the picture?

On the "he kept himself clean" lines, I attended a workshop a couple of weeks ago where everyone was watercoloring except myself and lady who was using acrylic. She saw I was using oils and said, "I tried oils and liked them, but if I look at a tube of oil paint next thing it's all over me!"

4:26 PM  
Blogger Miles Thompson said...

awesome one B - one of these days we're going to have to snatch one of your landscapes for our wall - i REALLY dig this one - the desert theme has me by the balls these days - this piece is SO beautiful!

keep up the desert action my friend!

4:27 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

I'm the big bald one with the paintbrush next to Matt. I'm sick of getting the painting everywhere too, so I've broken down and now I wear gloves and an apron.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great pic, looks like a very talented bunch ! :)

4:52 AM  
Blogger BoneDaddy said...

Great Joshua tree painting, I love the darker colors.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Tracy Helgeson said...

I love the dead palms. Kind of a sad feeling to this painting, but in a good way.

5:16 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Miles, Please come by and snatch away.

9:15 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

sheri, Many were.

9:16 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey BG,

the background is mostly the underpainting, that made it easy.

10:34 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Tracy,

Thank you that was exactly the idea.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey Hayes said...

Hi Bill,

I really like the Joshua Tree painting. The contrast that you forced between the foreground and sky immediately to the right of the tree makes a very strong impact.

1:48 PM  
Blogger tonypetersart said...

I don't think your Joshua Tree painting is so photographic. It's a nice clean painting. Beautiful warm foreground against that striking blue spot in the sky.

One of these days I should try painting a desert scene. As a subject, I can see you really love it.

2:56 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Thanks Jeff,
I don't think I was conscious of that... I thought it was all about the tree.

8:05 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey T--

Thanks , let's get out there before it's to hot.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Your paintings are awesome!! Beautiful!

10:53 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

That's what you always say. ;-)

10:56 PM  
Blogger chia said...

Man, these are beautiful! I'm loving the deep reds on the first and the stunning greens on the second. you're really good at this painting stuff.

5:58 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Erich,

You better! ;-)

1:45 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Erich,

You better! ;-)

3:01 PM  
Blogger monkeyfeather said...

Great paintings. Love the colour in the top Joshua Tree pic and the heaven and hell pic a few posts down.

Must admit, I was disappointed when I heard you were going this direction and we wouldn't be seeing as much of your other painted work from you, but I really love the work you've been doing, and I'm not as disappointed anymore. This stuff is REALLY inspiring.

3:35 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Monkey, Gald you could make the shift. I'm still doing some cartoon stuff, one of there days I'll updated my old cartoon site.

4:04 PM  

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