November 02, 2017

Rich Gallego's First Plein Air Workshop at PVR

When we first contacted Rich Gallego with the hope of persuading him to come teach a workshop here in 2018, he told us that the Texas Hill Country had long been on his list of "must paint" places to visit, and he was ready to sign up NOW! So here we are.

 

Rich arrived two days early and in the evening before his class I had an opportunity to follow his process as he laid some magic on a canvas that depicted a view that I see every day from the north window of my studio.

Rich gifted us this one, and another, that will hang in our classroom.
Thank you, Rich. You're very generous.

 

 

 

The first day of his workshop was windy and cold; always a plein air painter's challenge. But our students bundled up against the elements and watched Rich do a demo painting in the morning under cover and using the house to break the winds.

 

 

In the afternoon the students all set up their gear and had a go at painting the surroundings of our koi pond.

 

 

The second day was a better day with less wind, so everyone ventured down to the cattle pasture with quite different views, and after a demo from Rich, ...

 

 

... dove into creating images of the spreading oak trees that had a hillside to the west behind them.

 

The last day of the workshop started out a little cool but it finally matured into a beautiful day. Students scattered out across the very top part of the pasture among the cedars trees and in every direction they looked there was something different to paint.


After lunch, Rich started the afternoon with a demo on cloud painting, before everyone resumed working on their second piece for the day.

Throughout the three days, it didn't seem to matter if a student was a beginner or perhaps a little more advanced, because with Rich's teaching style of combining just the right amounts of challenge and encouragement for each student, we're pretty sure that everyone went home with something they could use as they travel further on the journey along their "art path".
Good job that, because Rich has already told us that he'd like to come back next fall, so if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe your email address at the top of the column on the right so you can be notified when we set the dates.

We should also tell you that Rich made a couple of interesting comments while he was here.
"I could stay here for two weeks and still not run out of things to paint."
...and...
"If I lived here, I would never get anything done but walk around looking at scenery." That tells us something about our ranch. I'm not sure what, but ... something.
It might explain what's behind the PVR motto that's at the bottom of the "About Us" page on our website

To see Rich's demo paintings and many of the students' paintings, click here.
To see all the paintings inspired by Painted Views Ranch, click here.

This was our last workshop scheduled for this year, but we're already booking others for 2018.
To get the details for next year's workshops, click here.

October 05, 2017

Qiang Huang's First Plein Air Workshop at PVR

 

  

  Last weekend we had our first workshop with Qiang Huang.

 Friday morning started off chilly, drizzly and damp. but Qiang did a demo under the cover of our (rapidly becoming) famous breezeway, with 10 very attentive students ....

 

 

 

 

.... and produced THIS!

 

 

 

  Then in the afternoon, as the weather cleared off a bit, our 10 students set up their gear in three different spots, all under cover, and got to work. It was amazing to see how differently 10 students can interpret the same view.

 

 

  On Saturday, Qiang started the day in our classroom with a digital slideshow presentation on the principles of landscape painting. Then the class moved outside to the other end of the breezeway facing east, as Qiang did another demo painting of our koi pond with it's many lilypads, while using his umbrella to keep the morning sun glare off his painting.

 

 

And here is his Saturday demo painting.

In the afternoon, the patio was then in the shade and all the students set up to do their own painting of the pond.

Sunday presented a big challenge, because we used our tractor to make a very large set up for a still life.

 

 


Qiang did his third demo ......

 

 

 

 

 

 

  ......by drawing the image while he waited for the light to change and become interesting before he started to paint.

 

 

 

 

It was a challenge to paint quickly enough to capture a good image, but .....

...when he finished, removed the umbrella and the sunlight hit his painting, the effect was amazing!

After lunch, half the class had a go at the tractor from the shade of our oaks or barn porch .....

..... while the others revisited views that they had done previously, but from a different angle.

All in all, everyone had a memorable experience and learned quite a bit, and Qiang said that his workshop schedule for next year is already filled, but he asked us to schedule him again in 2019!

To see all of Qiang's demo paintings and many of the students' paintings, click here.
To see all the paintings inspired by Painted Views Ranch, click here.

We have one more workshop for this year, October 27 - 29 with just a few openings left.
Click here for all the details.

September 18, 2017

The Strange Tale of Creating a Plein Air Event

Artist MC from Texas meets Artist AP from California in France and becomes a student of Artist AP. Artist MC searches the internet for art workshops in central Texas and discovers that Artist QH will be teaching at Painted Views Ranch. Artist MC tells artist AP about the ranch and Artist AP contacts us. "How did you ever hear about us?" we ask. "From Artist MC, who said I should come teach there. And by the way, you should contact her because she's in a group of plein air painters in your area." We contact Artist MC who says "Our group is always looking for new places to paint outdoors." And the rest is now history because we had a great group of painters here this past Saturday. And two of them will be taking a Workshop with Qiang Huang here on Sept 29th through October 1st.

There is just enough time to grab one of the few spots left in that class
OR one of our October classes. Click this link to find out how to get signed up.
www.paintedviewsranch.com/workshops.html

Now here's some photos from Saturday's event.

In the shade of the breezeway and looking west.

Lined up on the front lawn, painting views from southwest to northwest

Rascal the Ranch Foreman supervises the two painting our koi pond with it's waterfalls from the east patio.

Is that a plein air painter's dream or what?

And just a few steps away there's this!

Rascal keeps watch for possible vulture attacks.
He must have done a good job because all the painters came out alive.

Our only problem is that now Rascal thinks he's an art critic.

To see all their completed paintings, go to our website with this link.
http://www.paintedviewsranch.com/paintings/paintframes.html

August 29, 2017

Judy Wilder Dalton's Workshop was a Big Hit!

We've just had our first of four workshops for 2017 and Judy Wilder Dalton did an awesome job of making it inspiring, informative and FUN!

She started each of the three days with a demo and then the students set to work, and it was amazing to see over the three days all the different results that came from each of the 13 artists, even though they had all watched the same demos.
Rascal our ranch foreman, with his winning personality, quickly became the darling of the classroom, but when all the students were focused at theIr easels, he knew he could finally relax and just be a good protector.

Unfortunately, this was the weekend that Hurricane Harvey became The Terror of Texas and sadly for us, a few of our class members decided they needed to drop out.

But if you weren't here for this workshop, we want you to know that Judy has already told us that she would like to do another one here next year, so subscribe your email address to the top of the column at the right so you can get notified as soon as we set the dates.

And as for poor old Rascal, as we packed up the classroom on Monday after Judy left, he came in expecting another day of rollicking good fun, but just couldn't seem to understand why all of his new friends weren't coming back.

For information on the other three of our 2017 workshops,
which all happen to center around plein air painting, visit our website at:
www.paintedviewsranch.com/workshops.html

July 30, 2017

September Outdoor Painting Class with Qiang Huang

We are happy to announce that our Sept 29 - Oct 1 class with Qiang Huang has reached the minimum number of students and is guaranteed to be held. The remaining slots are sure to go quickly so don't hesitate if you are interested.
Also, be sure to check out our other fantastic workshops that will be held in August and October while there are still places available.
www.paintedviewsranch.com/workshops.html

June 30, 2017

Adventures in Pond Cleaning

This month we cleaned our fish pond. Unfortunately the combination of using a pump which turned out not to be the best for our needs, having our wet-vacuum kinda sorta fail during the process and suffering a personal injury in the afternoon of our first day, spun the whole process out longer than we had anticipated.

The primary concern was minimizing the time the fish would be in a holding tank on the shaded patio, and getting the refill started so we could return the fish to the pond.

But we started with what we thought would be the hardest part of the project, the bog, which put us behind schedule right from the start. When we realized how much time we were losing, we skipped over that and began pumping out the main pond. Even though most of the water was out, everything was going along just swimmingly, but in the middle of the afternoon, the new pump we had purchased became a problem when the water level was really low. Our backup pump worked better but kept clogging with algae and we had to keep stopping to clear it. That put us even further behind schedule, which meant the fish spent the night in the holding tank. Sure glad we invested in an aerator to keep it oxygenated.

So on the second day we had to shade the holding tank from the morning sun as we continued cleaning the main pond. Once that was done we started refilling but we couldn't put the fish back because of a heat wave that would have heated the small amount of water too quickly for the fish to survive. So they had to spend a second night in the tank.

But eventually it all worked out and of the 57 fish that came out of the pond, 56 went back in.

Then we tackled the bog again. It was as difficult as we had anticipated but some of that was due to things we found that we hadn't anticipated. We corrected those problems so we won't have to deal with them again next year.

Rocki did yeoman service working like a trooper as she took charge of the bog by removing much of the gravel and washing it while I disassembled all the components that make the bog work, cleaning out the space and getting it all reassembled, so she could return the gravel.

Days before we started, I took a chisel and hammer and "fine tuned" the spill rocks in the main fall...

(Do these waders make me look fat?)

... to give a more "artistically appealing" spread of water for our visiting plein air painters.

All things considered, it was a big job, it was a learning experience (we're already planning to do some things differently next year) and it was a big cost savings to do it ourselves. Anyway, a good time was had by all, including Rascal the Ranch Foreman and his first assistant Sweetie, who seemed to enjoy hanging out in "her fort" in the shade under the John Deere.


Our August painting class, "Abstracted Landscapes" is filling up but there's still time to sign up for one of the few spots left. And we also have three plein air painting workshops in September and October.
Visit http://paintedviewsranch.com/workshops.html for all the details.

May 29, 2017

As the Season Moves Along.....

... we've been having just enough rains to encourage the wildflowers to "volunteer" around the pond berm and the verbena and coneflowers are making things look like a garden in a Monet painting. The yucca that we transplanted last year has bloomed and moved into the stage of making seed pods. We're watching those so that we can gather the seeds to make more yuccas in the future because it's way easier than digging them up.
Unfortunately the rains are also encouraging the thistles and other weeds so there is always something to work on.

That would include getting things ready for our upcoming workshops.

One of the things that we will have to do every year is clean the koi pond. So we've been getting ready for that task in order to make it happen in early June. We've purchased a larger pump (than we've ever had) and a hose for emptying all the water from the pond, and a water trough for holding the koi while the pond is being cleaned.

Did a bit of a test with the new pump this past week and it should work out just fine. In fact, at 3,566 gallons per hour this thing is A BEAST! It'll probably empty most of the pond in about 3 to 4 hours.

Click here to see it in action!

 

 

We've also installed the new sign on the front gate.
So now when visitors and students for the art classes arrive, they'll know they have the right place.


Speaking of art students, we should mention that there are still some openings in this year's lineup of classes. If you're a budding art student and would like to check out what we're offering, and how to sign up for a class, you can get all the details on our website by clicking this link:
www.paintedviewsranch.com/workshops.html

April 23, 2017

Springtime Update

Well we started last week with the threat of a week of rain ... that never arrived. After living here almost three years now we've learned from experience that unless the likelihood of rain is predicted at greater than a 50% chance, the likelihood here at Painted Views Ranch is that we won't be getting any rain.
And then last Saturday was a day when the temperatures plummetted down into the 40's and never got much above 60 all day. I know that's not much of a hardship but it was a shock after all the nice weather we've been having recently.
But, when I was taking a break from the landscaping projects I've been working on, I was out and about taking some springtime photos here on the ranch this week. You'll find some of them below.

But first I just want to say that there are still some openings in our art workshops for this year, so if you're an artist looking for instruction, please review the workshops on our website, check out the style of each instructor's work, (there's a lot of variety so it should be easy to find someone that you'd like to learn from) and get yourself signed up for one of them.

Each of the workshops are on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Aug 25 to Aug 27Judy Wilder DaltonAbstracted Landscapes
September 29 to October 1Qiang HuangOil Painting - Plein Air
October 13 to 15David ForksBringing Plein Air into the Studio
October 27 to October 29Rich GallegoA Simple Approach to Powerful Plein Air Paintings

For details on the workshops, and how to sign up, click the link to visit our website at: http://www.paintedviewsranch.com/workshops.html.

Now, here are those photos ....
(Click the images for a larger view.)

We've had some gorgeous irises blooming in the pond bog. This photo is from the second batch of them.

The bog is actually part of our pond's natural bio-filtration system. Water from the pond is pumped into the bottom of the bog where it filters up through the gravel allowing the bog plants to take nutrients from the water before the clean water is then returned to the pond.

I thought this might make an interesting shot of our old plow, with the landscape to the west behind it, but as I was taking it I noticed that .....
... Rascal, our Ranch Foreman, had taken up his post for keeping a watchful eye on the cattle in the pasture below, to make sure that none were carried off by vultures.
He must be doing a good job. We haven't lost any yet.