Creative Outlet


The last year and a half has been, well, strange to say the least. My family and I are safe and healthy, and we’ve all adjusted to the new normal.

During this time, I’ve taken on a new creative outlet that I thought I’d share with you. I’ve started oil painting. I’ve never oil painted before, but thought I’d try something different. As much as I love nature and photographing nature, naturally, that’s what I paint.

I’m learning new techniques as I go, and have been focussing on certain elements each time, ie water effects, mountains, reflections, etc… I’m becoming more comfortable with a palette knife and my color blending is improving.

Here’s the progression of my painting progress.

This is my very first attempt at oil painting. Notice the mountains are not great.
This is attempt number two. I focussed more on mountain structure with this one and wanted to show more depth.
This particular painting was all about water effects and trying to make land look like land instead of a giant glob of paint.
This one is lacking in the reflection department, but I was focussing more on foliage details.
This was my first attempt at a seascape, and I wanted to try something besides a rectangular canvas. My waves need help. On a side note, creating the effect of moving water is really hard, especially crashing waves.
This one was fun. My first attempt using a black canvas, which I am now obsessed with. I love the blending effects I get from black canvases.
With this one, I was trying some new sky techniques and trying to create a dawn/ dusk effect. That’s supposed to be Mt. Rainier.
Remember when I said creating moving water effects is hard?  Yeah…waterfall attempt. Need to try another one of these because this one…nope. Not the effect I was hoping for.
Attempt number 2 at a sea scape. The waves turned out much better this time. I will reemphasize that waves are especially challenging. I still have a lot to learn and need more practice with ocean scenes.
This is another black canvas painting. Lots of color blending techniques going on here.
I used a different technique with my mountains on this one, which I like much better. Quicker way to shape them and the snow / shadow balance was much easier to pull off.
This one was all about the mountains, practicing the new technique I learned and becoming more confident with a palette knife.
My mountains are starting to look like mountains now, so let’s focus on trees and ground cover…slowly making progress.
Ok.  With this one, I was attempting to add more fall colors. Not quite what I was going for. Need more practice with fall scenes.
This one I’m pretty proud of. This was a culmination of all the mountain work, ground cover, sky effects, and water effects I’d been working on all rolled into one. This one is now hanging on my wall.
Tried a snowy scene on a black canvas. The blending effects mixed with the depth of this piece turned out decent.
Working on a night scene and focussing on light reflection with this one. This is also painted on a black canvas.
Moving away from the traditional rectangular canvas again, I tried a round one. Making snow look real is challenging. But I do think I pulled off the coldness effect. Brrrr.

So…this is what I’ve been up to, besides my 40+ hour a week job. Painting relaxes me, and I’ve found a stress- relieving hobby that I actually have a talent for. I still have a lot to learn and need more practice, but I’m enjoying my artistic journey.