Weekly Paint-Out #7

Dave : January 17, 2012 9:03 PM : Blog

This painting was done near Colona, IL by the Hennepin Canal and the first time I tried sitting on my stool while painting.

The Hennepin Canal’s place in history is significant. The entire canal is on the National Register of Historic Places. the idea of constructing a canal to connect the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers dates back to 1834. Due to a lack of funds, Congress did not begin until 1890. The canal was completed in 1907, reducing the distance from Chicago to Rock Island by 419 miles.

However, by the time it was finished, the cost of shipping by rail had decreased and barge sizes and freight loads had increased making the Hennepin nearly obsolete. By the 1930s, it was primarily used for recreational traffic (it remained open to boat traffic until 1951).

The Hennepin Canal was the first American canal built of concrete without cut stone facings. Although it did not play a role in the region’s transportation system for long, its engineering innovations were significant. construction of the Panama Canal borrowed techniques from the Hennepin.


plein air oil painting of the hennepin canal near colona illinois by artist david anderson

Hennepin Canal


photo of david anderson painting en plein air

Dave Anderson Painting “Hennepin Canal”

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Weekly Paint-Out #6

Dave : December 27, 2011 5:37 PM : Blog

On Friday the 23rd Lee and I went out and painted by the pond near his house. The pond had a thin sheet of ice on it so the reflections weren’t as clear as they would have been.

Again the sun was out and therefore made our painting time shorter. I’ve been hoping for an overcast day so we would have a softer light and we wouldn’t be chasing shadows.

This year there wasn’t a white Christmas, but it also meant I didn’t have to get the snowplow out.

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Weekly Paint-Out #5

Dave : December 18, 2011 4:37 PM : Blog


This Friday was 28 degrees, so not as cold as last week. I did use mittens and will have to admit that my hands were warmer but it was hard to pick up my brushes. OK, I guess I’ll have to accept some suffering in order to paint in cold weather. I made some art panels and used Gamblin’s Oil Painting Ground instead of Weber’s Prima White Gesso and found that my paint stayed on the surface more so I was able to paint into wet paint and have a more control over the edges.

The hardest thing to do when painting on location is to simplify what I’m looking at. There is always so much detail and an overwhelming desire to put it all in. This painting was fun and I intend exploring alla prima much more.

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Weekly Paint-Out #4

Dave : December 12, 2011 7:50 PM : Blog

If I thought last week was cold I was wrong, this week there was snow and it was 19 degrees even with the sun out. After the shock wore off all my layers did keep me fairly warm. I’m still trying to decide if gloves or mittens work best, my fingers in gloves did get cold.

Lee and I didn’t take too much time finding a location to paint, maybe temperature does focus the mind. I found a spot looking at a stream with a fallen tree as my center of interest. The painting went well my paints didn’t freeze and the backlit scene was fun to try and capture.

plein air oil painting of fallen tree across a farm stream on a snowy day by artist david anderson

Farm Stream 12″x16″ Oil


photo of dave anderson oil painting plein air in the snow
Dave painting “Farm Stream”
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Weekly Paint-Out #3

Dave : December 7, 2011 5:20 PM : Blog

It was a little colder then  last week when Lee Kimball and I went out to paint. Since there wasn’t much wind and the sun was out it  was a good day for painting. We found a spot in the woods looking back at  Lee’s mother-in-laws home. It  was fun getting out and enjoying a great fall day and painting in a place where there is a sense of discovery even when it’s in Lee’s back 40.

These painting sessions are becoming  lessons painting trees without leaves, It’s helping me understand the basic structure of the branches and yes there has been some frustration. I have depended on leaves to give form to the trees without totally understanding what was holding them. I think it’s like knowing some anatomy when painting a figure.


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