Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bluebonnet Fields Forever - New 7" x 5" Daily Oil Painting


Bluebonnet Fields Forever
Mark Nesmith
Oil on oil primed linen panel
7" x 5"
2014

Click here to purchase this painting.

Spring is finally here, and in Texas, that means wild flowers. Specifically, that means bluebonnets. The state flower transforms ordinary roadside fields into brilliant blankets of rich blue and violet hues. Here three trees stand on a patch of green island amidst a virtual sea of blue. 

This is was painted alla prima in just about two hours. There's lots of juicy impasto paint, particular in the bluebonnets. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New Daily Oil Painting "Cypress Lake"




Cypress Lake
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas
12" x 12"
2014
Click here to purchase this painting.



The greatest amenity at the apartments where I live is the beautiful horse shoe shaped pond (which they've named Cypress Lake for some unknown reason.) I've done several small studies of the pond at sunset and have been working on a few larger canvases as well.  This past week has been beautiful, blue skies, sun, and comfortable temperatures.  It's finally feeling like Spring around here. 

This is a 12" x 12" oil painting on canvas of the pine tree lined shore and reflection on a sunny afternoon.  I painted this fairly quickly with a 1/2" brush.  I've been trying to be a little less fussy with some of my smaller paintings, and I wanted to use my brushstrokes to capture the carefree, breezy afternoon by the pond

Saturday, May 10, 2014

New daily oil painting "Distant Rain"

Distant Rain
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Oil Primed Linen Panel
5" x 7"
2014

Click here to purchase this painting.




Rain has been a bit of a scarce commodity around SE Texas for most of the past year or more.  I've always loved the rain.  I love the smell and the sound, but most of all I love the strange, eerie quality the light can take on with dark clouds overhead.


While out on my bike for a ride, the sunny day I left the house in suddenly turned dark and storm clouds took over the distance.  They trailed rain as they swept along, drenching some areas and seeming to leave other spots untouched and dry.  I made a mental image of the scene and recreated it as best I could. 


I'd love to devise some system for painting outdoors in the rain, maybe a canopy or easy up tent would work.  Maybe even just a large umbrella and some anchors for the easel.  I've often painted the storm clouds with the promise of rain, but I think this is the first time I've ever tried to capture the rainfall as well. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Daily oil painting "White Rose"

White Rose
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Gessoed Panel
10" x 8"
2013


Click here to purchase this painting.

I painted this rose back in October of 2013.  I had taken a trip with my new girlfriend not long before for the memorial service for her father.  We were in Mississippi at his home and surrounded by her family who I was meeting for the very first time.  What could have been a very somber occasion turned into a celebration of life.  It was amazing to be there and feel the spirit and love.


There was a flower garden in front of the porch filled with roses.  There were beautiful, full blooms of red and white flowers.  I took lots of pictures that weekend, and I also did a few quick pencil drawings in a small sketchbook I brought with me.


Later back in Beaumont I painted this white rose from her father's garden.  I loved all the subtle shifts of green and violet I discovered reflected in the white petals, and the deep reds and browns of the porch and ground contrasted beautifully with the soft tints of the rose.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

New Daily Oil Painting "First Light on the Pond"


First Light on the Pond
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Oil Primed Linen Panel
5" x 7"
2014

Click here to purchase this painting.

In a day that included a flat tire, double classes, and helping out with P.E. in the gym, it was tough to fit in some painting time, but I squeezed in a little more than an hour and calmed my soul with this little 5" x 7" painting of my brother's pond.


When I first moved back to SE Texas after my marriage ended, my brother was gracious enough to let me stay at his place and get myself back together.  He really was a rock for me.  I spent many mornings and evenings at his little tree lined pond seeking moments of tranquility in my turbulent world.


Here the warm, soft light of the new dawn fills the sky.  The water ripples and the reflections of the trees pool along the banks.  I'd stand on the little pier or sway on the bench swing, breathe deep,  and still my busy mind.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"Hushed" Oil Painting from the John Bunker Sands Wetlands Center

Hushed
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas
16" x 20"
2014

Click here to purchase this painting.

I'm a sucker for the wetlands.  My whole life I've loved the look of the reeds and tall grasses swaying against the calm, shallow waters of a marsh.  From the salt marshes near the coast to the bogs in the Big Thicket or Caddo Lake, there's something about the rhythm of the grasses and trees against the calm reflections that entrances me every time.

The John Bunker Sands Wetlands Center near Crandall, TX uses aquatic plants to filter and purify water to be used in North Texas. They've built a wonderful set of boardwalks to let visitors walk out over the water, and it's become a haven for birds and other wildlife making it a popular spot for local birdwatchers.

When I lived in Seagoville I'd often go to the center and take photos and sketch.  There's a wonderful view of it from Hwy 175 as well.  I'd often sit and soak up the sunset there.  I think everyone loves the brilliant colors of a beautiful sunrise or sunset, and I certainly find myself painting those intense displays of fiery reds and yellows often, but one of my favorite times is twilight.

John Henry Twachtman, one of my favorite late nineteenth century American painters, was a master of the poetic, lyrical light found at dusk.  Here I've focused on the soft, subtle light found after the sun has dipped below the horizon.  The last rays of the day illuminate the still, shallow water of the wetlands bathing the world in soft pink, blue, and lavender tones.  The short, staccato rhythms of the grasses and their slight red and orange accents provide movement and contrast.

I actually started this 16" x 20" oil painting several years ago, but this past year I uncovered it in some of my boxes after moving back to Southeast Texas following my divorce.  It was a time when I needed some calm in my days and finishing this painting gave me some much needed relief from the stress I was feeling.  I hope it does the same for viewers today.

New Daily Oil Painting "Blaze"

Blaze 
Mark Nesmith
Oil on canvas
8" x 10"
2014
Click here to purchase this painting.

Rice is a part of life in Southeast Texas.  Anyone who has spent anytime at all here is familiar with the rice mills that dot the skyline throughout towns like Beaumont, and the flooded rice fields along IH-10 and other roads are as much a part of our landscape as the tall pine trees.  Doguet's Rice is a household name in most homes here, and the Winnie Rice Festival rivals the state fair and has been an annual tradition since 1969.


I've always loved the shallow, flooded fields of rice with their subtle tree lines in the distance.  The shallow, still water makes for beautiful, soft reflections in the daylight, and transforms into a fiery pool of burning sky during sunset.  With barely any separation between the earth and sky it seems like they melt into each other and the whole world is a blaze of color.


This is an 8" x 10" oil painting on canvas I completed in a quick surge of painting.  It was painted alla prima with just a quick outline sketch in pencil to start.  With very little detail, I was able to focus on the intense sky spilling over into the flooded rice fields.  I plan to do several more and hope to flesh out a few larger canvases soon.