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Level of Commitment

Plein air artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park Through the Eyes of an artist,” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature” and “Everything You Need to Know about Plein Air Painting,” travels with his vintage trailer throughout America’s western landscapes painting stunning vistas on location with oils on canvas. He adds finishing touches to his paintings of wildlife, western landscapes and National parks, portraits and still life in his studio in Mount Shasta, California. Through Stefan Baumann’s fine art oil paintings and his captivating painting style, the American tradition of Romantic Realism with Luminism comes to life, thrilling art collectors and investors in the United States and internationally.

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Be Prepared to Paint

Ashland Barn” by Stefan Baumann

 

Last week I was traveling in Medford, Oregon, prepared to paint with my brushes, paints, and canvases in my truck, when I took an unexpected turn off the freeway onto a quiet country road. It had been raining and a magnificent cloud formation with impressive effects of light covered the sky. I drove by an old pear orchard, and noticed a beautiful pear tree covered with blossoms that had an old barn as a backdrop. As I came closer to the tree, the sky opened and a beam of sunlight lit up the metal roof on the barn creating a dramatic moment of contrasting lights and darks. I pulled over quickly, gathered my painting supplies, and began mixing my foundation color. An artist must always be prepared to paint when inspiration strikes. A writer has sharp pencils and paper in a shirt pocket to jot down notes. A cook always has a collection of spices in his kitchen ready to create the next culinary extravaganza. The artist must have supplies at hand to be able to catch the moment of inspiration and transfer it to canvas. A travel bag outfitted with these basic essentials will serve you well whenever you want to create: red, yellow, and blue paint, a palette, canvas, brushes, turpentine, and paper towels. Like a good scout, it pays to be prepared for anything.

Being prepared to paint does not take the work and discomfort out of painting on location. If we remembered all the obstacles we may encounter outdoors, such as the weather, changing light, difficulties with sketching and composition, inhospitable insects, and changing temperatures, we would probably talk ourselves out of it and never do it again. If you boldly go where so many would never go, be kind to yourself. Have reasonable expectations of what you can accomplish. Give yourself applause for venturing outdoors to try your best to paint what you see and love. You can always wipe it off after you give your best effort. Or you can remember that painting, as in any art, requires practice to learn how to do it. Without the struggle, successes would not be as valuable and exciting.

What stops you from painting? Sometimes artists worry about not painting “good enough,” negatively compare themselves with others and feel inferior, or are embarrassed or ashamed because they cannot paint the masterpiece that they dream of creating. Knowledge comes from practicing and making mistakes, as awkward and frustrating as it is, and artists must be willing to make 100 mistakes on their canvases before they can begin to know how to paint well. Try not to judge your success by the finished piece. The experience that happens in your imagination as you paint is what counts. As you intentionally practice the discipline of painting, remember also to enjoy the pleasure of painting by exploring the possibilities of what you can do with color, shapes, composition, and light. At the end of the day, sharing your imagination, feelings, and experiences through art is worthy and important as a way of communicating and connecting person to person.

 

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Plein air and Alla Prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas, capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world. He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly an American style used to paint the Western landscape. He can be seen painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs, filmed on location in the National Parks, are the very best on the art instruction market.

The post Be Prepared to Paint appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Plein Air Painting of Asilomar at Sunset

                                                    “Asilomar at Sunset”   It’s Tuesday, Day Two of the Plein Air Convention in Monterey, and all I can say is “WOW!” Eric Rhoads and the Plein Air Magazine staff are presenting a convention that is over the top.  This event has the best organization, the best presentations and the largest number of noted plein air artists in the same location than I have ever experienced, and I’m so glad I’m here. And, I never thought so many artists would recognize me from “The Grand View” PBS show, but it is a blast that they do. The first three days are filled with instruction and workshops that are taught by prominent plein air artists.  I attended an excellent Marketing Boot camp this morning presented by Eric Rhoads.  He and other contributors provided tips and strategies to increase the sale of paintings as well as increasing an artist’s visibility with the art collecting community through websites, face book and other popular Social Medias. I painted this ocean scene near Asilomar at sunset today. It’s a plein air painting of Asilomar Beach and I wanted to capture the spectacular beauty of the Monterey coastline and the dynamic action of the waves as they crashed against the rocks. The movement of the waves changed the lighting continuously and made the scene very challenging to paint. Several other artists were at the same location and it was interesting to see what they included in their paintings as we swapped a few tips about what we learned during the day. In this convention, careful attention is given to creating and nurturing a sense of camaraderie and support among the artists who have varying levels of experience, as well as encouraging everyone to paint with a spirit of exploration, excitement, and friendliness.  From what I experienced, I think they achieved their mission. I hope your will come to the Plein Air Convention next year and enjoy all aspects of plein air painting at its best.    

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Plein air and alla prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of  the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world.  He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly American style used to paint the Western landscape.  He can be seen plein air painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks are the very best on the market.

The post Plein Air Painting of Asilomar at Sunset appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Plein Air Painting at Carmel Mission

“Carmel Mission in Morning Light”

It’s Monday, I’m in Monterey, California, and I went out before the Plein Air Convention opened to paint the effects of morning light on Carmel Mission.This is one of my favorite structures to paint. This morning was one of those mornings when everything went right, including the lighting. Plein air painting seashore towns along the coast in the morning can be tricky because fog can impair visibility, making the locations impossible to see. As you can see in my painting, the light illuminated the Mission magnificently today.

Many of the top plein air painters attend the Plein Air Convention, and I look forward to connecting with artists that I met last year, hearing about what’s new in art and marketing in the training sessions, and it will be exciting to meet fans of our PBS show “The Grand View.”   I will be sending updates and discuss topics that interest outdoor painters.

BTW, you may want to “save the date” in your calendar for next year’s Fourth Plein Air Convention so that you can attend this exciting, interactive event for plein air painters. For now, enjoy this little sketch that I painted this morning.  It’s my gift to you to start your week with an inspiring painting and an invitation to “Go out and paint.”

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Plein air and alla prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of  the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world.  He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly  American style used to paint the Western landscape.  He can be seen plein air painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks  are the very best on the market.

The post Plein Air Painting at Carmel Mission appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Great Compositions ~ Part 2

                                                              Part 2 ~ Using the Golden Mean in Compositions

The post, “Composition, Part 1,” was about the importance of creating a strong composition using the Golden Mean and how to  place and draw the lines of the Mean on the canvas before beginning to sketch.  In “Composition, Part 2,” placing the primary and secondary focal points and directional lines using the Golden Mean is explored.  Artists who know about and use the lines of the Golden Mean to place focal points and create dynamic movement in their paintings are able to subtly excite the viewer’s interest and entice them to come enjoy the highlights, motion and message of their paintings. This can ultimately result in a potential buyer’s appreciation of their artwork, and hence a sale.  

Roses with Golden Mean Composition Intersections

Roses with Golden Mean Intersections

This picture illustrates the Lines of the Mean superimposed over a painting of roses to demonstrate where the lines intersect in 4 quadrants (marked by dots) to create a scaffolding for Golden Mean composition. These intersections are prime locations to place focal points of light.  Also, it illustrates how, by placing additional focal areas and “eye-magnets” on  horizontal  and vertical lines, moving from the center outward and diminishing in distance as they reach the edges of the canvas, a comfortable feeling of balance and movement throughout the composition will result.

The dominant central focal point in the painting is the edge of the larger rose in the lower right quadrant of the Golden Mean.  This focal point catches the viewer’s eye at first glance and invites the viewer to notice the effects of light on the rose more than just seeing the rose as an object.  If the light is effectively placed on the Mean, the viewer will come back to that special spot over and over because it is the most natural location for their eyes to rest. This is the objective of Golden Mean composition.

The viewer’s attention will increase if one or two additional focal points are included on the lines of the Mean. The placement and intensity of the second and third focal points should be less prominent than the primary focal point, and the three focal points are best seen when they are organized as a triangle with all focal points placed on lines of the Golden Mean. Placing them in a triangular formation allows the viewer to move from the strongest focal point to the second and third focal point, which creates a circular movement which cycles the viewer’s attention throughout the painting.

Another way to create movement and interest within the painting using Golden Mean composition is to create eye-catching lines that guide the viewer’s eye in and around the painting, and from one focal point to other focal points. Throughout human history, our eyes have kept us alive and safe from harm by scanning and moving from place to place, focusing and refocusing on points of interest or potential danger.  This is the natural way we see.  A strong composition uses “eye magnets” or objects and effects that guide the viewer’s eyes from the secondary focal points back to the main focal point. The lines that lead our eyes can be created by adding lines, brushstrokes, shapes that are part of the scene, and color patterns  that establish direction, rhythm and unity throughout the composition. All of these directional additions are even more effective if placed on the lines of the Golden Mean.

When artists first apply the principles of Golden Mean composition to their artwork, they often find that this equation / tool that the early Masters used presents its own challenges and learning curve. It can be very frustrating, difficult, and time-consuming for artists who are unfamiliar with calculating equations and drawing lines on their canvas; then they have to deliberately use these lines to place their focal points, directional lines to create movement in their painting. With practice, patience and hard work, the Golden Mean will become a constructive and predictable tool to view and utilize the space on the canvas in ways that create a great composition.

For over 30 years, I have practiced and developed many techniques and tools that reveal the secrets of creating good paintings. Extraordinary artists continue learning new aspects of art while perpetually applying what they learn as they paint. There is nothing about being an artist that is easy. If you want it “easy,” you may be able to win a gold medal in a diving competition by performing a cannon ball dive from a low diving board into a shallow pool which would be the easiest level that an artist can aspire; or you can work hard to perform a perfect swan dive from a high diving board into a deep pool by learning to use the Golden Mean and achieve exceptional results painting great compositions.

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Plein air and Alla Prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of  the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world.  He has many collectors acquiring his paintings as investment internationally. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Lumunism and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly an American Style used to paint the Western Landscape.  He can be seen painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon and Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks are the very best on the market.

The post Great Compositions ~ Part 2 appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Luscious Pink Roses

Original Still Life Oil Painting by Stefan Baumann

 12″ x 16″ Oil on Canvas

Framing

Framed in black with gold

Signed

Lower right – Baumann Monogram GV  Date: 2013

Provenance

On Valentine’s Day 2013, I presented my love with this bouquet of beautiful pink roses, and then I offered to paint a still life oil painting of the flowers and create a lasting tribute to the love we celebrated on Valentine’s Day.  I wanted to reflect a sensual and sultry atmosphere that compliments the pink roses and reflects the romantic mood of the day.  Love is a soft-focused emotion and seldom has hard edges.  I wanted these pink roses to bathe in the sweet softness of the day.  This beautiful and romantic painting will be a luscious addition to any collection.

Price

$1,725

If you wish to acquire this fine original oil painting for your collection, please contact The Gallery in Mount Shasta, or call 530-926-2334.

Shipping

The price of this original oil painting includes shipping.

Gallery Representation

The Gallery in Mount Shasta

The post Luscious Pink Roses appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Painting A Geyser in Yellowstone Park, Part 2

Yellowstone Geyser, Primary Sketch” by Stefan Baumann

Three Keys to Plein Air Success, Inspiration, Composition & Application, Part 2

 

painting a geyser demonstration picture 1 for Three Keys to Plein Air Success, Inspiration, Composition & Application, Part 2

Preliminary sketch with basic composition, shapes and values in the painting.

painting a geyser demonstration picture 2 for Three Keys to Plein Air Success, Inspiration, Composition & Application, Part 2

Composing with the Geyser slightly to left side, to create movement with shapes of cone, spout, and sense of place included.

painting a geyser demonstration picture 3 for Three Keys to Plein Air Success, Inspiration, Composition & Application, Part 2

Applying highlights and dark value contrasts on cone with foreground defined by chroma and hue to ground the Geyser.

painting a geyser demonstration picture 4 for Three Keys to Plein Air Success, Inspiration, Composition & Application, Part 2

Application of highlights to spout, contrasts with darker values in sky and clouds, and eye magnets in the rivulets leading to the Geyser.

Inspiration

As demonstrated by painting a geyser in Yellowstone National Park, an artist must first be inspired by an idea, feeling or vision of what he wants to communicate with the viewer about the scene or location before applying any paint to the canvas. The source of inspiration may be the effect of light in the scene, or a feeling created by the lighting or the time of day, or it might come from several objects in a location that come together to tell a story or create a mood that speaks to the viewer.  When an artist has an idea that inspires him to want to paint what he sees and feels, he is ready to begin painting a geyser.

Composition

I began my composition by applying a thin layer of transparent paint all over the canvas. Then, using a paint brush with transparent paint and a paper towel, I sketched in shapes and darker values and wiped off shapes and areas that needed to be lighter including my focal point which is the brightest spot.  This preliminary composition allows me to freely wipe off, move or add more paint and not worry about having too much paint that can become muddy. I used the golden ratio and golden means to help me locate and place objects in the scene in the most pleasing places that contribute to the movement, balance and location of the central focal points in the painting. By paying close attention to my composition, I placed the main spout of water exploding out of the ground in the center, and positioned the geyser so that it is slightly off-center to create movement in the painting.

Paint Application

When painting on location, the light changes very quickly, and in this particular scene, the amount of time that an artist has to observe and paint the geyser while it erupts is only about 3 minutes.  I began applying the paint to the preliminary sketch by adding several lines of thinly painted dark values at various places near the geyser so that the dark paint could contrast with the light, hue and chroma and enhance the vitality of the foreground. Next, I used thin washes to create footnotes where I wanted to locate the contrasts of light and dark values.  Then, I painted in the values and contrasting lights and dark, and painted the details of the cone of the geyser and the spout of water erupting from the cone.  I usually work from the main focal point out to the canvas edges to avoid overworking the painting, and in this painting, the effect of light on the geyser captures the attention of the viewer’s eye and is my main focal point.

Finally, I painted the sky and the background with thin paint, and lightened the values of the mountains so they appear to recede in the distance. To complete the sky, I added a thicker layer of paint to my thinly painted sketch. I did this by adding white to my gray mixture.  I believe that if I want to have the sky look like it is part of the painting and not just a backdrop, every inch of the sky must go through constant transitions from dark to light and warm to cool.   When I completed the sky, I painted the highlights in the clouds a bit less bright than the geyser’s highlights so that they didn’t distract the main focal point. The water channels or little rivers that were created by the water that came up from the ground intentionally lead to the cone, to draw the viewer’s  into the painting and towards the cone. Artists use these lines called “eye magnets,” to focus the viewer’s attention in and around the painting and towards the focal points.  The blue and white lines that lead into the  foreground and towards the cone of the Geyser in this painting are among the most important and integral tools used to create a strong composition. 

 

 
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Plein air and Alla Prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world. He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly an American style used to paint the Western landscape. He can be seen painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs, filmed on location in the National Parks, are the very best on the art instruction market.

The post Painting A Geyser in Yellowstone Park, Part 2 appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Painting a Geyser in Yosemite National Park, Part 1

Yellowstone Geyser, Opus 1” by  Stefan Baumann

Three Keys to Plein Air Success ~ Inspiration, Composition & Color Application, Part 1

When I begin a painting on location, my main objective is to capture the subject in as little time as possible, and when painting a geyser, the pressure to paint fast is even greater. Painting a geyser like one in Yellowstone Park depicted in “Yellowstone Geyser, Opus 1” is quite a challenge, as it only erupts every 12 hours and the burst of water and steam lasts only 2-3 minutes. Capturing the essence of the geyser blowing upwards into the air in such a short time requires specific prep work to make sure everything goes as planned. I filled my palette with piles of paint in various gray values and colors toned in advance, and set up my easel and supplies long before the geyser was “scheduled” to erupt. To add to the pressure, a group of “geyser watchers” were behind me betting that I could not paint the geyser in that brief of time. I’m happy to say that they lost, because I did paint the geyser while it was erupting. Ultimately, the weather really won because before I finished painting the geyser, sleet and snow began falling. I had to call it a day and retreat into my vintage Silver Streak trailer for a cup of tea while the storm blew over.

My source of inspiration for painting a geyser was the magnificent and powerful plume of steam and water that spews upwards each time the geyser erupts. I wanted to capture the effect of light on the steam as well as capturing the colorful foreground hues, and the chroma in the ground that supports the cone of the geyser as  white and blue water rivulets contribute  eye-catching lines that lead upwards to the geyser in this composition.

As I painted this scene, I used four of the properties of color that every artist uses when painting: hue, or the pure color of paint as seen in the foreground; temperature, found in the warm colors used in shadow or cool colors used in the highlights; chroma, adjusting the intensity of the paint from pure color to one that has been grayed down with white or a complementary color; and value, using a scale from light to dark. In this painting, I used both value and chroma to create a sense of dynamic action throughout the painting, with stark contrasts between the sky, the geyser, and the land. Using white to black values, the geyser appears to advance and the storm clouds appear to recede, and the dark values around the edges of the canvas frames the lighter, warm tones of the soil surrounding the geyser. By using tinted colors with varying intensities from bright to dull, I painted the eye magnets and featured images in the scene. To accentuate the grand finale, I created highlights on the erupting geyser to make it glow.

 

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Plein air and Alla Prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world. He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly an American style used to paint the Western landscape. He can be seen painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs, filmed on location in the National Parks, are the very best on the art instruction market.

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Secret to a great painting

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The Grand View Historic Overview Season One

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