Sunday, November 24, 2013

Marymoor Park #1

'Marymoor Park #1' -- 9x12 oil painting on canvas

This was done on-site (plein air) and then touched up back in my studio

I had a lot of fun with this one -- things just seemed to work out effortlessly! :)

(click on the image to view a larger size)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Xbox One has launched!!

well, after many years of research and development on the hardware (and software/games) -- the Xbox One launched on November 22nd!

I was proud to work alongside such passionate and talented people that came together to create the future of video games and entertainment!

As for my contributions: I was part of a Content Council that reviewed/discussed all of our Day 1 launch games (over the course of 2.5 yrs, in terms of my time involvement).. and we had several meetings with the Hardware team(s) to review the console as it was being developed and to provide input and other suggestions. I was also responsible for the Art Direction of 2 launch titles: Ryse and Powerstar Golf (working with the developers: Crytek and Zoe Mode) -- great job, teams!!

Here are some misc pics from the past week's launch event(s):

(Fireworks were launched from our offices/campus in Redmond, WA!)
(one of the games that I worked on: Powerstar Golf)
(one of the games that I worked on: Ryse)
(Zombies -- playing Dead Rising 3!)

(Macklemore performed at the NYC launch event)

(The New Zealand Xbox was guarded by sharks!)
(Zombies have taken over NYC!)

(Roman soldiers, for Ryse, march the streets of NYC)

(Roman soldiers, for Ryse, march the streets of NYC)

(fans wait in line for the NYC launch event!)
(the first Xbox One consoles arrived via armored trucks!)
(some of the first in the US to receive their Xbox One consoles!)

(Master Chief got his Xbox One!)

(for our contributions - we received a special edition version of the Xbox One! -- this is mine! :))

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Art Road trip - Day 3 (recap)

Woke up early to get a head start on the weather (and daylight) -- walked down the beach to scout the conditions for painting and determined that it was worth me lugging all of my plein air supplies from my car to the location (about .5 mile walk -- to get close enough to 'Haystack Rock' for the view I was looking to capture via oils)

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

As I got back to my car to grab my supplies -- it started raining!? (go figure!) The sky conditions didn't change and there was no warning signs of rain.. yet somehow Mother Nature decided to 'let go' then and there! So.. i walked over to a nearby coffeehouse to wait it out.

Bald Eagle Coffee house

Passing the time - waiting for rain to stop!

About 40 minutes later -- the rain stopped and off I went!

I set my easel up with a nice view/composition and prepared my palette and supplies (which takes about 5-10 min to squeeze out paints, get my brushes set out, etc). I use a small view finder that has a sliding door -- and hold that in front of me as I survey the scene. As I'm looking through this, I am making key marks on the canvas, to lay out the composition. This can take anywhere from 5-10 min to 30 minutes, depending on the complexity of the scene. In this case, It took perhaps 20 min as I was working on getting a correct silhouette of the rock formation (which was a bit tricky, believe it or not!) I also had to consider how much of the surrounding rock formations to include, where the beach would come into the picture, etc.

In the end, the weather held off for about 1.5 hours -- which allowed me to get a fairly good representation of what I waned to capture. More importantly, I was able to study the lighting conditions, the textures and the localized colors that were before me -- all in preparation (as a study) for a future painting that I'll create back in my studio. (and that's my real goal, here.. to study things/to observe)

'Haystack Rock' - oils on 9x12 canvas panel

I went back to my room, unloaded my supplies and went to grab lunch -- hoping that I'd have 1 more chance to head back out to paint in the afternoon.

Unfortunately -- this didn't happen. The weather took a turn for the worse and severe winds/rain moved in and lasted the entire afternoon, until darkness fall upon the area.

I made the most of my down time, though.. read quite a bit of my new book, 'Alla Prima 2' by Richard Schmid (the gospel of art teaching!) -- man, that guy is amazing! He is the most inspirational artist and has had profound influence on my work and why I love to paint landscapes! I was also able to do some digital artwork and even relax a bit!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Art Road trip - Day 2 (recap)

The morning started off nice (no rain) -- so I went out to 'scout' out the area near my cottage. About 1/2 city block away is the beach -- so I went to visit this area first. I have heard of the famous 'Haystack Rock' before (which is near my location) -- but wow! ..until you actually see it in person! Such incredible rock formations! (and huge!) The waves continually crash against it -- but it almost seems pointless as this enormous rock formation proudly stands tall.

I found it interesting to see the various textures and organic materials on the rock formation -- grass/moss/various rock shapes, patterns and even trees! I also found it neat that as you walked around it (which took a considerable amount of walking) the views drastically changed and you were rewarded with new shapes and silhouettes of the imposing formations. (I took so many pics!!)

Ok, back to art.. just as I was about to go back and get my painting supplies -- the sky opened up and it started to rain really hard! (go figure!) I had to wait 2 hrs until it stopped.. so, I went up town to find internet (my room didn't get working internet until around 11am) -- caught up on some emails, posted to my blog and did some shopping!

At about Noon, the rain stopped and I went out with the goal to paint the first thing that inspired me! ..and I found it! a creek just outside of town, called Ecola Creek. I had several views to choose from  and I chose the one that had the creek with interior grass formations, a house and the background tree line. The weather looked 'iffy' so I hurried up on set up my easel and got my supplies ready. I was able to get about 1.5 hrs of painting in, before the rains returned (bummer!). The result is so-so.. there are areas I like and areas I will go back and improve/fix. (but-- it was great to get the chance to paint and study nature and lighting)

It rained most of the afternoon.. I grabbed a late lunch and waited to see how the weather would resolve -- but it didn't. I really am having some bad luck on this trip! owell, at least I'm relaxing and enjoying it for what it is (Vacation!)

Art 'road trip' - Day 1 (recap)

Well, let's hope my trip ends up better than it started! :)

..apologies for the late post, for Day 1 -- but this area has sporadic cell phone coverage (??) and my room didn't have working internet/wifi (?) -- which they are hopefully fixing their router sometime today! (I have to search the town for a place that has working internet.. most cafe's here do not have it!)

As for the trip:
I drove down from Seattle to Cannon Beach (OR) -- which was about 230 miles and took me a bit over 4 hrs (due to curvy roads and one lane traffic for the last 60-80 miles)

All packed up and ready to go!
I arrived at my cottage at 4:15pm -- and due to daylight savings time/combined with a storm that moved in -- the lighting conditions (nor weather) were good for outdoor painting -- bummer!

Interior of my cottage

Interior of my cottage

Interior of my cottage

Exterior of my cottage
So.. after unpacking, I went out to explore the town.. charming seaside town -- which I am sure is a 'happening place to be' in the summer. This time of year -- not so much. The town closed down completely at 5pm! The shops were closed.. the coffeehouses closed at 2pm and the restaurants were dead. I felt like I was in a post apocalyptic movie! ..very surreal to see it so quiet and no one around!

Downtown Cannon Beach

Downtown Cannon Beach

As I drove around, the weather got worse.. high winds and low visibility (rain and fog) but I still managed to travel to a nearby town called Seaside -- in search of a place to watch the Monday Night football game and to get dinner. Every place I visited was empty of customers.. so odd? I finally found an Irish Pub that had both of my 'wish list items' -- and I wasn't the only customer in the place.. this particular place had 3 others! :)

I went back to my room at 8:45pm and decided to read a bit (art books, etc) and then managed to do some artwork on my computer (which I'll post here shortly) -- it's a digital plein air painting that I started a week ago (done on site, in my neighborhood -- using a Surface Pro PC and Art Rage). I am still finishing the piece -- adding various details, etc. The piece is turning it well -- and it's a new looks or technique I was exploring -- which was using a 'dry/pastel-like' technique.

Colors of Fall #6 -- Work in Progress

The weather for Day 2 looks promising -- hopefully, I can manage to get some Plein Air painting in!

more to come..