Still Lives and Sunshine – Spring Descends Upon Portland, OR!

March 11, 2013 § 23 Comments

It’s true.  First there was endless grey and rain and everything felt all Mordor and Voldemort forever, and now– Spring flowers!

Spring blooms in Portland!

Spring blooms in Portland!

My trusty steel steed against a pretty willow tree.

Panorama: My trusty steel steed against a pretty willow tree.

We just enjoyed three days of Spring bliss here in Portland which I took advantage of by biking and walking all day long soaking up some much needed vitamin D.  Sun starved, bleary eyed Portlanders stumbled out into the sunshine to work in their gardens and breathe in the sweet smell of Spring mud.

Lately I have been enjoying painting directly from life concentrating on color theory and more specifically color mixing and painting with a muted palette.  So far, so fun!  I’ll share some of the still lives I’ve been working on once they are completed and varnished. <<<>>>

Here are some photos from my wanderings plus a couple of studio shots.

Feel free to comment and thanks for reading!  <<<>>>

The Crow's Nest with my painting set up.

The Crow’s Nest with my painting set up.

Secret elixir - a mixture of turpentine and stand oil for painting with glazes.

Secret elixir – a mixture of turpentine and stand oil for painting with glazes.

Currently, I'm painting a still life of a ceramic tiger that I found in Thailand.

Currently, I’m painting a still life of a ceramic tiger that I found in Thailand.

Sunny street with Portland Craftsman bungalows.

Sunny street with Portland Craftsman bungalows.

Portland is known for its Arts and Crafts style bungalows.  Here’s a nice symmetrical one with an outstanding sunrise pattern.

Portland is known for its Arts and Crafts style bungalows. Here’s a nice symmetrical one with an outstanding sunrise pattern.

Sunrise from my studio window facing Mt Hood. I like the wispy little dragon cloud catching the sunlight.

Sunrise out studio window facing Mt. Hood with a wispy dragon cloud catching the light.

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§ 23 Responses to Still Lives and Sunshine – Spring Descends Upon Portland, OR!

  • Pic no. 1. Beautiful crocus :).

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thank you! There were so many crocuses and daffodils blooming this weekend. They must be the hardiest of flowers… : )

  • niasunset says:

    Wonderful photographs and art work… Also I loved your studio with this window… Thank you, love, nia

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thank you, I appreciate the comment! The windows in my studio are definitely the best part of painting these days…

  • America’s blizzard ends and Londons begins. its snowing today!

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Is the weather apocalypse upon us? Oregon has really mild weather. This usually happens where it is sunny and beautiful and all the flowers are fooled into coming out– and then it freezes again and everything perishes. Hopefully it will stay on this side of freezing. : )

      Hope you can enjoy the snow!

  • oliverowl says:

    I am so happy for your sunny days! Glad you got out to enjoy them. Someone needs to shake our flora, starting from the grass up through flowers and trees, as they are still all fast asleep!
    Feel the warmth of my love, which , for you, outshines even old Sol!!

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thank you! It’s so nice as always to hear from you. I hope that the sun shines soon for you all up there and that Spring comes early. : ) Miss you!

  • Ah, Spring! Gorgeous photos – the light is stunning. Love the one with the jar and the reflection on the counter.

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thank you, Gabriela! I appreciate the comment. I seem to have no idea of how much I miss the sun until it shines. Also, I feel fortune to have this studio as very different lighting occurs throughout each day at different times. It keeps me moving about the space. Happy writing! <<>>

  • jackbaumgartner says:

    Good stuff, Mikey. I can’t wait to see those still lives up code. That one of the heart tile looks really interesting. How are you feeling about them so far?

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thanks, buddy! Perhaps once this one of the ceramic tiger is completed and varnished I can post a few small paintings I have been working on. Yesterday after I took these photographs I had some success with this work so we’ll see.

      So far it has been a really interesting process. For starters painting from life is really difficult for me as there is always more to learn. Also, I am trying to understand the art of painting with muted tones. (It’s possible that my senses needed a break after staring for so long at that last commission which is so saturated with color.)


      Anyway, it’s interesting. I am still in an awkward first month of painting from life again and hopefully there will be a shift. One thing that drastically changed my experience this past weekend was that I deliberately mixed my entire palette before I started painting. (And kept a written diagram and recipe record of the colors I mixed so that I can reproduce them later on in the painting as needed) This is not my usual modi operandi and it really made the actual painting flow.

      • That painting and still-life set up were intriguiing. I never would have guessed that squat little statue was a Tiger! Cool to hear about your new approach.

      • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

        Thanks, Gabriel! I found these amazing ceramic animal statues (intricate, delicate, beautiful glazes) when I lived in Thailand– and this one is of a little baby tiger. When it’s completed I’ll post the painting and a better shot of the tiger itself. Happy drawing to you and thanks for the comment.

  • What a gorgeous sequence of photos. Your studio looks like a magical haven.

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thank you, Steven! It has indeed been a haven. I’ve never worked with this kind of clarity of light before and it has profoundly affected the way I operate. Thanks again for the comment. <<>>

  • YAHOOOOOOO FOR SPRING!!!!!

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      I know… finally! It was a long winter this year. Though we usually get the post bloom freak freeze that wipes everything out so hopefully this year we’ll jump straight to Spring for real. British Columbia has essentially the same weather despite how much farther north it is, doesn’t it?

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