Thursday, September 18, 2014

School Bus

Yesterday the high school in Dubois, Wyoming sent a group of their art students out to join us on a ranch to learn plein-air painting. They were mentored by the scholarship students attending the SKB Foundation Workshop here.

Most people were painting old wagons or log cabins or picturesque bends in the stream, but I decided to paint the school bus. I love school buses. This is a beautiful brand new vehicle, built in January of 2014. 

I used a ruler to get those windows straight in my little gouache painting. Press the "play" button below for a quick audio greeting from the driver.

(Link to the voice of the driver) To me, the bus represents the pride of this town and their dedication to getting young people excited about art. That's what the day was all about, as far as I was concerned. 

I made friends with the bus driver when I asked her to help me get one of my paint tube caps unstuck. She brought out a pliers, saying, "We western women have a whole tool kit in our purse."
Read about the SKB Foundation Workshop, a unique week-long gathering of landscape and wildlife painters.
If you're a young artist who wants to be a part of this, check out the SKB scholarship program.


Tom Hart said...

I love everything about this post. I swear, if it's possible, your painting is getting even better. This trip is doing you good! (Or should that be "well"?...I'll leave that to the grammarians to work out.)

Joel Fletcher said...

Excellent painting of the school bus. Seems like the lesson to be learned from this post is to add a pliers to your plein-air painting kit, for those pesky stuck paint cap emergencies!

Glenn said...

I would like to hear more about your design choices and approach in a direct painting situation.

The background in the photo of you and the bus is very different from your finished painting. This is not just a great rendering of a bus, its a great painting because it has a strong composition starting with what the scene had to offer, then looking at what needed to be moved, added or deleted.

Yesterday's painting of the horses would be a good example of this type of decision making applied to a more complex situation.

Susan Krzywicki said...

I love how you can take "un-romantic" subjects and invest them with meaning, beauty and drama.

mj said...

Is this one going to be in the "Gouache in the Wild" video?

Steve said...

As always, a remarkable painting. Love the value/hue shift between the front and side of the bus.

I bring a Leatherman tool when using tube paint outdoors. The pliers have unlocked many a cap.

Good of you to give kudos to a school bus and driver. Before embarking on an elementary school teaching career, I drove a school bus -- back in the day of standard transmissions. They are difficult, floaty vehicles to drive when empty -- fill them with boisterous kids on a slick road and they require a level of focused attention few other jobs demand.

Tiffany McLeod said...

This is a really good one. The value shift and the straight edge of the bus was done wonderful.

jeff jordan said...

I wonder how many thousand times people have told me "I can't draw a straight line." And at least half of those thousands of times I've replied, "Me, neither, but I have this thing called a RULER."

Another winner Jim! You're really on a roll!