Scott Gellatly


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Sky Suite

My most recent exhibition of paintings, entitled The Sky Suite, opens in November at Brian Marki Fine Art in Portland, OR.  As the name suggests, this year’s show explores the dynamic qualities of skies and clouds. 

So, why clouds?
Painting skies, and clouds in particular, has been a long-standing interest of mine and has been a theme in my work for years.  Capturing the unique atmosphere and light of the Pacific Northwest continues to be one of my main intensions through my landscape paintings. In addition, I’ve always been drawn to both abstract and representational painting. I recall a former painting instructor who stated, “the best representational work is abstract and the best abstract work is realistic.” This still resonates. 

So, this recent foray into painting skies and clouds, for me, has been the perfect marriage of plein air, representational, and abstract painting.

Humble, Practical Beginnings…
This series of paintings had a very practical beginning, well over a year and a half ago.  Needing to “kick the tires” on an early batch of Gamblin’s Solvent-Free Gel that I was developing, I had to get some painting done one evening.  With my better half working late and watching my boys in the backyard, I simply set up my plein air gear and looked up.  The glowing clouds in the late spring sky become my available subject matter, so I knocked out a few 6” x 6” studies. These early paintings are included in the show and sparked the whole series.

The Sky Suite opens November 1st at Brian Marki Fine Art in Portland, OR.  Show runs through the month. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Master Palettes: Exploring Color Mixing

Earlier this year I was invited to teach an online workshop through the Craftsy website. This gave me the opportunity to explore a subject that has fascinated me for years – color.  Ok, not just color, but exploring how color has evolved over the history of oil painting and the profound effect that the expansion of artists’ color palettes have had on the evolution of painting.

This workshop also explores a theme that I have shared with painters through my work with Gamblin – namely how to make color personal.  We all come to painting with unique intentions and interests.  We as painters should build a color palette that supports those intentions. Sure, we could use a standard impressionist palette for a lot of uses, but how can we build a color palette that is truly personal – one that expresses our unique artistic vision?

Explore these concepts in my new online Craftsy class Master Palettes:Exploring Color Mixing, and develop and define your artistic voice with the foundation of color theory.

Using the distinct color palettes of Classicism, Impressionism and Expressionism, we’ll create three paintings that evoke the elegance and energy of each respective era. You’ll begin your foray into color theory with an exploration of the key concepts behind successful color mixing; value, hue and chroma. Learn how to accurately replicate any shade, lighten and darken value, and use complimentary colors to alter intensity as we explore color’s prismatic principles and analogous properties. Once you have a firm grasp on color theory, you’ll develop an underpainting that serves as the compositional road map for each of your paintings, informing your work with tonal and spatial relevance.

Next, we’ll use the muted earth colors of the Classical palette to capture the timeless elegance of the classical masters. Derived from the natural world, these shades allow you to expand the value range of your underpainting, refining your work with light and shadow. Using negative space and contrast to create visual interest, you’ll complete a sophisticated still life that embodies the style of the Renaissance.

In our second work we’ll move on to the Impressionist palette, a high-impact array of colors made up of the brighter metal-based mineral pigments of the Industrial Revolution. We’ll focus on achieving greater visual vibrancy through true replication of natural colors, color harmony and defined details, creating a luminous painting that reflects the era’s emphasis on light and movement. The intense pigments of the 20th century make up our final palette; here, we’ll modify and replace colors for a more expressive approach to our subject matter.

Enroll in Master Palettes: Exploring Color Mixing, and join me on a journey through the three eras of pigment history to find your unique artistic voice.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Crush - A Celebration of Columbia Gorge Wines and Fine Art

I was invited to take part in this unique exhibition at the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River, OR, celebrating the harvest and Oregon's wine-making community. Below are the five paintings included in the show, all of which were painted at or inspired by area vineyards.

These first three were painted at the western-Willamette Valley vineyard that supplies grapes to Big Table Farm, run by friend and fellow painter Clare Carver and her husband. 

The show opens October 4th - 27th. 

Learn more about The Crush and look for the schedule of wine-tasting events here.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pacific Northwest Plein Air - 2013!

Now in its ninth year, it's an honor to participate in the Pacific Northwest Plein Air show, which opens at the Columbia Arts Center in Hood River, OR, this Friday, Sept. 6th. Every year this show gets better and better and is now starting to draw terrific artists from throughout the western U.S.  This show is ALWAYS worth the short hour drive from Portland!

I've been fortunate to take part in this show since its inception in 2005 and having the opportunity to paint out in the Columbia River Gorge never tires. This area is more than deserving to be on the map of great plein air destinations in the country.

Below is a preview of three of the five paintings submitted to this years' show. The top two were painted on the first day of the Paint Out last Friday.  Finishing off the day of painting with a pint at the Full Sail Brewery ain't too shabby either...

Clouds & Orchards, 11" x 14" Oil. 

Mt Hood Foothills, 12" x 12" Oil. 

And then one from earlier in the summer...

Gorge View, 6" x 7 1/2" Oil.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Workshop Recap - Cooper Mt. Natural Area

Hats off to all the wonderful participants who braved the near-one hundred-degree heat to paint together at the Cooper Mountain Natural Area! Luckily for us, there was enough shade to paint from and we managed to pack the 8-hour workshop with plenty of painting and color discussions.

 Paintings by Kay Elmore. Photos by Nancy Klos.

Cooper Mountain Natural Area provides terrific lessons in atmospheric perspective as well as mixing diverse greens. We all worked from the same "split-primary" color palette, using a warm and cool for each of the primary.  From this, I gave a demonstration on subtractive color mixing and mixing greens with the colors at hand. 
Color demo. 

I had all of the students come with a 12" x 16" panel taped off into four sections for them to produce four paintings throughout the day. The small scale as well as the time constraints prevented them from getting to detailed in their work and focus on economy of mark-making. This proved to be a welcome challenge for many of the students, but most of them got all four paintings completed throughout the course of the day. 

Below are my demonstrations from the day. My next Portland-area workshop is July 28th at the Blue Heron Herbary on Sauvie Island.  If you're interested in joining us to paint the lavender, please let me know - only a few spots remain! 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Smith Rock Paint Out: Good Weather, Great Scenery, Excellent Ice Cream

I felt my status as a native Oregon became in jeopardy about a week ago after I went to Smith Rock for the first time. Hard to believe I hadn't been there before. After a brief visit, the family and I were itching to get back and spend more time there...luck would have it that I saw a poster for the First Annual Smith Rock Paint Out to take place the following weekend.

Put on by the High Dessert Art League, this was a free event for artists to come and paint the wondrous beauty of the popular state park.  Word has it that about seventy artists showed up to paint...not bad for the first time!

Only two and a half hours from Portland, painting on the other sides of the Cascades offers such a different color palette to work from compared to our "green, green and more green" surroundings of the Willamette Valley. 

Part of this event was a competition, where four paintings were awarded. This small 8" x 10" painting, which was my second piece done on that day, took 2nd place: 

Smith Ravine, oil on panel, 2013

Of course, the real prize was simply the opportunity to spend half the day painting at an amazing location and having my wife and kids enthralled with the hiking trails throughout the park. All of our efforts were rewarded by huckleberry ice cream, so conveniently offered at the shop adjacent to the park.  Well played, ice cream guy...

Additional info on this event can be found at

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mixing Violets!

The Blue Heron Herbary is an amazing venue on the north side of Sauvie Island. By late July the lavender will be in full force, providing plenty of opportunity to discuss the ins and outs of mixing violets.  The herbary offers both intimate scenes throughout their gardens and ponds as well as expansive views into the surrounding farmland. This will be a great workshop! 

Like my other workshops, I'll be supplying all of the oil colors, painting medium and Gamsol. Just bring yourself, suntan lotion, and your paint box! 

For registration info, please contact:
Nancy Klos
Artist/Photographer/Arts Educator

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Summer 2013 Plein Air Workshop Calendar

Join me and other like-minded artists for a series of plein air workshops this summer throughout Oregon and Washington. Each workshop will focus on color theory, developing a plein air color palette, and composition - while working directly from the region’s diverse landscape. Each workshop will include painting demonstrations, short and long painting sessions, and both individual and group critiques. If you’ve never painted plein air before or if you need an excuse to dust off your easel, this series of workshops will propel your painting skills to the next level.

Sunday, June 30th - near Portland, OR.  Cooper Mountain Nature Park
This sweeping, atmospheric vista in rural Washington County an easy location to find and a comfortable location for Plein Air painting. The perfect venue for a lesson in aerial perspective! Cooper Mountain Info

Friday, July 19th - Whidbey Island, WA. 
This half-day workshop, entitled The Vitality of Plein Air, focuses on the spirit of plein air painting in capturing the essence of your surroundings with expressive brushwork and thoughtful design. This workshop is preceded by a FREE Gamblin lecture demonstration.  Whidbey Island Fine Arts, Gellatly Workshop

Saturday, July 20 - Sunday, July 21 - Mt. Vernon, WA
This workshop will investigate the three main components of COLOR (Value, Hue, and Chroma) through plein air painting in the beautiful Skagit Valley. We will work with each component of color individually through small plein air studies, and then tie them all together during longer painting sessions. This workshop is preceded by a FREE Gamblin lecture demonstration. Dakota Art Center, Gellatly Workshop 

Sunday, July 28th - near Portland, OR.  Blue Heron Herbary, Sauvie Island
Blue Heron Herbary is located on Sauvie Island on the banks of the Columbia River. The garden is in a natural setting bordered by a wildlife refuge where waterfowl, eagles, cranes and of course, blue herons abound. This is a terrific site for both intimate and expansive painting subjects.

Sunday, August 4th - near Portland, OR. Willow Residence, Sauvie Island 
Right on the beach of the Columbia River, this location offers a number of expansive views along the river and into the farmlands of Washington State.

Saturday, August 17th - Sunday, August 18th - Bainbridge Island, WA
Let a quick ferry ride from Seattle transport you to beautiful Bainbridge Island, and join a thriving artistic community for this two-day plein air workshop.

Please contact me with any questions and for registration and pricing information.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Plein Air Convention 2013

The Plein Air Convention, now in its second year, did not disappoint.  With overall attendance up over a hundredfold from last year, the level of enthusiasm and sense of camaraderie among the painters in attendance was overwhelming.  

This event is a highlight for me throughout the year. I welcome the opportunity to wear two hats at an event like this – my work for Gamblin allows me to support a community in which I feel so aligned as an artist.

I was thrilled to use this opportunity to talk about a new product that I’ve been developing for well over a year (more on this in an upcoming blog).  To have this new product at the event at all was a “stretch goal” only a couple months ago. The response to the concept, and its working properties was so overwhelmingly positive – so cool to be able to finally share it with the world. 

As a painter, it was amazing to view first-hand the facility displayed by such renowned artists.  Talking shop and painting alongside other plein air artists whose work I admire was such a thrill. I also enjoyed discussing contemporary approaches to plein air painting with other painters – as this is something I strive for in my own work. 

Below are images of my giving a demonstration on Gamblin painting mediums, the first “paint out” along the coastline at Asilomar, as well as an image of my painting from the Monterey marina.

Looking forward to future events with the plein air community!  

Sunlit Marina, oil on panel, 12" x 12", 2013