When electrician Austin Maloney found himself out of work last month, the artist inside of him powered up.
The graduate of a two-year art program and a frequent painter in his spare time, Maloney took the break from work to pursue his passion full-force, aiming to paint an ambitious 30 paintings in 30 days.
What: 30 paintings in 30 days at the Medford Third Friday Art Walk
Where: Crown Gallery, 17 N. Bartlett St., Medford
When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 18
The pieces are small, just 8-by-10 inches each, but the art will represent all of Southern Oregon.
"I've always done some landscape painting, but I wanted to see what I could learn from doing this every day," said Maloney, 37, while finishing the last strokes of a landscape piece at Medford's Holmes Park on Tuesday morning.
Each of his 30 paintings will be plein air, painted on location somewhere outdoors in Southern Oregon. Most will be around the Rogue Valley, and Maloney is hoping to fit in a trip to the coast, too.
He funded his project through a modest $500 Kickstarter campaign, and he plans to use the money he receives to replenish his supplies and purchase frames for each of the pieces.
Maloney will finish the 30 days next week and then debut his finished work during Medford's Third Friday Art Walk in July, at Crown Gallery, 17 N. Bartlett St.
Most of Maloney's paintings depict nature, though he's also painted local buildings, including Medford's former Kim's Restaurant.
"It's something that you wouldn't want to look at ordinarily," said Maloney.
To be a good candidate for a painting, a location should have good composition, light and color. Maloney usually paints early in the morning or at sunset to best capture shadows.
"I like to catch the light when it's really nice," he said.
He uses only red, yellow, blue and white oil paints, mixing all other colors himself.
"I find you have more color harmony by only using three colors," said Maloney. "And it makes you work a little harder."
Each painting takes Maloney about one-and-a-half to two hours to complete.
This fall, Maloney and his wife, a fellow artist, hope to begin offering children's art classes. The father of three children, 8, 7 and 5 years old, Maloney wants to teach elementary through high school classes.
His own love for art started when he was a child.
"My childhood had a lot of art in it," said Maloney, whose parents made and sold Craftsman-style clocks and mirrors.
"When your parents do something, you appreciate it more," he said.
In the future, Maloney hopes to use Kickstarter to fund larger art projects.
"This was a small one just to get started, but I'd like to do something more ambitious," he said. "If you have something interesting enough, people will support it."
For more information about Maloney's art, see www.austinmaloney.com.
Teresa Ristow is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.