Monday, August 30, 2010

August Light

It was good to get out painting the August light this weekend!
"Early Morning On the River"
10x8 oil on linen panel
This painting was done Saturday morning at William OBrien State Park. It's hard to believe the summer is already coming to an end. I never feel I painted it enough. In this piece I was completely drawn to the reflections and the incredible back light of this little tree, such a pretty little tree, and naturally the movement of the water on the river. The water is unusually high on the St Croix right now. The movement and energy of the current is intense!
"Old Cow Pasture"
8x10 oil on linen panel
An old oak in a pasture where the cows once grazed.
The golden rod is thick and prime here in Minnesota. Beautiful to paint, horrible on the allergies! The light Saturday evening was truly golden. I love this little pasture, it's so meandering. I'm sure this old oak was a nice place for the cattle to hang out at one time. . .
"Warm August Light"
11x14 oil on linen panel
Now this crazy warm piece was a surprise to me when I brought it into the studio. I was painting into the light and had some reflection bouncing off me onto my canvas which made it a bit difficult to see my color, I had thought I painted it a bit cooler. . . .this was painted Sunday morning. We got out early since it was going to be 90 degrees by noon. It feels so good to have a painting under your belt by lunch time, it's kind like if you accomplish nothing else in a day, it doesn't matter, you painted! This was just 50 yards East of the smaller painting done the night before.
I told myself my goal on this 11x14 was to represent the day with as few strokes possible and getting in the strong shapes of the trees. Oh, and to finish in 2 hours! I don't always set these kind of goals but once in a while it's good for me to do this in order to stay on track with my initial idea and inspiration. Plus it was HOT! So this is what I ended up with, then we wrapped it up for the weekend and went to get some lunch and a cold beer! It felt very deserved. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

White Hydrangeas

"White Hydrangeas"
This is my latest studio still life piece done from life. When I work from live flowers on a painting that is larger than 16x20 I am pushing myself to get the canvas covered as quickly and accurately as possible before they die. Especially hydrangeas and lilacs, they're cut time is only a day or two. This painting holds some of my favorite things to paint, reflections and white flowers. I like the hydrangeas in their early stage when they are still white. It was a goal of mine this year to get them before they turned colors. I love lighting up hydrangeas, they radiate such an internal glow, I love that!
My idea for this painting was to have the colors be rich and more on the warm side of the scale. It's easy with whites for me to make everything too cool since the shadows of white read very cool to me. I used the dark background to help set off the light valued flower heads.
An added thought. I've started painting my larger still life pieces using a stretched linen and I'm really liking the paint quality I'm getting versus the mounted hard panels. I've been struggling with my surfaces lately but the stretched is taking the paint better for still life work. . . hmmm.. .

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer Colors

"August Fields"
11x14 oil on linen panel
This is the demo piece I did for my workshop a couple of weeks ago, I'm just a bit behind on photographing my work. I've painted this place where I grew up many times. This little rolling hill across the stream is where I used to spin in circles as a little girl until I'd fall over. Why is that so fun for kids?? :)
It never stops amazing me the ever changing colors from season to season and year to year. I've always been drawn to the vibration of the grasses and wild growth against the warmth of the earth below. There's almost a warmth in color that radiates up into the colors of grasses and flowers. It's fun to study and attempt to capture this on canvas.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

3 Day Plein Air Workshop

2 posts in one day, a new record for me! :)
This past week I taught part 2 of my 2 @ 3 Day workshop. I started in June with 3 days, and continued part 2 this past week with 3 more days. Once again, I'm amazed and humbled by the inspiration my students pass on to me. I love to see how others see the world through paint, especially when pushed to paint out of their own element and comfort zone. Painters always want to improve and grow and share the world through their eyes and that is inspiring to me and other painters. The energy was beautiful and the painters worked hard. Friday we ended up starting an hour early and ended over an hour late. I started Friday off by doing a full demo.
Day one was along the banks of the St Croix. Day two and three we were out at my Dad's farm where I grew up. The fields are gorgeous out there right now with all the wild flowers. My 10 year old kiddo and his little friend hung out at with us the entire 2 days as well, kind of special! He told me Thursday night after class that he was going to paint the next day and that "Momma, I can see it in my head already what I'm gonna paint" I said "You CAN? What do you see?" He says "I can see the BIG shapes, they're the MOST important thing at first! I'm going to put all my tree into one BIG shape in the right value that I see the MOST, and then I'm going to put the field in front like another shape, and the sky is going to be another shape!" "I'll show 'em how it's done Mamma!"
From the mouths of babes! THAT'S how ya paint! :)
I feel full of gratitude on this day for those few lines, and for the opportunity to have worked with such gracious people in the field sharing art!

A Few More Paintings From Door County

In such a rush last week to post my Door County work, I forgot about these guys! Here they are. "The Gallery Window" piece was painted in the rain at a demo on Thursday At EdgeWood Orchards Gallery. I LOVE that gallery, such beautiful grounds!
"Jacksonport Sundown"
8x10 oil on linen
" The Gallery Window"
8x10 oil
"Blue Sun"
8x10 oil on linen

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Door County Plein Air 2010

"Queen Anne's Lace"
11x14 oil on linen
We painted this painting on the first day in the rain, a soft warm rain. The rain is great for rich saturated colors. And one of my favorites at this time of year, the Queen Anne's Lace. I was in heaven!
"Door County Prairie Fields"
11x14 oil on linen
more Queen Anne's lace along with some black eyed susans and other wild flowers, I was REALLY in heaven!
"Cave Point"
11x14 oil on linen
this was a piece I did before the festival started so I didn't get to use it in the show, also the piece I showed in progress in an earlier post
"View From Bailey's Harbor"
11x14 oil on linen
We painted as a demo day in Bailey's Harbor. It was hot! There was a great little fish market/restaurant there with this amazing garden and the view of the lake. I had started out this painting with a table umbrella in front of the tree and ended up taking it out, glad for the suggestion! ;)
"Moonlight Bay"
8x10 oil on linen
LOVED painting here! It was the end of the day and just starting to rain, a nice quiet spot after being around people so much. Beautiful and serene. There was a local Dad there and his daughter fishing after doing chores on their farm. I remembered going to the lake on summer nights after barn chores.
"Purple Symphony"
8x10 oil on linen
This is my Quick Draw piece from Saturday! We had 2 hours from start to finish to paint a painting and then we had 30 minutes to tear down our easel, frame the painting, and get it set up on our easel down at the park for collectors and spectators to see the work before the live auction started. The auction got rained out so they ended up holding it in the town hall. A good move! The auction was a great success and every one of the 40 paintings done by the featured artists sold! Good for the school, good for the artists! Good for collectors!
"Summer Fields"
11x14 oil on linen
I can't help but love the way this painting makes me feel. I think it's the color combinations. It feels like breath and peacefulness to me.
"The Chef's Hat"
10x8 oil on linen
Love to eat at the Chef's Hat in Ephraim and am so inspired by the colors of their umbrellas and warmth of the sun. I painted this same place last year but in a horizontal format. Kind of a fun painting.