Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sunflowers at Last Light

As the growing season winds down, there are a few things I simply need to get planted next year.   A few short rows of grapes, for a small vineyard with the western hill rising behind them.   A stand of sunflowers, with native perennial varieties as well as the large annuals.   And a small pumpkin patch.   These three things would offer me unlimited paintings, especially when positioned before the western hill, where the tall grasses and wildflowers run amuck.  With distant trees set at the horizon, it is the perfect stage for fabulous sunsets.   A farm like this should have all those things, and I am just the girl for the job!   Painting number 1362 in 1362 days.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Creek Along Cleveland

Since July, I have been finishing my workouts at the gym with a run, sprinting at the end.  It is exhilarating!  I love the runner's high I get - and it lasts for hours!  So, after a great workout, a great run in the perfect temperature, I get home, clean up, and head out to paint.  Choosing the Cleveland Trail and Lake, I retrace my steps through the tall grass to the creek, in hopes of finding my missing quick release plate.  I know it is here and I know I will find it, but not today.   The painting goes quickly, and the euphoria rises as the composition nears completion.   It is so much like a runner's high - and it too, lasts for hours.  It is the process itself that brings such joy, and always when I am outside working.  I almost never feel this kind of rush when working indoors.  What a great day.   Painting number 1361 in 1361 days :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Twinkle Lights in the Vineyard

Swinging in the Vines was in full swing at the Schultz Haus as the twinkle lights came on in the vineyard.  I painted this beautiful setting from the very cushy covered porch, which was warm and dry as the rain continued just feet away.   I really love the colors in the landscape on this rainy day!   I don't think I will ever tire of painting vineyards!   Painting number 1360 in 1360 days :)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Autumn Stream

With only a small painting window this afternoon, I am painting small and working on a little fall color.   Using photo reference, I am pushing the cool hues against the warm ones, to accentuate the autumn mood.   It was actually cold this morning - in the upper 40s!  So unexpected when we were just in the 80s!  It is going to be a wonderful week for painting - and yard work!   Painting number 1359 in 1359 days :)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bluebird in Flight

My youngest daughter has been wanting me to paint some bluebirds for a few weeks.  I did a couple of studies in my sketch book, but was looking for something looser and more vibrant.   So, I turned to my India ink pens for the drawing, super thin rice paper for the substrate, and watercolor for the medium.  I have some pigmented inks that I have yet to try, but I didn't get to them today.  I think I used my medium point Pitt pen for the first time this afternoon!   I normally reach for the superfine or fine, and occasionally the brush tip.  Perhaps I can push it even looser in the future, I am longing to splash some of that ink around!   Crazy, right?   Painting number 1359 in 1359 days :)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Last Light on the Pond

It is so frustrating to have connectivity issues where I live.   I tried posting this earlier, and just happened to see that it was still publishing, but it could not be found anywhere.   So, once again, I post from my phone and hope this one goes through.   I am using new brushes this week, thanks to the recommendations of two artists in Door County  - and I love them!   The Silver Bristlon brushes make great workhorses, while the Silver Silverwhite synthetic soft flats are fabulous for finish work, or where I want to lay down strokes on top of wet paint, without disturbing the layer beneath.  I think these are going to be mainstays in my arsenal of tools!   Painting number 1358 in 1358 days.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Autumn Begins

I will be having a large solo show, and as I look through my paintings I find myself wanting to revisit some of the older work.  My use of paint has improved so, that many of these large paintings could benefit from a little extra effort.  This is such a painting.  I pulled this older acrylic out, and just started laying in oils as I felt the need.  I'm going to see where this process takes me.  Can I get it to a place where I'm happy with it?   I don't know.  I always start fresh each day with a new panel.  Its totally worth a try, I can always paint a whole new landscape on it's surface of things go awry!  I am going to let this one rest until tomorrow, and see what I think in the light of day.  Painting number 1357 in a 1357 days.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Through the Garden Gate

The Art Mob met this morning at the Thomas Hart Benton house for our monthly paintout, before a little lunch at Q39.  It was amazing!!  His studio was in the stone carriage house, converted just for his needs many years ago.  All furnishings are original, just as if he and his wife left the house one day, and did not return!  All brushes, paints, sketches and supplies are dotted around the studio in various work areas, just ready for the artist's return.  Frames hang from nails on the walls.  The grand stone home was beautiful, inside and out, with an elegance from the 19th century.  The grounds are lush, with a wonderful dappled light that spilled through the trees.   It was magical.  The whole space exuded creativity.  It was really a treat to paint in such a special place.   Painting number 1357 in 1357 days.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Mist Rising Over the Vineyard

Some painting days are magical.  This very rainy day yielded saturated colors in the landscape, which could so easily be captured with oils on a panel.  The Schultz family graciously offered their attic as shelter from the rain, with grand views from the windows.   This very cushy spot was a lush way to paint on such a wet day!   I had a special bird's eye view of the vineyards as they swept from the house, allowing me to see each layer of mist as it rose in the hills, between rainfalls.  This place is truly a slice of heaven, and a painting day I will always treasure!   Painting number 1356 in 1356 days.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pond off Church Street

Sunday was the last day of the Harvest Festival, and the sale was at the Legion Hall on Church Street.  While the morning was still overcast, I set up on the hill to paint this beautiful scene.  I was not in the shade, so I needed to paint fast before the sun came out to roast me!  This is the painting that unfolded.   I have wanted to paint here for years, so glad I finally had the chance.   Painting number 1355 in 1355 days.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Vineyard at Noboleis

This morning started with a wonderful group of artists, each relatively new to painting en plein air.  Noboleis Winery was gracious to allow me to hold my workshop in their vineyard!  Could there be a more gorgeous setting than this vineyard for class?  After going over some tried and true plein air tips, everyone set up their easels and I started to sketch the composition.  I took my demo to the block in stage, then circulated as they all progressed towards the same.  Checking at each stage to make sure all were on track, I finished my demo.  I love seeing how each artist progresses through a painting.   It is as individual as handwriting!   Each walked away with a beautiful vineyard landscape and a new tool to help them find their composition in the field.  Helping other artists further their skills is SO rewarding!   This painting was my first of three on Saturday!   Painting number 1354.on 1354 days :)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dusk on the Vineyard

I have painted more than I thought I would in this 4 day event, and as a result I am running out of panels!  This painting has a secret, there is another landscape underneath it!  It was a lake scene that I really didn't care for, so I painted the beautiful vineyard of Nobeleis right over the top of it!  Now - I love it!  Painting number 1353 in 1353 days :)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Dusk in the Vineyard

What a gorgeous day for painting at Nobeleis Winery!  The vineyards were glowing, and loaded with grapes!  After teaching a plein air painting workshop from 9:00 - 3:00, I grabbed a snack and started this painting.  Every student finished a beautiful painting!!  I could hardly stop painting today!  The colors were amazing, as was the light, so I painted all day - finishing three!  This festival has been so much fun!!  Painting number 1352 in 1352 days :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Vineyard on the Farm

Vineyard on the Farm
Oil on panel, 14x11
What an amazing place to spend the day painting!  After receiving an ATV tour of the upper vineyard, I knew I had to paint this scene!  The view was breathtaking.  It had been raining most of the day, but there was a brief break in the weather - and I hiked right up to the top of this hill!  As I started to paint, I heard thunder in the distance.  With my hilltop view, I could see just how far away that rain was, so I kept painting.  I worked fast to get the whole foreground in, right past the house and barn, knowing that if I had to run for cover, I could paint this lower background from the house.  The thunder got closer and the sky darkened.  A few wayward drops started falling, and I quickly packed my gear.  With this set up, I can get out of my spot in two minutes - and I headed for the house.  By the time I got there, big drops were falling, and a heavy rain soon followed.  The Schultz family was so gracious to allow me to paint from the attic window - which allowed me to paint in all of the background, that I had only marked the color for while up on the hill.  I really loved working on this painting, and it was awarded Honorable Mention tonight at Swinging in the Vines!  What an honor!  Painting number 1352 in 1352 days :)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

From the Katy Trail

 Oh my goodness!  What a day!  Arriving in town to with enough time to set up our panels and artwork at the American Legion Hall, I then needed to head down to the Katy Trail Head in Augusta outside of "Pop a Wheelie", where the two hour quick paint was scheduled to kick off the event.  It was so hot and humid, but distant thunder could be heard in the distance.  The golden water of this run off creek by the Katy Trail caught my attention - and held it.  I started painting very quickly, as the weather was changing right before my eyes!  The wind started blowing, the temperature starting dropping, and leaves were blowing right onto my painting and into my palette!  Before I knew it, I was bracing my painting, and holding down the contents of my paintbox - because the wind was strong enough to blow things out!  I stayed until the lighting was popping and big raindrops began to fall - and then I headed to shelter to take down my gear and frame my painting.  It had only be 56 minutes.  I spent the rest of the evening enjoying good friends, summer shandy, dancing and fun! What a way to kick off this Augusta Harvest Festival!  Painting number 1351 in 1351 days :)
Off the Katy Trail
Oil on panel
Katy Trail Pain Out - Augusta Harvest Festival

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sunflower Song

Oh how I love sunflowers!!  Their cheerful, radiant heads beaming sunshine bring a smile to my face each time I see them!  Today, I have layed in the underpainting with a large brush, and have followed up with palette knife work.  My favorite knife was in my paintbox in the trunk, so I pulled out my favorite alternate knife - the Princeton catalyst.  I love the marks it makes!  And, when I loaded my palette, I pulled out an old tube of liquitex oil paint - cad yellow light, and it is super rich and opaque!  It is the perfect petal highlight for these sunny blooms!  So glad I grabbed it!  Painting number 1350 on 1350 days :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sunflower Solo

What are more cheerful than yellow sunflowers?  I find I'm mentally taking note of each stand I find, to return another day and paint them when I have more time!  I did not even start with a sketch on this one - I simply jumped right in with paint!  Once I had layed in the masses with a brush, I then turned to my favorite Princeton Catalyst for the palette knife work.  My favorite knife was in my paintbox in the trunk of my car, so that also pushed me towards this choice.  I'm so glad it did!  I love the way these tools make marks!  I simply set it down on an edge, pull and lift towards the center, and it leaves thick, rich paint in it's wake in a way no brush could.  Painting number 1349 in 1349 days :)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Creekside Sycamores in Fall

This rambling creek runs along a stretch of highway that leads to New Melle.  I started this painting last time I was in the area, but today have brought up the colors of the changing season.  Already, leaves are turning yellow and dropping along the creek bed.  The days are still warm, but subtle shifts of color are dotting the landscape.  Nothing begs me to paint it like a winding creek.  I think I'll never tire of them.  Painting number 1348 in 1348 days, and now it's time for bed :)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Waterfall at Erickson Water Garden

First PiYo, then painting class, and next I raced to the Overland Park arboretum for the sketch crawl that ran from 10:00 - 4:00.  I was looking for sunflowers to paint, but I didn't find any!  I fully expected to find a glorious field of them! I needed to find a place in the shade to paint from, since I had left my hat in the car - and  was a long way from the car!  As I passed the Erickson Water Garden, the wonderful, cascading water called out to me.  I walked on a bit further, then returned to this location.  As I prepared to attach my paint box to the tripod, I realized I was missing the quick release plate which had been attached to my box!  Oh no!  There was no way to attach it without it!  The last place I know I had it was deep into the brush along a creek, acres across a tall grass field from where I had parked the car - yesterday. So, I had to sit further back in the shade on a wooden chair, with my paintbox on my lap to paint!  I was not going to leave this luscious place in this perfect weather without a painting, no matter what hoops I had to jump through!  An hour and a half later, this is what I came away with.  So glad I didn't throw in the towel!  Painting number 1347 in 1347 days :)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Blooms of Sunshine

This has been one of those golden days where everything has been perfect.  My team won twice today at "tug of war" - at the gym, which was super fun!  I haven't played that since elementary school!  My housework was finished before I knew it, and I had some special time just for me.  To follow that up, my painting literally fell off my brush.  All of the charm of today popped forth on my panel, and I have certainly made a splash with color!  Nothing shy of bright and sunny blooms would suffice for this day's painting!  This painting makes 1345 in 1345 days.  I hope tomorrow is just as bright and shiny :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Shaded Creekbank

Some time ago, I had scouted out this spot and had several painting ideas in mind.  After hiking a bit in talk grass  (with my bare legs and sandals!) I arrived on scene to see almost all edges of the creek so overgrown that I could not even see the water!  If I hadn't hiked so far into the cutting grass, I would have gone back to the car to seek out a different spot entirely.  But, I couldn't stand to leave without a painting, so I persevered.   After walking further, I found an opening in the tall brush with a clear shot of the water!   I would have to stand in the full sun to paint this, but it was overcast so I jumped right in.  Well, the sun came out and was hot as "blue blazes" on my back.  With the sun, came a few biting black flies - which I have never encountered outside of Wisconsin!  I finally finished, thinking that I had gotten the painting too light (painting with my panel and palette in the full sun), only to bring it in and find it was as moody as the darkest shade along the creekbank.  Wow - I had to fight for this painting today!  Painting number 1343 in 1343 days :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September Sunflowers

This was a windy painting day!  With gusts blowing those sunflowers hither and yon - it was a challenge to see them well enough to paint them!  I love these blooms, and each year at this time, I long to study them again.  We are expecting heavy rain on Thursday night, so I am "making hay while the sun shines" and not losing these painting opportunities.  Many may be hanging their heads come Friday, and then I might resort to buying some stems for study.  I did not want to take the time to reload my yellows, but I will have to before the next sunflower painting.  I have completely used up my cad yellow light - which is totally necessary for these beautiful blooms!  Painting number 1342 in 1342 days :)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Sunflower Impressions

It was so nice to have Michaela home from college for the weekend!  We started the day with a family shopping trip to the mall, followed by lunch.  Once she was on her way back, and Mike went to run errands, I grabbed my paints.  Without much time, I stuck close to home, choosing the wild sunflowers for my subject du jour! My intention for the month of September is to paint every painting en plein air.  I always try to paint outside when I can, but I know that I can fall back in studio work.  But not this month!  I will not use that as a crutch.  Why take this stand for this?  Well, this is another 30 in 30 challenge, and this will be my focus.  I truly believe that one improves most who paints from life.  This painting is 1341 in 1341 days.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Twilight off the Cleveland Trail

After having family over all day, this evening, we decided to go up to Cleveland Trail and Lake.  Mike and the kids tried out the new disc golf - and I took my paints!  I want to golf, too - but I hadn't yet painted today, so, first things first.  I really love the natural beauty of this place.  Just a few years ago, it was just another farm field, and now we can all enjoy it.  There were plenty of people strolling through the park tonight.  The visiting made the time fly, and I was finished in no time.  This painting makes 1340 in 1340 days.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Creekside on Cleveland Trail

The Cleveland Trail and Lake is such a wonderful place to surround yourself with nature!  With an asphalt walking trail, you can get close to the water in multiple locations, without even getting into the tall grass.  A real plus for me, since today I came directly from a gallery meeting in my "good" clothes complete with heals I would not normally paint in!  I picked up the boys from school first, and told them that I just needed to get a small painting done before we could go to the cookie shop!  They had fun - finding an ant hill, having sword fights with long blades of grass, and picking clover blooms and putting them in my paint box!  They had plenty of space to run, which is just what they needed after a day at school!  I will be coming back here often to paint.  I love the very natural setting of this park, more natural than manicured by far.  This painting is the 1339th painting in 1339 days.

Flowing into East Creek

Oh!  What a busy day!  This morning's classes at the gym were grueling - but always totally worth it.  I followed that with four hours of hard labor in the yard (with a few plantings :).  After Mike and Michael left for a little shopping, I grabbed my paints and headed to the closest creek!  I checked two before deciding this light would last the longest.  It was late enough, there was little traffic.  One small dirt bike came by three times - to check my progress!  One little boy was exclaiming to his dad as they drove by, "She is painting!  She is!"  The weather could not have been nicer for painting - and the bugs just weren't out!  Unexpected so close to the creek.  The hoot owls were calling to each other, and lulling me right into the zone with their conversation.  I love being totally enveloped by the beautiful place I am painting.  Its just a little mini vacation, minutes from home.  Painting number 1338 in 1338 days.....I think.....!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Winding in the Mist

With the rain moving in and out again, we've had several soakings in the last few days.  I love the misty, moody atmosphere for painting!  Colors appear more vibrant, and ask is fresh and clean from the rain.  I have the tiniest painting window this afternoon, so I am choosing my panel accordingly - 5x7.  No time for a sketch, just some fast, quick strokes to get the job done, before I go pick up Tiffany's glasses and then the boys!  This is 1337 paintings in 1337 days :)
Winding in the Mist
Oil on panel, 5x7