Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ebenezer Church Inked

I have wanted to draw this church since the first time I stepped into old town Augusta.  I think I may even have painted it in acrylics in my early days of plein air, back when I was glazing everything with layers of very thin paint!  There is something so calming about putting pen to paper.  It is like stepping back to my childhood, and choosing among the various pens and pencils in my grandma's special box.  I remember so clearly pulling it out of the tiny student desk in her kitchen, right under one of the north windows, and reaching in for the old tablet of Big Chief paper.  I even remember the smell of that paper and the old wooden pencils.  Time seemed to stand still as I lost myself in what I was creating, just like now.  Often I finish a painting, and have no idea what time it is.  I really do have to set the alarm on my phone to call me back to reality, and all those real life details I must attend to.  Oh, to be a child again!  This drawing is number 1603 in 1603 days.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Poppies

In honor of all those who have served their country,  today I draw the beautiful poppies of the Overland Park Arboretum. They are truly spectacular this year!  The bright red orange ones were bursting at the very beginning of the plein air event.  Two days later the entire north side of Monet's garden was blooming with the tall,  purple poppies.  Just a few more days brought a riot of large, red carnation shaped poppies up and down the walkways!  The beauty is ever changing in the garden,  constantly creating new scenes for me to paint!  This drawing makes 1602 in 1602 days,  and what a wonderful day with family it has been!  
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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Steps to the Garden

After scouting the gardens of the Overland Park Arboretum, Michaela and I settled into this particular spot.  As she focused on the bees buzzing around the lamb's ear, I was drawn to the stone steps dropping into this bed, and the flowers flanking the sides.  As I drew,  the temperature dropped, and the wind picked up.  To the west, I could see the telltale darkening of the sky.  The radar on my phone was taking a long time to come up, as I continued to sketch, one eye on the sky.  It was moving in quickly. When one paints outside as much as I do, I have developed a sixth sense where the weather is concerned, and how much time I have to get my gear packed and to the car.  I gave Michaela the heads up as I checked the radar. Still not loaded.  Well, it was time to leave.  As we passed another artist,  I mentioned the approaching storm and wished her luck.  She wasn't ready to leave. As we walked to the entrance,  the dark front was already SO MUCH CLOSER!  We packed the trunk and left,  but as we did the skies were taking on a turquoise hue.  So, of course, we went around to the prairie gate, and from it's high ground,  the scene was breathtaking!  All those dark clouds with turquoise and pink - it was all I could do to get back in the car and leave!  All the way home, we were just ahead of the storm.  A few large raindrops, a little lightening, a couple of turnoffs for extra photo ops, and the heavens opened up as we drove up the lane.  I couldn't even grab my palette, we just raced for the door.  And through that heavy rain I heard a mower engine.  Looking out to the west,  I could barely see Mike, trying to finish that mowing in the driving rain!  He was completely soaked when he made it to the house!  Painting number 1601 in 1601 days.
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Rose Arbor and Poppies

Wowza!  This painting is the 1600th in 1600 days!  Truth be told, there are many others that have not been posted, too!  On this painting journey,  I've gotten faster, and bolder,  jumping into unknown mediums just for the thrill of it! I often do more than a painting a day now, and I'm drawing so much!  Who knew there were so many untried papers out there?  That very first step of "trying" to finish one painting each day was the beginning of a whole new world for me,  one where I could lose myself with reckless abandon in all things art.  My thirst for knowledge is unquenchable, and I am only limited by my imagination.  Want to improve your art skills?  Try a painting a day.  It might just change your life.
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Friday, May 26, 2017

Tower Clematis in ink

As I look for compositions to paint, I wander around the garden with pen and paper in hand.  If I feel a subject may be worthy of paint, I first draw it in pen and ink.  With this one,  the light changed too quickly, and I was unable to paint it.  So the scene stands in ink. I really love this fabulous handmade paper,  although my artist friends do not like working with it!  It has ruined me for all other papers - I love it that much!  This drawing makes 1599 in 1599 days!  You know what tomorrow means.........1600!
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Butterfly and Poppies

After 5 pen and ink drawings and a complex garden painting,  these remarkable poppies called me back.  They were one of my first drawings of the day, but the rose arbor called louder!  These poppies look very much like giant red carnations - on poppy stems!  They have really opened in the last two days, and even the butterflies noticed!  It was so fun to revel in the gardens today,  especially after the prairie and old town Overland Park yesterday.  There is such a peace here - and oh the aroma of blooms in the air!  This also happened to be Art Mob day,  so I was painting in both capacities.  A very full day,  indeed!  Painting number 1598 in 1598 days!
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Standing on the Prairie

The gorgeous clouds called me to the prairie,  but the lush grasses and few trees won my attention. I first worked my sketch to be sure of my composition, and got right to work. It sure felt like rain,  so I had my rain slicker and wellies on.  I was alone on the prairie,  with not an artist in sight, and it was so peaceful.  I had such a relaxing time painting,  then packed it up and headed back to the gate.  Pushing my gear through,  I next shimmied through the gates and started to pack my trunk.  I took off my layers, answered a few messages,  and took off.  On 179th, it dawned on me that I may not have grabbed my easel with the painting attached! I pulled off the road and checked my trunk.  Sure enough,  I left it leaning against the gate!  So glad it was still there!  I need to get more sleep!  Painting number 1597 in 1597 days.
Standing on the Prairie
oil on panel, 14x11
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Prairie Romance

After a morning of pen and ink in old town Overland Park, I took Michaela back home and got dinner started in the crockpot.  The clouds were absolutely breathtaking the whole way home.  I dashed right out to set up on the prairie, on the southeast side of the arboretum.  The gate was not open and there were no other painters!  Grabbing my gear,  I shimmied through the gates and started setting up.  With this grand landscape, I wanted to paint large!  I pulled out a 24x18, but I didn't have my large easel.  Always the girl scout,  I grabbed my extra tripod which has mounts for a large panel - and out worked great! I didn't even need to anchor it with weight.  Next dilemma, my large brushes were in my large box - so I had to make due with what I had, mediums at best.  I sketched first, then started slinging paint!  I painted faster as I felt raindrops and heard distant thunder!  Something happens to me when I paint large....I get loose and free with that brushwork,  and the process is exhilarating!  There is nothing like an approaching storm to quicken one's pace in the field!  This large painting is the 1596th in 1596 days :)
Prairie Romance
Oil on panel, 24x18
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Allium in the Garden

The morning was cool and rain threatened.  With a few free hours for painting,  Michaela and I headed to the arboretum. This is the scene I picked out for the quick paint, and today I painted it! These blooms are among my favorites,  and I love capturing them in oils!  In fact,  I'm thinking of getting experimental with them later in the week!  Perhaps some acrylics with a little molding paste!  Before I had gotten the surface covered wth paint - the clouds broke open!  I picked my easel up and walked to the front porch of a shed for cover.  Once I got that paint down,  I could return to my spot with no worries.  The rain had let up,  and I was able to finish and head to my painting class.  Michaela finished a beautiful pen and ink climbing rose and filled it in with watercolor.  So nice to share my painting adventure with my daughter!  Painting number 1594 in 1594 days.
Allium in the Garden
oil on panel, 14x11
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Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Rose Arbor

The morning was calling, and I knew I would have to catch this light!  Pushing a million chores out of my mind, I grabbed my palette and headed to the arboretum.  I walked past this place twice,  before setting up. It was a little awkward as I had squeeze close to the hedge, with the arms of a spruce tree reaching over me, and my panel in the light.  The bright light bouncing up from the path was nearly blinding, and yet, this scene called. I had to walk halfway across the bridge just to step back from my painting.  Despite all this, the paint fell right off my brush and the image emerged.  I like it,  though I've not really had a chance to see it in good light.  Hopefully I feel the same way later!  Painting number 1593 in 1593 days.
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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Western Auto in Ink

This building is a Kansas City icon - and so much fun to draw!  Whenever I have to come to the city,  I take advantage and capture something cool in ink!  I'm using a  sepia ink pen on this one, and I like the vintage feel.  Tomorrow will find me back in the paint,  but for today I'm reveling in the ink!  Painting number 1592 in 1592 days. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Dusk at Monet's Garden

The pouring rain had let up as I loaded my car for the quick paint.  It was only raining lightly as Diane and I headed for the arboretum.  With a little red wine, salad and a sandwich, it was out to the garden to find a spot.  Not in a hurry, I walked around a little and decided on a row of allium with a fence behind them.  But as I set up, the scene behind me kept calling my name.  Twice I looked away, and then I succumbed.  Turning my easel, I began to paint.  I had left my sketch pad in my panel bag,  so there was no pre-sketch tonight.  I really love painting with such moody light,  the feeling of the place can't help but seep into the painting.  I'm going to really enjoy painting here for the next two weeks.  Painting number 1591 in 1591 days.
Dusk at Monet's Garden
oil on panel, 9x12
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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Church on Jefferson

After today's jury committee meeting,  I scouted for a place to sketch.  I've noticed this church before,  and it was the first place to draw me in.  I'm using my journal with the handmade khadi paper in it,  and making my marks with my favorite fountain pen.  Once this lines are dry (ish), I take the water brushpen lightly over those marks to get my mid values. The ink moves readily when water is applied,  often with a making of it's own.  I left out the very modern looking ramp, and I did it without thought.  There is so much editing that happens automatically in my brain before my hand even starts moving!  Painting number 1590 in 1590 days :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Secluded Boat Launch

Secluded Boat Launch
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Augusta Shores is SO paintable!  This little slice of heaven was painted from the tall grass,  looking through the opening of the trees to see this view.  What is better than all those spring greens?  Painting number 1589 in 1589 days :)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Early Light at the Lake

The wee hours before dawn are quiet and thoughtful. I love the stillness that surrounds me while setting up for a sunrise paint.  The lake at the Penn Valley Park lies in a valley,  so the sun takes its sweet time getting here.  That early light is what I've captured here with my oils. I was at the very edge of the water to see the reflection of that wonderful tree,  and I had to be mindful of not dropping off that edge into the water!  This has been another fabulous week of painting in Kansas City, and next week it will be the Overland Park Arboretum!  Painting number 1588 in 1588 days.
Early Light on the Lake
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Monday, May 15, 2017

Umbrellas at the City Market

Some days I hit the for running, and never slow down until I hit the pillow!  This has been such a day!  I had innumerable errands and chores sandwiched in between my regular busy schedule.  Painting class was super fun as I shared new techniques with my students.  With hardly enough time to prepare,  I hosted my sorority tonight for dinner and a meeting - and it is always so fun to catch up with my sisters!  Afterwards,  I started gathering all supplies for tomorrow's watercolor batik workshop.  All will have to be in the car - because I am going straight there from the gym.  I refuse to miss my workout,  so I must plan ahead for all I'll need.  I sure hope I can find time to eat!  Painting number 1587 in 1587 days.  👩‍🎨🎨

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Footpath to the Lake

I got to the park early,  knowing this large painting would take longer than my usual sizes.  Last fall,  my husband got me the largest French resistance pochade by Guerrilla. It is my fourth,  I now have 4 different sizes,  three different styles,  and I love them all!  This one is discontinued,  and at the time I ordered there were only 2 to be found anywhere - so I snapped one up while I still could. It is heavier,  and I can see how I may well have trouble in a strong wind,  but this day was calm.  Thank goodness!  Only a few strokes into my painting, a man came up and started talking to me.  We visited as I worked, and he sat down behind me.  He remained through most of the painting, until he was called away.  I have to admit, it made me a little nervous when he started popping open beers at 10:30 in the morning,  and my artist friends were not in sight. All's well that ends well,  but next time I'll make sure there's a friend in sight!  Painting number 1586 in 1586 days.  This painting is now in the front window of the Buttonwood Art Space!!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

KC Over the Lake, inked

What a cool view of the Kansas City skyline from the Penn Valley Park!  I like the 6x6 format, and the way the natural beauty of the park contrasts with the structural lines of the buildings. I've had fun painting here this week,  even though it is such a challenge to balance all this painting with my REAL life!  I just do whay I can, and roll with the rest!  I know so many of these artists now - it is super fun catching up with them in the field!  Painting number 1585 in 1585 days.....I think!
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Friday, May 12, 2017

A Walk in the Park

What a gorgeous day for painting!  Sunny, with a light breeze,  and temps in the 70's - this day was made for painting!  I love this view of the park!  There is something so peaceful about a path winding to the lake.  I positioned myself in the shade of another very large tree,  which allowed me to keep palette and panel in the shade. I painted this one small - only 10x8, mainly because the last one I painted here was 30x24!  I can't believe the KC Plein Air ends tomorrow.  I never get to paint as much as I want to when the event is local.  There are just too many obligations nipping at my heals!  Painting number 1584 in 1584 days.  Tomorrow's quick paint is at sunrise!
Currently at the Buttonwood Art Space in Kansas City
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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Plaza Shopping

As part of my "100 people in one week" challenge, I headed to the Plaza for some concentrated people sketching.  With each figure,  they get easier to sketch.  They don't stand still,  so I often get the top half done, and then use another person for the rest!  Although,  I'm doing this less as I get faster.  I'm way past the 100 now,  and let me tell you this simple challenge really improved my skills!  I've done this with cows, and am starting it with cars. It makes a huge difference!  Is there something you are uncomfortable drawing?  Draw it 100 times, and you will have mastered it!  Painting number 1583 in 1583 days  :)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

KC Past the Lake

In the morning, I had painted my largest plein air painting yet from the other side of this lake.  As I ate my lettuce wrap,  sitting in the shade on this hill while another artist painted,  I looked down on this scene with admiration.  What a beautiful view,  and what a pleasant spot in the shade from which to paint.  With four hours left until the quick paint,  there was plenty of time to work on another.  Hauling my smaller easel up the hill,  I started to sketch.  I've been doing a pen and ink drawing before each painting,  to see just how it enhances my work over time.  The colors may be a little bold,  but for now it rests.  I almost never return to a painting once I walk away.  It is the fresh impression of that moment in the sun,  and another day is simply another painting.  Painting number 1582 in 1582 days.
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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Firefighter's Memorial Fountain 2017

This memorial fountain is a tribute to all local firemen that have lost their lives in service to their community.  Situated in Penn Valley Park,  this was the site of our quick paint tonight.  After an hour's work, I decided I was finished and then framed and turned it in early.  I then drew a couple of pen and ink drawings of the same statue.  I would normally do the drawings first,  but not in a quick paint.  I want to use all that time for painting.  But as it turned out,  I had plenty of time for both!  Painting number 1581 in 1581 days.
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Monday, May 8, 2017

Lake Creek Barn

This  amazing barn is on the property of the Lake Creek Winery.  New to the event this year,  it was my first experience at that location.  The music was inviting,  the wine delicious,  the food spectacular,  and the landscape is an artist's paradise!   High atop a hill, I could see paintings in every direction!  Rolling vineyards,  nostalgic barn and farmhouse,  wooded and rustic areas,  including a beautiful pond nestled by trees, and I only had time for one painting!  Arriving late due to a workshop,  I jumped in with paint flying, letting the painting fall from the tip of my brush,  plenty of juicy strokes and loose marks.  Visiting as I worked,  it was a joy to paint here on such a beautiful day.  I can't wait to return for a little wine,  food and painting!   Painting number 1580 in 1580 days :)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Boat Launch in Ink

In all the years I have been painting down at Augusta Shores,  I don't think I have ever painted the boat launch!  The canoes and kayaks laying on the beach are so appealing, I started scouting for the best vantage spot.  Deciding on a view nearer the lake,  I changed my mind as I stepped out of the car.  Parked along the road,  the tall brush in the foreground and the view through the trees was very inviting.  So, I put on my rubber boots for the tall grass,  preparing for the expected thunderstorms.  The rain never came,  and I had a wonderful painting day!  This ink drawing prepared me for the oil painting to come.  It is so nice to work out the design before the first brushstroke of paint!  Painting number 1579 in 1579 days  :)

City Market Inked

This morning was our monthly Urban Sketchers KC gathering - this time at the City Market.  What a fabulous place to draw and paint!  This was my third painting on site, the first two were done on black and white.  With so many wonderful colors,  I just had to pull out the watercolor for this one!  I had left my favorite two sets in my plein air bag at home,  so this one was painted with my "tropical" set of the watercolor confections.  They were fine to use,  except when I wanted my indigo blue for those rich shadow shades!  I had to mix up my own shadows - which is good for me!  It was fun to visit with onlookers as they spotted me drawing! After a morning downtown,  I headed back to the Penn Valley Park.  This has certainly been a day full of art - and so fun to participate so close to home..... relatively!   Painting number 1578 in 1578 days.  I was planning on a sunrise paint in the morning,  but at this hour,  I'm rethinking that!  

Friday, May 5, 2017

Vineyard in the Rain

It was raining gently when I arrived at the Noboleis Winery quick paint.  Finding shelter in the large white tent,  I found my favorite view of this vineyard.  The greens of spring are so vibrant on a rainy day!  With only an hour and a half to paint,  I quickly blocked in and started meeting edges.  I did not sketch first,  as I've been doing lately.  When time is of the essence,  I drop this step!  With a musician performing add a drink at my side,  this was a pretty cushy plein air set up!  Afterwards,  we all enjoyed a dance party until they closed up shop!  Wine,  music,  dancing and painting - time well spent indeed! Painting number 1577 in 1577 days :)
Vineyard in the Rain
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Wine Country Vineyard

High on a hill,  Wine Country Garden looks out across the river bottom land in Defiance,  Missouri.  Vineyards climb the hill wth sweeping lawns on either side.  The terraces of the restaurant are dotted with tables and umbrellas, which were empty in the heavy rain.  As I looked out over the landscape,  painting,  the background faded in and out as the sheets of rain blew through.  In the shelter of the back dining room,  I was painting in comfort - a welcome relief from the earlier paint in the rain!  The very best thing about painting on a rainy day is how saturated the colors in the landscape are!  Truly vivid!  It is worth getting wet to capture color like that.  Painting number 1576 in 1576 days :)
Wine Country Vineyard
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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Vineyard of Chandler Hill in Ink

I have been to the winery at Chandler Hill many times,  but have never drawn this particular vineyard.  It is located down by the gray farmhouse.  When I was first looking for my composition, I wanted to include the house also.  There was just no way to do it in the pouring rain.  Shelter is key when painting in the rain!  I am really enjoying this fountain pen!  I've only had it a couple of weeks,  and I now would hate to draw without it!  Just a note, I never use a pencil first when getting my lines down.  I think I lose the fresh,  spontaneous marks that come from jumping in feet first with ink.  Painting number 1575 in 1575 days :)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sugar Creek in Ink

Sugar Creek is one of my favorite wineries to paint.  The vineyards spread over the rolling hills,  and this one is near the overlook of the river bottom land.  I love coming here for the vineyard scenes,  and this trip is my first to draw them in pen and ink!  The composition seems to roll off the nib, like an extension of my thoughts. With a little water applied,  the drawing takes on life, and the ink moves freely.  This handmade paper is awesome!  Will I ever want to draw on anything else?  This drawing makes 1574 in 1574 days :)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Step into my Garden

The day's paint out theme was "trees", and we artists were combing the streets of Washington,  in search of the perfect painting.  The third painting of this day,  we had arrived a little late.  With a simple subject matter,  a composition should have been easy to find.  Nope!  We traveled all sides of town before stumbling on this beautiful garden, and once found - it had to be painted!  I set my easel up street side,  under the shade of a Japanese maple,  and started painting.  I completed an ink drawing first,  so the guess work was gone.  The way the reds and greens played off one another was fabulous!  This garden was definitely planted with an artist's eye.  All I had to do was record the color with paint!  Painting number 1572 in 1572 days 🎨