Monday, April 30, 2018

Last Days

I can absolutely get lost in the moment when sketching these wonderful old barns!  I can feel the life and work that unfolded here, an untold story of a beautiful place.  The path leads down across a creek and up to a pasture filled with large round hay bales, new spring grass and abundant wild mustard in bloom!  I am drawing with a varsity pilot fountain pen today - since I have emptied three other pens this trip, and brought no extra ink!  Who knew I'd draw SO MUCH?  I started my fountain pen journey with this modest little pen, and I still keep them around to use in a pinch.  Lesson learned?  I will pack some extra ink from now on!  Painting number 1924 in 1924 days.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Reflections of Balducci Inked

This may have been one of the nicest evenings at Balducci Vineyards for our annual sunset paint!  Hiking down the hill into the task grass, I set up with a view of the barns, and their reflections on the water.  I first inked this piece to establish the composition for the painting to come.  I used what little ink was left in my last fountain pen to get this done.  Next time, I'm bringing more ink!  Painting number 1923 in 1923 days.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

At Home in the Garden

Another gorgeous day for painting plein air, and what could be more inviting than a trip to a favorite nursery?  I went in wanting to paint flowers close up, and decided on the whole scene for a quick 45 minute paint!  Best part?  I found another fabulous plein air hat!   They have the best hats - I almost painted their hat rack!  Painting number 1922 in 1922 days.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Reflections of Balducci

I can't remember a nicer evening for a sunset paint at Balducci Winery!  After scouting the entire area, I decided on the amazing view from the pond.  I love the way the buildings reflected on the water.  Wanting to capture the entire scene, I grabbed my only long panel left and hiked back down towards the vineyards.  A very windy night had me holding onto that easel, and staring into the sun to paint my chosen composition.  I found myself using strong color for this one, could it be the white surface pushing me this way?  Next time I'll be sure to tone every panel - even the ones cut at the very last minute!  Painting number 1921 in 1921 days.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Still Standing

These barns have been calling my name for YEARS. Each time I'm in Augusta, I long to stop and paint every time we pass them on Church Street.  Finally, today I got the chance!  With a little spare time and a beautiful day, I spent a leisurely afternoon capturing their rustic charm. I had sketched them earlier, but changed my vantage with the different light to get those wonderful shadows.  I especially had fun with the brushwork to express those blooming wildflowers!  Painting number 1920 in 1920 days.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Blue House Forsythia

This may have been the nicest weather we've ever had for the Daniel Boone paint outs!  The forsythia are blooming, and I am capturing them before they fade for another year.  So happy to get to paint them again! Making this quick because champagne is waiting!  Painting number 1920 in 1920 days.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Klondike Redbuds

It has been years since I've been able to paint redbuds in Augusta!  This year spring is so late, they are just now starting to pop!  These beauties in Klondike Park are especially picturesque with the bluffs behind them.  I could have used my magenta in these, but I didn't have it in my palette!  So a little alizarin, cad red, ultra blue and white did the trick!  LOVE these blooming trees and I look forward to painting them every spring! Painting number 1918 in 1918 days.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Rainy Day Vineyard

I'm so honored to be included in the Premier Artist's paint out at Defiance Ridge this afternoon.  Ribbon and daily winners from the last five years are invited to participate - and the competition is steep!  I swept through the vineyard on my way to the lake, but I never made it!  The view through the vineyard to the woods beyond was irresistible.  When I had my panel about 1/3 covered, the rain began in earnest. I tilted my panel downward, and pulled up my hood to repel the rain. I painted like crazy to get that panel covered with paint!!  I can safely paint on top of paint, but if the panel is dry - those raindrops repel the oil paint - and then in in trouble!  When I was nearly done, the rain and wind kicked up, forcing me to head for shelter!  PLEIN AIR IS NOT FOR SISSIES!  Painting 1916 in 1916 days.  I'm so tired, I don't know which way is up! 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Kessler Farm Inked

In the early light of morning, I set up my easel for a quick drawing of this rambling farm.  That quick draw took more time than expected, due to all that detail!  I enjoyed it so much, and this country farm scene is totally in my wheel house! I'm off to a nocturne paint - so this is a quick post!  Painting number 1916 in 1916 days!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Evening Light in the Vineyard

Oh how I love to paint a vineyard!  There is something magical in the rows of grapevines, rolling across the hill.  This particular view is a favorite, and I return each year to capture it in paint.  Tonight was a 90 minute quick paint, which means each artist can start painting at the sound of a horn - and stop when the horn sounds again.  90 minutes is TRULY a quick paint!  No time for diddling around, just direct painting from life.  The wind kicked up a bit, but with the sun at my back, I was comfortable.  Another wonderful day of plein air in Augusta wine country!  Painting 1915 in 1915 days.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Morning Light over the Quarry

Who knew this gorgeous scene would unfold at the end of a wooded path?  It was a cold morning, with clouds growing thick, but they soon  opened to a glorious sky.  It was so relaxing to paint by the water.  The turkey vultures would fly overhead - and wow - what a noise their wings made cutting through the air!  It is wonderful to fade into the surroundings, becoming one with nature, if only for a little while.  Painting number 1914 in 1914 days

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Centennial Farm Inked

Centennial Farm is a bustling place in season, but very quiet on this early spring day.  The afternoon light hitting the barns is very appealing,  but I've only got time for a sketch before the Welcome Social at Augusta Winery.  The first pen I choose is almost out of ink, skipping a bit as I draw.  I grab another - ALWAYS have a backup or two!  The first water brushpen I grab is gummed up with sizing from last weekend's sketching, so I grab another.  I brought a couple of the Marvy brushpens, and I like the medium one.  I had to apply a lot of pressure to the fine one to get any water out, but the medium flowed easily - if not a little to fast. But this is easy to fix with a little less pressure. I've already picked out two MUST PAINT landscapes, and I've only just begun!  Painting number 1913 in 1913 days.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Blue Shed at the Arboretum

Finally a beautiful day for painting outdoors!  I'll paint in any weather, but what a treat to have a day like this!  The smell of the daffodils and hyacinth wafted up around me as I painted, and the colors were so dreamy in the landscape.  I have been longing to paint these blooms, and is always more fun with friends!  This was Tri-County Art League's plein air field trip, and a better location could not have been!  I am looking forward to many more garden paintings to come!  Painting number 1912 in 1912 days.

Monday, April 16, 2018

St Vincent de Paul

I have seen this church many times while heading to and from events in Kansas City. Today, I pulled into an abandoned parking lot for a quick sketch, while waiting for a patron's call. The church is inspiring, with a beautiful carving of Christ on the cross in the stone on it's west side.  I can just imagine what this place was in it's prime.  I stay in the truck for this sketch, with a watchful eye to my surroundings. It is early afternoon and all looks well, but this is not a good part of town.  As I finish and take a quick pic, I see that I am not the only one keeping a watchful eye.  There is an officer in the lot adjacent and behind me.  I bet he wondered what on earth I was doing there!  I'm glad he had my back!  Painting number 1912 in 1912 days.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Boulevard Brewing Beer Hall

The Boulevard Brewing Company's Beer Hall is a great place to sketch!  It was easy to get in and sketch when they opened at 10:00. People were already lined up for the first brewery tour.  Within an hour, that place was hopping!  You can order food, sample beer, buy Boulevard goodies in the gift shop, or hang out in any of the many areas throughout this large building.  So many cool things to paint!  And a great place to meet friends!  Painting number 1911 in 1911 days.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Boulevard Photo Booth

When the Urban Sketchers KC venue was changed to inside the Boulevard Brewing Company this morning, I couldn't wait to go paint!  I've not been inside of this cool old building just east of the icon.  Wow!  It is very cool inside, with SO MANY wonderful things to paint!  When I went upstairs and saw this Shasta camper-turned-photo booth, I looked no further and claimed my spot to paint!  I painted three from this location before taking a quick spin around to see the whole place.  I really need to return here for a whole day of painting and sampling the fine beers!  Painting number 1910 in 1910 days.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Spring at the Milk Barn

I am exploring the gouache medium again today, and I'm adding some ink.  I begin with brown and black India ink for those lines.  This heavy paper is very absorbent, so the super fine nib skips a bit on those lines.  I add the gouache in a fluid manner.  I know you can get pretty thick with gouache, but I'm not there yet.  I finish with a fountain pen, brushing those lines gently with a little water to make them spread.  The light is simply beautiful as I finish, I should pull out my oils!  Painting number 1909 in 1909 days.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Bagnell Dam

As I explore more fountain pens, a few have risen to the top like cream.  Both the TWSBI Eco and Mini are smooth as butter and hold so much ink.  I didn't realize what a benefit this was until I ran out a couple of times with other pens.  I do love the piston reloader, so easy to use!   This paper is a more traditional watercolor paper, and less absorbent than the cotton rag.  The result is a line that bleeds freely with the addition of a little water.  I thought these towers along the dam looked like they stepped out of a Star Wars movie!  So cool to draw!  Painting number 1908 in 1908 days.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Grandma's Narcissus

I can remember looking at these heavily ruffled narcissus in my grandmother's garden.  I was very young, and still they bloom abundantly every spring.  The petals are so numerous, they can hardly be counted.  I first use my India ink to lay down the lines, then come in easily with watercolor and my water brushpen.  Sometimes those initial ink lines fade with the application of watercolor, so I darken a few of those lines with my ink at the end.  A little spreading is a bonus!  Painting number 1908 in 1908 days.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cleveland Creek Reflections

The wind blowing across Cleveland Lake was cold, but I was toasty in this location along the creek.  I've been longing to get back here and paint, so glad I could carve out a little time this afternoon.  I'm  driving Mike's truck, and I don't yet have a painting hat in there, so I was a little bothered by the sun.  Even though I was shaded by the trees, I can tell the light affects how I see in the landscape.  It was all push and pull today.  I see the grass beginning to green - and I exaggerate that in my painting!  Such a wonderful escape from the chores of the day, and now I'm meeting family for dinner out!  Painting number 1907 in 1907 days.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Pink Palette Roses

My sweet painting students threw me a little birthday party at class this afternoon - complete with my favorite cake!  The same cake my mother made for me when I was young!  How could they have possibly known?  They are precious and I value each and every one of them!  Today's class was focused on finishing up those paintings not quite finished in class, so I brought pink roses to paint from, revisiting the lesson from weeks ago.  Palette knife painting is one of those things that just takes practice to improve the skills.  I like to start with a loose sketch in paint, followed by brush work to fill in the masses.  When I'm happy with this under painting, I pull out a knife and start defining the edges.  I left my knife at home, so Norma shared hers, and I finished this in no time.  I love painting roses as much as I love cake!  Painting number 1907 in 1907 days.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Milk Barn in Cocoa

Thanks to my son, Michael, I am trying out a new pen tonight - the Pilot Metropolitan!  It has a bladder filling mechanism where I submerge the nib in the ink bottle, squeeze the bladder, and the suction loads the ink.  Pretty cool.  I had to load it a second time for this drawing, but I may not have squeezed as much air out with my first attempt.  The nib is much finer than my norm, so I must use a light touch on the handmade cotton paper.  I'm using Levenger Cocoa ink for the first time, too.  The rich brown washes towards red with a little water.  I first thought to use their Smokey ink, but it did not move with water at all, so I passed on that one.  I like to get rich darks and mid-tones with a wet brush when using ink alone, so my ink must move!  The best part of it not holding much ink - I can switch colors often with this pen!  Painting number 1907 in 1907 days.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Looking up to Ha Ha Tonka

The castle ruins of Ha Ha Tonka are majestic high upon the bluff in Camdenton.  There is such a feel of the past here, as if time stands still.  I pick up a favorite fountain pen for this one, my TWSBI Eco.  The J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre ink is from their anniversary line, and is full of shimmering gold.  The tiny flecks are visible in the line work, especially in the heavier areas.  Although this gold is supposed to clog up fountain pen nibs, I have never had this issue.  The ink has a rich brown color that shifts to red with a little water.  You can clearly see that in the writing under the drawing.  I love the fancy bottle, too!  Timeless!  Painting number 1906 in 1906 days.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Sunrise on the Lake

Sunrise on the lake from our balcony - breathtaking, and of course I had to paint it!  The color at this time of day is fleeting, so I hurry to grab my ink and my new set of Watercolor Confections.  The first time I jump into a new palette is always a challenge - especially when they are not my normal colors!  Throw in the nature of a high speed sunrise paint, as we've got a little one shot experimenting at hand!  Oddessey is this palette, and it has a freshness to the colors that I like.  The Classic set may be more my norm, but these colors do have potential.  Summer and tropical scenes would be well suited, with a little mixing, I'm sure they'll be great for everything.  This one is tiny at 2.5x3.5! Painting number 1906 in 1906 days.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Moore Creek

Perfect painting weather!  Today's little slice of heaven will surely be appreciated tomorrow as temps drop and snow returns.  Invited for a little plein air on an artist friend's property, I jumped at the chance!  Plein air with friends is so fun - especially when the weather is perfect and there's a creek involved!  We painted to the music of the babbling creek, running along side us.  I sun was behind my shoulder, and even though my body shaded my panel, I may have gotten a little too dark. It's so easy to do, the way my eyes react to all that light is to compensate with my values.  I did turn my painting to the side ever so often, to check that very thing.  I'll take a look in the daylight tomorrow, then see if I need to tweek it a little.  Painting number 1905 in 1905 days.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Barn Lot Forsythia

How glorious to be painting in the sunshine!  The grass is starting to green up and oh how bright the forsythia shine in the sunlight!  Yummy!  I've been using panels this month that I primed with a blue gray, which is a departure from my norm.  I really am enjoying it.  There is something about changing the color of that surface that changes the way I approach the scene.  I need to start preparing all of my spring event panels soon - and I think I'll use this new tone for at least half of them.  The cool tone seems to tone down my tendency towards the warm.  You just never know what you'll learn by experimenting!  Painting number 1904 in 1904 days.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Of Barns and Forsythia

As I am posting this painting, there is a giant owl sitting high on a branch supervising my activity.  I am so still as I work, many different kinds of wildlife will come close.  I don't think they notice me until I back up to look at my painting!  It is growing dark on this rainy day, so I guess he's coming out for the night, and this girl is going in!  That wind was harsh today, but thank goodness the forsythia were not nipped!  I will paint these beauties as long as they last!  After all, I did plant them years ago for this very reason!  Painting number 1903 in 1903 days.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Forsythia by the Barn

I arrived home last night to find my forsythia bursting forth!  I look forward to capturing them in paint each spring - especially since they are one of the first bloomers!  With diving temps tonight, I must make the most of this time!   The rain was falling again as I finished, but at least my panel was already covered!  I love all these colors together - it makes me want to paint this scene in a large size for my living room.  I have just the spot for it......!  Wondering what that red reflection on my easel is?  My bright red rain slicker!  Painting number 1902 in 1902 days.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Ha Ha Tonka - journal

The Ha Ha Tonka ruins are majestic as they sit high on the bluffs, above a winding spring.  I start first with my TWSBI mini, filled with Caran D'ache Cosmic Black ink.  I most often use black when sketching a scene.  It wasn't long before my pen ran dry - oh why didn't I check it?  It is a demonstrator pen and I can clearly see the ink, if if only pay attention!  So, I move to another favorite, the TWSBI Eco filled with a fancy J. Herbin Caroube de Chypre ink.  My favorite part of this ink is the tiny gold flecks!  I use a little watercolor to tint and a little water to move my ink - which is a little new for me.  I almost always use India ink when using watercolor because it can be tricky to control the ink on a wet surface.  But, I'm growing more adept at the media, and like the depth I can achieve here.  Cool pens, cool ink, cool paper - how can one go wrong?  Painting number 1901 in 1901 days.