Sunday, September 30, 2018

Yacht Race Day

There is something SO peaceful about setting up my easel lakeside, with the sailboats gliding over the surface of the water.  The yacht races are a favorite subject matter, especially for this Midwest girl!  There is nothing like painting and sketching quickly, trying to capture all that movement while it lasts!  The color on Weatherby Lake is perfect for painting today, with gorgeous weather to match!  Each nice day is a gift as we head deeper into fall. Painting number 2078 in 2078 days.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Main Street Parkville Inked

The charm of small towns always draws me in, and today I am taking pen and ink to Main Street in Parkville.  After much use, my favorite fountain pen is now demanding a little maintenance!  The nib is clogged and I can not coax the ink out, even with a little dip in the water.  Thank goodness I keep my trusty, much abused Pilot Varsity in my pochade.  Once again, this little backup pen saves me from hiking back to the car!  I don't know how it continues to work through the hot and cold temperatures it suffers in the trunk of my car, lying on it's side, no less.  With my water brush pen (reloaded from a fountain, no kidding!) I move the ink around to round out those values.  With my "roadmap" complete, it is now on to the paint!  Painting number 2077 in 2077 days.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Creek at English Landing

After a morning paint of the buildings lining Main Street, I sought a retreat into nature.  I look at this creek at the entry to English Landing Park each year, but have not found time to paint it until today.  I'm painting small (8x10) simply because I've been painting larger all week, and my painting window is also small before I head back up to Main Street.  The wind kicks up, the temperature drops, and I am happy to have chosen a size that I can finish quickly.  It takes me a couple weeks to get used to the cold, and I'm never really ready for it, even with all the right gear.  This is the perfect little slice of art therapy in the middle of my day!  Painting number 2076 in 2076 days.
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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Sunset Over the Missouri River

I don't think this day could have been more full!  Starting with Art Mob in Belton this morning, lunch at the Tea Room, art drop off for Brush Creek in Kansas City, to an afternoon paint in Parkville followed by a sunset paint on the Missouri River, I have finished 4 paintings today!  It was a perfect evening for a sunset paint!  Perfect temperature, calm breeze off the water, many people out enjoying all the park had to offer, made this paint so peaceful and relaxing. A mother and her two children fished as I worked, and I captured them down in the cove!  Painting number 2075 in 2075 days.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Main Street Inn

After choosing the perfect vantage of this wonderful inn, I set my easel up, and heard engines starting up behind me.  Within seconds, a lawn crew set up with weed eater, leaf blower, and mower, stirring up debris from all sides!  I stepped into the street wth my easel, in front of a parked car.  With one loaded brush, and the lid back on my palette, I started the composition, trying to shield the painting with my body.  I was then asked to step away from the curb for the blower, and they were gone in a flash!  As I really got into the painting, I kept hearing acorns drop all around me.  Looking up, I realized I was under a huge pin oak, and one bopped me on the shoulder!  Although I had sprayed for bugs, the mosquitos were out!  I had to point my Off clip on right at me, to keep them at bay.  After all of this, I finally finished before some other obstacle got in the way!  Painting number 2074 in 2074 days.
Main Street Inn Purchase Award Winner

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Kactus Creek Croquet Club

What a cool place to go with family and friends, enjoying a little croquet!  This was the kick off event for Paint Parkville, held at Kactus Creek Croquet Club!  With plenty of shelter from the drizzle and impending rain, I found a comfortable place to start this rather complicated composition.  86 degrees when I left my house, the temperature dropped quickly.  Starting in short sleeves and my sandals, I ended with my fur lined leather jacket and boots.  Thank goodness I keep those layers in the trunk, just in case!  Did I ever mention I was a girl scout?  Lol!  Painting number 2073 inn 2073. This painting was runner up to the winner tonight!
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Monday, September 24, 2018

Nostalgic Barn

The Midwest is full of wonderful old barns, many of them falling to ruin.  When scouting out areas, it is a treasure indeed to find these in the most remote places!  This one's roof has seen better days, so it is time to paint it before it is no longer standing.  As today's class demo, the lines and perspective of this barn are good exercises in drawing.  Values then need to be laid down, and I choose a dark violet for this - but it could be any dark, it's just what a picked up on my brush.  Next, I place the lights, marking where the masses of grass change in the pasture.  I bring all to a finish with my limited supplies.  I need to tweak the brushes I carry in the small thumb box, there were a couple I reached for but didn't have.  My favorite tools are ever shifting slightly, as I add in new ones and weed out others. THAT is the trouble of switching back and forth between so many pochades!  Painting number 2072 in 2072 days.
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Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Glory of Loose Park

This garden is one of my very favorite places to paint!  I love the architecture and grand style of the formal garden, and every painting I have painted here is full of the magic I feel.  The aroma of the roses is intoxicating as I lay down those strokes.  There are a couple of artists in the garden as I work, always a bonus for a little visiting and another pair of eyes on the piece.  In the last one out this day, and I sure wish I could stay for another.  Painting number 2071 in 2071 days.
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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Sunrise at the Milk Barn

Another day of sunrise painting, does that make five now?  I find I'm looking more closely at the colors in the sky, the edges away from the sun are different than those nearest.  Distant clouds are flatter and warmer than those closer and higher in the sky.  There are subtle color shifts in each cloud, today I see four.  So much of painting is just training the eye to really see!  I am giving myself about 30 minutes to complete the sunrise and sunset studies.  Any more time than that, I feel like the light is just too different. It helps that I'm working small, as well!  Until this becomes like second nature, I will not be using large panels!  Painting number 2070 in 2070 days.
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Friday, September 21, 2018

Sunset Glory

I'm trying to paint either sunrise or sunset each day, for 30 days, in an effort to improve my skills.  The bold colors seem so loud when I'm laying them down, striving to match what I see in the sky.  The masses change so quickly that nearly every time it is too dark to get a photo as I finish, and the color reads so differently in the artificial indoor lighting!  Each time, I find the painting lacking, tossing it aside to dry.  As I walk by it, doing those household chores, I begin to see something in each one.  A fresh eye is a calmer judge.  Perhaps I'll be a little more content in 30 days.  Practice can only help!  Painting number 2069 in 2069 days.
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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Sunset Over the Island

On the last night of the Brush Creek Art Walk, I found a spot overlooking the creek towards the island.  The western light was hitting the sides of the tree trunks and foliage as it lit up the clouds in the sky.  I had to paint it.  I had already turned in an ink painting of the Benton Boulevard Bridge for the quick paint, so I could paint ay my leisure.  I began with the cloud colors, reflecting that color in the water.  The trunks and foliage grew lighter and warmer as the sun sank, and the pinks came up on those clouds!  This very loose, spontaneous expression of that evening was fun to capture in oils.  Painting number 2068 in 2068 days.
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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

September Sunrise

The color blooming in the sky this morning was irresistible!  I should have started with a dark primed panel, but having none I used white!  I feel like I'm fighting that white until the panel is covered, and it distracts me from the color in the sky.  Trying to match the dark values of early light is difficult when each minute grows lighter. Marking all dark masses, I try to keep those masses grayed down, to allow the sunrise light to glow.  Sounds good in theory, but was this ever a challenge!  I need to practice this over and over again, until it becomes second nature!  Perhaps 100 sunrises in a row?  Now, THAT would be crazy!  Painting number 2067 in 2067 days.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Clouds Over the Red Barn

Mid day, the clouds started building with the heat, and I watched and waited.  As they grew thick and the winds kicked up, they were ripe for the painting!  I chose to paint towards the north today, where the color was rich.  To the south, they were far more washed out, with very little value difference, though they were rimmed in gold light - which was tempting!  When I approach a cloud painting, I squint down my eyes and start applying the masses that stand out, mindful of the values.  When the clouds are blowing, I do this quickly, hoping to put down all that information before they are out of view.  Once the panel is covered, I start checking edges.  Where are they soft?  Hard?  Always, I'm checking the sky, trying to capture it's likeness.  I REALLY do love painting a cloudscape.  Painting number 2066 in 2066 days.
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Monday, September 17, 2018

Looking Across Cleveland Lake

At 86 degrees, it felt so much cooler than the last three days of painting!  Humidity still high, at 93% when I left the house, there was a good breeze blowing across the lake.  I set up in a clearing of a wooded area, looking in all directions for my painting view.  Woods on one side, a dirt trail through the woods on another, meadow behind and lake ahead.  Today, I chose the lake with the drifts of wildflowers.  The colors have ever so slightly shifted forwards autumn in the last 4 days.  Walnut trees are showing a little yellow, the grasses are blushing with that late season ochre and pinkish and a few ivy and sumac leaves are turning to red.  Goldenrod blooms yellow across the prairie to heighten the color.  I try a new Princeton Aspen brush today, and I find it's best use on blending the water and reflections.  The edge is a little too sharp for me, and the marks too hard.  It may have it's place in architecture, though.  I finish this one quickly as I demo for a plein air class today.  So therapeutic to spend a little time painting, surrounded by nature.  Painting number 2065 in 2065 days. 
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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Clouds Over Brush Creek

With every intention of painting the Benton Boulevard Bridge, I could not ignore the cloud show in the sky.  I switched out my ink supplies for my oils, and started laying in that color.  The cloud lingered for the 45 mintues it took me to capture the scene.  It seems like my recent cloud study is really helping me to understand their forms and colors.  I had so much fun, I did another before leaving for the night!  Painting number 2064 in 2064 days.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Anitas Wildflower Meadow

I love the reckless abandon of a wildflower garden!  So many textures, colors and values make this meadow a fabulous paint!  I begin with an ink drawing in early morning light.  The colors are vibrant and shadows deep.  I mark those masses early, which keeps me from straying too far from my intention.  As the sun rises in the sky, the colors change drastically and I must hurry to finish.  In two hours, this is already a different scene, and I can only hope to react honestly with my paint.  Today's paint was during Monarch Mania at the Anita Gorman Conservancy in Kansas City, for the Brush Creek Art Walk.  Painting number 2063 in 2063 days.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Chuys Mexican Food Inked

Tonight's quick paint for the Brush Creek Art Walk wad held at JC Nichol's Fountain.  The setting sun through the buildings grabbed me immediately, so I began my sketch.  Knowing I would need to work fast to get those values down before my painting, I dropped them in quickly.  I keep a Pilot Varsity fountain pen in my easel all the time, which I keep in the trunk.  No matter how that pen has been abused by heat or cold, and laying on it's side all the time, it works every time I remove the lid.  It may not be fancy, but that pen is a workhorse, one that I depend on when I forget my fancy pens!  This painting will have a new home in Canada!  Painting number 2062 in 2062 days.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

S Delaware and 4th Inked

This little ink drawing was my Tonganoxie quick paint pre-sketch.  In the mad rush that defines a quick paint, I tossed this clipboard in my bag, and did not pull it out until tonight.  I found several watercolor and ink paintings, which I removed in preparation for the painting weekend ahead.  Brush Creek Art Walk starts early in the morning, and runs through Sunday night, and is full of all kinds of painting fun!  There is an artist party tomorrow evening at Union Station to kick things off right!  Painting number 2061 in 2061 days.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Cleveland Creek

This time of year, the brush grows thick along this creek, too thick to wade into without my boots on.  The weather was absolutely perfect for painting, with bird song and jumping frogs to serenade me as I worked.  It is a joy to paint in perfect weather after so many hot days.  I am working on the subtle color shifts in the landscape, the gentle warms and cools that push each color.  This is ALL about seeing, REALLY looking at what is in front of me, and this practice takes daily attention to improve.  I can only aspire to do this place justice with my paint.  Painting number 2060 in 2060 days.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

September Clouds

oil on panel, 5x7
The skies this afternoon were made for painting!  Planning to paint a local creek, the cloud show changed my mind, and I had only to step outside for the best view around.  I have recently been studying clouds, trying to capture their essence in oils.  It seems that every sky is different in value and chroma, even the cloud formations are ever changing!  I'm hoping that practice really does make perfect, with every painting bringing me closer to the expression in oils I long for.  Painting number 2059 in 2059 days.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Sunflower and Bee

A little out of sorts today, I couldn't really settle down and focus.  I drew and painted three drawings before I was happy enough to post one!  I did the same thing last night, finishing two and posting neither.  Very uncommon for me, but here we are, 5 paintings since last night and this is the one I post.  This is also not my norm, not my usual focus or composition, and I've never drawn the bee from above.  The bees come and go, winding through those petals like they are doors.  So strange.  It does feel good to step out of my box and get a little whimsical.  Perhaps tomorrow I'll visit a favorite creek to double down on that focus!  Painting number 2058 in 2058 days.
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Milano ATC

The first cold and rainy day of the season has me longing for my heavy raincoat and wellies!  Not wanting to interrupt my process, I forge ahead, finishing my work before seeking shelter in the warmth of Crown Center.  This quick little ink and watercolor is of a favorite place to eat - Milano Italian Dining!  SO delicious, and a great way to warm up on a cold day!  Painting number 2058 in 2058 days.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Kansas City Chalk Walk

It was barely misting when I started my lines with a favorite fountain pen.  Teetering on the fence between soluble ink and India ink, I decided to go with India ink.  So glad I did!  As I worked, the mist increased to more of a drizzle, and my paper grew damp. My first lines continued to spread as I added in my watercolor.  I held my paper under the edge of an umbrella table to try to protect it, because rain and watercolors do not mix!  I used a light touch with the water, as my paper was already saturated.  As I dropped in the final ink marks, they intensified and spread in a tight, spidery fashion, as only India ink works wet.  Chilled to the bone, wishing I had my rain jacket, I finished up and headed inside Crown Center to warm up!  Yes, I had boots and extra jackets and rain gear in the car, I just didn't want to walk all the way back there to get them!  Painting number 2057 in 2057 days.
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Friday, September 7, 2018

Sunflower Sway

My favorite thing about rainy days is how saturated the color is in the landscape!  With hues so rich and vibrant, the rather wild patch of sunflowers was a natural choice.  I tilt the panel downward a little until I can get that surface completely covered with paint, as it is raining lightly.  I pop those colors in where I see them, working all over the surface.  It looks pretty messy until I start bringing those edges together, and start defining some of those edges.  Another loose one, but I think I like it!  Painting number 2056 in 2056 days.
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Thursday, September 6, 2018

East Harbor Impressions

Sometimes, I start a painting en plein air that I'm unable to finish in the field.  This lakeside painting is just such a case.  Only half finished, we had to get back for dinner commitments, and so I stored it in my panel pack.  On the rare occasion that I must do this, there are a few things I do to make sure I have all the information I need.  Most importantly, I try to get all my colors marked loosely, even reflections, dots of highlight and sloppy masses.  I always take a photo before leaving, which gave me very little information here.  The sky was very bright, the beach very dark, and if I'd not already painted the color in, I would never have given that photo a second look.  Maybe I've left thay foreground TOO loose....... I'll take another look tomorrow with fresh eyes.  But for now, I'm letting this favorite spot at East Harbor rest!  Painting number 2055 in 2055 days.
oil on panel, 14x10
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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Storm Clouds

Every unique cloudscape is another opportunity to study the values and colors that create their forms.  With an eye to the sky, I isolate each mass, and drop in the hues where I see them.  The forms emerge on their own.  Using a soft brush, I soften some of the hard edges, especially at panel's edge.  Would you believe my favorite brush for this purpose is a cheap 1 inch bristle brush from the hardware store?!  Painting number 2054 in 2054 days.
oil on panel, 6x8
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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sunset over the Prairie

The skyscapes have been nothing short of amazing lately!  Tempted daily by their beauty - I have once again taken up my brushes to capture them!  Sunset color is so fleeting, it is always a mad dash to mark those masses, and one can never truly start until that color starts to ripen.  I try to get the blues in first, and then I begin placing that cloud color in fast and loose. As the color deepens, I adjust with thicker paint, laying those strokes on top of the previous ones, blending only where needed.  Before the color fades from the sky, I am checking all the masses, with a loose drop in of the foreground. It is normally too dark to get a photo, they never turn out right.  Maybe one day I'll be fast enough to get that shot at the end!  Painting number 2053 in 2053 days. 
oil on panel, 14x11
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Monday, September 3, 2018

Kathys Kottage Inked

What a treasure I found when arriving in Tonganoxie!  This was literally the first place I scouted, and I stayed for TWO paintings - one in ink and the other in oil!  With such a charming cottage, I tried two different approaches compositionally.  The first in portrait orientation, and the second in landscape, unable to choose a favorite!  I liked how the trees reached up to the sky, leaving all that dreamy light through the branches.  I could have stayed all day to paint, with an abundance of subject matter all around!  So happy this drawing has a new home!  Painting number 2052 in 2052 days.

S. Delaware and 3rd Street

The amazing light is what first drew my attention.  I had planned to paint the view looking down 4th Street, but oh, that light was calling.  I moved my car closer to the spot, and took my ink and paper out.  I would first ink the house, and then the street - and then decide which to paint. I never made it to the second drawing!  This was my scene!  I took out my oils and decided on a  8x10, because I was now 30 mintues into my 2 hour Quick Paint time.  Undaunted, I let the painting unfold.  I had already worked out the composition and values in ink, so I could allow that intuitive part of me lay down that paint. Would you believe I even finished 15 mintues early?  I had time to clean my brushes, frame and pack up at my leisure. Icing on the cake?  This painting was awarded 1st place in the Sunflower Stroll Quick Paint!  Painting number 2051 in 2051 days.
Sunflower Stroll Plein Air Winner
oil on panel, 10x8
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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Grinter Sunflower Farm

I LOVE standing in the midst of a sunflower farm, with the rows trailing out and over the distant hill!  Thinking I would stand in a sliver of shade by the barn, I simply could not back away from the blooms!  They were so much more inspiring when I was close enough to touch them. I could actually feel them swaying with the wind - because it was moving me, too!  The whole event has been VERY windy, I've had to hold on to my pochade at times!  I am constantly looking at my scene, comparing the colors to what is beside them, looking for the truth in paint.  Stroke by stroke, the painting unfolds, my experience in this place coming alive on my panel. What a wonderful day to paint. Painting number 2050 in 2050 days.
oil on panel, 11x14
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