Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Belton Train Yard

One never knows what a day will bring, and for that I am truly grateful.  Only a short post tonight as the real world knocks at my door.  Cherish your loved ones and give them an extra hug, life is an incredible gift.  Painting number 2104 in 2104 days.
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Monday, October 29, 2018

Hats and Mannequins

The beloved Mission Road Antique Mall will be closing it's doors soon, after so many years of service.  Painting here multiple times for Art Mob events, the group has been asked to come paint during a special closing day, offering whatever paintings we have on hand of this special place for sale.  This one is of a favorite booth that I have been drawn to on several occasions.  It has been a fun place to paint, shop and eat, and it is going to be missed in the community.  Painting number 2103 in 2103 days.
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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Pumpkin Farm ATC

Every year, I search for pumpkins to paint, and it seems there are never enough of them!  This cool pumpkin farm is in Mill Shoals, Illinois, not far outside of Fairfield.  The orange rows of pumpkins really stand out against the green grass, and the little stand only adds to the interest.  I started with an India ink sketch, adding watercolor, and then coming in with a soluble ink.  I have recently been switching up this order lately, with the soluble ink first or last.  I like both techniques, and can't decide which order I like best.  Every painting is an exploration of the media, always pushing to better express myself.  Painting number 2102 in 2102 days.
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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Pumpkin Barn

I LOVE this Bullard's Farm Market in the autumn!  Surrounded by pumpkins, it is a perfect place to paint the harvest season!  Without enough time for my oils, I'm using my ink and watercolor half pans for this one.  So small, two sets fit in my small sketch bag, with a water brushpen full of water and a few sheets of paper, I am ready to paint anywhere!  I really like this technique for this place - the light really pops when using watercolor.  So fun to explore my ink and watercolor, and that delicious new Conklin Duragraph fountain pen makes every drawing a dream!  They are on sale now at Goulet Pen Company!  Painting number 2101 in 2101 days!
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Friday, October 26, 2018

City Market Pumpkins

I just received this gorgeous Conklin Duragraph in limited edition turquoise in the mail, complete with a bottle of Monteverde Onyx ink.  Wowza!  I love how smooth this medium nib is, and the ink flows beautifully from the nib.  I can move the ink with a little water, perhaps not as much as my usual black.  It's a bit hard to judge since I am also using a 140lb cold pressed watercolor paper, which a rarely use!  I'm only using it now because I'm out in this bag!   I already love this pen - my very first one made by Conklin! Painting number 2100 in 2100 days.
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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Farmall Tractor

I love seeing these old tractors working the farms all through the Midwest, especially during harvest time!  I've only painted a few of these, so I thought it was time to capture another one - this time, an old Farmall. The red certainly pops in the green and brown of the field.  This one is ATC size, maybe I'll paint the next one larger!  Painting number 2099 in 2099 days.
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Art Tip - Freezing the Palette

Palette in the Freezer?
As a daily painter, I am constantly reaching for my oils to paint.  It is a real time saver to me to simply pull them out of the freezer!  Using an old metal china painting palette, which has a lid, I load the glass or plexiglass surface with my oil paints.  After each use, I put the lid on, slip it into a ziplock freezer bag, and pop it into my freezer.  I have a top shelf in my freezer that is reserved for all my palettes.  I keep them in freezer bags to help prevent oxidation, and to protect the food from any cross contamination that could occur.  I have many different palettes for each pochade box, fitting the internal shapes of those boxes.  I even have a couple of Altoid tins for those small thumb box pochades!  
When I pull the palette out the next time, within a few minutes, the paints are pliable enough to use.  Over time, a skin will form over a worm of paint from natural oxidation.  Often times, I will just punch through with my paintbrush, scraping out the paint underneath.  If the worm starts to get too hard for use, I will scrape it off with a razor and start anew.  
Biggest benefit of keeping a palette in the freezer?  I am always ready to paint at a second’s notice.  Once I land at my plein air location for the day - I can start painting immediately.  No squeezing out paint before the process starts.  When every minute counts, this little timesaver really helps.  In case you are continuing a painting started the day before, your paints are just like you left them, no premixing needed to match yesterday’s colors.  Another benefit?  Little clean up!  I simply put the lid on and place it in the bag.  It gets tossed in the freezer as soon as I get home.  If it will be hours to and from my location, I keep it in an insulated lunch carrier with an ice pack.  It just keeps my paints fresher for longer.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Main Street Nocturne

Warm nights are simply made for nocturne painting!  The way the street lights hit the buildings, casting shadows into the streets is dramatic.  I didn't have another dark primed panel, so I started this one on a light one.  What I don't like about this process is that I am fighting the light until I get it covered.  When starting with a dark panel, I am painting the light without worrying about the dark.  A challenge is always good, pushing me to learn a different process.  I also tried out a fancy new light, compliments of the Fairfield paint out - and it sure does illuminate the panel and palette.  Even though I've never been one to use extra lights during night paints, I may get used to it!   Painting number 2098 in 2098 days! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Parkville Water Company

Any old building has a story, and this water company building in downtown Parkville is at the end of it's story.  When painting these old buildings, I feel honored to capture them in paint.  One day soon, it will be gone, and only the images will remain.  I hope to take this one to the Gallery in Parkville for the holiday show. Painting number 2098 in 2098 days.
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Monday, October 22, 2018

Elle and Em and All Abloom

As I spend time with my parents, helping with my dad, I work on small paintings.  Inking, sometimes adding watercolor to sketches, helps me finish up work while sitting bedside.  I get a little time outside each day, but not like normal.  I do get out for a run on the Inland Trail, and I think I can outfit my phone holder with tiny papers and a pen.  I long to draw those farms as I run by them!  I'll give it a try tomorrow!  These tiny paintings will go to the Got Art Gallery on 3rd when I get back to town!  Painting number 2097 in 2097 days.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Firefighter Tribute

There was a special challenge for the Paint Parkville event this year, a collection of fireman's tools against the backdrop of the fire truck.  Using both brush and knife, I painted this in oil.  It is very meaningful to work on something like this for our first responders, who put their lives on the line every day.  Always great to mix things up, and a nice change of pace to get in the studio!   Painting number 2096 in 2096 days.
Award of Distinction Still Life
Paint Parkville 2018

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Raymore Barn

This wonderful old barn is almost all that is left of what used to be a sprawling farm.  Most of the land went the way of progress and is now a major shopping area, but still this barn remains. Large bales of hay are stored here, and on this day I spotted an old truck hauling two of them away.  There are cattle to the north, could they be part of this old farm?  As with all of these old barns, I draw them while I may, never sure how long they will stand. Painting number 2095 in 2095 days.
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Friday, October 19, 2018

Weatherby Lake Race

It is thrilling to capture a yacht race in progress with pen and ink!  Today's pen, my newest TWSBI  Go with raven black ink by Levenger.  I LOVE this ink, the rich velvety blackness and the way it moves readily with a little water, put this ink at the top of my list!  And I have probably tried 20 different kinds of black ink!  This pen is serving me well, and at the very economical price, I could put one in each of my sketch bags!  So far, it has not clogged up, and works perfectly every time I put my hands on it.  I can be a very demanding artist of my tools, I simply don't have time to waste on second best of anything. As for sketching lakeside during a yacht race - it is the perfect "office du jour"!!  Painting number 2094 in 2094 days.
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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Garden of the Gods

What a magnificent view I had from the edge of the bluffs at Garden of the Gods!  Careful to keep myself centered, I neither back up or move forward too much - there simply isn't room.  The rounded bluff tops drop off suddenly and one must be mindful.  It is harder than you think, because I get so absorbed in the painting process, and those steps back for constant checking are ingrained and very natural.  Thus, I can't truly let myself get "into the zone".  This was my first oil painting on location, and a struggle to suggest all those rock planes!  It is something I have been wanting to give more study to, so this place was perfect!  After one ink drawing and three oil paintings on site, I felt I was finally getting a handle on rocks!  Nothing like repetition to improve skills!  Painting number 2093 in 2093 days.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Dunns Cider Mill

This local cider mill is a favorite place to paint, and a favorite place to gather with friends through the years.  Cider doughnuts are always welcome this time of year!  Another ink drawing pulled from my bag for the addition of watercolor.  I like layering the watercolor over the soluble ink drawing.  Once, I thought that first layer too fugitive with water, but the water control seems easier now.  I will be putting this painting in the Belton Art Gallery when I get Bach to town.  Painting number 2092 inn 2092 days.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

802 Main Street

Often times I will get an ink drawing done on site only to add watercolor later.  I have started to use not only the India ink beforehand, but also the soluble ink, moving that ink with a little water before adding color.  I've only tried it twice, but like the results so far.  I can completely establish my values before adding color.  In this case, I used my favorite black, but I wonder how my favorite brown would work?  Perhaps I even have a loaded fountain pen in my larger sketch bag.  I'll be spending most of my hours with my dad in the hospital, so this is a great time for a little exploration bedside.  What better therapy is there?  Painting number 2091 in 2091 days.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Garden of the Gods

Oh my!  What a glorious location to paint!  Grandeur in the landscape like this is humbling indeed.  How many others have climbed these bluffs to take in the magnificent view?  How many before me have made this trek with their paint gear?  Jumping boulders and clinging to the edge, I had a stunning view for this painting. I love the wide open vistas and distant view of such a place, I only need to be mindful about backing up to check my painting!  I try to avoid those steep drops!  Painting number 2090 in 2090 days.
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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Big Red

I admire this beautiful old fire engine every time I come to old town Belton!  Finally, I am painting him!  "Big Red" is painted on the door, and this engine is parked along side the Belton Fire Station on Main Street most days.  The red color and the vintage lines are very appealing, a real eye catcher against the green grass.  I work on this as I stay at my dad's bedside, happy to keep my hands busy while we talk.  SO happy we can converse like this again. It looked like that was behind us for a while. Painting number 2089 in 2089 days.
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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Main Street Parkville

This view of Parkville always calls to me!  I had not painted it since the very first year of the Parkville plein air event, so this year I set up by the railroad tracks again.  So therein lies the problem.  Trains are constantly rolling down those tracks inn the middle of town, blasting their horns so loud that it physically hurts my ears!  So, every time one is coming, I put down my brushes, plug my ears with my fingers, and wait it out!  Yes, it looks silly, but it really helps!  It was fun to visit with people on the street as I painted.  Parkville is so charming!  Painting number 2088 in 2088 days.
City of Parkville Purchase Award Winner

Friday, October 12, 2018

Corner Boutique

Whenever I travel, especially if I'm going to be spending long hours in the hospital, I bring plein air sketches to finish.  Occasionally, I'm in the field and have to leave before the color is added. The endless hours are well spent with a pen or brush in my hand.  The roller coaster ride of the ICU is better when my mind is otherwise occupied.  Hoping the improvement continues and better days are ahead.  Painting number 2087 in 2087 days.
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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Albion Courthouse

I love the character of this historic courthouse in Albion!  These small Midwest towns have some wonderful architecture!  I rarely draw a building from straight on, but I really liked this composition.  I am using my TWSBI Go fountain pen, which is a new, economical model with a funky little spring loader for the ink.  That means, to reload, I dip the nib in the ink (which I now carry with me), push down on the button atop that spring coil, release and up the ink goes into the barrel!  It is that easy, and this pen is cheap, so I could carry one in each of my sketch bags!  This drawing has a new home, and is my 2086th in 2086 days.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Willow Tree at Night

It is a joy to paint a nocturne on a warm October night!  Sometimes, I shiver for this annual event, but not this year!  In fact, it is SO gorgeous I returned a second night for painting, too!  This lovely street scene is looking right down Main Street, with the sweet Willow Tree shop on my left.  The windows are decorated for autumn, and I simply couldn't resist them!  LOVE this town!  Painting number 2085 in 2085 days.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Windland Family Farm

What a beautiful farm to paint on this gorgeous morning!  The light was absolutely magical as I started laying paint.  Painting on a farm is a special treat, it takes me back to my childhood on the farms of Grandma Frank and Uncle Richard.  The rustle of the drying cornfield in the wind is like music in the air, a peaceful, calming place to spend the morning at my easel.  Plein air art tip of the day - Raid Yard Guard really does rid the painting area of mosquitoes!  I didn't see one bug when the whole county is full of them after that 10 inch rain!  Painting number 2084 in 2084 days.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Woods Family Home

I feel so at home with old houses, their vintage charm calls to my pen.  With my TWSBI Go fountain pen and Levenger Raven Black ink, I start the lines that become the place.  Not as sleek and sophisticated as my favorite pen, this Go is a solid worker. I've used it this whole painting trip without reloading ink, the barrel holds so much.  THAT is a real benefit.  What's more, it has been in my hot car continuously, and is unchanged by the abuse.  Each ink drawing tells a story of a time and place, and this medium lends such a timeless quality to it's subject. This time next year, this house will not be standing.  I am honored to capture her beauty while she stands.  Painting number 2083 in 2083 days.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Windland Farm Inked

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What a gorgeous morning for painting!  First piece of artwork for the day was started after a serving of hot cereal with blueberries and honey, compliments of our gracious host for the morning!  The farm is nothing short of amazing, and oh how I wish I had more time here!  This painting has a new home, and is my 2082nd in 2082 days.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

N.Fifth and W. Main

Collection of Citizen's Bank of Albion
What fun to paint the charming town of Albion! I had to park my car in the right spot, so I could Susan's in the street to paint!  Standing at the back corner of my car, I laid in the composition, drawing with the paint.  Values came next, followed by lights and darks.  When that sun popped through, I dropped in my highlights!  Painting number 2081 in 2081 days.  This painting has a new home, and will hang in the bank Citizen's Bank in town!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fairfield Sunset

A quick paint in Fairfield for our first evening in town! This post is will be short and sweet - due to the lack of cell coverage in the area!  I finally found enough coverage to post - IF I park next to the McDonalds! I see a whole row of people parked here just to use their phones!  Silly tech issues, it is 2018 for heaven's sake!  Painting number 2080 in 2080 days.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Five Boats Inked

My first drawing on site at the yacht race at Weatherby Lake is so exciting!  With the quick movement of the sailboats, I sketch furiously, trying to capture that motion in action!  As the yachts came back around, I picked up another sheet of paper, and inked as fast as I could, until they were very small one the distance.  One more pass, and I had all I needed from these beauties. A day spent on the lake painting is a day well spent!  Painting number 2079 in 2079 days, and this one has a new home!