Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Off Rue du Mitan

This was an absolutely gorgeous day!  After the gym and a run, I headed straight out to do yard with, taking full advantage of the beautiful weather!  I have daffodils and crocus blooming, and I've been cleaning out and mulching countless flower beds.  After an appointment and dinner in town with the family, my intentions were to go down and paint the pond.  An ominous cloud was moving in, and lightening had begun.  Well, darn.  It is too far from the house to set up in a storm, with shelter no closer than the house or barn.  So, instead, I have turned to my pen and ink and some work on architecture.  Such a beautiful place to get lost in for a while.  Drawing number 1511 in 1511 days.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Morning at Home

Mondays are always so busy that I try to get my painting in before the day begins!  With morning light on the east side of the house, this is where I paint this foggy morning.  I was limited to 30 minutes of painting time before class, so I worked quickly.  I was so into the process that I didn't even hear the "mulch guys" drive up my lane in their big truck!   I'm sure they wondered what on earth I was doing out there so early, in direct line of where they needed to drive, to drop off my truck load of mulch!   Just another plein air adventure!   Painting number 15010 in 15010 days :)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Guitar Moment

Wanting to switch gears this afternoon, I grabbed my acrylics and jumped into a loose and impressionistic portrait in black and white.  This type of work normally rolls right off the brush, but not today.  I started by painting the masses with a dry brush technique, laying in the darks first.  Once the lights were in and the panel was covered, I started pushing and pulling the edges until the image emerged.  This was a bit of a struggle!  I've not painted in this way for a while, so it took a while to get comfortable with the paint!  I think I better do a few more of these just to get back up to speed.  Painting number 1509 in 1509 days :)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lisbon in Ink

I have started a sketch journal just for some of the fabulous places I find.  I've bought so many sketch books through the years that I have quite a supply.  Now that I find the khadi paper is what I love best, I can only use these others for theme work.  The new paper is unequaled, and it has absolutely ruined me for all other sketchbooks!  For this drawing, I look for one of the most abstract origins of patrons on my blog, and choose to paint something amazing from that location.  Today, that place I'd Portugal, and this is in Lisbon.  Such awesome architecture!   How I wish there was some architecture of this magnitude near me!  I  also love that there are so many people in this scene!  I have rendered them quickly, with gestural lines.  I plan to do an upcoming challenge of 100 people in one week!  Yikes!  This was good practice indeed!   Drawing number 1508 in 1508 days :)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Barn in the Mist

The fog was still heavy when I left the gym.  YAY!  What should I paint?  The weathered red of the barn vibrates so well against the cool grays - I headed straight home to the milk barn.  I first brushed in the lines of the barn, then started filling in masses.  I used my newish 8x10 Guerilla Painter Cigar Box this morning.  I've only used it a couple of times - and there are a few things I should have packed!  I didn't have safflower oil on board (no washing brushes), nor did I have a palette knife (!) or a rubber scraper (which I sign my name with)!  I made due, but I will be remedying this situation pronto!  I like everything streamlined, ready for me to grab and paint!   Painting number 1507 in 1507 days.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Flowers for Sale

The Art Mob met at Suburban Lawn and Garden this morning for painting, sketching, and fellowship.  This place is full of all things garden - blooms, pots, statuary and more!   I stopped at the first table that caught my eye - and started drawing in pen and ink.  I loved the market style table loaded with plants and pots!  Once sketched, I pulled out my watercolor pans with a water brushpen and filled in.  How fun to paint in such an environment!  To top off this lovely morning, the staff provided a pizza lunch complete with cookies!  Painting number 1506 in 1506 days :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wine Party Demo

Tonight's Wine and Paint party goes to support Michael's robotics team, as well as local projects Xi Gamma Phi donates to.  Our subject - a wine still life!  We set up glasses and bottles in front of the guests, and each could paint either what was before them, or from several paintings on easels.  Composition and paint mixing were on the line up - and each walked away with their own unique painting!   So fun!  My still life demo is my 1505th painting in 1505 days.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sunset at Home

As I pushed the wheelbarrow back to the mulch pile last night, this is what greeted me as I turned around!  I don't think I've ever seen the sunset from this edge of the pasture, and I've certainly never painted from over here!   When I was a kid, this was the barn lot, with barbed wire fencing right here.  I took some great photos and worked until dark.  At today's Tri County paint in, this is what I painted from.  Now that I know how gorgeous this is, I will be racing out here with the next fabulous sunset!  Painting number 1504 in 1504 days :)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Wine for Three

For this afternoon's painting class, I set up this still life with wine bottles and glasses of three different heights.  Arranging them before me, I started blocking in all edges of the glass, overlapping them where applicable.  Next, with a large brush, I paint the masses I see, looking for central colors within the shapes.  Once the panel is covered, I start the palette knife work, breaking edges and dropping in thick paint. As I approach completion, I start to check that my colors are harmonizing, and bouncing off the varied surfaces.  With so much glassware, all colors should reflect off their surfaces.  I wanted quiet color today, so I chose a chardonnay for the lead wine.  If I didn't have such a full day, it would have been lovely to have a little wine for lunch!  Painting number 1503 in 1503 days.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Old Hay Wagon

My intention was to head to the east pond this afternoon.  But after scouting a bit, this old hay wagon grabbed my attention.  In fact, I could see paintings from three different sides.  I decided on the view which landed me in full sun, which normally is not too bad in February.  By the time I finished - I was SO hot!!  How many times have I been able to say that in February?  Never!  I used to play on this wagon as a child. My brother, cousins, and I would use it for a house, or a stage, playing for hours.  Now, I'm in the tall grass of the pasture, painting this childhood friend.  Painting number 1502 in 1502 days.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Afternoon at the Milk Barn

We have started painting en plein air for my Saturday painting class - and I LOVE taking class to the field!  Inspiring, invigorating, and peaceful, we paint to the music of birdsong!  There is no better place to improve one's painting skills than outside, from life.  All the information one needs is right before them!   Sandy was finishing her start from last Saturday, so I stayed close, choosing a different composition than I've painted before.  The sky was clear today, and the light warm, so all the colors shifted more towards the warm.  I finally reloaded some key colors on my palette after a week of making due without.  It is so much easier to achieve the desired results with the right paints!  I love starting a Saturday with pilates, a run, and plein air!   This is the life!  Painting number 1501 in 1501 days :)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Creekside Moment

Oh my, what a gorgeous day!   How can I resist painting en plein air on such a glorious afternoon?  After my morning classes at the gym, I always take a run to "cool down" and quiet my mind.  It has been so nice this week, that I've been running the track outside.  Today, I took a little detour on the paved walking trail across the street.  Wow!  What a fabulous, winding creek awaited me just off the beaten path!   And to think, I've been across the street almost every day for 3 years, and never knew this beauty existed right here in the middle of town!   I've lived in the country so long that I've forgotten the noises of town life.  My music today was the laughter of children as they played at the park, cars, motorcycles, and the sounds of the fire station across the street.  I will definitely be returning to this place for more paintings.  I've only scratched the surface with this one, my 1500th painting in 1500 days!!  WOWZA!!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cedar Creek in February

Best.  Office.  Ever.  On this outstanding day in the 70's, I HAD to find a special placeto paint!   After taking care of some Summit Art jury business, I headed straight to this creek, to check out the February color.  The creek was down a little, so it was flush with a slab of rock that jutted out quite a ways, allowing me to stand in a place I've not been able to before.  The rock was wet, and a little messy, but SO worth the view!   With almost no foot traffic along the path, I had no interruptions at all.  I started with a quick paint sketch of the composition, and continued with the masses, choosing to paint the darks of the water first.  Then the sky, it's reflection, next the background tree line, and finally the rocks.  It was rather a haphazard massing in, without thought, letting my intuition lead the way.  The day was so pleasant, with only gentle winds down at water's edge, and the babbling of the water to serenade me.  I really considered staying for another painting, but Tiffany was headed to my house with the boys, so home I went!   This was truly a day well spent!  Painting number 1499 in 1499 days!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

St. Eunans Cathedral in Ink

I am drawn to dramatic architecture like a mouth to a flame.  The more complex, the more mesmerizing!   When I start to draw something of this scale, I begin with a rather central area of focus, and start spreading out from there.  On this cathedral, my first lines were of the large second floor arching window.  Once roughly in, I moved to each side, up and down.  I am always checking those angles, the whole drawing is angles and how they relate to each other, just like a figure drawing.  This constant checking keeps everything in scale, and the perspective true.  This drawing is 1498 in 1498 days.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sweets for my Sweet

It is always fun to paint something special on Valentine's Day!   Keeping with today's theme, I am painting the still life before me - which just happens to be in my favorite color, and with my favorite candy, too!  I start off the block in with a brush, and switched things up between two different palette knives, one metal and the other plastic.  I would have preferred my Princeton Catalyst, but both are in two different easels in the trunk of my car, and I simply didn't want to take the time to go out and get them.   Looks like I need to buy another one!  You know how I like to get all my easels supplied and ready to go at the drop off a hat!   This painting is the 1497th in 1497 days!   Happy Valentine's Day to you all!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

February Sunrise

There are interesting compositions everywhere I turn.  This clump of trees grabbed my attention today, and I responded with a palette knife painting.  For this one, I blocked in my masses with a brush, and then went over those masses with a palette knife.  This is an easier way to get through this kind of painting for me.  When using a palette knife at the beginning, it is sometimes a struggle to get that color down.  Whereas, the brush is so natural, the block in unfolds quickly.  This is a matter of getting confidant with the tools - which takes time and strokes.  Perhaps one day, paintings will fall off the knife like they sometimes fall off the brush!  Painting number 1496 in 1496 days.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Winter Pond

After getting a start on my spring cleaning, I headed to the pond for my reward!  The wind is cold today, so I got climbed down the bank, to seek shelter from the wind.  The water was relatively calm on the southeasr side, so I faced that direction and started painting.  I love these subtle color shifts odd the winter landscape.  Snow would be lovely to paint, but who can complain on a warm winter day?  I needed a Gamblin gray on my palette today, I'll have to remember to load it before I go out next time!  Painting number 1495 in 1495 :)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Behind the Milk Barn

This day was a gift!  Who knew it would be 75 degrees on this beautiful February day?  Taking full advantage of the weather, I took painting class to the milk barn!  It is absolutely invigorating to paint in perfect conditions - especially when compared with a normal February day!  We set up in the dappled shade of a willow tree, trying to get panel and palette both shaded.  It is so much easier to judge the colors in the shade versus full sun.  Countless times I have had to paint in full sun, only to find my painting too dark when brought inside.  So, if I must paint in full sun, I now check my painting in the shade before calling it done!  Painting number 1494 in 1494 days :)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Golden Hour at the Pond

Nearly 70 degrees in February - how could I not paint on a gorgeous day like this?  I walked down to the pond and set up at the first spot I came to.  After all, I have a lifetime to paint this pond.  While painting, a Kingfisher came to visit!   I've never seen one here!  He called loudly from three different trees before settling down to a quiet song.  Then, he dived right to the surface of the water and brought out dinner!   SO cool!  He never reacted to me.  He chased off a hawk before heading to the other pond, calling all the way!  I love being surrounded by nature and wildlife, its one of the things I love about plein air!   The windows are still open, and I hear the owls calling now.  Painting number 1493 in 1493 days.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Belfast Castle in Ink

Oh my goodness - what a gorgeous castle this is in Northern Ireland!  I am drawing her today with a fine dark sepia Pitt pen.  With such complicated architecture, I begin with light, sketchy lines until I'm sure my proportions are correct.  Sketching is like handwriting, no two artists are the same.  I let the marks emerge as I concentrate on the scene, loose and energetic in their motion.  I'm not concerned with perfect cross hatching and line structure, though I do like the line to follow the form (just like brush strokes).  I've decided to fill the pages of this journal with places from around the world, rendered in ink alone.  This sketchbook is pretty, which is why I bought it, but the paper is rather thin.  I have to be careful not to get my ink too dark, and watercolor is out of the question.  I check my stats each day on my blog, and choose a unique location that someone has visited me from on that day.  Today, I had one visitor from Ireland - and voila, a little research led me to this composition.  It is just like I've had a little vacation in my warm chair, with a hot cup of lemon ginger tea, and my sketchbook.  Drawing number 1492 in 1492 days.  Now, I'm going to do a little reading on Belfast :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Plaza Nocturne in Batik

Switching gears today, I am working with the watercolor batik method.  Though I prefer the super thin rice paper, I am learning to really enjoy the heavier masa rice paper.  It has a slick side and a papery side, and I always use the papery side.  It accepts the ink and watercolor much better than the slick side.  Experimenting today, I  wrinkled my paper before painting as is often done with masa, but not normally with the batik until after waxing.  I liked it.  The creases that "broke" the sizing took on more paint than the rest, bumping up that batik effect when I later added the sienna paint to the creases and edges.  I've been sketching quite a bit of architecture lately, so I've chosen one of my favorite places - the Country Club Plaza for my composition.  This place is beautiful all times of the year, but especially when the streets are wet!   The coolest part of this technique is that no two paintings will ever be alike.  The way the watercolor reacts to the rice paper and hot wax is unpredictable, taking on a mind of it's own.  And what is more fun than a painting doing it's own thing?  This painting makes 1491 in 1491 days :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mill Creek in February

It was unseasonably warm when I headed to the park.  I hiked down to the creek on the west side of the lake, as the wind was kicking up from the north.  Finding my spot, the cool wind was right in my face.  I climbed down on the boulders to the edge of the water, using the creek bank as a wind break.  I didn't see any snakes, but kept an eye out between those crevices for whatever may climb out!  I actually sat on one of those boulders with this 8x10 Guerilla Pochade in my lap, to paint this.  I didn't have my palette, so I squeezed out fresh paint from the limited tubes I had loaded in this box.  Well, I couldn't get the alizarin crimson open, and it was my only cool color.  I had Terre Greeze yellow earth, instead of yellow ochre - and it does not make a good green when added to black!  With no blue on board, this was bad indeed!  This yellow did not mix well with white either!  It is a very coarse paint, and I have enjoyed it on a normal palette, but I will never use it on a Zorn palette again!   I will not be so haphazard the next time I load a new pochade box!  Lesson learned!  This painting is the 1490th painting in 1490 days.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Old Barn on 58 Hwy

When considering what I should paint today, I look to the color in the landscape for direction.  This drizzly, overcast day was the perfect backdrop for the weathered reds of this historic barn.  Once a cluster of grand houses and outbuildings, this lonely barn is now surrounded by "progress".  It is now used for hay storage, and is guarded by a beautiful calico cat - who has been here for years.  The old Ford truck is parked under the open side, as if it just pulled in from chores.  I  wish I could have painted the buildings now fading from memory.  They added beauty to the landscape that the box stores never could.  Painting number 1489 in 1489 days.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Ink Study of David

I have been studying master works, and this ink rendering is from Michaelangelo's David.  This statue has a striking resemblance to my youngest son - right down to the curly locks!  My youngest daughter even asked me if it was Michael!  I'm using a medium black Pitt pen in my natural tan earthbound sketch journal for this one.  I think the dark paper is well suited for this work, and I plan to continue in the same thread for this one.  This drawing is the 1488th in 1488 days.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tallship Nocturne Batik

Hot wax, ink and watercolor on masa rice paper are my playthings du jour!!  Pushing into the contemporary and abstract, I choose a tallship in the night under the moon and stars!  First, I sketch out the scene with India ink.  Next, I paint my lightest values, letting the dry.  I then come in with a bristle brush and hot wax (I heat in a tiny crock pot), and paint these areas that I want to resist the next layers of color.  Then, I flood in my darks on the fragile masa rice paper, which I set on top of wax paper for full paint absorbency.  I am using my Daniel Smith translucent watercolors for this technique.  Once this dries, I wax the entire painting, allowing it to cool.  Now, this is the scary part.  I wad the painting up into a ball, crunching wax off randomly!  I then come back over this painting with a dark color, working the paint into all this creases I just created.  After this dries, I place the painting between layers of newspaper, and iron until all wax is removed.  I must keep switching out the paper to accomplish this.  The fun part is that this technique creates different results every time, so no two pieces will ever be the same!  This contemporary painting is the 1487th in 1487 days :)

Friday, February 3, 2017

Old Barn on Y Hwy

Another morning of drawing before I head to the gym, and another morning I get there late!  I just can't resist a beautiful scene, and the sun is not rising early enough for me to be on time!  On the flip side, I LOVE painting early!!  It revs me up and invigorates me before I ever reach the gym, keeping my head in the game once I get there!  There has lately been heavy equipment and activity around this barn, and with it's deteriorating condition, I'm afraid they are going to bring it down.  These little treasures are slices of Americana, and each one that slips from existence is forever gone.  With this in mind, I am getting this one down in ink and watercolor while I can.  Painting number 1486 in 1486 days  :)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February Sunset

I could tell an hour before sunset that it was going to be a lovely one.  We had a late lunch out with family, went by for some baby time with Nolan, and headed home in the golden hour.  The clouds were lining up beautifully, and how I longed for my paints in transit!  Taking care of a couple things upon arriving home, I almost started too late!  The color in the sky changed drastically between my start and finish time - how hard it is to not chase the light on a sunset!  I committed at a certain point, and I stayed true to that color to the end.  For speed painting with this small box, I really need one larger workhorse brush!  I have loaded it with the short brushes that would fit, but I think I'm going to have to saw the ends off of a few of my favorite ones, and my favorite catalyst as well!  I really want to put some time into these sunset studies before plein air season begins again!  Painting number 1485 in 1485 days  :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Hedgeapple Tree Sunrise

The first light was spreading from the east - and in anticipation, I rushed to get to my easel.  Mornings are all about timing, making sure kids are up for school, lunch made, dogs and cats fed and watered - and getting myself ready for the gym.  Then, a dazzling show begins in the sky - and I must work faster!  This morning, I actually painted in my jammies on my front porch!   Thanks goodness we live in the country where there are no neighbors close enough to see my shenanigans!  This painting was done entirely with one flat Bristlon brush, and is my 1484th painting in 1484 days :)