Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sunflowers at Sunset

oil on panel, 20x16
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The sunflowers have started showing their color, and after such a busy day, I come late to my easel.  Rushing to capture the fleeting light before it is gone, I swiftly mark the masses. The essence of the landscape is my goal, and the glorious blooms, my muse.  I'm laying the heads down loosely, hinting at the impression of their movement in the breeze.  Leaving this one a little more impressionistic appeals to me, suits my mood.  After all, less is more.  Painting number 1696 in 1696 days.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Mare and Colt

So today I am exploring this new animal, water mixable oils.  They are oil paints, squeeze out like oil, and go down like oil from the brush straight, but add a little water and everything changes.  They behave more like acrylics when thinned with water, and a very thin glaze can be achieved.  I can spray a painted mass with water as the while area separates and runs, if upright.  I can wipe away areas with a cloth, something I've never been able to do with oils because I'm highly allergic to turpentine.  I'd like to get big and sloppy with this medium, but those of you who know me know I can't get sloppy with anything.  Perhaps a little wine is in order...! It is going to be fun exploring the depths of this medium, and I wonder where it will take me!  Painting number 1695 in 1695..... I think.  How's a girl to keep tract?  
oil on panel, 10x8
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Happy Place Wildflowers

Since the first time I found this place, I make it a point to return here whenever I'm in town - and paint!  I LOVE this place!  A quick walk along the paths reveals painting after painting to me, and I can choose only one before heading up to the Wine Stroll. The light was so warm, and the wildflowers more beautiful than I've ever seen them, I could hardly wait to paint!  Without time to even sketch this one, I jumped right into the paint, filling the masses with their local colors.  Standing in the shade, it was a very comfortable paint with birdsong and rustling leaves to keep me company.   Alas, I didn't want to leave!  But duty called, and I pried myself away. Painting number 1694 in 1694 days.
oil on panel, 14x11
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Monday, August 28, 2017

Mason Jar of Brushes

Today has been a solid day of cleaning and reorganization!  Starting with Michaela's room (since she just left for college) and ending with my art books - I was in for a sweet reward!  Inside of my boxed drawing book set were supplies I'd never opened, and one was a dip pen and black ink!  I was just saying today that I'd like to try one to see how they worked - and mere hours later, one appears!!  I learned a few things tonight.  A fine nibbed pen is not kind to my fancy cotton paper, so I lightened my pressure.  The ink has to be put into something deep enough to dip past the well in the nib each time I reload.  The ink flows longer than I thought it would with one dip.  If I set down my pen for 20-30 seconds, the ink has already dried on the nib, and I have to swish it off in a little water and wipe with a cloth (see how dark my water is?)  And finally, the nib pulls right out for easy cleaning.....and I could replace it with another, if I like!  What a great way to end a day of drudgery!  Painting number 1692 in 1692 days.
ink on paper, 8x6
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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Gucker Coal Co Inked

This was the very first spot I landed in the sweet town of Marceline!  All the lines created such an arresting composition I had to capture it in ink!  With an eye to safety, I backed up across the street - even though the perfect view was in the very middle of the street.  As I start drawing, my surroundings often fade away as I settle into the zone, so it is good to be in a safe spot. I may or may not hear that approaching car, train or bear! This drawing seemed to fall off the end of my fountain pen.  I am using an improvised clipboard for this 8x6 piece of paper.  I had plexiglass cut just for this, adding a couple of clips for the paper.  I love that it is clear and there is nothing blocking my view between paper and scene.  Painting number 1691 in 1691 days.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Party at Ripley Park

When I first landed in the charming town of Marceline, I was unsure of my painting location. I first sketched the Gucker Coal Co. building, the did the pre sketch of this landscape.  I knew it would be stronger in paint.  Backing my easel up against the shade of a building, I began laying in the masses.  There was a party going on in the park - with 900 people expected - and I dropped them in simply with strokes of color as they appeared. Most were in shadow, but many popped into the light at the fringes of the gathering. The new bridge is such a wonderful addition to the park!  And the icing on the cake is being awarded Best of Show at the end of the event!!  Wowza!! Painting number 1690 in 1690 days!!
oil on panel, 10x8
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Friday, August 25, 2017

Edward Jones Lee's Summit

What a fun evening it was at the Summit Art Plein Air event in old town Lee's Summit tonight! Deciding to mix things up a little, I took my water soluble oils (that I have only begun to play with)!  Am I crazy?  Well, yes!  I thought it would be exiting to jump into something new for a timed event!  I learn so fast when I make a mess and then get myself out of it!  Laying in a loose wash, and painting like I was "inking" was fun!  Plenty of loose strokes here - and those water mixable oils have a wonderful sheen to them!  Looking forward to more of these - and mixing the oil with water!  Painting number 1689 in 1689 days.
oil on panel, 12x9

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Museum at Prairiefire

What an amazing museum to paint!  With it's ultra artistic mark on the landscape - this venue has been on my radar since the day I  first saw it!  This morning's Art Mob event was held here at the Museum at Prairiefire. Choosing this spot immediately, I set up my easel without taking another step!  After a quick drawing, it was right into the paint for this showstopper!  This was a quick paint at only 90 minutes, and only then could a take a spin around the inside.  I simply must come back here with the kids!  Painting number 1688 in 1688 days.
oil on panel, 12x9
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

JC Nichol's Fountain at Night

I've sketched this historic Kansas City icon multiple times, but this is only my second attempt at capturing it in paint.  Finishing It up last week, I am only now getting around to posting it.  SO much has happened since then, it seems like ages ago!  It is on display now at the Bank of Blue Valley on the third floor as part of the "Now Showing" program, organized by Arts KC.  I need to do more of these nocturne fountain paintings - the color is amazing, and I know there is so much more to learn!  I'm already thinking of trying one of these fountains in the water mixable oils with the drippy effect..... SO many paintings to do, so little time!  Painting number 1687 in 1687 days.
oil on panel, 24x20
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Late Light at the Creek

Today was not at all as I planned, and I did not find my painting window until late in the day.  I'm running out of panels and with boards primed but not cut, I find myself painting over one of my first plein air paintings.  It was an early one done my first year at Augusta Shores, and really not worthy of seeing the light of day!  With an acrylic underpainting (all my plein air work was acrylic back then) I simply painted over as I would a new panel - paint sketch, mass block in, then finish work.  It was only moderately distracting to have the very dark, strong tree lines below my emerging painting.  But, soon all was covered and I think I've got it to a finished stage.  I'll check again in tomorrow's daylight as today's is all gone!  Painting number 1686 in 1686 days.
oil on panel, 20x16
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Monday, August 21, 2017

Sailboats in Sister Bay

The sailboats along the coast of Door County call me in like a siren call.  I'm drawn to them, and can hardly pass by without painting them.  Living in the Midwest, I don't have the opportunity to paint these beauties, so I must seize the moments when I can!  I'm playing with the color a bit, injecting a little blue in a sunset where there was very little.  This is larger at 20x16, so it is important to step back often for the full view.  I think I'll let this one rest for now, and look with fresh eyes in the morning!  Painting number 1685 in 1685 days.
oil on panel, 16x20
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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Noboleis Winery in Ink

Today's paper is a deckled edge watercolor card by Strathmore, that I have drawn in fountain pen.  Once my vineyard landscape is as I want it, I come into some of those areas with a little water on a brush, to soften edges and get some of those gray tones.  I like having a card, ready for me to paint, but I miss the yummy texture and response of my favorite khadi papers.  It is always good to mix things up and explore untried supplies.  Who knows - the next thing I try may be the thing I can't live without!  Painting number 1684 in 1684. Yes, I've gotten my count mixed up, and will have to go back and edit the numbers.  How can one be expected to keep that straight with all I have on my plate?

Friday, August 18, 2017

Mountain Vista Watercolor

So often, I am working fast to capture a place in paint that I forget to get that location shot! Sometimes, I forget to photograph the painting, too!  I've sold two in the last month that I never got an image of.  I didn't even realize it until I tried to find it days later!  This ink drawing was done very quickly with a Pitt pen, followed by fresh, loose watercolor.  I barely had enough time to get color in all the masses before we left the area!  This place is somewhere in Colorado between Steamboat Springs and Denver, along the highway through the mountains.  I didn't have cell service to tell me the location, but it is now immortalized in paint!  Painting number 1675 in 1675 days.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

SW Market Street Inked

Some days my schedule is so full, there is hardly time to eat!  This has been such a day beginning with the gym, followed directly by a jury committee meeting that I chair, to this little window of sketch time before getting ready to judge the Raytown Invitational tonight.  My sketch kit in the car, it is the first time I've used this abbreviated set!  I found a handmade bag on Washington Island that just holds my 5x7 clipboard, 4x6 papers, one water brush pen and my favorite fountain pen!  Small and with a strap, I can carry it hands free, and it is there when the mood strikes me!  This vintage house on Market Street is charming with it's picket fence surrounding a zinnia bed!  So cute, I had to sketch it!  Painting number 1674 in 1674 days, now I'd better get ready for judging!!
ink on paper, 6x4
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

House on Walnut Inked

I had a large installation this afternoon for the Now Showing program of Arts KC.  I had so much help deciding where to place the 40 paintings on three different floors  - it was a breeze!  The space at the Bank of Blue Valley is really wonderful, showing the art to best advantage.  I took most of my large paintings, holding a few for an upcoming exhibition at the Albrecht Kemper Museum.  I met Mike to visit his mom in the hospital, followed by dinner out with Michael.  Finally arriving home, I am posting one of the many drawings that slip through the cracks of my daily posting.  I really like the composition and flow of this sketch in one of my favorite places - Augusta!  I often finish more than one piece a day, so there is no telling the number I'm really on for the daily count!  As I progress, I weed those old paintings out...sometimes even painting over them.  If I wouldn't show it now, I don't keep it.  So, there's another number hard to figure many actually still exist of my daily paintings...! Painting number 1673 in 1673......or what could it really be?  Am I a hundred ahead?  More?  😉

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Neptune Fountain Inked

This was a day spent in the hospital with family as my mother-in-law underwent surgery.  All has turned out well, and the healing begins.  At times like these, it is nice to settle into the rhythm of ink on paper.  The flow of the ink as it glides along the surface of this special handmade paper is soothing.  Like an old friend, I know each mark before as it unfolds, telling a story of beauty and movement as timeless as the fountain itself.  What therapy drawing is, and at the end of my fingertips all of the time.  Painting number 1672 in 1672 days.
ink on paper, 8x8
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Monday, August 14, 2017

Whispering Stream

Early light has a very special quality, the low light saturating the color in the landscape. Just like sunrise and sunset, the light is fleeting and colors must be marked quickly - to be filled in later.  I sketch quickly with paint, start marking the masses with their local color, and try to finish as quickly as possible.  Often, I am meeting edges and filling out masses after the landscape has already changed.  Another large one, this is 20x16, and I have the perfect frame for it!  Painting number 1671 in 1671 days.
oil over acrylic on panel, 20x16
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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Crops in the Field

I've been carving enough time out of each day to paint larger pieces, and this one is 16x20.  The light is so warm in the golden hours of summer, it is a joy to paint the landscape.  The rows of crops have a beauty all their own, much like the rows of lavender and the vineyards.  The rich color of summer abounds here, where the days have been comfortable and the rain plenty.  Everything is so lush during a time of year that is normally hot and dry!  A gift to the painter indeed!  Painting number 1680 in 1680 days.
oil on panel, 20x16
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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Reibolts Creek Revisited

I can't pass by a winding creek, they lure me in every time!  We have been so fortunate the last two weeks to have cool August temperatures - SO uncommon for Missouri!  I am taking advantage of this beautiful weather, even though my household chores are constantly nagging at me!  We've had some major renovating under way - and with that comes all that extra work!  I'm trying not to let it cut into my paint time, but it has to come from somewhere and it looks like "sleep" is the big loser here!  Looking forward to all projects finished and carefree painting days!  Painting number 1677 in 1677 days.
oil on panel, 18x24
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Friday, August 11, 2017

Lavender Farm Inked

Walking to the outer edge of the lavender rows, I could not resist this view!  Setting up my easel, I went right to the task of drawing the scene before me.  What a pleasure to create in such a place as this!  All I had to do was narrow down my view for the perfect composition - and there were so many!  I could paint a thousand paintings right here on this farm, standing in the lavender!  So many paintings, always so little time!  Painting number 1676 in 1676 days.
ink on paper, 6x4
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hay Bales in the Field

These large round bales have always inspired me.  When I was little, my brother and I would climb on top of them, playing king of the mountain.  I am working on some large pieces, this one is 24x20.  I really enjoy painting large in the field, but I think I need larger brushes.  The more I get out there with this size, I realize the block in would go so much faster with a 2 inch brush.  Maybe I'll pull out an old house painting brush for tomorrow, as I'm planning on painting large on the prairie after the gym in the morning! Painting number 1675 in 1675 days. 
oil on panel, 24x20
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Lavender Rows

Oh the beauty of a lavender field is a feast for the eyes and for the nose!  The fragrance surrounds me as the gentle breeze whispers through the blooms, and I whisper back with paint.  It is truly a joy to submerse myself in a place like this, and then to capture my experience in the moment with paint. This is what plein air is. A living and breathing thing, only to be shaped by the one holding the paintbrush.  Here, I capture the essence of the place in my journal, to commit to oils another day.  Painting number 1673 in 1673 days.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Diana and the Cherubs Inked

The City of Fountains is a constant source for drawing and painting.  As the years go by,  I find new ways to express their beauty in paint, or ink, or whatever media catches my eye.  The last couple of days I have been exploring them with my favorite fountain pen in one of my favorite khadi papers.  Once I lay down the line work, I find the values with my waterbrush pen, careful to save the whites.  I'm finding it a little more challenging than the India ink pen, where hatching is king.  But I really like the depth I can achieve with a little water.  In the darkest areas, I am adding another layer, gradating as I go.
ink on paper, 8x8
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Monday, August 7, 2017

Nichols Fountain Inked

Getting back to the ink tonight is like returning to an old friend.  It is easy to slip right into the rhythm of drawing, almost without thought, just letting the pen take over.  This paper is thinner than my usual, so the ink does not move as readily, and takes a little coaxing.  The paper retains that same water, continuing it's movement when I think it will stop!  Because of this, I blot areas to keep them in check, or let them go if I want that area loose.  So fun to play in the ink again!  Painting number 1671 in 1671 days.
ink on paper, 6x6
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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Abandoned Ranch

I love these old, abandoned homesteads.  Each one tells a story of the family who built it, loved and lived here, and the how such a beautiful place could come to ruin.  This ranch is on the side of the mountain, with the ground rising sharply behind it.  A row of aspens trails up the mountain, and ends just above the buildings.  No other trees are here, and this northern part of Colorado is so desert like. Even the rock formation in the background is right out of an old western.  Such a cool place, I only had time for a quick paint.  Next time in Colorado, I am definitely going to make more painting time!  Painting number 1671 in 1671 days.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

1856 House

Inspired to take out my water mixable oils after years in a box, I am taking a trip to crazy town tonight!  I thinned down the wash layer with water, and brushed it on like one would use turpentine.  I wiped off what I didn't want in there, and added minimal color with a soft brush.  I forgot to oil the panel first, so the paint started drying to a tack very quickly.  These paints are made by Holbein and will work with oil or water,  and really are a different animal!  I let them drip, but I'll need a little practice here, and went for a vintage photo feel.  I know, pretty crazy, but every painting is a lesson, after all!  Painting number 1670 in 1670 days.
oil on panel, 6x6
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Friday, August 4, 2017

Anderson House Watercolor

I've lately returned to my favorite watercolor journal with pen, ink and watercolor.  I sketch out with an India ink pen, in this case a Pitt pen in black. Next, I lay down a warm wash which fades into the sky color.  I paint in the shadow colors before laying down the central hues.  I did use real watercolor brushes here instead of the water brushpens, but I forgot to use my new sword brush!  With the extra sizing in the pages of this book, the real brushes are much more effective.  The brushpens were getting gummed up with sizing, but I still use them on the fly.  Painting number 1669 in 1669 days.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Wisconsin Barn in Watercolor

I got a new watercolor brush today - and of course, I had to try it out!  After seeing another artist use this, I tried out my new pinstriper on the lines in this painting.  Wow!  It lays down a line that never runs out of paint!  Well, okay, it does run out eventually, but holds a full load.  It is a super short brush, so that was weird, but I can find so many uses for this little baby!  I have no idea where this barn is, somewhere in Wisconsin where I didn't have good cell coverage.  Wait!  That could be anywhere!  Lol, just a little nod to the continuing cell coverage issues in the state!  Painting number 1668 in 1668 days.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Lavender Farm

Walking to the very eastern side of the lavender field, I set up my easel with the morning sun at my back.  The light was almost silvery as it gilded the rows.  With all rows leading to the barn, this was my composition of choice.  There is nothing like the scent of lavender surrounding me as I paint.  What an amazing place!  I didn't know this place even existed until a friend posted a photo from here just a couple of weeks ago.  Now, this will be an annual painting location just as the lavender comes into full bloom.  It inspires me to find a variety that will thrive in the heat of Missouri!  Painting number 1667 in 1667 days.
oil on panel, 14x11
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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ephraim Cottage in Watercolor

I have never watched a watercolor artist complete a painting from start to finish before last week.  Vladislav Yeliseyev is an amazing artist, and watching how he approached the plein air landscape was eye opening!  I have only worked wet on wet before, without the foggiest notion on how to add another layer.  Watching that one artist work has inspired me in a whole new way!  Can't wait to see what this media can really do!   Painting number 1666 in 1666 days.