Saturday, September 30, 2017

Samsara Alley Inked

An alley may seem like an unlikely place to find beauty, but there are hidden treasures here!  This alley behind Samsara Home in Parkville boasts red doors, window boxes full of flowers, and a wooden awning full of charm!  I quickly decided to do a sketch and just see if this was truly what I wanted to paint. Often times, this step will help me made the big decisions on composition.  Sometimes, I'll move on or make changes.  Most of the time, this helps me mentally work through the painting before laying on a stroke.  Painting number 1726 in 1726 days.
ink on paper, 8x6
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Friday, September 29, 2017

Back Alley Beauty

Another perfect day for plein air painting! Today finds me at Samsara Home in Parkville - in the alley again!  A nice breeze kept me comfortable on this day in the 80's. The wonderful flower boxes drew me to this scene, and all the splashes of color! Red doors, blue walls, yellow walls, even a flag on the distant building - led to a colorful composition!  Pushing those hues a little, I let the experienced of the day seep into my painting.  All the while, another artist painted me at my easel!  Painting number 1725 in 1725 days.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

JC Nichol's Fountain at Night

The night of the Brush Creek Nocturne Paint, I arrived late, coming straight from an opening at the Albrecht Kemper Museum.  Choosing a small panel, I walked the whole area surrounding the fountain.  I decided on a view I've never painted, from Broadway looking east.  I liked the echo of light in the fountain and light on the background buildings.  The sky was not yet completely dark, so I was able to mark those wonderful blues before they faded away.  I always position myself under a street lamp, where it will illuminate my panel and palette while I paint.  In this case, that light was a warm hue - which made my on location photo SO yellow I couldn't even post it!  I never know what I walk away with at night - not until I see it in the daylight the morning after!  This one was fun and very loose!  Painting number 1724 in 1724 days.
oil on panel, 10x8
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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

99 Elm

The cool autumn weather was refreshing today after last week's heat!  Celebrating the new season with paint as I work on this beautiful estate in Parkville.  The skies have been overcast all day which means the color is saturated and so rich to paint.  I start first with a drawing to be sure of all those lines and angles.  Using that sketch, I begin with paint to mark the masses.  As I work, I check and recheck those angles, tweaking right to the very end.  I love the stone and the cool way the greens mingle with ask those shades!  Painting number 1723 in 1723 days.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Waterfall Impressions

There is nothing that recharges my batteries like spending time immersed in nature.  Deep in the woods of the nature sanctuary, this view of the lower waterfall is mesmerizing.  I could spend all day painting to the music of the water.  This special place in Parkville is one I return to again and again, and my composition is never the same.  For this one, I am near the edge for a side angle view, with all kinds of complicated roots and branches through this scene.  I start with values, and simplify.  Whenever I lose track of where I'm headed, I squint - forcing me to see the values.  I had fun wth this one!  I love a challenge, I love the woods, and I love waterfalls - how could it get better than this?  Painting number 1722 in 1722 days.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Goldenrod and Sunflowers Inked

A wonderful afternoon for a little plein air, I first begin this landscape with a drawing.  I look for the lines and flow of the masses, darks moving easily through the composition.  I've only just discovered the Anita Gorman conservation center, and what a jewel it is!  Wildflowers grow in reckless abandon, lining paths through the wooded grounds. This remarkable place is right in the middle of town, though you would never know it as you walk in the woods.  Peace as tranquility abound, and seeps right into every pen stroke.  What a wonderful life I live!  Painting number 1721 in 1721 days.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Thomas Hart Benton House Inked

This week we visited the home of artist Thomas Hart Benton and took the tour.  Today I am exploring a new ink - Noodler's Beaver.  The brown is rich and warm.  It moves and spreads easily when a wet brush is applied - which is perfect for me!  I used my fine nibbed glass pen to apply the ink, which worked perfectly.  I've learned to use a light touch with this nib on the handmade paper - otherwise, the nib will scratch the surface.  I prefer broader nibs, but am learning to embrace each one!  I think this ink will find a home in one of my fountain pens, so I can always have it at the ready!  Painting number 1720 in 1720 days.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Boardwalk to the Beach

The boardwalk at the Anclam Beach is a yearly stop on the painting trail.  The curving line of sand and rocks reaches out into Lake Michigan, offering ever changing views of the coast.  This one was a quick paint as time was short  - often the story in this artist's life!  Painting number 1719 in 1719 days. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Better Blinds Inked

I love these little one night plein air events!  A gathering of local artists, old town charm of the historic downtown Lee's Summit, and several purchase awards up for grabs - who could want anything more?  This was my final drawing, executed after I had already turned my other work in.  I didn't have another frame, but I really wanted to draw this before putting my gear away.  So, I did, and then I turned it in unframed (which I never do - I would rather take it home unseen than present it in the raw!)!  I ended up selling it, maybe I need to rethink that framing thing......!  Painting number 1717 in 1717 days.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Goldenrod in the Garden

What a beautiful morning for plein air painting!  Arriving on site, I walked right to this colorful wildflower bed - full of goldenrod run amuck!  I love the reckless abandon of an overflowing wildflower bed!  I tucked myself into a spot of shade to start this painting, after a quick ink drawing.  This drawing is an important step that helps me really sink my teeth into the process.  In this case, I altered my composition slightly after the sketch.  If I had jumped in with paint, it would have been difficult to make those changes without scraping back some of that paint.  This was national butterfly day and monarchs were released as children with nets ran after them.  Just a little extra magic on this beautiful summer day!  Painting number 1716 in 1716 days.
oil on panel, 12x9
honored to be in the top five of the Anita Gorman Center Quick Paint
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Race Day

This is the first time I've been able to capture a regata in progress!  I arrived on site just as they were ready to go, so I set up quickly.  As these first two sailboats made their turn, I painted fast and furious to get those values and hues in!  I did not take a reference photo.  In fact, it never occurred to me until I saw some of the other artists looking at their phones.  I guess I've gotten so used to painting from life that I don't even think of changing my process.  The benefit is that I walk away with a fresh painting that isn't overworked and cluttered with the details of a photo.  Just another super fun adventure in plein air!  Painting number 1715 in 1715 days.
Oil on panel, 14x11
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Edward Jones Inked

My first drawing of the night found me in an alley behind the Edward Jones building, pen in hand.  I loved the lines, the bustle of activity, and the light poles!  I did move one of them over, for compositional reasons.  A hot day on the pavement, I sought a shadier spot for the painting.  I've discovered that I should not leave my fountain pens in a hot car, they begin to leak ink from the joint where I grip.  That means I get ink on my hands - and anyone who knows me knows this will not work at all!  After all, I have a reputation of cleanliness to uphold!  So, I'm taking my pens inside until it cools off.  Painting number 1714 in 1714 days. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Weatherby Lake Inked

I had already painted three paintings and two ink drawings, and still, I gazed longingly at this boat.  the last artist on site, I left my easel up and ready, but truly I was so tired.  The ink was calling, "Choose me!  Choose me!"  I walked back to the car and grabbed my ink pen, brush and paper.  I put pen to paper and let the ink do it's magic.  Like any old friend, the drawing soothed and energized me - I love the process!  Once finished, I framed it, changed and joined to party beginning around me!  What a great painting day!  Painting number 1713 in 1713 days.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


What a beautiful afternoon for capturing the regatta on Weatherby Lake!  The cloudless sky quickly turned to stormy - and this was the color change in the heavens!  So beautiful, I had to turn my easel to get it!  This one has a new home!  Painting number 1712 in 1712 days!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Goldenrod and Sunflowers

Oh my!  What a day!  This morning seems so long ago!  This was a warm and muggy day for painting - but did I ever make the most of it!  Three paintings, two ink drawings, and a Missouri Valley Impressionist Society Signature show opening at the Albrecht Kemper Museum, followed by a nocturne paint out!  A great day to get experimental - and I did with two of them.  I was painting at my leisure for this prairie scene, and the peace and calm nearly oozes from it.  Funny how much of my personal experience of the moment seeps into each painting!  Painting number 1711 in 1711 days.
Oil on panel, 12x9
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fountain at the Rose Garden

Today finds me painting in one of my favorite gardens - the Rose Garden at Loose Park!  The morning was absolutely beautiful as I starting laying down paint.  Many hands were grooming the roses, as other worker bees buzzed around the garden.  When I noticed several workers standing near the fountain, I thought I'd better start getting the fountain in.  Sure enough, it was turned off for a little work.  This often happens en plein air.  A boat sails away, an animal flees the scene, lights are turned out, or a fountain gets shut down.  When this happens, I move to another section of the painting, waiting for the return of my subject.  Animals will return again and again in a rhythmic fashion.  In the case of boats, I normally see the bustle around the boat - and start painting like crazy!  The fountain came back on, and off again two other times - and I finally got it done!  Painting number 1710 in 1710 days.
oil on panel, 14x11
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Starlight Theatre Inked

This is one of the seven works I created on site this week at the magical Starlight Theatre.  What a gorgeous day for plein air, and the surroundings could not have been more posh!  This was the one drawing that I did not get a chance to paint, time simply ran out.  One piece sold today and the other 6 will be hanging at Starlight for a little bit.  So fun to be a small part of the magic out there!  Painting number 1709 in 1709 days.
ink on paper, 6x4
on display at Starlight Theatre

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Garden of the Stars-Fountain Dreams

The last two days I've been painting in paradise!  This location called to me yesterday, but I could only stretch here.  Waiting for the light to be perfect, I jumped in quickly with paint, following yesterday's sketch for my composition.  I love the geometry of this scene!  All those curves and columns with their hard edges accentuate the very fluid moving water!  Yum!  This is going to be one of those places I paint again and again!  I think I'll paint a large one for my house!  Painting number 1708 in 1708 days.
oil on panel, 12x9
on display at Starlight Theatre
purchase here

Monday, September 11, 2017

Starlight Reflections

Starlight Theater is such a fabulous place to plein air paint!  The gardens are lush, in surrounded by fountains, and the music of the water moving lulls me into the painting zone!  I've already planned for two other paintings tomorrow!  Counting my lucky stars to be painting in so much beauty!   This place is right out of a fairy tale!  Painting number 1707 in 1707 days.
oil on panel, 14x11
on display at Starlight Theatre
purchase here

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Looking down the Rows

I couldn't ask for more beautiful weather to paint in!  The grapevines are so full and lush, so different from my vineyard views in April!  I don't think I've been in a vineyard since Augusta plein air!  I really enjoy painting the rows in a vineyard, there is just something so therapeutic about it! Fall is such a wonderful plein air time - I'm going to totally immerse myself in the great outdoors!  Painting number 1706 in 1706 days.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Exit 13 Inked

The Urban Sketchers KC group met at Chicken and Pickle this morning, with the Swift Mile Street Fest only blocks away.  After first drawing the tents along the street, I focused on this wonderful band who was now in the middle of their set.  Wanting to draw this with black ink, I used my trusty Varsity Pilot, while my fancy fountain pens remained in my bag. I found out at location that a plein air event was in progress!  You know I had to join!  So the entire day was spent drawing, painting and barely delivering my MVIS Signature paintings to the Albrecht Kemper Museum before they closed up shop!  What a day!  Painting number 1705 in 1705 days.
ink on paper, 6x4
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Friday, September 8, 2017

Stone Pillar Vineyard Inked

This glass pen is a work of art!  I chose this one because it holds the stainless nibs, and the set comes with 7 ranging from super fine to very broad. Using the ark 14 nib here, I love how smooth the flow is, even on my rough cotton rag paper.  I like the feel of the glass pen in my hand, though it is heavier than my others.  I actually dropped it when trying to set it to the side!  Yikes!  Fountain pens are delicate - and that is definitely a big no-no!!  All is well, and this pen draws like a dream!  Thanks to Daveliou for producing such a fabulous fountain pen set!!  I really love the indigo ink, too!  Painting number 1704 in 1704 days.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Stone Pillar Vineyard

I've been wanting to visit this winery for a couple of months, and I finally got the chance!!  This place has been in the family for 150 years and has transformed from cattle farm to vineyard.  The vines are lush, with that wonderful late season color - perfect for painting!  I jump right to the paint today, because I had to.  I forgot my fountain pen!!  My kids scolded me for leaving it in the car all the time with my sketch supplies, and I did have one leaking from to much time in a hot car, so I took it inside.  And that is where it was when I reached for it for the drawing.  Shoot!  I also need to reload my business cards in all of my gear - I had only one to give away!  This painting unfolded naturally while I soaked in the beauty, enjoying a black cherry wine slush in perfect weather.  Days like these are meant to be savored, so I painted another one!  Painting number 1703 in 1703 days.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wild Sunflowers

As I finish each morning's workout at the gym, I run a mile or two to center my thoughts and plan for the rest of my day.  In these beautiful days, I run outside - right by this glorious meadow!  The last few days I've watched as it is approaching peak bloom for the sunflowers, and today I jumped in with paint!   The flow and sweep of the wildflowers and tall grass are a perfect backdrop for these yellow blooms of sunshine!  There are several other views I would like to paint here - I hope I get the chance!  The next few days are scheduled pretty heavy and then I have family arriving in town.  These are the days we plein air painters love - beautiful light, warm days with gentle breezes, and a gorgeous landscape before me.  Who could ask for anything more?  Painting number 1703 in 1703 days.
oil on panel, 13x9
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Winding Lavender Rows

While on location in Washington Island, I only had time for a quick sketch of these winding rows.  This would have been my third painting on site, had time allowed.  It has been floating around inside my head ever since, waiting for the opportunity to jump out onto the panel!  Today was the day!  Not having my panels yet tinted, I painted on the white of the gesso - which I never do when painting in oil!  I miss the complimentary color underneath for my strokes to lay upon, and found the colors coming off a little too  "clean". I must rely on that underpainting when mixing my color!  Who knew?  It's amazing what I learn from switching things up in my painting routine.  I guess I'll be tinting my panels before the fall flury of plein air begins!  Painting number 1702 in 1702 days.
oil on panel, 16x12
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Monday, September 4, 2017

Golden Hour Grazing

There is something so peaceful about painting cattle in the pasture.  Their slow and rhythmic grazing relaxes me as I paint. Whenever painting animals, I sketch their shape in quickly with paint, adding more values as they hold position.  If one shifts out of position, I move on to the next, returning as each gets back to their pose. These scenes always remind me of my grandma's farm and of my Uncle Richard's farm, and the hours of play in the country.  I still love playing outside, only now I'm using paint! Painting number 1700 in 1700 days!  WOWZA!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Paintbrush Can

One of my six new ink samples, this Diamine Macassar ink may just be my favorite!  Not a true sepia, it leans more towards a burnt umber hue. It gets very dark and rich with a little water applied, and even separates a little from brown to blackish as that ink spreads. I LOVE when an ink does this, it is a little magic that happens on it's own. The pen in using tonight is a Preppy fountain pen that my son has generously donated to my cause!  I did not have an empty pen to fill, and did not want to use my dip pen as it's nib is super fine and a little harsh on this handmade paper.  I know this Preppy pen is a poorer cousin in the world of fountain pens, but I like it's flow and mark. I feel like I am running down a rabbit hole with no end in sight - these fountain pens may just be my newest addiction!! Painting number 1699 in 1699 days.
ink on paper, 6x4
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Tangle of Roses

Burning the midnight oil tonight with my new assortment of inks and pens!  Trying out each one to see how they work, for every ink is different and responds to water in a wide variety of ways!  More to come later on my personal ink preferences!  Painting number 1698 in 1698 days.
ink on paper, 8x6
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Friday, September 1, 2017

Zinnia in Caroube

Today has flown by like a whirlwind!  I am juggling so many balls - it will be a miracle to keep them all in the air!  My shipment arrived today from the Goulet Pen Company - new pens - TWSBI Eco and a Pilot Metropolitan for my son, J.Herbin Anniversary Ink in Caroube de Chypre and 6 other samples to try. First of all, my goodies were so well packed, they could have been dropped from a plane and been perfectly fine!  Along with a personal note was a tootsie pop!  Of all the art supplies I have ordered through the years, this is only the second company that has impressed me so.  Well done, Goulet Pen Company, you have made me a customer for life.  And, I use a lot of ink!  Painting number 1697 in 1697 days.
ink on paper, 6x6
purchase here