Thursday, May 31, 2018

Discovery Pond

Some days, I long for the natural, unkempt landscape, and this was one of those days.  Just being surrounded my nature is restorative.  I remembered this pond from last year, and was already envisioning the painting to come.  Once there, most of the water's surface was covered with tiny green tree debris - there were virtually no reflections!  Not yet dissuaded, I put pen to paper to establish a clear compositional plan.  Well, I decided it would just be too much work to transition into paint!  This is the real benefit of inking first - I just saved myself some time!  Painting number 1957 in 1957 days.
ink on paper, 4x6
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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Monet Painting his Garden

Today I am experimenting with a new paper I picked up at my favorite local art store - Creative Coldsnow.  This one is a little creamier in color than my usual paper, and has a stiffer, yet thinner feel.  When I drop a little water on it - the paper turns very transparent until it dries.  The ink bleeds well, though does not move as readily as watercolor paper.  I love the long fibers in it, which leave wonderful ragged edges.  This is a printer's paper, which I've never tried before. The jury is still out on it's use for actual watercolor, but I think it could be magical for the inks.  I'm hoping to draw a larger one on site in the morning,  since the trial went so well!  Painting number 1954 in 1954 days.
ink on paper, 6x9
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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Erickson Water Garden Inked

I have a couple of pieces of paper that are in a long format, and this location was the perfect spot for this composition.  Unable to get out and paint until the hottest part of the day, I was looking for the deep shade!  I nestled in between trees behind a bench to do my drawing.  Water was misting my way from the garden behind me, like a cooling breeze, so I worked in comfort!  My favorite pen was out of ink - so I used a back up!  Really, I need to keep ink in my bag for these pens!  I never know I'm out until I am in the middle of a drawing!  I love listening to the music of the waterfalls as I sketch.  Peaceful music indeed.  Painting number 1952 in 1952 days.
ink on paper, 6x12
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Monday, May 28, 2018

Farmhouse Forsythia

I am so blessed to be able to paint such gorgeous landscapes!  I was truly speechless when I turned the corner of an outbuilding to see this lovely scene!  That forsythia was SO large, I had to get on the other side of the fence to capture it and the sprawling farmhouse behind it.  I could have painted a dozen paintings from the top of this hill, every one a stunner.  I LOVE how these opportunities just drop in my lap!  This may be my very favorite painting of the event.  I think this will be hanging in my own farmhouse!  Painting number 1951 in 1951 days.
oil on panel, 11x14
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Sunday, May 27, 2018

7830 Conser House

Two days ago, my daughter and I were at this very corner, working on our paintings for the Stems Painting Challenges.  On onlooker jumped out of his truck, asking if we would paint his house next.  If course we said yes!  Our challenge paintings complete, we returned to paint.  The owner came by to talk, but did not want to see either painting until they were done.  When finished and framed, he chose them both, and I threw in my ink drawing for good measure.  I just love it when my paintings don't even make it home!  Painting number 1950 in 1950 days.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

InterUrban Lofts Inked

I like to first do an ink drawing when I land on a scene.  This location was one of the painting challenges for the Stems Plein Air event - the first one of it's kind.  This trendy building is brand new and full of energetic lines - and quite a challenge to draw!  All those offset lines and boxes - it took me a little longer to get done in ink!  I used my favorite TWSBI Eco mini fountain pen with raven black ink - and nearly ran out of ink!  I draw so much, it seems I am always refilling fountain pens!  Although, the TWSBIs hold more ink than my other brands, by far!  This drawing now has a new home!  Painting number 1949 in 1949 days.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Old and New on Conser

When faced with the architectural challenge of the InterUrban Lofts, I was compelled to capture the whole street scene.  There is a real movement going on in old town Overland Park, where new lofts are merging with the historic old buildings, creating a wonderful environment to live, work and play in.  I wanted to capture a small slice of that in this painting, the two sides of one street.  I had first sketched it in ink, shifting my composition to include more of the scene in paint.  I don't often struggle with a painting, but I did with this one!  All those angles, and the reflective light bouncing off so many surfaces of the lofts drove me a little crazy.  I left the scene thinking I must be crazy to attempt such a thing, and left it bagged two days.  When I pulled it out this morning to frame, it wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered.  In fact, I even liked it.  I guess it was worth all the struggle after all.  This painting number 1948 in 1948 days took the purchase award tonight for Stems Plein Air.  I'm so glad I turned it in!
InterUrban Lofts Painting Challenge Winner - yay!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Farmstead Morning

Morning is my very favorite time to paint on a farm!  Lucky to have my daughter join me, we painted at the Deanna Rose Farm with the Art Mob - which is also part of Stems Plein Air!  We walked over to the original part, drawn to the animals and farm life.  I simply could not pass this scene, complete with horses and goats!  As we painted, one of the girls brought in hay for the goats - and they went crazy!  Practically climbing up the feeder, they all stood together, eating!  I was just ready to paint the goats in, so it was perfect timing!  They were entertaining us the whole time with their funny noises as begging for food!  One even started nibbling on the leg of Michaela's easel!  Painting number 1948 in 1948 days.
oil on panel, 9x12
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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Reflections at Margaret's Pond

After a fun morning of painting in old town Overland Park, my daughter and I did a little art supply shopping and grabbed lunch out. Inspired by the fabulous cloud formations, we headed to the Arboretum for a quick sky paint.  We landed at Margaret's Pond, where the sky show was mirrored in the water.  As I composed, my focus shifted to the reflections and the values.   Sometimes, I just have to let the painting lead me where it will!  Painting number 1947 in 1947 days.
oil on panel, 9x12
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Along the Peony Path

I headed to the Arboretum, planning to paint the rustic pond back in the Kid's Discovery Garden.  After an ink drawing, I decided that composition was just going to make a rather lack luster painting, so I packed up to look for something that wowed me.  When I came upon these peonies, they sure delivered a punch!  They are absolutely stunning this year!  The only bad thing is that I HAD to set up in the full sun to capture this view. I checked it from all angles, but this one had the pop.  Thank goodness I had lathered on some 110 sunblock, I just never know when I might need it!  As I lay in the masses, I try to study the colors really in each mass.  It is so helpful to paint each one in where I see it, meeting the edges later.  Making thoughtful decisions during painting really improves the finish for me.  Every painting is a lesson.  Painting number 1946 in 1946 days.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Allium in Monet's Garden

I am so at home in a garden!  After working a couple of hours in my own flowers, I headed over to the Arboretum with my daughter.  We are both participating in Stems Plein Air this year!  I'm so happy to have some time to paint with her before her internship starts.  Monet's Garden may just be my favorite place to paint here, and today this spot called the loudest.  The allium are simply stunning this year, so I choose a location with these beauties in the foreground.  I drew this out in ink first, then made a slight adjustment before committing to paint.  I do wish I had a little purple on my palette - it would be perfect for those allium!  I'll be sure and bring it tomorrow, because I may just zoom in on those blooms!  Painting number 1945 in 1945 days.  Such a peaceful place to paint!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Log Cabin Magnolias

When I scouted this location, I could not decide whether to paint this cabin with magnolias, or the blue frame house with forsythia just across the walk.  SO, I set up in the middle and painted one and then the other for this Daniel Boone quick paint!  The blooms of spring are fleeting, and it seems like they fade away before I can paint all that I see!  Since this is a quick paint, I begin by laying in masses, the lights and darks, meeting edges occasionally.  I wait until I am further along before committing to those edges.  I like to squint at this stage, allowing the painting to come together intuitively.  This is especially helpful when I'm in a hurry.  Once I near the finish, I check my edges.  Happy with this one, I turn my easel and begin another.  Love those days when I can paint two before heading back!  Painting number 1944 in 1944 days.
oil on panel, 9x12
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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Erikson Garden in Sepia

The Erikson Water Garden is a special place to paint.  There is something about setting up by the water, with the sound of the water trickling over rocks, that lulls me into a serene painting zone.  Thoughts of the two hour quick paint faded away, and I truly melted into my surroundings, really seeing what unfolded before me.  I'm using my newest TWSBI Eco T with ink I blended myself.  The brown black shade lends a timeless feel to this extraordinary garden scene.  I loved this place so much, I framed and turned this in, and returned for another painting here in oils.  I'm going to really enjoy painting here for the next two weeks.  Painting number 1943 in 1943 days.
Ink on paper, 8x10
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Friday, May 18, 2018

Sunset at Erikson Garden

Tonight was the kick off for the Stems Plein Air event at the Overland Park Arboretum.  After wining and dining us artists, we headed into the garden for a two hour quick paint!  After scouting the grounds, I landed in this spot - the waterfall, reflections, allium and sculpture all struck a chord for me.  I first did this in pen and ink, but as the color deepened in the golden hour, I knew I'd have to hike back to the car for my oils!  So, after that first hour, I framed and turned in my ink, then returned to paint it in oil.  I adjusted my composition slightly as the peachy light was growing in the sky.  With only 45 minutes to paint, I painted like a crazy woman, knocking in those masses and getting those lights and darks marked.  The light is fleeting at this hour, so speed is a must.  I finished at the sounding of the horn and turned it in on time!  Two hours well spent indeed!  Painting number 1941 in 1941 days.
oil on panel, 8x10
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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Morning on Kessler Farm

I brought two long panels for this plein air event, and when I saw this location I knew I must use one.  I wanted to capture all the barns, silos, cattle, and the wonderful old farmhouse, so I needed a substrate that was long and narrow. I happened to have a piece of birch that I had cut the night before I left town.  I had not washed a color over it, so I had to start on white.  It is a struggle, when I am used to an underpainting. It was a bit dusty on the gravel lane, especially when the tractors were operating, so there is authentic dust embedded in the oils from this site!  These pastoral scenes are among my favorites to paint - so happy the Kesslers allowed me to capture their place!  Painting number 1940 in 1940 days.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Penn Valley Ruins

This old stone structure is inviting from many different angles.  I first drew this composition from outside of the structure.  With the sun approaching noon,  I could certainly draw this, but paint would have to wait as the light soon hit the front straight on, changing everything about the values.  The back side was also very interesting, giving me the feeling of standing inside, looking out.  This building has called to me every year I've painted here for Plein Air KC, and this is the first time I've answered the call.  I'm sure it won't be the last.  Painting number 1939 in 1939 days.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Kansas City Scout

The Scout draws visitors far and wide, and is truly a Kansas City icon.  When I arrive on location, I like to check out all the angles, looking for the best composition.  After sketching from this side, I hiked down the hill a little for another striking view.  I drew three different ink drawings before I finally got into the paint!  Painting number 1938 in 1938 days.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Redbuds and Barn Watercolor

Today's painting class focused on inking a landscape, then filling in with watercolor.  This scene is one of the first I ever painted in Augusta years ago, only the trees are more mature now. Using one of my favorite journals, I first draw the scene with India ink.  This ink Is permanent and does not run with water, though it will fade a bit.   Once the composition is complete, I start filling in with my watercolor, saving the whites.  As watercolor dries, it lightens considerably, so adjustments are necessary.  I like to tweak the masses while they are still wet, allowing the color to mingle in that special way unique to watercolor.  This journal has quite a bit of sizing in the paper, so I will most likely need to rinse out my brushes before using them again.  Painting number 1937 in 1937 days.
unavailable for purchase

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Creekside in Penn Valley Park

This lovely creek called to me as I approached the stone bridge.  Looking towards the lake, I could not resist it.  I set up on the bridge, wanting to catch all the angles of creek and land.  Their interplay was inviting, so I penned it first, going right into paint.  The light changed quickly, so I kept the first color marks, avoiding the "chasing of the light".  Several artist friends were painting in the same area, which is always fun.  We can visit a little or work in silence, always checking in before moving to another spot.  There is so much camaraderie in the field, it is something I really LOVE about plein air.  Painting number 1937 in 1937 days.
oil on panel, 9x12
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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Penn Valley Park Morning

This peaceful, tranquil painting was like birthing a baby to finally turn it in for judging!  Day one of painting was serene and still, and I used my acrylics for the underpainting.  Day two was windy and sprinkling, and I found myself holding the panel as I painted in oils.  What should have been a breeze to complete took longer than expected, and actually encroached into my quick paint time.  Family arrives in town, we celebrate the graduation of our youngest, and I get a call from another artist about the drop off time for our large pieces.  OMG, I completely forgot about the early time and my painting is as I left it two days ago.  No problem, I'll just do all my paperwork, pop it in the frame and get it downtown in the 3 hour window.  I sprayed it with a quick dry medium, which I forgot in the field, and tried to set it in the frame.  It wouldn't go.  I measure the panel and measure the frame.  The frame is 1/32 of an inch too tight!  No!  After trying to shave the edge with a chisel (to no avail), I gave up and sawed that edge off on the table saw!  Ever try to saw a wet painting?  I tried to shield the still wet paint with cardboard while cutting.  After blowing off the sawdust and touching up a chip, finally this baby was framed.  One just never knows what extreme measures must be taken at the eleventh hour.  What a relief to turn this painting in on time!  Painting number 1936 in 1936 days.
Showing at Buttonwood Art Space
oil on panel, 24x36

Friday, May 11, 2018

Penn Valley Lake Inked

I have tried 14 different shades of brown ink, looking for the perfect color, to no avail.  On a crazy whim, I decided to half load Levenger Cocoa and add Levenger Raven Black to my newest TWSBI Eco T fountain pen (in yellow green!).  Guess what?  I LOVE the color!  It is exactly the rich dark black brown I've been searching for!  That vintage quality it adds to this drawing is timeless!  I found a perfect solution!  The way it spreads with water is also perfect.  It's a great day, my friends!  Painting number 1935 in 1935 days.
ink on paper, 4x6
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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Morning in the Vineyard

I walked all over this vineyard before reaching the back corner, and I knew instantly that this was my spot.  The grand old vines towered over me, and I could actually clip my sketch to the line beside me.  Another gorgeous day had me revelling in the paint, using the brighter sunlit colors in my palette.  I often set my timer on my phone to give me a 30 minute signal to turn in, as I sometimes get completely absorbed in the process. This was one of those times.  When my timer went off, it snapped me back to reality.  A few more strokes and it was time to pack up.  I was a VERY long way from the car.  Painting number 1934 in 1934 days.
oil on panel, 9x12
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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Roanoke Gates Inked

Loving the stonework pillars and the iron gates, I set up in the shade to determine my composition.  With the light streaming through the trees, the landscape was very inviting.  Taking out my favorite pen (which I just refilled with raven black ink) I drew the scene before me.  Today's paper is 100% cotton rag with a rather rough texture and a thicker coat of sizing than my usual paper.  The ink flowed perfectly, and I didn't have trouble with my water brushpen gumming up (as I sometimes do).  This paper is available in town, though it's origin is also India.  Great to find another paper to love, there are so many that fall short of excellent.  Painting number 1933 in 1933 days.  My, how time flies!
ink on paper, 4x6
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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Evening at Penn Valley Lake

I'm painting my large piece in this same location, and worked on it right up to the time of the quick paint.  Grabbing my panel and rain gear, I got my quick paint stamp, and hiked back to my easel.  The light was already so different than earlier, so this painting has a completely different mood to it.  It was very peaceful painting on the bridge, overlooking the lake, and that feeling seeps into each brushstroke.  Now, if only everything was ready for company when I got home.  A girl can dream, can't she?  Painting number 1932 in 1932 days.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Union Station Reflections

I've painted Union Station several times over the years, but I have never stood in this location with that beautiful fountain in the foreground. I LOVE this view!  That warm golden hour light is gorgeous and fleeting, and one must be ready for speed painting to capture that light!  I drop the lines with my favorite TWSBI fountain pen and Levenger Raven Black ink, coaxing those grays with a wet brush.  The energy of the city is in the very air, and slips right into my work with every stroke.  I'm so lucky to get to do this every day.  Painting number 1931 in 1931 days.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Light on the Gate

I have lived most of my life in this area, and I have never been to this park. Furthermore, I did not even know it existed!  The area is gorgeous, and so historic.  After a little scouting, I returned to what grabbed me right at the beginning - this open gate with the dappled sunlight pouring through.  This was a two hour quick paint, and I didn't start my sketch until 20 minutes in.  So, I cut my allotted two hours down to just under an hour and a half.  I had already thought out my painting during the drawing process, so I got right down to business getting those lights marked first.  I pushed into the darks next, getting those masses down.  I work very intuitively when I'm in a race with time, using those last minutes to merge masses and complete the finish work on the edges.  It was a lovely place to spend a couple hours.  I will definitely return here to paint!  Painting number 1930 in 1930 days.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Standing for Liberty

Already a busy morning, I found myself driving from our Urban Sketchers KC event to the Plein Air KC one!  This view grabbed me as I parked along side it.  Setting up on high ground allowed me to become emersed in the sights and sounds of the city.  So many people visit this park, on foot, with their kids or dogs.  I could hear music wafting up from two venues, one obviously celebrating cinqo de mayo.  There's an energy here, one that is new to me.  All of these sounds are different from those in the country.  I don't realize it until I spend quality painting time in this spot.  Can't wait to do it again.  Painting number 1929 in 1929 days.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Union Station Reflections

Starting early this morning, I got all my panels and papers stamped.  I painted at the scout, the ruins in Penn Valley Park, and the lake before heading to Union Station for the artist reception and nocturne quick paint.  With a band playing classic rock, I found this spot on the lawn of Liberty Memorial to paint my nocturne. I really couldn't jump in until 8:45, there was just to much light.  I really like to wait until it is completely dark before "painting the light". I'll try to post a better photo tomorrow in the light of day, but I'm happy with the energy of this piece. Tomorrow will find me back there painting again!  Painting number 1928 in 1928 days.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Looking up Walnut

Walking all over town, I found several street scenes to draw in preparation for painting.  With so many wonderful vintage buildings, it was hard to decide!  I ended up drawing several and ran out of time for the paint!  Oh, if only there were more hours in each day.  I NEVER seem to have enough!  Down to my last ink in my last pen for this one - which reminds me to refill them before tomorrow!  Plein Air KC starts in the morning!  Painting number 1928 in 1928 days.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Yellow House Redbuds

I have wanted to paint this beautiful farmhouse from the first time I saw it!  This year, the redbuds were in full bloom - and I knew I had to squeeze them into my heavy painting schedule!  I've not hit the redbud bloom here for years!  So, I hiked over and found a nice young man who gave me permission to paint.  As I was finishing up, that same man brought me a boxed bottle of Ruby Norton.  Can't wait to try it with my daughters!  Everyone is so nice down here, just one of many reasons I love painting en plein air!  Painting number 1927 in 1927 days.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Night at the Uptown

Nocturne painting is one of my favorite kinds of plein air!  There is something magical about just painting the light!  I like to wait until it is dark enough to see what the street lights will illuminate.  Once I find my subject, I look for a street light to paint beneath.  I want to position my easel so that the light shines in both palette and panel, if possible.  In this case, I was very far from the street light, so everything was darker than I prefer, but I could still see well enough.  I never know for sure how the painting looks until I check it the next morning - and this one is a keeper!  Painting number 1925 inn 1925 days.