Friday, August 31, 2018

Kathys Kottage

Would you believe this was my first day in Tonganoxie ever?  It always amazes me to find such hidden treasures just 60 miles from home!  This charming cottage is an Air B&B in the making, and will soon be ready for company!  I could not leave without completing two paintings - one in ink and one in oils.  I can already tell I'm going to need more time painting in Tonganoxie!  Maybe I'll return with artist friends and stay right here!  Painting number 2049 in 2049 days.
Sunflower Stroll Best Of Show Winner!!
oil on panel, 9x12

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Packed and ready to head to a paint out by 7am, and thunder started to roll.  Checking the radar, I knew there was quite a front coming, and I did NOT want to drive an hour through it.  So, I did some reorganizing of my studio supplies, vanished a painting, hung another painting, and the rain was still torrential.  I've wanted to paint Chewy again, so I dug out the big gallery wrapped panel and started the composition.  I did actually mark out my panel first, which I hardly ever do.  I had been listening to artist interviews all morning, and two mentioned this method for figure work.  I had learned portrait work years ago using this same principal.  I really found it helpful with the enlarging.  This is a little 9 pound dog, and the canvas is 16x20.  For some reason, the larger size can throw me off proportionally.  Perhaps because I seldom work portraits or figures this large?  I will use this method again, because it is a sure fire way to get a strong likeness!  Painting number 2048 in 2048 days.
oil on gallery wrapped canvas, 16x20

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Home in August

How refreshing to have temps in the 70s with cool breezes!  After an afternoon of family fun and chores, I finally got outside for my daily dose of art therapy.  The more I paint, the more critical I become of my work.  I tried to get that color right on the garden phlox with only cad red and alizarin, but finally threw in the towel and went in after my permanent rose.  Nothing short of that would work.  Magenta is a good choice, too, I simply prefer the color of the rose.  I'll look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow.  If I don't step away now, I may chase that light!  It has changed so quickly, I am actually tempted to do just that!  Yikes!  Painting number 2047 in 2047 days.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

August Sunset Study

Planning to paint my hydrangea, I started to prep some veggies and wild rice for tomorrow.  One look out the window had me grabbing my paints and turning down burners!  The most glorious sky was unfolding - and the near peak color had me painting fast!   Light is SO fleating at sunset, even if I was painting the eastern sky.  I used one brush per main color, so I wouldn't have to clean any of them until I finished.  It still took me nearly 20 minutes, and it was almost dark before I could take a photo!  I really need to do this often to improve my sunset skills!!!  Painting number 2046 in 2046 days.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Shade in the Pasture

On these hot summer days, the best time to go paint is in the morning.  The winds kicked up early, so I sought protection beside the woods.  Beau joined me, jumping up and catching every flying insect that approached!   I need to add a scrubby brush to this pochade, it seems I left one out. I like to use a ratty, well used brush to soften those edges.  A new one leaves too much of a mark.  It is so nice to just walk outside and paint!  No rushing off to a far away place, no time restrictions.  Just me, the countryside, my paints and my dog.  Best office ever.  Painting number 2045 in 2045 days.
oil on panel, 8x10
purchase here

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Mission Antique Mall 305

Browsing through an antique shop is like stepping back in time, and I could spend hours in such a place!  The experience is amplified when I am immersed with my ink and paints at my favorite booth!  With only months left open, the Mission Antique Mall will be closing, so I am capturing the magic while I still can. I use one of my Pendora artisan pens for the sketching, testing the ink lightly to see if it moves. The fine nib is a little hard on this handmade paper, so I lighten my pressure.  The ink is softer and grayer than my usual, so it is an experiment as I add watercolor to it!  It moves more with a wet brush than anticipated, so I'm careful not to work that pigment into the ink too much.  The pen handles well, and the beautiful barrel makes it a joy to use!  I like the sassy dressform on the left, as she is outfitted with a leather hat, red cowboy boots and a holster slung around her waist!  That holster just may be calling my name! Love it!  Painting number 2044 in 2044 days.

Barn Among Wildflowers

One of my favorite places to paint in Marceline is Disney's old barn at his childhood home.  Surrounded by wildflowers and rambling paths, it truly is a wonderful place to immerse oneself in nature.  My first painting of the day, while it was still cool, is my 2043th painting in 2043 days.
oil on panel, 11x14
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Friday, August 24, 2018

Shredd Inked

I spend so many hours at the gym each week, isn't it natural that I would gravitate to inking one at the paint out tonight?  Historic Lee's Summit was the venue, and this evening paint out was so fun!  I used my TWSBI mini fountain pen and Levenger Raven Black ink for this rendering, moving the ink a little with water.  Finishing early, I dashed up to turn it in - and forgot to take a photo on site!  I do that sometimes when I'm in a hurry!  Not a great photo, I hope someone else got one tonight at awards!  This was the Purchase Award for Shredd! Painting number 2042 in 2042 days.
Shredd Purchase Award Winner- Lee's Summit Plein Air

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Booth 305

There is so much to see at the Mission Antique Mall, I could spend all day and barely scratch the surface.  I've painted here several times, focusing on completely different subject matter each time.  Today, this romantic booth full of slips, hats as dress forms caught my attention!  From the same spot, I painted different three vignettes.  This was my second, about 15 minutes from first mark to finish.  This mall is such a cool place, I'm really going to miss it when they tear it down at year's end!  Painting number 2041 in 2041 days.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Rural Kansas Sketched

I have several painting journals that I pick up from time to time, and each time I do I wonder why I don't use them every day!  I don't like to remove journal pages if someone wants one, so the individual sheets make more sense.  Here, I show my tools, all so compact I can take them anywhere.  I like these watercolor half pan sets so much, I think I'll get a couple more classic sets.  One for the car, and one for another bag.  An artist can never have too many supplies!  Painting number 2040 in 2040 days.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Turning Creek

A creek turning and twisting always has my attention.  I love the way it moves through the landscape, calling me to it's edge.  This time, I lay my darks in first.  Working in the golden hour means quickly changing light, so I hold off on the sky until it shows the color I know is coming.  I wish I'd replaced the Off clip on I lost in another creek, because the bugs are coming out!  A few of my paints are getting sticky, I'll have to reload in the morning.  Whatever ultramarine blue I loaded last time, I'm not crazy about it.  It seems a little thinner than my Windsor Newton, and it is not as strong in the mix.  For a color I use a lot, it needs to be very pigmented.  I think I'm finished, but I'll check tomorrow in full daylight to be sure. Painting number 2039 in 2039 days.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Little Lime Hydrangea

Beaten down by the heavy rain, I cut these gorgeous blooms from the hydrangeas flanking my front porch, lifting them from the ground.  The lime green heads have only started blushing at the petal edges, and I can hardly wait to see their full color emerge.  After a very long day, sketching these beauties is just the art therapy I need.  The simple act of sketching centers my thoughts and focus, allowing me to unwind.  I add a little color, and I'm sure I haven't done the blooms justice, but there is always tomorrow to try again.  Painting number 2038 in 2038 days.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

First Mate

I love the sound of graphite skimming over paper.  The soft way it glides over the surface with just enough resistance to leave a mark, is so natural, it is a part of me.  I can almost do it with my eyes closed, the very act of drawing is so ingrained.  I'm very particular about my drawing tools.  For graphite, I only like the 8b, water soluble, by Derwent. I have all the various sizes and kinds of pencils, but this is the only one I use except for the rare mechanical pencil.  I only like a pink eraser, though I have many other fancy ones, the 50 cent one is my favorite by far.  I've tried many papers over the years, but for drawing in graphite, I only use vellum bristol board.  I love the torn edges of my handmade papers, so I very carefully applied that edge to the bristol.  A little more trouble, but SO worth it!  My pressed paper blending stubs are also pictured, a must have!  No touching the paper with fingers!  It will not accept the graphite correctly if you do.  This tiny bag of drawing tools has been many places with me, and is like an old friend.  Painting number 2037 in 2037 days.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

A Distant Rain

I love the misty atmosphere that envelops the landscape with an approaching rain.  Up on a hill like this, I can watch that rain for miles as it moves across the prairie.  Every sky is different, and each cloud holds it's own color.  The heaviness is part of that local color, as is the reflected light bouncing up from the ground. This sky has layers of clouds - and even a lovely warm blue behind the cloud show.  Clouds are challenging, ever changing, and the struggle is to capture their color before they are gone.  I think I could paint the sky every day of my life.  Painting number 2036 in 2036 days.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Koi! ATC

There is something so peaceful about watching koi swimming in a pond.  Their curving shapes gliding gently through the water, until feeding time!  At that point they turn into a mass of wriggling bodies tumbling over one another in search of that last morsel of food!  I begin with an ink sketch, India ink for this one.  I start adding color, pulling a spot from one, a blotch from another, as they all collide and move like a dance!  I find that I really enjoy painting them!  Fast, frenzied, and curious, they're very entertaining to draw!  Just being around them has me longing for my own water garden.  Imagine if I could simply walk outside and paint these beauties anytime I wished.  One day!  Painting number 2035 in 2035 days.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Albert Kister Park

St Charles has been such a wonderful surprise for me!  Here with Tyler's family for the PGA Championship, we are walking distance from the historic district full of fabulous shopping, antique architecture, and the Mississippi River.  Truly a painter's paradise, I am squeezing in paintings whenever I can,  be it first thing in the morning or during little Nolan's lunch break!  My sketch bag disguised as a purse serves me well with my four pens, two watercolor sets, two water brushpens, and assorted paper.  I can start painting at the drop of a hat, and close up fast when I need to.  With so much historic beauty, I really do need more time here!  I definitely need to return with some of my closest artist friends! Painting number 2034 in 2034 days.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Clouds Over the Lane

The skies have been SO exciting the last few days!!  I'm afraid I'm driving my daughters crazy with all my cloud comments (while shopping, getting pedis, buying snacks). I just can't keep my eyes off the sky!  Arriving home too late for paint, I grabbed my ink and got busy.  I've rarely inked clouds before, their very softness has me grabbing the paint every time.  So, the challenge itself was as exciting as the sky show! I sketched lightly, then let my water brushpen fill out the clouds.  I left the overhead lines out until the very end, but had to put them in.  This is the eastern view down my lane, and as such, they just needed to be included.  Such a Midwest thing, after all.  Painting number 2033 in 2033 days. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Stormy Evening

Rainy days are made for painting!  From my perch on the hill, I can see the vistas in all four directions.  With everything from clearing sunset to stormy downfall in the skies, all four directions were very different!  Choosing the storm clouds to the north, some of that clearing western light was bouncing off them.  It is always important to work quickly, especially with the fading light.  In this case, I laid in the dark masses first, followed by the mid-tones.  Lightest parts went in next, blending with my brush as needed.  Barely getting this done before nightfall, this is my 2032nd painting in 2032 days.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Western House

This wonderful building grabbed me the very first time I saw it.  Rich with history, this kind of architecture is rare in Missouri, in fact, I've not seen it before.  The whole place makes me think of Williamsburg. The antique shops in the historic district are amazing and vast.  We didn't see them all, and we spent four days exploring town!  The ink and watercolor is so much faster for me, so my oils were only out a couple days. Pictured here is my plein air set up for ink and watercolor. So tiny, it all fits in a small 6x10 purse.  I LOVE being prepared for little gems like this!  Painting number 2031 in 2031 days.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

North 4th Street Alley

From the back perch of our B&B, this scene down the back alley called to me.  While waiting on my husband, I sketched out the composition with India ink.  Before I could get to the paint, it was time to leave for the historic Mill Stream Inn and some shopping in the oldest part of town.  Knowing the light couldn't possibly be the same in the morning, I ventured out anyway to take a peak.  It was wonderful!  Not quite the same, as different as late light and early light, but the strong light and shadow hit from almost the same masses in different directions!  Yay!  So, while everyone prepared to head out, I painted those masses as quickly as possible!  I'm so glad I did, this painting holds all of the original vision I had the evening before!  Painting number 2030 in 2030 days.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

1129 N 4th Street

With a hot cup of tea and a cool spot in the shade of our B&B's front porch, this charming brick house called to me.  With some quick line work, I started in with my watercolors.  When I first used these little pan sets, I wiped the mixing areas clean after every use, keeping them shiny and new.  Now, I find it's much faster for me to leave those dried mixes on the tray! With a bit of water from my water brushpen, the color reactivates, and I've skipped a mixing step. Often I can just pick up a bit of another color, drop it right into the old mix, and voila, I'm already painting.  I'm all about time saving measures, and this works well with my limited mixing style.  I never would have believed how much is enjoy ink and watercolor painting, just two short years ago. ALWAYS keep learning, the forward progress can be invigorating!  Painting number 2029 in 2029 days.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Main Street in St. Charles

After dropping Mike and Tyler off early at the PGA Tournament, I took a quick spin through historic Main Street in St. Charles.  That early morning light can't be beat, and with little traffic I decided to do a quick paint before heading back to the house.  This vintage town is full of paintings everywhere I look, so the choosing was difficult!  A street scene was certainly in order, and a little tricky on a 6x6!  It was fun to visit with people as they walked down to the park. I even met a man who grew up just blocks from me in Overland Park, Kansas!  Small world!  Painting number 2028 in 2028 days.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Creek at Frontier Park

St. Charles, Missouri is rich with history and charm!  This gorgeous creek winds from the Missouri River, a bridge leading the way to Frontier Park.  It is so much fun exploring a new place, most especially with paint!  I got down in the woods a little for a perch on the high bank. I painted quickly and as I cleaned up, my Off clip on popped off my pocket and plummeted 12 feet  straight down. Well shoot, at least it wasn't any of my real gear!  Painting number 2027 in 2027 days.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Along the Walking Path

The walking path at Prairie Fire Winery leads one up past the vineyard to the peak of the hill.  Winding to the east offers a bird's eye view over I 70, and turning to the west winds through the prairie grasses around the another hill.  So peaceful is this walk, only bees and meadow larks accompany me.  I've grown so used to the dense and lush foliage of Missouri, I forget how truly wide open these spaces are.  In fact, there are few trees, mostly skirting houses or outbuildings.  The prairie has a beauty all it's own, and I'm so happy to have a small part in capturing it for others.  Painting number 2026 in 2026 days. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Phlox and Potato Vines

The garden phlox is really showing off this year, especially against the neon green of the potato vines!  We've had just enough rain to keep them lush - so now I'm busy capturing them in paint!  I like to add permanent rose to my palette when I paint these flowers, the cads and alizarin just don't quite achieve their color.  I'm painting small and using a scrubby brush to lay down those color masses.  I find I'm using the Princeton catalyst polytips for the grunt work, saving my Rosemary and silver whites for the finish work only.  Why not?  These polytips really take a beating and keep on making the mark.  I'm so glad I stepped into the world of synthetic brushes after a lifetime belief that natural bristles ruled.  Painting number 2025 in 2025 days.
purchase here

Monday, August 6, 2018

Clouds Over the Flint Hills

I seldom work from color studies, but I do so now.  After so much time in the field, I find it limiting.  Though I've been there, sketched and painted a small panel, I long to paint the whole thing in the field!  Surely, this is a wonderful way to expand and learn, but it feels more like homework.  Perhaps I am just too spoiled with the wind in my hair, sun at my back, surrounded by the beauty of nature, breathing it, feeling it, immersed in it.  How can I return when the sky will never be as it was on that day?  You can be sure that I now keep larger panels in my car as well.  I will not find myself without one again. Painting number 2024 in 2024 days.
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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Umbrellas and Lavender

How can I still find new places after all these years of painting in Door County?  Somehow this one escaped my notice until this year, and what a find!  Wonderful wine, food, and ambience, embellished with umbrellas and lavender!  Several of us artists set up to paint (after our food and wine, of course), and I landed in this spot.  I loved the feeling of space from this angle, complete with my fellow artists sprinkled in!  Have I mentioned how fabulous it is to paint in such a setting?  I'll think of this place when I encounter snakes in the wild, without a soul in sight!  Painting number 2023 in 2023 days.
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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Purple Coneflowers

While sitting for another artist in the garden of Edgewood Orchard Gallery, I sketched first the artist, then moved to the flowers that flanked him.  My urban sketch pack always at my side, I first inked those lovely coneflowers.  With a fresh and lively stroke, I dropped in a like watercolor with my water brush pen.  The very best thing about these pens is their ability to hold water (without leaking into my purse) which I can push out with a little pressure.  No other water needed, which is perfect for sitting on a stone ledge and painting in the garden!  Oh how I LOVE the artist's life!  Painting number 2022 in 2022 days.

Friday, August 3, 2018

20th Street Inked

With a little time between a gallery drop off and the Urban Sketchers KC event at the City Market, I found an appealing street scene.  Pulling out my favorite pen, I couldn't get the ink to flow.  It has been a constant at my side, could I have used up all the ink?  Apparently so!  Thank goodness for the back up pen, another TWSBI, this one loaded with a black brown I mixed myself using Levenger inks.  I really love the vintage look of this ink, and it moves well with water.  With so many pens, I sometimes forget to use the ones with colored ink.  I really need to pick this one up more often!  Painting number 2021 in 2021 days.
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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Pin Oak Inked

Mature trees make interesting subject matter!  Inspired by another artist to study tree shapes, I my pen to the trees!  I begin with sketchy marks up the trunk, marking shadow areas.  With a very light touch, I barely mark the background. A wet brush does the rest, moving ink and getting my mid-tones.  I finish with a little detail work, careful to save my whites. With ink, once those whites fill in, there is no getting them back!  Two previous tree studies spread to black before I could stop the water flow!  I may just try to soak that paper and see if I can reclaim it from the dark side!  Lol!  Painting number 2020 in 2020 days.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Yellow House Hydrangeas

Waking to strong winds along that coast, plans for plein air at Cave Point were scrapped. A little disappointed, we headed to the beauty of downtown Bailey's Harbor.  The flowers are gorgeous in front of so many buildings, but this yellow house with it's overflowing hydrangeas kept my attention.  With the changing plans, time ran short and my painting window dwindled to an hour.  No worries!  I chose an 8x10 panel and started laying paint without sketching it first. I often do this to make up a little time in the field.  It seems I NEVER have enough painting time!  Another obstacle?  I only had a dark panel primed for a nocturne, so this was my first time to paint a daytime panel on such a dark surface.  I ended up using more paint just to get good coverage, but other than that, it wasn't too distracting.  Every day is a lesson in the field.  Painting number 2019 in 2019 days.
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