Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Morning in the Greenhouse

This was our day to explore Farmington, and this sweet greenhouse was my first stop in town after taking a quick spin through the historic district. I am forever drawn to a greenhouse full of blooms, so when I was offered a spot inside to paint - I jumped on it! The flats full of geraniums sealed the deal!  It was a chilly morning, but I was cozy inside as I painted the morning light.  Thoroughly enjoying my time, the painting unfolded naturally, surrounded by such beauty.  The family running this place is so friendly and welcoming, it really was a joy to paint here.  The icing on the cake is that this painting now has a home here!  Painting number 4233 in 4233 days. 

Monday, May 30, 2022

Stockport Depot

 I loved finding this wonderful old historic red train depot to paint!  It is next to a veterans memorial, and along a bike trail, and it was fun to visit while painting.  I meet such good people everywhere I go, it restores my faith in humanity in crazy times. Wishing you all a happy Memorial Day!  Painting number 4232 in 4232 days. 

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Rocket Slide

What fun to find a rocket slide - so like one from my childhood - in Keosauqua, Iowa!  Several of us slid down this beauty the evening before, so of course I had to paint it!  This park is located in front of the historic Hotel Manning (pictured in the background on the left) along the Des Moines River.  A cool breeze wafted up from the water as I worked, and children played nearby.  There was even Misty's Ice Cream shop behind me on the corner!  This charming place is a joy to paint - and I'm happy I have finally made it to Van Buren County to paint!  Painting number 4231 in 4231 days, and this painting has a new home tonight! 

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Living Water Farms

This was our second attempt to paint this place - and I'm so glad we found a good way in!  We attempted it from the south on Thursday, but the heavy rains caused rushing water over the road.  What a treat to drive in and find such a lovely place!  The dramatic angle of the architecture sweeping down the hill was irresistible!  Families played in the water, fished and picnicked all day on the grounds, visiting as they walked by.  I set up on this rather step hill, close to the lake, and loved every minute of my time here!  Painting number 4230 in 4230 days. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

River Valley Horsecamp

What a treat to get to paint at a horsecamp for the Quick Paint at Van Buren County plein air event!  With horses and an assortment of barns and rings, this place is eye candy to this artist!  I wanted to paint this as soon as I pulled in, so I pulled over to get out and look.  Already 3:00, I had to eat my lunch salad before painting, I was just too hungry to wait until 5:00. So, I used up 40 minutes of my quick paint time eating, while studying the scene before me.  Once I started, I painted fast, laying down light, shadow and chroma.  Horses and riders passed by and visited, adding so much to the whole day.  I sure wish I had more time to paint here, this place is amazing!  It was an honor to win the Quick Paint, too!  Painting number 4229 in 4229 days. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Day in Bentonsport

I've never been to this part of Iowa, and I love finding this historic village nestled by the Des Moines River.  So charming, I started this one before the rain in a hurry to get the panel covered.  I could hear the rain start before I could see it hitting the other side of town.  I grabbed my gear and rain coat and dashed to the gazebo!  Making it before the downpour, I settled in to finish the masses.  About half way done, I worked on values and chroma until bringing it to a finish.  I shared this gazebo with another artist - Troy, who sang early Beatles songs that I did not know, trying to get me to sing harmony!  It was a lovely day spent by the River, with many Amish families in town for a picnic outing.  Painting number 4229 in 4229 days. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Holton Family Farm

It was such a lovely day to paint the Holten Family Farm.  This place reminded me of my Great Uncle Richard's farm, with many outbuildings and livestock.  The chickens would enter the yard fun the left, and the big, sweet dog at my feet would jump up to herd them back!  I painted them in loosely while they dotted the yard.  Just feet from me, baby calves had their own housing, so very curious about what I was doing!  The closest one jumped every time he heard a distance tractor start up, and pulled on his tether in an effort to reach me.  I remember hand feeding the calveson my uncle's farm with giant plastic baby bottles.  It was the coolest thing! I really love soaking in the essence of the place as I paint.  There's nothing like baby calves, chickens and a big sweet dog for painting companions!  Painting number 4228 in 4228 days. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

17791 Chieftain

I love getting to paint a new area, while staying in an historic B&B.  I have such a fondness for old places, I seek them out when traveling.  I also love to sketch these special places in ink and watercolor, memorializing this moment in time.  This stone farmhouse is now a B&B, on this working farm, which is also an event space.  On that front porch, I enjoyed my morning hot tea before starting my day, returning to lunch there.  In the evenings, live music wafted over as a few of us artists shared a bottle of wine on the back porch, enjoying each other's company.  My bedroom is the second floor windows featured, a comfortable place to rest after a day full of painting.  I hope this farmhouse and farm will stand another 100 years for other generations to enjoy.  Painting number 4227 in 4227 days. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Monet's Bridge Impressions

What a beautiful day for painting in Monet's Garden, at the Overland Park Arboretum!  It was planting day at the arboretum, and this garden was full of gardeners in the morning. So after painting the Erikson garden first, I returned to capture it's beauty.  It is a later spring this year, and the lily pads are only beginning to grow on the pond.  I've never seen the Dame's Rockets bloom here - so I had to stand near them, including them in my painting.  I only just added them to my own garden last year, a transplant from my youngest daughter's new house, and I love them.  I've seen them for years along roadsides and abandoned old farmhouses, a vintage bloom from years gone by.  I love the memories flowers evoke, and the timeless nature of every bloom.  Painting number 4226 in 4226 days. 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Art Festival

The scheduled paint out during festival hours was the "People" theme paint, and what better place to paint than the crowd watching performers?  Using my ink fountain pen, I sketched out the scene, realizing I was running out of my favorite black ink again!  It seems that I need two pens full of ink when painting for an event.  I can really go through the black ink!  Once the sketch was complete, I started adding the watercolor.  I didn't have enough black to use as I normally would, so I switched to Robert Oster's Thunderstorm ink in another pen in my bag.  This color is a great shadow color, and I often use it for that purpose.  It pushes a little violet and turquoise when wet.  In fact, the signature inks in this series are really great.  Once complete, I framed it and turned it in, then spent the rest of the day with Mike and my mom.  They came out to enjoy the festival and all the live entertainment.  What a fun way to spend the day!  Icing on the cake was that I won the theme paint with this one!  Painting number 4225 in 4225 days. 

Friday, May 20, 2022

Kane Family Farm

I thought I had taken several photos of this drawing in the field, with the farm behind it, but my camera failed on each of them.  Thank goodness I took one more in the trunk, before framing!  This working farm is dotted with barns and outbuildings, many in stone, and known as the Kane Family Farm.  I do love rendering it in pen and ink, so fitting to the era it was built.  I stayed in that farmhouse while participating in the Tonganoxie plein air event, and it was charming and comfortable.  So much better than the very long commute each day!  Painting number 4224 in 4224 days.

Thursday, May 19, 2022


I could not have imagined such an inspiring cafe scene as this, when I headed up to the city's west side to meet artist friends. They all knew this place - and somehow I never knew it existed!  The light poured onto those red umbrellas, lighting up the whole place.  This first sketch I've done in ink and watercolor, but I am already painting this in oils in my mind! Something large and flashy, and very French in feel - it will be a if in visiting a French Cafe every time I walk by the painting!  I can hardly wait to start!  Painting number 4223 in 4223 days. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Last Days of the Old Barn

The rain had cleared as I finished my first painting of the day.  This scene was behind me, while all artists faced the large regal barns.  This may have been the first barn, replaced with bigger and better ones who still help their stature on this farm.  This barn had to be painted, if only to memorialize it's service in days gone by.  These run down barns dot the midwest landscape, and strong winds blew them down with each storm.  I'm glad I could draw this barn before it is no longer standing. Painting number 4222 in 4222 days. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Helen's Hilltop

 I arrived on location just as the storm rolled in, abs all went dark as night. Loving the nocturne feel of the place, I started knocking in those colors within my car, with my wipers on. The sky opened a little with that warm early morning light - so I painted those fleeting colors while I could.  The reflections on the wet pavement were the icing on this cake.  Today, the star of this painting was the weather, adding drama to this biker bar. I was surprised to see those bikes out in the rain, but I guess they were not in any shape to drive the night before. I'm happy I could paint them in - and this painting won the Purchase Award for Helen's Hilltop!  Painting number 4221 in 4221 days. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Garden at the Barns

Not every day en plein air is sunshine and roses.  I started this oil painting in the rain, careful to keep my panel tilted downward to avoid the water.  Sketching in paint my composition, I quickly blocked in the masses with a large brush. It is important to get paint on the panel before it gets wet, even if loosely.  Once covered, I could then face it up a little to polish my edges and values.  Often times those are a little off when facing down in the rain, lol! I always knock in that light when I start, trying not to chase the light as it changes - especially in the rain. As the sky began to clear, the scene began to change, and it was a good thing I had already captured that magic, because it evaporated with the rain!  So happy this humble painting won the "Barns" theme paint at the Tonganoxie plein air event - and it has a new home, too!  Painting number 3420 in 3420 days. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Flowers by the Barn

What a treat to find such a lush landscape surrounding this amazing stone barn in rural Tonganoxie!  It was lovely to paint with birdsong and bees buzzing from bloom to bloom!  The painting unfolded organically as I marked all the masses, afraid I'd lose that early morning light.  The purple and green played so well together, it was a joy to stand here and paint.  A couple of snakes rustled out of the small pond, and headed away from me, and only one tick landed on me - and was easily brushed away.  Got to love nature when you're in it every day!  Painting number 3419 in 3419 days. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Night at Kane Family Farm

The live music and people gathering were simply irresistible to this artist!  With gear in tow, I set up with a vantage including the large barn, and started painting the light.  I'm using a new clip-on mighty light that I bought from Judson Art Outfitters, to help with night painting.  I never use lights, choosing instead to paint under street lights when working at night, but the pastoral landscape does not offer lights!  So far, so good, but I'm not sold on the color of the light yet, it is warmer that what I see in the landscape. It's size and ease of use are a big plus, though.  I won't know how this really turned out until tomorrow - in the daylight!  Painting number 3418 in 3418 days. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Wisteria at the Bridge

I could see this gorgeous wisteria blooming from the road I drive in on - and had to seek it out.  I had painted nearly this whole scene before a family stopped in the bridge, dropping bread crumbs into the water.  From near and far, red koi streamed in, shining in the sunlight!  I didn't know they were there until that moment!  Another visitor commented on what a lovely thing to paint - and I started doing in those forms like crazy!  Catching the couple as they gazed into the water, I brushed those strokes in quickly, and added highlights to the koi. They were little more than red orange dashes in the water, but oh were they beautiful!  What luck to get to paint such a sight - and to experience it!  Painting number 3417 in 3417 days. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Spring Comes to Sunflower Hill

Arriving for the Premiere Artist's Paintout, I found my location before I even checked in.  Normally I would use my oils for this paint-out of award winners during the last 5 years, but this place called for ink and watercolor.  I sketched out the very detailed drawing before adding any color, visiting with the public as they floated from artist to artist. I loved the spring colors singing on that hill, and it was a joy to paint this on such a lovely day.  So happy my painting will stay with this place, and add to other work I have on these walls.  Painting number 3416 in 3416 days. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Lake Sherwood

I had to scramble down a steep hillside to paint this in the morning light - good thing I've got hiking skills, or I would never have attempted the decline. Towards the bottom of this hill lay some large stones, switchback style, rising from the water's edge.  A house is being built up top, and I was commissioned to come here and paint this view on my largest canvas.  The winds were strong, so strong they blew my hat into my painting, as my whole set up blew backwards towards the water.  Grabbing each with a hand at mid-fall, only a few brushes tumbled out.  But my hat now wore some of that lake painting!  As we gathered later at the clubhouse, multiple artist friends were is disbelief, they couldn't believe I actually had paint on me!  Well, it was an extreme plein air day, and I later removed that paint with the Dawn I carry in my art bag.  Took a little elbow grease, but it did all come out.  Painting number 3415 in 3415 days. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Japanese Garden

Loose Park is known for it's Rose Garden, but only one stand of yellow roses are currently blooming.  June is when the first blush is, and it promises to be spectacular.  This Japanese Garden is full of lush color, with azaleas shining against the fresh spring foliage. It is very windy today, so I positioned myself right inside the small, covered arbor, seeking some relief from the battering.  As the wind raged, gusts flew through like a wind tunnel, so I was never very far from my gear.  That arbor might be enough cover in a light rain, so I take notice for another day.  Here with the Monday watercolorists, I will check in with another event here at 2:00 - Art Flood. These 90+ days are certainly feeling like summer - and I sure hope the wind lets up tomorrow!  Painting number 3414 in 3414 days. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Raymore Presbyterian Church

This beautiful old church is just down the street from Grandma Bessie's old house, and I have often passed by it running errands.  It has changed through the years, losing a wonderful old house in the same property a while ago.  I've sketched it, but I think this is the first time I've used ink and watercolor.  There is a new gallery wall at a Raymore venue - Centerview, so I am working on a few new Raymore paintings just for the space.  This one replaces another just sold of the Hawk Ridge Amphitheater.  It's fun painting so close to home, and I think it would be nice to do the same for Belton. Painting number 3413 in 3413 days. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Hidden Lake by the Bluff

Setting up towards the edge of the bluff, I had a good vantage of the hidden lake and trail.  Not at all afraid of heights, I was a little worried that my gear might blow off the bluff - so I scooted back a few feet.  There is a hiking trail up to the tip of that bluff, with a wonderful view over the Missouri River.  Once in a while, I could see a hiker along that ridge.  I stood in the sun for this one, with one hand on my pochade as I worked.  Using a palette knife to define the rock face, I spread thicker paint on the masses.  My paint is starting to oxidize, as I forgot to refresh it between events.  The thick paint actually helps me here, lending itself well to the planes. There is also quite a bit of organic debris that has blown into my paint and palette - so there really is a piece of this place in this painting!  Painting number 3412 in 3412 days. 

Friday, May 6, 2022

Wine Country Road

This road leading back to the vineyard is a perennial favorite of mine, hooking me each time I return to the Sugar Creek Winery.  In the early light, I composed my painting, blocking in masses with my paint. As I worked, I lifted my mug of hot, loose leaf tea from the ground at the side of the road. As I lifted it to my mouth, I noticed something black on my black mug.  I tried to brush it away, but it was stuck, so I pinched it with my fingers to lift it up - and guess what it was on the closed mouth of my mug?  A LEACH!!  I wiped off the lid, removed it to drink from the edge, and put my other hand below it to bring out to my mouth, and guess what was on the bottom mug?  ANOTHER BLACK LEACH!!  Well, that's a plein air first for me, I've never seen leaches out of the river, let alone on the edge of a road leading uphill.  I finished my painting, enjoyed the morning and forgot about those silly leaches.  I put my mug on the road after that!  Painting number 3411 in 3411 days. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Augusta Winery

In all the years I've been plein air painting in Augusta, this is the first time I've painted these red buildings in the landscape, and the fresh, spring greens offered the perfect stage for this winery to shine.  Several years ago, pre-pandemic, Teddy and I taught a Plein Air Wine and Paint in the red building to the left.  Jessica from the Augusta Winery set up the space, brought in wine, and helped us with all the details - making it a fun event for everyone!  So, the fond memories I have here made this painting a joy to paint, and I'm happy that someone else can now enjoy this painting in their home. So fun to paint such a place!  Painting number 3410 in 3410 days. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Spring at the Winding Creek

Spring was late this year, barely showing color in the trees when I arrived in Augusta.  I love those first gentle signs of spring, a blush of rose in some trees, while others burst forth in a yellow green flurry of leaves.  So much earth is visible when the foliage is still in the bud, it adds interest and depth to the landscape. I found a new spot on the Katy Trail from which to paint, and the many curves of the creek make this painting a joy!  I love how very deep this view is, so peaceful, surrounded by birdsong. I could paint here every day, and not tire of this place.  I will certainly be back next year.  Painting number 3409 in 3409 days, and this painting is now showing at Gallery Augusta. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Into New Melle

What fun to paint the road into New Melle with ink and watercolor!  After painting the road into town from the north, I settled on this spot for the next one.  I've run out of all larger papers, so am painting 8x6 today, which will frame to 10x8.  Using my view finder, I closed in on this specific view to paint, finding my best composition within that frame.  I love the bright blue on that building - it adds a lot of pop to this small town scene.  Raining off and on, I had to hop back in the car twice - to protect my work.   Watercolor, ink, and rain do not play well with each other!  I finished and framed, then Teddy was ready to have her car back, so my next sketch had to wait for later!  Happy this painting found a new home at the pop-up gallery show at the Quarry Winery!  Painting number 3408 in 3408 days. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Morning at Lake Creek

This farmhouse turned winery sits high upon a hill, with sprawling views all around.  Picking my spot carefully, I knew rain would be blowing in from the south and west.  Finding cover at the north edge of a shelter, I found my composition in the landscape, and started drawing in ink.  On misty, rainy days, I must work fast to protect paper and ink.  The cotton handmade paper absorbs water from the atmosphere, which will add flow to the ink - sometimes far too much spread!  As I finished, the light rain was paused long enough for me to grab a frame and get the drawing between glass. Once framed and turned in, I could sigh in relief and move on to the oil painting inspired by this piece. Painting number 3407 in 3407 days. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Welcome to New Melle

As I rushed up this road headed to old town New Melle, the fabulous "Welcome to New Melle" mural painted on the old shed stopped me in my tracks!  I turned around, knowing I would have to paint this view!  Choosing ink and watercolor to express the fresh spring greens and colors, I set up under a cedar tree for shelter from the approaching rain. It worked for a while, but I was soon heading for the car to let the weather clear.  I'm so happy I could finish when it let up - and happy this painting has a new home, too!  Painting number 3406 in 3406 days.