Sunday, May 28, 2017

Steps to the Garden

After scouting the gardens of the Overland Park Arboretum, Michaela and I settled into this particular spot.  As she focused on the bees buzzing around the lambsear, I was drawn to the stone steps dropping into this bed, and the flowers flanking the sides.  As I drew,  the temperature dropped, and the wind picked up.  To the west, I could see the telltale darkening of the sky.  The radar on my phone was taking a long time to come up, as I continued to sketch,  one eye on the sky.  It was moving in quickly. When one paints outside as much as I do, I have developed a sixth sense where the weather is concerned,  and how much time I have to get my gear packed and to the car.  I gave Michaela the heads up as I checked the radar. Still not loaded.  Well, it was time to leave.  As we passed another artist,  I mentioned the approaching storm and wished her luck.  She wasn't ready to leave. As we walked to the entrance,  the dark front was already SO MUCH CLOSER!  We packed the trunk and left,  but as we did the skies were talking on a turquoise hue. So, of course,  we went around to the prairie gate.  From it's high ground,  the scene was breathtaking!  All those dark clouds with turquoise and pink - it was all I could do to get back in the car and leave!  All the way home, we were just ahead of the storm.  A few large raindrops,  a little lightening,  a couple of turnoffs for extra photo ops,  and the heavens opened up as we drove up the lane.  I couldn't even grab my palette,  we just raced for the door.  And through that heavy rain I heard a mower engine.  Looking out to the west,  I could barely see Mike,  trying to finish that mowing in the driving rain!  He was completely soaked when he made it to the house!  Painting number i1601 in 1601 days.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Rose Arbor and Poppies

Wowza!  This painting is the 1600th in 1600 days!  Truth be told, there are many others that have not been posted, too!  On this painting journey,  I've gotten faster, and bolder,  jumping into unknown mediums just for the thrill of it! I often do more than a painting a day now, and I'm drawing so much!  Who knew there were so many untried papers out there?  That very first step of "trying" to finish one painting each day was the beginning of a whole new world for me,  one where I could lose myself with reckless abandon in all things art.  My thirst for knowledge is unquenchable, and I am only limited by my imagination.  Want to improve your art skills?  Try a painting a day.  It might just change your life.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Tower Clematis in ink

As I look for compositions to paint, I wander around the garden with pen and paper in hand.  If I feel a subject may be worthy of paint, I first draw it in pen and ink.  With this one,  the light changed too quickly, and I was unable to paint it.  So the scene stands in ink. I really love this fabulous handmade paper,  although my artist friends do not like working with it!  It has ruined me for all other papers - I love it that much!  This drawing makes 1599 in 1599 days!  You know what tomorrow means.........1600!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Butterfly and Poppies

After 5 pen and ink drawings and a complex garden painting,  these remarkable poppies called me back.  They were one of my first drawings of the day, but the rose arbor called louder!  These poppies look very much like giant red carnations - on poppy stems!  They have really opened in the last two days, and even the butterflies noticed!  It was so fun to revel in the gardens today,  especially after the prairie and old town Overland Park yesterday.  There is such a peace here - and oh the aroma of blooms in the air!  This also happened to be Art Mob day,  so I was painting in both capacities.  A very full day,  indeed!  Painting number 1598 in 1598 days!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Standing on the Prairie

The gorgeous clouds called me to the prairie,  but the lush grasses and few trees won my attention. I first worked my sketch to be sure of my composition, and got right to work. It sure felt like rain,  so I had my rain slicker and wellies on.  I was alone on the prairie,  with not an artist in sight, and it was so peaceful.  I had such a relaxing time painting,  then packed it up and headed back to the gate.  Pushing my gear through,  I next shimmied through the gates and started to pack my trunk.  I took off my layers, answered a few messages,  and took off.  On 179th, it dawned on me that I may not have grabbed my easel with the painting attached! I pulled off the road and checked my trunk.  Sure enough,  I left it leaning against the gate!  So glad it was still there!  I need to get more sleep!  Painting number 1597 in 1597 days.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Prairie Romance

After a morning of pen and ink in old town Overland Park, I took Michaela back home and got dinner started in the crockpot.  The clouds were absolutely breathtaking the whole way home.  I dashed right out to set up on the prairie, on the southeast side of the arboretum.  The gate was not open and there were no other painters!  Grabbing my gear,  I shimmied through the gates and started setting up.  With this grand landscape, I wanted to paint large!  I pulled out a 24x18, but I didn't have my large easel.  Always the girl scout,  I grabbed my extra tripod which has mounts for a large panel - and out worked great! I didn't even need to anchor it with weight.  Next dilemma,  my large brushes were in my large box - so I had to make due with what I had,  mediums at best.  I sketched first,  then started slinging paint!  I painted faster as I felt raindrops and heard distant thunder!  Something happens to me when I paint large....I get loose and free with that brushwork,  and the process is exhilarating!  There is nothing like an approaching storm to quicken one's pace in the field!  This large painting is the 1596th in 1596 days :)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Allium in the Garden

The morning was cool and rain threatened.  With a few free hours for painting,  Michaela and I headed to the arboretum. This is the scene I picked out for the quick paint, and today I painted it! These blooms are among my favorites,  and I love capturing them in oils!  In fact,  I'm thinking of getting experimental with them later in the week!  Perhaps some acrylics with a little molding paste!  Before I had gotten the surface covered wth paint - the clouds broke open!  I picked my easel up and walked to the front porch of a shed for cover.  Once I got that paint down,  I could return to my spot with no worries.  The rain had let up,  and I was able to finish and head to my painting class.  Michaela finished a beautiful pen and ink climbing rose and filled it in with watercolor.  So nice to share my painting adventure with my daughter!  Painting number 1594 in 1594 days.