Tuesday, April 30, 2013

First Blush of Spring

First Blush of Spring
Oil on panel, 12x9
Augusta Shore Paint Out
This very rainy day was a challenge to find places with enough cover to paint from.  In fact, I heard it rained 5+ inches on this day!  My first painting had been done from the front porch, pushed up as close as I could get to the house.  For this one, I was in the garage with the door open - until the rain was blowing so hard we had to lower the door until it let up a bit!  I have never painted in such a heavy rain!  That is the fun of plein air - you never know what kind of weather you will get!  This is painting number 117 in 117 days :)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Reflections of Klondike

Reflections of Klondike
Oil over acrylic with pastel on panel
Klondike Paint Out
The water of the lake here at the Klondike State Park is so clear and icy blue.  The white sands surround this gem - and the whole landscape begs to be painted.  I started this with the early morning light - on a panel I had primed for a nocturne.  So, I had to first wash over the dark surface with a blend of white and yellow acrylic before I could sketch out my composition in pastel.  I wonder what would have happened if I started this directly on the dark surface instead?  I am going to have to try that one day soon!  This painting makes 116 in 116 days :)
On location

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Creek at Vineyard Hill

The Creek at Vineyard Hill
Oil on panel, 8x10
Vineyard Hill Paint Out
On location for this painting
This beautiful creek winds gently beside the drive into Vineyard Hill.  This is my second painting from this paint out, and the temperature had warmed considerably from the freezing cold and snow of the morning.  Peaceful and quiet, this was the perfect way to end the day, before heading up to Blumenhof Winery.  The Virants were so gracious and friendly, it was simply a wonderful painting experience.  With the lake, creek, woods, barns, and the amazing high lookout point from which to paint - it was just a heaven for us artists!  We did go a bit too far on the high road up past the look-out.  Teddy was driving, and I had to move one fallen tree from the path.  We came upon another - and it looked like we would not clear it in her SUV.  The road was so tight and winding, that I had to get out in the rain to guide her as she backed up until she hit a spot where she could turn around.  Just another wonderful plein air adventure!  Painting number 115 in 115 days.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Montelle Magic

Montelle Magic
Oil on panel, 16x12
Montelle Winery Paint Out
After 8 years of participating in the Augusta Plein Air Festival, we finally had beautiful weather for the Montelle Winery Paint Out!  We have endured, heavy rain, storms, hail, freezing cold temps through the years, but now, I have been able to paint from the terrace overlooking the amazing hills of Augusta.  The landscape is breathtaking - simply meant for paint and panel.  This one is my 114th painting in 114 days.  I am so tired from all the festivities - I may just sleep clear through tomorrow!

Friday, April 26, 2013

First Flowering Crab

First Flowering Crab
Oil on panel, 8x10
I started painting this one in the middle of a good rain.  I had dropped off a painting for judging, and Teddy and I had an hour before we were to get back for the results.  So, we set up in a gazebo (for shelter from the rain), on a hill, to paint this glorious crabapple tree.  The rain steadily increased, building up to thunder, as we frantically painted to capture the beauty with our paints.  The wind was blowing the rain in, and my oil palette had water pooling on the surface.  I didn't want to stop.  The thunder didn't sound close.......in times like this, my logical self steps aside, letting my creative self take over.  An hour later, we had to pack up and get back for the social - which was fabulous!  It is never easy to leave a painting when I'm in the zone.  I returned to this today, to add the final touches.  This makes 113 paintings in 113 days.  Come see the show tomorrow at Mount Pleasant Winery - if you happen to be near Augusta, Missouri :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Bluffs of Klondike

The Bluffs of Klondike
Oil on panel, 6x12
This is my second painting of the day - done quickly and with the freedom that comes from having your first piece framed and ready to turn in.  Painted at the Klondike State Park in Augusta, these majestic scenes are all over the park!  The weather was warm , the winds were calm, and the sun was out - a perfect day for painting.  On this day I painted three different landscapes - although my sunset needs quite a bit of work!  This is my 112th painting in 112 days - and I have got to get to bed before I fall asleep with my laptop!  Can't wait to sleep in tomorrow :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Less Traveled
Oil over acrylic with pastel, 16x12
This morning at sunrise, I was out up on the hill overlooking the Virant estate - Vineyard Hill.  As snow fell around, I scouted the perfect spot for my first painting of the day.  This HAD to be painted from the middle of this narrow lane to the crest of the hill.  Each time another painter wanted up or down, I had to pick up my easel and hold it out of the way until they were through.  This magical location was worth all the trouble.  Our hosts were SO gracious - and the chili was perhaps the best I have ever had!  This makes the 111th painting in 111 days - I'll be at Klondike Park tomorrow :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rebirth and Renewal

Rebirth and Renewal
Oil on panel, 12x9
This beautiful little church is in the heart of Augusta, and I have wanted to paint it for years!  We found a good covered porch with this view - and started laying paint on panel.  It was raining steadily as I worked.  Once I had all the masses in, the clouds opened up to shed a few rays of light right through the middle of my scene!  I brushed them in quickly - before they disappeared.  Everything has been washed so clean by the heavy rains - the spring colors are simply bursting forth!  This one makes the 110th painting in as many days, and I have another sunrise paint in the morning :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Babbling Brook

Babbling Brook
Oil on panel, 18x14
Mount Pleasant Winery - Winning Website Painting
Private Estate Paint - 3rd Place
The weather was absolutely perfect today for painting!  Warm temps, mostly sunny, and a calm breeze until the finish - a wonderful day of painting on the Shipley Estate.  This creek ran the whole length of their property, and offered many amazing paint sites.  After picking several locations, I decided on the one that was the furthest away!  I took my time, enjoying the paint with the brook babbling over the rocks beside me. It was so secluded, it was like being nestled away in a private outdoor studio - with only one other artist close by.  Sometimes a painting just flows from the brush - this was one of those paintings!  Winning 3rd Place today - and Mount Pleasant Winery's Painting with the most votes - this is my 109th painting in 109 days :)
John Lasater judging this event

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunrise at the Gray House

Sunrise at Gray House
The first paint of today was at Chandler Hill Winery, which sits high on a hill, with amazing views on all sides.  They served us a wonderful breakfast reception afterwards - which was so delicious!  This was my second sunrise paint in a row - and after 4 paint outs between yesterday and today - I'm a bit tired now!  This image is not so clear.  I had to take it with my phone, inside and at night.  I will replace it with a better one later in the week, when I have time to catch my breath!  This is painting number 108 in as many days.  I am turning in early tonight :)
On location

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lift-Off at Sunrise

Lift-off at Sunrise
Nobeleis Winery
Oil on panel, 14x11
The Nobeleis Winery invited the artists of the Augusta Plein Air Festival to come paint the hot air balloons lifting off at sunrise this morning.  We had to check in at 6:00am to start painting (SO early after the sunset paint at Balducci last night!)  The sunrise was beautiful - and the balloons made such excellent painting subjects!  I am so glad to have been able to attend this event! Where else can an artist set up to paint hot air balloons in our region?  This makes painting number 107 in 107 days.  I love painting in plein air :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Birdbath at Sunrise

Birdbath at Sunrise
Oil on panel, 11x14
So, this is day three of the Augusta Plein Air Festival, and I painted this one at the Sunrise Paint at Frisella's Nursery.  The morning was SO cold, and the wind was absolutely biting!  Frisella's was so gracious to allow us to paint in the greenhouse!  Surrounded by garden beauty and flowers, it was hard to narrow down a painting subject!  Two scenes from outdoors were also calling my name - but the wood stove and a warm place to paint won the contest!  This was my first painting of the day - and thoroughly enjoyable!  I could paint the gardens in all their glory all day long.  I love the color and movement, the breath of life that flows through the foliage and flowers.  We next did a little scouting for paint spots before heading to Balducci's for the Sunset Paint.  I will post that painting another day.  This is painting number 106 in as many days.  I'd better get to bed - I have another sunrise paint in the morning!
On location

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Redbud Rhapsody

I had such a wonderful time painting in Augusta Shores today!  This little piece of heaven is just outside of the front door in my Augusta home at the Curry's.  Sheltered from the rain by the overhang, I painted this view as my first painting of the day.  The redbuds are just starting to show their color - and I have been wanting to paint them for a whole year now!  It has been years since we have caught the redbud bloom in Augusta.  The residents host a WONDERFUL chili supper at the end of the day to celebrate the occasion - with many desserts to top it off!  It is always a premier event in the Augusta Plein Air Event - and SO wonderful to see so many artist friends and catch up!  It feels just like a family reunion!  Of all plein air events - this is my very favorite - the community welcomes the artists with open arms, and the friends we have met through the years are here to cheer us on!  So amazing, I could paint all day and all night in such a setting as this!  This is painting number 105 in 105 days - I know, it just sounds crazy town to me, too!  I just don't know how I've been able to get it done.  It will be EASY these next 8 days :)
Redbud Rhapsody
Oil on panel, 12x16
Augusta Shores Paint-Out

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring at Peace Chapel

This beautiful chapel is located in the lovely village behind the Daniel Boone Farm.  This is the first day of my favorite plein air painting venue  - the Augusta Plein Air Event!  We drove through very heavy fog all the way here, to have it lift off into a beautiful spring day.  It was actually hot as we finished - a steamy 82 degrees.  It is always like a family reunion to come back to this area!  So many friends and fellow artists - it is just so fun to catch up!  Painting number 104 in 104 days.  I hope we don't get all of the storms expected tomorrow!
Spring at Peace Chapel
Oil on panel, 12x9
Daniel Boone Farm Paint Out

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Climbing Pink Roses

Climbing Pink Roses
Oil on panel, 6x6
I have been extremely busy getting panels and frames prepared for the Augusta Plein Air Event!  Packing up all the needed supplies - and checking it twice - is a very important task.  I have forgotten my make-up and curling iron multiple times, but I can not live without my cad lemon yellow!  This is a small companion piece to the one a few days ago.  Small and quick - to get the mood and feel of the same picket fence lined with multiple roses of different shades.  I will go back to each of these and fine tune - at a later date when I have more time!  This is painting number 103 in as many days.  It looks like I'll be painting in the rain for the next several days.......

Monday, April 15, 2013

Forsythia by the Barn

Forsythia by the Barn
Oil on panel, 12x9
I planted this forsythia several years ago, and this year it is magnificent! It was a volunteer that sprouted in my flower bed in an undesired location.  I have moved several of these to remote places - and now they are heralding spring from all over the property!  After many errands and chores today - I arrived this afternoon - and just had to start this landscape.  I have never painted forsythia before.  The very best part was the very bold application of cad yellows right out of the tube!  So fun!  This makes painting number 102 in as many days :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Garden Path

The Garden Path
Oil on panel, 9x12
This garden path winds through the Deanna Rose Farm by a little shed, leading to the vegetable gardens.  It was calling my name one morning during a sunrise quick paint - but it was being showered by the sprinklers!  I had done a quick sketch, and took a reference photo - which is what I am working from tonight.  Whenever my days are full of activities, I find myself working late - when it is impossible to go outside to paint.  I am forever taking photos of what I want to paint - and at these times, they come in handy!  My panel here is heavily textured, and I have painted this whole landscape with basically one large brush.  This lends a loose and impressionistic air to the whole garden, which softly expresses the mood of the day.  This painting makes 101 in as many days.  I was seriously tempted to take this day off from the madness, but alas - my inner self would not let it be.  It seems that where my "logical" self says, "no!", my creative self says, "yes!"  And, you can see for yourself who won :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Seville Light Fountain

Seville Light Fountain
Oil on panel, 9x12
This ornate Seville Light Fountain is my 100th painting in 100 days!  This beauty is located at a busy intersection on 47th on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.  These 100 days have been a crazy new adventure in time management!  When I am painting every day - I can easily try new techniques and subject matter.  If they don't turn out - it simply doesn't matter because I start with a clean slate in the morning!  With all this paint time - I am learning so much.  I am seeing and mixing more accurate colors.  I am actually getting comfortable with my palette knife! Even though I have tried new colors, I find my original ultramarine blue, cad red light and cad lemon yellow are still my favorites.  I have learned to embrace the grays, they make the other colors pop.  I am putting down thicker paint than I did 100 paintings ago, and a small squeegee makes an excellent scraper!  There were days I didn't think I could possibly get a painting done, and somehow it worked out anyway.  Now, I think I'll have a nice glass of wine and toast to 100 paintings finished :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

First Light

First Light
Acrylic on panel, 8x10
Tonight finds me a little worn out after another very busy day.  I have a complicated landscape on my easel, and not enough hours left to finish it.  I love watching these little chickadees flitting from branch to branch outside my windows.  Taking turns at the feeders, it is almost like a dance among them.  I lay aside my oils, using acrylics on this one.  I like the way they define the birds.  This is a sweet and simple composition - and early morning light that is soft and easy on the eyes.  I will probably top this one off with oils tomorrow - especially the branches.  But for now, I will let this one rest - and maybe I can get some rest, too.  Another busy day tomorrow.  This is painting number 99 in 99 days.  I should do something fantastic for number 100...........how will I find the time?  I hope tomorrow finds me full of fresh enthusiasm :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Roses by the Fence

Roses by the Fence
Oil on panel, 6x6
This has been a very busy day - so I am painting quick and loose and small.  These lovely roses bloom most of the summer against a white picket fence in town (on the way to the high school).  I have stopped by several times to get just the right reference photos for painting!  Since I am taking the photo of the finished painting at night - I think my colors may not be true.  There is nothing like the daylight to get a good image.  In this very busy week, this painting makes 98 in 98 days.  Wow - only 2 more to 100!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Plaza Mermaid Fountain

Plaza Mermaid Fountain
Oil on panel, 9x12
Today I paint one of the two white marble mermaids at the fountain in front of Eddie Bauer's on the Country Club Plaza.  These beautiful mermaids date back 300 years and were originally placed here in 1930.  They were restyled in 1968.  Each one shoots a single water spray into the large basin between them.  Fountain day was this week, which is when all of our wonderful Kansas City fountains are turned on for the season.  I would love to paint each and every one!  I am finishing this one late tonight, as we celebrated our second son's birthday going out to a late dinner.  I am SO glad he made it home from Guam to spend these 2 weeks with us!  I have used a limited palette here - only sienna and turquoise to tint the grays with just a touch of cad yellow medium for that sunlit glow on the mermaid.  This painting makes 97 in 97 days :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Klondike Park

Klondike Park is nestled between Augusta and Defiance on Hwy 94 in Missouri.  This beautiful rock formation sits high over the park and the Missouri River.  Once a silica sand quarry in the early 19th century, the park has a wonderful lake surrounded by powdery white sand.  With this painting, I am working on the light and shadow that defines the just the upper part of this very tall formation.  Perhaps another day, I'll paint if from the bottom up.  I have a full day ahead - so I am painting early!  This one makes 96 in 96 days :)
Klondike Park
Oil on panel, 10x8

Monday, April 8, 2013

Western Auto Skyline

Western Auto Skyline
Oil on panel, 20x16
I think I must be on a Kansas City icons theme!  First the fountains, now this skyline, what will I paint next?  I worked on this one around other family activities today.  I worked larger than I wanted to, because I am saving other frames for my plein air trip to Augusta.  My hand is a little cramped from trying to paint such a complex composition quickly.  I tense up when there is a time crunch - and we leave soon for dinner and a movie with the family!  This cityscape makes 95 paintings in 95 days - I am closing in on 100!  What should I do to celebrate?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pomona Fountain on the Plaza

Pomona Fountain on the Plaza
Oil on panel, 9x12
Today I paint as I visit with my parents and brother around the kitchen table!  Since we have family in for the wedding, I pulled a table easel out and set up right at the table.  Talking, and painting from a reference photo I had taken at a previous paint out on the plaza, I was able to take my time on this one.  I had drawn this one out a couple days before the wedding, and it had been waiting patiently for my return.  Such a complicated subject - it was fun to paint this kind of "sheet of water" falling from the fountain's edge.  This fountain is "Pomona, Goddess of Vinyards and Orchards", by Donatella Gabbriella  imported from Italy in 1969.  A marble original of this fountain stands in the King's Palace in Bangkok, Thailand.  I love the architecture of the plaza and I will be painting many more of these beauties!  This makes painting number 94 in 94 days :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Daffodils in the WInd

Daffodils in the Wind
Oil on panel, 8x6
Just a quick painting of the new daffodils blowing like crazy in this wind!  Painting 93 in 93 days - and off to family activities I go!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Tree in the Pasture

Tree in the Pasture
Oil on panel, 6x8
On this very special day in my oldest son's life, I am painting a small, impressionistic landscape.  Measuring only 6x8, I am capturing a fleeting moment of wind rushing through the grasses and movement of foliage.  Making this short and sweet today, this is painting number 92 in 92 days.  Can't wait for what unfolds on this special celebration :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Come Sit a Spell

Come Sit a Spell
Oil over acrylic on panel, 24x20
On display at Executive Offices of Blue Cross Blue Shield
This loose and impressionistic painting is of my home, which has been in my family 70 years now.  I have so many wonderful memories here from very early childhood to raising my own babies in this house.  There is so much history connected here - from Alexander's purchase in 1845, President Harry S Truman's childhood home - circa 1860, and a stopover of Quantrell's Raiders on the eve of their visit to Lawrence, KS.  A peaceful and serene place on a hill, away from the road, with plenty of land to paint in all it's wonder - a very good place for this artist to land.  This is painting 91 in 91 days - done a little early since my daffodils of today may not make it in time!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Whispering Spring

Whispering Spring
Oil over acrylic on panel
On display at the Executive offices of Blue Cross Blue Shield
With my son's wedding quickly approaching, I had worked a couple of paintings ahead in the event I could not get to the easel.  Good thing I did!  I painted this from photos I had taken at the Maggie Marsh up in Ohio near Lake Erie.  Years ago, it was very well maintained, almost manicured.  I remember the park full of people enjoying the wildlife refuge, beach and walking trails.   As so many places, they have lost funding with the economy downturn.  Now, this place has almost returned to it's natural state.  Still lovely, but lonely and remote. Long beaches now inhabited only with seagulls and outbuiidings no longer used. Painting number 90 in 90 days :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Night Falls on the JC Nichols Fountain

Night Falls on the JC Nichols Fountain
Oil on birch panel, 24x20
I can remember my dad going down to the plaza when I was a child - and taking the most wonderful photographs of this fountain at night!  Originally made in Paris in 1910 by Henri Leon Greber for an estate in New York, it was relocated here in 1960.  I love the dramatic lines and the directional sprays of water.  Since I was born in the "city of fountains", I have decided that I should be proficient at painting them!  This is only the first of many plaza fountains I plan to paint!  I will take a better photo in the daylight tomorrow - since this one has glares all over in the thick paint!  Painting number 89 in 89 days - although this one took 2 days to complete :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Morning Glow

Morning Glow
Oil over acrylic on panel
On display at the Executive Offices of Blue Cross Blue Shield
This secluded Augusta cabin was my painting "home" for 4 days on my very first plein air adventure.  A fellow artist, Julie Wiegand offered me a place to stay when she found out I was returning after a quick trip home for 2 days.  It seemed like I drove for miles before reaching this picturesque cabin!  It was a perfect artist retreat!  Julie was a gracious host - inviting over fellow artists, and friends, in the evening.   I will always remember the friendships forged in that little slice of heaven.  It was only the beginning of so many more painting adventures!  This one is mainly acrylic with only a glazing in oils over the top.  Painting number 88 in 88 days - now back to work on a large piece!