Friday, May 31, 2013

Of Memories and Roses

Of Memories and Roses
Oil on panel, 9x12
Deanna Rose Farm, Memory Bench
The rain poured heavy this morning, allowing me to get some housework finished.  As the skies cleared a little, I packed my gear and headed to the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead.  Much to my surprise - there was very little traffic here today, making it the ideal day to get a little painting done.  The last time I was here, it was so crowded that it was hard to keep my focus.  Not so today.  I was also able to park in the east lot, which meant I didn't have to carry my gear all the way back there - about as far from the front gate as possible.  I worked in the deep shade, quickly laying this scene to canvas.  It is a memorial bench dated from 1991, and the rose is so lovely and heavy with bloom.  I have a weakness for roses on arbors - so here I have painted yet another.  I am posting a bit sooner than normal, as I am headed out to paint another nocturne.  I sure hope the weather cooperates!  This is painting number 148 in 148 days.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Michael

Michael
Graphite on bristol, 12x16
not for sale
On this very rainy day, there was no opportunity for painting en plein air.  On such gray days as these, I love to work in graphite.  I have been working on a special father and baby portrait, but it is still not ready to post.  So, for today's entry I am choosing a portrait drawn from one of my favorite candid shots of my youngest son.  I love the joy on his little face as he discovers something new!  So special are those days, and so fleeting,  This little darling is now 13 years old, and much taller than I am.  I have so many wonderful memories of all five of my children.  I will never have enough time to draw or paint them all.  Just this week, my youngest daughter brought two ducklings into our household.  Next week, I will have to put them down in paint - or graphite, maybe in the hands of the kids.  Another memory to capture, as they all fly by so fast.  This is the 147th day this year of paintings (or drawings).  Hope I can knock out a couple tomorrow, and praying for good weather :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nightfall at Traditions

Nightfall at Traditions
Oil on panel, 9x12
Old Town Overland Park
Tonight, three of us went out to old town Overland Park to paint a nocturne.  This spot was one of three we had narrowed down.  There is something magical about painting a nocturne.  When I started, there was still light in the sky.  I like to pick a spot where I can paint under a street light, and a white light is better than the yellow ones.  There was only one street light in line with the view I wanted, and this one was yellow.  It is a very windy night, so I had to secure my panel well to the easel.  By the time I had finished the painting, I could no longer tell the hue of my darks, only that they were dark.  Neither could I tell the true color of my lights, only that they were light.  I love the whole process of painting a nocturne - it is like a mystery!  I do not know what I have really painted until I bring it into the light!  This painting is a happy surprise!  I can hardly wait to go and paint another nocturne!  This painting makes 146 in 146 days.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Together in the Woods

Together in the Woods
oil on panel, 11x14
Overland Park Arboretum
I painted the garden landscape two days ago from under these trees.  Wearing my hat to prevent bloom debris from landing in my hair,  I also had to guard my palette at every strong breeze to keep the little bloom strands from landing in my paints.  I love the way these trees stand tall on the mound of earth.  It has called to me each time I have passed by in search of a painting location.  So, today was the day.  I had a limited window to work with, dodging rain and the kid's activities.  I had already composed this one in my head, and the strokes were applied quick and loose, in case of a sudden rain.  I think you can tell that I applied the grass last - and super fast!  Maybe I'll try a whole painting in this loose style, maybe a 30 minute paint..........!  This is the 145th painting in 145 days, and now I am back to my errands!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Geranium Dream

Geranium Dream
Oil on panel, 8x10
We had a wonderful day full of family time today.  Without time to go out to the arboretum today, I am painting the geraniums hanging in one of my baskets on the front porch.  After hanging only two days, I started watering this basket, and out flew a little house wren!  On closer inspection, I could see her little nest hidden under the foliage.  I had poured the water right into her nest!  The next time I watered, I didn't see her, but today she was back in her nest.  I water on the other side of the basket now, not to disturb her too much.  I may have to move the basket when her babies get big enough to hop out.  My cats will be anxiously awaiting below for a little treat!  This is my first attempt at painting geraniums - and I really enjoyed it!  This painting makes 144 in 144 days.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Walk Through the Garden

A Walk Through the Garden
Oil on panel, 14x11
Overland Park Arboretum
I have never painted the garden this path leads to, before this year.  Now, I have painted it from various angles 4 different times this week.  After being in such a high traffic location yesterday, I chose to set up on top of a grassy mound in the woods for this painting.  I was in the dappled shade, the strong breeze lessened by the surrounding trees.  It was such a peaceful spot, so pleasant with the sounds of the wind through the trees, and the water bubbling just beyond them.  I wonder what my next location will be.....maybe one of the waterfalls.  This is painting number 143 in 143 days.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Glory in the Garden

Glory of the Garden
Oil on panel, 14x11
Overland Park Arboretum
I have painted at least three paintings this week in a 50 feet radius of this spot.  These gardens are just absolutely radiant this year.   I must have visited with every person at the arboretum while working on this one!  I was in a high traffic area, and it was such a beautiful day - everyone was out to see the gardens in all their glory.  I am having trouble getting a good image of this one tonight, I hope to have better luck in the daylight tomorrow.  This painting makes 142 in 142 days......and the housework is piling up!  Yikes!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Into the Woods

Into the Woods
Oil on panel, 14x11
Overland Park Arboretum
I painted this one a couple days ago at the Arboretum - when the spirea were still full of blooms.  Its a good thing, too, because today most of those blooms were gone.  I returned to this spot today to paint one of the main gardens, and it took me all day - and I'm still not finished with that one!  On this painting, the light was overcast and moody, not too crowded, and I was hidden from the onlookers by a small potting shed.  A lovely day to capture a quiet mood with the spirea in all it's glory.  This painting makes 141 in 141 days, and I still have a couple others to take back and finish.  I think its back to the arboretum tomorrow......

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pony Rides

Pony Rides
Oil on panel, 11x14
I have only just arrived home from a very busy day.  First, I was out at the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead to paint this painting of the pony rides, then to the Arboretum, home in time to get ready for dinner out, finishing with a four course meal at the Melting Pot on the plaza!  So, I am posting this first painting, even though I have some work yet to do.  Let me tell you, painting these ponies en plein air is certainly a challenge!  The move constantly, and they are being taken out for rides for long periods of time.  I had blocked in the front pony (Annie), when she was removed - not to return until my last 15 minutes of painting!  So, I moved to the next one, and the furthest one, and then all of the background landscape - until she returned!  The line of children formed right behind me - so close that I was bumped into, and I could not stand back from my work.  I need to strengthen my darks here - and my highlights, before calling this one done.  This one makes 140 paintings in 140 days.  I hope to get this one tweaked and repost the finish tomorrow :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Into the Garden

Into the Garden
Oil on panel, 12x16
Today's painting was painted in old town Overland Park at the floral design shop of Craig Sole.  This is part of the Stems plein air event - which runs until June 2.  At every turn at this cottage, there is another painting - and the interior full of fragrant flowers is simply heaven!  I took several photos for reference - for interior paintings on a rainy day.  I worked a little larger today, so the painting took a bit longer to finish.  (And my start was slower - stopping at Homer's for a delightful cup of tea and a cookie!)  I love the layers in this garden landscape - foliage, flowers, iron and structure - and the path to pull the eyes right into the painting.  The shasta daisies are in full bloom, irises abound further in, pink clematis climb the pole, and a beautiful coral hibiscus embellish this garden path.  A feast for the eyes - it has been a joy to paint this lovely landscape on such a beautiful day.  This painting makes 139 in 139 days.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Morning in Monet's Garden

Morning in Monet's Garden
Oil on panel. 14x11
Overland Park Arboretum - Stems
This morning was the perfect morning to be out painting at the Arboretum!  Almost no breeze, fabulous light, and the constant trickle of the water set the mood for this painting.  I have painted this bridge at Monet's Garden each year I have been participating in the Stems plein air event - and still it intrigues me.  Each time, I approach it from a different angle - and today I was on the south side of it for the first time.  The light is harder to manage from this direction, and the water reflected colors near and far.  I had to leave before I was ready - my monthly Tri County Art League meeting was calling.  It is so hard to leave a painting when you are in the zone! This one makes 138 in 138 days.
On location

Easel set up

Monday, May 20, 2013

Moss on the Lake

Moss on the Lake
Oil on panel, 14x11
George Owen Nature Park
This is my second painting from the George Owen Nature Park.  In this spot, one must tread carefully, as Canadian geese and their young goslings are all about!  I had to give them a wide birth, just to get close enough for this view of the lake.  The moss spreading out into the water drew me in.  I have not ever tried to paint algae on the water before - and it is a little tricky!  The lake was calm as glass - allowing the most beautiful reflections on it's surface.  Such a peaceful place for spending the day.  This makes painting number 137 in 137 days.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunset in the Doctor's Garden

Sunset in the Doctor's Garden
Oil on panel, 14x11
Stems Sunset Quick Paint


This is the first painting at the Overland Park Arboretum Stems event.  I am an avid gardener - and love to paint garden landscapes, so this is always an exciting event for me!  The kick-off is a sunset quick paint from 6:00 to 8:20.  There is a wonderful wine and food social beforehand, where I enjoy seeing my artist friends again this year.  Arriving early, I had scouted out three different locations for this first painting, deciding on the one that would best show the evening color.  The weather was perfect - on the warm side with a lovely breeze.  So refreshing to ditch the ski coat!  I read the plaque for this garden which talked of a doctor, but I simply do not remember the details.  On my next trip back, I will check it and include the name of whom this garden honors.  There are new ornamental grass plantings here, so I'm sure this will be a garden to evolve this season.  This painting makes 136 in 136 days.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Tangle of Roots

A Tangle of Roots
Oil on panel, 8x10
George Owen Nature Park
While at the George Owen Nature Park judging an event, I walked the Butterfly Path to find this lovely landscape.  There is something so peaceful about the sprawling of roots from a tree at water's edge.  The creek is very low right now, exposing so much of the roots of this tree.  Most of the dirt has been washed away beneath it, and still it thrives.  The panel I used for this is heavily textured, lending itself well to a dense forest scene.  Sometimes I apply more texture with reckless abandon, and others I leave almost sparse of strokes.  Then, when faced with a composition, I simply choose what feels the most appropriate to me.  So much of art is intuitive.  I am posting early for me today as I have a sunset paint tonight at the Overland Park Arboretum.  This is the kick-off for the STEMS event - 2 weeks of painting at their venues.  Looking forward to what the gardens have to offer, as well as my old stomping grounds of downtown Overland Park.  This is painting number 135 in 135 days - and I always have to check yesterday's blog to see where I am at on the count!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Goldfinch and Coneflowers

Goldfinch and Coneflowers
Acrylic on panel, 11x14
I had started this painting before, bringing it out for the final touches tonight, when I realized I did not have enough time to finish my landscape of the day.  Some days are just so packed with activities, I scarcely have time to eat (or sleep).  I had an hour to block in a creek scene from the George Owen Nature Park plein air event - which I had the honor of judging earlier today.  After seeing the "Into the West" show at the Kansas City Club, and stopping by the Power and Light art show afterwards, I thought I would have enough time to complete my piece.  Instead, I had a little family time, and now I am posting at this late hour, with an early morning baseball practice on the horizon.  Why can't I just have an extra 6 hours in every day?  This simple addition would certainly give me ample time for all of my needs.  I thought I might just top this painting off in oils, but for now, I will leave it in acrylics.  I have always liked to paint my birds in acrylic.  This is the 134th painting in 134 days.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods
Oil on panel, 10x8
Manitou Springs, Colorado
If you have not been to the Garden of the Gods, you simply must go there!  Giant red rock formations shoot right out of the earth, as if planted there eons ago.  These are just west of Colorado Springs in the town of Manitou Springs.  There are so many of these famous formations - it will give me subject matter for quite a while!  The fun part for me is that I have never painted terrain like this.  The colors are all so different than Missouri - much more desert like.  It is always so inspiring to travel with my paints.  It gives me a whole new appreciation for the beauty around me.  This painting makes number 133 in 133 days.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Flowers for Abigail

Flowers for Abigail
Oil on panel, 11x14
Painting #132 in 132 days
As I arrived home, my thoughts remained on the events of the morning.  I found myself bringing in gerbera daisies which I had not yet put in the ground.  I pulled down Grandma Bessie's old glass pitcher, setting the daisies into it.  The white spirea are just coming into full bloom off the front porch, and I cut a few branches to arrange with the daisies.  After setting up the little still life, I put paint to panel, thoughts still on the morning.  As the brushstrokes made the painting, I found solace in this work.  These pink daisies are for little Abigail, with many prayers for her family.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Waters of Wolf Creek Pass

The Waters of Wolf Creek Pass
Oil on panel, 11x14
Today I am painting from photo reference I just took last week while coming through Wolf Creek Pass.  I have taken so many photos - I haven't even looked at them all yet!  To get to this spot, I had to trek through the brush, off the beaten path to get close enough to the water.  I wanted to set up my easel on the spot - but time would not allow it.  With the location so fresh in my mind, I can almost feel the cool wind and hear the loud rush of the water as I paint this spot.  The danger of being so close to the water is that I wouldn't be able to hear a bear approach, and I did see some very large footprints!  This painting makes 131 in 131 days :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Blooming Trees

Blooming Trees
Oil on panel, 12x9
Defiance Paint Out
This was painted up the street from the Car Show in Defiance on the day of the Defiance Paint Out.  The yard was grand, with trees on either side blooming in profusion.  It was a lovely, warm day, and the family who lived here was very friendly.  Music wafted up from the show as people came by and visited while I worked.  It was a lovely day spent. With all of the visiting, I did cut it very close to the deadline for turning this one in to the Yellow Farmhouse Winery by 4:00!  Thank goodness I am ahead a painting or two - as I have been very busy today indeed!  Painting number 130 in 130 days.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pond of Reflection

Pond of Reflection
Oil on panel, 10x8
Today's post is a post of a different kind.  I worked on this second workshop piece in a room with 6 other artists. The fumes from the turps and other solvents grew stronger as the day wore on.  I don't use solvents at all, using only safflower oil as needed for brush cleaning.  I found myself holding my breath, going to one of the open windows for air, even outside a time or two to really breathe.  Towards the end, I felt bad enough that I thought I may pass out.  I struggled to finish this, holding my jacket over my nose, to breathe.  It is the first time I have been enclosed with solvents since last July.  Again, I felt the vice around my chest, squeezing.  I didn't realize just how bad it was until I was in the car, away from it at last.  My throat burned, my lungs burned, even my nostrils burned.  Once in bed, I did not rise for 12 hours, another symptom of the damage done - and 6 hours longer than I normally sleep.  I should have left when I first started having trouble breathing, but instead - I am so stubborn as to finish what I start at whatever cost.  I will not do it again.  I simply must be careful about what I breathe.  I am feeling better tonight, still exhausted, and the vice loosens.  The moral of this story is "do not inhale the solvents and turps - and if someone else uses them, run in the other direction." Life is a gift, not a guarantee.  This is the 129th painting in 129 days.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Stream in the Mountains

Stream in the Mountains
Oil on panel, 10x8
Today's focus was atmospheric perspective, creating real depth in a painting.  I had the pleasure of sitting in on a workshop by Ken Chapin, whose work I admire.  I love these kind of workshops because they allow me to step into another artist's mind, and see the way he develops a painting.  Little pearls of wisdom drop out as the painting progresses, giving me insight to their personal choices.  This is the first of two painted today - which means I am a painting ahead on my journey.  Which is a really good thing - since tomorrow is Mother's Day!  Panting number 128 in 128 days :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Baby Alan

Baby Alan
Graphite on bristol
Just arrived home from Colorado, getting ready for a workshop in the morning, and doing a little graphite work to unwind.  Working with pencil and paper helps me unwind like no other medium.  I can just let the graphite work it's magic, blending as needed with the paper stumps.  I lay a fresh piece of paper down for my right hand to rest on as I work.  This prevents the oil from my skin from getting onto the paper, changing the way the paper accepts the graphite.  I am almost finished with this one, only a couple of shadows to deepen.  I am also working on another graphite piece, which just may be one of my favorites, yet.  Can't wait to get back to it.  And yes, I have MANY more Colorado paintings to paint in the days to come.  This makes the 127th artwork completed in 127 days.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

San Juan River Bluffs

San Juan River Bluffs
Oil on panel, 14x11
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
I started this painting on location at the River Walk Park just east of Pagosa Springs.  There are 2 ponds on site to catch the reflections of the bluffs.  I sketched it out in pastel, and was just ready to start laying paint - when I realized we had to get back in time to hear a jazz band play in town!  This is the way so many painting days go.....having to stop just when I am getting in the zone.  So, this one was completed back at the room.  Staying up late to finish, as I doubt I'll be able to paint tomorrow.  I sure wish I had been able to paint two a day all week long.......this one makes 126 paintings in 126 days.  So many beautiful sites, so little time.........

River Walk Mountain View

River Walk Mountain View
Oil on panel, 14x11
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
This charming view of the San Juan Mountains is located just east of Pagosa Springs on the River Walk.  This is a trail that winds through the town and out on either side.  This still water pond was just what I was looking for to capture those wonderful reflections in!  It had sleeted and rained hard this morning, finally letting up so I could go out and paint.  The winds change the temperature around here almost every 5 minutes - so I go from ski coat to no coat and back again!  This makes my 125th painting in 125 days.  I am now going to work on a sketch from today, as I will probably not be able to paint tomorrow........

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

San Juan Mountain Magic

San Juan Mountain Magic
Oil on panel, 14x11
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
After scouting several other possible locations today, we ended up driving up a road that took us high on a hill top.  Pulling along side the road, we set up in a gravel area to start this painting.  The weather was perfect, clouds drifted overhead causing an ever changing light on the mountains.  I worked fast to capture the light on the snow patches - thinking the clouds could drop down any minute to cover the mountain tops.  We could not even see these mountains yesterday in the rain.  It was magical, and the light was so dreamy - a perfectly splendid painting day.  Then, to top it off, we spent the rest of the day at the hot springs, hopping from basin to basin.  I am now so relaxed, I could just drift off to sleep without a care in the world!  LOVE those hot springs!  This is painting number 124 in 124 days.  What wonderful sight will we find to paint tomorrow?

Monday, May 6, 2013

San Juan River Rapids

San Juan River Rapids
Oil on panel, 14x11
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
The San Juan River in Pagosa Springs is gorgeous - twisting and turning over rocks and against banks.  As I was painting this, three kayakers came right down the middle of the biggest falls.  Each one of them slipped underwater for just a moment before popping back up.  Then, each one circled back over to do it again before continuing on their journey!  I got some great photos - but they were too fast for me to put them down in paint!  This is painting number 123 in 123 days -  I may just be painting the river again tomorrow.....

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Treasure Falls Majesty

Treasure Falls Majesty
Oil on panel, 11x14
Pagosa, Colorado
We first spotted this location yesterday before arriving at our destination.  It immediately grabbed me - BEGGING to be painted!  First chance we got today, we headed straight for it and got down to business.  This is one of those paintings that seemed to just fall from the tip of my brushes.  It was an absolute joy to paint - weather was warmish - a little windy towards the wind, but so much fun to stand in front of this beauty - and paint!  All the time, little chipmunks climbed up my boots, into my paint bag, and even on the ledge where my safflower oil was - ready to take a drink!  They are so friendly - I am sure they are used to being fed.  So today, these little guys made amusing little paint companions!  It is time to go scope out another location - so this makes painting number 122 in 122 days!  I can't wait to start the next one :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Little Mountain Magic

A Little Mountain Magic
Oil on panel, 14x11
Pagosa Springs, CO
My first plein air mountain painting!  The weather is absolutly beautiful!  So much sun, warm temps in the 60's, and these beautiful clouds rising up from the mountain range - what could be more perfect than that?  After a day full of scouting out spots and taking photos for reference - it feels SO GOOD to be putting paint to panel!  This is painting number 121 in 121 days- and now its time for a little dinner :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Balducci's Barn

Balducci's Barn
Oil on panel, 18x14
Balducci's Sunset Paint Out
This is the first time I have painted this beautiful barn from the front.  I am normally down the hill, near the pond or in the vineyard, looking at the back side if the barn - with the sunset behind them.  The weather was chilly - but not nearly as cold or wet as last year - another gift!  We had an early dinner here and a glass of wine before setting up our easels.  It is such a nice way to begin a paint!  This is painting number 120 in 120 days.  Tomorrow - I hope to be painting in the mountains :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sunset Path

Sunset Path
Oil on panel, 8x6
I am painting small today, as time is short and my "to-do list" is long!  After a sunset paint at the Washington riverfront last week, I realize I need to home my "sunset" skills.  So, this is my first study in that direction.  I am using looser strokes here on a heavily textured panel.  I already see a few things I would tweak in the sky - but I'll just make those adjustments later.  This is painting number 119 in 119 days.  I am wondering if I'll have time to paint tomorrow...........!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Redbud Sonata

Redbud Sonata
Oil on panel, 8x6
This is my second painting of today, the first one - I am just not happy with, yet!  I painted this outside in the yard - over by the windmill.  It is absolutely beautiful out today!  The redbuds are just now coming into their full glory - and I just can't paint them enough!  I am working on my brushstrokes on this painting.  I had an artist friend tell me he likes to use at least 5 different strokes in a painting.  What a marvelous idea!  So,  I am trying just that!  This one is loose and free - like the wind blowing everything around today.  Painting number 118 in 118 days.