Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Water Lilies at Dusk

I have been wanting to paint water lilies for such a long time!   Over the weekend,  the blooms started popping up in Monet's Garden,  and today was my chance!  Zooming in on a small cluster,  I sketched out my subject on my dark washed panel.  Being careful to place my greens accurately,  I blocked in all the pads before starting on the water.  The edges and colors are unique to each one, with very dark shadows just under their rims.  I chose this cluster as the water reflected not only rich darks, but wonderful glimpses of sky as well.  I've never tried my hand at these beauties before - and it was so rewarding!  The darkening sky gave this composition a mood and feel all it's own.  Can't wait to paint them again!   I can see why Monet never tired of painting them!  Painting number 1246 in 1246 days. 
Water Lilies at Dusk
Oil on panel, 12x9
sold

Monday, May 30, 2016

Lavender and Roses

Lavender and Roses
Oil on panel, 8x10
purchase here
It was such a warm day, that for my second painting, I was looking for shade!  Standing in the deep shade of a tree, I was able to look onto the northern side of Monet's Garden to capture this view.  This lovely new pillar offers structure to the freely blooming flowers.  The lavender  is so delicate, and the salmon climbing rose a perfect compliment.  The skies clouded over, and rain threatened, but I was able to complete my painting before the first drops fell!  Another wonderful day painting at the arboretum!  Painting number 1245 in 1245 days.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Garden Stroll

Garden Stroll
Oil on panel, 14x11
purchase here

The morning light spilled into the garden, illuminating foliage and bloom.  Setting up in the shade, I had a perfect spot from which to paint.  Soft breezes and friendly conversation were my painting companions.  I was close to the walkway, so many stopped to visit as I worked.  I enjoy the conversation, it allows my creative side to take over while my mind is otherwise engaged, and my creative side never disappoints.  My right brain really needs no attention from my left, when it comes to painting!  I am having an issue with my tripod - I have already stripped out the top!  After a visit to the camera shop, I am giving this project to Mike.  He can fix anything!  Then, I will have something that will never break!  Painting number 1244 in 1244 days.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Walk in the Woods

Walk in the Woods
Oil on panel, 10x8
Stems Plein Air Event
purchase here
Michaela and I had picked out a spot by the lily pond to paint,  and had set down our easels. Within a few minutes, it looked like rain was coming!  A check of the radar confirmed it, so we searched for shelter.  Deciding the first porch offered too little cover, we opted for the lodge by the woods.  Thank goodness!  It was pouring in no time,  and blowing 15 feet into the shelter house!  It was so nice to be able to enjoy painting in the rain, while remaining dry!  This has been the week for dodging storms!   At least there was no hail today!  Painting number 1242 in 1242 days.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Along the Peony Path

Along the Peony Path
Oil on panel, 14x11
Stems Event - purchase here
I started this painting a little differently.   My 14x11 panel was primed for a nocturne, and I didn't want to paint on the 8x10s I had with me.  The scene simply called for a larger size.  So, I very loosely blocked in all my masses with acrylics.   There opaque quality lightened up the areas between the deep, warm, dark red of the background.   Leaving some of this showing, I began to build on those masses with my oils.  It seems so unnatural to paint on such a dark surface,  but I think I like it!  It challenges me in a way my normal method does not.  Did I leave it too loose?  Maybe.....it certainly is more impressionistic than usual!   I'll look again with fresh eyes in the morning and then decide!  Painting number 1241 in 1241 days.  Michaela painted with me today, too - and we barely made it back to the car before the storm hit!  Just another plein air adventure!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Illusions of Allium

I first came to this spot when I arrived.  Unsure about the composition, I walked all around the lake in search of perfect subject matter.  I found myself back in front of the allium.  This garden is known for these big, beautiful purple blooms, and they called me in.  Sketching first, I started laying in the blooms and the darks.  I rarely paint a garden scene from the distance.  Either I take in the whole view,  or I get up close and personal,  but not this "in between".  So, feeling rather unnatural,  I forged ahead with brush and paint and loose strokes.  Is it too loose?  Maybe....but I like the flow of it.  This painting makes 1240 in 1240 days.
Illusions of Allium
Oil on panel, 14x11
Overland Park Arboretum
sold

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Afternoon on the Garden Path


Afternoon on the Garden Path
Oil on panel, 12x9
Stems Event - purchase here


For my third painting of the day, I came to this intersection of paths,  with the composition already in my mind.  As the afternoon light poured over the garden, I had a decision to make - west or east?  The east side was my intended landscape, but the way the path wound into the background to the west was SO alluring.  I chose west, and I can do the east another day!  With less than two hours left before closing, I did not take the time to sketch.  The light was going to change very quickly, so I jumped right in, marking all lights and darks.  From this beginning, I worked all to the middle, careful to keep the masses of the complex garden in tact.  I love the layers of a garden, and have so enjoyed spending a beautiful day capturing it in paint!  Painting number 1238 in 1238 days.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Dreaming in Monet's Garden

Dreaming of Monet's Garden
Oil on panel, 12x9
Stems Event - purchase here

This garden is the crowning jewel of the Overland Park arboretum.   I return to it year after year, to recapture it's beauty in oils.  I had to work fast, with only two hours left before closing.  Before I even had the panel covered, raindrops started to fall....so I tilted my panel downward a little,  to get the surface dry.  Slapping on that paint, the surface was soon covered.  I no longer had to worry,  as the oils resist the rain.  Thunder threatened, but the clouds never broke overhead.  Before I knew it, a park employee was informing was informing a fellow artist and I that the arboretum was now closed,  and we should make our way to the exit.   Well, I guess they really do check before they lock up!  Painting number 1237 in 1237 days.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Dream of Roses

A Dream of Roses
Oil on panel, 9x12
Stems Plein Air Event - purchase here
After a morning paint of a complicated garden scene,  I was in the mood for roses - up close and personal.   So, I dropped off the wet painting at my car, and strolled through the arboretum.   I found several very appealing varieties,  before I landed at these beauties - and I had to stop!  The creamy yellows and salmon pinks were more than I could resist!   I did a quick pastel sketch which was barely more than marking the orbs, and started laying paint quick and loose.  I had the perfect set up, a spot in the shade, soft breezes, friendly passers by, and the floral scent of the garden all around me.  Sheer heaven!  This is my 1236th painting is as many days.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Peony Path


Peony Path
Oil on panel, 14x11
Stems Event - purchase here

After an early morning Piyo class, running, and teaching a painting class,  I headed to the arboretum.   I am really enjoying my light box and tripod!  I can sling both over my shoulder and hike for miles - leaving both hands free!  The new palette I'm using happened to have plexiglass for the base,  and my paints keep sliding when I carry them!  I have never had this problem, but I've always had a china base.  Could that be the issue?   I wonder if glass would be any better?  These peonies keep drawing me in - I may just return to them tomorrow!   Painting number 1235 in 1235 days :)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Passionate Peonies

Passionate Peonies
Oil on panel, 14x11
Stems Plein Air 2016 - purchase here
Tonight was the kick off for the Stems Plein Air event.   Registration was followed by a wonderful reception of wine, salad, and sandwiches, and then out to set up for the 2 hour quick paint. With the intention of painting Monet's Garden,  I took a quick stroll around the lake.  I didn't get any farther than the stand of peonies!  Three varieties caught my eye - none of which have bloomed during this event before!   I am really at home in a garden, and I am going to revel in these days of painting what I love!  Painting number 1234 in 1234 days!  Get it?  1-2-3-4  :)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Roses in the Rain

Roses in the Rain
Oil on panel, 6x6 - purchase here
on location

This day was overflowing with activities - pilates, step/kettlebell classes, running, jury committee meeting, *baby time*, dinner out with the family, weeding until the rain was starting - and finally I got to my easel!  With only a little light left, and the rain coming down, I set up on the front porch to paint the roses in the garden.  I was sheltered and the light made the colors sing.  This is a quick painting, probably only 40 minutes beginning to end, but I like how the values and hues are coming easier and easier.  I truly believe the best way to grow as an artist is to paint en plein air and from life.  I see color in a way I didn’t several years ago, and each painting teaches me something more.  This is the 1233rd painting in 1233 days.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Clouds of May

Clouds of May
Oil on panel, 6x6
purchase here

Whenever there is a cloud show in the sky - I can hardly wait to get to my easel!  The formations are ever changing and irresistible!  I am focusing on the subtle color changes, and applying the paint with only a couple of brushes.  The definition of the distant hedgerow and the meadow are loose, and with soft edges.  The dogs look up at me on the balcony - and don’t know what I’m doing!  So far, the cats have not found me.  That little Wesson just jumped on the lid of my open palette two days ago - and lucky for him, he didn’t pick up any of the paint!  He is notorious for jumping onto easels, and I must be on my guard!  This painting makes the 1232nd in 1232 days :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Clouds Over the Pasture

Clouds Over the Pasture
Oil on panel, 7x5


After realizing how difficult running was after a *surprise* running class at he gym, I added running to my schedule.  Not much, just a mile run, four times a week.  Well, what I had forgotten from high school is that I love running and I really love that “runner’s high” that sets in and lasts for hours.  I am hooked!  So, by the time I came to my *new* easel this afternoon, euphoria abounded and I looked to the heavens for my muse.  I added a few extra paint tubes to my box, as well as business cards.  I am gradually adding the few things I will need when painting at the Stems event, which starts on Friday.  We’ll see how this new set up works out for events.  I have never wanted to carry a backpack, I am simply not a backpack kind of girl.  So, having a detachable tripod will be a challenge to carry, sans backpack - although I think I have the canvas case it came in.  Painting number 1231 in 1231 days, and I think I will actually have time to paint another today!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Rainy Day Peonies

Rainy Day Peonies
Oil on panel, 10x8

After a very busy day, I come to my *new* easel late - and I’m trying out this “French Revolution” easel table top!  I rarely sit at a table to paint, but thought I would give it a try.  It worked beautifully - which also means it will also work if I need to paint in the car, due to rain or hail or the many other conditions that arise mid-painting!  I loaded my new palette, minus a few colors, as this one is smaller.  I also chose a few brushes (several of them from My Artscape), but I have yet to add small tubes of paint to the box.  I tried out both angled brushes tonight - and I like them!  I rarely stray from my brights and flats when in the oils, but I liked the strokes I could achieve, especially when it came to leaves and petals.  This painting makes 1230 in 1230 days - and what a wonderful day it was, Baby Nolan came home!
still life set up

Sunday, May 15, 2016

First Peonies

First Peonies
Oil on panel, 7x5
Tonight was the first time to try my new Guerilla “French Revolution” paintbox from Judson Outfitters!  So exciting to try out a new set up after all these years!  I do love my french easel, but sometimes I only need a small set up.  This one is 12x9, and my normal palette will not fit into it, but I do have  smaller one that will.  I just need to clean it and load it for this paintbox.  My brushes will also fit in the slot, but only a few paints will fit.  So, I will choose some basic, small tubes for reloading.  It is more stable on the tri-pod than I expected.  The way the top and bottom grip the panel is not as steady as the french easel.  I liked it, but I will need to adjust a few things to be comfortable with it.  I have used my french easel for 10 years - and love it - so this may have to grow on me!  Painting number 1229 in 1229 days.
on location


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Prayers by the Water

Prayers by the Water
Oil on panel, 24x20
Penn Valley Park Plein Air Fest

This is my favorite place in all of Penn Valley Park!  When a large painting was on the “to do” list, I knew I would come here to paint it.  I had stamped a 24x18 birch board the day before, but once I had gessoed it, there were a couple of flaws that showed up in the wood.  So, I took another panel in the next morning for stamping - this one a 24x20.  It is the largest I have painting in plein air, and it took me three different times on location to get it.  I had only loosely blocked in the masses when I got a call that I could get in to see the baby.  So, of course I packed up my gear and headed over.  Once I returned, the light was so different that I only worked to middle values, leaving my lights and darks alone, so as not to lose them.  I returned the next morning at about the same time I had started, to finish and tweak anything that had been missed in the multiple visits.  I much prefer to paint it all at once, but at least I got it in - without giving up my “baby time” to do it.  If this one does not sell at the gallery, I am hanging it in the front room.  The title is an apt description of my time spent at this spot, praying for little Nolan, longing for healing.  Painting number 1228 in 1228 days.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Quiet Reflection

Quiet Reflection
Oil on panel
Penn Valley Park morning quick paint
Showing at Buttonwood Art Space in Kansas City, MO

Up at five, out by six, I arrived on location before the sun for our morning quick paint.  I walked around the lake a bit, before deciding on this rather unconventional composition with sky and it’s reflection in the lake.  After painting the very green landscapes of the last couple of days, I was longing for some cool colors to break up all that green.  It was a beautiful morning with soft breezes, and the painting unfolded before me as I thought about little Baby Nolan, just minutes away.  I would be heading there right after the quick paint, for a little quality “baby time”, before turning in my artwork to the Buttonwood Art Space.  If this event hadn’t been so close to the hospital, I would never have been able to participate.  Thank heaven for small favors.  These little getaways help me far more than hours spent in the waiting room.  Painting number 1227 in 1227 days.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Scout

The Scout
Oil on panel, 14x11
Penn Valley Paint Out

After visiting the NICU in between painting windows down at the Penn Valley lake, I packed up my gear and headed up the embankment to my car.  Having placed my large painting in the trunk, I pulled out a fresh panel for the Scout, and climbed up the hill to it’s eastern side.  I was one of only three or four artists in site, and the quick paint was starting in 5 minutes.  I thought it was strange - where were they all?  I had forgotten my frame (with all of the turmoil of juggling the hospital visits and painting), so I texted my friend to borrow a frame.  When I rounded the Scout, to my amazement were the other 50 artists, all bunched up on the other side of the hill!  I had felt almost alone, and couldn’t even hear them over the hum of the mowers on my side!  There is nothing like a little “painting therapy” to keep my mind occupied.  Painting number 1226 in 1226 days.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Skies of May

Skies of May
Oil on panel, 7x5

With rain moving in and out of the area, the sky has been a constant display of racing clouds.  Taking a little time to get those colors down, I am making the effort to really concentrate on the heavens for the next month or so!  I want to pop out at sunrise, sunset, and everything in between, to capture the skies in all their varied glory!  I find sunrise and sunset particularly challenging, so hopefully I can get to my paints during those times.  I am painting small, which I haven’t done for weeks!  At only 7x5, the colors and values are king, with little room for details.  Who was it that recently told me simple was best?  A wonderful exercise - and I have got the hill top view in all directions, so I am going to master these skies in no time!  Painting number 1225 in 1225 days.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dogwood on 3rd Street

Dogwood on 3rd Street
Oil on panel, 9x12
Washington Paint Out, Augusta Plein Air Art Festival
sold

When I had first pulled into the sweet town of Washington, this house on 3rd Street instantly grabbed my attention!  The dogwood in the side yard of this beautiful, historic house was abundant with blooms, and the picket fence led right into the scene!  I set up on the corner across from the house - in the full sun again, to gain the best perspective of this scene.  The morning light spilled onto the house, foliage and blooms, illuminating them.  I think my favorite time to paint is in the golden hour of early morning, and especially in the spring when blooms prevail.  There is just something so sparkling and new in that early light!  This painting was awarded 2nd place in the Washington Paint Out!  Painting number 1224 in 1224 days.
2nd Place Award

Monday, May 9, 2016

Riot of Lilacs

Riot of Lilacs
Oil on panel, 14x11
Augusta Paint Out, Gallery of Defiance

Lower street in Augusta was abloom with dogwoods and lilacs from the north end to the south.  On our Augusta paint out day, I wanted this exact composition for my painting - which meant standing in the sun, at the edge of the street.  When I opened my easel - much to my surprise - I had forgotten my palette!  I had left it in the freezer (to extend the life of my oils) - and totally forgot to get it before leaving!  I marked my lights and darks with paint straight out of the tube, before running back to Augusta Shores for my palette.  I'm so glad I did, as the light had changed before I got back, and my marks helped me to keep the light that drew me to the spot in the first place.  The light hitting the sides of the lilacs and new spring foliage was simply irresistible!  The flowering lilacs last only a short time - and I’m so glad I was able to capture them!  Painting number 1223 in 1223 days.
on location

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Moody Balducci

Moody Balducci
Oil on panel, 14x11
Balducci Vineyard - showing at Gallery in Defiance








Little did I know when this sunset paint began, I would soon be on a roller coaster of emotion.  My fourth scheduled event of the day, I had shared a glass of wine with artist friends before picking a location to paint from.  Looking out the window to the vineyard spreading out to the east, I immediately wanted to paint it.  Once sketched and applying color to the masses, I started getting multiple texts - my oldest son’s first baby was on the way back in Kansas City!  He was 13 days early!  I had hoped to get home from this event before his arrival - but who can schedule around a birth?  Tears of happiness made it increasingly difficult to paint!  Family chiming in with happy words on the group text soon turned to silence from the father to be.  Something was wrong and the baby was being taken to the NICU.  I hardly thought of anything but Baby Nolan, as I finished painting on auto pilot.  So much worry, so much love, and so little I could do from afar.  Thank God for all the support and love I drew on from my artist friends and “family” in Augusta.  Little Nolan improves a bit each day, and we are all looking forward to the day he can come home from Children’s Mercy.  Painting number 1222 in 1222 days.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Heartland Haven

Heartland Haven
Oil on panel, 12x9
The farmland of the Washington countryside is a treasure to behold with it's rolling hills and plowed fields.  This painting was the second of the Deppe Farm Private Estate Paint, following one of my favorite paintings of their creek just west of the house.  Their gracious hospitality was followed by a wonderful meal from their own farm!  This painting is now showing at the Gallery of Defiance, and is my 1221st painting is 1221 days.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

On the Shore of the Lake

Canoe on the Point
Oil on panel, 12x9

After painting the canoe up close and personal for my first painting of the Augusta Shores paint out, I moved over to the top of the point to paint it from afar.  It was warming up, and after painting the first one in the sun, I decided to seek the shade of an evergreen now.  With time to spare, I had finished two paintings, turned them in early, and got to enjoy wine with friends at the fabulous Chili Supper at the clubhouse.  This is on of my favorite socials of the event, and a wonderful way to kick off 10 days of painting!  The lake was very still, allowing some fabulous reflections!  This painting is the 1220th painting in 1220 days.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer
Oil on panel, 8x10
Augusta Plein Air Paint Out

We headed out early for the New Melle paint out.  Since we didn't need to check in until 11:00, I found a sweet spot in the shade from which to paint this church on the hill in Defiance.  The historic St. Paul United Church of Christ is picturesque atop this sunlit, spring green hill.  I have painted it from the other direction, but not from this side.  As I worked, two half grown foxes peeked out of the barn, walking around the old car.  They sat in the sun, and didn’t notice me until I stepped out to take a photo of a bluebird perching on the fence beside me!  Love the wildlife I experience while painting in the open air!  Painting number 1218 in 1218 days.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Morning at the Farm

Morning at the Farm
Oil on panel, 12x9
Daniel Boone Farm Paint Out

The day of the Daniel Boone Farm paint out was cool with rain expected.  I love the historic structures on site.  I found a dry porch to paint from, and this collection of barns in front of me.  Painting alongside two of my favorite artist friends, a pair of lizards popped out from between the boards to scurry along the porch floor.  The peachy morning glow peaked out from the clouds, and a cool light illuminated the landscape.  It was a very enjoyable day, visiting as we worked.  This painting is the 1217th is 1217 days.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Creekside Sycamores

Creek in New Melle
Oil on panel, 12x16
on location - off F Hwy in New Melle
On the day of the New Melle paint out, Teddy and I had checked in and driven to the east and west on the main streets out of town.  Heading south down F, we decided we had gone too far, and pulled into this untraveled drive.  As I looked down the embankment, I was instantly drawn in.  Our plan was to paint one of the historic buildings.....but the creek was  certainly worth a photo!  Well, once out of the car, I knew I would be unable to resist it’s gently winding curves!  I set up looking to the north, and Teddy set up looking to the south, being careful to avoid the abundant poison ivy along the drive.  This highway turned out to be a speedway full of racing cars and gravel trucks, and all seemed surprised to see artists along this track!  After sketching this out in pastel, I then painted it loosely in acrylics.  I finished it off in oils, and I like the depth this creates.  Painting number 1216 in 1216 days.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunrise in the Vineyard


Sunrise in the vineyard
Oil on panel, 12x8
Arriving before sunrise, I was drawn tot he slope of this hill.  The vines trailing back into the distance were set off beautifully by the long shadows of first light.  This golden light lasted just over the first hour, and then clouds slowly crowded the sky, changing the light completely.  The Fox 2 news team out of St. Louis stopped by, while doing a segment on the Augusta Plein Air Art Festival.  They were so close - the camera man getting only inches from my face, palette and painting!  He even bumped my arm on a brushstroke - leaving his own mark on my painting!  Pics were taken with the anchorman, and I gave him my catalyst to hold up to my painting - and encouraged him to use it.  This is the second time I’ve been involved in a live broadcast in Augusta - and it is always a fun experience!  Painting number 1215 in 1215 days.