Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Inspiration in the Heavens

As we left the theater this evening, I was surrounded by beauty in the heavens.  In every direction, a glorious show bombarded my senses!  The view to the south showed the approaching storm, and the distant thunder confirmed it.  I started laying paint quickly, getting all lights and darks marked.  I talked to my parents on speaker phone during the entire painting - and then realized it was too dark to get a photo outside!  Darn.  It would have been dramatic.  Painting number 1336 in 1336 days.
Inspiration in the Haevens
Oil on panel, 10x8

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bluebird Flying

I've been so heavy into the oils lately, I've decided to take a little break with my watercolors.  I have a new little plein air pan set, and I used them for the first time today.  The colors are pretty opaque, which I am totally not used to.  I use all transparent Daniel Smith colors, which mingle in a completely different way than opaques.  It will also be fun to see how will I can adapt to the 140 lb cold pressed, spiral watercolor journal.  That paper is a far cry from the rough, 300 lb paper block that I adore!  I used my new 300 lb block today, and oh!  How I love that paper!  I sure missed it when I ran out.  Painting number 1335 in 1335 days :)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Water Tower from Disney's Pond

What a wonderful day for painting!  Last night"s storms washed all the landscape clean.  We went out to Disney's "happy place" to catch that sparkling morning light.  My intention was to paint the barn, with the wildflowers surrounding it.  Once I came to this spot, I knew I had to paint it instead.  I braved the tall, wet grass to get this painting - and I stood in the shade of a tiny tree.  It's a good thing I'm small!  This painting won Best of Show tonight in the OPA paint out, and this painting has a new home with the owner of this pond!  Painting number 1334 in 1334 days!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Home Through the Wildflowers

For the second paint of the day, I found this view from Richie, looking east towards Santa Fe, just a couple blocks off Main St in Marceline, Missouri.  I set up on the green space beneath the deep shade of an old oak tree.  I had a large black and climb my leg, then stop at my knee - looking right up at me!  I brushed him off and painted on.  Within a minute, he had done it again!  I thought I must be near an ant hill, so I moved forward a couple feet.  It happened again, and I moved again. I went to load my brush and a large grandaddy long legs was waking along the edge palette!  Each painting is an adventure all on its own.  Painting number 1332 in 1332 days :)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Phlox in Ink

This little drawing is of the few garden phlox that retain their beauty.  I wish they lasted all year, but alas, they do not.  So, I must draw them while I can, before they fade away until next year,  Drawing number 1332 in 1332 days :)
Phlox in Ink
Pen and Ink on paper, 5x6

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Mill from the Alley

Fourth Fridays are always a lively event in old town Lee's Summit.  Tonight there was a quick paint plein air event sponsored by Got Art.  I walked down Third St, and back up again, looking for a way to frame the glorious clouds in the sky.  Each way, the scene down this alley caught my attention.  It is not my normal subject matter, but I could not resist it!  I started right in with paint, since I was beginning a bit late.  The stormy sky was the perfect backdrop for the old Mill, and all those lines just lead right to my focus.  This was fun, and a good warm up for tomorrow in Marceline.  I was awarded 2nd place for this painting, and it is my 1331st painting in 1331 days.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Atalanta and Meleager study

Today was Art Mob day at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.  I LOVE that place!  It is so unbelievably inspiring to walk the halls, surrounded by masterpieces.  This very moving sculpture of Atalanta and Meleager grabbed me right at the start.  They have these little folding stools in every wing, which you can set up wherever you want.  This allowed me to get the best vantage, and I started sketching.  This is a wonderful way to study figures!  Only pencils are allowed in the museum, so this is my medium today.  I think I need to do this over in paint!  Drawing number 1330 in 1330 days, and then a delicious lunch was enjoyed by all in Rozelle Court :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sanctuary Steam

There is nothing more appealing than a winding steam.  When I first see winding water, I am already painting it in my head - yes, even if I'm driving.  I really should have a special sticker for my bumper, alerting other drivers to use caution.  Perhaps something like, Warning!  Plein air painter!  I stop on a dime for great landscapes!  On this particular scene, the way the distant blue sky reflected off the water was ethereal, and I knew I must capture it!  This may be a spot I return to again and again.  So glad I found it!  Painting number 1329 in 1329 days :)
Sanctuary Stream
Oil on panel, 8x10
purchase here

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Butterflies in the Phlox

Butterflies in the Phlox
Pen and Ink on paper, 5x6
purchase here
Today finds me playing in the pen and ink.  It feels SO good to get back to drawing!  Getting back to my roots grounds and calms me like no other medium!  This is a quick one to capture the beauty of the phlox before they fade away. Their fragrance is intoxicating, much like lilac, and they last SO long!  They have lasted into November in a really wet season, but this is not that season! Drawing number 1328 in 1328 days.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pink Hydrangea by Lamplight

During our Door County workshop, one of the paint outs was a nocturne, or a night painting class.  We headed over to Fish Creek, as there is abundant nocturne subject matter.  The streets are well lit, with many light sources.  I like to set up where a light pole will illuminate my panel and palette from behind me, as I look out onto my nocturne scene.  So, scouting is key, and location is everything.  I started with a dark tinted panel, and I began by laying in the lights.  Next, it is the middle values followed by the darks.  It is important to always keep my palette layed out in the same manner, because it is very hard to judge color at night.  Values are easy, but it isn't until morning that I find out of my colors are true!  Painting number 1327 in 1327 days :)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Crazy for Ice Cream

Parkville Days are in full swing in the lovely park along the Missouri River, and it is a perfect day for painting!  The artwork from this week's plein air event hangs in the tent, and this scene is just a few feet away.  I love painting while visiting with onlookers (and fellow artists) - it completely takes my mind off of what I'm doing.  I switch into "auto pilot" and let the painting unfold.  In this case, a little bit of craziness is what has developed!  Looser than my usual work - and certainly a departure from my regular subject matter, this has been super fun!  The cool breezes and ice cold margaritas also added to a wonderful day in the field!  Painting number 1326 in 1326 days :)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Upon the Horse

Upon the Horse
Pen and Ink on paper, 6x7
I have recently had a longing to draw in the western theme, and my civil war reenactment photos were the perfect aid!  Using my favorite superfine black Pitt pen, I have drawn this completely.  I have so many of these pens, in so many colors, but I continue to return to my one favorite!  It is the same way I am with brushes.  I must have hundreds, and I end up using just a few. Different ones for different mediums, but just a few in each.  I have only started to draw people in ink, and the trick is to leave them loose.  I will probably have to do a great many of them before I am truly comfortable with the process!  Drawing number 1325 in 1325 days :)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Entering Parkville

LouAmne and I set up to paint this scene, planning on a nocturne.  As the sun set, the warm hues were irresistible  - and we both put in the color we saw, rather than wait for dark.  It was a good thing, as the scene in the dark was not nearly as nice!  There was enough light radiating from the parking lot at the convenience store to clearly palette and panel, which is how I like to set up for a nocturne.  By this fourth painting of the day, the paint was pretty much falling off the brush with very little thought.  This painting makes 1324 in 1324 days.
Entering Parkville
Oil on panel, 12x9
purchase here

Thursday, August 18, 2016

House on the Hill

On the first morning of the Parkville plein air event, I set up on the lawn of the President's house to capture this lovely scene.  I was in the deep shade of a huge maple tree, with gentle breezes at my back.  When I should have been down to take a group photo by the clock, I was up sketching on the hill, and wondering why all the easels were empty!  Already in my "art brain", I charged ahead, marking that light and shadow before it swept across the whole face of the house.  I really do love old, historic homes.  They have a charm and sense of place that a new house never does.  Painting number 1323 in 1323 days.
House on the Hill
Oil on panel, 14x11
purchase here

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Lower Falls of Sanctuary

I loved this location, and I had already competed two other paintings here this week, so I thought I would switch things up.  I brought my acrylics into the landscape!  For years, this was all I used en plein air.  I only use them sparingly now, for the landscape.  I started with blocking in the masses, and went down hill from there!  A battle almost from the beginning, I struggled my way through every layer!  The sage advice of another artist ran through my mind - "make a mess, and then get yourself out of it!"  Well, I sure had a mess before me, and I was not about to let this painting beat me!  So, I kept working mass by mass, until the waterfall began to emerge.  I made myself power through it.  My intention was to complete this in acrylics.  It would have been so easy to pull out my oils and fix it, and also the coward's way out.  I learned so much from this painting, and it was a hard lesson indeed!  Painting number 1322 in 1322 days.  That was exhausting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Twilight on the Clock Tower

I had scouted this clock out in the morning, but the light was less than thrilling for me.  After painting two other paintings, stopping in for an amazing salad at Canyon Pizza, I took another look.  It was wonderful, all aglow with the warmth of twilight - and that light was fading fast!  So, Louanne and I set up quickly, and started slapping paint!  Really - this was a race against the sun, and I only had thirty minutes to capture this light!  This painting makes 1321 in 1321 days :)
Twilight on the Clock Tower
Oil on panel, 9x12
Paint Parkville plein air event
purchase here

Monday, August 15, 2016

Upper Falls of Sanctuary

The middle of the day is notoriously bad for light in the landscape, but it is the perfect time for heading to the woods to paint water.  Light will shine more directly through the trees and onto streams and waterfalls in the middle of the day, even in heavily wooded areas.  The cooler temps are a bonus in August, too!  Today, I am painting the upper part of the falls.  This waterfall has changed so much through the years. When I first painted it, it was lined on the left by very large slabs of rock.  These slabs have now caved into the falls, causing the water to spread all over in different directions, and the steep dirt edge is eroding.  I wonder how it will look next year!  Painting number 1320 on 1320 days.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tied at Weatherby Lake

Tied at Weatherby Lake
Oil on panel, 11x14
purchase here
This morning, little Nolan was baptised.  It was such a beautiful ceremony, followed by a family brunch.  After such a lovely day, I headed up to Weatherby Lake, to attend the Parkville in Art event.  Though arriving late - 4:30, I was able to get this painting finished.  I have never been up here before, and it is beautiful!  The sailboats grabbed me right away, so I set up quickly and got to work.  The late afternoon light was perfect for capturing the essence of this place.  These three sailboats were among the racers on the lake today - and one has a shark face on the front!  Painting number 1319 in 1319 days :)
on location

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Waterfall in Sanctuary

What a way to kick off the Parkville in Art invitational!  For this first day of painting, I completed 4 paintings!  That is my all time high for a single day, although not the first time I've done that!  Louanne Hein was my painting companion for three of the four paintings, and she was on sight sketching for the first one.  It was fun getting to know her better!  During the heat of the day, we went into the shade of the woods to paint this one.  I had been at this location a couple of years ago, but had not ventured this far down the falls.  I had another spot picked out, but decided against the uneven ground, it's proximity to the edge, and the steep pitch of the incline.  It looked like an accident waiting to happen, so I made the wiser choice  - and ended up loving this spot!  Tomorrow will find me at Weatherby Lake!  Painting number 1318 in 1318 days :)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Summer Phlox

The gardens were perfect a month ago. Then, I  had family in town for two weeks, followed by a fabulous plein air trip to Door County, Wisconsin. Throw in the countless things I had to catch up on, and today my focus is back to the garden.  Some heavy rain produced a new crop of weeds right at the hottest temps of the summer, and so today I spent almost the whole day regaining control of my flowers!  The phlox are holding on, though not as lovely as in early July.  It was only fitting that I paint them this evening, since I have been up closer and personal with them all day long.  Painting number 1317 in 1317 days.  Tomorrow will me in Parkville, for the Plein Air Invitational this week - where I am one of the featured artists :)
Summer Phlox
Oil on panel, 5x7
purchase here

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sailboats at Sunset

There is something so dreamy about sailboats.  The very sight of them brings on memories of summer, slipping through the waves with ease,  the wind on my face.  Quiet and peaceful, it is a joy to capture them with paint.  Today, I've chosen oils, and there are a few colors on my palette that are not normally there.  I've dropped in some radiant blue and radiant turquoise, too better catch the hue of the sky and water.  These Gamblin radiant paints are wonderful for that pop of highlight and strong, opaque color over the transparents.  If you've not tried them, you simply must.  The radiant lemon is probably my favorite of the bunch, but every one is very useful, indeed.  This painting is the 1316th in 1316 days :)
Sailboats at Sunset
Oil on panel, 5x7
purchase here

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Impressions of Nolan

I spent some time cooing over Nolan last night, and today he is on my mind.  His big, blue eyes seem to grow larger every day!  His cheeks and thighs are filling out - and are so squeezable now, I can hardly resist them!  Working from photos I took yesterday, I am using my acrylics and short, impressionistic strokes on this one. Using a dry brush technique, I only go to the water to wash my brush.  No thinning of the heavy body paints, and no mediums.  I am using a Zorn limited palette, and keeping the paint fresh on my small stay wet palette.  I've not used the acrylics for a while, so I am getting reacquainted with my old friend tonight, and of course it is taking a little longer than it should.  It is all about the process, after all.  Am I finished?  I'm not sure, but I'm letting this one rest for now.  Painting number 1315 in 1315 days.
Impressions of Nolan
Acrylic on masonite, 6x6
sold

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Churning Water at Cave Point

Watching the churning water of Lake Michigan is as spell binding as staring into a campfire - I do not want to look away.  It beckons me to it's side, reaching for me like a lover.  The crashing melody of it's waves, lulls me into a trance as I paint.  So often, the process of painting fully engages my senses, leaving me unaware of my surroundings.  I am lost in the painting.  I must be careful here, the edge of the cliff is close and it is a long way down.  I don't think I could capture all of Lake Michigan's moods if I could paint here every day.  Painting number 1314 in 1314 days.
Churning Water at Cave Point
Oil on panel, 8x10
Door County, Wisconsin
purchase here

Monday, August 8, 2016

Regal Chewy

I wanted to try something new today, and so I took three progress shots before the final one.  I dropped them into PicFlow, added music, and played.  It had the most annoying loud clicking noise in the background!  I deleted and tried again.  Still the results were the same!  So, I will have to do a little research, perhaps use a different app, before I can make the whole "mini slideshow" work.  Shoot.  It looked pretty cool, even if the sound would drive anyone crazy in 6 seconds!  This painting is the 1313th in 1313 days :)
Regal Chewy
Oil on panel, 6x6
sold

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Misty Meadow

With a little time to myself, I jump right into a dreamy landscape in the back pasture. I was thinking of heading out to a local stream, but was foiled when Mike wanted to take my car to pick up the boys for a little shopping expedition.  With such a misty day - the meadow was ideal, the colors rich and atmosphere heavy.  I have painted this whole piece with two small flats that came in "myartscape" brush set.  They are keeping their form nicely.  This moody painting is the 1312th in 1312 days......or is it 1311?  I forgot to check, and am relying on my memory now - yikes!
Misty Meadow
Oil on panel, 6x6
purchase here

Porch Side Garden

Porch Side Garden
Oil on panel, 7x5
Ephraim, WI
While in Ephraim, I got the amazing opportunity to paint this lovely victorian home with gardens spilling down the hill towards the harbor!  There are paintings waiting at every corner of this place - and this is only my second, and a small one at 7x5.  This painting makes the 1311th in 1311 days :)

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Pink Hydrangea by Lamplight

On the second day of the workshop, we had a very full day!  We began with a sunrise paint at the beautiful Gordon Lodge, just north of Bailey's Harbor.  Watching the artists capture the sunrise, each in their own way, is a wonderful experience.  Heading out to Moonlight Bay, where the temperature climbed and the students melted into the pavement, produced some amazing paintings!  Then, we came together to finish those steamy paintings in the comfort of the shade (after I had almost finished a painting across the street of laundry on the line).  After all this, I thought no one would be up for a nocturne, but lo and behold, several were!  So, we headed to Fish Creek, and I painted this, giving instruction as I went.  It was a perfect night for a nocturne!  So, this was a three painting day!  Painting number 1310 in 1310 days :)

Friday, August 5, 2016

Sunset over Kangaroo Lake

During our Door County workshop, we were all sitting out on the deck when Sue spotted the amazing sunset.   We all hustled across the street to the beach of Sunset Shore,  to share in the glory of this sunset!  Too late to grab my paints, I settled for photos instead - and I am painting from one right now.   The true color was stronger than I have painted, and I still find this painting so bold!  Oh, the challenge of a sunset!  Perhaps one day, I'll master them!   Painting number 1309 in 1309 days :)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sailing from Ephraim

This sailboat was picturesque as it sailed from the Ephraim harbor.  With the marina visible in the distance, this scene was a little slice of everyday life along this shore.  This place is one of my favorite towns along the coast in Door County.  It is full of nostalgic buildings dotting the coastline like jewels in a crown.  What a beautiful place to paint!  This painting makes 1308 in 1308 days :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cave Point Cove

Cave Point Cove
Oil on panel, 12x9
Door County, Wisconsin
This amazing place is certainly a feast for the eyes!  I think I could spend every day painting on these bluffs, and never tire of it!  Lake Michigan is ever changing, as the sky - and the color combinations are endless.  This is the kind of landscape I seldom see in Missouri - so I really enjoy the chance to study the moving water!  Waves and crashing water are certainly a challenge!  I have been using my Querilla Painter box and tripod since April, and I officially love it!  This medium French Resistance easel is the perfect compliment to this artist's whims.  If I ever get another, it will be the same style, perhaps in the large size - to give me another option in the field.  If they made a "mini" - I would buy it too!  LOVE this set up!  So light, I can hike into the wilderness without a care about weight.  This dramatic painting is my 1307th painting in 1307 days.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Chickadee in the Lilac

Chickadee in the Lilac
Pen and Ink on paper, 6x7
Today, I switch gears, and get into the ink!  I love the way pen and ink steps back in time.  This could have been drawn 300 years ago, or just today - it is timeless.  I can look back to the first ink drawings I did in January, and wow - what a difference!  As I have penned, I have learned, and the expression has come easier with each rendering that I do.  I no longer feel a stress about attaining the likeness and feeling I want to portray, they just happen organically, almost without thought, which is how my graphite drawing has always unfolded.  This ink journey has been a sweet one, and one I will pursue forever.  I will never be too old or feeble to pick up a pen and paper!  This drawing is 1306 in 1306 days.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Orange Sail Cover

In the afternoon, this sailboat shined in the harbor.  It was one of three that I had tentatively chosen for the morning's quick paint.  By morning, the light was too different, and the bloom was off the rose, so it was not my choice for the quick paint at Sister Bay.  And yet, I had to paint it.  I couldn't get it out of my mind.  So, here it is, the 1305th painting in 1305 days.