Sunday, April 23, 2017

Barn at Vineyard Hill

After a sunrise quick paint in the charming town of Washington, Teddy and I hustled back to Augusta to meet for the workshop caravan.  We spent a lovely day at Vineyard Hill learning to improve our mad art skills!  From creeks,  hilltops, vineyards,  barns to rolling hills,  this venue has it all!  I chose this scene because it has so many different opportunities to work on, and when I'm in a workshop - I want to kick the challenge up a notch!  I like what's going on here.... let's see if I can improve my daily work as well!  Painting number 1565 in 1565 days?!  Who can possibly keep track when I am doing so much painting?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

View from Katy Trail

The rain was pouring as I jumped out of bed,  and continued for hours!  With the whole Katy Trail as a guide from Dutzow to Defiance,  Teddy and I went in search of cover.  This place was very appealing,  but the only cover we had was her raised hatch on the SUV!  Squeezing in,  we painted fast.  I had to get that surface covered before the rain started again!  I did get it covered,  and the rain let up.  Thank goodness!  It was very cold when the wind kicked up!  The Schaeffers at the Lindenhoff served the artists a wonderful hot breakfast by the fire in their gorgeous B&B after the judging.  How generous, as relaxing, after the cold, wet morning paint out! Painting number 1564 in 1564 days :)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Tucked Away

This morning,  I got to participate in a live broadcast for "Great Day St. Louis"!  Several of us plein air artists painted the view from the pavilion at the Daniel Boone Farm,  with a live audience and the camera panning along behind us.  It is so fun to paint with all the excitement in the air!  We started painting right before the show began at 9:00, and we finished by 10:00.  Then, we rushed off to a paintout already in progress at Montelle Winery!  This painting makes 1563 in 1563 days, but really,  I'm way ahead of my count by now.  I may never post them all if I stick with only one a day!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Killdeer Drive

The blooming dogwoods at the top of this street led me to this location.  In my pre-sketch, I found that I downplayed the bright white blooms.  As I painted,  the whole scene demanded my attention,  and the white blooms simply did not work in the composition.  I painted them out,  with only the slightest hint that they were ever there.  It is a funny thing how a painting will take on a life of it's own sometimes,  no matter what I thought my focus would be initially.  This 1561st painting in 1561 days has already sold to the family who lives on that upper bluff :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Kate's Coffee in Ink

My new handmade journal has the most delicious paper!  The 100% cotton rag paper is soft and velvety,  and with a gentle texture.  This was the first drawing of the Josh Been sketching workshop,  and I have had so much fun!  It took me a little while to settle on my subject matter, but once I did, I drew four sketches back to back!  This was such an informative workshop - I am so happy I was able to take it!  If you ever get a chance to learn from Josh Been,  jump at it!  I have drawn this coffee house with my new fountain pen and a water brushpen to gradate the values.  I can float water right over this paper, and the magic just happens.  LOVE this journal!  Painting number 1560 in 1560 days :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Peonies of April

This was the plein air day for the Tri County Art League at the Overland Park Arboretum,  and what a gorgeous day it was!!  I could see the color of these blooms from across the lake - and I could not believe they were already blooming!  I scouted no farther.  No bloom pulls me right in like peonies!  I blocked in as the visitors ambled by,  visiting as I worked.  I was so caught up in conversation,  I nearly forgot to take the on sight photo!  Just another day in paradise!   Painting number 1559 in 1559 days....I think!   It's SO easy to lose track :)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Clematis in Ink

I already packed my new pen in Teddy's car,  and tonight I miss it!!  I pulled out three other pens to see how the ink moved with water,  and I was sadly disappointed!  So,  I grab my trusty Pitt pen,  and start drawing!  This clematis is one of the transplants I got from Norma last year - and it is blooming before mine is!  Her iris babies are also bursting,  and it is only April 17th!!  Crazy town!  I love the unique brown and cream color of these blooms!  This drawing is number 1558 in 1558 days :)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Wine and Glasses in Ink

After a very busy Easter gathering with much family,  the house has settled down and I am on cleaning duty!   As I sift through the chores,  my mind wanders to my daily painting.  What better thing to record than the remnants of the day?  So,  I leave the empty wine bottle and a few of the glasses on the table,  and grab my brand new handmade journal from India!  It's buffalo hide cover is thin, supple and buttery.  The 100% cotton rag paper has wonderful texture,  is velvety and thinner than my other handmade journals.  Will it support the use of water?  I gingerly sketch with my Pilot Varsity fountain pen,  careful not to leave the nib on the surface too long.  I'm a little fearful of bleeding through.  As I take my water brushpen lightly over the lines,  the ink works it's magic.  It does not bleed through nor damage the paper.  In my carefulness, I leave it lighter.......I like it!!  Should I use this fancy journal for my upcoming sketch event?   Hmmmm....I think I might.....!  Painting number 1558 in 1558 days :)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lilacs in Ink

Oh my gosh!  I tried a new fountain pen today,  highly recommended by one of my artist friends.  I'm in LOVE!!  This Pilot Varsity fountain pen smoothly lays down my lines,  gliding evenly over this textured handmade paper.  With my line work complete,  I lightly wash over those lines with a water brushpen.....and watch the magic happen!!   Oh my, its a good thing all my Easter prep is done.........I will not be spending any more time in the kitchen tonight!  This pen is calling me with it's "siren song"!!  Painting number 1557 in 1557 days :)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Plaza Inked

This is my week of a hundred cars-  and by gosh,  I am going to get them in!   I love picking a focus and attacking it!  True as it is, I keep getting sidetracked by all the spring beauty bursting forth all around me!   This drawing has another 20 cars in it,  and plenty of tiny people with dot heads and dash bodies!  I am in this drawing,  behind my easel,  and more prominently located than the last one!   Can you find me?  Painting number 1557 in 1557 days  :)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April Lilacs

I scouted for painting locations while out shopping this afternoon,  always ready to pull over and paint!   Nothing grabbed me, and the dinner hour grew near,  so I headed home to fulfill my duties.  I've got some beautiful tulips that were calling me,  but as I rounded a bed I was grabbed by these old lilacs!  I am seldom in town when they bloom,  but the season is so early - I am still here to capture their beauty!   And just to mix things up a little,  I have zoomed in on these babies,  catching the sky light behind them.  I brought some into the house,  and my,  how fragrant they are!!  Painting number 1556 in 1556 days :)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Red Oak Autobus

I knew I had to draw this as soon as I rounded the corner.  So much nostalgia and character on this autobus-turned-cafe!  After painting the street scene with the Town Hall as the focus,  I pulled out my favorite journal to sketch this bus in ink.  Perspective is everything here,  so the lines needed to be correct.  I paused before adding watercolor,  but decided to wash in the color gently,  skipping over the rough surface.  There are so many historic buildings here - I wish I could paint them all!!  There is just never enough time!   Painting number 1555 in 1555 days :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Redbud Walk

This was a perfect day for plein air painting!  Warm temperatures,  mild winds,  and the sun shining on the fresh spring landscape,  who could ask for more?  Diane invited me over to spend the afternoon among her redbuds  - and I jumped at the chance!   Heading over right after teaching painting class,  I started sketching out the composition in paint.  With such warm light on the scene,  I chose a cool violet to sketch with.  Once in,  I marked my darks with this same shade before working on the light.  Next,  I skipped to the background,  working forward until the stage was set and ready for the stars - the redbuds!  In hindsight, I should have massed them in a bit first.  Oh well,  I'll do that next time!  Painting number 1554 in 1554 days :)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Red Barn in Carthage

For my third paint of the day,  I chose this wonderful barn across the street from Red Oak II.  I love the architecture of it,  and the showy red paint!  How could I possibly resist it's call?  I never draw things out with pencil first,  I jump right into ink.  I like the loose,  sketchy lines that I tweak as I go.  Once the ink rendering was complete,  I started filling in with watercolor.  I use my water brushpen with my tiny pan sets (watercolor confections - classic and decadent pies) by Prima.  I can take them anywhere!   This probably took me 40 minutes to finish - and it will live forever in my special handmade journal. 
This workshop weekend has been super fun!  I can't wait for the next one!  Painting number 1553 in 1553 days :)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Town Hall of Red Oak II

The morning light drew me right in to this place,  as did the windbreak for creature comforts!  After battling the wind all day yesterday. I was ready to seek shelter!  I began by laying in my darks,  and then followed with the morning light.  That light soon loses it's warmth,  so it is important to catch it while I can.  The gusting winds hardly phased me as I was protected by the old cafe on my south.  This is a rather complicated composition,  but dramatic in the angles.  Lowell Davis came by to visit twice as we worked.  This has been such a fun painting trip!  This painting makes 1552 in 1552 days :)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Old Salem Church in Spring

The wind gusts today were unbelievable!  They were strong enough to blow me back from my easel multiple times!   Me easel even blew over when I walked away from it!  Poor Sandy was scrambling after my stuff when a gust came and blew her easel over, too!  So, we just put our stuff back and got back to work!  This is the first demo of the Red Oak II workshop weekend!  I love the old country charm of this vintage church!  The warm, morning light is fleeting,  so I painted that first, after sketching my composition in with my brush.  Next came the shadow planes in their cooler tones.  With the lights and darks in,  it was time to work to the middle values and get the panel covered.  I had to keep constant hold of my easel,  with one leg planted ahead of me - just to keep my balance in that wind!  It even blew my painting arm back and forth as I painted!   I will not soon forget this painting day!  Painting number 1551 in 1551 days :)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Dalton House Barn

After having dinner in Carthage at Rumor Has It, which was fabulous, we arrived back at the Dalton House in time for a little "not so urban sketching"!  This barn is right outside our door,  and the perfect subject for drawing.  The light was fading, so I sketched quickly with my Pitt pen.  Once finished,  I still had enough light to add some color.  I worked until I could no longer judge the hues, then stopped!  I can't wait to get out and paint this charming town tomorrow!! Painting number 1550 in 1550 days!  :)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

JC Nichols Fountain Revisited

My fountain series continues on this very special khadi paper!  This paper is so special that I save these individual sheets for the fabulous fountains of Kansas City.  This sheet has a quirky little top edge which I love!  Pen work is like handwriting,  every artist has their very own style.  I try to follow form with line,  just as I do with brushwork and paint.  I start with squinting, to see all the values clearly.  I also finish the same way,  rechecking the path of lights and darks.  Sometimes,  a few darks need to be added just to improve the eye flow through the composition.  I have yet to add watercolor to this paper......perhaps the next one!   Drawing  number 1549 in 1549 days - and today is my birthday!  :)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wet Streets and Blooms

Determined to paint spring flowering trees today,  I went in search of those lovely red pink crabapples!   I found this scene from the Kohl's parking lot, looking southeast, towards Jose Pepper's.  The rain got pretty heavy at times,  but let up towards the end.  As long as I've got paint on the whole surface of the panel,  the rain doesn't  hurt anything.  If I don't,  and the panel gets wet,  those wet areas then resist the oil paint - and can't be painted until dry!  So,  I  can tilt my panel downwards a little until I get that paint on,  and then proceed normally.  The light every changing,  I paint it as I see it and then I leave it alone.  I think I paint faster in the rain.   Doesn't everyone?  Painting number 1548 in 1548 days :)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Flowering Crabs in the Rain

As I drove past these beauties on my way home from the gym,  they called to me.  Answering their siren song with paint,  I started quickly.  I had to dodge rain with this one,  as the clouds brimmed over sporadically.  I had to finish this one in my car!  As a result of that,  my reds vary from the ones I see outside of my car.  I had not yet started the tree color when the rain forced me in.  My windows have a bit of a blue tint, and the difference is easily seen when compared with the outdoor photo.  Crazy,  right?  I didn't even realize it until I got out to take a quick photo before heading home!  I still like the results,  but I'll be back to capture their true color on another painting!  Each painting is a lesson,  after all.   Painting number 1547 in 1547 days :)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Rainy Day Greens

I love these dark rainy days for painting flowering trees!!  Their colors really pop against a stormy sky!   In this case, the trees are blooming white,  but their green is showing in the heavy masses.  Light darts out between the clouds irratically,  shooting across the grass.  I wish I had my cad lemon on my palette - it is the perfect shade for the sunlit grass!   I found a few more short brushes for this box that are a little stiffer,  in my stash.  Now, I'll be able to lay down those early strokes in a quicker,  more effective way.  Painting number 1546 in 1546 days :)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

JC Nichols Fountain Inked

Michaela has headed back to campus,  and the house is empty as I settle down with my pen and paper.  Rarely are things this quiet,  so I treasure the moment and really focus.  I got a new khadi paper this week that has a smoother texture and some cool edges!  Since these papers are handmade, each one is unique and beautiful before I ever make a stroke.  I also started with a brand new pen - yay!!  It is SO nice when the ink easily flows from the pen!  One of my favorite fountains, I love drawing it!  The horseman is so dramatic,  and the many streams of water are so artistically placed, it always draws the eye.  This Kansas City icon is my 1545th piece in 1545 days :)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Union Station Sketched

This morning,  the Urban Sketchers KC group met at Union Station for their second official group event!  It was so fun to sketch with old friends  - and to meet new artists,  too!  I first drew this in ink,  and then washed it with watercolor,  using my watercolor confections and a water brushpen.  I love how portable this is!  I can literally take them anywhere,  they fit in a pocket!   The architecture of this historic 1914 station is amazing.  I could paint here all day,  if only I had the time!  This painting makes 1544 in 1544 days,  now to get ready for game night with the family!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Kelso Family Llamas

I had the pleasure of painting on the farm of a childhood friend in Eudora, Kansas today!  What fun!  My daughter was able to go paint with me,  as she is still home on siding break.  Spirit,  Hustler and Adelaide were at first aloof, but soon warmed up to me and got close enough for me to really paint them.  This was so much fun, and my first real experience to paint them.  The dark,  overcast day was a perfect backdrop,  saturating all color.  I pulled out my viridian green for the first time today - a sure sign of sorting!  I have a feeling these beauties will be immortalized in paint many times!  Painting number 1543 in 1543 days :)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spring on Main Street

This dark and rainy day is the perfect backdrop for spring flowering trees!  I had circled past a few places that I'm keeping my eye on for peak color,  but this scene drew me in twice before I submitted to it's call!  I have a crazy mix of paint in my tin,  because I scraped it from another palette (waste not,  want not)!  The background buildings along Main are a law office,  Belton Glass, and Whistle Stop Antiques, and I'm painting them from the Bank of Belton parking lot.  I love the way those pinks vibrate against the green paint of the Whistle Stop - and those wet roads are definitely a bonus,  where color reflects loosely.  My paint is getting a little tacky (I keep forgetting to put it immediately in the freezer,  in fact it's in my box right now) and I must get this loaded with Gamblin solvent free gel!  This gel is amazing and will bring the flow right back.  The safflower oil I use to clean my brushes just is not a good thinning option.  I'm a green painter,  no turps or solvents,  so I really need this morning "go to" medium in a pinch.  Time to pack it up,  more rain is coming!  Painting number 1542 in 1542 days.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

JC Nichols Fountain in Ink

There is nothing as invigorating as first strokes on a new,  decadent paper!   This special paper just arrived from the UK - and I am going to reserve it for Kansas City's historic fountains!  This paper is thick, rough textured, and feels velvety to the touch!  If I leave my pen touching the surface,  the ink absorbs to a deep,  rich black.  I wonder how it will behave with watercolor.....dare I try it?  The edges are so beautiful,  it really should be framed floating,  for all to see the handmade artistry of this paper.  There are times when pinching pennies may be practical,  but skimping on paper is not one of them.  You definitely get what you pay for.  I love these 100% cotton khadis from India!  Drawing number 1541 in 1541 days.  So many fountains,  and only 20 sheets of paper.....

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Looking Across Broadway

Finding a scene where there are plenty of cars is harder than you might think - especially if you live in the country!   I tried several local grocery stores, but the view just didn't strike me as "painting worthy".  The Country Club Plaza,  however is a mecca for this subject matter, and the backdrop is always amazing.  I have started hiding a tiny plein air artist (me) in these pen and ink street scenes!   I may be talking to people, or maybe I'm alone,  but I'm always standing in front of a painting on my easel, with my hat on!!  There are 24 cars and 50 people in this drawing......can you find me?  Drawing number 1540 in 1540 days :)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rainy Day Redbuds

Dark,  rainy days are the perfect backdrop for spring flowering trees!  The redbuds almost glow in such a landscape!  I added permanent rose to my limited palette today,  solely for the redbuds.  I think the color is more true,  with a touch of ultramarine,  to the actual bloom color.  Alizarin alone is not the right shade,  although I have used it when no other color was available.  Spring is definitely the time to pull out my regular palette.  I didn't even miss it most of fall and winter,  but now the color is calling!   It's going to be a little tricky to get all that color on my tiny Altoids palette!  Painting number 1539 in 1539 days :)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Starry Night on the Plaza batik

I really like the way this batik method works with cityscapes! As always,  the results are unpredictable and paint moves freely on the rice paper,  but oh the rewards are many!  The striking thing about batik is how dramatic it can be!  In a few steps,  a simple scene can become magical.  The stars are knocked off the tip of a bristle brush dipped in hot wax at the very beginning!  I can't wait to teach these upcoming workshops!   Painting number 1538 in 1538 days :)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Barnes and Noble on the Plaza

I find I'm wanting to draw constantly!  Michaela is home for spring break,  and we picked up some sweet drawing supplies!  I LOVE drawing journals from India!  The quality is superior in all materials.  I can't wait to start them!!!  But for these study works,  I am using my original sketchbooks (which I once bought because they were so cool).  Just like every other media,  once I really dive into what I'm doing, I zero in on the tools I really love.  This smooth paper is well suited for this kind of drawing.  I'm using a medium sepia Pitt pen, only because the fine and superfine are running low on ink!  It actually works well as long as I use a light touch.  These cars are still a little forced,  but the lines are getting a little easier.  I love how this challenge makes child's play out of hurdles!  Drawing number 1537 in 1537 days :)

Friday, March 24, 2017

Artists Painting the Plaza in ink

Painting cars in the landscape has always been a challenge.  I tend to avoid them,  or better yet,  ignore them completely.  So,  they are my self imposed challenge of the week.  100 cars in one week.  I begin by drawing them,  because the media is less forgiving than paint.  I need to be held to the line!   Even though this is focused study,  I want it to be strong compositionally, not just 100 cars lined up hood to bumper.  What better place than the Country Club Plaza for an amazing backdrop for all the mundane cars?  I look at the shapes that make up each car individually,  and draw just that shape.  I start with front of car,  then the angles of hood and wheel,  next the roof,  finally the back,  treating it like I would a figure.  All figures are angles,  get the angles right and the figure is right.  It's a struggle,  but I'm hoping it will be a breeze by 100!  Drawing number 1536 in 1536 days :)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Food Line at Rozelle Court

Time is not a thing to be squandered,  so when I saw how long the lunch line was,  I took my sketchbook with me!  With limited time,  I had to make fast decisions,  and the first was my composition.  It did seem a little crazy to draw the whole scene - but that was exactly what caked to me,  so I did it!  The first few marks were the central hall, people ahead of me,  and then the structural lines spreading out to the right.  Loose and fast,  I dropped in people,  tables, plants,  until the composition was finished - and it was my turn to grab a tray!  After enjoying soup and a croissant,  I added the color.  I think this very fast piece is my favorite of the day!  I love getting together with fellow artists at the monthly Art Mob event!  What better way to improve your skills than with friends?  Painting number 1534 in 1534 days  :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Eiffel Tower in Batik

I love the unpredictability of watercolor batik on rice paper.  Every stroke moves and mingles at will.  For this painting,  I've used masa paper,  which is a heavier rice paper.  It has a slick side and a lightly textual side  - and that is the one you want to paint on.  I start with my Pitt pen by drawing out the composition.  Pitt pens are India ink, so they won't run when paint is applied.   All light values were painted first,  then hot wax was applied over these areas with a natural bristle brush.  The rest of the color is added,  then waxed,  then all is crumpled up.   Into these cracks in the wax more watercolor is applied,  I used sepia.  All wax is then ironed off between layers of brown paper,  or newspaper.   Voila!  That completes the process!   Painting number 1533 in 1533 days.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Red Fox Sketch

Who knew it would be so fun sketching at Scheels in Overland Park for our monthly Art Mob event?  It was so fun - I could hardly stop sketching!   I worked on three ink drawings, filling in with watercolor, and I barely scratched the surface of their subject matter!   The best part of being involved in various art groups is the unique painting opportunities I'm exposed to!  I would never have done this on my own, and now several of us will be going back for wildlife studies!   Painting number 1532 in 1532 days  :)

Monday, March 20, 2017

First Day of Spring

On this first day of spring,  the temperature soared to 87 as I arrived at a friend's house for a little plein air after painting class!   Her land is wooded with many oaks,  and there was little shade to be had.  It was surprising to stand in the woods, in full sun!  After checking the lake,  we decided to venture to the creek.  The bend of the creek was perfect - and the high banks,  a bonus!  Looking towards the west was fine at 4:00,  but I was painting into the sun by the time I finished.  Even with my wide brimmed hat,  my eyes were burning as I packed it up.  It was so peaceful down by the water,  and pretty cushy with her husband playing "cabana boy" and delivering cold drinks as we worked!  If only every day could be so sweet..... Painting number 1531 in 1531 days.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Milk Barn Forsythia

With each day,  the forsythia blooms open even more!   Their spring glory is so fleeting,  that I feel duty bound to capture them while I can!   I love their sunny yellow cheerfulness - and am already planning on new places to plant the new babes.  The dogs have gotten quite used to me painting in the pasture,  and are my constant companions.  I added a new color to my palette today - raw umber.  I rarely use it,  but have lately thought how perfect it would be for the dried grasses in the pasture.  I like it!   I'll see how much I use it before deciding if it is a keeper or not.  Painting number 1530 in 1530 days,  and what a gorgeous day it is!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Cattle Study in Ink

Tonight finds me finishing up my 100 cows for my self proclaimed "cow week"!  I love this concentrated study!   The watercolor painted cows seemed to roll off the brush,  but the first 20 inked cows were more of a struggle.   So, of course I returned to the ink to finish them up!  They were easier tonight from the very first one.  There is something to that cell memory theory!   The lines flowed more easily,  and the forms came more naturally,  which is all I'm after in these studies.  One good idea leads to another,  and this study had led me to think of another rather unnatural subject for me - cars!   I started with a few on the sunset paint a few days ago,  and I will continue in that theme during the upcoming week.  One by one,  I am going to face those challenges  - and show them who is boss!  Painting number 1529 in 1529 days  :)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Creek in the Woods

I found this creek a month ago while out on a run, and I've been looking for an opportunity to paint it!   I met Diane and Sandy there,  and we hiked into the woods.   Finding the perfect spot,  I set up my easel at the edge of an embankment,   with a bird's eye view of the winding creek.  For the second day in a row,  I recorded some of the plein air experience on Facebook live.  Ten minutes from afar,  to soak in the surroundings,  and again at the final minutes of finish work.  You can check my Facebook page to view.   It was such a beautiful spring day to spend en plein air,  truly a gift.  Now it's time for a little r&r with the family!   Painting number 1528 in 1528 days.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Forsythia by the Barn

It was sheer joy to spend an hour in the pasture putting paint to panel this afternoon!   Warm and a little windy,  I set up my camera to record a video of this painting.  First thing I learned - I should have had my phone fully charged!   When it blew to the ground from a tripod behind me - I realized it was completely dead!   I haven't looked yet to see if there in anything to salvage,  perhaps how I start a painting?   Oh well - I was far too involved in the process before me,  to think about anything else!   I planted this forsythia years ago by the barn, and each year it grows more lovely.  What a joy it is to paint again each spring!  I've also planted it by an old gate, and at the back corner of the house - I hope to get those paintings done before these beauties fade.  Painting number 1527 in 1527 days.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Old Red by the House

I had already passed a herd of cattle on the way to pick up some plexiglass, intending to return and paint them on the spot.  Then,  I saw this fabulous old truck parked at the side of the historic home which is now Woodson Antiques and Interiors.   With the late light - the whole landscape seemed luminous beneath the dense clouds.  I had to paint it!  There was a steady stream of traffic crossing between the scene and I, but it did not distract me.   Tucked back in the parking lot,  I worked unnoticed.  The painting just fell off the brush,  and I needed this creative outlet today!   After two days of intense housework - I needed therapy!   I felt so much better after painting - I  could actually enjoy dinner out with the family!  It was so nice to have Michaela and Cooper join us for the night!   Painting number 1526 in 1526 days :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Cattle in Ink

As I have proclaimed this my week of 100 cows (!), I have returned to my sketchbook with pen in hand.  The last 50 cows were painted in watercolor without drawing,  and they became very easy by the 50th.  I never thought drawing them would be harder!   I'm just not yet familiar enough with their forms,  to draw them with ease.  In fact,  if I'm not careful,  I slip right into drawing horses!!  I think I'd better draw the remaining 30, too - just so I can really get a handle on them!  This piece makes 1525 in 1525 days :)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Rush Hour Sunset

Today,  I am experimenting!   I want to achieve that "staring into the sunset" feel for this painting,  and I'm using a rather unusual subject for me - a street scene from town!  When I'm in Belton for a sunset,  the best open sky view is from the Kohl's parking lot.  I first underpaint the sky with a cad yellow ball (sun) that gradates out to a cool sienna/alizarin shade at the edges.  I place my sun off center for best composition.  I do all of this in acrylic.  When dry,  I start negatively painting everything by placing in the actual sky color in oil.  In this case I have a Naples yellow/ochre mix.  I scrape back to the wires,  but all else is shaped by the sky color.  I want to add "100 cars" to my monthly goal, so I start here with 4!  I add taillights to the cars,  and - voila - I think it is finished!   I might just go out and paint the windmill in the same way! Painting number 1524 in 1524 days :)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dairy Farm

Last week's challenge of painting 100 people in one week was eye opening.   What better way to concentrate on a specific set of skills?   My figure and gesture work has become more fluid and natural - in just one 100 renderings!   With this in mind - I am approaching cattle with the same focus.  I love them,  but have so little experience drawing or painting them that I have to consciously think about their forms as I paint them.  I want them to be fluid, falling off the brush without effort!   I'm watercolor sketching these,  without drawing them first,  allowing the colors to mingle.  I'm using up a watercolor block that I don't care for,  after all,  the focus is the form.  I really only like 300lb paper,  and this is a 140lb cotton rag (artistico).  The texture is too smooth for me,  I prefer the rough.  After about 30 of these babies,  they started rolling off the brush more smoothly.  I'm already more comfortable with their form.  Yay!   I see more of these personal "focus" challenges in my future!   Painting number 1523 in 1523 days.   Perhaps my next focus will be cars in a parking lot!  :)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Historic Presbyterian Church

I had to deliver my son's wallet to him at robotics, just when the snow was really coming down.  This was the perfect opportunity to paint snow!   Grabbing my easel from the trunk - I started painting this historic church on Main Street in the car!   The flakes were so large and heavy, I couldn't keep them off panel or palette!  I have to admit,  it was pretty cushy sitting on my heated seat,  drinking my hot chocolate Chai tea, with my pocket easel in my lap......a girl could get used to this!   As fast as I work,  I still could see the light blanket of snow melting before my eyes!   The street went wet, reflecting the colors of the church,  before it lost it's sheen entirely.   In one short hour,  most of the snow was already a memory. Thank goodness I was here for this exact hour, to capture this illusive beauty!   So glad my son forgot his wallet!  Painting number 1522 In 1522 days :)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Spring at the Homestead

After the gym this morning,  I drove all over old town, Belton,  looking for a fabulous old house surrounded by flowering trees.  Winter is moving back in,  and I want to capture those blooms before the freeze gets them!   I found plenty of historic homes,  but the trees weren't at their peak,  or the light would be better in the afternoon,  blah, blah, blah.  I wasn't feeling it,  so I headed home.  Well,  this is what greeted me  - perfect light,  perfect blooming trees,  even plenty of daffodils to capture!   There really is no place like home!   Painting number 1521 in 1521 days :)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Spring on Main Street

I love the character and charm of these wonderful old houses!  The trees in the yard had just burst into bloom - and I couldn't resist them!   Having finished my errands after the gym,  I jumped right in.  After all,  that shower can wait,  but the changing light waits on no one!   This couldn't have been more true today.  When I started this painting,  the sun was bright and skies were blue.  As I finished one short hour later,  lightening and thunder rolled in with giant raindrops!   I barely wrapped up in time!   And, I thought I was going to knock out two before returning home......!  Painting number 1520 in 1520 days :)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Plaza Shoppers

This week's challenge of 100 people in one week has me trying all sorts of things.  First,  I drew a bunch in ink.  Next,  I painted 9 in a gallery interior. This scene has 20 figures in it,  and yesterday's painting was really just a sketch in watercolor with no drawing.  In this one,  I've first drawn then in ink and then painted them in with watercolor.  The hard part is getting them drawn before they exit the area, so I'm learning to really look at them before making the first mark. They are getting easier with each one drawn.  I still want to try some different techniques,  negative painting and some loose oil figures.  It is very hard to resist the blooming trees that have suddenly exploded all over town,  just to work on this challenge!  If only there were plenty of people flocking to the beautiful blooms!  Drawing number 1519 in 1519 days.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Main Street Gem

When I headed out to paint this afternoon,  my intention was to paint the shops on Main Street - with plenty of people walking the streets.   Once on location,  I couldn't settle on a view.  The light wasn't right,  or I couldn't set up where I wanted with the extreme wind,  or I just wasn't  "feeling it".  But this house is inspiring.   I remember when it was run down years ago,  and now it is in the glory of it's former days.   I LOVE it when this happens!   I am again using my limited palette,  but I am rethinking that decision for spring.  Many things are blooming now,  and the grass is turning green - so I think I'll need to load a warm and cool of the primaries in my Altoids tin!   It was 70 degrees when I finished - and so windy,  I had to try several shots before I could get one in focus!  My hand and easel were really blowing with the gusts!   Painting number 1518 in 1518 days :)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Opening at the Buttonwood

This week starts a challenge to paint 100 people in one week!  So,  I will concentrate on paintings with lots of people in them,  as well as doing some extra figure drawing!   What better way to improve those figure skills than this?  I'm not even close to the hundred yet,  and the thing is - they are already getting easier.  I'm getting their proportions faster,  the gesture of movement easier,  and it feels like the mechanics are just slipping into place.  Why didn't I do this earlier?  Well,  art is a journey,  and this is just a road I haven't taken before,  like so many others that lie before me.  I can't wait to see what this year will bring!  Painting number 1517 in 1517 days....I think.....!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Starry Skies in Batik

Surprise!   How about a wild and crazy watercolor batik fit tonight's painting?   Inspired by some of the amazing photos of deep space, this painting was a blast to paint!  The stars are flicked on first in hot wax and a small bristle brush.  In layers, I paint from lightest to darkest, allowing the paints to mingle.  This is nothing like my regular batik work - thus making it super fun!  I'll be doing more of these as I prepare for a couple of upcoming workshops.  Painting number 1516 in 1516 days :)