Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wildflower Path

Today's Art Mob plein air at the Anita Gorman conservation center was a lesson in "rolling with the punches"!  A lovely place, I quickly found my subject matter.  Drawing it portrait format in my journal, I decided to sketch it landscape. I was out of unpainted 4x6 papers.  That's okay, is just start in with the paint.  I open my pochade to find two wet paintings - I forgot to remove them and reload!  I walked back to my car, because I have a carrier with two fresh panels, only to find one of them already painted. I still had one!  I grabbed my OFF clip on,  because I already had a bite and the clip on fell off my easel in the trunk. I got back to my set up, and finally started painting!  I took off my sunglasses, and one side fell off, the tiny screw lost in the grass.  I walked away with a painting I really like, and two ink stretches.  I couldn't pass a hydrangea on the way out without sketching it!  A crazy mixed up plein air day - and my 1625th painting in 1625 days...... or is it 1626?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jack and Sandy's Garden

What a special treat is was to be invited to this charming garden!  With Sandy's monkey bread and a cool drink - I was off to choose my painting location!  There are so many paintings to be found in a garden, it was hard to narrow down the field!  So, I didn't!  I included the view with the "windows", which were really mirrors framed to mimic windows!  How clever!  The beautiful garden is reflected right back - doubling it's size instantly!  This was such a peaceful place to paint. The icing on the cake?  An informal pan flute recital on the lawn, hand carved and played by our gracious host, Jack!  What a perfect way to spend the first day of summer!  Painting number 1624 in 1624 days.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Horse - Da Vinci Style

i have a journal that I reserve for studying master works.  The pages have an aged look, and the hard cover is meant for a drawing of it's own.  Here, I am working in the style of Da Vinci, loosely trying to keep my marks within his bounds. I am using an India ink pen for this, no pencil or fountain pen, just the line to shade and turn the form. I can learn so much by working from a master's piece - I don't dio this nearly enough.  Perhaps I need to give it one day out of 30? I really LOVE working from life, but drawing from Da Vinci could only improve my skills.  Painting number 1623 in 1623 days. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Allium Batik

Teaching last week's Watercolor Batik workshop has me experimenting in the paints this week!  I like to keep a few small sheets of rice paper in my sketch bag, so I can ink my drawings in the field and batik them at home with the hot wax.  This is one from the Overland Park Arboretum (when the allium were amazing) on Kozo rice paper.  This paper is quite thin and fragile, so I must be careful when it is wet with watercolor.  I carry my pan sets in my bag - and they are opaque, unlike the transparent color I have always used. Guess what?  I love them!  The pigment is so rich, and the way the sediment is migrates is so cool!  I left an edge which I filled in with the batik color....which is new.  The opaque brown that I used in the batiking process actually sits on top of the wax, and stays on the painting after ironing.  Interesting!  I think I can use this to advantage!  I'm having so much fun, how will I ever sleep?  Painting number 1622 in 1622 days.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Brookville Farm

The drive through western Kansas is so much more interesting with a pen and journal inn my hand!  These wonderful, pastoral scenes are so appealing to me, bringing back memories of cattle running on my grandma's farm. Not so long ago, I challenged myself to painting 100 cows in one week.  Has that ever made my cow rendering so much easier!  I know their form from all angles, and can draw them very quickly now. Such a bonus!  If there is something you would like to improve your skills on - draw it 100 times in a week!  You won't believe the difference it makes - even months later!  This painting is number 1621 in 1621 days.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mountain Road

I could hardly stop drawing during our mountain drive!  One right after the other, I drew the unfolding scenes before me as fast as I could, barely finished as the scene disappeared in the rearview mirror.  Nothing bumps up my painting speed like a fast moving car!  The one draw back is that I couldn't get a single photo of my drawing with the landscape behind it - it was gone before I could get the shot!  What a great way to spend that time - REALLY looking at the scene.  I had 11 of these painted before we left the mountains behind us!  Painting number 1620 in 1620 days :)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Along Blue River

Venturing out along a dirt path through the wildflowers behind our hotel, I soon heard the rushing of water.  I couldn't see water through the trees and tall grass until I was nearly upon it!  What a surprise!  The river twisted and turned,  and I followed it deep into a brushy area (this was before I knew to be wary of bears and to carry jingling keys)!  When the path finally reached a road, I recognized it and took the civilized way back.  There are a hundred paintings along that path - river, mountains, woods, waterfalls and a bluff rising up along the back side of that river!  This quick color sketch hardly does the place justice.  I will have to do it in oils!  Painting number 1619 in 1619 days.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mountain Trail Inked

The Yampa River Core Trail was the closest to our hotel, and the first one Michaela and I explored for a morning run.  Advised to dangle our keys to let the bears know we were coming, we ventured out!  The views are amazing at every turn, and the evidence of bear tracks were all over the trail.  This trail parallels the main thoroughfare in town, and leads out the other side.  Passing several other runners, I felt sure the bears weren't hungry.  They surely would choose juicier morsels than us!  I've gotten so fast at pen and ink sketches, I can do them on the fly with just a short pause in activity.  It really is remarkable how skills can improve with daily dedication.  Now, if only the watercolors were this fast for me.  I think they can be, I just need to devote more time to them.  Painting number 1618 in 1618 days.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Mountain Pond

Hiking trails can be found everywhere in Colorado.  Simply start walking in the direction of the mountains, and before I know it, the trail becomes rather remote!  A couple of times I found myself backtracking, a little wary of running into bears on my own.  If you are ever in Colorado Springs, you must drive up to Pike's Peak!  The views are breathtaking all the way up the mountain, and once you're at the top there is a gift shop and cafe to enjoy - and get you out of the snow and 50mph winds!  It's amazing how dramatically different the weather is from the bottom to the top!  There just isn't enough time to paint my fill in this place.  Painting number 1617 in 1617 days.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mountain View

Early the first morning in Colorado Springs, Mike and I went down for breakfast, sitting out on the balcony and waiting for the kids to join us.  With journal in hand, I drew the mountain scene as we talked, sitting in soft, cushy chairs with a cup of hot tea.  The air was cool and brisk, not at all like the hot muggy air we left in Missouri.  This is the first painting in this journal, which I am hoping to fill wth Colorado paintings.  It feels a little funny using the Pitt pen after so many drawings with the fountain pen.  It is just proof I need to keep my hand in it, just to maintain my confidence with these tools.  The watercolor lays down easily, but I think I should have brought another pan set with cooler colors.  Who knew the hues would change so much in the mountains?  Painting number 1616 in 1616 days.  My, how time is flying by!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Suburban Hydrangea

Plein air is painting on location, from life.  Sometimes, those places are indoors, but always the experience of the day seeps into the painting. These hydrangea were first inked with a Pitt pen, then I washed in the color with my watercolor confection pans.  This is one of my favorite flowers in one of my favorite journals!  The media float over the heavy texture, and water sits on top allowing the paint to mingle and move.  One day soon I will do a flip through video showing all the pages of this journal. I can see so much improvement from the first page to the last.  Painting number 1615 in 1615 days. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Steamboat Springs View in Ink

I try to take every opportunity to sketch, and this one was finished while waiting for the kids to bring their luggage to the cars!  I keep a small clipboard loaded with a piece of my favorite handmade paper as well as my current sketch journal in a bag in the car.  With two kinds of ink, watercolor pans and a couple waterbrush pens, I can sketch at a moment's notice.  If I have to wait on anyone, I'm actually happy about it - and hope they don't appear until I'm finished!  This landscape is just across the street from our hotel on Lincoln Street in Steamboat Springs. What a lovely place this is - I only wish I hag more time to lay paint!  Painting number 1614 in 1614 days.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Steamboat Springs Path

As I watched Alastair play at the playground, I grabbed my pen and paper, and started to draw.  This scene was visible from my vantage, and I quickly sketched the composition, I never know when this little one will want to run to a new place!  With my waterbrush pen, I filled in my values, letting the water move a bit.  This place is stunning, and the light is clear and cool.  This drawing is the perfect art fix to sandwich into a hectic day!  If only I had time to get out my oils....!  Painting number 1613 in 1613 days.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Castle Rock in Ink

 We stopped in Castle Rock after leaving Colorado Springs to gas up the cars.  That's all the time I need to capture the scene before me.  Sometimes, I even ask Mike to park a certain way to give me the best vantage!  I had watched this rock formation from afar as we approached.  It's funny how observing it closely beforehand really speeds up the drawing process.  I already knew where all the planes and values were and it came together in a snap!  This drawing makes 1612 in 1612 days. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pike's Peak

What a beautiful morning for painting in the mountains.  Up early to do some ink and watercolor, I then had a chance to set up my easel and get out my oils.  I wish I had reloaded my palette, and am hoping I can get through the week in what I have. The wildflowers are popping along this ridge, and the colors are so different from Missouri. The greens are cool and dry, in fact all hues are cooler. The light is also different, less humidity to thicken up the atmosphere. It is so fun to explore the differences in paint. It may take me a week to get used to it!  Painting number 1611 in 1611 days. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Road to Balducci's in Ink

I love these wonderful old barns, and this is one of my favorite styles! There is something so nostalgic about an old barn in ink,  as if it had been done a hundred years ago.  I'm making this post short, as it has been an incredibly busy day!  This painting makes 1610 in 1610 days. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Angler Pond in Ink

The early morning light streaming through the trees was a joy to behold at the Jerry Smith Park! I knew this would be the spot to paint, but first wanted to draw a couple of pen and ink sketches to be sure of my composition.  Michaela set up at the other side of the pond for her watercolor painting, and we spent a peaceful hour and a half at our work.  It was a quick paint, after all.  I'm nearing the end of this sketchbook, and when I'm done I think I'll do a video clip through, so everyone can see what fills my pages. I have a new book waiting fur me in the table! Painting number 1609 in 1609 days.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Art Fair at the Arboretum

I'm so at home in the garden, it is a delight to set up my easel and paint!  While visiting with patrons, I like to capture the experience of the day.  With pen and ink and paints, I went from one project to another, the path, the lake, the gardens and the tents, finishing with a drawing of my easel!  Capturing these moments while surrounded in the landscape is a sure way for the mood of the day to seep into my artwork!  It has been so fun to have Michaela join me in this plein air event, and she even had her first sale!  SO EXCITING!  Who knew 9 years ago when she and Michael tagged along with me, their own easels in tow, that she would one day paint in the event herself?  This painting makes 1608 in 1608 days.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Wonder in the Sky

Today was the Art Fair at the arboretum, and it is my last day for painting in the Stems event.  I've had so much fun painting in the gardens.  Today was hot and humid, with rain threatening.  For this painting,  I was set up under the edge of my tent,  so when the rain began, it was okay.  I could keep on painting until finished.  The clouds were simply amazing as they raced across the sky.  I started with the shadow sides of the clouds first, moving to the lights next.  As I moved to the midtones, I pushed the colors a little to capture their beauty.  It was fun to visit with all the patrons as they walked through the gardens, I think I may just go into withdrawal when I'm not painting here every day!  Painting number 1607 in 1607 days.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Path by the Pond

What a fun morning in a very cool park!  I didn't even know this place was here - and it is only 20 minutes from me!  This was originally a farm, that is now a 380 acre park, complete with prairie, outbuildings, and a fabulous, secluded fishing pond.  It was the "Party in the Prairie" plein air event put on by the KC parks department. There was live music, horse drawn wagon rides, hot dogs on the grill, and plenty of people enjoying the park.  Michaela entered her first quick paint with me this morning - and we BOTH placed in the top 5!  SO exciting!  I love that we can share this over her summer break.  This pond was stunning in the morning light,  and was certainly worth the extra hike to get there.  I will be returning to this spot to paint often, and I see a Workshop on the Prairie in my future!  Painting number 1607 in 1607 days.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Poppies at the Lake

With so much painting, I often switch from one medium to another at the drop of a hat, although it has been years since I've used Golden Open acrylics. I found them too tacky before, sticking even months later!  So,  I abandoned them after one plein air event, without seriously working with them. This time,  I added one Liquitex heavy bodied acrylic and a regular gel medium to the mix, ensuring good curing. It worked like a dream,  and I was able to control the drying.  Opens used by themselves take forever to dry,  and I like to work faster than that!  I purchased mine when they first came out, and they may well have adjusted their formula since then.  I really had fun pushing that paint around with a knife - and I want to do more of that in the future,  but I'll never give up my oils!  Painting number 1606 in 1606 days :)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Impatiens in Ink

After dropping our artwork off at the Rice Gallery,  Michaela and I headed back to the arboretum for some relaxing paint time.  These last days have been so hectic, that unwinding was in order.  Ever on the horizon,  the dark clouds loomed.  Was rain expected?  I didn't think so,  but the telltale signs were rolling in.  We settled near Margaret's pond,  and started drawing.  By the third, rain was falling and we found cover.  Under an umbrella outside the cafe,  I drew these lovely impatiens bordering the patio.  This painting makes 1605 in 1605 days.