Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Last Days of the Old Barn

The rain had cleared as I finished my first painting of the day.  This scene was behind me, while all artists faced the large regal barns.  This may have been the first barn, replaced with bigger and better ones who still help their stature on this farm.  This barn had to be painted, if only to memorialize it's service in days gone by.  These run down barns dot the midwest landscape, and strong winds blew them down with each storm.  I'm glad I could draw this barn before it is no longer standing. Painting number 4222 in 4222 days. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Helen's Hilltop

 I arrived on location just as the storm rolled in, abs all went dark as night. Loving the nocturne feel of the place, I started knocking in those colors within my car, with my wipers on. The sky opened a little with that warm early morning light - so I painted those fleeting colors while I could.  The reflections on the wet pavement were the icing on this cake.  Today, the star of this painting was the weather, adding drama to this biker bar. I was surprised to see those bikes out in the rain, but I guess they were not in any shape to drive the night before. I'm happy I could paint them in - and this painting won the Purchase Award for Helen's Hilltop!  Painting number 4221 in 4221 days. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

Garden at the Barns

Not every day en plein air is sunshine and roses.  I started this oil painting in the rain, careful to keep my panel tilted downward to avoid the water.  Sketching in paint my composition, I quickly blocked in the masses with a large brush. It is important to get paint on the panel before it gets wet, even if loosely.  Once covered, I could then face it up a little to polish my edges and values.  Often times those are a little off when facing down in the rain, lol! I always knock in that light when I start, trying not to chase the light as it changes - especially in the rain. As the sky began to clear, the scene began to change, and it was a good thing I had already captured that magic, because it evaporated with the rain!  So happy this humble painting won the "Barns" theme paint at the Tonganoxie plein air event - and it has a new home, too!  Painting number 3420 in 3420 days. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Flowers by the Barn

What a treat to find such a lush landscape surrounding this amazing stone barn in rural Tonganoxie!  It was lovely to paint with birdsong and bees buzzing from bloom to bloom!  The painting unfolded organically as I marked all the masses, afraid I'd lose that early morning light.  The purple and green played so well together, it was a joy to stand here and paint.  A couple of snakes rustled out of the small pond, and headed away from me, and only one tick landed on me - and was easily brushed away.  Got to love nature when you're in it every day!  Painting number 3419 in 3419 days. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Night at Kane Family Farm

The live music and people gathering were simply irresistible to this artist!  With gear in tow, I set up with a vantage including the large barn, and started painting the light.  I'm using a new clip-on mighty light that I bought from Judson Art Outfitters, to help with night painting.  I never use lights, choosing instead to paint under street lights when working at night, but the pastoral landscape does not offer lights!  So far, so good, but I'm not sold on the color of the light yet, it is warmer that what I see in the landscape. It's size and ease of use are a big plus, though.  I won't know how this really turned out until tomorrow - in the daylight!  Painting number 3418 in 3418 days. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Wisteria at the Bridge

I could see this gorgeous wisteria blooming from the road I drive in on - and had to seek it out.  I had painted nearly this whole scene before a family stopped in the bridge, dropping bread crumbs into the water.  From near and far, red koi streamed in, shining in the sunlight!  I didn't know they were there until that moment!  Another visitor commented on what a lovely thing to paint - and I started doing in those forms like crazy!  Catching the couple as they gazed into the water, I brushed those strokes in quickly, and added highlights to the koi. They were little more than red orange dashes in the water, but oh were they beautiful!  What luck to get to paint such a sight - and to experience it!  Painting number 3417 in 3417 days. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Spring Comes to Sunflower Hill

Arriving for the Premiere Artist's Paintout, I found my location before I even checked in.  Normally I would use my oils for this paint-out of award winners during the last 5 years, but this place called for ink and watercolor.  I sketched out the very detailed drawing before adding any color, visiting with the public as they floated from artist to artist. I loved the spring colors singing on that hill, and it was a joy to paint this on such a lovely day.  So happy my painting will stay with this place, and add to other work I have on these walls.  Painting number 3416 in 3416 days. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Lake Sherwood

I had to scramble down a steep hillside to paint this in the morning light - good thing I've got hiking skills, or I would never have attempted the decline. Towards the bottom of this hill lay some large stones, switchback style, rising from the water's edge.  A house is being built up top, and I was commissioned to come here and paint this view on my largest canvas.  The winds were strong, so strong they blew my hat into my painting, as my whole set up blew backwards towards the water.  Grabbing each with a hand at mid-fall, only a few brushes tumbled out.  But my hat now wore some of that lake painting!  As we gathered later at the clubhouse, multiple artist friends were is disbelief, they couldn't believe I actually had paint on me!  Well, it was an extreme plein air day, and I later removed that paint with the Dawn I carry in my art bag.  Took a little elbow grease, but it did all come out.  Painting number 3415 in 3415 days. 

Monday, May 9, 2022

Japanese Garden

Loose Park is known for it's Rose Garden, but only one stand of yellow roses are currently blooming.  June is when the first blush is, and it promises to be spectacular.  This Japanese Garden is full of lush color, with azaleas shining against the fresh spring foliage. It is very windy today, so I positioned myself right inside the small, covered arbor, seeking some relief from the battering.  As the wind raged, gusts flew through like a wind tunnel, so I was never very far from my gear.  That arbor might be enough cover in a light rain, so I take notice for another day.  Here with the Monday watercolorists, I will check in with another event here at 2:00 - Art Flood. These 90+ days are certainly feeling like summer - and I sure hope the wind lets up tomorrow!  Painting number 3414 in 3414 days. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Raymore Presbyterian Church

This beautiful old church is just down the street from Grandma Bessie's old house, and I have often passed by it running errands.  It has changed through the years, losing a wonderful old house in the same property a while ago.  I've sketched it, but I think this is the first time I've used ink and watercolor.  There is a new gallery wall at a Raymore venue - Centerview, so I am working on a few new Raymore paintings just for the space.  This one replaces another just sold of the Hawk Ridge Amphitheater.  It's fun painting so close to home, and I think it would be nice to do the same for Belton. Painting number 3413 in 3413 days. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Hidden Lake by the Bluff

Setting up towards the edge of the bluff, I had a good vantage of the hidden lake and trail.  Not at all afraid of heights, I was a little worried that my gear might blow off the bluff - so I scooted back a few feet.  There is a hiking trail up to the tip of that bluff, with a wonderful view over the Missouri River.  Once in a while, I could see a hiker along that ridge.  I stood in the sun for this one, with one hand on my pochade as I worked.  Using a palette knife to define the rock face, I spread thicker paint on the masses.  My paint is starting to oxidize, as I forgot to refresh it between events.  The thick paint actually helps me here, lending itself well to the planes. There is also quite a bit of organic debris that has blown into my paint and palette - so there really is a piece of this place in this painting!  Painting number 3412 in 3412 days. 

Friday, May 6, 2022

Wine Country Road

This road leading back to the vineyard is a perennial favorite of mine, hooking me each time I return to the Sugar Creek Winery.  In the early light, I composed my painting, blocking in masses with my paint. As I worked, I lifted my mug of hot, loose leaf tea from the ground at the side of the road. As I lifted it to my mouth, I noticed something black on my black mug.  I tried to brush it away, but it was stuck, so I pinched it with my fingers to lift it up - and guess what it was on the closed mouth of my mug?  A LEACH!!  I wiped off the lid, removed it to drink from the edge, and put my other hand below it to bring out to my mouth, and guess what was on the bottom mug?  ANOTHER BLACK LEACH!!  Well, that's a plein air first for me, I've never seen leaches out of the river, let alone on the edge of a road leading uphill.  I finished my painting, enjoyed the morning and forgot about those silly leaches.  I put my mug on the road after that!  Painting number 3411 in 3411 days. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Augusta Winery

In all the years I've been plein air painting in Augusta, this is the first time I've painted these red buildings in the landscape, and the fresh, spring greens offered the perfect stage for this winery to shine.  Several years ago, pre-pandemic, Teddy and I taught a Plein Air Wine and Paint in the red building to the left.  Jessica from the Augusta Winery set up the space, brought in wine, and helped us with all the details - making it a fun event for everyone!  So, the fond memories I have here made this painting a joy to paint, and I'm happy that someone else can now enjoy this painting in their home. So fun to paint such a place!  Painting number 3410 in 3410 days. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Spring at the Winding Creek

Spring was late this year, barely showing color in the trees when I arrived in Augusta.  I love those first gentle signs of spring, a blush of rose in some trees, while others burst forth in a yellow green flurry of leaves.  So much earth is visible when the foliage is still in the bud, it adds interest and depth to the landscape. I found a new spot on the Katy Trail from which to paint, and the many curves of the creek make this painting a joy!  I love how very deep this view is, so peaceful, surrounded by birdsong. I could paint here every day, and not tire of this place.  I will certainly be back next year.  Painting number 3409 in 3409 days, and this painting is now showing at Gallery Augusta. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Into New Melle

What fun to paint the road into New Melle with ink and watercolor!  After painting the road into town from the north, I settled on this spot for the next one.  I've run out of all larger papers, so am painting 8x6 today, which will frame to 10x8.  Using my view finder, I closed in on this specific view to paint, finding my best composition within that frame.  I love the bright blue on that building - it adds a lot of pop to this small town scene.  Raining off and on, I had to hop back in the car twice - to protect my work.   Watercolor, ink, and rain do not play well with each other!  I finished and framed, then Teddy was ready to have her car back, so my next sketch had to wait for later!  Happy this painting found a new home at the pop-up gallery show at the Quarry Winery!  Painting number 3408 in 3408 days. 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Morning at Lake Creek

This farmhouse turned winery sits high upon a hill, with sprawling views all around.  Picking my spot carefully, I knew rain would be blowing in from the south and west.  Finding cover at the north edge of a shelter, I found my composition in the landscape, and started drawing in ink.  On misty, rainy days, I must work fast to protect paper and ink.  The cotton handmade paper absorbs water from the atmosphere, which will add flow to the ink - sometimes far too much spread!  As I finished, the light rain was paused long enough for me to grab a frame and get the drawing between glass. Once framed and turned in, I could sigh in relief and move on to the oil painting inspired by this piece. Painting number 3407 in 3407 days. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Welcome to New Melle

As I rushed up this road headed to old town New Melle, the fabulous "Welcome to New Melle" mural painted on the old shed stopped me in my tracks!  I turned around, knowing I would have to paint this view!  Choosing ink and watercolor to express the fresh spring greens and colors, I set up under a cedar tree for shelter from the approaching rain. It worked for a while, but I was soon heading for the car to let the weather clear.  I'm so happy I could finish when it let up - and happy this painting has a new home, too!  Painting number 3406 in 3406 days. 

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Ferry and Walnut

After a busy day of entering paintings in hourly Theme Paints competitions, I just HAD to get outside and paint!  I'm not very good at sitting around, especially when the light is so beautiful in the landscape.  Loving the whole feel of this street, I began this painting in front of this beautiful historic building (that is being brought back to glory).  Starting with the line work on this place, I worked down and up the street, marking color and values all the way.  It was fun to visit as I painted, and before I knew it, the painting was nearly done.  With a Crack of thunder and a cold rush of air.  That storm in the distance rushed in.  In so glad I got this finished before the storm!  Painting number 3405 in 3405 days. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Spring Arrives at the Cabins

I don't think I've ever been to these cabins when all of their spring trees were in bloom - so I HAD to paint them.  After a busy day, and a meal at Good News Brews, I set up with an hour before sunset, to capture this place.  With big brushes and thick paint, I marked all the light and shadow while I had it.  Then I worked to the middle, meeting edges and getting the panel covered.  It was so much fun to stand in this place and paint, listening to the leaves rustle and the kids play in the park behind the school.  What a wonderful evening for painting!  Painting number 3404 in 3404 days. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Sunset Over the Gazebo


Checking in at 5:30am, we had a sunrise paint in downtown Augusta.  Seeing many of the artists set up along the parking lot edge, looking over field and pond, I decided to step back to include this when wonderful old gazebo.  Spitting rain throughout, I tilted my pochade lid downward slightly, to keep the surface dry until I got it covered with paint.  If rain falls on it - oil paints will not stick!  If has been a while since I've painted a sunrise, and it was super fun to do so with friends. I've gotten faster since my last attempt, so this time I felt no pressure to race the clock.  This painting is still available, but they are going like hot cakes! Painting number 3403 in 3403 days.