Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Plein Air DUD

From Ewww  to  Ooooooh!

After a morning of plein air painting at a lavender farm in Catlett, Virginia, I produced the first painting which is a dud.  The light kept changing due to clouds rolling in, but I managed to get some color notes I could reference later.  Basically, the 2 hour effort served as notes to refer back to.  I took some photos right at the beginning of our session, and was able to do a painting (16 x 20) that I am quite pleased with.  I couldn't have done it without having stood there in that space for a good while and picking up the subtleties of light and distance.  So, I was bummed after I painted out, but managed to get my mojo back in the studio.***happy dance***

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


5 x 7 oil
Ginny Lewis

Many times when we paint out on Wednesdays it takes me a while to get my vision for what I will paint.  Today promised to be overcast and hazy light, and there was  And then I happened to see one of our painters, Virginia Lewis, setting up to paint in this lovely blue shirt.  I am just as happy to paint a model outside as I am to paint a garden.   I did a smart thing and painted the figure first after laying in the lights and darks on top of my drawing.  She was free to move around about an hour after I started, and I could complete the painting and work on the background, or negative space, around her.  She is a lovely, kind person, and a good painter who likes to wipe her canvas down from time to time.  She also enjoys snacks and lunch after we paint, as do I.  As do all of us.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Lesson Learned

I participated in my first paint out event in a local town and was reminded how important it is to keep the painting brush strokes LIVELY.  Because I paint almost every day, I have been using a brush and a palette knife and maybe drifted toward making things look "wrapped up" and polished at the end.  In plein air, it is essential (IMHO) to show the energy of the artist's mark making because of the limited time. I did this peony painting today and paid careful attention to the marks I made and tried to keep the surface "fresh looking" as a result.  It was a step in the right direction!

Monday, May 16, 2016

A New Perspective

Daily Paintworks often features a "hovering" perspective of the objects and I thought I would give it a try.  I do like the abstract quality of the things that are only partially shown in the painting window.  Next time I will pay close attention to the colors of the objects themselves.  I selected the things more by their unique shapes.  I can see using this composition as a step to an abstract piece.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Make your own sunshine!

Day 15 of overcast and rainy.  I also have developed some ailment in my shoulders from painting so much!  I think they are inflamed and BOY DOES THAT HURT!  I can't reach behind myself to put my coat on, so I'm off to the doctor.  My paint out group just missed our third Wednesday out due to crappy weather.  I am trying to keep it all in perspective.  The sun is scheduled to return on SUNDAY.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Seeing Color Accurately

I was re-reading Kevin McPherson's first book about plein air painting and he stressed the need to accurately represent color by using a white paper as a reference, or a punched hole in a viewfinder to compare the value of the hue.  It was an interesting exercise to always be comparing a color to the color next to it, or the contrast between the apple's edge and the background.  I also switched to a halogen spotlight hoping to work in a cooler, less yellowing light.  The more I looked, the more colors I saw.  This was not a quick process, so my daily painting went over onto one more day.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Ooops there's no FOCAL POINT....

Last week I decided to do a little study of a window from a local historical building.  I was unfocused while I was working, and my picture really has no FOCAL POINT or center of interest.  I sort of got lost in the rusty palette and left out the most important stage of planning and sketching. 
There's always next time.