Friday, July 31, 2009

Golden Eve

Golden Eve, 12 x 24 diptych

Next week, I will paint a larger version of Golden Eve. Working smaller first helps me get the shapes, color and general direction in place before I commit to a bigger canvas. I was talking with my great painting pal, Julie Davis, about how this process can feel repetitive at times. In practice, I find that the scale differential usually changes things so much that the larger painting is a completely new challenge. It's really useful work out, or at least consider, some of the elements ahead of time. I don't always do it, but it can be a very helpful discipline.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ebb and Flow

Ebb and Flow, 30 x 24
I wonder at the variation in the natural world - the tide, the sky, the light. Everything is constantly changing but there is a definite rhythm to it all.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Storm Overhead

Storm Overhead, 36 x 36

We are in a severe drought here in Texas this summer, so storms are just something we dream about... or go on vacations to experience! This is a larger version of the plein air study I painted in Georgia last month. I love the anticipation of a good, hard rain; I especially enjoyed the drama of the darkened sky and watching the light break through in the distance.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Morning Gilds the Sky

Morning Gilds the Sky, 36 x 36

This larger work is taken from a plein air study I did in Georgia. I was completely taken with these slightly silhouetted trees against the beautiful mottled sky. Revisiting it was just as fun as being there the first time!

On a personal note, I spent long days in the studio this week, painting larger work and framing. The big canvases are harder to photograph, especially when wet, so I was able to post until now. I hate being MIA, but sometimes one flow interrupts another. (And usually it's best to go with the flow...)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Commission Studies

Mountain Meadow Study 1, 6 x 8

Mountain Meadow Study 2, 6 x 8

These two small studies were the first step in my recent commission process. I used them to show how placement of the horizon line would impact the overall "feeling" of the scene and then, of course, to choose. With the horizon line placed low, the painting is all about the big sky and vastness of the land; placed high, the painting is all about the closeness of the field grasses. It's a very slight shift that results in a significantly different perspective. (BTW, there is no right answer here, it's just personal preference. My client and I both preferred the top one. See Saturday's post for final commission painting.)

See more Small Works

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mountain Meadow

Mountain Meadow - Montana, 16 x 20

This is a commission piece I just finished. I don't do many of these and it always fills me with a small degree of fear. (Painting for someone else is just different than painting for yourself!) My number one rule is that I have to have been to the place. My number two rule is that I have painted there and know something about the color and light. Then I try and combine my client's ideas with my own experience to come up with something that connects.

Here is the progression from left (the scene we started with) to right (the scene with alterations/final painting). Each painting informed the next as I "pushed" the composition. The last one seemed to best capture the wide open places and big skies of Montana; the foreground trees providing an important sense of scale. Many thanks to my new friend and patron, D.K., for giving me great artistic freedom and for removing the fear!!

Mountain Meadow - composition progression

On another note, I want to thank Barbara Muir for awarding me the Bella Sinclair Award for "Friendship, Sisterhood, Sharing and Caring." I am so thrilled and honored by getting it from her - SHE is the ultimate sister and friend of sharing and caring! In blog-award tradition, I get to pass this on to other blog sisters who have also been very encouraging to me: Carol Schiff, Catherine Jeffrey, Jala Pfaff, Janelle Goodwin, Karen Phipps, Marion Fortunati, Nancy Hartley, Pam Holnback, Rahina Qh, and my own real-life sister Erin Kleider.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sunlit Pueblo

Sunlit Pueblo, 12 x 12

On Sunday, Plein Air Austin members gathered to install our plein air exhibit. It was very exciting to see it all come together. We have 37 artists exhibiting and over 110 paintings on display! If you are in town, please join us at our reception this Thursday...

In the Plein Air Tradition: Painting on Location
Corridor of Arts - 700 Lavaca (on the lower level)
Opening Reception - Thursday, July 16, 5-7pm
(Free parking in garage across street, enter on Guadalupe)

My paintings Blue Barn, Honeymoon Cactus, Upper Falls, Sunlit Pueblo will be on display. All are 12 x 12.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pool House Morning

Pool House Morning, 12 x 12
Saturday morning our painting group met up Deep Eddy Pool, another favorite Austin haunt in the summer. This is actually the pool house entrance - I just couldn't get past the fabulous morning shadows on the building. Swimming here after painting was a great reward; AND they sell tasty Mango Jim Jims at the snack bar (kind of like shaved ice). So good and so summer!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Barton Springs Shadows

Barton Springs Shadows, 9 x 12
Barton Springs Pool is fed by an under ground spring and the water stays around 68 degrees all year round. It's a delicious way to cool down, especially in this incredible heat wave we are having. Last week, our plein air group met there to paint - and to swim when it got too hot. We are doing that sort of thing a lot these days - it's the only way to be outside and survive the heat!
A side note: this tree almost got cut down this spring for safety reasons. Thank goodness for the friends of the pool who rallied together and saved it! Can you imagine how many picnics have taken place under that tree?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Morning At Bull Creek

Morning At Bull Creek, 24 x 24

This is a studio piece I painted a few weeks ago. I loved the golden color of the reflections that morning.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Morning Bursts Forth

Morning Bursts Forth, 12 x 12

I love the marsh, especially in the morning. The light, color, sounds and smells are so compelling. This is the last painting from my Georgia trip, and I am already thinking about when I can go back! Thanks to all of you who have left encouraging comments about these posts. I had a fabulous time.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Flora and Fauna

Flora (Angel Trumpets), 12 x 9

Fauna (Sago Palms), 9 x 12

Sometimes I just cannot resist vegetation. I love the observing the shapes and colors; and discovering their unique growing patterns. Plus, understanding them up close helps me edit them more accurately in the landscape. These lovely ones were in sunny Georgia!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Regal Pines, 16 x 12
This is what you call "old growth" pines... so tall, so inspiring... standing on the edge of the marsh. I was very taken with the rythmic verticals and interesting angles in the foliage of these trees.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Three Trees on the Frederica River

Three Trees on the Frederica River, 9 x 12

The barrier islands of coastal Georgia are separated from the mainland by marshes and rivers. The Frederica is one of those rivers that laces through the islands, and ebbs and flows with the ocean tide. It's constantly changing.