Monday, April 29, 2013

Country Manor

Country Manor, 16 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

Last week, Plein Air Austin met up to paint at the lovely Barr Mansion just outside of town. This old Victorian home and it's surrounding gardens always have a way of transporting me to a different era. The original house was built in 1898 for a cotton merchant named William Barr and it is still surrounded by working farm and ranch land. Today the property is a popular wedding spot (in very high demand with the Austin brides) and it's booked for months out. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Field of Wildflowers

Field of Wildflowers (study), 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

A week ago, I took advantage of a bright and sunny morning, and drove out to paint in the fields of McKinney Falls State Park. And they did not disappoint - Bluebonnets and Broomweed covered the ground as far as the eye could see. The blue and yellow combination was simply glorious.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Budding Cactus

Budding Cactus, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

I fully intended to paint a creek bed on this particular day. However, when I got there the shadows were already washed out by the rising sun. Luckily I had spotted this jaunty cactus on the path. Sometimes you just have to punt. :) It was beautifully backlit and I even had some shade to stand in. The cactus buds were barely beginning to open, a lovely promise of bright, golden flowers. I am sure it's in full bloom now. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Garden Palm - Plein Air Demo

Garden Palm, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel ©2013

This is another demo piece that I did for my plein air class a couple of weeks ago... I was able to edit the process down to six logical stopping points for explanatory purposes, but there are hundreds of incremental decisions in each stage that I had to leave out. Time and space just don't permit, but I hope you can get the gist. So, for students, painter friends, and art aficionados of all persuasions... 

Block-in the Scene 
 Using a mix of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, I sketch/paint the scene, adjusting values in the upright planes as they recede into the distance. Keep the paint dry and thin.

Mass-in the Upright Planes
Begin to add color, working dark to light. The darkest darks are in the upright planes, so I usually start there. Remember that as elements recede, values come together with diminished contrast, colors become muted, detail lessens, and edges become softer. Organize values accordingly and keep the masses simple.   

Mass-in the Ground Plane 
The ground plane reflects the sky, so it will be lighter than the upright planes. It also changes as it recedes, becoming cooler, more muted and less detailed. 

Mass-in another, elevated, Ground Plane
The top of the hedge reflects the sky the same way the grass does, even though it is elevated. Consequently, the values of grass and hedge-top must "agree" about what the light is doing. 

Mass-in the Sky Plane
The sky is lightest because the sun lives there. Adding the sky plane eliminates the final white space on the canvas and allows a comparison of all the value planes. Notice that the masses are still very simple at this stage. Now is the time to adjust values BEFORE adding details and highlights. 

Break up Masses with Subtle Shifts
Once I get all the values "working" together, I move to the final stage of breaking up the masses. I use subtle color and temperature shifts within each value plane to suggest details. At the very end, I beef up lowlights and add the highest highlights. Deferred gratification is hard, but waiting pays off. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Winter Haze - No Place Like Home

Winter Haze - Mopac Bridge, 12 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

The effects of a morning mist can be so tantalizing! It settles hazily on the lake and quietly softens all the hard edges of the city. These are mornings that make me glad I got up early (and wonder why I don't do it more often!)

No Place Like Home
Davis Gallery Group Show - 837 W. 12th St. Austin, TX
Opening reception - Saturday, April 20, 7-9pm 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Morning Train - No Place Like Home

Morning Train - Mopac Bridge, 12 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

Can't you just hear Arlo Guthrie now... "Good morning, America, how are you?... I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done."

We have a pedestrian bridge in Austin that crosses Lady Bird Lake, and it's a perfect spot to watch the sun rise on the city. On this particular morning, a train happened to be crossing the Mopac Bridge in the distance (named for Missouri-Pacific Railroad). Trains are always fuel for the imagination and I loved the boxy silhouette this one made. 

No Place Like Home 
Davis Gallery Group Show - 837 W. 12th, Austin
Opening reception - Saturday, April 20, 2013, 7-9pm

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bright Lights - No Place Like Home

Bright Lights - Congress Avenue, 18 x 18, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

These are the bright lights of downtown Austin on a drippy wet evening. Our Texas State Capitol building is stunning in any weather (you know it's taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC, don't you?) This piece is one of several that I painted for the upcoming "No Place Like Home" exhibit at the Davis Gallery. The opening reception is this Saturday... please come by if you are in town!

No Place Like Home
Davis Gallery Artists Group Show
Davis Gallery, 837 W. 12th, Street, Austin, TX
April 20 through May 25, 2013
Opening reception: Saturday, April 20, 7 to 9 pm

Friday, April 12, 2013

Salon International 2013 - Exhibit in San Antonio!

Enchanted River Canyon, 20 x 24, oil on canvas, L. Daniel © 2013

This weekend, the Salon International Show opens at the Greenhouse Gallery. I am pleased to share that this piece was accepted into the show, along with incredible work by artists I admire greatly. I will be at the opening tomorrow evening and hope you will stop by if you are in the area. The art is always a feast for the eyes - you will not be disappointed. 

Salon International 2013 - Juried Show
Greenhouse Gallery
6496 North New Braunfels Road, San Antonio 
April 13 through May 3
Reception April 13, 5 to 8 pm

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Returns

Spring Returns, 6 x 8, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013

We have been experiencing the return of color to our landscape as spring brings everything back to life. Trees are leafing out, wildflowers are blooming and, of course, temperatures are warming up. We have even gotten some rain and rain is always welcome in these parts! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Quick Draw and an Honorable Mention in the Plein Air Southwest Show!

Pots of Delphinium, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013
Plein Air Southwest - Quick Draw Painting 

The opening of the Plein Air Southwest Show in Dallas was fabulous... great people, incredible paintings. My big news is that my painting "Summer Morning" won an Honorable Mention! The show was judged by distinguished painter George Strickland, and receiving his affirmation is a great honor indeed. My heart is full and grateful! 

This was the annual show of the Outdoor Painters Society, so of course we painted too! On Saturday morning we met up at the Dallas Arboretum for a "Quick Draw"- a timed, 2 hour painting session (and friendly competition). I found these Delphinium beauties in a little courtyard called the Poetry Garden. As the name would suggest, it was off the beaten path a bit... much to my liking. 

It was a great weekend all around!

A grinning, happy me with my Honorable Mention ribbon for "Summer Morning". 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Plein Air Southwest Salon 2013 - Exhibit in Dallas!

Spring Bloom, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013, $725

This weekend the annual Outdoor Painters Society exhibit opens in Dallas, Texas. I am pleased to be showing these four paintings and to be participating in the Quick Draw on Saturday morning. If you are  in the area, please come by for the activities. It will be an exciting weekend!

Plein Air Southwest Salon 2013
Juried Outdoor Painters Society Exhibit
Southwest Gallery
4500 Sigma Road, Dallas
April 6 through May 4
Reception April 6, 3 to 7 pm

Quick Draw - April 6, 10 to 12 am - Dallas Arboretum

Summer Morning, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013, $725

Tasting Room, 8 x 16, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013, $775

Glowing Pavilion, 12 x 9, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2013, $725