Monday, September 28, 2009

Ocean Dunes - Enlargement

Ocean Dunes, 18 x 18

This is my last studio piece painted from my Long Island plein air studies... for now anyway. Being there this summer pushed me in some different (and sometimes scary) ways... all you creatives out there know what I mean. Sometimes art and fear go hand in hand. And fear can be good if it's the kind that makes you take a risk and try something new.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Morning Vapors - Enlargement

Morning Vapors, 18 x 18
Here again, I worked from my small plein air study to paint a larger painting in the studio. Revisiting my field paintings takes me right back to the original moment in time - complete with sights and sounds. On this particular early and foggy morning, a very cute couple came speed walking past. When they saw what I was doing, they slowed down and asked if they could take a look. (Most people actually don't stop.) It was really satisfying to me when they agreed that the subject was worthy of painting. "And it's right here in front of our very eyes!" they said. As if, maybe, they were seeing it for the first time. I felt like I had done my job that day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dissolving to Mist - Enlargement

Dissolving to Mist, 18 x 18

This foggy peninsula, coming and going from sight in the mist, reminded me of the Brigadoon legend. Remember the old musical classic about the village in Scotland that would wake up for just one day every hundred years? At the end of the day, they would all disappear into the mist for another century. (The enchantment kept Brigadoon from being changed by a progressing world.) Okay, this homestead does have electricity and probably even wireless internet access... but still. We can pretend.

Painted from plein air study done on Long Island - Mecox Bay.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Silent Fog - Enlargement

Silent Fog, 18 x 18

So you thought I was done with all that fog? Nope! After doing the small color studies, I returned to my plein air pieces and painted them onto larger canvases. This revisiting process allowed me to solidify in my mind how I got there and to understand it better. I also just really fell in love with the soft subtle gradations in value and couldn't leave them alone. :)

I am a little behind in posting, so this one and the next three are from a couple weeks ago. I have a show coming up on October 24 here in Austin at the Davis Gallery, so I have been busy trying to get all of that together... well, and travelling to the workshop... must slow down...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tree & Sky Studies

Tree & Sky Studies, 6 x 8 each
In Scott Christensen's half day workshop, we were encouraged to go out and do as many "starts" as we could. We were to focus on the elements that puzzle us: trees against sky, how the light makes some things warm and some things cool, how the values help to establish important horizontal, vertical and diagonal planes... but not worry about finished paintings.
He pointed out that we would all become much better painters if we would stop trying to make "completed, perfect paintings" while in the field. We should be out there observing, learning and experimenting. No wonder he's so good! :) These are my three studies from that morning.
I wish I could share every detail of my "Weekend with the Masters", but it would be way too much to talk about every demo I saw and panel discussion I heard. The teachers were gracious and engaging and there was a spirit of comraderie among all the participants. It was pretty fabulous in every way.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rocks & Ridges

Distant Ridges, 6 x 8

Rocky Outcropping (workshop study), 8 x 6

I painted these two studies in a daylong workshop with Skip Whitcomb at Weekend with the Masters in CO. He did a fabulous demo for us in which he also shared bits of his outlook and philosophy. One of the participants got it right when she dubbed him a "cowboy poet".
Skip's focus was to get us to really "see" and celebrate the large abstract patterns in nature. He encouraged us to step back and observe the dramatic shapes created by light and shadow crossing the forms in the land. His sketchbook is full of expressive thumbnail drawings that simplify everything into shapes and values. The above studies were my response to his challenge. (I confess, there was a third one that didn't make the cut!) :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mountain Road Studies

Mountain Road Study 1, 12 x 9
using Diazonine Purple, Thalo Green and Cadmium Orange

When I last posted, I was in Colorado Springs at the Weekend with the Masters Workshop. I am home now, and finally got some pictures taken...

I had a half-day workshop with Kevin Macpherson (not enough time with such a master but oh, so instructive). He gave us an assignment to paint the landscape using only three colors - Cadmium Orange, Diazonine Purple and Thalo Green (plus white). We were to mix these colors to find the best representative hues and values for our subjects. Removing the obvious colors from our palettes forced us to "see" the relative values and to be creative with assigning color to shapes.

We were also invited to try a second one - this time using only yellow ochre, burnt sienna and black (plus white). Same idea, remove color dependence and just see everything as value tones. It was hard and really stretching!

Mountain Road Study 2, 8 x 6

using Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Black

A huge highlight of the week was meeting up with blogging friend, Pam Holnback and having a fabulous grand finale dinner in her home! Isn't that the greatest? I love it when the world gets smaller. Thanks again, Pam!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Foggy Treetops

Foggy Treetops, 7 x 5

This is the last of four color studies in which I took two colors, mixed them for a variety of muted neutrals, and added white for value shifts. In this piece I used red and green (yes, Christmas Red and Green.) What I enjoyed most about these little experiments was discovering many ways to say "grey day", without using the obvious black and white.

See more Small Works
Note from Colorado: Workshops, demos and panel discussions have been unbelievably fabulous; and each day is jam-packed. Best of all, there is a wonderful spirit of generosity and support both from instructors and other students.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Foggy Dunes

Foggy Dunes, 7 x 5, SOLD

This is my third study in finding color-based neutrals. For this piece I used combinations of indigo and yellow plus white to establish a range of foggy grays. This excercise was really helpful before embarking on some larger fog and mist paintings! Can we ever experiment enough?
See more Small Works
Personal side note: I am now off at a four day workshop with some incredible painters in Colorado Springs! Kevin Macpherson, Scott Christensen, Skip Whitcomb... I am pinching myself. It's like being at the most fun camp. I always loved camp. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Foggy Field

Foggy Field, 7 x 5
This is the second of four small "color studies" I did to experiment with muted, foggy tones. As explained in my last post, for these experiments I limited myself to two colors (plus white), and mixed them together to find interesting greyish blends. In this one, I used green and violet. (Okay technically, both of those colors were mixed first out of primaries, but I limited myself from that point on.)
See more Small Works

Monday, September 7, 2009

Foggy Road

Foggy Road, 5 x 7
Fog... love it. My next four posts will be some small fog "color" studies (done in my studio). I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but here's the deal... while I was painting fog in the field, I was painting fast & fursiously and found the foggy greys through intuition. Back in my studio, I have attempted to discover greys in a more intentional way. These next studies were basically painted in two colors plus white - mixing them to find some rather delicious greys. This one was painted with mixtures of orange and blue.

See more Small Works

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Morning Vapors

Morning Vapors (study), 9 x 12
Old Town Road, Southampton
This is the last of my Long Island plein air paintings. I'm always sad when I know I am out painting in a place for the last time. I felt like I was just starting to "get it" and then it was time to go home. SO, don't be surprised when you see some of these images again. I have been revisiting the fog and the mist and the vapors in my studio ever since I got back. It's like finishing a thought - you're kind of stuck until you get it all out! :)
Painting friends - Is anyone going to the "Weekend with the Masters" in Colorado Springs next week? I will be there and think it would be fun to try and meet up. Let me know.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dissolving to MIst

Dissolving to Mist (study), 12 x 12
Mecox Bay, Southampton

More fog - I had great fun with this particular weather pattern! Beginning this painting, I made mental notes about the reflections, the values, and the mist, thinking that the sun would come out and change everything. Instead the mist got thicker and by the time I finished, I couldn't see any of it any more! Painting outside - always a surprise.