Sunday, October 31, 2010

7th and Main

7th and Main, L. Daniel, 9 x 12

Saturday morning a bunch of plein air painters met to paint in the historic square of downtown Georgetown (about 30 miles north of Austin). It was quite a happening place: a beautiful morning with a huge flea market set up just a block away. What a combo! I can't tell you how many times I gave directions, "yep, just another block that way and turn right". One sweet couple came back several times to check on my progress and to give an encouraging word. It was a wonderful, warm small town experience. :)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day's End

Day's End, L. Daniel, 9 x 12

Yesterday eve I headed out for and end of day painting on the edge of town. The late afternoon light is always the most beautiful, casting everything in a wonderful warm wash of gold. However, at this time of year, the light on the grasses is just unbearable. As I applied the final strokes it was almost too dark to see, but I was done anyway. It was good.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Autumnal Morning

Autumnal Morning, L. Daniel, 18 x 36

This larger, studio piece is based on a plein air study I did last week. I widened the scene to focus on the long morning shadows and to capture the sense of depth I felt in this farmland. It was a fun way to revisit a lovely morning! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Country Watermill

Country Watermill, L. Daniel, 12 x 9

Last week Plein Air Austin painted together at the Anderson Mill about 20 miles outside of town. Originally built in the 1860's to make gunpowder for the Confederacy, it was later turned into a gristmill to grind corn for the local farmers. It's now a museum and historical marker, and a great place to paint! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lower Falls

Lower Falls, L. Daniel, 6 x 12, SOLD

On Monday, Julie Davis and I went to McKinney Falls State Park to paint the Lower Falls. This is a beautiful park that is just outside of Austin but feels hundreds of miles away. It's one of my favorite places for just that reason! We enjoyed another gorgeous fall day... so great to be outside.

See other Small Works

Monday, October 18, 2010

Autumn Beckons

Autumn Beckons, L. Daniel, 12 x 16

Fall and spring are the best times to live in central Texas... and actually maybe they are the best times to live just about anywhere! Don't we love the changing of the seasons and all the accompanying colors, smells and memories? This row of trees marking the farmer's field has been on my list for a while now, but it is especially compelling right now in its fall array. I had to do a little trespassing while painting this one, but what's a girl to do? Didn't seem to bother anyone. :) 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Amethyst Sparkle

Amethyst Sparkle, L. Daniel, 8 x 8

Whenever I teach a still life class I get the urge to paint beautiful lit up objects myself. This week I got a chance because my daughter was home. She had to work so I set up some small still lifes to paint in between our numerous chats throughout the day. Such fun. :) This purple blown-glass vase belonged to my husband's grandmother, Noonie, and I just love its chunky simplicity. (There is also a blue one that may make its way to my studio at some point!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Amber Glow

Amber Glow, L. Daniel, 8 x 8, SOLD

I found these two old beer bottles on a ranch this summer when I was out scouting for paint sites. They were dusty and filled with dirt and bugs, but I loved them instantly. Their wonderful, weathered patina and rounded edges made them wildly compelling as painting objects for me, but when I held them up to the light, well, "delicious" is all I can say. 

See more Small Works

Amber Glow Mosaic Study, 6 x 4, NFS
a quick pre-study for shapes and color blocks, 
and loose simulation of block-in method

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Garden Delight

Garden Delight, L. Daniel, 12 x 9

On Saturday morning I painted at Mayfield Park, a lovely, local garden spot. We have been having the most beautiful weather and as I painted, the park began to fill up with photographers taking family photos. (Christmas card shots, perhaps? Some people are so organized!) I could hear moms clapping and dads chirping to get their babies to laugh before moving on to the next pose. It was totally entertaining. :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lessons from the Colorists

Mission Light (finished piece), L. Daniel, 12 x 9

Mission Light (color block-in/start), 12 x 9

Daniel Pinkham Workshop - Block-in Process Notes:
Squint down to see at least three large masses in the darkest value.
Compare differences between each massin color and temperature.
With turpentine color washes - block-in large masses.
Repeat for mid-values and lightest values until canvas is covered.
Hold onto the values and temperatures as color is added.
(Wow - that sounds so logical, but easier said than done!)
I spent two days at the Masters Weekend studying with teachers from the Colorist tradition. Daniel Pinkham studied with Russian master Sergei Bongart; and Camille Pryzewodek studied with American master Henry Hensche (who studied with Charles Hawthorne). Both of these traditions find their source in Impressionism, specifically in the work of Claude Monet. It would be impossible to sum up each of these approaches so I will simply relay how they got us "started", both with a painting and with learning to "see" color. These two painters have devoted their artistic pursuits to understanding the color of light and the color of air (light filters through air and both affect everything we see). Please click on their names above and see their work - you will love it.
Mission Color (finished piece, palette knife), L. Daniel, 9 x 12

Mission Color (color block-in/start, palette knife) 9 x 12

Camille Przewodek Workshop: Block-in Process Notes:
Sketch composition with light blue pastel pencil.
Observe patterns of light and shadow - organize into flat planes.
"Hues on first" - paint spots of color in correct temperature and value.
Keep color spots separate until canvas is covered.
Compare and correct temperature, value and hue relationships.
When relationships are correct, add color nuance and subtleties.
Bring shapes together; retain value & temperature of large masses.
(Palette knife is important for avoiding detail too soon!)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Afternoon Overlook

Afternoon Overlook, L. Daniel, 8 x 6

This is my afternoon painting from my session with Frank Serrano at Weekend with the Masters in California. At the end of day the light moves quickly, and Frank emphasized the importance of painting with a sense of anticipation. This means blocking in the shapes and composition, but holding back with the color that will change as the sun does its thing. On that day, a wonderful glow lit up the whole hillside. I was so glad I had waited!

Just FYI - Frank Serrano is a great painter and generous teacher. He came early, stayed late, and did three demos for us (which can be so stressful)! He is also really down to earth and fun. Check out his work here. I will tell you about my other painting teachers when I post my work from their sessions.

There was not a minute to spare at the Masters Weekend - it was chock-full of not-to-miss events! I watched still life demos by David Leffel and Richard Schmid, a duo portrait demo by Scott Burdick and Daniel Gerhartz, and I listened to a fabulous panel discussion about technology and art. All of this brought about stimulating dialogues... such an enriching experience!