Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Leaning Tree in Sunlight

Leaning Tree in Sunlight, L. Daniel, 9 x 12

A few days ago I posted a painting of this scene at Rosario Beach (in WA) on an overcast, drizzly morning. I had several people mention that they would love to see the scene on a sunny day. Well, here it is. The day I scoped out painting sites was a brilliant, sunny afternoon, and I took photographs to remember some of my ideas for my days of painting. Of course, when I went back it looked totally different, but the time I spent painting it on location (studying the shapes and relationships) helped me bring the sunny day photo to life back in the studio. 

The plein air piece of the grey day is below - just for the fun of comparing and contrasting. You can see I painted new one from farther away and corrected the shape of the peninsula while I was at it. :)

 Leaning Tree, L. Daniel, 9 x 12

Monday, August 29, 2011

Help Africa and Demo Announcement

Garden Quiet Study, L. Daniel, 6 x 6
Proceeds from sale of this piece went directly to the 
American Red Cross for the children in Africa

My colleagues over at the Daily Paintworks gallery site have initiated an online auction to raise money for Africa. Due to the devastating drought, the UN estimates that up to 400,000 children in the Horn of Africa could die if they do not receive aid; AND up to 11 million people require food assistance at this time. I donated the painting above to the effort and I invite you to place a bid and help us make a difference! 

SOLD - Thanks to Carol and David Marine for organizing this effort!

On Thursday night this week (9/1/11), I will be doing a painting demo in Fredericksburg, Texas for the Die Kunstler Von Fredericksburg art group. If you are anywhere nearby, you are welcome to come join us free of charge. The meeting will be held in the EMS building on 221 Friendship Lane from 6:30 - 8:30 pm. I would love to see you there! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cool Mist

Cool Mist, L. Daniel, 8 x 6, SOLD

This has been a summer of any thing BUT cool mists here in Texas. Thankfully, I have been able to take a couple of excursions to places where jackets were needed and water actually fell from the sky. It's a beautiful thing. This piece is a revisitation to the drippy skies of upstate New York.

See more Small Works

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Woodland Window

Woodland Window, L. Daniel, 12 x 9

Up near the Puget Sound where I was visiting last week, I was constantly aware of being surrounded by water. The San Juan Islands glisten in the distance and the forested areas are deeply luscious. The foliage seems to understand that summer is very short, because it leafs out (rich and green) like there's no tomorrow. Coming from dry and thirsty Texas, it was quite refreshing.

Side note: While there, I also kept thinking about the Canadian painter (British Columbia), Emily Carr, who painted in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900's. She was a bold and adventurous plein air painter who completely broke with tradition and defied the mores of her time (woman painter, traveled into the wild to paint alone, mixed with native peoples, painted in a crazy newfangled style, and painted totem poles no less!) Susan Vreeland wrote a great book about her that I highly recommend - a fictional piece called "The Forest Lover". It captures a sense of the times and the strength of her great spirit. Being in her territory gave me new insight into what her work was all about.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Leaning Tree

Leaning Tree, L. Daniel, 9 x 12

This past week I had the great fortune to visit my daughter and son-in-law's new home outside of Seattle, WA. It was actually quite cool and refreshing there, in the middle of August!!!!! (Can you imagine?) We did a lot of hiking and I managed to get a couple of painting sessions in as well. This particular morning at Rosario Beach was pretty fogged in... but so beautiful in its quietness. I had to paint fast because the tide was coming in. How do you know when you are finished?? When the water is lapping at your feet! :)

I can see in this picture of my set up that I kind of shortened the peninsula... hmmmmm...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Evolution of a big, big painting

Farmer's Field, L. Daniel, 36" x 60"

Above, close up shots for detail of brushwork and color. 

A couple of weeks ago, I told you I was working on a larger version of one of my plein air pieces from the Adirondacks (click here to see small piece). Well, I finally finished! This is the largest fine art painting I have ever done (prior to this, 30" x 40" was my largest.) The canvas has been in my studio for years but I could never work my way up to it. Why now?? I did it for my biggest fan, my husband, who has a giant wall in his new office space. He has been asking me for his own, NEW painting for quite some time (he always gets the leftovers, sadly), so this one's for him!!! :)  

The following process shots are for all you painter types out there who might find it interesting to see how the painting came together. I had to change my approach a bit since there was so much area to cover. Click images to enlarge.

1 - I began by lightly sketching of my composition onto the canvas with a blue pastel pencil;
followed by Line and Mass Block-in using French Ultramarine & Burnt Sienna.

2 - Focusing on the center section first, I worked outward adding color.
I prefer working with paint while wet (alla prima), so it helped to 
work one area at a time... kind of like the fresco painters of old.

3 - Since the darks dry fastest, I painted into all the dark edges while they were still wet.
This was a good stopping point after a day of painting. 

4 - Next, I added the sky and ground plane.  
This was another stopping point (I actually thought I was finished here, 
but, the ground seemed too orange and the sky needed more action, so...)

5 - Back at the easel, I muted the ground plane and began to add more clouds (in process here)... 

6 - FINAL PAINTING - I finished the clouds (softened) and 
further broke up the tree masses (still fairly subtle but more obvious in real life).

Once I get the painting up in my husband's office, I will try to get a good picture of it. It's always fun to see a painting "in situ". Now, did I mention I have two more huge canvases in my studio just waiting?? :)