Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crimson Carpet

Crimson Carpet, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012, SOLD

Sometimes you don't have to go far to see remarkable beauty. This field is right next to my church and every spring it's filled with some of the most beautiful wildflowers in town. I love going out there and spending a quiet morning. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Luminescent Field

Luminescent Field, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012, SOLD

Painting and lunch - isn't that a delightful combo? Last Friday, I painted and lunched with my friend Enid Wood who lives in Bastrop. Her neighborhood has lots of natural spaces and ponds (which thankfully survived the wildfires last fall). As I drove out there I was mesmerized by fields of yellow wildflowers that simply radiated. When I noticed some growing right where we were painting, I knew exactly what my day was going to be about... :) Later, I did a little research and these luminescent flowers are called Helenium, or Bitterweed in the common vernacular. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Out At The Ranch

Out At The Ranch, 9 x 12, oil on panel, L. Daniel © 2012

Oh, the joys of Spring! I know I am getting repetitive about this fact, but I think we all feel a certain excitement when color returns to our own neck of the woods. We're just ready. :) Last week, our group met up at the ranch of local artist and friend, Pat Haberman. We had the run of the place and a great time out painting. Thanks for having us, Pat!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Three Palms

Three Palms, 10 x 8, L. Daniel © 2012

It's officially Spring now and the best plein air season is well underway here in central Texas! Everything is turning green again and the wildflowers are out on every highway and byway. This piece was my demo for my plein air class this week. I wish I had thought to take step by step pictures but... well, didn't think of it. I did, however, promise to post the final product. Here you go, guys! Great work this week! :) 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Country Corral

Country Corral, 9 x 12, L. Daniel © 2012

A few of us from Plein Air Austin met up last Saturday to paint at a wonderful ranch outside of town. It was overcast and breezy (my easel actually got blown completely over when I stepped away for a minute - no damage, thank goodness) but that didn't stop any of us. Painters have to paint!!! This fabulous old corral has seen many a day, and it's weathered patina was completely enticing. Many thanks to our fabulous hosts for having us out.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Garden of Blue

L. Daniel, ©2012, Garden of Blue, 12 x 9, oil on panel

Yesterday, a group of us met up at the beautiful hill country ranch of Suzanne Stewart, a fabulous painter and friend. The ranch is a stunning place... truly a painting in every direction. Gardens and hillsides were abundant with spring bluebonnets - already knee high in one area. It looks like it's going to be a great year for wildflowers in Texas. We must have gotten rain at just the right time. Thanks for having us, Suzanne!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First Redbud

First Redbud, L. Daniel, 12 x 9

We always know that spring is arriving in Texas when the Redbuds begin to pop their buds. It's  a visual treat. We have about two weeks to enjoy the color, so I try and get out a few times to paint the crazy pinks and purples. This is my first redbud painting of the season and I'm hoping to get a few more painted before they all turn green and blend into the landscape. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Roadside Vista

Roadside Vista, L. Daniel, 9 x 12 

On Saturday, Plein Air Austin met up to paint some fabulous long-views up in the hills. However, the March winds arrived on cue, and we all had to find sheltered spots to keep our easels from blowing away. I parked my car on the side of the road, leaving me enough room to paint but still blocking the wind. I didn't get much of the vista but I liked my view of the roadside! I was happy.  It's always an adventure. :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Heat of the Day - Big Bend

Heat of the Day, L. Daniel, 6 x 8

The craziest thing about Big Bend this time of year is the ever shifting weather. Hot to cold, calm to windy. At this location, I chose a small canvas and the only spot of shade I could find because it was so hot and deadly still that morning. My plan was to do a quick study and do it fast! Not 15 minutes in, a breeze came up and soon I was holding on to my easel to keep it from tipping over. Be careful what you wish for! :)

For those that know the area - this is looking out from the shadow of Santa Elena Canyon. For those that don't - that little piece of river is the Rio Grande which travels the border between Texas and Mexico. And those yellow grasses on the right? Yep, they are in Mexico.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mountain Majestic - Big Bend

Mountain Majestic, L. Daniel, 12 x 12 

Up at the basin of Big Bend National Park the mountain peaks jut up all around. The ancient rock is breathtaking and the green growth at the higher elevations is a soothing sight for desert-filled eyes. The challenge for me was to paint the sunlit mountains so that they looked distant. Well that, and getting the colors right, the values accurate, the scale and relationships working... it's all challenging when you are painting fast in the changing light. :)

Hard at work on the mountaintop...
 Photo by Jim Rogers
Thanks, Jim!