Monday, August 30, 2010

Last week of summer

Here we are. One more glorious week left of this amazing summer. I took off on my bike this morning with my painting gear and was amazed at how quiet it is at the beach. I guess everyone is out "back-to-school" shopping.

I brought my 8 x 10 pochade and lightweight tripod that are easily transportable on my bike. 

I did this facing the sun. It got so hot that I had to get under some shade, so I turned around and did this one from under a tree. 

 I love the rustic look of the cedar trees everywhere.
Nature's own landscaping. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

One Hour Painting

I just heard from the folks at the South Shore Art Center that my "One Hour Painting" class that begins September 21 is filling up. If you are looking for ways to loosen up your paintings and want to have some fun on Tuesday mornings this fall, sign up SOON! (Click on "adult classes" #322)
"Summer Stripes"
12 x 12 

I did this today as a practice demo. I'm excited to get "back to school". 
I guess old habits don't die.  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Scary Phthalo Blue

I'm taking a workshop in a few weeks with Carol Marine. She uses Phthalo Blue and that color has always scared me because it seems to take over everything! I very cautiously added it to my palette today and experimented a bit. 

8 x 10  

8 x 10 

I discovered that it makes a great "darkest dark" with the burnt umber that she also uses. I'm psyched!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Good Read

We are having the first rainy Sunday in a LONG time and it's a bit of heaven. My favorite thing to do on days like this (beside painting) is to read. I just finished a book that I highly recommend.
It's an unlikely story written through the voice of a thirteen year old boy. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am going to miss the quirkily lovable and unforgettable characters.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sunrise, Sunset

I pretty much steer clear of painting sunrises or sunsets. I figure God does such a great job at them, why  even attempt to re-create something already done so well by the Master? This month though our challenge group chose the sun as our topic so I've been well.... challenged!

For this painting, I used a method I learned from a London based artist, Stephen Brown. He mixes up a big batch of the sky color and then introduces that into every other color he uses in a painting. The thinking is that it gives the painting unity. After all, the sky color does reflect in to everything on earth. No?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Repeating Subject Matter

I rarely paint the same subject twice. For some reason, I have painted this house over and over again. I think it's because of the way it sits up on a dune all by itself with all those quirky angles that work so well in the sunlight. I did this in my studio today from a photo I took on a bike ride last Saturday. 

"High Noon" 
8 x 10 
(From the road)

I went back into my photo files to find the other paintings I have done of this subject. 
Here are two of the many that are out there.
(I couldn't find an image of one I did in 2008 from the side in late winter. A fellow artist owns it, so I'm going to ask her if I can borrow it to take an image.)  

Humarock Hideaway *
10 x 10 
(from the road)  

Beach Patrol *
8 x 8 
(from the beach) 

PS. I've heard that this house is still owned by the family who originally built it in the 30's.  That makes me like the house even more.    

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Early Evening Plein Air-Same Day

I got my bike back from the shop this afternoon! I had forgotten how tricky it is to pack painting gear for bike transport, but managed to get down to the South River around 6:00 tonight. I was amazed by the lush, lime green marsh grass in the evening light. Not to mention the strong light on that sweet boat!

"All is Calm"
6 x 6

Early morning plein air

My friend Sally and I agreed to meet in the center of a small beach village near us at 6:00 AM today. The plan was to paint one or two of the cottages in the gorgeous morning light as the sun rises over the ocean. We soon realized that, of all the brilliant sunrises we've had this summer, today was not going to be one of them. There was a dark purple bank of clouds over the ocean, casting a gloomy haze on everything. So, we just set up our gear in a parking lot and went at it. I kind of felt sorry for this abandoned boat and closed up shed, so I decided to paint them.

9 x 12

I'm picking up my bike this afternoon at the repair shop and am psyched to finally be able to ride around and scope out possible painting locations. You see a lot more and can get to some interesting places on a bike!   

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Magic Hour

My favorite time of the day at the beach is just before the sun sets. I call it "magic hour" because there is almost a "hush" that comes over everything, as if the world is putting itself to bed.

"Magic Hour" 
16 x 20 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Second Plein Air Painting

The view of the marsh. 
The sky holes in the tree are what attracted me.

Again, I established my darks first.

This still looks a little washed out to me.
 Not enough contrast of the light and dark shape. 
I think I'll go back in to it and "bump it up" a bit. 

All in all, it was just a great afternoon of painting en plein air! 

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Off Road Painting"

Today, I set up my gear in a wonderfully private spot overlooking the marsh and tucked away just off a busy road. It was divine to be there with just me and my I Home (to drown out the noise from the road; I usually just listen to "nature" when I paint outside.) I set up facing the road, because it was high noon and there were some dark shadows to work with. (The view of the marsh was pretty bleached out.) The light changed dramatically throughout the hour it took me to do this, but I tried to stay focussed on the big dark and light shapes that I saw in the beginning.
Here  is what I was looking at 

I established the darks as a "map"

my "block in"
I covered the whole canvas with big shapes in generally correct values

Then I added a little "dessert"

I was having so much fun, I couldn't leave. I didn't want to over work this one so I stopped, turned around and did another one of the marsh in the later light. I'll post that next.