Nest In The Vine

11″ x 14″ oil on canvas

My husband and I have dear friends that own a small vineyard, Klender Cellars in Paso Robles, producing an amazing boutique wine. Throughout the year, we have had the privilege to see their vineyard during its many stages and have participated at harvest time. Owning a vineyard is hard work so it was easy to come to the conclusion that access is definitely better than ownership! Their vineyard is always fascinating and has been a tremendous source of inspiration for me with my painting. On one particular visit, my friend showed me a birds nest that was in the vines of the Cabernet grapes that were still green.

Shown below is my concept sketch and stages of my painting.

Focusing On Painting

12″ x 16″ oil on paper

In the beginning of summer, there was a question that I needed to ask myself, “How much time with social media is too much time?”. As I do my best to get my work “out there”, I realized that for me, it was taking over the already limited time I had to paint so I decided to just focus on my painting. I started by making a plan to finish a stack of paintings that I had set aside quite awhile ago before starting anything new AND before posting. I plan to stick with this plan in order to produce more work and post less.

Here are the paintings that I have completed:

“Poppies In The Vineyard” (22″ x 30″ rework/acrylics on watercolor paper)

“A Vineyard Row” (22″ x 30″ rework/acrylics on watercolor paper)

“Blueberries” (12″ x 16″ oil on primed watercolor paper)

Now that the stack has been completed, I feel much better about focusing on new projects. Until next time, take care and enjoy the last bits of summertime fun and warm weather!

Time for a few changes…

22″ x 30″ oil

“Poppies In A Vineyard” was started a year or so ago and although I placed it in my completed stack, I was never really satisfied with it and knew I would make some adjustments to it later. Instead of overworking something to death, it is better to set something aside for awhile. I finally pulled it out this week and was able to view it with a critical eye and see what was bothering me.

When painting, I always mix a tad of black with other colors for my dark darks but low and behold, I had areas of black that looked like a chalkboard plus I had some areas that were quite rushed in comparison to the rest of the painting. The changes have been made and I am pleased with the outcome.

Here is a recap of the process:

I prepared a 22″ x 30″ single sheet of 300lb watercolor paper prepared with gesso and then made my sketch.

Then came the layout of color

Chose to rework some areas on my desk instead of my easel. Sometimes I will work upside to better concentrate on some areas.

Finally I can call this painting finished!

Scribbles From The Road, Part 2

Fields of Canola Flowers

Our travels continue on from Coeur d’Alene to McCall, Idaho. The Pacific North West or “PNW”, as it is known as by those living in this region, is absolutely beautiful. We traveled through mountains, farmland and ranch lands and as driving through, we are struck by fields upon fields of bright yellow. We were in Grangeville, Idaho and cars everywhere were pulling over so that people could take photos. The need for fueling up our truck came at the perfect time for me to get out and ask what we were driving by and was surprised when I was told that they were Canola flowers.

Of all of the items I buy in the grocery store, I have never once put any thought into canola oil but seeing those fields gave me a new appreciation for what is being harvested each year.

We traveled up the next mountain range and this was the sight as we were leaving…

As we climbed the mountain, we were struck by even more beauty…

White Bird Hill Summit mountain pass is at an elevation of 4,450 feet. Located at the southwest corner of the Camas prairie, White Bird is near the Salmon River crossing point for the Lewis and Clark expedition and also the location of the 1877 Battle of White Bird Canyon, which was the first fight of the Nez Perce War where the U.S. Army was defeated. The summit was named after Chief White Bird. Photos of this view do not adequately show the elevation or beauty but trust me, it is stunning!

We traveled down through canyon along side the Salmon River.

In part 3, I will share the photos of McCall and it’s landscape.

Poppies In The Vineyard

22″ x 30″ oil on heavy weight gesso’d watercolor paper

Finally finished! I have completed 12 vineyard paintings and now plan to photograph and make prints to sell. I will add more to this collection at a later date but for right now it’s time to move in a different direction and on much smaller canvas’.

I chose to do an impressionistic style with this painting and still managed to put way too many hours into it. Working large just takes too much time and I get bogged down with detail. Although I am pleased with how this turned out, it was a struggle because the surface of the paper felt like working on a chalkboard so from now on, I will stick with oil on canvas.

Here are photos of the progress: