New Challenges With Painting

5″ x 7″ oil

I am looking forward to going to the 2019 Plein Air Painters Convention is in San Francisco this Spring and as a painter who enjoys the controlled environment of the studio, this will be a new and exciting experience for me. My hat goes off to all the Plein Air painters that are able to complete a quality painting, in changing light, within 2 – 4 hours. I love taking my time with painting and getting lost in thought, music or a good audio book, so working quickly is definitely a challenge for me.

To avoid any excuse regarding location or weather, I decided to set up my easel in our yard to capture some of the landscape and also set up still life’s in my studio. In order to stay within a 3 – 4 hour time limit per painting, the majority of my paintings are 5″x7″.

I will be heading back outside to work on my landscapes in changing light. For those of you who paint out, I would love to hear how you deal with the light, the elements and mixing colors quickly.

Small Works

This past month I have enjoyed seeing the paintings posted from two different artists for the Strada Easel Challenge. Each artist faithfully completed 31 paintings for the entire month of January and not only was I impressed by their commitment, but each new painting built greater skill on the one painted the previous day. I would like to see my skills improve along with the confidence of mixing colors quickly in order to build speed, so I have decided to challenge myself in a similar way.

Painting quickly, in a looser style, or outdoors has never been my strength, but I do believe that challenging myself to paint small paintings every day will help me in the long run. Below are the first five that I have completed, 3 outside and 2 in my studio:

Upcoming Art Shows

I’ve needed to put my sketchbook and paints aside for a short period of time in order to mat and frame quite a few of my paintings for three upcoming art shows. Being an “empty nester” is a pretty exciting chapter in my life and I am able to pursue my art as well as be involved with so many amazing artists. Having 9+ paintings would be a pretty penny to send out to a professional framer so I’ve spent a lot of time matting the artwork myself, having glass cut and this weekend my husband will cut the frames for me., then the final stage will be putting it altogether. It is a lengthy project but I actually love being a part of this stage preparing my artwork for shows.

The Thousand Oaks Art Association is a wonderful group of talented people and I am so pleased to have two of my paintings in this show. If anyone is local, come on by to see all the beautiful work on display.

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.