Beach Scene (1)

5″ x 7″ oil

Today begins my adventure with painting beach scenes. I have always tended toward realism with painting but it is time to challenge myself as an artist to work quickly, not worrying about every detail but to achieve what I hope will be an impression of the scene that really draws the viewer into my work. Living relatively close to the beach all my life, I find it interesting that I have never spent any real time painting the ocean, beach or harbor but now is the time to stretch and be challenged in this area and I hope to get a lot better at it!

Merlot In The Morning 

18″ x 24″ watercolor on Aquarelle Arches watercolor block

I have been working for quite some time on a vineyard series of large paintings which include acrylics, oil and watercolor. This particular painting was taken from reference photos taken at quite literally the crack of dawn! Although this painting maintains my typical control with the paint, it is more stylized then my usual realistic approach.

Beginning stages of the painting:

My Window to a Vineyard

72″ x 96″ oil on stretched canvas

Wine country, Paso Robles, is home to friends of ours that own a 10 acre lot that they planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. My husband and I have had the privilege to see it during the different seasons and help during harvest. Harvesting in 100+ degree heat is hard work and although we are glad to help, we have decided that for us, the best property to own is the one next to the vineyard. Our motto….. “access is better then ownership”.

Our home is not next to a vineyard so I decided to paint my very own vineyard to look out to. I began by building this 6′ x 8′ canvas The painting was too large for my art room so I set it up on 2 easels in the dining room and my husband set up the lighting for me. Below is a smaller section of the painting and of me adding final touches.

I’ve included a few photos from harvest.

Windmill in Napa

Section of a larger painting from my vineyard series.

3 canvas panels, 15″ x 60″ each
Organizing my paintings and sending some out for framing so that I can get them up at wineries.

“Along the path at Scuplterra”

9″ x 12″ Aquarelle Arches watercolor block

This is #17 of my daily painting and even though I didn’t get this one done in an hour or even a day, it needed to be completed. Friends of ours had brought us to Sculpterra Winery in Paso Robles and not only was the wine really good (“nummy” as one of our dear friends phrases it), the grounds that had meandering paths were filled with sculptures. 

Awhile ago I had begun a vineyard series and by the time I started on this, I was burned out on painting clusters of grapes so I put it away for quite a few months but pulled it from my “to do” stack a few days ago and completed it today. As I normally work, I began with a sketch to figure out my design then did a textured effect for the background with burnt sienna and finally went in with the detail work. Planning each project ahead of time with sketches and maintaining control of the paint and detail has typified my work but I have a goal to loosen up my style like so many amazing plein air, as well as studio, watercolorists that paint with broader strokes and washes.

Question to Artists… 

I have been debating whether or not to take an online art instruction class and would like to get other artists thoughts on the subject. Staying fresh and challenged in my art is important to me and it has been awhile since I’ve taken a class (which I always get so much out of) but I’ve never taken an online course and need to know if it is worth it. Someone on WordPress mentioned Roos Schuring and although her style is completely different from my own, her work intrigues me and I would love to learn from it. Since her class is a bit pricey, I thought I would ask around to other artists and see what you think.