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:

January Lineup of Projects

Quick painting of the front counter at “Rabalais Bistro”, Santa Paula, CA

In my zeal for setting a goal to complete more paintings this year, I began two large watercolor paintings and an oil painting. The 10″ x 26″ oil of a rainy day in Paso Robles, CA is just in the beginning stages and before I continue going any further with this, I plan to work on several smaller color studies, using different palettes to bring a little more ‘life’ into the final painting.

For the following painting, I began with a sketch, next, a black and white contrast study for this pumpkin patch scene, then began the watercolorBefore getting too far with the watercolor process, I decided to scrap this project because it would look much better done in oils.

Finally, in this last piece I have the drawing done and just a tiny bit of watercolor placed but will hold off until I get a value study done to get the greatest impact on the final painting.

So what began as an energetic beginning to 2019 has slowed down to a snails pace and with it, doubts and frustration. I welcome any thoughts or feedback.

Well, it’s back to the drawing board for me!

Have a great week🎨

Show Time

“Misty Morning In Napa”

Many artists I know have been working diligently as they create beautiful works and getting them ready for art shows all around the country and I have been doing that as well. In fact, I have been letting quite a few paintings stack up, thinking that I would just send them out to the framers one painting at a time when it was time for an art show or two. This Fall I was asked to enter my work into three different art shows and one of the shows wanted 9 paintings to display! Wow, 12 paintings going out was such a thrill but then reality hit me as I needed to get 9 of those paintings framed, eek!

The dilemma, paying to have 9 paintings framed. It is far too costly to have that many professionally framed so I drove out to a wholesale framing business about an hour away to get the supplies I needed to mat my work, but they tell me they won’t cut the frames without a resale license. So what do I do? I call hubby at work and asked if he could make the frames if I picked up the moulding and of course, his sweet answer was yes. HA! It was far more difficult than expected and we needed specialized tools. Argh, with only a few weeks to go, we were committed, so we drove over all of God’s green earth to purchase the tools needed, glass, etc. Now add in the gigantic learning curve “voila” the frames are done in just the nick of time! We both worked very hard and although it came at a time consuming cost (plus equipment and materials), the entire frame job for each painting was so well done. The big lesson learned for us is that there is a reason framers charge so much!

Above, “Vineyard Poppies”, is one of the many frames we put together.

My husbands’ father used to own a wholesale art agallery and my husband used to be a “fitter”. He matted and assembled the frames, so learning how to cut the frames was just another step for him to be proficient in. He taught me how to mat the art but he did all the rest. This was a match made in heaven!

Below is a sampling of my art in the different shows:

And last but not least…

“Misty Morning In Napa” (45″ x 60″ oil triptych) won Best of Show in the Thousand Oaks Art Association

As we approach Thanksgiving, take care and be safe.🎨

Work In Progress…

9″ x 14″

This summer I have been concentrating on watercolor paintings – from very small to medium in size. This landscape is an elongated vertical format which highlights the shadows on the path as well as the morning light coming through the trees.

I have used illustration board, 300 Lb Arches single sheets, Arches watercolor blocks and currently am trying the Fabriano 300 Lb single sheets. I am actually a bit disappointed with how this paper takes the watercolor but am working through the difficulties.

I began by sketching on the watercolor paper then started laying out my color.

I am now at the point of fine tuning and adding greater depth and contrast. Comments are welcome, especially if you have a favorite watercolor paper or board to work on.🎨