Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pumpkin Field - Day 30

"Pumpkin Field"
#30 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas panel

This morning I went plein air painting with the Plein Air Buds out to Hunter Farms just a few miles from my house.   Pumpkins by the hundreds were grouped together in large masses all over this large sunny field so I positioned myself in the shade to capture a few groupings.

This is the last day of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  It has really been a great learning experience and I have struggled many days but I survived!  Participating in this challenge every day has helped me to not only paint daily but also blog daily, share my blog daily on facebook, update my website on a daily basis and link my blog daily to Leslie Saeta's blog along with the hundreds of other artists around the world! 

 It has also been so interesting to discover the work of some of the other artists and follow their progress.  I will miss the challenge but because of the struggles and hurdles I had to jump over, I came out a stronger person and stronger artist. My theme for this 30 day challenge was
"Vacation Memories".  For a purely selfish reason, I have enjoyed going through my vacation photos and reliving the memories created during those trips.  Because life happens, I could not always paint  from my vacation photos and occasionally inserted paintings done plein air (like today) and from earlier in the month when I was in Georgia at a plein air workshop.  

 I have thoroughly enjoyed this month!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Moulton Barn - Day 29

"Moulton Barn"
#29 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

The first time we went to Jackson Hole in 2005, Steve and I got up early one morning before sunrise to sneak out to the iconic Moulton Barn which is just north of town.  How naive we were to think we would be the first ones out there!  We joined 30-40 other people who had the same idea we did!

It is part of the Mormon Row Historic District which began to be homesteaded starting about 1890.  The Moulton Barn is a mecca for photographers and is the most photographed barn in America.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Experimenting - Day 28

#28 of 30
8"x6" oil on canvas pad

Some days it works and some days it doesn't.  Today it didn't!

Today's painting started out very different from what you see here.  I think I couldn't quite figure out what I wanted to convey from this photo taken in the Grand Tetons and therefore kept changing it.  I purposely used colors today on my palette that I have not used in awhile.  I had forgotten about some of them and started combining them with other colors to see what combinations I could come up with.

I guess you could say I played and experimented today and that's a good thing even though the painting did not turn out well.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Telephone Boxes - Day 27

"Telephone Boxes"
#27 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

Back in the Spring of 1999, Steve and I spent about a week in London to celebrate our 30th anniversary.  London is a very walkable city and we must have walked several miles a day.  We were based in London for the week but took a few day tours to Canterbury, White Cliffs of Dover, Stratford-on-Avon and several other places.

Just outside St. Paul's Cathedral we snapped a photo of two telephone booths, (known as a "telephone box" in the United Kingdom) something that is a relic from the past these days!  They were so bright red and really caught our eye.

St. Paul's Cathedral is where Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married back in 1981 as well as the  location of the funeral of Prime Minister Winston Churchill which took place in 1965.    London is a beautiful city full of architecture that has survived through the years and I would love to return!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Let Me Do It Again! - Day 26

"Let Me Do It Again!"
#26 of 30
8"x6" oil on canvas pad

Two days ago I painted my oldest grandson Cameron coming down the water slide while we were in Holden Beach several years ago.  Today I did a second version of him taken from the rear.  I like this one much better and is the one I originally planned to do first.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Block in stage - Day 25

Block in stage
#25 of 30

Last Wednesday, I posted a black and white study and a color study from a photo I took a few years ago along the bank of a local creek.  Those studies were necessary preparations for doing a larger piece.  This a a progress shot of what I did yesterday in class.  It is a block in where I tried to overpaint and establish my darks first and then slowly began adding various lighter values in the sky and also began adding numerous color notes in the creek waters.  Hopefully in a week or two I can show you the finished artwork.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Water Slide Fun - Day 24

"Water Slide Fun"
#24 of 30
8"x6" oil on canvas pad

First of all, my sincerest apologies to my oldest grandchild for this rendition of him coming down the water slide.  As most of you may know, I usually paint landscapes and people very seldom make it into my paintings.  That is a good thing based on this poor painting.  But this challenge for me has been to push myself and stretch and for that I am pleased.

Cameron is now a tall, handsome, very athletic 15 year old.  (Can you tell I am a very proud Grandma?)  Back in 2004, he was just a week or so shy of his 5th birthday.  We were at Holden Beach in NC where we try to go every summer.  He was brave enough to go down the water slide and of course, as proud grandparents, we were there to capture it on camera.

I had chosen another image of him taken from the rear and I may do that one another day.  In hindsight, I should have done that one but I wanted to see if I could capture the rushing waters and his poor little face just got in my way!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

St. Thomas Cove - Day 23

"St. Thomas Cove"
#23 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

Towards the end of our week-long Caribbean cruise, our Dawn Princess docked in St. Thomas for the day before we sailed back into San Juan to fly back home.  The island is known, among other things, for its shopping and "bargains" to be had by tourists.  We did the obligatory strolling and shopped along the narrow alleys in the shopping district.

Because the island is so large, we rented for a few hours a car and driver who drove us all over the very mountainous and beautiful island.  It was so nice to have someone else navigate the twisty and winding curves and be our tour guide for the afternoon!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sailing in St. Maarten - Day 22

"Sailing in St. Maarten"
#22 of 30
8"x6" oil on canvas pad

In March 2000, Steve, I, Jane and Gene went on a week-long cruise to several islands in the Caribbean.  One day we were in St. Maarten and asked our taxi driver to take us to the nude beach.  Fully clothed, the four of us tried to casually stroll down the beach and not stare too much at the others who were sunning and also strolling the beach.  Most of these people obviously had been to nude beaches before this day!  We tried not to be "too obvious" but we did see some interesting sights!

After our stroll we already had booked time in the afternoon to go sailing.  It was a beautiful day and we all helped "work the boat".  Another sailboat raced against ours (we lost) and we spent a fast and furious afternoon racing in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dusk on the Pier - Day 21

"Dusk on the Pier"
#21 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

For this painting, we are still in Beaufort SC.  While we stayed in Beaufort, Steve and I walked all over the town and along its streets filled with shops, galleries and wonderful restaurants.  We drove out to the beaches, drove along the marshes and tried to soak up as much of the town as we could.  This scene was just outside of the main area of town and it was late in the day and shadows were very long.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fall Colors on the Marsh - Day 20

"Fall Colors on the Marsh"
#20 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

Back in October of 2011, Steve and I drove to Beaufort, SC to stay for a long weekend at a cute cottage owned by a woman who had brought one of my paintings a couple years earlier.  She wanted an autumn marsh scene and offered her cottage for us to stay in.  So we drove down and took about a hundred photos and enjoyed our stay in this picturesque little town.

Beaufort is a very quaint southern coastal town and is known as the locale for the early 1980's movie "The Big Chill" which was filmed there.  When I paint, I always listen to Pandora Radio on my computer and Marvin Gaye sang to me as I was painting this!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

NYC Ornaments - Day 19

"NYC Ornaments"
#19 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

Back in November 2012, my daughter Kim and I flew to New York City with a group of alumni from her alma mater-Meredith College in Raleigh NC.  We went on a walking food tour through Hell's Kitchen, attended a couple Broadway shows, shopped and basically enjoyed being tourists.

On our last day there we watched the fabulous Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall do their annual Christmas spectacular.  As we exited this beautifully refurbished building, we saw these huge Christmas balls in front of an office building across the street.  I cannot tell you how enormous they were!

Such a festive site and another great memory!

Somewhere... - Day 18

#18 of 30
8"x6" oil on canvas pad

Our trip to the Canadian Rockies aboard the Rocky Mountaineer took place in June 2010 and at that time I still sent my images off to Snapfish to develop them.  I always enjoyed putting them in an album and documenting some details about where we were, etc.  Unfortunately I had a few images left over and could not figure out where in our week-long trip some of these photos were taken. That is the case with this one.  

All I know is it is "Somewhere..." in the Canadian Rockies!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Creek Bank Study - Day 17

"Creek Bank Study"
#17 of 30
8"x8" oil on canvas pad

Today's painting is not a travel photo like most of the other paintings in this challenge.   Instead it is a study I did today in class of a nearby creek.  It is based on two photos that I taped together to fashion a panorama shot.

First I did a black and white study using three values to get my values set (see below).

Then I did the second study in color.  Hopefully this color study will translate into a 24"x24" painting over the next couple weeks of class.  Stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Seranak - Day 16

#16 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

Over ten years ago we flew into Albany NY to attend the wedding of the daughter of our old friends and travelling buddies.  Both the bride and groom worked for the Boston Symphony Orchestra which spends summers playing at Tanglewood which is their summer home in Lenox MA.  We had never been to the Berkshire Mountains and what a treat that was!

The wedding reception was held at the former home of a long-ago conductor of the BSO.  The conductor named his sprawling home Seranak and it is now used for events and receptions such as this.  This view from the back of the house overlooks the lawn and far off mountains with, I think, Seranak Lake in the distance.

Recap of my week - Day 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15

I am still coming off my "high" of participating in the Blue Ridge Mountains Art Association plein air paint out and taking part in Jim Richards's fabulous two-day plein air workshop.

The adrenaline is slowly oozing out of my body and I am chilling for a day or so.  Being with great art friends/painting buddies and driving ALL OVER NORTH GEORGIA was such a glorious five days and I am so blessed in so many ways to be able to do these things and have Connie, Dottie, Robin and Durinda in my life.  (Karen, we MISSED you!!)

I was the designated driver and my navigators told me where to turn and when (EXCEPT when Dottie dozed off and Robin was talking on the phone).  All of a sudden I saw interstate signs I had never seen before and alerted my navigators that I think we are in places we have never been before!  They quickly got me turned in the right direction and we were on our way again!

Day 1 of the workshop with Jim Richards took us to Elma's property in Dial GA.  Jim did a great demo, as only he can, and then we started painting with Jim making the rounds to each of our easels.

"Elma's Springhouse"
#11 of 30
8"x10" oil on linen panel

"Across the Road"
#12 of 30
8"x10" oil on linen panel

Day 2 took us out to Mineral Bluff GA and the home of Marsha Savage which is on the Toccoa River.  Jim did a demo of the rocks and rushing waters of the river then we tried to do our best to replicate what we saw as we spread out on the banks.  

"Bend on the Toccoa"
#13 of 30
9"x12" oil on linen panel

Saturday morning we drove out to Noontootla Farms and painted from a small portion of their 1,500 acre spread.  GNATS by the BILLIONS reside here and everyone battled these most pesky insects all day!  By the way, the gnats won!

"Peace in the Valley"
#14 of 30
8"x6" oil on panel

#15 of 30
8"x10" oil on linen panel

These last two images were painted at Noontootla Farms and these are hanging in the plein air exhibit at Blue Ridge Mountains Arts in Blue Ridge until mid October.  Not my best work but I am still sharing them here. 

 We experienced adventures and memories to last a lifetime!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Elk Refuge - Day 10

"Elk Refuge"
#10 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

A mile or so north of the town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the National Elk Refuge.  Exactly one year ago at this time I was in Jackson Hole for a week and painted plein air all around the area.  As usual, I also took about a hundred photos and I just painted the above painting from several photos I took at this location.  It was late afternoon and the sun was shining brightly casting these long shadows on the grassy areas leading over to the Elk Refuge.  

In late Autumn each year, the elk from the high plateaus of southern Yellowstone County, Grand Teton National Park and the Teton Wilderness instinctively head down to the National Elk Refuge,  During the winter months, an average 7,000 elk make this valley their home.  The following Spring, their migration begins back to the high country, bulls leaving first followed by the cows heavy with their calves.  The cycle begins again the following Autumn as they make their way back down into the Jackson Hole valley.

Bet you didn't know you would learn about the migration of elk today, did you?

I am off to the north Georgia mountains in a couple hours for a long anticipated  two-day workshop with Atlanta area artist James Richards followed by a two-day plein air event.  I may or may not be posting anything while I am gone.  We will see how that goes!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blue Waters at String Lake - Day 9

"Blue Waters at String Lake"
#9 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

Last September I travelled to Grand Teton National Park with two art friends sightseeing, plein air painting and wandering through the multitude of art galleries in Jackson Hole.

One such morning we headed north from Jackson Hole into the park and spent a glorious day painting, exploring and seeing one beautiful vista after another.  This fabulous view at String Lake has yielded me more than a few paintings.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Let's Have Lunch - Day 8

"Let's Have Lunch"
#8 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

This is a lovely little cafe where we stopped for lunch in Isle-sur-la-Sorgue while I was in Provence in an oil painting workshop with Connie Winters.  We began roaming the Sunday outdoor flea market for which this town is famously known, and I accidentally strayed from our group and had to spend two or three hours roaming on my own until I met up with our group at an appointed time and place.  Fortunately, and with great foresight, this had been agreed upon before we split up and am I ever glad!  (Insert family members who know me well chuckling at this fact!) This happened back in 2003 before the day of common cell phone use.  

Even though I got separated I still enjoyed my time in this inviting little town and bought several gifts and items that I still use to this day.  All in all, a great day!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Roussillon Maison - Day 7

"Roussillon Maison"
#7 of 30
8"x6" oil on canvas pad

Back in May 2003, I was most fortunate to travel to Provence with artist Connie Winters who was giving an oil painting workshop based in Noves.  I was new to oil painting but I learned a lot from Connie and her demos and her teaching at our easels.  She arranged to provide transportation on our non-painting days and we ventured out to Avignon, St. Remy, Roussillon, Eygalieres, Gordes, Lourmarin, Cassis, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue and Marseilles.  

In Roussillon, which is famously known for the rock formations of red ochre, we roamed the hilly alleys and narrow streets of this most picturesque town.  We walked through and shopped among  the quaint shops lining the hills.  Some in our group bought some powdered pigment gathered from the cliffside which I assume they later used to fashion oil paints.  

This house that I painted above was just one image that I thought was very quaint and colorful.  Turquoise shutters are everywhere in  France!  Everywhere you turned in Roussillon was another beautiful sight! 

I thoroughly enjoyed my travels through Provence. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Shadows on White - Day 6

"Shadows on White"
#6 of 30
6"x8" oil on panel

Here is another one of the "or not" paintings.  I went plein air painting earlier this week with my friend Dottie Leatherwood to a place I have never been before.  I have driven down this road a million times and did not realize a 10-acre farm was tucked away behind this busy main street in downtown Matthews.  

This large white shed caught my eye because of the strong shadows under the eaves.  The foreground was a fenced in large area planted with flowers of every hue but I've only placed a few of them here.  

It was such a calming oasis in a busy world just a few yards away.

Tomorrow we are bound for France!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lamar River Valley - Day 5

"Lamar River Valley"
#5 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

One thing that has occurred to me during this challenge is how enjoyable it is for me to look through my photos and have my eye notice photos that never seemed to catch my eye before.  It could be the values, the composition, the subject matter,  the colors or any number of things.  However, another thing that has occurred is how many ways the same image can be interpreted. By the way, this was painted from one of our hundreds of photos taken in Yellowstone National Park.  It is an expansive area in the Lamar Valley where buffalo by the hundreds roam and graze.  We have been so fortunate to see them both from a distance and up close (carefully and quickly of course).

This painting "Lamar River Valley" is an example of the latter example.  I have painted several versions of this image and each one has been so different.,  Just look at these two paintings (both of which have sold) shown below:

"River Stream"

"Lamar Valley"

In today's small painting, I have chosen the upper left area as my focal point but made the trees surrounding it more prominent.  It was in the original photo but I never made it be a feature.  I have also used different paint colors in today's painting and added features that were not in the other paintings.  

I know I have put a lot of information in this post that most of you could not possibly be interested in, but  this challenge is becoming for me an exploration and I am really enjoying the journey!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Red Canoe - Day 4

"Red Canoe"
#4 of 30
6"x8" oil on canvas pad

We are still in the Canadian Rockies but now we are on beautiful Lake Louise.  Looking out of our room we had the most beautiful, postcard perfect view of all of Lake Louise with the mountains and glaciers off in the distance.

One morning Steve and I and our friends of more than 40 years treated ourselves to canoeing in this 60-year old, recently restored wooden red canoe.  I cannot tell you how much fun we had with our guide skimming across this beautiful turquoise water.  Here is a photo taken by our guide from another canoe of the four of us trying to look like we do this all the time!

See what I mean about the turquoise water?  It really is this color!  Wonderful memories!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Ray of Sunshine-Day 3

"A Ray of Sunshine"
#3 of 30
8"x6" oil on Raymar panel

If you remember, my theme for this 30 day challenge is "Vacation Memories, or Not".  Well this is one of those "or not" paintings but technically it applies because I had to drive about ten miles to get there.  Doesn't that count as a trip???

The Plein Air Buds went to Squirrel Lake Park over in Matthews (the next town over).  It was a very hot morning but I found a shady spot so it really was not that unbearable.  I saw this massive tree trunk that had dappled light on the trunk but the ground below had long bands of sunshine.  There's my title, I said!  

Tomorrow we should be back travelling!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Looking Down the Tracks

"Looking Down The Tracks"
#2 of 30
8"x6" oil on canvas pad

We have now travelled to the Canadian Rockies!  I have made a decision to jump around in my travel photos and paint what strikes me on a particular day so you will see photos of Jackson Hole and the Canadian Rockies again later during the month.

 Steve and I rode the Rocky Mountaineer Railroad for two days about four years ago with our dear old friends and travel buddies.  The train has a glass-domed ceiling so you have gorgeous views looking in every direction!  We rode from Vancouver, British Columbia way, way up to the interior in Jasper and stopped at our halfway point to spend the night in a hotel in Kamloops.  Steve took this photo from the caboose of the train as the tracks disappeared around the corner.

After staying in Jasper for a couple nights and hiking and exploring that area, we took our rental car and spent the rest of the week driving from Jasper to Lake Louise and Banff and seeing all the glaciers, alpine lakes and waterfalls.  

Stick around because you'll see paintings from there too!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Museum Garden Aspens

"Museum Garden Aspens"
#1 of 30
8"x6" oil on canvas pad

For the first time, I am participating in Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.  This is probably the fourth time Leslie has sponsored this challenge and it is a way for artists to get motivated and get in the studio and PAINT every day.  As of today, there are over 850 artists from all over the world!  Leslie suggests each artist pick a theme for their challenge and paint a small painting each day based on that theme.  I have chosen "Vacation Memories, or Not".  The "or not" paintings may be plein air paintings because I will be participating in a plein air workshop and event in Georgia during part of this time.   It is my hope to chronicle the vacations and trips we have taken over the years and this will be a selfish way for me to relive and remember those trips and the memories that were created.

About five minutes north of Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the National Museum of Wildlife Art.  It is a gorgeous 51,000 sq. ft. building housing some permanent exhibitions of 19th and 20th century American Art.
Last year at this time I spent a week in Jackson Hole plein air painting with two art friends.  While inside the Museum we also saw the 2013 Western Vision show with works by many of todays notable contemporary artists.  The Museum overlooks the National Elk Refuge and these aspens painted above were in the beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding the Museum.  Just one of the sights to see while in Jackson Hole!