Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Mouth of the Creek

The Mouth of the Creek
8' x 10" oil on panel

There's a spring-fed pond on the property by our family's cabin that's absolutely great for fishing and swimming.  On one side the pond spills over into a little creek that, down the hill a ways, turns into quite a rushing flow of water. Often times this area is all dammed up by the busy beavers that like to build their structures here.  On this day, however, it was flowing freely.  It was an overcast morning, (rather chilly for mid-summer in TN,) peaceful and quite, save for the trickling of the water, the croaking bullfrogs and the quail all around whistling their "bob white!" chirps to each other.  This is truly one of the greatest gifts of plein air painting- to be out in nature, present, still and focused, taking in all the sounds, smells and sensations, while attempting to capture some fleeting beauty in a reflection, a light, or a shadow.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Old Red Barn

Old Red Barn SOLD
9" x 12" oil on panel

So... I lasted all of 3 days without my tube of white gouache and my oil paints before I realized I was just going to have to make the 3 hour round trip into Knoxville to go get what I needed at the art supply store as the urge to paint was just getting to me! The next day I had my brother in law drop me off at the base of the hill by our cabin, just outside of Dayton, TN, so I could paint this old red barn while he and my son made a food supply run. They were gone for just over an hour, during which time I stood by the side of the road at my easel, shooed away flies, swatted at sweat bees, got odd & curious looks from local farmers going by in their pickup trucks... and painted most contentedly!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning
16" x 16" oil on canvas

I'm getting to know this view of our favorite beach on Anna Maria Island pretty well lately, as we spend a lot of time there. One thing I love is the way it's always changing, depending on the time of day, the weather and the season. Always the same, yet always different.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hydrangeas by the Cabin

Hydrangeas by the Cabin SOLD
6" x 9" gouache on watercolor paper

In late July I went up to our family's cabin in the hills of East Tennessee as we do each summer. Last year a friend of mine drove up and brought all my oil paints and supplies with her, however, this year I flew and was not able to bring any of it on the plane in my carry on luggage, other than my gouache tubes and some paper.  It wasn't till I got there that I realized I'd left my tube of white at home in my studio. Now, gouache is very much like watercolor, it can be used transparently or opaquely. I like it because you can tint colors lighter or go back at the end and add white, which you cannot do with watercolors. With watercolors one must plan out ahead of time what is to be kept lightest in value and it can be a very unforgiving medium. Anyway, I had just the tiniest little smear of white dried up on my palette and chose to use it for the tera cotta pot, for the rest I had to use the white of the paper- as one traditionally does with watercolors.  Necessity being the mother of invention, I actually really like the way this turned out with the contrast of transparent and opaque! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Swimming Hole

Swimming Hole
11" x 14" oil on panel

This was one of the last paintings I did in Tennessee this summer, painted at the bottom of the Laurel-Snow hiking trail in Dayton.  My husband and I had gone running on the trail a few days earlier and the moment I saw the mountain stream that runs all alongside the trail I knew I wanted to paint it!  So we returned a couple days later and while he took our kids on a 5 mile roundtrip hike to the falls and back that's just what I did- set up my easel on some rocks and set out to paint the reflections, ripples, shadows, colors, textures and transparent depths of this swimming hole.
Once done, I took a picture of it still on the easel where it seemed to blend seamlessly into the scene itself (see photo below) and it was recently featured in Plein Air Magazine's online newsletter, Outdoor!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

High Roller

High Roller
8" x 10" oil on panel

Well, summer has come to an end- at least in terms school having started back up for my children- which means it's high time I get back to posting some of the paintings I did over the past couple months on my blog here. This one I did in mid-July over the course of 2 mornings. My favorite part about it is the sky, as I feel I was able to (somewhat) successfully capture the luminosity of the billowing clouds.  Unfortunately, when I returned to my spot (on the dock behind the Cortez fish processing plant) the sky was much more overcast, which meant the reflections in the water were quite different than the day before, as were the shadows. Oh well, lesson learned, probably better to wait until conditions are the same again, guess that's just what happens sometimes when you "roll the dice" with a plein air painting!