Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and my blog resolution for 2012

christmas angel 2011 First, it’s Christmas Eve and I have to wish every one of you a Joy Filled Christmas and a Wonder Filled 2012

And I’ve already made one resolution for 2012… be more consistent with my blog entries.  So what if I’m busy doing mundane things like clearing clutter; I can still steal a few minutes to read a few of my favorite blogs and if nothing else, write about what I read that might interest you.

And speaking of clearing clutter… I am so proud of myself… my studio is clutter free.  Now of course you all realize that is a relative term.  Yes, there is clutter; however, at one point every surface in my studio looked like this….

drawing tableand now, even after Christmas projects and wrapping, it looks like this…drawing tableand I’m ready to start the New Year with Resolution number 2…. keep it this way! 

Last I posted I was doing daily art.  I’m still doing it.  In fact, the angel is one piece – a digital collage.  I’ve recently learned about layers in Photoshop and that collage is one result.  Here are a couple more….

John and Edith collage mother and paddy collage

and another mixed media pieceArt atc

Again….. Merry Christmas and I’ll be back in 2012.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More Daily Art

mixed fiddler 11 14 11

I’m sticking to my schedule and I found the article that prompted this venture into mixed media.  The technique is called Wabi-sabi. 

According to the article it refers to the qualities of imperfection, aging, cycles of nature and cycles of life.  It values the same things I am drawn to: rust, patina, decay, old stone walls with moss growing on it or weeds growing through it.

I am drawn to it, I love to look at it, I love to photograph it; however, I don’t paint it.  That’s not entirely true, an old boat, an old stone wall or an old building will show up in my paintings.  But the patina and decay just for it’s own sake… not so far. 

Day 5 comes close….

mixed with metal 11 15 11

And Day 4 is actually based on an old statue so it might count.  For “The Fiddler #3” I used a piece that I was about to throw away.  I had been trying out transfers using Sheer Heaven paper and the first one didn’t transfer well.  I decided to try an ink outline, then covered it completely with white Tempra paint and let it dry.  Once dry I washed off the Tempra paint.  The black outline stayed and because of the black outline you can see enough to know it’s a fiddler.

Day 5 I pulled out another piece from my stack of starts, added a bit more color and some metal  tags that said “outside was still.”  The words don’t necessarily go with the image but it was late and I was tired. 

11 16 heart

Days 6, 7 and 8 were done on canvas.  The first day I covered all three canvases with paper towel that had been used to soak up or wipe up paint.  I added more color once they were dry and then went to work on the first one.  The heart is a stone I found years ago; it had been sitting on one of my shelves and it seemed to want to go on this piece.  No sign of the paper towel except the texture it created.

11 17 stones Day 7, you can see a bit of the napkin under the blue, the inside of a lightbulb package made what I first thought was a snow fence.  But it needed more so I added the chocolate rocks from my collection.  I’m not seeing much variety in design yet.

11 18 sun

Day 8, the napkin color wasn’t hidden, I did enhance the sun and I love the colors in the foreground – rust and water, two of my favorites.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Photoshop Collage

Mardi Gras originalThis isn’t it, this is the before.   The next one is the collage I did today.   Yesterday I spent an enjoyable afternoon with my good friend Annie Morgan.  She was working on figuring out how an image was going to look – the end result – by layering in Photoshop so I got a short lesson.

This morning was my morning to read some blogs and one link led to another and I was at Inspiration Avenue’s weekly challenge – Harlequin.  When you’re done here head over and check out the other Harlequin entries.

I thought of the piece above that I’d done awhile back; however, it wasn’t something I did this week and it lacked punch soooooo – let’s try what Annie taught me.

Mardi Gras

Much better, just three Photoshop layers: a yellow background, the original but more transparent so the yellow shows through and finally, the type:  “There will be parties and mystery tonight.”  I’m happy with it and now all sorts of ideas are wandering around in my head.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mixed Media Daily

mixed media sunset 11 11 11This is the first in a series of small daily paintings.

I’m interested in texture, color, neutrals and simplicity.  Trying to put that all together in a mixed media piece is the goal.  So I decided to at least try to keep up with one mixed media piece a day. 

I also decided it would be consistent in size – 8”x8”. It’s something I had been thinking about for some time – do something daily and finish it.  Not just a sketch but actually a finished piece. 

I thought about doing a single subject but that seemed on one hand too limiting and on the other hand to daunting.  Pick a simple enough subject that I can do every day and have to work to make it different or something difficult enough to make me work to just get it done.  It wasn’t clicking.

I finally decided I really want to do more experimenting with texture and color but also with fabric and metal.  Then I was reading about a Japanese technique that I saved – somewhere.  At the moment it’s nicely filed away – but I don’t remember where.  That’s the down side of sorting.  When I am done with all the sorting I’ll go through drawers and files and make a list so I’ll know where things are.  Back to the Daily….

Having made the decision I decided to start that day but life got in the way… 10:00 that night I decided I had to do it or I would keep putting it off. 

I keep some of my art that didn’t work as I’d planned in my flat file for future collage work.  I pulled out a piece that had been done on Yupo and was the right size. 

It had a lot of dark blue on it and my first thought was Gesso but there was a Mr. Clean eraser sponge sitting on top of the file.  Walla!  Mr. Clean really does take paint off, I believe I could have gone back to pure white if that had been my aim.

After pushing the color that was there around I began to see a shoreline so I added more blue and some ochre, used Mr. Clean to make a circle for sun and added yellow, put a piece of cardboard down and weighted it… and off to bed before 11. 

The next morning I added some highlights with oil pastels (remembering that I wanted mixed media.)

mixed up 11 12 11 Day two was not so hot but it’s done.  Once again it was late at night when I remembered – had to do it.  So I found another piece of paper, this time 140lb cold press that had been part of something that didn’t work. 

First I added more color to develop a horizon, then used sequin waste to rub out color and the same sequin waste to add a row above that.  That’s where it fell apart. 

I first tried using the same watercolor paint that I had added below but it wasn’t working.  To get the right mixture it had to be wet and when it was wet it went everywhere so on to something else

Next I tried using Shiva Paintstiks; still not working.  Finally I used some sharpened oil pastels and forgot about the stencil, just added color and called it done.

The next day was Sunday and I was working on some Wonky Angels that are made of a combination of metals and beads.  Here are a couple waiting for legs.

Wonkeys need legs I had two scraps of metal and decided to make a Cross.  Somehow it seemed appropriate for my mixed media piece… copper scraps, colored pencil, alcohol inks and a rivet to hold it together. 

Sunday cross 11 13 11I may decide that a Cross will be it every Sunday.  We’ll see.  Doing one daily doesn’t mean I’ll post daily, however, I may get back to being a bit more regular.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Totally Unrelated To Art

I went to the dentist today and once again was amazed at how calm I was.  You see there was a time when I was a white knuckle patient.  For someone who has three cousins in that field, a dentist, an orthodontist and an oral surgeon, all cousins that she dearly loves and knows would not inflict pain, one would think that I would always be calm about a trip to the dentist.  Not so.

When I fist went to my current dentist 30 years ago I told him how scared I was, something I’m sure he’d heard many times before.  He didn’t realize how scared until he noticed how tightly I was clutching the arms of the chair.  His comment: “You really are scared aren’t you.”  Well duh… that’s what I said wasn’t it.

When it was time for our son to go to the dentist for the first time I asked my husband to take him and not to the dentist I go to because I didn’t want to take any chances on my trauma being passed on.

Where did it start?  A few years back Mother, my sister and I were chatting and the subject of dentists came up.  I was recalling a time when Mother and I were in the waiting room and my sister was in the dentist’s chair – screaming with pain.  I mentioned the name of the dentist and simultaneously Mother and my sister responded, both saying my sister never went to that dentist, I was the only one that did.  To this day I can’t put myself in that chair but it must have been me.  By the way, my sister thanks me for putting her there.

Well, all these years later I’m calm; in fact, I could fall asleep while the dentist or hygienist is working on my mouth. 

That’s not because I’ve suddenly become able to bare that pain; actually I have a pretty high pain tolerance (a fetal monitor told us when I was having a contraction, I didn’t have any labor pains, which tells you mothers out there how high my tolerance is.)   Dentistry has come a long ways and all of those dentists are striving to provide pain free visits. 

The other reason is that I learned to mentally put myself somewhere I’d love to be rather than in the dentist’s chair.  Hey, if I can move myself out to the lobby and put my sister in the chair in my place why not.  When I first began making regular visits to my current dentist, while he was working I was mentally skiing in the winter or sailing in the summer.

Today I just closed my eyes and went through my to-do list for the rest of the day.  I’ve come a long way.

I’ll get back to post about art another day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Clearing Clutter, this time for real

I am so pleased – it’s been three weeks and I can still see the top of my desk.

clear desk top That may not seem to be a major accomplishment to some of you but I hope I’m not the only one who constantly has a stack of who knows what on her desktop.  For those clean desk people out there, it’s really tough keeping it clear when you know that everything can somehow be used in a piece of art – if you live long enough.

Not only is the desk clear, I have three chairs in my office and they’re clear too.  One of them is at my desk and it’s usually clear because I use it the most.  A second one is there for me to sit in to read when I’m not on my computer and a third is there because it’s a sentimental one and there’s room for it. 

I’ve rarely sat in the one that’s there to read because the books I plan to read are usually stacked on it along with various other items that I’m not sure what to do with.  The one with sentimental value is also rarely visible because of clutter piled high on it.  Three weeks and they are still clear of clutter too.  It has not been easy but I’ve done it.  My spouse thinks it’s pretty sad that having a clear desk for three weeks makes me feel sooooooo good.  A friend (who knows my spouse) sent me this card by Curly Girl Design and I love it!wasting time Now onto the rest of my studio; that’s far from done.  And it’s not going to be done quickly.  I am really sorting, going through every pile including all of the art supplies (some that I just had to have but used once and decided that just wasn’t for me.) 

And I’m really having to struggle but I’m managing not to get sidetracked by something that screams at me --- “oh, here I am and look at what you can do with me if you’ll just take a few minutes….”  I’m resisting so far, well mostly.  There have been a couple of slips. 

Anyway, back to the sorting; if I don’t have a use for it there are four piles – one to give to another artist who will use it, one to send off to whatever family member should have it (and they can pitch if they like,) one that may require a second look and one to go out with the trash.  Three large garbage bags have gone out so far.

Some artwork is getting done in spite of the clutter clearing – just not in my studio.  Some friends and I do try to get out sketching at least one morning every week.  This week we were enjoying the beautiful color that is everywhere here in Michigan

fall colorHopefully I’ll have another area free of clutter by this time next week.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Work

I printed several plates last week.  Printing plates is  is like unmasking one of my poured paintings; until I take of the mask of a pour I don’t really know what I have and until I run the plate through the press I don’t know either. 

Sometimes it’s a wonderful surprise, sometimes just okay and other times it needs a little tweaking.  I’m not going to post all of them today, they aren’t all scanned yet.  However, two of them will be part of an exhibit at Lemon Creek Winery here in Grand Haven so they are scanned and framed.  The first one is “Oaked”


and the second is “In Vino Vitras”

In Vino Vetris

I’ll post the others as I get them scanned.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Plein Air and More about looking at art

 Oct 12 from Beers deck

Last week a friend and I went out looking for color.  Another friend invited us to her deck… there wasn’t much color but it was so very peaceful and a pleasant view so it didn’t matter to us that there was just a bit of color beginning.

A few posts back I said I’d post more about looking at art.  Here is more to think about….

If it’s a still life

1. Why do you think the artist choose these objects?

2. Are the objects related to each other?  How?

3. Artists plae objects in still-life paintings very carefully. If any object were removed would the painting still be balanced?

4. If the color of one or more of the objects were changed, would the picture harmony change?

5. What object is closest to the viewer? How did the artist make it appear so?

6. What object is most important to the painting?

7. Are there any things in the painting to taste or smell?

8. If you could touch the objects, what would they feel like?

When you’re looking at portraits

1. Is the person a male or a female?

2. Is the person young or old?

3. Is he/she looking at you?

4. What expression or emotion is the person showing?

5. What is the person doing?

6. What do you think he/she is thinking or is that what makes you keep looking trying to figure it out.  A good example of that is DaVinci’s Mona Lisa. 

7. How much of the person do you see?

8. Does the clothing tell you anything about the person?

9. Where is the person? In a room? In a garden?

10. Does the background have any important information?

11. Can you tell what time of day it is? What time of year is it?

And if it’s a Landscape

1. Pretend that you are walking into the painting. Where would you enter?

2. Do you have a bird’s eye view? A people’s eye view? A worm’s eye view?

3. Does the painting have a foreground, middleground, and background?

4. What is the weather like?

5. What time of day is it? How can you tell?

6. What time of year is it? How can you tell?

7. Do you think that this is a landscape that really exist, or is it imaginary?

Now if you look at my plein air you will see that as landscapes go, this one isn’t very good.  That doesn’t matter to me because it’s just a sketch done for my own enjoyment. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Looking at Art

evening on the water for blog and e-mail I have a couple of paintings almost done, this is new but it isn’t one that I’m talking about. I’m going to spend some time looking at the others to decide if they’re done or need some tweaking.  That made me think about looking at art. 

I was in a gallery the other day and listening (I do eaves drop now and then) to a couple looking at a painting I had just looked at.  They wondered why it warranted wall space in a gallery.  It was a good piece but there were a lot of splatters and drips, something I love to see in a watercolor while others think it’s just plain sloppy.

There is no right or wrong here but it helps to know a bit about why the one that you wonder about is in that gallery or museum and sometimes you have to study it awhile to figure it out, especially if you don’t particularly like it.

To help, most museums have docents who can point out what makes a painting work.  Galleries don’t generally have docents, they have sales people and while they do want to help you, they’re still sales people.  In order to enjoy looking and to learn more about what you like and why you like it,  here are a few general questions that docents at the Grand Rapids Art Museum ask.  They’re good ones to ask yourself when you’re looking:

1. What’s going on in the painting?

2. What do you see that makes you think that?

3.  Is there an element that makes your eye move around the painting to see what’s going on?

4. Does the title tell you what’s going on?

5. What images/objects do you see? 

6. Is there a dominant color? What is it and how does it make you feel?

7. To really stretch yourself try imagining the main color area as a different color. Would you still respond to the painting in the same way?

These are general questions.  Another time I’ll deal with looking at specific subject matter.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Week of R&R

Every summer for the past 21 years my dear friend Terry and I leave our families for a week to devote all of our time to our art (and catching up on what each of us are doing.)

Last week was the week, we were at a lake just outside Traverse City which is where we have gone for the past 19 years.  Eighteen of the 19 years were at Spider Lake thanks to my brother and sister-in-law.  Here is a view from the dock….view of the lake 1

That rowboat will be in future paintings.  Paintings that were done while I was there include these two


waitin' for a rower for blog

They are not the same size – top is 7 x 7, bottom is 14 x 14; however, the camera doesn’t seem to know the difference.  I have a couple others but when I saw the images on my computer I realized they weren’t done. 

Painting isn’t all we do, we swim – at least three times a day.  Swimming in a cool lake feeds my soul.  Somehow a pool isn’t the same, most likely because I grew up swimming in a lake.  And one day during the week we go in to town for lunch at our favorite “Amical” where Sebastian has been our waiter two years in a row and he gives us great service.  We also make a stop at the college bookstore because they have an excellent selection of art supplies and the prices are good.

An aside – while searching for something else I came across a blog entry titled Enjoying the Gallery Experience.  If you hesitate to visit those places read it.  While it’s primarily about visiting galleries and museums in New York, it could be any city.  For that matter, even if you’re not hesitant about visiting, it’s worth reading.

Enough today, I’m working on getting more paintings done as I have to have 2 for ArtWalk, several for an exhibit at The Edge Gallery in Fenton and 2 or 3 pieces for Lemon Creek Winery’s Grand Haven Tasting Room.  All happening in September.  Yikes… I’m off to work!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Sketchbook Project

As I said, I wasn’t going to do it again.  Last time I got in late, didn’t have much of a choice in subjects for the book and the book arrived late so I didn’t have much time. 

However, most of that was my own fault for not signing up early so I decided to give it a go again and this time I signed up way before the deadline.

So, it has arrived and I’ve decided it will  travel along with my on my daily travels be they to Bay View or my back yard. 

Sketchbook project start

And that’s what the first two entries are – a view from Bay View’s Memorial Garden on the left and a view in my back yard on the right.

The next entry is a friend’s yard where I went yesterday to do some plein air painting with she and another friend.  She has some beautiful gardens so sketching was fun in spite of the heat and believe me it was HOT.

Day 3 

We’ll see what today brings. One thing I hope to accomplish with this is to get back in the habit of sketching every day.  It’s something I did for years and I know my drawing improves – all of my artwork improves when I do that.

Here’s another sketch from yesterday; this one done in my regular sketchbook…

July 19, Hanbys

You can see an expanded view of the garden I was in yesterday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It has arrived

My sketchbook that is.  Once again I’ve signed up to do “The Sketchbook Project,”  there’s a link in the column on the right. 

The last time I did this I entered late and subjects were limited.  On top of that my sketchbook took forever to arrive.  It wasn’t the best experience so when I first saw that it was going to be held again I ignored it.

It kept appearing, that little logo was everywhere I went on the internet.  I took it as a sign… “Helen, you are suppose to do this and this time sign up early so you have a choice about the subject of your sketchbook.”

So I signed up before I left for Bay View.  My subject:  “Travel With Me.”  I like that much better than “In Five Minutes” which is what it was last year.  I have more choices.  Travel around my house, my yard, my city, my state, all of the above, none of the above but instead travel around inside my heart and head… so many options.  I haven’t decided which yet so no images to post so …

I’m posting a photo of something in a friend’s garden that I may travel over to for a plein air one of these days….

pink house in karls garden

He built the house; there are at least three of them in the garden.  Who knows, there is so much in his garden more could be hiding in there. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I do finish paintings

It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted a major piece that I thought I’d better before folks think I don’t do this anymore.  My process for major works is long and tedious but I love the result – usually. 

There are times when I finally remove all of the mask and – oh my what a mess this is.  That means even more tedious work as it becomes a mixed-media piece and I go to work with colored pencils and whatever else I think it needs to make it work. 

I have a couple of those in process now but I also have some done that need photographing.  This is one of them.  I haven’t gotten the photography done but you can get an idea about it with this shot taken with my little carry with me everywhere camera.  This is Oarlock #9

oarlock #9 low res

I love old rowboats.  They remind me of my youth growing up on an inland lake.  I spent a lot of time in one of these, rowing around the lake or tipping it over to use it as a raft. 

I also think of old rowboats or sailboats spiritually.  The are a reminder that Christ is with us always.  He’ll keep us afloat; however, if we’re going to move forward we need to either set those sails or take to the oars.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Unexpected Pleasures

When I’m off to the Terrace Inn at Bay View I always expect relaxation and time to devote totally to art.  This year was no different but there were a couple of added bonuses.

I enjoy this week with another artist friend, Terry Brancheau.  While I am usually engrossed in my painting, Terry, a former teacher, is painting but making new friends at the same time.  One evening friends of mine from college and friends Terry made while there had one of those spontaneous evenings that are such fun even though the group hardly knows each other.  Have you ever had one of those experiences?  I treasure those kind of memories.

Memorial Garden Birch sm version chapel

Another highlight – WISDOM, Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialog and Outreach in Metro-Detroit.  Bay View is a Chautauqua so there is always an opportunity to learn something.   This year a panel discussion was a highlight.  Five women, a Jew, a Muslim, a Baha’i, a Hindu and a Christian discussing their faith but more importantly how their association with each other made their own faith stronger. 

And then there was Lavender Hill Farm where we learned so much about Lavender, took some wonderful photos and did a bit of sketching – though not in color.

Lavendar Hill Farm

It was a wonderful week as always.  Our hosts are Patty and Mo at the Terrace Inn.  If you are planning a trip to the area do stop at the Inn, it’s a pleasant place to stay.  Even if you don’t stay go for lunch or dinner, the food is excellent.  Terry and I have already made arrangements to go back next year.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Week Away

This morning I’m finishing my packing.  It’s time to travel north to the Terrace Inn at Bayview where I will be Artist In Residence for the week.  It’s a wonderful experience. 

Bayview is a Methodist Chautaqua on the shore of the Bay.  Sitting on the grounds with my sketchbook listening to the performers practice during the day while I look out over the Bay or at one of the many gardens and/or Victorian cottages; God is good, life is good.

Last year I worked on monoprints.  These are two that I did; one a bedroom at the Inn and the other the dining room with the morning sun streaming in.

Morning Pink Bedroom

This year I’ll be doing plein air.  It’s a perfect spot for that just being on the grounds; however, we also have time to go off site so plans are to visit a nearby Lavendar Farm and a couple of other sites. 

Wednesday evening the Inn will host a reception from 4 to 6 so if you happen to be in the area, stop in and say hello.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Tree That Was

The last time I was out sketching was in 2007 and this is one of my sketches done at that time.

June 14 tree done in 2007

We went back to that same site today.  Two things have changed – the tree and my ability to zero in on a subject.  Neither has changed for the better.  The tree has died and instead of zeroing in on the tree which is what I had intended to paint, I tried to put way too much in.  The result is only so/so but it does remind me that I need to focus on my subject.

June 14, across the river, from Jane's

I also need to do more brushwork.  For the past several years I have been doing very careful drawings and then pouring paint so very little brushwork has been going on in this studio.  It shows.

I don’t plan to quit doing the poured pieces, I love doing them; however, I do want to be able to paint with a brush again too.  The answer – practice.  I really do enjoy being outside, feeling the warm sun, listening to nature, it’s calming.  I’ll keep doing both.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Another Plein Air & A History Lesson

Plein air painting is still an interpretation of reality, even though I am seeing the scene first hand. My "truth" is far more interesting to me than the scene in reality. Linda Blondheim

I’ve been posting my own plein air pieces … this is the most recent done a couple days ago while sitting on a friend’s deck.

June 7 Betsy's flowers

When one of my friends told me she had to look up plein air because she didn’t know what it meant it occurred to me that others may not know either.  So, A History Lesson….

Plein air is French and literally means ‘open air;’ painting outside, in the open air.  In Italian one would say they were painting ‘alfresco’.

It isn’t a technique that has always been used.  Prior to 1800, artists had to make their own pigment using a mortar and pestle.  All paintings were done in the studio, including landscapes.

It wasn’t until 1800 that artists were able to get their paint in tubes.  That gave them a freedom they hadn’t had when they mixed up their own paints.

tube paints

Plein air is a term that is often associated with Impressionism though the two are not synonymous.  However, it did influence the movement.

Teta Collins writes in The Artists Bluebook:  Painting from life is a pursuit unlike any other painting technique.  It challenges artists to concentrate completely on the information in front of them.  their senses absorb it all, from sight to sound, from temperature to atmosphere, then channel these feelings into their vision in paint on paper or canvas… Painting en plein air would forever change how we see the world.”

Some artists using the technique today paint their major works start to finish en plein air, others use plein air works for studies, still others use it just because they like painting outdoors and some, like me, use it to help them improve their skills.

You can see more plein air work by Michigan artists at these sites:  Plein Air Painters of West Michigan and Great Lakes Plein Air Painters Association

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Something New To Tell You About

I am so happy to be able to introduce you all to a new blogger -- my good friend Annie Morgan has finally joined the blogging world after a whole lot of bugging from yours truly.  She is such a creative being and I've mentioned her often in my blog posts when I've used a technique that I learned about from her and I have so wanted to be able to put a link in to her blog or web site so you can see her wonderful work.  Now I can!  Go see and let her know you stopped by --

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sun, Wind and Water

Saturday was beautiful but windy.  I sat on the beach, listened to the pounding surf and sketched the the stairs coming down to the beach.  God has created a beautiful world and I find that is especially true in Michigan.  I do love my state.

I traveled south to Fennville where they were hosting a paint out at Pier Cove Park.  The lovely lavender Money Plant blossoms where out, the beach grass was spreading, the sand was warm and even though my sketch shows that I need to work at this more – it was fun.  This is part of the scene I was working on, without the other artist. 

what I was painting

Weathered wood and texture are among the things that I am drawn to so this was a natural, besides I liked the way the sun was warming me when I sat viewing this scene.

unfinshed sketch

I didn’t finish.  A lesson learned that day; don’t plan on painting for a long time if there are no bathrooms close by. 

half of sketch other half

Here’s another scene I liked but the sun was wrong for painting it.  Not necessarily for the scene but for the way it was hitting me.scene not painted shoreline

On the way back home I stopped for lunch and found these beautiful Iris outside the restaurant.  The Iris, especially this color, is one of my favorite flowers.

Iris 2 iris 1

Inside the restaurant while I waited for my lunch, I did a little sketching.  I wonder, perhaps a series of Salt and Pepper Shakers…. hmmmm.

at lunch for web

Plein Air Painting is a wonderful way to spend a day.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer is here and the fresh air is wonderful!

Week 2 of my plein air excursions – it’s been a long time since I’ve done this seriously and the paintings show it; however, I’m loving it and expect to see improvement as the summer progresses.

Last week I was at Harbor Island on the Linear Park path looking across the channel at Grand Haven’s Coal Tipple.

May 24 Coal Tipple

This week we biked to Harbor Island again but to the other side of the island.  It was incredibly windy which was distracting since we had to hold things down.  I lost one brush in the water, fortunately it wasn’t a good brush.  

My subject was the pilings and the reeds along the bank of the river.  I intended to do a full spread but the wind got the best of me and I only finished one of the 2-page spread.

May 31 Harbor  Island  1

May 31 Harbor Island 2

Tomorrow Morning I’m heading down to Fennville for a Plein Air Paint Out at Pier Cove. 

I’m also working on studio paintings and soon will be taking the mask off two; I’ll post when I do.