Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Cliff Swallows at Hogg Park", plein air oil painting

"Cliff Swallows at Hogg Park", plein air oil painting, 6 x 8"
I would have tried to think of a more original title for this little painting, but then some might have wondered if I had dropped my brush onto the sky by accident! This was painted on the afternoon of my paint out with Holly and Ken. Hogg Park is a cute little park just east of Longview, Alberta, where the Highwood river (I think) cuts through the prairie.

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Isolated Showers", plein air oil painting

"Isolated Showers", plein air oil painting, 6 x 8"
We have been having very strange weather lately, very unsettled and cool with showers or sunny with high winds -global warming?? Anyway, I thought I would try to capture one of these passing storms that tried to put the end to my lovely plein air painting day with fellow artist friends, Holly and Ken. I worked very quickly in my car with my little thumb box, and tried to catch the passing shower -very difficult to do with the cloud shadows racing over the landscape, the sun lighting up bits and pieces wherever it could. For this type of work you need to memorize the light the way you want it, because it doesn't stay that way for long. I am pretty pleased with this quickie.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Acrylic En Plein Air?

"Spring Fling", acrylic on paper, 12 x 16"
This is my first attempt to paint en plein air with acrylics. I used a watercolour block for my support, and boy did I struggle. I began the painting much like a watercolour, but things were just drying like crazy in the breeze and sun. It was a joy to go back in with more opaque passages though. I love the way that acylics do not dry lighter as watercolours do, sometimes they even dry a bit darker. I will have to tweak my set-up and try again.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Thunderheads", plein air oil painting, 8x8"

"Thunderheads", plein air oil painting, 8x8"
Last week I went painting with a wonderful artist and new friend Veronica Funk (click on her name to check out her blog). We travelled the outskirts of Airdrie where she lives and we found this wonderful view just on the edge of town. The weather has been rather unsettled here for the last couple of weeks, but it has given some wonderful skies. I have been trying to capture these fleeting beauties en plein air with my oil paints, which requires very fast execution. I like living on the edge.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Plein Air Sketching Workshop

These are some of my students in rapt attention to their pen & ink and watercolour sketching at the workshop I taught yesterday at the Leighton Centre. We were very lucky that we had super weather all day -the first day like that in the past couple of weeks.

This is one of the sketches that I did as a demonstration for the class. That accordion shaped foothill is John Ware Ridge, a favorite painting site of mine. It was a really fun day and a good time was had by all.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

More plein air w/c sketches

I really took 'Liberty' with this sketch -the cows were 1/4 mile away, the mountains are 50 miles further than I have shown them here, the windswept trees I took from a view to my left and the farm building from a view to my right. The joy of plein air painting is that you can make things the way you 'wished' they were!
This is my last sketch from Beaverlodge. I was intrigued by the shadows cast on the tin roof of the old chicken coup and the field of dandelions in front. The workshop was a great time and this area of northern Alberta is fascinating. I thank the kind artists of the area for making it possible for me to come to paint with them.

Friday, June 19, 2009

New pen & ink & W/C sketches

These are two of the pen and ink and watercolour sketches that I did while teaching my Plein Air Workshop for the McNaught Preservation Society in Beaverlodge, Alberta. I really like the second one in particular. I have never painted a cemetery before, but the wispy clouds reminded me of the spirits of those who died a long time ago.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"On the McNaught Homestead", watercolour, 12 x 16"

"On the McNaught Homestead", watercolour, 12 x 16"
This is the second plein air watercolour I did while in Beaverlodge at the McNaught farm. We were really blessed with great weather for the long weekend. The variety of greens were astonishing and it was fun to try to mix them all with 3 different blues and 3 different yellows, plus some red thrown in for the duller ones.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Grande Prairie Adventure

"Trembling Aspen", watercolour, 16 x 12"
This past weekend I taught a three day workshop in Beaverlodge, 30 minutes outside of Grande Prairie. It was held at the homestead of well known Alberta artist Euphemia McNaught (1902-2002) which is being restored by the McNaught Historical Preservation Society. The workshop was titled "Watermedia -Indoors and Out", but we only worked with watercolours outdoors, and we did some pen & ink and watercolour sketching as well. This is my first demonstration painting. It has been a while since I have painted such a large watercolour outdoors in the sun and the wind, but all in all I think it turned out OK. The participants loved to hear about the 'joy of S.E.C.s' -pronounced 'sex' so you can remember -to work the Shape, Edge and Colour of an object in that order. (see my DVD for details)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Resting Place", plein air oil painting

"Resting Place", plein air oil painting, 8 x 10"
This is another new plein air painting, done on the hillside overlooking the Bow River in Mackenzie. I originally thought I would paint the river, as it is lovely at this spot, but when I sat down on the nearby bench, this scene to my right was just calling me. I am really happy with this one as it captured the peaceful feeling I had while I was there.

Monday, June 8, 2009

From my heart...

"Winter Sunset Over Mt. Kidd", original digital photo
I have a passion for painting! That is true, and I know that it shows in my life. Everyone who knows me, knows this. Hopefully all who see my work know this as well. But what you might not know; is the reason that I have this passion, and this is what is so fundamentally important to my life. The act of painting brings me into a wonderful connection with my Creator and my Lord Jesus Christ. I paint for the glory of the Risen King! It is my deepest desire that my humble art would reflect God's great majesty, although that seems hardly possible. I would love to tell you about Him, about the joy and peace and love He brings to my heart ... I guess I just did!

Mackenzie Lake Park, plein air oil

"Mackenzie Lake Park", plein air oil, 8 x 10"
This is a new plein air painting done last week before the return of winter! I was captivated by the light and I am pretty pleased that I was able to capture it. This painting was done with my full palette of oils, which I really love compared to the limited palette I was working with on the last set of paintings. As colour is my thing, I think that the full range of expression possible with more colours is much more to my liking.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Mobile Studio!

I am SO excited! It has been a dream of mine to get a campervan and travel and paint, while my hubby cycles or hikes. Today, it has become a reality. We are the proud new owners of a great camperized van that is roomy and bright inside, and has lots of room for storage, and it even has a bathroom with a tiny tub and shower (this will probably be used to store my painting stuff in!). Now I am anxiously waiting for a free weekend to go camping/painting.
I will enjoy!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A New Venture

Original photograph by Karin Jurick.
I have been watching Karin Jurick's invitational blog called Different Strokes For Different Folks for a while now, but have never done one of the challenges. I figured today was the day! Rather than do it in oil, which was my first inclination as I am on that kick again, I thought I would do it in my sketchbook as a pen & ink and watercolour painting:

"Karin's Veggie Platter", 12 x 9", pen& ink and watercolour
It is a bit of a challenge to work with watercolours in the sketchbook as the paper does not stay wet for long, so you have to be quick to get colours to puddle. I use a Robert Bateman Recycled Sketchbook that has 140lb sheets of very smoothacid free paper, and it works better for watercolour than any other sketchbook I have tried. I really like this method of painting - it's quick and loose and really gets the message across.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Return To Lloyd's Park"

"Return To Lloyd's Park", 6 x 8", plein air oil painting
This is the last of the paintings I did the other day, and it is my favorite. I was finally getting a handle on the colour mixing with that VERY limited palette, and was surprised at all the colours I could make. This is a favorite painting spot of mine called Lloyd Park; most Calgarians have never heard of it. It is a small wetlands at the end of the road Red Deer Lake School is on, off Hwy 22x. When you open your car door, the noise of thousands of birds and ducks really knocks your socks off.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More Plein Air Oils

"More Back Roads", 6 x 8", plein air oil painting

This is the second painting from the other day. The colour is getting a bit better, but I still think I like to use purer colours than these. I really like working in this tiny format!

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Plein Air Season Begins!

"On The Tsu Tsina Reserve", 6 x 8", plein air oil
This is my first plein air oil painting of the season. I did it while sitting in my car using my new and very cool thumb box that was designed by me and built by a good friend. I will post a photo of the new set-up next time I use it. As the mixing area is so small, I chose 6 paints and put them into a weekly pill reminder, so that I wouldn't have to use up mixing area for paint storage. This had the dilemma of choosing only 6 colours (plus white), which are about 1/3 of the number I usually take with me! I chose Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Cad Yellow light, Cad Red light, Sap Green and Alizarin Crimson. It was a real challenge to make the colours I wanted, and really missed my Naples yellow and yellow ochre. Those tube colours are much brighter than what I can mix. I did get better at it as the day progressed however, so stay tuned...