Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"MacArthur's Shore", plein air oil landscape painting, Sharon Lynn Williams

"MacArthur's Shore", plein air oil painting on board, 9 x 12"
$575 framed in a dark plein air frame or in a wood frame with a linen liner, FREE S&H

This is the last painting I did at O'Hara, and also my favorite. I love Lake MacArthur, the largest lake in the O'Hara area, backed by a neat glacier, although it is a bit of a slog to get there as it is quite high up. The water is the deepest turquoise colour I have ever seen, but it is moody as the colour changes with the weather. We had an amazing 4 days there, with no clouds during the day, which made it much easier to paint as there were no cloud shadows to obscure the forms. I will post the rest of the paintings I did there in the next several days.

I want to say thank you to all of you who came over to view my blog at the suggestion of Carol Marine. You comments were very kind and encouraging. I hope you will stick around for more.

Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Marsh Reflections", plein air oil landscape painting, Sharon Lynn Williams

"Marsh Reflections", plein air oil painting, 9 x 12"
$575.00 framed in a dark plein air frame, FREE S&H

This is the last plein air piece I did before going off to Diamond Willow. Since then I have spent 3 days painting there and then 4 days painting and hiking at Lake O'Hara, and yes, the weather was perfect for almost all of it. I got back on Friday night with tired legs from all the vertical at O'Hara, and then on Saturday my hubby and I and a bunch of friends hiked up Burstall Pass, which was equivalent (according to my hubby) to 3-4 times up and down the Calgary Tower and walking from my house to get there. Needless to say, my legs were rubber and I fell into bed when we got home, and I didn't post, but I know you will forgive me. I am here now, and have a bunch of paintings from my past week to share with you in the coming week, so stay tuned.

Workshop Lesson #16: This will be my last workshop lesson, but I will continue to give tips and helpful techniques as I continue to learn and grow as an artist, so I hope you will continue to find this blog helpful in your own artistic journey. The last lesson is that confidence in painting shows! So make confident marks that are as right as you can make them at the time. You can change it if it turns out to be wrong, just proceed with a light touch with the succeeding layers to avoid losing the freshness of the plein air strokes. And finally, don't play with the brush strokes you put down in the field before you step back to see if they read already. I am always surprised at how distance can clarify things.

Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"At The Crossroads", plein air oil painting landscape, Sharon Lynn Williams

"At The Crossroads", plein air oil painting, 11 x 14"
SOLD

I don't know why I just had to paint this scene, but I did. The painting took me quite a while, with most of it spent trying to get the perspective right on the road which was curving towards me while going downhill. Very tricky, but I think it is right now. The 'for sale' signs beneath the trees caught my eye as a nice story, you know, crossroads in life, do I buy that new house or not...

Workshop Lesson # 15: Get the motif in the drawing at the very beginning, thereby capturing what is most important to me. Then focus on the act of painting a story in a pleasing design rather than getting caught up in the details contained within the actual scene. If I have to get caught up in the scene, I should choose ONE thing to do that in. So deciding what it is that I am most interested in, and simplifying the rest will give the painting focus.

I am off to Lake O'Hara for 4 wonderful days of plein air painting, so be sure to stay tuned to see the results of my quest. The forecast is for good weather, and I am hoping they are right. This time of year it could be very cold and blizzardy. Wish me luck.

See you again on Friday!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"My Favorite View -Fall", plein air oil painting, Sharon Lynn Williams

"My Favorite View -Fall", plein air oil painting, 8 x 10"
SOLD

This is, as the title suggests, one of my favorite places to paint the rolling ranch and farmland of the Rocky Mountain foothills. This view changes dramatically in colour with the seasons, and the field colours change with the crops. Of course the mountain shapes never change, but their colour and value sure do depending on the weather and time of day. So it is always an interesting scene.

By the way this is the 201'st post on this blog -what a milestone! (didn't notice the 200'th one :0) I want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all of you who read this blog on a regular basis. You make doing this an incredible joy, and I owe a large part of my growth as a plein air artist to this 'almost' daily commitment along with the kind words and encouragement that you share in your comments. So thank you again, and please stay tuned!

I have just returned from an invigorating 3 day artists' retreat at the new Diamond Willow Artisan Retreat in Turner Valley, AB. Owners Pat and Doug have built a dream home on the Highwood River that is absolutely amazing. They are planning on hosting art workshops and retreats, and I would HIGHLY recommend signing up for one. We were extremely pampered and well fed while we painted on their gorgeous property. With 10 high spirited artists painting and living together, I can say I haven't laughed that much in way too long! I will post those paintings in a couple of days (they need to lose their shine so I can get good photos).

Workshop Lesson #14: I believe that God has called me to be an artist, although sometimes it seems so incredibly hard. I need to remind myself that He will enable me to what He has called me to do. When I lean on His strength rather than my own, and trust that He will pull me through, painting becomes full of joy and life.

Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Tree Lace", plein air oil painting

"Tree Lace", plein air oil painting, 10 x 8"
$495.00, oil on board in dark plein air frame, FREE S&H

This is my third painting from my paintout with Sheila. This was what I saw behind me when I turned around from the "September Marshes" scene. The late summer has been so hot that the leaves on the trees and bushes are just drying instead of turning wonderful colours, which is too bad, but it does give some interesting colours never the less.

Workshop Lesson #13: The workshop reminded me what it was like to be a beginner, and I think that will make me a better teacher. For me teaching is all about trying to encourage students' strengths and individuality, rather than trying to make them paint like me. Their personal style emerges as they decide how to apply the basics to their work. Sometimes it is hard to watch them struggle, but they need to make their own choices if their work is to be original.

Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"September Marsh", plein air oil painting

"September Marsh", plein air oil painting, 9 x 12"
SOLD

This is one of my favorite paintings of the year. I did it on a paintout with friend Sheila, and we had a really great day. I can't believe the wonderful fall we are having -it's 33C here today and sunny -too hot to go painting (but I did go golfing this morning!)

Workshop Lesson #12: Allow failure by taking risks! The inspired question 'what if..." spoken, and acted upon during the painting process is the key to finding your own personal, individual voice.

Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Foothills Farms", plein air oil painting

"Foothills Farms", plein air oil painting, 8 x 10"
SOLD

I love this time of year! The colours are warming up and everything isn't as green as it is in the summer, although I have come to enjoy the challenge of capturing all the variations of green in a scene.

Workshop Lesson # 11: I need to speak positively and gently to myself! Negative words have the power to get me really bummed out and insecure -not fun.

Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Castle Falls", studio oil painting

"Castle Falls", studio oil painting, 11 x 14"
This is one of the few oils that I have done from a photograph. I took this shot on the ASA trip to the Crowsnest Pass, and I would have loved to have painted it on location, but didn't have the time. I was interested to see how clean the colours turned out -I think that sometimes when painting on location there is so much to see and such a variety of colour that it is tempting to put it all in, while the search for the right colour might end up a bit muddy. Certainly painting the fast moving water was much easier from a still shot. This painting will be in an ASA show in the Pass this fall.
Workshop Lesson # 10: Well I did hear back from several people, mostly people who have subscribed to my blog posts, so they tend to email me comments rather than posting them on the blog (by the way, it is much better for my google ratings if you post them on the blog rather than emailing them to me). It seems that the consensus is that the lessons are being helpful to other people, so I will continue with them. That being said, today's lesson is NOT to do the same thing or use the same method for every painting as that can become boring for me, and that boredom will show to the viewer. I think this lesson applies for still life setups more than plein air painting, as there are tons of challenges there already.
Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Just Off The Bow", plein air oil painting

"Just Off The Bow", plein air oil painting, 12 x 9"
oil on board framed in a dark plein air frame, $575.00 FREE S&H
Another one from Carburn Park, late in the afternoon. It takes discipline not to 'chase the light' at this time of day, as the sun/shadow pattern is constantly changing.
Workshop Lesson #9: It is important to vary the direction and size of the brush strokes and to change colour often in order to increase the surface interest in the painting. Working with the same pigments all the time leads to getting to know what mixes with what to get what, which leads to reproducible results.
I haven't had any comments on this series of lessons -please comment and let me know if you want me to continue.
Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Carburn Park Lagoon", plein air oil painting

"Carburn Park Lagoon", plein air oil painting, 8 x 10"
This was done on a paint out with friends (and my students) Cheryl and Sheila. I just loved the way the light was hitting on the bank of dried grasses and the deep shadows created by the large evergreens. This is the first plein air painting since the workshop, and it is interesting to see that my style has changed a bit with the new things I learnt -particularily the treatment of edges. But perhaps those changes were due to the fact that I forgot my brushes and had to borrow some awful ones from Sheila! All in all I am very happy with the way it turned out.

Workshop Lesson #8: It is easier to cope with a fixed set-up, such as a still life arrangement under lights that is restricted in scope, compared with plein air painting with its huge possibilities and always changing lighting conditions. Learning to quickly assess a scene, commit to a composition and charging in are learnt skills that become easier with much practice. We all have our comfort zones, and often they are in different places. Its kind of funny because right now Carol is being challenged by plein air painting in Germany as she is recognizing the differences stated above.
Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Blue Bird's Home", plein air oil painting

"Blue Bird's Home", plein air oil painting, 6 x 8"
SOLD  
 
I was all set up to paint the mountains, but when I turned around, this scene really spoke to me. As I was painting it a brilliantly coloured blue bird flew in and out bringing food to the youngsters still inside. What a thrill.
Workshop Lesson #7: To get an interesting edge, make it, then break it (paint over it), and then make it again. This keeps things interestingly loose and lovely.
Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Funky Kohlrabi", oil painting from life

"Funky Kohlrabi", oil painting from life, 6 x 6"
SOLD  
 
I bought this lovely looking vegetable before the workshop began and managed to keep it looking good until the last day of the workshop by wrapping it in wet paper towel and keeping it in the fridge. This was the most fun painting as the colour was just yummy, and I think I caught that excitement.
Workshop Lesson #6: Value and shape are the most important things to get right when painting plein air. Colour and edge treatment can be more discretionary and this is where personal creativity and vision will show the most. I just have to remember that if I change a colour from what is in front of me, I need to take into account its impact on the other colours around it, particularily when doing these little still life paintings with all the bounced light and colour going on.
Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Hanging On", oil painting from life

"Hanging On", oil painting from life, 6 x 6"
SOLD  
 
Day four of Carol Marine's workshop and I was beginning to get what she was trying to teach us -I think! Several of the students took photos of my pear, so I guess that was a good sign. It was great fun to try to capture all the colour and value shifts I saw, in the fewest number of brushstrokes.
Workshop Lesson #5: I need to decide what in a scene is important to me, and me alone. When I am successful at capturing that, my personal style will appear. We each should struggle to find our own way with practice and honest critique, working towards 'loving it' ourselves.
Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Through The Trees", plein air oil painting

This is our group painting at Anderson Farms just outside Benalto. That is Carol demonstrating in the teal sweater. This was a lovely day with great weather.

"Through The Trees", plein air oil painting, 6 x 6"
SOLD  
 
This is my second painting from our plein air day, done very quickly at the end of the day. I was concentrating on making interesting shapes filled with interesting colour, with interesting edges and no detail.
Workshop Lesson #4: Look at the forest, not each individual tree! I have a tendency to get caught up in the shape, edge, value and colour of each object in my scene as I get to them without necessarily considering them all together as a unit -how each impacts each other and how each fits into the cohesive whole of the painting. This means that sometimes less important elements are treated with too much importance. I think this will be a key to my simplifying my paintings while maintaining a strong focus.
Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Beyond The Fence", plein air oil painting

"Beyond The Fence", plein air oil painting, 6 x 8"
SOLD  
 
Day three of the workshop was a plein air day -good thing as the weather deteriorated considerably after that. With the plein air I was back in comfortable territory again, but Carol made some great suggestions to simplify my composition. I like how this one turned out.
Lesson #3: Sometimes it is better to wipe off areas that aren't working, maybe even the whole thing if the composition isn't good, rather than trying to pile on more paint and making mud. A big surprise is that what is left after the wipe sometimes is exactly what you want and is way better than any passage you could have painted -especially if you are trying to get luminosity.
Enjoy!

To purchase this, or commission your own painting, please email me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"An Apple A Day", oil painting from life

"An Apple A Day", oil painting from life, 6 x 6"
SOLD  
 
This is my second painting from the workshop. We watched a demo each morning, then Carol gave us an exercise, and then we all painted our still lives after lunch, while Carol ran around giving help to us ALL! I think I was beginning to get the idea of how to handle the edges -it was fun being so loose.
Lesson #2: Paint can't do everything! There are just some lighting effects that paint cannot express, and some colours we cannot mix as cleanly as we would like to. As artists we need to learn what those limits are, and then ask ourselves "What can I push to fill the gaps?"