Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Showtime Again!!

On the heels of my big plein air show, I will be at the Calyx show on Saturday (only). I will have watercolours, mixed media plus some plein air oil paintings, with something in just about everyone's budget. If you live in or are visiting Calgary, you simply must make an effort to get to the show. It has different artists on Sunday, so it is an entirely new show each day. The show really has a following now, with over 800 visitors each day, it is a 'happening'.
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Plein Air Watercolour by Sharon Lynn Williams

"At Ghost Ranch", plein air watercolour, 5.5 x 15.25"
$100 matted in archival matting, plus taxes and shipping -click on the image to see a larger version!!!

After our time at Moab we headed down to Santa Fe, where a good friend now has a lovely home. I was unprepared for how fantastic that town is! And the art there -all I can say is WOW. I spent a day and a half looking through the galleries gawking at fabulous art work by some of the contemporary masters, and instead of deciding to just shoot myself (which is a common reaction after seeing stunning art) I was tremendously inspired. Now all I need is TIME to paint it out!!
I have always been interested in Georgia O'keeffe's work but after going to the museum in her name, I am pumped about her. They had a show that featured her art materials and methods, and a lot of her very simple line sketches and resulting paintings were on display. I had previously only known her for her flowers and abstracts, but I was stunned by her landscapes, and how closely she relied on the actual colours and forms. I bought a wonderful book that shows her painting inspiration with the resulting paintings, and I realized that what she was doing is very close to what I want to accomplish in my own paintings (only different if you know what I mean) -kind of gave me permission to pursue that vision. Needless to say I just had to drive out to Ghost Ranch to see the place that Georgia painted so often. I did the above watercolour sitting outside the visitor centre. While it has little resemblance to anything the famous one did, I am quite happy with it. I was glad that I had taken my long watercolour block with me, as it was just the ticket to capture that landscape.


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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Plein Air Oil Painting and more Utah photos

"Utah Juniper", plein air oil painting, 10x8"
$495 framed, free S&H

I mentioned a couple of posts ago about the wonderfully twisty Utah Junipers -this one was at the back of our campsite at Needles, so thought I would have a try at it. It would have been much easier to do from a photo -I kept getting lost in the twists! I have attached 2 other photos of great specimens below.

This is another view of the Needles on a wonderful hike that took us right up to the bases of these giants. And boy can the wind howl between them. If you haven't been to Arches or Canyonlands National Parks in southern Utah, you really should put it on your bucket list.

While I was there I found out that the town of Moab (between these 2 parks) sponsors a large, non-invitational plein air event from Oct 7 to 14th -you can find out more info here. I would love to go as the cottonwoods would be yellow-orange -can you imagine how that would look with the reds of the rocks and the blue greens of the evergreens? Smashing...

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

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Plein Air Oil painting and Utah photos by Sharon Lynn Williams

"View From Our Needles Campground", 9 x 12", plein air oil painting
$595.00 framed, free S&H

This was the scene from our lovely camping spot in the south part of Canyonlands National Park called 'The Needles'. I think that was my favorite place of the holiday. The area was very open and you could hike right around and between the most fabulous rock formations. I loved the colour of the earth and the plant life there -so very different from anything around where I live. I was aiming to get the recession in the cliffs as well as the cool bounced light in the shadows of the red rock formations. The foreground tree is a Utah Juniper -which is a fantastic tree. When there is a drought, the trunk twists and turns and makes fabulous shapes.

This is my darling on one of hikes into the needles. Too bad that a photo really can't capture the amazing feeling of being there!

One of the last things I did while at Arches National Park was to take a guided hike into a place called the Fiery Furnace. Some places were so tight that you had to really maneuver to get by. I felt like a 12 year old boy!!


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

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Watercolour sketch and more Moab photos by Sharon Lynn Williams

I did this pen and ink and watercolour sketch at Island in the Sky, the northernmost part of Canyonlands National Park. This part of Canyonlands is very similar to the Grand Canyon, but on a much smaller scale. The mountain range in the distance still had a lot of snow on it, creating a wonderful contrast for the layered reds, oranges and tans of the sandstone.

Some more of the fabulous scenery in the area.

Dave took me to see the sunset at Fisher Towers, and while there was a phenomenal sunset, I couldn't take my eyes off the reflected light on the towers. I didn't touch this shot in photoshop, honest, it really was like that!

Ever since I visited Writing On Stone Provincial Park I have been fascinated with early native pictographs and petroglyphs. I was delighted to go exploring along the Colorado River and find so many fine examples of several different tribes and times, some dating back a thousand years. As always, it is devastating to see modern graffiti obliterating some of the drawings. Why is it that mankind has always desired to leave his mark wherever he goes?


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

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Plein Air Oil and Arches NP photos by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Big Bend Beach -Moab", plein air oil painting, 12 x16"
$695 framed, free S&H

I painted this scene of the Colorado river flowing through the canyons just outside of Moab, while my sweetie BBQ'd a spectacular feast. Now THAT is the way to do plein air!! The river is very murky with a greenish sediment this time of year, which I found to be quite amazing, and a perfect compliment to the red canyon cliffs.

This is "Landscape Arch" in Arches National Park. It is very thin and as long as a football field. The photo doesn't show how tall the opening is, but it is about 100 feet up. You can't hike right up under this one, in case it falls down!

Hiking in Arches is amazing! This is one arch we came upon totally by surprise. It was about 75C and sunny that day, a welcome relief from the cold and snow of home.

You can see the tiny figure of my hubby under this arch -and he is pretty tall himself! I was really glad that my Panasonic Lumix has great telephone and wide angle capabilities. Both came in very handy on this trip.


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

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Plein Air Oil Painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Park Avenue -Arches NP", plein air oil painting, 8 x 10"

I am finally back in the saddle again from our trip to Utah through to Santa Fe, NM. And what a trip it was! The scenery was absolutely amazing -I only wished I was on a painting trip with a bit of sight seeing, instead of the other way around :) We headed out on Tuesday March 29th (had to wait a couple of days to leave as my hubby was sick with a nasty cold) and drove our handy campervan down to Moab in southern Utah over a course of a couple of days. Our first stop was at Arches National Park, which has over 200 natural arches carved out of the red sandstone. I stopped to do this painting at "Park Avenue", which is a little hike through these towering cliffs of red sandstone. The low angle of the sun causes the red cliffs to really light up -a true delight to the artist's soul. I wish there was some way to convey the towering heights of the rock formations, but it seems impossible.

This is what the front of my house looked like when we left -that is our campervan in the drive, ready to go with a newly installed furnace (thank goodness!). I took this photo because I thought I would use it to compare when we got back -I had expected daffodils and green grass...

This is what we came home to find! Not a blade of green grass to be seen anywhere. I have never seen snow like this in Calgary in the middle of April. It continued to snow for several more days after we got back, and we began to despair of ever seeing spring. By now the snow is melting, and as long as it doesn't snow again, we should have green lawns by the end of the month. Here's hoping!

Stay tuned for more paintings and photos from our trip!

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