Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saturday Plein Air - Franklin Park

We were back at Franklin Park today. While most of the group was painting along the Grand Mallway, a handful of us girls were painting in the community garden. I setup in the shade overlooking this pot:

I worked in oils on a 6x6 Gessobord. Process shots below:

I'd planned on putting in the brick pillar to the left, but it made no sense to me in the painting and took it out.

Pot of Poseys, 6x6, oil on Gessbord

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday Plein Air - Stratford Ecological Center

We always enjoy painting at the center. But today was a scorcher! We were wore out by noon.

I setup in the shade of the pear tree and painted the view of the blue wheelbarrow near the sunflowers. I was working on a tiny 5x7 Pastelbord which was a wipe-off from a past painting. It had some nice ghost colors when I started. That helped to get over the usual "dreaded white panel" when starting a painting.

"Blue Wheelbarrow", 5x7, pastel on Pastelbord

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Art Books and Magazines, and the Elusive Muse

It's rare for me to buy/keep art books or magazines. Over the years, I would hoard magazines expecting to get them out when I needed inspiration. I'd buy art technique books hoping each would make me a better artist. But I rarely READ them, mostly looking at the photos and then dumping them on a shelf. After moving a couple times, I realized I never go back to look in these, so stopped buying them and gave most away. I now live in a city that has two fantastic library systems available to me, where I can search online and ask to have my selections delivered to a convenient nearby branch.

Although I've always loved art, I never really got to study or learn about most of the big name painters. The internet and Facebook really has opened my eyes to some wonderful art and artists (both living and dead)! I click on many Facebook artists' pages and "Like" them so I can see what they produce.

Beautiful stuff, but makes me realize how lacking my skills are! I've had a bit of a dry spell in my own art growth for over six months. I am used to having a couple bi-annual periods where I can't get excited about my art, but this six month spell is really bothering me. In particular, I really want to improve my oil painting technique. I know it takes hard work and time spent working to improve. But it is very hard to do when working full time outside the studio. I need to jump start my ambition to learn!

Last fall, my friend Marianne had shown me a book by UK painter David Curtis, Capturing the Moment in Oils. What a great book. I liked it so much, I ordered it.

He has several other titles too. Although I really enjoy his work, again, I ended up just looking at the photos and not studying. I found he didn't have enough visual descriptions of technique and progress shots, so the book sat.

Recently, I decided I needed to look for a different painting approach (for me) and did a fairly wide library search for oil painting techniques. So many books out there! I narrowed it done to half a dozen or so, ordered them to my library branch, and gave the pile a look. Many of them had the same old format with the gear, the paint, the brushes, the composition, etc. That part I have down pretty good already. I was looking for a book which showed me works in progress to see how the artist went about working.

JACKPOT! Found someone who really excited me - another UK artist, Peter Wileman and his book Painting Light in Oils.
Enough progress shots to get me going. I Googled him and found a few short videos with him promoting his DVDs (there are two; one matching the above book available in US viewing format, but the other, "Inspirational Oil Landscapes", is not US viewing format).

Loved watching him work and how he holds the brush and applies the paint. That's what I need to work on - how to actually apply the paints! So hard to learn without watching someone. I did end up ordering the book so that I can put in sticky notes and highlight things, but I am torn as to whether the DVD would help more. I'll probably order it soon!  ;-)

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Saturday Plein Air - Homestead Metro Park

BEAUTIFUL day today for plein air! We met at Homestead Metro Park in Hilliard. This is a really nice park. This was our first visit and everyone said it was perfect for plein air, with lots of interesting water views, buildings, and interesting terrain. The park ranger is arranging for us to have an exhibit this fall in their nature center.

I was using my new Strada Mini easel for the first time. I had the original larger size Strada, but found it was too big and heavy for me, so sold it and ordered the new size smaller. Perfect!
I worked for awhile and had to scrape off part of my painting. I decided to turn to a view to my right and that scene worked much better for me.
"Shallows Shadows", oil on board, 8x10"

Monday, July 04, 2016

The Trouble with Painting Architecture!

I try and try, but I just can't seem to paint architecture! I haven't given up, but it's frustrating and I need to find a different way to work. I tried working on two scenes with buildings this weekend in oil, and both were fails.

Today, I got out the pastels and zoomed in on one of the scenes to exclude the building and just show the hanging laundry.
"Laundry Day", 8x8, pastel on UArt 500

Artwork from Scotland Trip

I haven't posted what I painted while in Scotland! Because I took pastels and it was rainy most of the trip, I didn't get much painting done. 

This one was a larger piece (7x10"), with a house and barn to the right side, but it was really poor, so I cut it off. That's a plus for pastels - you can edit after you have painted!
 This was a pencil sketch from Loch Earn at St. Fillans of a cottage on the hillside.
 This was also St. Fillans. Pen with bit of watercolor pencils.
 This was just across the road from our cottage. Hills and lots of sheep (although I only painted 3)!
 This was painted off the deck at our cottage on the last full day, and the only day without rain! This is the largest piece at 8x10.
 This was the first day we painted, along a small waterfall. This was a cool place!