This is an example of what I sometimes do…this has been a favorite 8×10 painting that I did several years ago (the one on the right is the first edition). I think it was one of the first times that I really tried to push my colors to be brighter and bolder than what I was seeing in my reference pic. As I have gotten older, I have come to enjoy that brighter array of color rather than all muted tones. So I really liked leaving this bright.
As time went on, I wanted to tone it down just a little, and play with some of the techniques that I had learned regarding color schemes. I have to say I am very happy with the results. Do you have a preference?
I’m particularly fond of these two paintings. I have always thought clouds were very difficult to capture correctly. On the days that I attempted these clouds they were moving very slowly and not changing much at all. I thought it would be the perfect time to give it a try. I was very happy with the way they looked warm and dimensional and not just white and flat. They were both done in my yard, which was also an advantage as I am still learning this process. I still like the security of being alone in my yard and not out among the public eye.
This piece is 10x 8 inches and was mostly done outside on location. I did do some adjustments when I got it back to the studio, but this was my most challenging paintings outside. I particularly like the contrast of the greens with the maroon in the tree bark on the spruce trees here. This is a very typical scene here in Juneau.
This piece measures 8×24 inch and sold at a recent showing at the Juneau Artists Gallery which I belong to. It is an artists co operative gallery. Sunshine Cove is one of my favorite spots here in Juneau. These little islands are just a little way from shore, but just far enough to give them a wonderful distance to be viewed. The roadside is also quite a bit above sea level, so that also lends to wonderful viewing. And the Chilkat Range of mountains on the far side are just spectacular as a backdrop.
I did this 8×6 inch oil on panel for a friend of mine. I couldn’t resist the beautiful light bouncing around on the fabric in contrast with the coarseness of the meadow. And I thought it was so cute that she was also barefoot, which you can just see the tips of her toes peaking out from under her dress. This was just a total pleasure to do! This is still one of my all time favorite little paintings.
Each of these little sweethearts measures 2×2 inches. I especially enjoy painting them on the black background. They just have more pizazz some how. Most of these were done as little Christmas ornaments but I guarantee that the owners don’t put them away after the holidays.
This time I worked on more challenging mountain views from the back yard. I tried these views many times with a variety of success and failure. The pic on the left, I feel is more of a success, and the one on the right sort of ok. It is very tricky to learn to paint lots of tree branches, especially when they are covering distant objects that are peaking through them. The process of learning can sometimes seem insurmountable. There are times when one wants to just totally give up. It is very important to realize that the learning process is a long journey. Personally, when I started painting many years ago, I determined that I was going to do my very best to enjoy all the steps along the way. For the most part, I can say that I do enjoy it. But every once in a while there has been times of absolute discouragement and frustration. It’s imperative to push on through these time and not to give up. Sometimes I go back to a so called failed attempt and re work it. Overall I have learned a lot from this process. But once in a while I just have to toss the picture because it is too frustrating to look at any more (= That’s just the way it goes. And everyone goes through these times.
These are two more attempts at painting the mountains in my front yard en plein air. I really like the lighting that I was able to capture in the first one. It looks really warm and filled with light bouncing off other areas. The paintings are oil on board and measure 6×6 and 6×8 which are good sizes to use when beginning to learn to paint outside.
It would be possible to paint these mountains many, many times without ever repeating the look. They look a bit different every single day. So I actually took advantage of this fact to get in some practice using my outdoor painting set up. I definitely was learning a lot.
I tried plein air for the first time in 2020 and definitely fell in love with it. Other things took precedence over getting outside as much as would have liked but I made it a goal to get out a lot more in 2021. Early in the year I got out a lot then our weather turned very rainy, but I will share several of my experiences in the next few posts.
Here is one of my experiences getting outside to paint en plein air (meaning on location or out on location). This is Thunder Mountain which is right outside my front windows. So I did this in the front yard. It was helpful to get some practice close to home as I was leaning. It is very challenging to paint outside. So small steps can make it a lot more manageable.
My studio window looks out over our vegetable garden and on this particular, and rare sunny morning, I just had to capture the intense warm light shed upon it. I love the changing light on it whether it is cloudy or sunny, but this was irresistible! It is 6×6 oil on gesso board