Plein Air Learning Continues

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.

Mountain Peaks En Plein Air

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.

My Garden En Plein Air

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

Snowy Trip to Corinth, ME

This is from a photo I took of a spot near my best friend. It is pretty farm country in central Maine. Again, I just love this snowy atmosphere where all the lines get blurred. It is challenging and thrilling to paint. I think I like to try to make it feel like I am enveloped in the painting sensing the snow all around me. This is an 8×10

Mountains of Juneau

The mountains in Juneau, AK are amazing!  I never tire of them. I am always amazed at how many different faces they have depending on the light and weather situation. I enjoy the challenge of painting scenes with subtle variations, and trying to portray a certain lighting effect. These mountains are part of the Chilkat Range.

Maine White Pine

This is from a photo I took at our place in Maine. I love all the trees in Maine! The changing light throughout the day just makes me have to keep my camera very close. I am always ready for a pic ( =  I have been a bit afraid to try this scene for some time but have learned quite a bit from Phil Starke’s workshops and decided to go for it. I would like to do it again and do it looser, but was at least somewhat pleased with the outcome.

New Steep Creek

This must be one of my favorite spots because I have painted it several times now. I find the dead trees very interesting and they change so much with the different light. It is a little creek that is on the way to the Mendenhall Glacier where my husband and I walk quite often. Sometimes there are bear down in there to watch too. Pretty soon the area will be flooded with tourists going to see the glacier and hoping to catch a glimpse of a bear.

Spring Trees

This was a little piece that I did for a workshop. I really liked the soft atmosphere in this picture. I have not had much practice painting in this type of soft hazy lighting. but I really liked the effect here. It was challenging to stick with the softness and not think I needed to add any hard deep shadows. I think it was successful. It was also an opportunity to practice more bare trees,  which was great!

Desert snow

‘The Towers’ in Juneau, AK

These towers are spectacular and I am fortunate enough to be able to view them from my house. I love how the warm light bathes them in this glowing color. This was also good tree practice.

Sad story though, on the very day I painted this picture we had two young men go missing after reaching the top of the top. They posted a photo on Instagram and never made it back. The rescuers found their ropes and gear but as of yet, they have not located the men. Hopefully when the temps warm up a bit they will be able to find them.