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.

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Winter Woods

I love the woods. And I love painting them. I am continuing to challenge myself to paint them more often. I find them challenging but have taken some workshops by Phil Starke and they have been very helpful in many areas, but with trees in particular. I really like his teaching style and would suggest any painter check him out! He has a great way of explaining his thought process while he paints, and I find that very helpful.

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.

Winter Trees

Trees seem to be very challenging, but I am pretty sure they are my favorite subject. Therefore I must practice! This was an 8×8 study of a scene that was very muted and almost monochromatic because of the snowy atmosphere. I ended up using a palette knife on part of it to force myself to try to be loose. (8×8 Oil on board)

Snowy trees

 

Heating Up

I wanted to challenge myself to try to capture the extreme warmth of this scene. I really didn’t push the colors much to do this. It was really this warm. Actually there is a nice contrast between the warm yellow/orange on the left and the much cooler violets on the right. I think this contrast is what makes this appealing.

Foggy Morning at Mendenhall

This is another 10×8 oil of Mendenhall Glacier. I love this view from a large stream up the road as you approach the Glacier. There is often fog here and sometimes you can only catch a glimpse of the glacier itself, but it is very interesting to me when it is like this. There are always wonderful reflections in the areas of water around the glacier and this is one in particular that I like because of all the dead trees in the water, giving it a nice textural quality. As a note though, I find these trees extremely difficult to paint. I have found them very challenging. So in order to overcome this, I will be painting them quite a lot for practice ( =

Ice Reflections

In this 8×10 painting, I really wanted to push the warmth in the bushes to contrast all the cold in this scene. That part went pretty well, but I really struggled with the reflections in the ice. This is how it looks after 3 attempts at getting it right. At this point I have decided to let it dry before I do it again. It kind of amazes me sometimes, the things I struggle with. It certainly isn’t predictable. I am hoping that I can get it right on the fourth go round. we shall see. ¬†Anyone with helpful tips here is welcome to chime in ( =

Juneau, AK miniatures

More of my series of Juneau, AK in miniature. I decided these photograph better when I put them in groups of 4 and do not have to get so close to them. Each one of these is just an every day scene in Juneau. It is a small community and the mountains are in your face no matter where you go. It is such a gorgeous place! And I really love the low winter light. It is wonderful for filming or painting.

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These are all the same mountains that surround the Mendenhall glacier, but each from a different part of town. It is almost like you cannot get away from it. These views are everywhere!

Juneau, AK in Miniature

I’m finding that it is not only fun to paint in miniature but it is still a good way to learn and practice. I still have to work on what details to leave out and consider all the same composition rules. But I can play with color without much investment if it turns out to be a failure. There is very little investment at all whether it is financial or time. I am even finding that I would like to reproduce some of them in a larger scale. All around good practice. (These are each 2.5×3.5 inch)

Back to Basics

z left overs (60)I am actually quite taken with this little painting. There is something very pleasing about its simplicity. To try a painting using just one color is a great process for beginners. I even think that this practice is helpful for more advanced painters. This is useful In many ways… like helping one to recognize the values in the painting. After doing this you could more easily adjust your values to emphasize different areas of interest or intensity. This can also help one to see the unnecessary details of their subject. This is also good practice for how one might do an underpainting of their subject. Many artists will do a complete, thinned down, two tone painting like this before they add their color. That way they can concentrate on adding color without thinking about the value as well. This is often helpful when the subject matter has a lot of detail. But this is not a necessity, just a matter of preference. I have done some of these underpaintings and found them very helpful. But there are many times that I just want to be more spontaneous.

(as a side note, this post should have come before the last one) I would be interested to hear about anyone else’s experience with this process as well.