Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Across the gravel road . . .

The beautiful, ever-changing view across the gravel road from our farmette.
This scene moves easily from full on snow in January and February to patchy snow in late winter, pale greens in the spring, tall Big Bluestem in summer months, and the eventual blonding heads turning rusty red when summer's over.
I love every month and season of this view and have been thankful for every year we have lived here that the land is protected CRP, never having been broken.
To think that this is the same field that was burned off in the spring to eradicate weeds and was so soon green again is wonderful to have witnessed.
I will be painting this same scene again with the fall colors and quite possibly a few of the blackened earth during the spring burn.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The last days of summer . . .


The light is different.
The sky is different.
The clouds are different.
Late summer is still warm (hot!) and humidity from the fields is high.
Yet like the ant, you know that you have precious little time
to store things away before there is snow and it's too cold to work outside for long.
These are the days when I want to capture as much of the light, sky, clouds, 
heat and humidity as possible for my winter work.
Like taking out a jar of canned tomatoes in January that were put up in September, 
there will be days that I will need the photos 
to remind me of these beautiful days.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The little green bungalow . . .

Such a sweet little house.
I shouldn't call it 'small' since I've never been inside and it isn't mine,
but I know the neighborhood and the homes are darling.
Quaint, cozy, perfect.
This bungalow belongs to a friend who asked me to paint it in watercolor when I had time.
I finally had time.
I have two photos of it - one winter and one summer.
The summer house has 4th of July bunting and is beautiful and lush.
But there was something still about the home after a snowfall.
Tight and grounded. Clean and composed.
I love this setting with the pretty green against the grey skies, the hinted-at shapes 
of the trees and foliage.
She loves it and I can't wait to see it framed and in her home.
Love.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

It is finished . . .

After several incarnations, I believe this painting is finished.

From photos taken from a neighbor's farm, I enjoyed the usual struggle of color, balance, detail, but I believe it's finally 'there'.
With a few more touches, off to its new owner.
Here's to completing work.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Watercolor on canvas . . .

The beta test.

Challenged with creating two unique pieces for a fundraiser, I decided to try a new technique with an old medium. Well, not so old really. Just one I am familiar with.

All artists were given one or two 8x8 canvases on which they were to work in any medium to create work that would be donated for auction at The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd, Minnesota.

I really enjoy working in watercolor and was wanting to try the canvas prepped with watercolor ground to see how watercolor reacted with it. I have to say that while it was fun and gave me different surface than the cold-press 140gm paper, it was like painting on chalk. The paint seemed to soak up quickly and I lost vibrancy. It would take more glazing to achieve the depth of color I'm used to. And if I left it for a while and came back to add another layer of color, the watercolor tended to bead up. If I am wrong that this is how it reacts in a typical fashion, then I simply need to do more and keep practicing.

Overall, I'm happy with the results and will give it a go on other materials.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Work in progress . . .

This is one project I cannot seem to get far enough away from to critique my progress.
Taking a photo is the perfect way for me to judge those weak areas.
I seem to have them here and I'm trying to find solutions.
Not always easy to do.
Work in progress.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A special project . . .

It's the hardest thing to put the first stroke of paint on a blank canvas.
I always start with such timidity but once that color changes from ground to atmosphere,
I'm headed in deep.

This is a special project for a friend who loves my expansive landscapes.
They have a gorgeous section of land not too far away from me and she wants a piece that she can hang high on the wall. That gives me permission to use big blocks of color and be more impressionistic in application. Not much detail. But that's the best part of impressionism and abstraction. Freeing.

One thing for sure.
Taking pictures along the way give you the perspective of backing away far enough to see how it's all coming together.
First photo after clouds were added.
I noticed how lopsided the composition was with the clouds too distracting.
Beautiful, but distracting.
I feathered them out and added balance in another cloud shape to the left.
Now to tone down the drive and the rise of the hill a bit.