Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Powell Butte

 Peaceful Mountain 10" x 10" November
 painting plein air
September Mountain 9" x 12"
Summer Path 16" x 20"
On a beautiful Fall day a few days ago, I went to paint plein air at one of my favorite paces, Powell Butte Nature Park.  From that height, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and other mountains in the Cascade range are visible on a clear day.  I painted on a square to focus on Mt. Hood, bright against a blue sky. 

At the visitor center, there is a quote from John Muir:  "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in, where Nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."  I hope that my paintings will capture some of that healing beauty we all receive from Nature.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Fall Colors

 Perfect Fall Day 5" x 7"
 Solitary Tree with Orange Leaves 5" x 7"
Solitary Bare Tree ("Endurance") 9" x 12"

Continuing daily painting past October pumpkins.  There are still some trees with leaves although most have fallen on their last journey to the earth.  I look for rich colors, no matter the weather.  Daily painting is a commitment and expense, so sometimes I paint on tiny 4" x 4" boards, or watercolor or colored pencil on paper.  Is this good practice or am I a glutton for punishment?  All are posted on Facebook on #paintingoctober and #paintingnovember, the failed experiments as well as the good.  These are three I like.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Daily Painting

 Floral with Gladiolas 8" x 8"
 Still Life with Red Pears 10" x 10"
Pumpkins Alla Prima 10" x 10"

I've been painting daily all through October and posting on Facebook on Painting October (Daily Challenge), finding time every day even if it's a quick study.  The challenge is sponsored by Muse Art and Design, my favorite neighborhood supply store, maybe I'll win something if I complete the challenge!  Sometimes I procrastinate on painting a still life and the flowers wilt and the fruit gets eaten, but because of this commitment, I'm motivated!  Painting inside on a gray, rainy day from a real scene in my home or a photo on the computer, is a change from painting outside. When the weather allows, I get out to paint plein air, hoping to capture the Fall colors before they fade and blow away.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

 Crimson Clover
 Zinnias, Sauvie Island Farm
Spring, Cooper Mountain
Three more 8" x 8" little paintings I'm doing for the Big 500, and also for the paintingoctober daily painting challenge.  All from photo references in my studio on gray, drizzly October days.  Love to paint in bright colors on a gray day, with classical music on the radio (All Classical FM, my favorite)!

Monday, September 26, 2016

plein air

 "Fall Reflections" 9" x 12"
"Sunflowers" 8" x 8"

Another Sunday on Sauvie Island, painting plein air with the peaceful painters.  The first was outside the wildlife area where I'd been before, but the gate was closed.  Hunting season already?  I still found a lovely view to paint, and later went to Kruger's Farm to paint a field of sunflowers.  Lots of inspiration there from piles of pumpkins to the tempting smells of roasted corn and hot dogs.  With this glorious sunny September weather, must paint outdoors as much as possible!  The 8" x 8" painting on board is the first of 10 that will be in the Big 500 this holiday season.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Green Scooter

"Green Scooter", 12" x 12" oil on canvas

The other day as I was driving home I had to stop to take a photo of this motor scooter parked in front of a shop.  Not my usual subject, but I immediately fell in love with this scene and had to paint it, which I did on top of a previous painting, letting some of the colors show through in layers.  I like the colors, shadows, shiny highlights, and reflections in the shop windows.  It makes me want to go for a ride!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Lavender Paintover

"Vibrant Garden" 14" x 14"

After awhile, my plein air painting of  "Lovely Lavender" at Red Ridge Farms from the Lavender Festival was not satisfying to me.  So I took out some lavender and added the brighter colors that were visible in the other views, and the lavender gradually disappeared!  Now it's vibrant.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Lavender Festival

 "Lovely Lavender" 14" x 14" gallery wrapped canvas 
 "The Old Wheelbarrow" 9" x 12"
Two plein air paintings in one day on my first day of the Lavender Festival!  The first was a broad view looking out beyond the lavender fields in full sun to a distant meadow framed by evergreen trees.  Then I switched to the shade of a tree where there was an old wooden wheelbarrow with picked lavender in front of flowers and a vine covered trellis.  There was also a lavender painted bicycle, chickens, dogs, kids and lots of people happily picking lavender and sipping lavender tea.

 ""Lavender and Rose Garden" 12" x 16" SOLD!
 "Lavender Fantasy" 14" x 14"
On my second paint out I visited Red Ridge Farms, which is like a European vacation with lavender fields, flower and herb gardens, a grove of olive trees, adjoining vineyards, elegant decor and a soothing fountain.
The location for my first plein air painting was on a narrow path near misting sprinklers, in full sun.  Maybe I was too uncomfortable to concentrate on the beauty of the scene, but that painting did not come out well. The next location was in the shade looking out past the lavender fields to the rose garden uphill.  There were poppies and all sorts of colorful and fragrant flowers and shrubs.  Later, I covered over the plein air painting that I did not like and created "Lavender Fantasy" from my imagination, adding a figure.

"Fragrant Garden" 14" x 14"
The last place I visited, Barn Owl Nursery, was also the most enjoyable.  Instead of sweeping vistas of fields, there was a charming quiet garden of lavender and herbs bordered by birch trees.  There is just something wonderfully soothing about the fragrance of lavender!  Next I must select 3 of these 5 to enter into the Oregon Lavender Paint Out, show and festival this weekend in Newberg, Oregon.  Come for art, music, fun!

Friday, June 24, 2016

 Crimson Clover, oil 14" x 18" on canvas 

I went out to the Washington County near Hillsboro to paint the crimson clover fields about a month ago on a sunny Spring day.  White and yellow wildflowers mixed in with the red flowers and green leaves.  Since clover is a cover crop, it does not last long, so I'm glad I was able to paint plein air to capture all this color!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Plein air

Hartman Pond, oil 9" x 12"

Painting plein air at Benson Lake Recreation Area in the Columbia Gorge, I set up my easel next to Hartman Pond.  The day was partly sunny, not hot, with a cool breeze that riffled the water and blew off my hat. Logs across the pond make good fish habitat, and there were several people fishing off the pier.  The pond is between the railroad tracks and nearby highway, yet it was peaceful.  

Creekside Trees, oil 9" x 12"

After a quick lunch, I turned around and painted the trees between the pond and the creek that comes from Wahkeena Falls, a gentle trickle on its way to the river.  Cottonwood pieces of white fluff were tossed by the breeze.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Plein air!

 Spring Widflowers, oil  9"x12"

Plein airing at Cooper Mountain Nature Park on a part sunny and part cloudy day, searching for wildflowers. There were plenty of small delicate flowers in magenta, purple, blue, yellow, white, but in sprinkles, not vast colorful fields.  So I concentrated on the tiny daisies sprinkled among the green grass and used my artistic license to multiply them!  It was a good hike, and a lovely day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Plein Air

 Plein air painting is about the adventure of going out and discovering the perfect spot to paint, getting all your gear together, dealing with weather and whatever may happen.  On this clear day a few weeks ago, painting pal Vicki Zimmerman and I stopped at Coon Point on Sauvie Island.  It's across from the Sauvie Island dog kennels, so we were serenaded by continuous barking, but that did not subtract from the serenity of the place.  Since the temperature was expected to rise to the high 80's, we looked for a shady spot with a good view.  Half way down this steep grassy slope dragging my wheeled cart, I stopped while Vicki went onward close to the edge of the pond.  I'm thinking: ticks, mosquitoes, dragging the cart back uphill in the heat of the afternoon.  So we returned to the shady spot near the paved walkway.
 This is my painting after a few hours.  There is a background thin wash of raw sienna to give a warm glow to the white canvas board.  I decided to leave it as a sketch to capture the mood and colors and not rush to finish.  By the time I stopped, the shade had dwindled away, the light was glaring and it was hot!  I had only a cool lemony yellow with me and was not satisfied with the brightness of the yellow greens.
"Coon Point, Spring" oil, 12"x16"

Back in my studio, I added some warmer yellow and yellow-greens and worked on varying the tree trunks. At a recent Alla Prima discussion, the subject was variety, and someone quoted "same, same, no, no"!  I hope my trees are varied and graceful!  I left some edges unfinished to preserve the sketchy quality.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Siobahn, oil on canvas 12" x 16"

It was my first time painting outside of my studio in months, so it took awhile to even find my easel, there are so many important items to bring to a paint out!  The figure painting was held at Joanne Radmilovich Kollman's studio in the Troy Building, SE Portland.  The model was Siobahn:  young, lovely, slim in a slinky scoop neck velvet dress.  At first I painted her with an emphasis on her long neck and shoulders framed in the low cut dress. Back in my studio, I decided that the dress distracted from her face, so I covered her, bit by bit, in an imaginary flowing blue scarf.  Painting from life, painting beautiful people, painting with other artist friends - wonderful!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Crown Point, oil 16" 20"

A re-do of one of my favorite scenes, Crown Point from the Women's Forum along the Old Columbia River Highway.  Originally painted in acrylic several years ago, I painted over this time in oil, with softer edges and the more subtle colors that oil points produce, with more of a glow.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

 Fall Day, oil 6" x 6"
 Fall to Winter, oil 8" x 8"
Winter Trees, oil 4" x 7"

Experimenting with palette knife painting, so much fun!  It's very sculptural, pushing and carving shapes into the paint, creating patterns and layers, very like the layers of bare branches seen in the winter landscape.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jenny, oil on canvas, 14" x 11" SOLD

Some of the artists in Alla Prima Portland meet regularly at Medley Tea in Multnomah Village to sketch after the breakfast meeting at O'Connors.  Lots of colorful teapots, cups and crockery to sketch, as well as each other.  The walls are adorned with art work, one time we had a group show there of our teapot paintings. We sip, sketch in pencil or watercolor, and chat about art and anything else, with lots of noisy laughter.
A few weeks ago I got a quick photo of our waitress, Jenny, and painted it afterward.  The photo errs on the green side, there is a lot of rosy pink.

Friday, January 22, 2016

River Reflection, oil on board 8" x 16"

Back to a summer mood from a photo taken on the banks of the Columbia River when the water level was so low you could walk on the sand.  The reflection seemed to float, everything was still.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Fall Glow, 12" x 12" oil on panel board

This one started with a fall mood, fall colors on my palette and a palette knife, then added brushwork.  The foggy sky reminds me of a day spent painting plein air in Forest Park.  I like the warm glow against the cool gray.

Friday, January 15, 2016

April Nude, oil 14" x 11"

This photo of April was shared on the Alla Prima Portland Facebook site by Khanh N. Huynh for our inspiration, and I was inspired!  If orange is the happiest color, is she happy or blue?  She looks a bit cold to me, maybe I should have given her a shawl?  The next one will be warmer!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Fall Abstract, 12" x 12" oil on birch board

This one just happened.  I started with broad strokes with a large brush from the same palette of fall colors I've been using lately, covering up an old painting that did not interest me anymore.  I expected to put down some colors then find a composition from photos, but then I kept going without a visual reference  The trees and leaves were in my head just waiting to come out.  Sides are almost 2" deep, painted the same red-orange.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tabor Path, 12" x 16" oil  SOLD

Just returned from where it was hung at O'Connors Cafe where the Alla Prima Portland group meets, is my painting from the Fall, Tabor Path.  It's my favorite path in the park, at late afternoon when the light from the West creates a warm glow.  My camera never quite captures that glow, along with the dark shadows from the trees, so I have to remember the quality of the light.