Just about time to try a few still lifes since there is so little color left this time of the year outdoors. Today and yesterday were absolutely beautiful outside..........warm and kinda sunny but, despite that, the environment is pretty low color at the moment. It was still awesome. I do find myself craving a little more color in my life now that the days are so short and the landscape seems to be resting.
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Saturday, 12 December 2015
What a week! It began with jury duty, evolved into my continuing internet provider issues and, finally, getting a chance to paint. Since there is so little daylight as we near the shortest day of the year, I've been working in the studio. The internet wire that leads into my house was struck by lightening at the beginning of the summer - it took two weeks then for them to figure it out and replace the wire but I have had a multitude of connectivity problems since then. After about a million phone calls (and being on hold for at least a half an hour per call) they sent a technician out to my house. I'm hoping it's fixed for good this time and won't shut down multiple times each day. I will also welcome not becoming immediately furious each time it quits.....they gave me a whopping $10 credit in July for the two weeks it didn't really work at all...........and I pay $70 per month for internet alone! Living in a rural area there's only one choice unless I want t.v. and I don't so I'm stuck. At any rate, I calmed right down when I had an entire day to paint yesterday.....not one single errand.
Thursday, 3 December 2015
I am really close to finishing this painting after having to set it aside for several months............it had tons of paint that was wet and working on it became a problem. The other day when I couldn't get out to paint, I determined that it was fully dry and I could finish it. Good plan since it poured the past couple of days and I wouldn't have been able to work outside anyway.
Sunday, 29 November 2015
I didn't crop this because it's not done yet and I sort of liked the way it looked with the surroundings in the background. I love the quality and angle of the light this time of year but it does make it really important to work as quickly as you can. I began a different 24x12" painting at the same location yesterday and returned hoping to finish that one but shrimp boats have this pesky way of moving around and the scene was completely blocked by a new (huge) arrival this morning. Luckily the Eddings Point landing has lots of parking and plenty of good views so I just turned around and started another painting. I've been painting outside mostly in the past couple of months - partly because I really like it and partly because I have to have cataract surgery on both eyes and am finding artificial light kind of impossible. I am an odd mixture of excited and terrified to have this surgery but I have heard nothing but good things so the excitement seems to be winning at the moment. This painting is 16x12" and close to being done - I just ran out of time.
Wednesday, 25 November 2015
This 24x12" plein air took me three sessions of an hour each so far - I'm pretty sure I will have some refining to do but it's mostly complete. Because the days are so short now, there's a very small window of time before the light and composition change drastically. I do love the light this time of year and it startled me to realize just how much it had changed between Monday and today - I was fortunate that the weather stayed just about the same. I hope y'all have a wonderful holiday.
Thursday, 19 November 2015
The concept of the "notan"system has always appealed to me but I have not really experimented with it until this picture. Notan is basically a system of dividing the picture area into interesting shapes of light and dark. I usually take walks at Hunting Island State Beach which is not only a couple of miles from my house but has been experiencing severe erosion - especially since our autumn of violent storms. Areas of the beach that were seemingly flat (or gradual elevation) have now become kind of rugged and the ocean seems to be carving the beach away from the coast and creating much more dramatic edges between the beach per se and the sandy land behind it. As I walk, I invariably look at things around me and the cliff-like dunes that are forming inspire me even though they sadden me. For some reason when I decided to draw this on the canvas I thought of notan and kept that in mind. I liked the composition so much I decided to post it before going any further!
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Every time I spend a week or so only painting outside I get excited about painting back in the studio so I started this one a couple of days ago. It was a little strange to go back to my usual palette after using only three colors while painting outside. I also broke down and ordered some new brushes from Rosemary and Company of England - I hadn't bought any new brushes for a couple of years (I have a million of them in the studio) and my favorites were getting a bit rough. Wow, are these new brushed AWESOME and I plan on getting a bunch more since they are absolutely wonderful. I ordered an assortment and haven't tried them all yet but the "Ivory" short flats are great.
Friday, 6 November 2015
The weather here has been quite wretched for what seems like months but is probably more like weeks. Yesterday the gloom lifted a bit and the landscape seemed more saturated than grey so I went out painting. I have been trying all week actually but Monday and Tuesday were full on rain and Wednesday I did a painting that I wiped down. This site isn't far from my house and the colors were pretty fresh and intense - I had planned to paint the field of cows that were grazing when I began but they all left as soon as I got ready to incorporate them! I didn't even try today and worked on stuff at home.....the sun came out for all of ten minutes. Because there are so many dirt roads and I have a Prius I have been reluctant to travel afar.......I think I'll work in the studio tomorrow.
Monday, 2 November 2015
This painting took two sessions of about two and a half hours each. Luckily the conditions were pretty much the same for two days. I'm still using and enjoying the very limited palette. The title refers to the location of this site...........the State Beach is off to the left of the painting about a mile or so and the road to the beach runs through a slice of deep semitropical forest between the beach and this area of marsh that edges the Harbor River.
Friday, 30 October 2015
I did this yesterday at the boat landing down the street..........as I mentioned before I am using a very limited selection of colors. I used ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow and cadmium red (plus white) for this painting. Until last week I have sort of considered that a warm and cool of a red, blue and yellow plus white and earth tones (primarily burnt sienna) was a limited palette - boy, do I feel dumb right now. I am also surprised that I was able to paint this scene effectively with only what I used............another huge surprise was that I used very little white paint. I have to thank James Gurney's challenge on his blog for getting me to really try this.........he had a challenge to paint a graveyard scene using only three colors - in the spirit of Halloween. Though I didn't actually enter it, I did begin a painting for it and stuck to the rules.............unfortunately I didn't hear about the challenge until a few days before the deadline and couldn't finish the painting in time because it was raining so hard that my paint wouldn't stick to the panel and my palette was completely impossible. Despite all that, when I realized what was happening with my colors, I felt this huge sense of excitement and liberation! I will write more about this in the future because I am just blown away by how simple this is.
Thursday, 29 October 2015
Wow is it difficult to photograph dark paintings! I will attempt to do a better job when I have completed this one......it's definitely too dark in this photo. Frogmore is actually a place near where I live and home of a locally famous dish named "Frogmore Stew" - a shrimp, smoked sausage and corn delight! This is the last traffic light on the sole road (rte. 21) that leads to my home on the way to Hunting Island and the Atlantic Ocean.
I've been doing a lot of plein air and will have a few to post soon where I am experimenting with a limited palette - something I have never really tried before. I have always used a relatively limited one but this one I've been trying is super sparse and I cannot recommend it enough. More later.
Thursday, 22 October 2015
Just a quick study less than a mile from my house. It sort of looks like fall - kinda sorta. The field is full of yellow wildflowers that appear to be related to asters........it was pretty hard to get a view without standing in the middle of the road so I had to squeeze myself into a spot between two very prickly trees. I think I'll have to take a real field trip inland soon to paint.......I'm missing hills and buildings (that aren't trailers or McMansions).
Thursday, 15 October 2015
I am pretty close to completion with this painting.......will have to let it sit for a bit because the paint is so thick on the water that I find myself covered in paint from the easel and the edges every time I try to do the remaining detail work that needs to be done. I went for a walk on Hunting Island State Park beach this afternoon and was stunned to see that an entire section of the road that leads to the parking area had washed away. The recent storms really did some damage and my favorite spot to park and paint is now sand and downed trees.
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
We have some good weather coming up and, except for the damn fire ants, it should be really wonderful painting outside. Those ants seem to swarm the entire ground after heavy rains so it's not easy to spot them like it is when they are in their dry weather mounds.......I suppose I could stop wearing sandals but I have this terrible fear that they will get IN my shoes and that will be worse. So, yesterday (after what seemed like an eternity), I found a nice field to paint - the picture (12x9") is pretty typical for a quick study.......just a chance to work outside and learn......I don't post most of them because they seem too boring. Had to make a run for it at the end because of the ants - I really hate them!
Friday, 9 October 2015
It's been rough around here for the past few weeks.......12 days of rain and lots of flooding. We didn't get it too badly but there were still a few tense moments as I watched my land turn into a pond! I even made a movie of the scene because there were so many frogs and they were all singing/croaking or whatever you call it. Plein air was out of the question but I did manage to work in the studio - I have several paintings going at once and this is the newest one. I've been into shrimp boats lately and this one is Hustler Shrimp - they are one of my favorite vendors at the Farmer's Market.
Monday, 28 September 2015
It's wonderful that it's cooling down a little here.............makes getting out a lot more enjoyable! It was pretty gloomy when I went out but we had one of those "coastal flood/full moon" high tides so this spot was much more interesting than it usually is.......there's typically very little water in this spot. Some of the roads were actually flooded and I was unsure if the tides was still coming in or not so I had to find a place where I wouldn't get trapped.
Thursday, 24 September 2015
I put this one aside for several months & it was right beyond my easel on the wall. All of a sudden I started looking at it again (out of the corner of my eye) and felt a strong urge to finish it. I worked plein air for a few days this week and then picked this up yesterday when the weather turned stormy and now am totally into it again. There's always a certain resistance in me when I pick up an uncompleted painting and it sometimes takes a bit of time to get back into it.............sometimes this happens because there was a problem that caused me to put it aside and sometimes there isn't. There wasn't an issue with this one - I probably just felt like getting out of the studio (can't really remember) or it needed to dry a bit. At any rate, I'm closing in now and glad that it seems to be fall here..........the air conditioner wasn't needed today!
Saturday, 12 September 2015
I just started this on Thursday but it's moving along pretty quickly. I realized that the birds are merely an excuse for the shadows and reflections they produce in their environment - I will get to them when I have fused them into their setting.
Friday, 11 September 2015
I sort of finished this 12x9 last year (and even signed it) but never framed it because something bothered me about it. The other day I realized that there were a few value issues and corrected them.
I am just about done with this 24x12" shrimp boat painting. Both of these photos look too dark to me on the white background I am now using on the blog............I'll have to figure this out soon.
Thursday, 3 September 2015
The weather has been extremely stormy here recently and I almost felt like I had cabin fever or something - it was great to be outside painting yesterday. The clouds were great so I concentrated on them.
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
This photo's a little darker on the right side.......with the thunderstorms we've had every afternoon it seemed too much trouble to move it outside for a picture of an unfinished painting that's kind of large (and quite wet). During the summer we generally see as many as seven of these big shrimp boats off the beach at Hunting Island. This summer the shrimp disappeared for more than a month and I haven't seen as many boats as usual but they're back now. Often the boats are so far off the shore that you can't get a decent photo even with a telephoto lens but on this particular gray and humid afternoon, they were close enough that I was able to get about a zillion photos.
Thursday, 20 August 2015
One of the things I love the most about painting outside is the adventure. On Monday I was amazed to see a funnel cloud forming as I was painting this scene.......at first I couldn't believe what I was seeing and briefly wondered if it was "smart" to remain but the cloud sort of spiraled back up into the clouds so I stayed.
Sunday, 9 August 2015
This is the beach near my house.......the tide has quite a range at Coffin Point and the difference between high and low tide is pretty big. Even though there are few waves due to it being somewhat protected by Harbor Island (in the distance) and Edisto Beach (on the left but unseen in this painting - six miles by boat but close to two hours by car), the tide coming in can be pretty dramatic as it washes over the marsh grasses. I only started this yesterday and probably would have finished it except.......................
the baby chicks arrived at the post office!!!! They only hatched five days ago but already seem to have grown since yesterday. I spent way too much time just watching them and they are super cute.
Tuesday, 4 August 2015
I planted this Luffa gourd plant around the end of May............still no flowers and it is at least 8 feet tall. I was about to pull it up but checked google and discovered that it takes an exceptionally long time to produce the gourds (probably why I never tried to grow them in MA). Anyway, I loved the grace and gesture of the plant enough that I probably would not have done so. There certainly is a lot of green in this picture! I have a huge garden that I have been creating in my back yard during the past three summers so I will probably be doing some more of these types of pictures - I have my eye on one of the 4" garden spiders that make these cool zig zag webs and are pretty scary except that they eat so many bugs I've begun to kind of think they are attractive rather than scary.
Monday, 3 August 2015
Between the heat, humidity and insects it has been really hard to paint outside recently. I did manage to do it today but couldn't finish before the thunder and lightning resumed. So I figured I would update my blog a bit (something I have been neglecting for a couple of years)! While playing with the look of my blog I discovered that I sort of hated the black background and changed it to a very light gray and........eek, the photos look really weirdly dark now. At any rate, I did this one a few years ago so it hasn't been posted for a while.
Wednesday, 22 July 2015
Kind of a quickie because it was so incredibly hot. I have made my "peace" with using materials solely for the practice of working outside when I know it will not result in a painting that I can sell - aka: wasting. This picture was painted on an oft repainted panel but I believe I got the values right so, despite the sloppiness, I kind of like it.
Thursday, 16 July 2015
Sorry about the crummy photo..........the edges were wet enough & this painting is big enough that I chose not to try to move it off the easel for a picture (especially since it's just a beginning). It has been too hot to work outside this week (again). I tried on Monday but was sweating so much that I could barely see by the time I decided I couldn't take it anymore. I felt like a total wimp until I turned the car on and saw that the outside temp. was 100. I believe I found the hottest spot in Beaufort County and it was just a few minutes past 10 in the morning......so, it was back to the studio for me. This painting is from a photo that I took in Amelia Island, Florida in May.
Wednesday, 8 July 2015
It was cloudy, gloomy and relatively cool (in the 80's) the other morning. The colors of the marsh are especially appealing in this kind of light around here........the green took my breath away. It was quite impossible to get rid of all the glare in this photo but I tried.
Monday, 6 July 2015
It was cool enough to go out plein air painting this morning.........gloomy, cloudy and about 79. It was great and I will be posting that one soon. I've been working on stuff in the studio with the AC full blast and then airing it out when I'm done for the day to dissipate the fumes (which seem to be intensified by the heat) and give me a headache after a full day. I have begun cleaning my brushes on the patio and will explore getting some sort of circulation in there.
Wednesday, 1 July 2015
We finally found a model and began a figure drawing group here in Beaufort. It was so nice to be doing this again - I have felt totally rusty. This was my best effort last night (I said I was rusty). The big problem here has been finding models - even finding space has been less difficult than finding models.
This is one of the many paintings I forgot to photograph when I finished it - the painting is 10 x 20" and on display at The Brick Wall Gallery at the Beaufort Art Association Gallery (913 Bay St. Beaufort).
Sunday, 28 June 2015
I am in the process of building a website on GoDaddy.........needless to say (and you can tell by the title of this post), I am not terribly adept at it. Blogger has kind of spoiled me with its ease and I have been putting this task off for several years now but I absolutely HAVE to do it. Of course one thing leads to another and I discovered that I have to get some semblance of order in the way I file my photos. While doing that I realized I have not taken photos of many paintings I have finished - so, I had to do some of that. Hopefully, the process will become clearer to me as I become more experienced with the "web Builder" or whatever they call it! The painting of the little girl below is 12" square and was done several years ago - my son just traded it in for newer ones - I have always liked it and since I have spent 2 days fooling around with the infant website and it has been a million degrees here, I thought I would post it again.
This is one I have been working on in the last week or so and it's almost complete - the paint is drying so fast due to the heat that I feel like I am working with acrylics. It's 20x16." We are getting a big thunderstorm at the moment and the temperature is down to 89 degrees! I'm about to go put a sweater on.
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Not done yet but I thought I would do a "progress report" thingy. It is so hot here that I'm not likely to go painting outside for a while.......It reached 110 degrees on my patio shortly after noon. The official temp is 97 with a heat index of 114 degrees. Even the mornings are so hot and humid that I'm not tempted - I really hate it when sweat pours into my eyes. The extended forecast calls for pretty much the same for the next ten days or so which means I'll be in the studio. I really love heat and humidity but I am totally appreciating my air conditioning at the moment!
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
I did this plein air study yesterday (for the most part)......the light changed and the tide came in so I had to work on it a little bit more today. It was pretty hot so I worked in the studio for the most part - it took me an hour to get the studio down below 90. I believe summer is here!
Friday, 5 June 2015
This is a plein air study I did on Monday...........the location was at one of our many boat landings but I couldn't find a sign that identified it. As I was going home I did see a sign that I was "entering Beaufort County," so, that's what I named it.
Since I get sick of doing progress or update posts, I often forget to show a picture that has been completed. This painting is 24x12."
Monday, 1 June 2015
The summer clouds are here again! It's been incredibly humid so it's good that I like it. I'm hoping for a thunderstorm today, in fact, so I don't have to use the sprinkler on the garden all afternoon - I already have tons of squash and cucumbers!
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
Wow, was it hot today! Accuweather said 88 but feels like 107 - and it did. I have been working on this painting for a couple of days on site and haven't decided whether to add the boat rigging yet so there are areas that aren't quite complete.
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Yesterday was a typical southern summer day - the first one in a really long time (seems to me). When I got to the site, the air was full of haze and by the afternoon we had severe storm warnings.
I fooled around with the background until I liked it enough to sign it.
Sunday, 10 May 2015
I'm not sure where I was when I painted this on Wednesday- the GPS didn't even have a name for the dirt road I was parked on. I love painting in spots like this, no traffic, no people, nothing.......probably about 12 miles from my house. I've been having some trouble posting to blogspot recently - I think I have to install the updates that Mac keeps bugging me about!
Tuesday, 5 May 2015
I was away this past weekend judging an art show in Florida.............a very interesting experience and I loved the historic district of Fernandina Beach! I am definitely making a return trip to paint the downtown area which has fantastic architecture (when it isn't mobbed with people). On Monday our plein air group went to a place right near where I live...this is a view of the marsh near the Harbor River with the Atlantic way off.
Wednesday, 29 April 2015
My roses have grown amazingly since last spring when I first planted them! My daughter's wedding was held at an amazing place in Brenham Texas - this rose is from there. I would strongly suggest that anyone who loves roses check out the Antique Rose Emporium on line. I bought another type when I was there in November and that one has just begun to flower as well.
Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Sorry about the cropping on this one but I liked the picture and couldn't really put it anywhere to photograph it......a drawback of using thick paint on a panel. There was way too much glare wherever else I tried to take the picture. This dirt road runs parallel to the Coffin Point Beach in my "neighborhood." It was funny but of the 7 or so of us that showed up for plein air group yesterday, all of us painted off the beach.
Sunday, 26 April 2015
I started this painting years ago prior to my move to South Carolina. I always wanted to finish it but in all the moving and packing and unpacking and moving again it got pushed aside. One of my favorite tricks is to order a frame for a painting like this - invariably that gives me the push to finish it. Yesterday, during an intense thunderstorm, I put it on the easel. Hopefully I'll get it done this week and be able to post the finished product!
Friday, 24 April 2015
I have returned from my trip to Texas for my daughter's wedding! I always bring my plein air set up with me but barely had time to take photos let alone paint - not really "up" on how much time preparing for a wedding can take. The wedding was beautiful and I am really happy for my baby - a good time was truly had by all and it was nice to see family members of my ex-husband that I hadn't seen in years.
Of course upon my return, I felt like I had to relearn how to paint and then there were the 3,000 emails...........wow, do I hate email! I am slowly getting back on track. This 10x12" study of Stewartia was done yesterday. The Beaufort Plein Air painters met up with members of the Sea Island Garden Club to paint the exceedingly rare shrub while it was in bloom. The setting was in a very forested area and lit with rapidly changing dappled light.............a scenario I tend to avoid because there's little distance to get a view and little drama in the lighting. Normally I would have driven right past the spot! Because our group had made the arrangements I felt I had to stay and was glad I did. It was a lesson in site selection and seeing how to work in an environment that I couldn't control at all - it also freed me from my sometimes obsessive need for an accurate rendering of a scene rather than my own decisions of how to make the painting work. I had a lot of fun and felt myself pulled right back into the painting process.
Sunday, 22 March 2015
It was such a nice day yesterday that I couldn't bear to be inside...........so I went to two different locations to paint. This is the more successful of the two I did (12x10). Today it is gloomy, raining and cold again though much warmer than my sister's where it was 19 degrees this morning! So, I'm not complaining just impatient.