Landscape transformed

Step 1

Select a reject painting out of the tall stack of choices is step 1. I loosely laid out the floral arrangement so I can decide what I keep and what I block out.

The masking tape had been stuck on this board fir over a year, and was a mess trying to remove it. I have a sticky border!
Final step was to add touches of iridescent gold acrylic on the gouache.

Negative painting

I have stacks of reject paintings. I decided to challenge myself with trying negative painting. I found it totally confusing, but after about 6 tries, I’m enjoying the process. What started as grapes, is now a floral arrangement.

Stage one….a reject!

Stages 2, 3 and 4

What month is this?

I’ll admit I’ve lost track of what day it is. The only way I seem to be fully in the moment, is to paint. Every day. Sometimes simple value studies or charts. It gives me the pleasure of thinking only about the task at hand. I sometimes wonder how people who don’t create some form of art, manage this new normal we have.

I’ve been working on submissions for Fairfield Plein Air. They have creatively redesigned the event to studio work using photographs their community provided. It’s genius I think. Each year in October a band of artists arrive in search of what catches their eye to paint. This year we will be creating studio work of images they found! I know many artists would balk at this format, but I love it. It’s a different kind of challenge. Of course we would rather be in a Fairfield Illinois, painting on location, but this is 2020.

The event planners do a fabulous job making us feel like it’s a second home vacation location. They always have a goodie bag when we arrive and check in. I immediately find the coupon for lunch at the local butcher shop who make superb sandwiches. They are hands down the nicest people with the best food that I will certainly miss visiting this year. It’s like stepping back in time when you enter the shop. It’s a real butcher shop.

I will miss visiting with all the local people who go out of their way to welcome us. Last year as I was in the street positioned in front of my car painting a gorgeous home, a woman came out to check on me. She offered me drinks and snacks! When she returned with a bottle of wine we began to talk and then she found I was painting her house. I received a Christmas card from them and I was looking forward to see them this year. You make friends at Plein air events. Each return visit you feel like it’s homecoming.

I was fortunate to have a family host myself and 3 friends. They have a wonderful cabin by a pond in the woods just a few miles from Fairfield. It is like entering a dream when we arrive. To ice the cake, it’s a perfect place to paint! They turn the cabin over to us for the entire event. Like I said, it’s like a vacation location. The four of us spend at least a few minutes all together at the cabin every day. We may be sitting on the front porch in the swing in the evening having a glass of wine talking about our days work. Last year we all stayed up late one night painting a nocturne together. Friendships you make at these events are priceless.

Our cabin in the woods.
Yes I painted this scene, twice!

This year my work is in the studio from photographs. Here are a couple of them. I can’t show them all, yet! I am getting ready to paint my final one this week. I will frame and ship them off the next week.

What a pleasure this was to paint!

Fingers crossed next year will give me the opportunity to return to Fairfield! #fairfieldpleinair

Working With Gouache

During this stay at home New Normal, I’ve been watching a James Gurney video he just released. The title is Color in Practice, Part 1: Black, White, and Complements!

I tend be be a chart making nerd, because I thoroughly enjoy making them. I painted the first set 5 times before I got one I liked.

#jamesgurney

Big Boy Locomotive

The brief visit of Big Boy locomotive to Kansas City was an opportunity that I could not resist. He arrived Sunday evening and was on display only today from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. What a pleasure to see young and old excited to get up close to see The Big Boy.

My Uncle George worked for the railroad, and I have a special place in my heart for trains. We heard the whistle blow and saw the steam bellowing as we approached the train tracks. I could feel my excitement as my pace increased. The weather was clearing with beautiful clouds scattered across the sky. Union Station had sunlight illuminating the gorgeous architecture that seemed to be orchestrated for our arrival.

I positioned myself to sketch, trying to remain stationary as crowds of people moved all around me. To my surprise a news crew approached me for an interview. They clipped a mic on me as I continued sketching. I’m not sure if they expected me to stop to talk, but I can draw and talk without any problem. And this evening I was briefly on the 6 o’clock news.