Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dunes in Autumn

Dunes in Autumn, oil, 24x36, 2010

This painting was inspired by a trip to the Douglas/Saugatuck area along Lake Michigan. The dunes are along Oval Beach which is a popular park and very scenic. I have been there several times in the summer to paint and just to have fun, but this time it was a little chilly in the month of October. The dune grasses changed colors as did the red oaks and I loved the contrast with the pines. I worked on the composition to lead the viewer's eye throughout the landscape and am happy with the outcome. More paintings are in the works from this beautiful area of Michigan.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Three Paintings - One Place

Cedar Creek - Sanctuary, oil, 16x12, plein air, 2009

Painted on site at the Gemrich Farm, a Conservation Easement, with the Plein Air Artists of West Michigan, in October of 2009. I was standing on a wooden bridge that crosses Cedar Creek and the view looking either way was spectacular. It was hard to decide where to look with all the beautiful colors, so I had to be selective.

I used this plein air oil along with some reference photos to complete the next two paintings.

Cedar Creek - Sanctuary II, pastel, 12x18, 2010

Looking the other direction from the bridge, this view has a different feeling with good depth.

October Beauty, oil, 18x24, 2009

I loved the way the early sun cast a shadow across the lower half of the composition. I used the plein air study to help with the values and used the photos to make a larger composition.

Looking Back to Autumn

October's Wild Asters, pastel, 12x12, 2010

I was out for a day of painting last October when I came across this hill with the purple asters. I was attracted to the wonderful contrasts of the dark pine against the sunlit field and the purple asters complimenting the golden poplars. I knew I wanted to paint it so I took some photos hopeing to come back to the spot. Well, I never made it back but was still inpired so I worked out the painting in my studio. It brings back fond memories of those crisp autumn days...hope you like it!
This painting is now at Button-Petter Gallery in Douglas, MI.

Plein Air in Winter

Rogue in Winter, oil, 12x12, 2010

The weather is going to be good this week to do some painting outside. I look forward to this because it is just good to get out of the studio even though I am in the middle of a large painting...I will work on that later when I get too cold. Two hours is about my limit for winter painting. I choose this place because I love to paint water and it is easy to park without getting stuck! The sun came out in spurts so I had to get the shadows in quickly.
I wasn't the only one enjoying the warmer temps (33 degrees), there were people enjoying walks and guys fishing for steelhead...now that would be cold!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Plein Air Artist

Plein Air Artist, oil on linen panel, 16x12
Last summer, I went to the Glen Arbor Art Association's paint out event. My second painting of the day was along the Crystal River. As I finished packing up my supplies and was walking back to my car, another artist was painting at his easel. I loved how the light and atmosphere looked on the scene and took a photograph. So this is the painting that I finished using the photo as a base of reference. The red flowers in front are called Cardinal Flower and even though they were not growing in this same location, they were on the other side of the river.

Snow Shadows

Snow Shadows, oil on gessoed card, 6x6

It has been very cloudy and cold this week, typical for west Michigan. So anytime the sun shines it raises my spirits! I painted this little study looking out of my studio window into my backyard.

River - Winter Afternoon

River - Winter Afternoon, oil on linen panel, 16x20

This is the studio painting that resulted from the plein air study featured in the last blog. Look for it in the January newsletter and website!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

River View in December

River View - December, oil, 8x10

Yes, I know it is January and this is my first blog of the new year, but you know with the busy holidays, I have been painting but not blogging. One problem that I encounter with the winter months is finding the perfect day to photograph my paintings. I photograph them in outdoor light, on the back deck during a bright but cloudy day. No snow coming down, and preferably over 25 degrees.

The painting that I am featuring was painted on location in December. It was a fabulous winter day in the late afternoon. I used this study along with some photos to paint a larger version in oil that I will feature in the next blog after it is photographed!