Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thinking of Summer

"Beach Shade", pastel, 14x14 - $950. framed

   Yes, I was thinking of summer when I did this painting of my daughter on the beach. That is one of the perks of being an artist and working on whatever inspires you at the time, even if it is a summer motif in the middle of winter! It certainly lifts my spirits to think about sitting on the beach, listening to the waves and the sounds of children laughing and seagulls squalking.
   I am happy to announce that this painting was accepted in the Great Lakes Pastel Society's 2010 National Show at the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art of the Midland Center for the Arts, in Midland, MI. The show opens May 8 with an artist reception on June 11 from 7-9.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hawthorne Hill

March Thaw, oil/linen panel, 11x14

On Saturday, I painted with my Plein Air Artists of West Michigan (PAAWM) friends in Middleville. We were given the opportunity to paint at Hawthorn Hill Farm. The day was mild with intermintent misty rain, not too bad if you painted with oils and had an umbrella. I was struck with the amazing colors and atmosphere...very poetic. The group had a critique after painting in the morning. The work produced that day was amazing. Our hosts made us feel at  home and invited us back to paint on their beautiful land.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Giving Way to Spring

Giving Way to Spring, oil/linen panel, 11x14
Last week I had to search out places with enough snow to make an interesting painting! When I came to Cedar Creek, I knew this was it and the snow was not going to last because it was warming up quickly. I painted this on site and I loved the beautiful back lighting and warm haze in the background trees. It was an exercise in atmospheric and linear perspective. I like this painting!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bridge over Mill Creek

Bridge Over Mill Creek, oil/linen panel, 14x11

I went back to the creek (see the last blog) to paint the view looking the other way. I think the creek is Mill Creek, the same creek that runs through Comstock Park. Anyway, it was another beautiful day, although this time I arrived in early morning and there was a bite in the air and I was glad I had dressed warmly.
As I set up to paint, the scene seemed a little overwhelming with all the trees and branches. The water seemed complicated with snow reflections and tree shadows as well as the variations of light from the sun. I decided to emphasize the old railroad bridge and I decided I liked how the shapes worked together. I painted this one in a shape by shape method as I went along because of all the complicated shapes involved. It also helped to squint my eyes to simplify and edit out some of the trees. I only hope the reflections read well in the water as that seemed to give me the most trouble. Overall, I am happy with this little painting and it makes a nice companion piece to "Creek in March."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March Thaw

Creek in March, oil/linen panel, 14x11
I had to get out to paint today...no excuses...the weather was sunny and warming up. I have been painting outside this winter more than ever before! I think for once I am going to miss the snow. It will be gone soon, maybe even after this weekend. I went to the creek near North Division. It is the same creek that flows behind my childhood home, we called it Strawberry Creek, though I am not sure if that is the "official name". When I was a child, I played in the creek and in the woods most of every summer with my friends, so I have always had a fondness for small streams. Today I just had to enjoy the babbling sound, the bright sun and beautiful shadows cast from the trees on the snow. I added a few new colors to my palette, raw sienna and turquoise. I think that added just the right punch for a painting that could have been mostly earthy colors. I may have to try this one with pastel!