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The Queen of Flowers: a giant Sunflower!

The Queen of Flowers
“The Queen of Flowers”

The Queen of Flowers is a giant Sunflower! I absolutely love giant Sunflowers and I painted this pastel painting of the tallest sunflower I’ve ever grown. It’s over 11′ tall! Most of the Sunflowers are finished for the season and are full of seeds. Soon, the resident squirrel will figure out there’s seeds to be had and will be climbing the stalks to get his treats.

Sunflowers are fun to paint and I did a few in oils, which you can view here. This giant Sunflower was really fun to paint in pastel. It is painted on PastelMat paper with soft pastels and is about 9″x9″ in size. (The watermark is not on the painting.) I think these giants deserve the name The Queen of Flowers!

Sunflowers

I’ve been busy with the end of summer garden chores like harvesting tomatoes and making pots of tomato sauce. Soon I’ll be digging up the potatoes and this week I dug up a big bag full of onions. It’s also time to plant garlic so that will be another garden chore to complete.

It’s so much fun to grow veggies! But this year was kind of weird in that we had an early onset of extreme heat and no rain all summer. Combined with extremely smokey days from surrounding wildfires, the lack of sunlight and intense heat did a number on all my plants, including the flower garden. My squash plants quit producing female flowers early and my rose bushes and Clematis vine didn’t produce flowers either until a few weeks ago when it cooled off. The only plants that did well were the tomato plants because they like heat. I’m hoping there will be a decent crop of potatoes.

I didn’t get in many adventures this summer because of the weather situation and the smoke. I love to paint plein air but this year that wasn’t in the cards. I’m hopeful this smoke will clear out soon! It’s so disparaging to not be able to see more than three miles and yet it’s not fog and it’s hot.

I hope you had a great summer! I’m ready for fall. How about you? Much Love and Blessings to you ~ Rhonda

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Camping and a Plein Air Painting

A couple of weekends ago I did a little camping and a Plein Air painting. The weather finally turned from cool and rainy to nice warm sunny days so we packed up and went on a three day adventure to the Moyie River, one of Idaho’s best rivers for rafting in the spring. We didn’t go rafting but saw plenty of people zooming by on the swiftly moving water. The river was over it’s banks and very loud!

The campground we stayed in is right next to the river so those staying in a tent don’t get a quiet night’s sleep! We stay in our truck camper so it’s very quiet. I took my big set of pastels and did a little plein air study of an easy up tent we bring with us for privacy at the back of the truck. It works out perfectly for eating in if it rains. There wasn’t anything better to paint and the river didn’t make a good subject either because there wasn’t really a good place to set up.

I made a short little video to share my adventure with you. It’s a fun video that describes the experience in a short two minutes:



The video doesn’t show the finished pastel painting very well, so here’s a better look:


Camping  and a Plein Air Painting called “The Tent”

“The Tent” was painted on Pastel Mat grey paper and is about 6″x6″ in size. It won’t become a part of my “Beauty of Idaho” series because it’s not a scene that can be placed in any one particular place. It’s just a little memento for myself of my camping and a plein air adventure. Every time I look at it, I’ll remember the sound of the rushing waters of the Moyie River and the warm breeze while sitting in the sunshine. I’ll think about the lovely meals we cooked at camp, and taking a shower outside in the portable shower tent. So much fun! I’ll also remember the stupid bugs! I hate bugs!!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this post and my fun video. Hit the like button if you don’t mind so my posts can move up in the algorithm rankings. If there was a thumbs down button I’d suggest hitting that too, cause either way, any type of interaction with my posts will help in the ranking. Until next time, have a great week! Much Love! ~ Rhonda

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Alistair and Cordelia discuss “Camping”

Alistair and Cordelia discuss “Camping”… let’s listen in! What do you think they will say about the painting?

Alistair and Cordelia discuss "Camping"

Alistair:

“Look at this painting Cordelia. It reminds me of my childhood when my family would go camping. I loved camping! We had so much fun running through the forest and having marshmallow fights.”

Cordelia:

“I never went camping Alistair. I don’t like dirt. Plus I need a soft bed to sleep in, and don’t fancy sleeping on the hard ground. Then there’s all those nasty bugs. I hate bugs!”

Alistair:

“Cordelia, you don’t know what you’re missing. Being in nature is great for the soul. Doesn’t this painting inspire you to go have an adventure?”

Cordelia:

“No, Al, it doesn’t! I’m a city girl. Can we go now? I’m bored.”

Alistair:

“Oh Cordelia, you don’t mean that. Aren’t you enjoying looking at art?”

Cordelia”

“I suppose. But I don’t like camping so what’s the point?”

Alistair and Cordelia discuss "Camping"

It seems the studio mascots, Alistair and Cordelia discuss camping, but not my latest pastel painting. They didn’t make any comments on whether they liked the painting or not. What’s up with that? Let’s just ignore them. If you want to find out how Alistair and Cordelia came to be a part of my blog posts you can read about them HERE.

“Camping” pastel was painted on 6″x8″ black Pastelmat paper in plein air whilst on a bike adventure last week. I took the mini pastel box with me and it fit perfectly in my bike bag. I started the painting after lunch but didn’t have time to take it to completion, so I finished it in the studio using my reference photos.

"Camping"
“Camping “

{The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the painting.}

My husband and I did a bike ride last week on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, a 73 mile long paved bike path through the beautiful mountains of North Idaho. The trail takes you by scenic pastures, rivers and Lake Coeur d’Alene. There are picnic tables along the way, and we always pack a lunch along with my art supplies. My husband takes a mini fishing pole and while I’m painting he tries to teach a worm to swim. ; )

We stopped at a picnic spot next to the Coeur d’Alene river and this beautiful scene became my subject. Some people were camped by the river and had the best spot. It is so peaceful at this particular place on the river, since its far away from traffic and the city itself. I could have stayed there all day! “Camping” is another landscape painting in my “Beauty of Idaho” series that I started in February.


The weather has been very fickle and the day we went riding it was windy and cold, so that’s why I didn’t finish the painting. We had a head wind going back and it was the first ride of the year so my legs felt like jello. But it was great to be out and since it is early in the season, there were hardly any people on the trail. I can’t wait for better weather and to go ride a different leg of the trail. Next time I’m on location I’ll remember to take photos of my set up.

I’m working on another pastel now from last year when we rode this trail and it’s coming out really nice. I will share it with you soon. Thank you for stopping in and reading my post. I hope you found a little humor with Alistair and Cordelia! Until we next time, take care. Much Love ~ Rhonda

  • The Sun Drenched Meadow
  • The Red Barn pastel
  • Sparkle Pastel Painting
  • "Summertime" Pastel Painting
  • "Camping"
  • “Sunset Magic” Pastel
  • The Golden Hour
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The Golden Hour Pastel

The Golden Hour Pastel is my latest pastel in the Landscape Series called the Beauty of Idaho. The scene is of a gorgeous sunset as viewed from our nearby state park, called Farragut. The park is about 4,000 acres and was once a naval training center during the WW2 era. In fact my late father-in-law trained at the center and his company has a group photo in the archives in the visitor center. I think that is very cool! Farragut State park has many campsites, endless hiking /biking trails, access to the lake and a swimming hole with sandy beach among many other amenities.

I created The Golden Hour pastel on Buttercup PastelMat paper and it is approx. 8″x8″. My palette was limited to the warm tones of purple, orange and yellow using soft pastels from Terry Ludwig, Unison, Senelier and Great American. I have a lot of yellow papers left to use and have been picking subjects that would go well with these papers. I like to order my pastel paper in pads as it’s easier to transport for plein air painting, but the choices one can order are limited to four sheets of each of a color in different combinations. So for instance the pad with yellow comes with dark grey and light grey which I prefer, but then it has two shades of yellow, Buttercup and Maize, to which I’m not a fan of.

I think the yellow paper worked well for this pastel and The Golden Hour came out quite nice. It was fun to paint in the trees in the foreground because it made the sunset come to life.

Alistair and Cordelia, the studio mascots, weighed in on The Golden Hour pastel as usual. I didn’t include their full conversation this time. I’ll let you use your imagination as to what was said.

The Golden Hour Pastel
“The Golden Hour Pastel”
Look at that beautiful sunset Cordelia
“Look at that beautiful sunset Cordelia!”
Alistair and Cordelia enjoy The Golden Hour Pastel
“Where are you shoes Cordelia?”
Alistair critiques The Golden Hour pastel
“Stand here Cordelia, you can get a better shot.”
Really?
“Really?”

{The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the original artwork.}

I’ve started a new pastel that has complicated parts and a cool palette of blues and greens. So far things are going well and I’ll be back to share it with you next week. Thanks so much for stopping by and as always your comments are greatly appreciated, as it gives me valuable feedback. Until then, much love! ~ Rhonda

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