The 2019 Year in Review is a little montage video of last year’s epic highlights. I can’t believe it’s the start of a new decade! 2019 flew by, don’t you agree?
I didn’t get as much painting done as I would have liked. This coming year I am making myself a goal to do way more Plein air painting. It’s not a New Year’s Resolution per se, but a small goal I’d like to complete. I tend to allow other things in life to take away from my painting time. I’m sure if you are an artist, you can relate.
This video, “2019 Year in Review”, brings back so many fond memories and I’m hoping to create many more this new year!
Here are some of the images from the video you weren’t able to fully see:
I hope you had a wonderful New Year Celebration! Until we meet again – Cheers! ~Rhonda
Last weekend we enjoyed our end of the year camping and painting adventure on the St. Joe River in Northern Idaho. We stayed at the Telichpah Campground, which is next to the river, on the south end of the Hiawatha Trail system. The campground is tucked away at the end of the road and at this time of the year is typically empty, which is why we go at this time.
The Hiawatha Trail system is an old train route, that was once used by the Milwaukee Railroad, and is now a spectacular mountain bike trail. The trail follows the north fork of the St. Joe river, where it ends at a small town called Avery. The campground is at the end of the trail, and you travel through the three train tunnels to get to the campground. This is our favorite area to have our camping and painting adventure on the St. Joe River.
We arrived mid-week, and the campground was empty except for one other camper. By the time we left on Sunday, the upper section was completely full. I was very surprised to see so many folks camping this late in the season! The lower section of the campground, where we stayed did not fill up. Besides us, there was only one other campsite in use, so it was very quiet.
Relaxing by the fire:
We had a fabulous time even though it was cool and threatened rain every day. It rained a few times during each night and only one day. The brief showers helped to keep the dust down. At the end of each day, it was nice to warm up by the fire and sip hot cocoa.
Photographing forest flora and fauna:
The forest flora and fauna are favorite subjects of mine to create paintings from, so I’m always on the lookout for unique items, like pinecones and mushrooms, to photograph.
There were large mushrooms like these pushing up from the forest floor, everywhere! It’s amazing to see the strength of a mushroom pushing through the hard ground! The mushrooms were exceptionally large due to all the rain and mild temperatures.
Plein air painting the St. Joe River:
On Friday, the weather broke and it was only partly cloudy, so we decided to make it a painting and fishing day. We packed lunch and all our gear and hit the trail to our favorite location on the river. Upon arriving, I discovered that someone forgot to bring my tripod! I had to improvise my pleinair painting set up by using the back of the wheeler as a table. Luckily the tailgate is the right height and all was good.
The scene I painted is a large calm pool just before a bend in the river. I love the emerald green reflections in the water and the large rocks in the middle of the river. The trees were just beginning to turn yellow so no feeling of fall to the scene yet.
Since I didn’t have my tripod I was at the mercy of the sun and had to call it a day when I could no longer see my canvas due to glare. I will finish in the studio using my reference photos and share the painting when it’s finished.
Success catching a fish:
My husband had a successful day fishing and caught a nice sized Cutthroat Trout! After getting his portrait taken, the fish was set free. My husband was a happy camper, indeed! What a great day!
We arrived back at camp in time for me to bake a peach cobbler from scratch! I used a billy can as an oven by putting charcoal on top of the can, and forgot to take a photo of the set up; But I did take a pic of the final results:
The peach cobbler was delicious and I can’t believe it actually worked using this method of cooking. I think its fun to experiment with cooking different foods other than typical camp food. Earlier this year I made a pizza from scratch while camping. You can read about it HERE.
All in all, our end of the year camping and painting adventure was a great end to a wonderful summer! Fall has barely begun and we are expecting snow down to the valley floor this weekend, so I’m glad we made the trip when we did. I hope we don’t have too much accumulation and that this is just a little anomaly and not a sign of things to come!
Thanks for stopping by. Until we meet again, Much Love ~ Rhonda
A few weeks ago I shared on a previous post, my Plein air painting of our Duckworth boat oil painting, that I started at the lake. By the time we were ready to leave for home, my painting wasn’t finished, as far as details go. But that’s okay, as I rarely bring a painting to completion in the field.
I paint slowly and enjoy a certain level of realism. I can’t paint fast nor impressionistically. Don’t misunderstand me, I love impressionism and would enjoy painting in that style, but my brain won’t let me. I have no idea how to paint loosely. So I have stopped fighting with the art monkey and given in to the fact that this is how I paint.
Here is the completed painting, to which, I’m quite pleased with the results. The Duckworth Boat oil painting is 6″x6″ on gessoed panel. It will be framed in black with a silver liner and become part of my personal collection, as a memory of our day at the lake.
Even though there weren’t many boats out on the lake that day, I added one in the distance for composition’s sake. The birds were added to the painting for the same reason as the distant boat. I always like to add birds to my landscapes. It not only gives life to a painting but adds movement to the eye flow.
Painting the letters and numbers on the side of the boat was a bit of a challenge. This particular painting panel has no tooth and so it can be difficult to paint fine detail. All is good though because it adds an air of painterly quality to the piece. I’m happy with it.
Thanks for stopping by. If you have any thoughts I’d love to hear from you!
A few weekends ago I had a great time Plein Air painting on the Lake. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. The wind was non-existent even though it was cloudy with the threat of rain. The fish weren’t biting so we decided to beach the boat and set up camp for the day.
The Plan for the Day;
The plan was for me to paint Plein air and the husband to fish from the shore. We were going to have lunch first, but there were yellow jackets everywhere! For those who live in the forest, you know what I’m referring to. For those who don’t, you are lucky. These nasty buggers look like a bee and sting like a bee, but they are a type of wasp that eats meat. Whaaaat? Yes, that’s right. They will fight you for your food, and around this time of year, they get aggressive. I’ve been stung on the toe before and let me tell you… that’s no fun!
Anyway, the husband decided to make a small campfire to smoke out the yellow jackets until they found the yellow jacket trap he hung in a tree. Before we could light the campfire though we had to clean out the fire-pit of the previous campers TRASH. Folks leaving behind trash in a fire-pit is becoming more and more prevalent and it really makes me upset. It’s just plain rude! We burned the trash, but as we all know, aluminum cans and tin foil don’t burn. We had to bag up the remnants of their trash and dispose of it at home.
I decided to leave a message for the next campers who would use this campsite, by painting a message on a large rock and leaving it on the picnic table. Since I didn’t have any poster board on hand, a rock was the logical solution for a sign. “Pack it in, Pack it out” signs are typically in every campground, but these are primitive sites along the shoreline, and have no signage.
I figured since painting on rocks has become so popular I’d paint a message instead of an illustration. I love the forest, nature, and camping and it just isn’t nice to have to clean up after someone before being able to enjoy a site. So please, if you are a camper, pack it in and pack it out…camp is not the dump!
Painting under the umbrella was not so great.
After lunch, I set up my gear and studied the landscape. There weren’t any boats around, and the mountains were kind of misty from all the humidity in the air. The overall scene was kind of ugly, so I settled on painting our boat.
The sky was growing darker and I wondered if I would have to run for cover like a previous time when I painted Plein air. This time I brought an umbrella so if it started to rain it would be okay. Problem solved! Well not quite. You see, the umbrella blocked out much of the light, and the little light clipped to my pochade box wasn’t bright enough to solve the problem. Oh well. I’d rather have less light than rain running down my painting.
I love my mini pochade box!
I brought the “baby box” on this outing and even though I love the compact size, the palette isn’t large enough. Here’s a shot after I had laid in all the base colors and had scraped the palette to put out fresh paint. Given that I couldn’t really see what I was doing, I’m really happy with how things turned out.
Here’s the work in progress. It will be finished in the studio. I might add a boat or two in the distance, and some houses on the shore, just for interest. I’m pretty satisfied with the loose painterly style of the mountains and the sky, so those won’t be worked any further. I need to add the details on the boat and highlights on the water.
All in all, despite the weather, we had a fabulous day. I thoroughly enjoyed the solitude while painting Plein air at the lake. The yellow jackets hovered around the trap instead of being attracted to the oil paint. The husband caught six fish, albeit small. But as I like to say, a fish is a fish, no matter the size. We left the campground better than we found it, and it didn’t rain!
Until next time ~ much love, Rhonda
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A few blog posts ago I shared my camping adventures and a Plein air painting I started during that trip; you can read the post HERE. I started “Latour Creek” oil painting in the dark and scary forest, next to Latour Creek, where my attention was drawn to the dappled sunlight highlighting various parts of the forest, especially the creek. Sadly, I had to finish the work in the studio because of the mosquitos attacking me while I was painting. Work has been progressing slowly, on “Latour Creek” oil painting to which so far, I’m very pleased with the results.
There have been a few revisions as is typical of the editing process.
Here are my first set of revisions:
Did I write all over the painting you ask? No. I used a photo editing app to write my notes. I can easily see my mistakes once I’ve taken a photo of a painting. Funny how that works. I guess it’s the same as looking at one’s work in a mirror; the mistakes will be more noticeable.
I fixed all my edits and then rephotographed the painting which showed me I am not finished.
Here’s revision 2:
You can see by my edits where I feel some elements need more refinement. More spectral highlights on the grasses need to be added and the edges of the foreground rocks need some softening. The mid-ground tree on the left needs more attention to define the shape. The tree needs some splashes of light on a few branches, to show the dappled sunlight.
I always set a painting aside for a while, not just to allow the layers to dry between sessions, but to come back with a fresh eye. This painting is a complicated scene and is taking a bit longer to finish, but that’s okay. Painting is about the journey and the enjoyment of the process, so for me, I don’t mind if it takes longer to finish a piece. It’s like reading a good book; we don’t want it to end. Right?
Every time I look at this painting, I’ll always remember what if felt like to paint this scene. I can still feel the coolness of the air and hear nothing but the quiet of the forest, and the babbling creek as the mosquitos buzzed around my face. That’s what I love about Plein air painting the most; the memories!
“In art, intentions have no place; only results. In good art, the results do not have to be explained. As a matter of fact, there is but one kind of art and that is good art. There is no comfortable halfway station; it is either fine, or it is not art.”
John F. Carlson “Carslon’s Guide to Landscape Painting”
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