The weather has been soggy these past few weeks, which puts plein air painting on the back burner for a little while longer. So I decided to set up the gear inside by a window and pretend I was plein air painting. This worked out well, as I didn’t have to struggle with the elements and had all creature comforts available. I know, you’re saying “That’s cheating!” Well, you are correct, but I have to keep moving forward! I freely admit, I’m a lightweight when it comes to the elements!
I am still in the process of re-working my gear to include only the most necessary items, which means going through and honestly evaluating all the equipment. In the past, I’ve carried way too much stuff. Plus, I have had to pack brushes and paint into my plein air bag from the studio, which was always a hassle. Now I am almost complete with having two of everything: gear for plein air and gear for studio. Now I can grab my bag and go when inspiration strikes.
It was pouring rain yesterday when I worked on this piece and fog was a problem, as at times it rolled in so thick I couldn’t see my scene. Here’s what I was looking at:
Continue reading Review of “Rainy Day” oil on paper plein air study ~
In my last post I shared a 16″x20″ painting I’ve been working on depicting an Italian scene at sunset. I’m now at the final adjustment stages and am very pleased with how this piece is progressing. Just a bit of contrast tweaking, and some other little details and I’ll be able to let this one dry for a long while before giving it a good coat of varnish.
It was painted with a limited palette consisting of only four colors, yellow ocher, cad. red, white and black. I did however add just a touch of cerulean blue to the shutters for a surprise pop of color. One thing that is hard for you to see is that the sun is not as large as depicted. The camera cannot pick up subtle variations in highlights.
(The Tamarack Mountain Studio watermark is not on the painting, but is instead signed with my maiden name.)
So it’s been snowing – ALOT! We had a very mild beginning of winter from Dec. all through Jan. Then things changed big time! First the polar vortex arrived the first week of Feb. and the temps dropped from the low 40’s to 10 for the day time highs with wind chills below zero. Whaaaat? It was sooo cold!
Then the snow arrived. And it dumped a foot of snow the other night! It’s been snowing constantly on and off for the past week. Here’s a peek at our backyard;
In the foreground are the table gardens, virtually gone. I did have some lettuce growing in the greenhouse but the polar vortex took care of that idea. No more lettuce. Next year I hope to have some kind of heat in place in the greenhouse.
In the meantime I’ve been doing some work on the painting I started last week.
I can’t decide how I’m going to lay out the foreground so I figured I’d better stop and work out the composition before going further. I imported the photo of the canvas into a digital photo editing app and played around a bit:
I’m thinking a path and a vineyard on the right. Maybe on the left a field of sunflowers. Some birds in the distance, a chimney, finish door and windows with a pop of blue on the shutters. Lots of work yet to do. I’ll share more as progress continues.
Here’s a new work in progress I’ve started! It’s a 16″x20″ canvas and it will depict an Italian Villa, cause I love all things Italian!
I’m using a limited palette called the Zorn Palette. The palette consists of only four colors – Yellow Ochre, Vermillion, Ivory Black and White. I know! It’s been quite interesting not having blue on my palette. So to compensate, this scene is at sunset! That works for me. I’m also using palette knives as much as possible to give nice juicy texture. There will be cypress trees to the right of the house and I’m thinking a vineyard in the foreground. Originally I under-layed the composition with a thin wash of “tube” green just to give me bearings as to where everything should be. You can see in the trees that I started working on to the left, how nice and true to life mixing your own greens can be, instead of using tube greens. I’ll be working on this for a while and will keep you posted as I progress!
The last of the roses in our garden had two buds that never opened due to the cold settling in. So I brought them indoors to see if they would open in the warmth of our home. The rose bush I cut them from typically makes peach and dark pink edged roses with hints of yellow, but to my delight when they opened, the roses were all yellow!
I was inspired to paint a new 6″x6″ oil on panel before they were gone, but became frustrated and almost wiped out the smaller rose. I’ll work on it later when I’m in a better frame of mind. Sometimes the paint just gets the better of me. There will be leaves and a bud in the composition when it’s finished. My palette is yellow ocher, cad yellow medium, lemon yellow and the background is a mixture of transparent brown oxide and manganese blue. I hope to work on it some more after Thanksgiving. : ) Stay tuned!
The Daisies are in full bloom! They grow wild and the other day I picked a vase full as my subject for a new painting. I read somewhere that if you put an aspirin and a tsp. of sugar in the water it keeps the flowers longer. So I did and took the arrangement into the studio. I worked out my color palette and laid in the background color on my panel, with the plan to begin painting the next morning.
Guess what? The aspirin killed the flowers! I came into the studio the next morning to find all the flowers keeled over. Bad information! I had to go in search of fresh flowers and luckily was able to find some as they are starting to end their life cycle. I made a sketch and transferred it over to my panel and now all is good! That’s if nothing else weird happens over night!
More to come as I progress.
This past weekend we did a two day camping trip. I took the medium pochade box and found a perfect spot next to a whitewater creek in which to paint. The temps were a bit on the cold side since we were 3200+ft. in elevation. There was still snow on some of the shadow side of the roads. But all in all it was a great weekend!
Making a preliminary sketch of my scene.
This is the scene I used for my 8×10 oil painting.
I was able to lay in all the base colors and will bring up the light values in the studio. Will share the finished piece soon!