October 08, 2013

Fall on the Island

Fall at Deception Pass Park
 (11 x 14 oil on linen panel)
I am proud to say my father served in the Navy for over forty years (thanks, Dad!) and by way of his service, I was a Navy "brat" (probably in more ways than one). On average, I think we moved about every 18 months. I have lived abroad, lived in more states than I can recall, and have traveled through all of them at one point or another in my lifetime. Out of all those places, I feel very blessed to call Whidbey Island, Washington, my home (and to have my parents living right next door and my siblings within spitting distance).
Perhaps I have been a bit swayed by the remarkable Summer we had this year. And, now, a beautiful Fall. I doubt I am celebrating all by myself but I AM celebrating! I am taking every opportunity to be outside and enjoy these glorious days and practice my plein air painting. Ah, what a LIFE!
The painting above is from a day at Deception Pass Park; a most glorious park. A short little hike and, presto; a little piece of heaven. Sun, paint, lunch, paint, sun, paint, sunset.

my plein air set-up (work in progress)

August 19, 2013

Twilight Color Study

Twilight Color Study
 (8x10 pastel)
How many surfaces can an artist be in love with at any given moment? Um, I don't really have the answer to that question but I am adding one more to my list. After reading a recent article in the Pastel Journal about Multimedia Artboards for Pastels, I ordered some. Oh, my! I am love-crazed, yet again. I have every intention of trying this for oils, too. I just haven't gotten there, yet.
The study above is part of the work I am doing for a larger oil painting so it was a perfect opportunity to try the new surface. The pastel went on nicely and stayed where I put it. I also enjoyed that the surface takes multiple layers very well without mooshing (yes, that is a word in pastel-speak) the layers below.
Back to testing...

August 16, 2013

This Way to the Beach

Where does a girl go for the entire summer, you ask? "Why, outside, of course."

Yes, yes, I have been back plein air painting and off on some wild adventures. So many that I have barely been on the computer; it's all I can do to stay in the house. One of my favorite spots is on the west side of Whidbey Island (Washington). There is something so serene about painting the water while listening to the waves rolling onto the shore in the background.   
Last time I mentioned my set up, it was larger. I'm now working so everything fits in my backpack and I've chosen a standard size of 8x10. It makes it easier for me to plan things that way. I may switch out to a 9x12 later but for now I am enjoying this small size.
And, because I wanted to work smaller, Larry built an even smaller Attaché Board (we've nicknamed him "Pierre") - here he is all decked out:
This is my little plein air oil painting for my stint at West Beach:


April 03, 2013

Kitty Kitty

Double Trouble (36 x 24, oil on linen panel) - click for a larger view
Generally, when I approach a painting with this amount of complexity, I have a pretty good plan for executing it. I hope I won't take the magic away by telling you that this kitty (Rosie) was not actually sleeping on that slipper, nor was she actually playing with that string, nor was she actually asleep on that particular floor. Those are all elements I wanted to introduce to tell "my" painting's story. When working through the steps, initially I thought I would paint Rosie and then paint her full reflection on the black tiled floor.
Um, what was I thinking?! As soon as I started painting Rosie, I realized I would need to paint both Rosies at the same time so I could exactly match the color on my brush for both cats and (as accurately as possible) capture the exact opposite stroke/direction for the fur in the reflection. Well, I wasn't using my right hand for much anyway so I turned the canvas horizontally and picked up a second paintbrush.
And this was how I painted most of the painting. There were points where I thought maybe I was headed for the crazy house (or perhaps I was already there) but, like a really good puzzle, I found that concentrating on one section at a time was my only hope for sanity. In the end, I like to think I was able to maintain that :).

March 14, 2013

Love is Love (18 x 24 pastel on La Carte) SOLD

Through flight and fields of feathers, true love returns to where it belongs because regardless, Love is Love.
The Trumpeter Swans gather in the fields of Skagit Valley (Washington) every year and every year I dash out with my camera hoping to see them. They cover the fields in the valleys, nearly looking like fields of snow from a distance. It doesn't seem to matter that I saw them last year, I want to see them again this year. I want to meet the new arrivals and watch their spectacular displays (always keeping a respectful distance, of course).
Until one sees them up close, you might not realize how large these birds are. In fact, they are the largest waterfowl of North America with a wingspan (males) of six to eight feet. And you might be able to imagine what a field of trumpets, all playing at the same time, must sound like! It is something to behold.
Another lovely fact; Trumpeter Swans, generally having a lifespan of twenty to thirty years, also mate for life.