It has been a quiet winter. I have done some studio portrait commission, alla prima and live event painting work, but, not a whole lot of plein air painting. At least not as much as I would like! So when my fellow artist & photographer- Kittie Deemer called me to paint en plein air, I gladly joined her! Kttie had not painted at the Durant Park before, so we decided to paint on the Durant road side. Of course, we ended up near the lake! It was a beautiful morning! Many folks walking and hiking with kids and pets. Mostly friendly folks, except one who mumbled something about the trail being for hiking (so sorry we were taking up part of the trail!). We did watercolors.
Painting below is of my finished watercolor from this morning.
Here is a studio watercolor painting I had done recently from a watercolor sketch. This one is also of the Durant Nature park. It is a different view of the lake. The tree in the foreground may seem like a compositional cliche`, but, it is a truthful depiction of what you see around the lake (see following image).
Here is my setup with the finished painting.
And here is Kittie working on her watercolor. Kittie had a great time painting and chatting with folks.
Secret Creek. 15×22. Watercolor on paper. En Plein Air.
This is my latest watercolor. I painted this plein air at the Durant Nature park. I had been painting outdoors for last few days. My hope was to have at least one new painting which I can submit to Watercolor Society of North Carolina (WSNC). I decided to submit this along with the “Beaufort Sunset”. “Beaufort Sunset” is a gouache painting on a board.
I have made several paintings at the Durant Nature park and hope to make many more. Visiting the same place to paint has been helpful: it has taught me to view the reality in different ways. Of course, the challenge is always to capture on the paper what I visualize. So, the development of skills is very important to me. It is a long process.
This is another painting done on an overcast day. There is a small trail which runs along the creek and it is called “secret creek trail”. On the one side of the creek is this trail and on the other side is the city street! Trees and wild life on one side and houses on the other side. For the most part, you can hear the water running, but, occasionally, you also hear men and machines. I liked the spot where the light was filtering from the top through an opening. I did this painting on Arches 300 lb CP paper. I have been painting on bigger size papers and have been for fortunate to complete my paintings in 2-3 hours. There are theories in the art world about what size paintings sell better. I am learning to ignore those! For now, I want my artistic preference to dictate the size. There is also a theory that unless it is Oil on linen or gallery wrapped canvas, it is not art! I paint in oils, but, for different reasons. I would rather keep learning to make the best art- regardless of the medium!
I was happy with the painting so I have submitted it to WSNC. Of course, WSNC does not require the painting to be plein air work. It can be done in the studio. But, if I can paint outdoors, why not? I would like to keep photography as a separate career.
This week looks busy with chores and weather- I am planning on painting thorugh both!
This has been a good week- I have been painting everyday! I painted live for the Raleigh City Museum on Friday. We had a Mother’s Day Photo Shoot on Sunday. In the afternoon, I went to the Durant Nature Park. I love this park. It is closer to where we live. It is not the world’s most scenic place! But, it is in my backyard and I love it! Besides, Andrew Wyeth created masterpieces painting his backyard! And he is my hero.
I hiked along the Secret Creek trail. It is a beautiful trail. But, it was too dark to paint on the trail. I did see a portrait photo shoot going on along the trail. Looked to me like the available light was being used for the shoot. As a professional photographer, I always get curious about some of the stuff I see! When the light levels are too low for the naked eyes- can one really get any light on the subjects? I mean I know that fast lenses can help, but, still? May be some folks have magic tricks. I would probably use flash/ strobe- that is my trick. The trail ends near play area. I saw folks playing volleyball and I loved the action and the evening light. So, I sat down there and made this little sketch. I used Strathmore 300 Series sketchbook. I like how this paper handled the paint. Next day I went to Jerry’s Artarama and bought bigger sketch pad. I also bought 400 series paper, but, it handled the paint entirely differently! With watercolors, every painting is a battle- what works today may not work tomorrow! Wind, temperature, humidity, water- they all keep you on your toes!
I will be the featured artist at Cary Gallery of Artists (www.carygalleryofartists.org) in December. I will be exhibiting my Plein Air oil and watercolor paintings. My new work includes “Fall Music”. I saw this young man playing guitar at the boat house of Durant nature park. I first did his pencil sketch and then this watercolor. I have also done new oil paintings. I recently bought a pochade box and have been using it for oils outdoors. It is much lighter to carry than the French easel. My latest oil painting was with the Paint NC group at Prairie Ridge- I did a painting of my fellow artist Winnie Ferguson.
I had people ask me if I teach painting. I currently do not teach. However, if you have any questions on painting, I will be glad to answer those. Also, if you would like to paint with me, please contact me. I paint outdoors frequently, but, do not have a set schedule.
My opening reception at Cary Gallery of Artists will be on November 27 (Friday) 6 PM- 9 PM. The reception is open to everyone. Light refreshments will be provided. Cary Gallery of Artists is located at 200 S. Academy Street (inside Ashworth Village).
These are some of my new fall plein air paintings, executed in different media: watercolor, gouache, and oil. “Plein Air” means painted outdoors. I like to paint just about anywhere. Someday I will be able to travel and paint. But, now I am enjoying painting locally. I often paint at Durant nature park in my neighborhood. It is amazing how many new things I see, every time I am out there (thank you Andrew Wyeth for teaching me how to see)! I have simplified my oil painting setup, so, I am able to execute more oil paintings outdoors. I am learning the oil palette of master artist Richard Schmid. As for watercolors, the master artist I follow is Joseph Zbukvic. Both do phenomenal work.
These paintings are available framed. Please click on the images for more information.