Friday, January 24, 2014

Snow? In Pensacola??

Rumor has it that it snowed in Pensacola today. I only saw sleet, but with temperatures in the mid 30's the Friday group of plein air painters bailed on me. I'd dressed in multiple layers like any good northern girl would do, and I wasn't going to miss a perfectly atmospheric day.
My chosen spot is a place I'm doing multiple studies of in preparation for a large painting. Here's is how the day looked today.

And here is the direction that appealed to me the most. Before Hurricane Ivan ten years ago, these fields were solid trees right down the water.

I had already prepared some greys in advance made from the primaries.

Though the light stayed constant, I stuck with my plan of working quickly and finished in a bit more than an hour. I'm not working fast just for the sake of speed. Rather I'm gathering as much information as I can before looking too long convinces me that I'm seeing something different than what is truly there.
Here is the finished sketch.

Santa Rosa Sound - oil on canvas - 8x11

Friday, January 17, 2014

Back Again!

I can just about forget about this challenge- I've missed so many days. One thing I like about being part of the Friday painting group, Plein Air Painters of Pensacola, is that I know I will get out to paint at least one day a week, despite commitments that might keep me in my studio otherwise.

Today was a gorgeous day in Pensacola. Cool, but far from the frigid temperatures of two weeks ago. Ordinarily, I do not like painting buildings as a subject, but this year I've resolved to paint everything to see what I can learn from it. In keeping with my plan, I painted quickly trying to grasp color and value relationships. 

Though a lot of the plein air sketches I've done for this challenge have been scraped down and not posted I can see how a year spent doing daily quick studies could be really beneficial.

That is the challenge I set for myself.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Deep Freeze - 30 in 30 Day 7

Polar Vortex. That's the explanation for the unusual cold weather here in the Florida Panhandle. It was19 degrees this morning. I watched from my studio windows throughout the day as my giant elephant ear plants drooped and fell over. Have you ever see such a sad sight?

Fortunately the plant is native and hardy and it should grow back.

River Oaks - oil on canvas - 10x12
contact me here if interested

Today's "plein air" sketch was painted looking through a window from the semi warmth of my studio. In keeping to my plan of working quickly, it took about an hour. Some things I'm finding about working quickly are I'm making more confident decisions about color and value. Working quickly means I have to glance rather then stare at my motif, and then paint from remembering what I saw in that glance. This results in the color and value being more accurate. A little side benefit is that I can paint very freely because I have no time invested in these pieces and no agenda for them.

Monday, January 6, 2014

My Magic Tree - 30 in 30 Day 6

A large oak tree stands in my backyard. From time to time, it sheds branches. Whether or not this is normal, I don't know but it has many scars from limbs it has lost over the years. I didn't realize how large the tree actually is until I climbed into it to help my husband trim a broken branch. There's almost enough room to spread out a picnic where the limbs branch out from the trunk. Even more remarkable than it's size, is it's color. The trunk is every color from green to lavender to light blue. The reflected light on it glows iridescent. At every part of the day, the colors and shadows on it are different. I've been looking at it for six years, thinking I have to try to paint it.

This one hour sketch, painted on another frigid Florida day, represents my first attempt. I'll paint it many more times until I'm happy that I've captured it's magic.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

30 in 30 Day 4

I woke this morning ready to grab my brushes and go to work. - one quick plein air painting and then to the studio to work on a larger piece. Coffee cup in hand, I glanced out the window and saw my husband tearing carpeting out of our travel trailer. Well. That just didn't look right. Sure enough, my day's plan was about to go to pieces. The skylights of the camper had deteriorated and the monsoon-like rain we get here in Florida had flooded the trailer. By afternoon we had mopped up, laundered or discarded anything made of cloth and covered the faulty skylights. The short winter daylight was nearly gone.

So today I'm posting an earlier plein air piece in sympathy with everyone in the northeast who is also dealing with unusually cold temperatures and with snow.

Not ready for skating - oil on canvas  - 16x20
Contact me here if interested

The actual scene.

Friday, January 3, 2014

30 in 30 January 3

When I woke up on this Pensacola morning, it was 28 degrees - very cold for Panhandle Florida. This northern girl was ready for it! In fact, I truly enjoy cold and snow.There was no snow in the forecast but I layered myself in true northern fashion, long underwear (never thought I'd have use for that here), layers of shirts, thick hiking socks and gloves with the finger tips cut off. The wind was fierce but a local waterfront restaurant the Oar House, lent the Plein Air Painters of Pensacola their balcony which was nicely shielded from the wind. Thank you Oar House!

Though it's my intent during this 30 day challenge to finish my paintings in as close to an hour as possible, this one took double that time. My purpose in working fast is to not over-think the process but to work quickly and confidently. Also, I'd like to reserve a good part of my work day to finish studio pieces for an upcoming show.

 This is my finished 12x16 sketch. The actual scene is in the photo below. As yet, this painting is not on my website so please contact me if it interests you.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

30 in 30 January 2014

It's a new year and once again I'm participating in the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge organized by Leslie Saeta. Last year I picked "things put on the back burner" as my theme. These were ideas for paintings that I'd had in my mind for a while but hadn't had time to try out. I surprised myself by painting quickly enough to finish 24 paintings within the month. One of these was chosen for an Oil Painters of America exhibit.

This year I'm focusing on plein air studies painted quickly, in about an hour. I'm not intending these paintings for sale but rather as pieces to explore and learn by, so they will not appear on my website. However, if anyone sees one they would like to have for their collection, they will still be available for purchase on request.

This study was painted in my backyard on a very grey Florida afternoon. A front was starting to move through and the temperature dropped 10 degrees as I painted while the wind picked up.

Backyard View - oil on canvas 12x16
talk to me if interested in this

This same weather is blasting the northeast with a blizzard right now, yet here in the Florida Panhandle, it will be back in the 60's in a few days. This photo shows the actual scene I painted.

The large oak on the right is just out of view in the photo.Tomorrow I'll be painting on the water's edge if the wind doesn't prevent it.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...