Thursday, September 30, 2010

#29 of 100 in 100

Time Warp
6x6" oil on linen panel

I am finding that many times painting small, on square panels is a big challenge for me.  I do it partly to do faster daily paintings, but I haven't always found it easy.  What I wanted to do, was paint the entire car, and the entire truck from yesterday's post.  I've also been making myself stick to larger brushes, usually #8 for the paintings.  I am finding that many times I lose the ability to put down in one or two strokes what I have in my mind, and then I end up with some mush going on!  Ahhh!  Keep on truckin' as they say.  Today I am headed in to work on the whole vehicle on the small panel.  Any suggestions or comments?  I fee like I need a little imput on these.  Thanks!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Picking Up the 100 in 100

Ready to Rumble
6x6 inch oil on linen panel
#28 of 100 in 100

Back in the swing.  After getting back from Maine, I have been catching up on things, and let my 100 in 100 challenge slide.  I'm back to it now, which does mean I had better get going to catch up!

This little one was done from a photo of a very cool restored truck that I found in Maine.  I asked the owner if I could photograph it, and he said he would pull it into a better spot for photos. He also told me it was a 1930's truck.   I am going to work on larger pieces from this, as well as other antique cars and trucks I have found.  I'm not an old car fancier, but I have become interested in antique trucks and some really old cars, to paint.  This owner had another old car, a 1920's car that looked like it could have been a bank robber's car.  That will be coming up tomorrow.  

I don't feel like I got what I was working towards on this one, so I will be doing it again.  Maybe again, and again, and again......!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Personal Flag-Waving ... Just a Tiny Bit

I am REALLY excited, and had to share, that right after I got home, I sold three (yup, 3!!) paintings through Art Quiver !! Art Quiver is a very nice online gallery I belong to.  Since it is run right here in Virginia, even closer, right out of Charlottesville, it makes it even better.  If you haven't ever visited their site, check it out.  They do a very nice job of creating a virtual gallery.

Last of Maine for Now

On The Ledges
8x10 oil on linen panel

Our last evening on The Ledges

Unless I have missed one, I think this is all of the paintings from Maine.  What a great experience.  I am corresponding now with one of the other AIRs that was there.  If you're an artist, and can do it, this is a great opportunity.  Many of the parks allow your family to come along, and as long as they are ok with you taking off to paint, it works really well.  Just check it out on the Artist in Residence section of the National Park Service site.

This last painting isn't one of the best, but gave me a feel of what I wanted to paint.  I think too, my mind was already starting to wind down from the Acadia experience and I was starting to detach and head home.  Nice to leave home for a while, and really nice to get back home.

A show at The Art Center in Orange is being set up with three different artists who have painted scenes from Maine.  Tentatively scheduled for June 2011.  Myself and two others are in at this point, all of us with very different styles.  It should a very nice show with something for everyone.

Something else I learned from my trip to Maine was what kinds of supplies I need to paint what I want to paint.  I almost didn't take the small pochade box, but was glad I did.  I wouldn't have had the chance to paint a small oil on my lone hike.  Dragging the French easel up and down hills would have been impossible.  I love painting a little bigger, so the French easel worked when I could either paint right next to my car, or didn't have to go far.  I also have REALLY learned that I need to have ALL the paints I want in both the French easel AND the pochade.  That way I don't get out somewhere and find I don't have what I need.  One last lesson learned, among many, was that you can usually do without most of what you think you need.  If you have the basics, you'll be fine, and probably have an easier time in the long-run.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Ledges Pine
10x8 oil on linen panel

Part of the same Pine tree, totally different lighting

Light is the main subject of most naturalistic painters' work.  Doesn't really matter what the "subject" is, light is still the main subject, because without it, there would be very little on our canvases, boards, papers and panels.  Consider a painting done in the early hours when the light is creeping up.  Or consider differences between the golden late evening light, a nighttime painting, a foggy, rainy day, or a bright, middle-of-the-day painting.  All very different, all very unique unto themselves.  Each moment of light gives a different feeling to a painting.  

The top painting here was done on a cool (chilly actually!), damp, grey day.  I was cold sitting on the rocks painting.  I was having a terrible time getting values right, while keeping things simple.  It gave me the feeling I wanted to keep, and will go back and work on one from this little plein air piece to create a more finished piece.  Part of plein air painting is all about the experience of being outdoors.  Here, I was cold, and finally gave in to going back to warm up, even though I didn't really "finish" the painting.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Keeping the Feeling Alive

Low Tide at Little Moose
8x10 oil on linen panel
Sign as you drive into the SERC campus, or head to the point.

Even though it was last week that I got home from Maine, from the artist residency, I am still feeling the glow.  I haven't gone through the paintings I did yet, other than to be sure I had photographed them all while up there.  That was a lesson in organization.  I will slowly be deciding which paintings I might like to enlarge in the studio.  I will probably be enlarging the one that will be donated to the Acadia National Park.  I have up to a year to get one to them.  Since the SERC campus is being totally redone, there will be new places to hang AIR paintings once it is finished.  Great PR, as well as nice knowing one of your pieces is hanging in a location you enjoyed painting in.

I am also working on some shows/galleries to take some Maine paintings.  I am working on one show of my Maine paintings, and another artist's Maine paintings for June 2011 at The Art Center in Orange.  I may be sending some paintings back up to Maine, to the Chapter II Gallery.  So the feeling stays alive, and moves into another realm and life of its own, making up shows, galleries, blogs and websites.  Like ripples on a pond, artwork moves out to, hopefully, have an effect on many more people.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


8x10 oil on linen panel

painting along the loop road, Schoodic, Acadia National Park

"Drippy" trees and moss

The painting above was done on the same foggy day as #13.  I found the shapes of the Cormorants sitting on the rock interesting against the foggy background.  The photographs above show a really interesting way that some trees and moss seem to be dripping down over a rock.  I would drive past these trees and was fascinated by their shapes.

It is interesting how people see things differently.  When we had put out our paintings (the other AIRs and myself), I mentioned these interesting tree shapes.  The interns and teaching assistants, who also would drive past this spot, hadn't noticed.  I think as artists we are attracted and notice colors and shapes of things around us, that many people may not see.  Part of it is training ourselves to see things in a more "artistic" way.  But part of it is also the way that many of us are made up.  I firmly believe that people can learn to be more mindful and cognizant of our world around us.  When I teach classes, and workshops, that is something that I stress.  So many beginning painters particularly, paint what they think they "know" is there, not so much what they see.  Many have to slow down to really learn to see what they are painting.  Seeing is one of those things we keep developing as the artistic journey goes on. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sunny Days and Not So Sunny Days

Lies Below
16x20 oil on canvas

8x10 oil on linen panel

I've had a bit of all sorts of weather here in Acadia/Schoodic.  Although most of it has been bright and sunny with gorgeous pre-fall Maine weather.  The first painting above, #12 "Lies Below" was one of those amazingly clear days.  I sat on a cliff above some rocks and worked to catch some of the colors of the rocks below the water, and the water sliding by on top.  The second painting, #13 "Fog" was the opposite kind of day.  Foggy, so much so that at first I could just barely see this little island.  What great weather to paint in, as you could hear the fog horn in the background!

It is interesting how an artist needs to be able to shift gears and go from those bright days, to the more subtle color days, such as the foggy day.  Both are fascinating.  One for the wonderfully bright colors, the other where the values flatten out, and dull down.  Both make you think about color interactions and how everything works together.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Learning From Doing

After The Storm
16x20 oil on canvas

20x16 oil on canvas

I have found both the frustration and occasional  successes that go along with plein air painting.  Painting here in Acadia, on the Schoodic Peninsula has brought both of these.  The waves and rocks have been an ongoing frustration for myself, and the other artist in residents.   We laugh about painting "more rocks!!"  At times I find the way to simplify the shapes and feel that I am making headway.  Other times I think, "oh no, one more rock!"  The one above, titled "Below", I found that there is a cinnamon bun masquerading as a rock!  That will need to be fixed.  The painting above that, "After The Storm", isn't finished, but I know that I want a wave to be coming towards the rocks.  I haven't had an indoor location to paint in why here in the park, but I will fix that painting when I get home.  I have more paintings which I have "finished" on-site, but I am still working hard to simplify shapes!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Show & Tell

20x16 oil on cotton canvas

Lone Rock
16x20 oil on cotton canvas

Acadian National Park - Schoodic Eduacational & Reseach Center
Artist in Residence Show & Tell!

All I can say is that if you are an artist of any kind, the national parks are a great place to do a residency. So far I have done about 18 paintings, and met some wonderful people.  Today the three artists in residence had a little show of our work for the interns, volunteers, ranger, and educational assistants.  They are great people, of a wide variety of ages, and from all over the United States.  The Schoodic area of Acadia National Park is a wonderful place to do an artist residency.  I am learning, through doing this residency, that it is not just the act of creating many works of art, related to this location, but it is meeting and interacting with many other people, and feeling like a member of a community within the national park system.  You are learning on many different levels, in many different ways.  We had a small going-away dinner tonight with the three of us who are artists here, and my husband and one daughter.  One of our artists, Donna will be leaving tomorrow.  Sad to see her leave, but wish her well in art and life, and hope we meet again.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

HIking on Schoodic

Schoodic Head
8x10 oil on linen panel

I took a hike the other day.  I really wanted to get into the woods, and explore some of the trails here on Schoodic.  I decided to take my backpack and put my pochade box in, just in case I wanted to paint.  I read how far the trail was, but wasn't quite aware how up and down and rooty it would be.  Still, it was a gorgeous day, and so much fun!  The views on top and along the ridges were spectacular.  I stopped and did a 10 minute painting looking off the top.  I am quite please with its simplicity and how it caught the feeling of the moment.  I need to do more quick paintings, and stress the use of simplification.  I know, I've talked about that before, but I have to keep reminding myself of it!  The trail turned out to be about 3 miles total, with lots of climbing up and down steep places.  It was truly a magical trail.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fast Post

After the Storm
16x20 oil on linen canvas unfinished

Birch Study
8x10 oil on linen panel

I promised I would get these posted today, and it IS still today.  We had a really fun night hike, and evening learning about night creatures.  Mostly for the teaching assistants who will be leading the night hikes when the Schoodic Education Adventure (SEA) kids arrive.  All of us Artists In Residence (AIR) people (3 now) get to tag along and have fun.  Then we drove down to the point to take in the fantastic night sky which is amazing!  So, finally got back in and decided to quickly post a couple.  Neither are really finished, but then maybe they will stay as they are as learning experiences.  Enjoy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Getting into the Rhythm

Looking towards Schoodic Point, from the Anvil Trail

Marks Island Lighthouse

As you can see, I didn't get any photographs of my paintings done today.  I painted this morning on the Schoodic Point, then took what turned into a rather long and medium intense hike.  By the time I got back, via the grocery store in Winter Harbor, the light wasn't right to photograph paintings.  I have a growing number lining the floor and leaning against things.  So I will work on getting pictures posted tomorrow.  I am intending to get up early tomorrow to go out to paint in the early light.  I am struggling with the whole idea of simplification when it comes to the waves and surf.

Met another Artist in Residence this evening, so now there are three of us.  That's fun.  We are like ships in the night though, passing here and there.  I talked to a man this morning who had taken a workshop with one of my favorite artists, Carol Marine (!  Small world.  I looked up his website again, and found that Bruce is quite the author, check it out:

I will post paintings tomorrow.... promise!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Welcome Tropical Storm Earl!

Day's Beginning
8x10 oil on linen panel

Off Sundew
8x10 oil on linen panel

Fun times!  These paintings were done yesterday before the storm arrived.  Everyone was greatly anticipating the arrival of Earl, and wondering what it would be like.  Those NPS people in the know say that the waves can go right over the low roads, over the parking areas on Schoodic Point, and generally wash things and people away!  So, great precautions were made, with signs up, the staff out at 6:00 to keep the public wave-gaukers (is that the right spelling for that?!) safe from themselves.  

These two paintings were done off a trail known as the Sundew Trail.  I packed everything in my backpack and headed out. Not a long trail at all, but fun to get out into some spots best seen by foot.

Today, I walked out to Schoodic Point in the pouring rain, about 7:30, high tide.  The road there was closed, and our trusty NPS men and women in green were out patrolling the roads keeping people from going to close to the BIG waves.  (Fun having met most people last night at the Hurricane Party!).  When the road was opened, I drove out, and painted in the car while the waves slammed into Schoodic Point and the rain pelted down.  Now, back inside, having had tea, I'm ready for the next adventure of the day.  The sun is coming out, so maybe more painting here, or possibly over on MDI (Mt. Desert Island).  Tough life....someone's got to do it!

I never could get pictures of the REALLY big wave!
But these were much larger than they look here.

                                Where waves crashed last year                   Everyone was ready

Friday, September 3, 2010

More Gearing Up

Crowd Pleaser
8x10 oil on linen panel
# 2 Acadia Paintings
#12 100 in 100

Little did I know I was going to be having two challenges which involved keeping track of what order the paintings were done!  I am trying to mark them accordingly after I get back to my Acadai apartment. I'm not sure exactly where I will be putting them all.  They have started creeping along the floor behind the TV (who watches TV in a national park?!), and the recliner.  I think they will begin taking over the other floor space.

Schoodic Point Breakers
8x10 oil on linen panel

These two were done late in the evening at Schoodic Point.  The spot where everyone seems to end up when they want to watch a really good show.... the big waves at high tide.  There were quite a few people there.  It was fun to watch people watching the waves.  I am learning, the challenging way, that painting waves is tough.  I knew it, I just didn't KNOW it.  I love the colors and the amazing colors on the rocks where the sea weed and other living vegetation grows, against the beautiful blues, greens, steel purples that are in the water.  I feel as if I am just getting my feet wet, metaphorically, here.  I have a whole car full of larger canvases, which I aim to work on, but I need to play with these smaller ones to begin to understand what it is I want to say about this amazing park and area of the country.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Geared Up

Mark Island Light
8x10 oil sketch on linen panel
#11 of 100 in 100
#1 of Acadia Paintings

Whew!  That's a lot of numbers!  My first day of actual painting in Acadia for my Artist Residency.  A little bit of a slow start, and not stellar, but I decided not to wipe it out, just go on and push through it.  This little sketch was done across what I think, I need to find out, is part of Frenchman's Bay, towards Mark Island Light.  I know you can't even tell it's a lighthouse, but hey, it was the first one.   I fiddled around after this one, went to Winter Harbor for some groceries, and to stock up before the hurricane comes our way.  

After getting back to my Acadia home, taking a short nap, yes, nap.  I stretched canvases, got things together and went out to Schoodic Point to catch high tide.  Very cool.  I was out there a long time, did two other 8x10's, which by the time I got back it was too dark to photograph.  So I'll post them tomorrow.  Much better, and I can feel a rythmn starting, whew, that's a relief.  I painted the rocks and waves, which is something I haven't done before but am fascinated by.  Love the colors.  

Tomorrow and Saturday everyone is expecting the hurricane to come to Maine.  BIG waves are expected, and high winds.  Should be exciting!  A Hurricane Party is planned by the interns and ranger in charge of them.  So we're all headed to that tomorrow night.  Putting water in the bathtub, getting flashlights ready.  I hope to get some good wave photos that day.  Maybe even paint!  I could easily get used to life up here!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Acadia National Park - Schoodic Penninsula

No pictures yet, but tomorrow I plan to start putting up work I'm doing, as well as a little bit about the area. So pretty here!  Fir trees, Birch trees, ocean, rocks, all waiting to be painted!  Amazing!  I got "home" to my little apartment here in the staff housing after a fun pot luck dinner with a group of the interns and volunteers.  Most are here to be working with kids that come with their schools to the S.E.A. program.  A program to teach kids about the environment of this area by staying out here for a couple nights, and learning all sorts of fun things.  All part of the Schoodic Education and Research Center.  I won't be here when the kids start coming (drat), but I'll talk to whoever else shows up.  I give two talks/demos, then take the visitors out to paint or draw.  The interns are mostly college or just out of college age folks, with some older people here also who volunteer/live here for the season.  The other "house-mates" in the "suite" that I am living in is a husband and wife team who have come here for several years to work in the park.

Tomorrow I will be out scouting for painting locations, and doing some work.  I will post what I get done, at least that's the plan.  I'll throw in some photos of the area, just to make everyone jealous! :)  Stay tuned!