Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day 25 - DIY BubbleBath

"DIY BubbleBath"
Oil on Linen on Board

Not sure if anyone has noticed...?!, but I haven't quite kept up with posting every day for the 30 paintings in 30 Days challenge that Leslie Saeta hosts.  I love the daily routine it creates, but this time around I just had to go a little easy on myself and leave time to work on larger work as well.  So - still painting, just not posting it all and partially taking part is still a great thing to do, and better than not painting regularly for sure!
I've been looking into Plein Air Events for this year, hoping to at least do one and this is the list I've come up with so far - Please let me know if you know of a great event that I've missed!


February 14-22, 2015 Maui, Hawaii   
View the full 2015 Schedule of Events for the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational event! Maui beaches + outdoor painting + artists and observers = Must see!

May1-11, 2015, Florida   
Nationally recognized plein air artists have been selected to capture the allure of the Florida's Forgotten Coast with paint and canvas. Artists will be painting on ...

May 12-16, 2015   Wayne, Pennsylvania SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: PRESS: JUROR: PLEIN AIR WORKSHOP: ... Member of the Plein Air Painters of America, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association and California Art ...
Apply Jan 1-March 1

May 14-17, 2015
... 2015 Carmel-by-the-Sea Plein Air Juried ... Carmel Art Festival in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 93921. In 2015, ... Gallery Events: Carmel Art ...

June 10-14, Ontario   
Deadline January 30th

June 14
June 14-22……register by June 1st…?

June 15-20, 2015, MD
"Easels in Frederick" Plein Air Event. Begining June 18, 2013 artists painted en plein air (in open air) throughout Frederick County, MD. For more information:

June 16th-19th
Los Gatos Plein Air 2015    The deadline for applying is February 1, 2015.
Los Gatos Plein Air 2015. Los Gatos Plein Air 2015 is a fine art exhibition and sale that will be held in Los Gatos, California on ... 2015. Events of Los Gatos Plein Air

July 19-25, 2015   
Door County Plein Air Festival event presented by Peninsula School of Art, July 20-26, 2014

July 27-August 1, 2015, Alameda, CA
Plein Air Paintout - deadline to apply for 2015 is April 27.

September 7–12, 2015   
A Plein Air Festival on Northern California's ... 2015. The festival includes plein air painting, ... All events are free and open to the public, ...

September 14th-19th   
Stay tuned for information about Sonoma Plein Air Festival 2015, September 14th-19th! Artists, the application process opens Jan 27, ...

September 6th-13th, 2015, Washington

September 30-October 4th  September 30-October 4th
Plein Air at the Lost Coast Plein Air Event ... 2015. Shelter Cove, CA. Advance registration may be made by mail or phone or you may register at the time of your arrival at the event. 
For advance registration, please complete the form below and mail with your check for $65. 


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 21 - Road Home

Road Home
Oil on linen canvas

My sweet kids are finally on the mend!!   And I can take a breath:-) 
Here's a piece I just finished of a cute neighborhood in Santa Paula.   This piece has been donated and is available for purchase through an up-coming annual fundraiser for Santa Paula Art Museum.
Click here for more info

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Day 14 - Sunlit Pines

Sunlit Pines
Oil on linen board

These pines are making me pine for the many trees on the Swedish island where I grew up.  In Sweden there are 2 distinct types of pine-trees.  The Christmas type variety, called "gran".  And this variety which is called "tall".   Making me a little home-sick...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 13 - A Restful Stop in Ojai

A Restful Stop
Oil on Linen on board
Had the pleasure of painting with Dan LaVigne and Dan Schultz in Ojai today!  This year is getting off to a fun start with all these paint-outs with friends.  Always great to see how different each artist's take is and what subject matters we all choose.

Here's a great clip on YouTube about how we each have a unique voice and to embrace it!
It starts with Walt Disney quoting Robert Henri and ends with 4 Amazing Disney Artists painting a tree 4 ways.  It's great!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 12 - After David Noter - Exercise Inspired by Catherine Kehoe

Still Life after David De Noter
oil on panel

Today I painted with Shannon Celia and Wendy Gordin.  So much fun!!  We are all part of the Monday Morning Painters (the MMPs) and this particular morning I brought in an exercise for us to do.   This exercise was inspired by some paintings I had seen of Catherine Kehoe's where she used the work of old masters as a source to fiercely observe and translate the visible, turn objects into simple shapes of color to arrive at the essential.  Translating this image into as Catherine called it "intuitive geometry".

She shared this work in her excellent artist talk last Sunday and since I missed out on the workshop that followed I thought "Why not just paint something inspired by what she does and learn from that as if I were in the workshop?"  I am always on a search to get better at simplifying what I see and this seemed like a perfect way to practice that.

So I found a still life online similar in style to what she had used.
Here is a cropped version of that original painting that I worked from!  "Still Life of Flowers, Asparagus and Lobster" was painted by David Emile Joseph de Noter [Belgian Painter, 1818-1892]

There are always things I'm not perfectly happy with..?!...but this exercise helped me see just how simple you can go with shapes and still have it read.  It was also great practice in seeing - and breaking a complex object into simple flat shapes.  And next time I'll work on going even farther!

If you visit Catherine Kehoe's website, you can see Marine plant still life after Anne Vallayer-Coster :-) and what I was trying to achieve.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day 11 of 30 - Balboa Island "Early on the Dock

Early on the Dock
Oil on Linen on Board

This past Friday, I was fortunate enough to get in an actual Plein Air Painting day.  And lucky enough to have my good friend and painting buddy Shannon Celia brave the early hour (leaving at 5:30AM) to come paint as well!  We drove down to Newport beach where we also met up with Kim VanDerHoek on Balboa Island.   Each of us got a painting done before having a nice lunch and getting to talk shop at Picante Martin's Mexican Restaurant.  Check out both Kim's and Shannon's websites to learn more about their work!
I am so grateful for the artists and friends I make on the journey!!  It is at least half the fun of painting for me.
On this particular day I was interested in doing something based on an unusual view and composition, cropping in to get more of an abstract feel.  I also started with my most delicate color and I liked the direction it took for the most part.  
It's such a great challenge to paint water, and reflections, along with all the movement of the water, and the sky reflecting in the water surface.
 There is a lot going on!   
What I noticed is that I tend to lay in all my brushstrokes to describe the water horizontally, and that makes it look really busy.   As I'm always working on getting better at simplifying.....I'm now thinking it's better to save those horizontal strokes for describing just the surface of the water and keep most of the reflections as shapes, just like I saw Wyllis Heaton do the other night in his demo.

 I get a little caught up with all the edges to soon and this new way would keep it more unified and not so broken up.  Something I will get even more conscious of next time I try it:-)

Happy Painting!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Day 7 of 30 - Starting with the Sun

Starting with the Sun
Oil on Linen on board

So after watching Wyllis Heaton's Demo (see yesterday's post)  I decided that I would start this one with the lightest and purest colors, and go from there.  I'm fairly happy with how the Sun-light through the trees worked out and the simplification of the building!  Might still work on the needs some help:-)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Day 6 of 30 - With Lambie...

With Lambie
oil on gessoboard

Happy about some of the simplification and the composition of this one.  Leaving a few more things to the viewer to read:-)  Not sure whether to leave the face the way it is..or work on defining it more?..

Had a pleasure of watching Wyllis Heaton do a great Demo this evening.  Thank you Wyllis!!

 Lots of great little nuggets of truth about painting and helpful tidbits.
Among them:

When it comes to the drawing - if you can map the corner points, the inside can be a mess.
Paint, then draw, then paint again...
A little wavy leaves more for the viewer to get more empathy when it's loose.
Use big brushes - and twist the brush so that it's not all the same and mechanical looking.

What was really neat to see, is that he also starts his work with Delicate...or Fragile colors just like Carol Marine.   Do the brightest colors while your palette and brushes are still clean.  Makes a lot sense doesn't it?

Here's the finished piece:

Monday, January 5, 2015

Day 5 of 30 - "Finding My Strength"

Preliminary study - Finding My Strength
Oil on gessoed board
My friend Daggi Wallace and I went to hear a talk and see a slideshow with Catherine Kehoe yesterday and it got me really excited to get into the studio today.   Her work has been on my radar for a while and I love the way she simplifies and relates shapes from observation of the fragmented nature of the visible.   In her ongoing exploration and observation of the  world, she has created a very distinct personal style and visual language all her own. 
Catherine Kehoe
What I took to heart from her talk is the importance of following our own preferences...It seems like it's something I'm reminded of over and over.  That, as an artist I need to focus on pursuing what I'm obsessed with.   I can be inspired by others work, but my journey will be unique to me.  There's no one "right way to Paint" - what a concept..?...;)

So even though I've heard it before, I guess I needed to hear it again.  And feel validated in the pursuit of going forward with "my own thing.  Trusting that I will get to where I want -  even when I sort of wish I painted like anyone but me:))).

Catherine shared some great quotes...and I apologize for not having all the sources!

...Eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary can speak.
Art is the organization of shapes.
The secret to being a bore is to tell everything (Voltaire)

Question to ask:
How much can I leave out?

Check out her great website:

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Day 4 of 30 in 30 - On Surfwatch

On Surfwatch
Oil on canvasboard

"Peekachoo for Two" Study - Easing into the 30 in 30

Peekachoo for Two - Easing in to the 30 in 30
Oil on Canvasboard

December got sort of swallowed up by Holiday, End of school activities and travel preparations, so with Leslie Saeta's "30 Paintings in 30 Days" Challenge I'm now easing my way back into my normal painting routine!
Any time I'm away from painting it's easy for me to loose confidence and question what I'm doing?:-) so painting small and quick studies helps me get excited about new ideas and get back in the groove.

After William Wray's workshop in November, see this earlier post, I've been really yearning for more simplification in my work.   Because of the subject matter I pick, I might not always be able to do a value sketch as simple as the ones we did in his class, (Three values narrowing it down to almost 3 shapes).   But focusing on just a few values, as in this preliminary study for a larger piece is so helpful!  

The challenge with this piece will be how to create interesting variety using 4 main "figures".   The number 3 is always a more dynamic number than 4 and I want to avoid having it get too stagnant looking, so placement and colors might help in avoiding that.   We'll see...