Monday, April 29, 2013

A new backpack

As a plein air painter it's been an ongoing process to find the most practical, light, compact and easy way to carry my art supplies to get the most out of painting on location.   When it comes to backpacks I've gone from getting a top of the line Kelty pack with tons of pockets and way more space than I need to just grabbing any old backpack (my husband's) I can find at home.   I realized that with the big Kelty I could fit everything, but it was too complicated to get in and out of so I just wouldn't use it and the regular backpacks end up being way too small so then I have to have several other bags with me to fit the tripod and umbrella.
With the Paso Robles Festival of Arts quick draw event coming up I'm trying to get more organized so I went out to get a new backpack and I wanted to share what I found, because so far I'm really happy with the size and ease of use of this backpack.  

Digi Hauler Daypack can easily hold both my 9x11 OpenboxM easel+panelholder, as well as my tripod and umbrella in the main compartment.   It's very easy to open and there's no flap going over the top (in my laymen's terms?!).   The tripod and umbrella sticks out at the top, but I can tie them both together with a bungee cord and attach them to the hook/handle on top to hold them more securely.  It doesn't have as many pockets as other backpacks might have, but there's a large flat pocket to hold panels in the back, my brushes and Viva paper towels go in the main compartment with my brushcleaner and I use a sidepocket for gloves and plastic trashbags and a pocket up front holds my handy mirror/croptool and value reader the Artist's MVP designed by Peggy Kroll Roberts, a sketch book and pencils etc.   I think I could even fit a smaller wet canvas panel holder in the main space, although I have yet to try that.

All in all a great backpack that holds a lot and is easy to use.  You can follow the link at the top to get more specifications and price!

Happy Painting!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It's official - Paso Robles Art Festival = Painting larger!

Sunny Bug
Oil on linen on canvasboard

This past year I've been painting a lot of little 6x6s, like the one above and it has been a great way to finish a painting in one sitting so to speak, to learn and move on.

I'm very excited however, to announce that I will be painting bigger sized paintings in the near future! It was one of my goals for this year and I'm so happy to have been invited to participate in the  

The Quick-Draw takes place on May 25th, and I will also have a few paintings included in the Plein Air Masters Exhibit at Studios on the Park from May 23rd to June 30th.  This will be my first plein air event ever...woohoo!...a little nerve wrecking:), but mostly...

It's a thrill to have this opportunity to paint in the company of some extremely talented and experienced artists whose work I've admired for years, and it's all thanks to my good friend Daggi Wallace!!  Daggi is an amazing pastel artist and on a painting trip up north last month she introduced me to Anne Laddon at Studios on the park in Paso Robles.
Anne is the founder of Studios on the Park and when she saw my work, she invited me to be part of the quick draw, not realizing it would be my first...  I'm excited to be her wild card!

In preparation I'm now moving from 6x6s to 12x12s... and here's my first attempt at finishing a painting that size within 2 hours. 
This was painted in the afternoon at Broad Beach with Daggi last week. 
 Afternoon Stroll
Oil on Linen on canvas panel

 I'm happy to say I did finish it within 2 hours, except for the sea-gull which I added later.
I'll keep you posted as to my progress.

Happy Painting!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dancing Blooms

Oil on  Canvasboard

I went to paint at King Gilette's Ranch today with Pam and Barbara, and the last of the blossoms in the pink and white trees were hanging on for dear life as the wind blew off and on around us.

I'm working really hard on integrating the concept that:
 "I'm not just painting what I see, but my impression of what I see" 
and hopefully(:-) it's also an improved version of what is actually there, not just a copy. 
Sound weird? 
  I've spent a lot of time trying to capture the right colors, getting the drawing right etc. as I'm working on improving my technical skills and in doing that it's easy to forget that as an artist I have the artistic license and permission to paint my version of what is there, that's sort of the point I believe.  I can exaggerate what it is that drew me in, by cropping things so that I create a division of space on the canvas that I find interesting, playing up colors so that they sing in combination with other colors or add abstraction by focusing on shapes/patterns and lines .   My painting is my interpretation of life around me and I want to continue creating paintings that simplify and cut to the essence of what I see and the story they tell without spelling everything out..

It's a journey and today was one step further on that road...:-)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Happy Tail

Oil on hardboard

This was painted on a surface that I'm really enjoying.   A very slick gessoed hardboard that takes the paint differently than both canvas and regular gessoboard.  It let's me push the paint around, which is a lot of fun.   And of course I love an opportunity to paint a back-lit scene, this one of our happy mutt Theo!