oil 10x8 inches magnify/purchase The Pumpkin Patch in Yucaipa is a big, big place with a huge variety of pumpkins. Pumpkins there come in white, gray, dark green, yellow green and of course various oranges. I liked this clean beautiful orange against the dark corner of the wagon. Then there was the backlighting!!! I love a backlit scene. It can be a bit tricky, but I think I got the feel of the light. This one took me about three hours. Left by five, got stuck in traffic so I nibbled on an apple. What a great day, and well worth the drive.
I like this iPhone pic the best.
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase All the apples are in and the cider mill is cranking away. I could smell the juice as I painted this at Snowline Orchard yesterday. Then I bought some Pink Lady apples and hot mini donuts. Yum. after a break I headed down to The Pumpkin Patch on Live Oak Canyon road to paint pumpkins.
Here's my subject and my easel. You can see my subject is not directly beyond my easel. I'll share this very practical tip I learned from Kim English: To get your panel in the shade, hold your hand up in front of you vertically. Turn your hand until it is in shade. That's the way to place your easel. Why didn't I think of that? Duh. Sometimes it means your subject is way off to one side from you, which it was in this case. At first I thought that might feel awkward, turning my head so much, but really once I start painting I don't even notice. Easier on the eyes, and better for getting values right.
oil 10x8 inches magnify/purchase Artwork was coming down from the walls as I furiously tried to finish this piece. I got the objects in and finished the rest at home the next day. Turquoise is such a great color. Might have to paint this little pitcher again sometime.
oil 12x9 inches magnify/purchase Painters need friends who have fruit trees. Thanks, Chris Sayers for bringing fruit with stems and leaves. Makes for much more interesting paintings. You might have noticed the drapery shown in my last post was gray. I've found that by using gray drapery I can lean the color in my painting toward warm or cool, blue or violet, etc. depending on what will complement my subject. So here I leaned toward violet which I like with both the yellows and greens. If you love painting sunflowers, here's a tip I've learned about getting that deep transparent center color. I use transparent red oxide adding ultramarine blue for the really dark parts. Gives you a rich, warm and transparent dark. Then use some of that TRO in the shadow areas of petals, and maybe mixed into the greens a bit here and there for unity. There's one more sunflower painting coming up. I paint them 'till they hang down their heads and die. Reminds me of Tom Dooley. Anybody else remember that song?
Red Gate 12x9 inches magnify/purchase Fancy Firehouse 8x10 inches magnify/purchase
On this trip to Balboa in August we hung out around Marine Ave. Coming out of the Debra Huse gallery this little red gate just next door caught my eye. The dappled light, bright color and can you see the wreath? The second painting is my afternoon effort. Can you believe this is part of the firehouse? Everything is quaint on the island, even the fire station.
oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase This one is from August when Amy's Farm harvested their amazing tomatoes. I have a small backlog of paintings to post from August and September, plus some commissions to share, so I've got some catching up to do. Art In The Park Newport Beach last Saturday was a great day! A perfect venue and friendly crowd. Thank you to all who visited my booth and also to those who purchased my work.
On days three and four we went out to two different very old ranches nearby. The owners were very gracious and welcoming. I felt relieved knowing our "models" would not move in ten minutes! Kim did a couple of demonstrations then we had lots of time and lots of possible subjects. Still, the goal was to get the subject in quickly and simply.
Above, Kim's pre-mixed palette. He uses some bold color.
Above, Pam painting and my attempt to paint Pam painting! The light went in and with the clouds all morning, changing about every five minutes.
I can't resist a truck. I really enjoyed painting this scene. May be a larger studio painting in the future.
Above, Day 4. Thanks to Shar for this photo of me painting yet another truck. While I was out there, a rainstorm came over. Everybody packed up and headed inside a barn. The previous day I had packed up quick (and wiped off my painting) for a downpour that only lasted a few minutes. So I decided to ride this one out. If i'm warm enough the rain doesn't bother me, but the paint does get a little pasty with water mixed in. Feels like painting with frosting. Sure enough, I think the rain was done in about 20 minutes.
Above, my last painting. Charlie, the ranch owner had taken me on a little tour inside his house to see his collection of folk art from around the world. He sat at his kitchen table listening to classical music, reading the newspaper and watching us through the windows. He showed me a long add-on room he called the greenhouse, where we were invited to paint inside. I noticed the red high chair, wood stove and window above with the light coming in. It was his great-granddaughter's high chair that he intends to fix up for her. I moved a few things around with his permission, and painted the scene. The clouds came over so I lost the light pattern, but I have a good photo for a studio painting later. As I finished, I decided I couldn't take a painting of Charlie's granddaughter's highchair home to California with me. He should have it. So I left it on his windowsill to dry, and told him it's a thank-you gift for welcoming us to his ranch. That felt like a really good way to end a workshop!
I completed three studies that day, one of which is not worthy of posting. Kim challenged me to paint four, so I got close to the goal.
SUMMARY AND ADVICE: I loved the workshop. Key word: WORK. Kim is great at individualized instruction. His sense of humor kept things from getting too intense. We painted from 9-4 every day with an hour break for lunch. If you are considering a workshop with Kim, here's my advice: Give yourself a lot of experience with your plein air equipment and your paints before you go. You'll get more out of it if those two things are very familiar to you. For oils, bring smooth painting surfaces to work on: smooth acrylic primed panels like Raymar, or Gessobord, or oil primed linen. If you bring "scratchy" canvas, you'll be fighting to get the paint on the surface, and fighting to wipe it off. There's no time for fighting with five minute poses. If the workshop includes figures, practice drawing small figures so you're familiar with basic proportions before you go. Kim's workshop was just what I needed. I recommend it!
I hope this review has been helpful.
I kind of don't know where to begin in reviewing Kim's workshop. It was an amazing experience in so many ways. Being at Red Rock Ranch was for me, like stepping into a cowboy movie. The scenery in that area of Colorado exceeded my expectations by a long shot. Marty Brens (Art In The Aspens) did a fabulous job of planning and welcoming us. The food, prepared by two chefs, three meals a day was fabulous, and we all had a blast getting to know one another while we kicked back in the evenings. Kim's instruction was just what I needed. It was a "boot camp" as described by others. He worked us hard with short poses to wipe off and do again and again. We had two days of painting the model in the landscape, and two days of landscape. In this post I'll just cover the first two days. If you're thinking about taking a workshop with Kim, see my next post for my personal advice on how to prepare and materials.
Kim's palette, many more colors than my limited palette, but he allowed us to use whatever colors we chose. I appreciated that. He pre-mixes the colors he sees in his subject; figure and landscape. This was a big revelation to me. So practical for plein air painting.
Above,Kim's first few demos. Get the GESTURE of the figure in 5 minutes with some of the landscape. The last shot may have been a 10 minute pose.
Above, my first few attempts. FIVE MINUTE poses. I was using it up just getting the gesture with light and shadow, trying to get proportions right, no time for landscape! Must...paint...faster!
Kim wanted us to wipe off our quick sketches. I kept them so I could see progress and have something to post. In the afternoon my fatigue showed. The 8,000 foot elevation wasn't helping!!! So I did start wiping off, but kept these two panels above. Each pose was either 10 or 20 min. I don't remember. End of first day! Whew!
2nd day. Kim's demos above. Get the gesture. Mass in shapes, no "drawing".
My attempts. 10 minute poses. I'm painting a bit larger, but struggling to have time to get any landscape in. I was excited, not frustrated. I knew this kind of thing was just what I needed.
Afternoon 2nd day, we moved to a large porch. I did other quick studies in addition to this one. Kim did a great job of getting to each student and giving them instruction for their level of experience. At this point he really pushed me to paint simply and fast, challenging me to get the entire scene, 9x12 in 20 minutes. I let loose and painted like a crazy woman.
End of 2nd day. And what's the point of all this fast painting? It forces simplicity, efficiency and economy of brush strokes. Quite practical in changing outdoor light, especially if your colors are pre-mixed!
Next post will be days 3 and 4, with summary and advice.
I apologize that the text and pictures are a bit jumbled. Not intentional! It's a problem I have with Blogger that I've not figured out yet.
oil, 12x9 inches magnify As promised, here's the second portrait from the live model, drawn more carefully than the previous. Bill is a friend's brother who although he'd never modeled before, did a fine job. The hat was a lot of fun, and I especially liked the shadow it cast on his forehead and hair. I'm back from Colorado and excited to tell you about the Kim English workshop. I've got to organize my photos first. Meanwhile, Art In The Park is this Saturday the 11th in Newport Beach. If you're in So Cal, come on out and say hi!
oil 12x9 magnify The last painting from my painting frenzy day. Painted from the live model. For most of my figure painting I have used the Zorn palette: white, black, yellow ochre and cad red. I didn't have those with me, so I used my usual primaries: ultramarine blue, cad red light, cad yellow light and white. I was happy with my skin tones, but not with my drawing. Her features are a bit askew. I don't really enjoy drawing. Does anyone else feel like that or is it just me? I draw just enough to be able to paint an accurate painting. This time, not accurate enough! Time to work on that, I decided. So I ordered the book below from Amazon. Here's just one page of my sketchbook showing some of the exercises from the book.
Scott's book is for beginners and the experienced as well. In it he teaches basic principles useful for drawing any subject. I recommend it. Now I know one book will not fix my drawing weaknesses, but practice will! My next portrait showed a lot of improvement. That's coming up in the next post. So how do YOU feel about drawing?
IN OTHER NEWS: Southern Californians, mark your calendars! ART IN THE PARK NEWPORT BEACH is coming up on Saturday, October 11th. 10-4 on the Civic Green, 100 Civic Center Dr. Over 100 artists including ME! It will be my first year at this event, so I'm really excited! I hope to see you there.
AND MORE NEWS! Tomorrow morning I'm headed off to a workshop in Colorado given by Kim English. Waaaahhh HOOOO! Visiting family too, so I won't be posting for a couple of weeks.
oil 12x12 inches magnify/purchase I guess I'd never really seen heirloom tomatoes. The colors were so amaaazing! To me they were as beautiful as flowers, but in a tomatoey way. I painted larger than usual (12x12) to have room for all those color shifts. A few days later their vine ripe juiciness became the most luscious tomato soup. They practically peeled themselves and when I cut into them the color on the outside was inside too. I used a bit of diced onion sauteed in butter. Cooked the 'maters with not too much water, and some fresh basil and oregano. Then a roux to thicken and sugar to taste. Who says you can't talk cooking on an art blog. Soup is an art! Right?
oil 9x12 inches magnify One day back in August I took advantage of an overcast morning and headed down the road to Amy's Farm, one of my favorite painting spots. I try to stick with how the scene looked when I started, but the sun came out and added interest to that grain bin. I know it's risky to "chase the light", but I couldn't resist. I'm pleased with the result.
At Amy's farm they sell all kinds of organically grown veggies. They had just harvested the most gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. I bought a big bag full and was home by noon. They looked so beautiful on my kitchen counter, their rich color just sucked me in and pulled me into my studio to paint. Finished around dinner time, I ate something quick and headed off to my paint/talk/laugh group. We had a model that night. It was a crazy wonderful day of painting. Plein air, still life and portrait all in one day. Not planned at all! Here they are lined up against my backyard fence.
I'll post the tomatoes and portrait in the next two posts.
Here are some pictures from the Associated Artists Show at Victoria Gardens last weekend. Thank you to Associated Artists for the oversized display area. Perfect!
My painting, Sunflowers and Eucalyptus won First Place in Oils. That was REALLY exciting!
I painted like a crazy woman and enjoyed talking with so many very interested on-lookers. One sweet lady, Mimi, came back on Saturday morning and stayed through to the completion of the painting; about 6 hours! Here are some progress shots.
And last, but not least, here are some of my biggest little fans. Four of my six grandchildren are pictured. Little Elijah is only 21 months. Doesn't he look happy?
I'll post the finished paintings for sale at a later date. What a great weekend it was! Thank you, Associated Artists for all your hard work. Thank you to my daughter, Shelly and friend Linda for the photos.