Tuesday, May 31, 2011

more from rehoboth and an aha!



More scenes from Gordon's Pond, and, below, from around Silver Lake, Rehoboth.


The last day of the plein air competition, at Shelby's, I drew a bouquet of blowsy roses, and yesterday, in between baking, setting up for a bbq, and watching the Star Trek marathon on SciFi, I kept dabbing away at it, adding a wash then putting it aside; adding another ... This is not my usual method--which is a kind of mad rush--and I wondered why I was being so circumspect. Not that it's a bad idea for me to be more deliberate, but I was feeling stymied, uncertain.
Then I realized that the reason I've been painting so little and struggling so much is that somewhere along the way lately I have gone back to being too attached to results. 
 Everyone has goals when they paint, and, from the beginning, one of mine was, and has been, to privilege the process, not the outcome. Putting the paint on the paper, seeing what it will do, that excitement of discovery IS the point, not the painting that results: or at least that's the state of mind I strive for.
Blogging--making paintings to put out there and seeing other people's paintings and processes has been a tremendous help in getting there. And now two of my best friends have been delving into watercolor and their enjoyment and experimentation has made me realize what I am currently lacking.
So it's back to square one, if I can get there!
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Friday, May 27, 2011


WWII gun tower, Gordon's Pond

Last weekend I participated in a plein air painting event in Rehoboth, Delaware, with my friend Shelby. There were 30 painters: 26 oil painters and 4 watercolorists. At the show Sunday, oil painters took the three ribbons, as well as two of the three honorable mentions: the third went to Shelby for a beautifully simple small painting of untouched washes of Gordon's Pond.
I liked my two submissions--which I forgot to photograph!--a small marsh painting and a larger one of rooftops; they'll be on display in Rehoboth for a month.
The weather mostly held out for us--though we got a soaking Friday afternoon--and we met some nice people and wonderful artists, including Shelby Keefe. of Milwaukee, who won 1st place.

Gordon's Pond

Shelby's street, Lewes, DE

My cat, Smilla.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

off to Rehoboth

Loosening myself up with some of the multitude of irises I have this year: best year ever. For next spring I'll have to plant some white and yellow ones too.
Tomorrow I go to Rehoboth for the first of two plein air competitions I'm participating in the summer. I'm so busy worrying about the weather, which has been gray, windy, and rainy, that I can't stress about my painting!
The event's supposed to go off, rain or shine, though I'm not quite sure how that's supposed to work.I may come home having learned a lot about gray.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

more gulls

Here's one that I'll definitely have to paint again--and faster: the lines in the water that are supposed to be ripples (!) are too hard-edged, defined. Also, I think I have to intensify the reflected color on the gulls themselves.
It's weird to me that my mind hampers me from painting things it knows to be white in other colors! Perhaps if I did one of those things they recommend to break the mind's hold on your perceptions, like turning the paper upside-down? Or maybe I should just tell my mind to butt out.
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

the painting loft

Have you visited the Painting Loft? I painted this from a reference photo posted there. I have tried magnolias many times ... I just love the overlapping, cupping petals, and of course the color.
The dark background caused me some frustration. I have a hard enough time with darks,but this paper--Winsor & Newton--was most uncooperative: the paint just kept being absorbed, wash after wash, leaving little white pinpricks and a dull surface.
I took what W&N paper I had left straight out to the trash!
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Way too much fussing with the reflections in the water ... I wish I had just painted it all in go and then left it: which is what I'll do next time. I am pleaseed with the grays in their wings though, considering how I am usually unable to make gray! This gray (I know Robin will want to know) was made with cobalt blue, aureolin, carmine.
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Saturday, May 07, 2011

white egret


I've been wanting to try painting birds, especially shorebirds, for some time.
This first attempt was helped greatly by my teacher, Marie Natale, who has to keep telling me to go darker!
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