Sunday, September 25, 2011

This painting I started during the "The Great Petaluma Paint Out" and finished on Monday for a homework assignment. The Petaluma Mill has always been one of my favorite painting subjects.

This painting was done of Petaluma two weeks ago of my favorite French Bistro.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I finished this in time for my class tomorrow. I really had fun painting this way. Much more sculptural.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Even the cows were on strike today. This morning driving to the studio it rained the umpteenth time. The cows had given up and were sitting in huddled groups in the wet fields. Though the day started wet and cold, my studio time flew by. I am working on an assignment due Monday for grad school and picked a cityscape. In this painting, I am experimenting with a palette knife and am working super thick. The results are exciting but defiantly a longer process. This is the first stage from last week. Tomorrow I will post the finished piece.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

just finished adding the last touches to this tractor painting after receiving some critiquing from my professors.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I was starting to wonder if I was still a "plein air" painter. Between the uncooperative weather and my homework from the academy, I have not painted outside in months. Then there is the winter intersession between semesters and somehow my painting slowed to a halt. This is a scary place to be in since when I stop, I start fearing that everything I know will slip away and disappear.
Today the sun rose and the sky was clear. There were no more excuses so I set off to my favorite stomping grounds, Bill's collection of tractors. I have to admit it was a rocky start. My studio is about a twelve minute drive from my home. I went there, gathered my supplies and headed off forgetting several tubes of important colors.
When setting up, I almost used the missing colors as an excuse to escape back to my studio but told myself to hang in there. I definitely felt awkward in the beginning. One rule about painting "plein air" is that the canvas and palette need to be in shade so the colors remain rich when mixing. Before painting at the academy, I would turn my easel any which way to claim that shade, sometimes painting by looking at subjects over my shoulder. Now, with three semesters of painting looking straight on, I could no longer paint the old way. Time to buy an umbrella.
Once I accepted I had to paint in light and I was missing red, the rest of the day was great. I was reminded that "yes" I am a plein air painter! When I am out I get to see and experience so many amazing moments. Today it was the thousands of singing Starlings that were adorning the sparse winter branches. They would sing so loud and then there would be silence. I finally stopped to watch them and discovered the silent periods were them flying into the blue sky in a huge synchronized black clouds, then swooping over the fields to return to the bare trees to sing again.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Another portrait from this last semester of one of my teachers.

Yesterday was an amazing day! After two weeks of winter break, I finally managed to get myself back into the studio. This painting was the last homework assignment I did for my portrait class. We had a class critique and I was given several suggestions for improvement. Yesterday I managed to make those changes and feel like the painting is almost complete. Sometimes it is so hard to make myself drive out to the studio.But when I drive out there I am transformed. The spring is my favorite time of year with the emerald fields. My drive out there includes rolling hills full of grazing Holsteins and sheep. Once I get to the studio it is almost impossible to leave. I kept telling myself "only ten more minutes" but the hours slide by. When I finally walked out the door, I was met by the most beautiful sunset. My studio sits on a hill overlooking a valley towards the Sonoma Mountains. There were low rain clouds sitting on the hillsides glowing pink from the rays of the setting sun. The air was cold and clean.