Tampa & Braemore #2

Plein Air #23 / 6.28.17 / 10×8 acrylic / Tampa & Braemore #2, Porter Ranch, CA / “View To the Left”

With temperatures in the 90s lately, this location got points for shade. With all the trees, there are only two directions to look in: north or south. This looks south.

Three months ago when last we were here, I painted the closer house and palms that are on top of the hill just out of sight on the right. The hills were really green then, but there were far fewer leaves and you could see the Limekiln path below. Now the canyon is full of nothing but fluffy trees for as far as you can see.

Working on figuring out how to differentiate all the greens.

Orcutt Ranch #4

Plein Air #22 / 6.21.17 / 10×8 acrylic
Orcutt Ranch #4, Chatsworth, CA
“Bridge, Palms, and Path”

Hey, two bridges in a row, this one deep in the shade. And not… the light kept coming and going. I could have picked the much simpler view behind me, but the shapes in this scene were much more interesting. I have learned that lots of lights and darks tend to confuse me, but this time I made an effort to pick out where I specifically wanted the lights. I decided up front that I didn’t care how flat it looked, as long as I didn’t let it get away from me.

It was a hot morning, so we didn’t stay as long, and I failed to get to the bottom third of the painting. Went home and worked on it rather blindly (my photos were horrible). I simplified the complicated stone wall area and tried to keep the same “scribbly” feel. Not sure the two portions match, but I still rather like it.

I really think I’m all over the board. Nothing looks or feels the same from week to week.

Van Gogh Park #2

Plein Air #21 / 6.7.17 / 10×8 acrylic
Van Gogh Park #2, Granada Hills, CA
“Bridge and Eucalyptus”

So, we went back at the little park where plein air started for me five months ago in January. In general, I think I’ve improved over the past 20 plein air outings… with caveats, of course. Other than the hollyhock, I have been discontented with my output for the past month or so, leading to a few doubts, here and there, about carrying on. Trying to ignore them. They say it’s darkest before the dawn…hoping there’s a breakthrough coming!

(Have you heard? Artists are never happy!)

I wasn’t at all thrilled with this one when I left the park, but I took it home and put a lot more darks into it, making it look a lot better. If I had done my mini notan when I sketched it out, I may not have forgotten where the darks should go .


Jane’s Backyard

Plein Air #20 / 5.31.17 / 8×10 acrylic
Jane’s Backyard, Northridge, CA
“Backyard Hollyhock”

This week we met in Jane’s backyard. All three of us were enamored with the lone hollyhock she had in a pot. There were definitely more pots than hollyhocks, but Jane painted a slew of potted hollyhocks in front of a fence. Carol painted the flowers only. I painted the pots.

I like this design and I hope to finish this one.

Sandpoint, Idaho

My friend Jeanne and I went to Sandpoint, Idaho to visit with her new grandson. Sandpoint sits on Lake Pend Oreille (“Lake Ponderay”) in the northern panhandle of Idaho, about 50 miles south of the border of Canada. Before this trip, I had only traveled through a tiny corner of Idaho when I was 14. The weather was perfect.

So where is either painting I started there? Well, tsk! I wiped one completely before I left the little beach because my composition was totally.not.working. The other got barely past the drawing stage because the light wasn’t cooperating.  I could only catch the beautiful lilacs in the sun with a camera!

With nothing to show for the effort, I packed up and carried my paint gear back home.

On the other hand, I now know that my minimum paint setup will pass TSA inspection in my carry-on. (That is, after they swab both bags for explosives on the first leg through LAX.) I also took the lightweight easel in its carry bag, and no one questioned me about my “third carry-on item.”