Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring Greens from a Three Sisters Bridge

On May 5 I published my new portrait, with an in-progress painting on my easel. Here is that finished painting which accurately portrays my experience that day---EXCEPT---there is no roar of water hammering rocks & racing downhill. It doesn't even LOOK like much noise here, but behind me, the water continues to cascade towards the big falls, and to my right all the water that is destined to go over the great Horseshoe is pounding boulders beyond the next little island.
So, dear viewer, when you see this painting please add your own sound track, as when I see it I definitely hear the tumultuous thunder of our water, all 50,000 cubic feet a second racing to the precipice.

Spring Rapids from the Second Bridge 10x20 oil, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Winter Projects

Painting outdoors is so different than indoors. As a plein air painter who likes to stay warm, I meet with Sharon & Peggy at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens in South Park as often as possible in the winter. On 3 consecutive Thursdays, I sat by the same giant cymbidium orchid bush to draw-in the Florida Everglades display. I originally planned to experiment with different colors of paper, but I am pleased to see how the same branch developed in the time I was there.

These orchids twist & turn as they grow to the light until the entire branch has a series of flowers facing the same direction. This is the branch I would love to have in a vase, they last for months, except they are pretty hard to find in a florist unless it is wedding season. By then, my own garden gives me its bounty.

Not able to purchase a single orchid branch, in February I bought a mini orchid plant which has been celebrating life in the kitchen. The tiny balls on the end of the spray slowly enlarge until one morning they pop open to a full size-mini-orchid flower of the deepest magenta. It's kind of miraculous.
[3] evolving orchids-12x15, pastel 2010

Spring at Three Sister's Islands

Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters met at Three Sisters Islands to paint yesterday & it was exhilarating! It's nice to be painting outside again with Sharon Fundalinski, Peggy Walker, Joan Shaw, Manning McCandlish and more! We were settled on each of the islands painting our own views. In the end, some of the same blue/gray/greens were in each artist's picture, but they were all completely different.

I finished this scene on location. As I dragged my tired self & painting equipment to the car, balancing this big wet picture, I was struck by flowers growing wild in dappled sunlight along the path to the parking lot. I pulled out my used brushes & palette and sketched the shadowed path on a small canvas with oils remaining from the first picture. Both new paintings will be posted soon, they are too wet to photograph.