Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Plein air rain out success

Sometimes a painting chooses itself. A few fresh cut carnations sat in the studio for several weeks. After removing some spent stems & replacing the vase I realized there was a composition in front of me, similar to the April calendar picture [a few posts below]. The next day's plan to paint plein air was rained out so I was able to spend the day sketching & structuring the canvas; the foreground was nearly complete in a full day's studio work. Waiting until night to capture the reflections & complete the layout, I was able to mull over the differences in the two pictures, besides the obvious ones of shape & surface. The Primula was painted when the sun was down by 6, I had to wait for dark until after 9 to work on this one. Both flowers sat on my work table for a long time before they 'spoke' to me. It all goes back to 'paint what you know'.

Considering the daylight background, I could have used the leaf greens of outdoors for a very different painting, and someday I will. The most fun with this picture-the challenge to paint the glass vase & the black stones I use for stability.
Carnation Reflections, 24x12 oil, 2008

Frontier House, Lewiston NY

The yellow building is now known as The Chocolate House, while the larger one is the Frontier House, a classic 'Lincoln slept here' location. This was painted from the Keybank corner last week with the NFPAPainters. We started at Piper's Village Inn, and returned there for a wonderful lunch.... Jill Paolone & Brad Smith came to visit me painting twice-about 3 hours apart. We all thought it was almost finished during their first visit! 

 I marked locations of lamps and handrails in wet paint at the end of 7 hours on Center Street & went home. As the paint got a little stiffer, I was able to finish the lamp posts and rails in my studio.
Lewiston's Historic Frontier House oil 16x20, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Florida Room in South Park, Buffalo

My final indoor Thursday painting at Buffalo Botanical Gardens was right before Easter. We stop painting there during holidays because the crowds come for the seasonal shows. Then we work outside instead. Their new Florida installation room  features a lot of water, including waterfalls, ponds & fish. This lovely hosta-like plant was thriving in the stream at the entrance to the tunnel under the footbridge. It reached out of the dark with brilliant yellow darts.
PipeLily 9x12 pastel 2008

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Spring in Prospect Park-Niagara Falls

Unfinished, I have to share this bit of Springtime. Tulips, forsythia, fruit trees in bloom, buds & blossoms everywhere. Started yesterday, I laid in most of the colors & shapes you see before I lost the light & got frustrated. For the first time, I returned with a wet painting to the same site to finish it. It was still overcast, but bright and I was able to put in the bench & streetlight. It just needs to get a little skin on the whites so I can glaze the big white tree with a bit of yellow & punch up the white gloss of the globe. The whites were entirely too wet to do anything with yet. So much for plein air. At least the national definition is 85% complete on site. It won't take more than 5 minutes to glaze once the paint sets up. 
Spring in Prospect Park, oil 11x14 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Niagara Falls Paintings

Painting outdoors is definitely seasonal. Although I paint outdoors in the winter, the warm weather has a greater appeal. It's time to paint Niagara Falls and capture the Spring greens. I just hope I can still open all the colors in my traveling easel.