Friday, February 27, 2009

Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters

For now, I am the moderator of another blog---for my plein  air group. Hopefully, there will be a lot of contributions!
Just the first post is on it so far!
NiagaraFrontierPAP is the website for the umbrella organization.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Florida Spring

Planning on spending the day painting at Merritt Island, we were waylaid by strong winds off the ocean. Sharon Muldoon & I had previously driven through the park, looking for good sites to come back to. Obviously, I was not interested in anything involving the proximity of alligators. Disappointed that the gusts would have sent our supplies flying, we drove around & explored some more, seeing a total of 20 new birds for me, and one new Wood Duck for Sharon, a serious birder. She can identify various birds by sound, beaks, feeding habits and knows where to look for different species.  I appreciated the knowledge she shared, besides birds she pointed out armadillos & gators.  Now I have seen that a flock of roseate spoonbills can fill the sky with pink.

On the way back, she drove into a town park with a small lake for me to paint. Just past the central building, we pulled over & I captured the late day sun as it sparkled on a tiny pond with a few water lilies. While I painted, Sharon happily futzed with her fresh new ACER netbook, a portable computer that has potential to become a constant reference companion. It was still breezy inland, but the side of the car provided some protection & I sat in the sun to stay warm. A true plein air painting, I think this captures the brilliance of the light in Florida during the week that winter turned to Spring.

Interlude WS oil, 8x10 2009

I did not stop to paint here

I heard about the alligators in Florida & expected to see one-or two, but Sharon took me on a cruise through the Merritt Island National Seashore & this is where they live-and thrive. Of all the alligators we saw, the first was the only one moving towards me, but I like the second photo because of his/her reflection in the water. Needless to say, this was taken from the car window. I was not leaving the safety of my chariot for any alligator photos! These are "only" 8 or 9 feet long-just average size.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Study, rework & repaint

I am quite adamant that I finish a painting before starting new. That doesn't mean that every canvas is 'good'. The surface can be scraped out, repainted or stuck on a back shelf.

Last winter, I painted our front yard rhododendrum by sitting on the porch chair in the sun. The snow melted as I painted. Somehow, the picture did not seem finished to me, & this year, I studied the same branches pushed out of the snow. I realized the original greens were too light [or perhaps had darkened by the extra plant food last summer].  Challenged, I took the year old painting & glazed the leaves with rich greens & reworked the stems-this original 2008  plein air turned into a 2009 studio panel, but I like it a lot more!
Rhody in Snow oil 11x14 2008-9