Friday, June 26, 2009

The pleasures of weather

It seems like it has been a while since I posted, but I have finished 30 paintings this year-& four of them in just two intense days this month, by camping at Allegeny State Park with several NFPAP friends. This painting was completed on a scheduled paintout in late April. The view is in Sanborn looking out towards Lake Ontario. A lovely day, Spring greens were in the fields, buds were opening & birds were searching for nesting spaces. 

Preparing for painting, & recovering afterwards, takes more time than even I imagine, so it has been a while since I photographed my new work. Of course, the weather has been rainy or windy whenever I find the time-& when it was nice out, I painted! The best photographs of my artwork happens on the perfectly still days outdoors, with filtered light. I do miss the control of the studio I had before, umbrellas, strobes & a synch button, but I don't miss anything else about it.
On the Ridge at Lower Mountain Road, 10x20, oil, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Outdoors can become studio work

The angular trees & shallow water are two of my favorite painting subjects at Burchfield Art & Nature Center. I was the Niagara Frontier Plein Air Painters  host there last month, but was distracted by a variety of impending responsibilities when it came time to choose a subject. I knew that the open paths & misty morning distance would make great subjects, but they weren't fitting into my temporary  melancholia. I settled close to a big patch of daffs & drew until I became intrigued by this composition & started to paint it. However, the mood prevailed & I transported a dull unfinished plein air in the car while I ran errands & completed tasks. The next week, I reviewed the sad drying painting & pulled it onto my easel in the studio. Fresh eyes saw potential & I reworked the flowers, enlarging the petals, adding distance & additional flowers & stems until I was satisfied. It took a lot longer than I expected & nothing of the original plein air remains-except the memory.  It would have been easy to overwork it.
Our spring was pretty, that day was lovely, & these are the only daffodils still around. The moral of the story is that it isn't always easy to paint, even when I want to. Lucky me, this moody nonsense rarely happens.
Late Yellow Daffodils, oil 14x11 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

2010 calendar planning

UPS safely delivered a double-boxed cardboard order Saturday-the new empty calendar cases for 2010. Planning next year's calendar, I had finally decided to create a 12 month 'Niagara Falls' series, which is a bit harder than I thought, since I had already selected at least 4 Falls paintings-the best ones-for each of my previous four calendars. Keeping with my plan to feature only new work, I am boggled by a variety of selection  conditions. 
1), horizontal images work best with the calendar. 
2), who wants 12 pages of blue water? 
3), not every painting qualifies; I'd be the first to say that not every composition is up to a 30 day analysis by my public. 
4), all the images need to be finished & selected for layout by the end of this month!  
5), I was a cold weather chicken this winter & did not venture out much to paint the ice & snow mounds en plein aire at Niagara.
This painting will be one of the spring images, it was made on one of those sunny early Spring days when people come flocking to the walking paths to wish away winter. Still cold along the water, the buds had started on some bushes.
Dance on the Rapids oil, 11x14 2009