Friday, March 22, 2013

Plein air season begins with trip to Minto-Brown Island Park

S. Sedwick, A. Salness, me, J. Reimer, R. Tipton, C. Bergin, C. Marine, R. Armitage
My friend Randall David Tipton recently organized a plein air excursion to Minto-Brown Island Park near Salem, Oregon. It was a great kick-off to Oregon's plein air season. The weather cooperated, allowing us to paint a couple scenes in the morning and early afternoon before it got cold and drizzly again.  Although Celeste Bergin and I often paint together, sometimes at Kat Sowa's Studio 30, I'd never painted with Randall before and was excited to see him in action. It was a treat to meet artists, whom I'd only known and admired "on line" until that day including Carol Marine, Ruth Armitage, Jo Reimer, Annie Salness, and Sarah Sedwick! I hope we'll have many chances to paint together again in the future. Here are my two paintings from the day and those of some of the other artists. Click here to see Celeste's slideshow from the day.

A Calm Day In Early Spring/pastel/7x9
Early Spring in the Floodplain/pastel/9.5x11.5
Minto Brown Winter by Randall Tipton
Path by the Lake by Sarah Sedwick
Minto Brown Park by Celeste Bergin

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The quiet stillness of painting in the early morning

Beach Grass/pastel/9x7
To continue yesterday's theme of paths and trails, here are a couple paintings done en plein air during a visit to Long Beach, Washington, in January. We went there only because we had a Groupon, and I have to say that I'll go back if I get a chance as it was a pretty nifty place that had a kite museum, a huge bronze statue of a sturgeon, and a crab festival, just to mention a few attractions.

I got up early when it was very cold and frosty and went out on the boardwalk with some Prismacolors (pretty indestructible while traveling) and a tablet of Pastelmat. When I found a couple scenes I liked, I painted standing up as there was too much frost on the benches to sit down. The palette is unusual for me, as well as the subject matter. I had fun and really like the result! What do you
All Trails Lead to the Ocean/pastel/7/9
 Please remember that if you sign up to "Join this site" (become a Member) your name will be entered in periodic drawings. That means you'll get $$$ as credit toward purchase of painting(s).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Lavender Path/pastel/9.5x11
 There's something inherently attractive about paths, whether they're literal or figurative. In nature, there are man-make paths and animal trails. While hiking in wilderness areas it is courteous (and frequently the law) to stay on the path to protect vegetation and prevent erosion. Animals make paths to sources of food and water. Gardeners build paths to draw the eye to focal points or for practical reasons. In life we often refer to a career path, a path to fitness, or a spiritual path.

These three paintings are different takes of the same scene, a path at one of the lavender gardens that participates in the Oregon Lavender Festival.

Coral Path/pastel/9.5x11
The original painting, done en plein air, sold long ago but clever me took a photo of the original scene and I've repainted it many times, each time seeing something new.

What's your path? Are you on the main path, and if so do you try to look for something new each time you travel? Are you looking for a new path? Go for it! Have you taken a side trail? Woo hoo! There are loads of divergent paths...they can be fun. What about the path less traveled?

The Path of My Choosing/pastel/9.5x11
I am on a path of self-discovery, adventure and exploration. It's scary sometimes, but that's the way, uh, uh, I like it, uh, uh.