Saturday, May 30, 2015

Botanical Garden - 2

I had to try my hand at painting this iris before summer begins.  This was a gorgeous one I found at the botanical garden a few days ago.  Just as the sun was peaking out from behind a storm cloud,  it lit up the bloom.  A beautiful sight.

I had high hopes I'd paint three paintings today (not sure what I was thinking).  This is the only one I could manage to do...oh well, there's always tomorrow!

Purple Iris, 12x9, soft pastel

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Behind the Guest House

Another stab at plein air painting yesterday.  My friend Tina and I are both a bit shy about painting in public...mainly because we're new at plein air...and fairly new at painting landscapes...and actually (for me anyway) only a year into using soft pastels. Together, we build each other's confidence and laugh a lot in the process.  Every outing is an adventure and there's always something we forget to bring.  This time for me it was bug spray.

We drove around for awhile and found a gorgeous property along the Boise River.  The Boise River is much like the Snake River with many twists, turns and in shallow areas branches off on occasion.  With permission from the landowner we painted along one of the branches behind his guest house.  It was an absolutely picture perfect day (at least for a few hours) before a late spring thunderstorm rolled through.  By that time though, we had packed up our gear and were enjoying a scrumptious lunch at a favorite local cafe.

Behind the Guest House, 10x8, pastel

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Rainy Day Irises

Even though it was a rainy day at the Botanical Garden, the irises were spectacular!  I love how the background grasses were lit up on this particular day.  They really accentuating the purple blooms.

Rainy Day Irises - Botanical Garden #2, 11x9, pastel

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Early Morning Hollyhocks

Today is a painting of hollyhocks taken last summer while I was walking during the early morning hours in Sister Bay, Wi.  It was a memorable trip attending the Door Co. Plein Air Festival where I met many new friends. Good memories!

Sister Bay Hollyhocks, 12x9, pastel

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Botanical Garden -1

Last week I attended my very first plein air "paint out" with the Plein Air Painters of Idaho aka PAPI along with my friend Tina.   I should say we attempted to paint out....but mostly, we got soaking wet and cold each day...freezing cold.   Since we are both pastelist we didn't paint much but took quite a few reference photos and attended a short workshop.  This is my one and only painting for that event.  I was going to "finish it" when I got home but decided to leave it "as is" so I can consider it a 100% plein air painting...a benchmark for future plein air paintings.

Botanical Garden - 1, 10x8, pastel on Wallis

Oh yes....I didn't mention that I also broke my camera because of all the rain (guess I need a waterproof one).   And then THIS happened...(note to self...don't take your very best pastels outside to paint).  It was a very expensive plein air event for me...but fun anyway!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hyde Park - 13th Street Pub & Grill

A favorite place to go to lunch with friends...Hyde Park 13th St. Pub & Grill
2.5' x 4', acrylic on canvas

Nothing feels better than to finish a challenging painting that became a "beast" along the way but was ultimately tamed.  Three weeks later I can now declare it finished!!  This was the case with Hyde Park.  A 2.5' x 4' triptych acrylic painting on canvas. 

Having  focused for the past year on learning to paint with soft pastels, I was far FAR outside my comfort zone switching to acrylic paints...especially for a painting this large.  Picking up paint brushes and struggling through this painting wasn't easy.  However, it was a labor of love for a dear friend.  In the long run it was well worth the agony it bestowed upon me (even though I will always wish it was just a little bit better).  At least it's finished!  Yay!!  I'll post a couple progress shots.  Then I'm going to enjoy a beer and salsa on the back patio.  Ahhhh, life is good! 

The first step was to complete the sketch...then outline it with a fine tip marker.

This stage was a mono-toned under painting.

The finished piece: