Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Aloha!

                                                                        Aloha!
                                                                      6x8, pastel

Day 30 of 30
The final day!  This 30 in 30 challenge has in fact been challenging (as they all are).  It's not easy to commit a full month to produce a painting each day especially when life events and household chores are calling your name.  But, it was well worth it.  The past month has been a blast.  I've painted in my studio, at Ste. Chapelle Winery, Redfish Lake and at Thousand Springs State Park.  It was all good.

For my final 30in30 painting I just had to paint this little RV.  I spotted it while we were driving down the interstate in Montana this summer.  It just says it all!!!   Thanks for reading my blog and taking this journey with me!   Until next time.....Aloha!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bygone Days

                                                                         Bygone Days
                                                                           6x8, pastel
Day 29 of 30
Today's painting is a nod to the past.  The vintage RVs we see on the road, in RV parks or parked along the way remind me of simpler times.  Plus...they're just so darn cute!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Little Buddy Too


Little Buddy Too
8x8, pastel
Day 28 of 30
It seemed only fitting to do another dog from the terrier family...which is often chosen as a companion to (or at least confused with) a West Highland Terrier.....the Scottish Terrier (aka Scottie).   Together, the Westie and Scottie were mascots for the Black and White Scotch Whisky Company.  I'm not sure this company is still in existence but I did come across a cool little pitcher in an antique store years ago.  Of course I had to purchase it since it had a Westie on it.  In any event, here's today's painting....number 28 of 30.  Only two more days in the challenge.  HURRAY!!!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Studio In The Trees


                                                                Studio In The Trees
                                                                      8x10, pastel

Day 27 of 30
Today was the last day of the Thousand Springs Festival and it was absolutely beautiful!  The weather couldn't have been better and the music and food were fantastic.  I was able to spend a little time strolling through a few of the booths today.  The warm sunny day was tempered with light cool breezes.   This particular vendor's tent stood out from some of the others because there were lots of multicolored scarves blowing in the breeze.  I really enjoyed visiting with fair goers as I painted this little scene.  It will always remind me of a perfect autumn day in Idaho.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Little Buddy


                                           Little Buddy      
                                            8x8, pastel

Day 26 of 30
A relatively simple painting...but from the heart.  Sure miss my two little guys.   

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sunset Fireworks

                    Sunset Fireworks
                              8x10, pastel

Day 25 of 30...
Ok....it was about time to have a real dud during this 30 in 30 challenge..and here it is!  Piddled away on this for an hour.  The sun was down and there was no light left.   There was really no saving this one so I'll chalk it up to too little sunlight too little time. 

Autumn At Thousand Springs

           Autumn At Thousand Springs
                           5x7, pastel
Day 25 of 30
It was a gorgeous morning to paint at a Thousand Springs near Hagerman Idaho.  The day was still cool (not like the 94 degree temperatures we had later in the afternoon).   Vendors were just beginning to arrive and set up their wares.  The festival this weekend should be fun...now we're off to paint the sunset. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Bessie

                                 
                                                                   BESSIE
                                                                 7x5, pastel

Day 24 of 30
Yes....alas I am behind a day.  This is painting number 23.  It isn't that I've been sluffing off or anything...just the contrary.  The past couple days Tina and I have been preparing for another plein air paint out in Hagerman Idaho...at Thousand Springs State Park.  It should be a fun filled three days of painting outdoors.  I expect to be all caught up on my 30in30 challenge and maybe even ahead of the game by Sunday.  We drove the RV over to Hagerman and after setting up, decided to paint...so here is Bessie.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Waiting for Snow

Waiting for Snow
9x6, pastel
Day 21 of 30
This is a quick practice piece based on a similar painting by Barbara Jaenicke who's work I so admire.  I thought I'd practice a "light touch" and limited palette.  This was the result.  I'm still wrestling with landscapes...and whether I should do them or leave it to the pros...but it was fun practice in any event.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Seattle Sunshine




Seattle Sunshine
10x8, pastel
Day 20 of 30
Only ten more days in the challenge...and I couldn't resist a little cityscape!  

I saw this scene as I was walking in downtown Seattle recently.  Actually, I was across a busy street and couldn't help but notice the vibrant sunlight hitting this little courtyard which was beyond the building's entry gates.  It was such an intimate little scene and was isolated from the noisy, hectic city life that was only steps away.  I crossed the street to get a better look and snap a few photos.  I'd love to live in downtown Seattle!  It's my favorite big city.  If I lived there I'd go to Pikes Place Market each morning and buy fresh flowers, Marketspice tea and food for the day then rush back to my little apartment (which of course would have an art studio in it)...and probably paint the rest of the day. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Beached

                             
                                                                            Beached
                                                                          9x6, pastel
Day19 of 30
Today's painting is from an early morning trip around the lake.  This little catamaran was tucked into a small cove just waiting for someone to come along and take her out.   I was so tempted!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Roughing It

                                                                       Roughing It
                                                                        6x8, pastel
Day 18 of 30
I love these small sized Airstream RVs.  They look like a huge soap bubble...reflecting absolutely everything around them.  I often snap a photo of them with a painting in mind.  Today was the day to try one out.  If I owned one of these puppies I'd turn it into my art-mobile and travel the country "roughing it" and painting wherever life took me.  Hmm, food for thought! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Shallow Waters


                                                                   Shallow Waters
                                                                       6x8, pastel
Day 17 of 30
Today's painting was a bit of a disappointment...I'm always wanting it to be more than it turns out to be.  Oh well...it's a peaceful little scene in any event.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Scars Can Be Beautiful

Scars Can Be Beautiful
9x12, pastel
Day 16 of 30
Painting number 17 is another landscape.  This one is from the Sawtooth Mountains near Stanley, Idaho. Several years ago there was a devastating forest fire in this area. Forest fires are a common occurrence in the West and unfortunately this year is no exception. It's been a very sobering summer with fires all around us. Smoke filled the valley air in Boise for weeks on end.

I felt so lucky while attending the plein air paint-out at Redfish Lake last week.  There was no smell of smoke...no troubling fires nearby.  But driving home I was reminded of fires past, where we still see the ravaged hillsides struggling to recover. Burned tree trunks stand atop the landscape like a week's stubble on a man's face.  Unfortunately we can't shave the hillside and expect new growth.  We have to be patient and wait for Mother Nature to take her time.  

I saw this section of the mountains aglow from the sunrise and pulled over to admire the early autumn colors of the new red/orange undergrowth.  Scarred deeply yes, but oh so very beautiful.  A sign that fall is coming and these beautiful hillsides are on the mend.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

MidWest Morning


Mid-West Morning
12x9, pastel
Day 15 of 30
Ah, half way through the 30 day challenge!  I'm happy to be ahead by one painting...this one marks my 16th painting this month.  

Today's painting is from a photo reference.  I took this photo in the early morning hours in Sister Bay, WI while visiting Door County.  It was a quiet peaceful morning.  This scene captured my attention because of the sunlight on the garage and of course the shadows across the driveway.  It reminded me of so many similar garages in the small Iowa town where I grew up.  When I was young, I loved sneaking out of the house in the early morning hours to walk around town.  I'm not sure what I was thinking...but then it was pretty safe to be out walking in the early hours.  It's my favorite time of day!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Evening Shadows

                
                                                                   Evening Shadows
                                                                        10x8, pastel

Day 14 of 30
While on Bainbridge Island earlier this summer I found this little terra cotta pot spilling over with geraniums.  The sun was just setting casting lacy shadows onto the pot.  A beautiful site!  I spent quite a bit of time today fiddling with the flowers struggling to get them right...then I reminded myself of the importance of the shadows...not necessarily the flowers.  The flowers were there for color...but the real story is told in the shadows. I was finally able to step back, relax and just let the painting dictate what it needed.  While it's not exactly how I imaged it would turn out...the more I look at it the more I like it.  The story of my life! 
    

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Redfish Lake Boat Dock 2


                                                      Redfish Lake Boat Dock 2
                                                          6x8, soft pastel
Day 13 of 30
I was asked to paint another boat dock painting...so here it is.   A tidbit of trivia, the boat dock was so severely damaged last winter that it had to be removed and rebuilt this spring.  I'm sure glad it was since it plays an integral role in summertime activities.  There is a gas pump station on the dock and daily shuttles back and forth across the lake carrying daytime and overnight hikers to trailheads on the other side...not to mention the kayak, paddle boat and marina sections of the dock.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Second Place!

My painting buddy Tina and I attended the Redfish Lake paint-out this week in hopes of creating  something worth displaying in the art show and perhaps sell a piece or two.  So we signed up, packed our bags, built up our courage, and headed to Redfish Lake near Stanley, Idaho.

We put together a small display area but didn't have anything to display right away.  Many of the other artists were much more experienced than we were so it was a little intimidating.  But hey, we were there to have fun! And fun we did have!

Then, little by little we painted and displayed each piece.  In the end we filled our display racks (despite Tina coming down with a cold) and sold half of what we produced.  We are thrilled to death!  And, best of all, we continued to build our confidence in painting in public.  This isn't always an easy thing to do.  Sometimes an artist isn't painting well....or sometimes he/she needs total concentration to work on or complete a painting. But, by the end of the week we both felt much more confident in mastering the art of simultaneous conversation while painting.

An added benefit was being awarded second place for "Six O'Clock Shadows".  I was thrilled by the unexpected honor.  Believe it or not it's my very first prize ribbon...and I mean EVER!  I feel like a kid who came in second place in a spelling bee.  Is that silly or what?

Oh, the mouse!  We tried everything to get rid of our little visitor.  We screamed and jumped on the bed (ok, that was me), Tina threw stuff at him, I stuffed the cracks in the door jam with foil and left the lights on all night, nothing worked!   He was determined to visit us night after night and make noise as he roamed around the two room cabin.  So, we eventually gave up...and just named him Herman.


The Point

The Point
10x8, pastel

Day 10 of 30
This is an early morning scene at Redfish Lake when the waters were very calm.  The Point is located near the lodge making it a convenient location to paint.  

The second painting of the day was on the beach where I found a willing model.  She had so much color going on I couldn't resist painting the scene!

Seize The Day
6x8, pastel

In fact,  I painted three paintings today which is a record for me.  The third isn't quite presentable yet.  All in all it was a good but exhausting day!

Six O'Clock Shadows



Six O'Clock Shadows
8x10, pastel

Day 11 of 30
I knew before the break of dawn that I wanted to get out on the boat docks early and paint the shadows of a group of kayaks.  I've seen them each day during this paint-out and because I like vibrant colors they've been calling to me.  There are many very good artists here and most are proficient at landscape painting.  Me???  I love landscapes...but you can only paint so many trees!

The second painting I squeezed in was finished just in time to submit in the show...it's called Parking Zone.

Parking Zone
7x5, pastel

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Little Redfish Lake

Little Redfish Lake
8x10, soft pastel

Day 9 of 30
Well, after my sleepless night in the cabin with a mouse I managed to live to paint again.   This is a partial view of the mountains bordering Little Redfish Lake near Stanley, ID.  I had planned to paint something else but instead went with my painting buddy Tina to this location.  It was a beautiful morning and the weather was perfect!  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Redfish Lake Boat Dock

Redfish Lake Boat Dock
6x8, soft pastel
Day 8 of 30 
We arrived at Redfish Lake a few hours early so my friend and I decided to get a bit of painting in before tonight's meeting. A very quick painting of the boat dock from the beach.   I'm not sure how this picture looks in daylight...we're now in our cabin and it's pretty dark in here! 

....correction....its now 12:30am and it's actually light in the cabin.   Why?  Because we have a mouse in here that we caught munching on a small bag of almonds earlier. We didn't actually catch him but scared him.  So now I'm a bit freaked out and have left my bedroom light on to deter him.  Last time we saw him he had scurried under the empty bed next to mine.  So of course the light is going to stay on all night.  I would go sleep outside in the car but I'm afraid of bears.

Ste. Chapelle Vineyard

Ste. Chapelle Vineyard
9x12, soft pastel
Day 7 of 30
Yesterday morning was a bit rainy...but several of us ventured out for a plein air paint-out at the Ste. Chapelle Winery south of Nampa, Idaho.  As we arrived the rain clouds were moving out, allowing the sun to shine for a brief period of time.  I was able to capture 75% of this painting before the rain clouds moved back in.  I finished it at home in the cozy warmth of my studio.  

So as you see, I continue my attempt to paint and improve with landscapes.  By now I've decided to embrace the colors I see (or, at least the colors I think I see) in lieu of realism.  Color just makes me happy!  I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Quietly Grazing

Quietly Grazing
8x10, soft pastel
Day 6 of 30
It was a peaceful morning as we drove along I84 in Montana this summer.  A light fog was lifting over the hillside and the cattle were quietly munching on their breakfast unaware (and uninterested) in the camera pointed in their direction.  

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Summer Color At The Botanical Garden

Summer Color At The Botanical Garden
7x7, soft pastel

Day 5 of 30
I don't know...this is sort of a landscape isn't it?  In any event, during my last trip to the Botanical Garden in Boise, Idaho I spotted this pretty little scene.  Outside the administrative office were these vibrant flowers just bursting with color.  These gorgeous flowers are cannas.  I love how the red and orange blossoms and the green foliage compliment the blue window.  Yummy color!  

Friday, September 4, 2015

Goin' With The Flow

                                                               Goin' With The Flow
                                                                    6x8, soft pastel
Day 4 of 30
My intention was to stick to landscapes this month...but I needed to repaint this little guy for a good friend.   Long story short, I misplaced the first one I painted months ago (guess I'm not as organized as I thought I was).  I do love the colors on this duck!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ditch Bank

                                 Ditch Bank
                              8x6, soft pastel

Day 3 of 30 - The fun thing about painting landscapes is that there is subject matter absolutely everywhere you look.  This small ditch bank is right down the street from my house.  I liked the composition...so, I painted it!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Morning Roadtrip


Morning Roadtrip
6x6, soft pastel



Day 2 of 30 and I'm feeling a bit more colorful.  I think it must be the right brain taking charge.  Or, maybe too much coffee!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Along The Way

Along The Way
6x6, soft pastels

Today kicks off the 30in30 painting challenge and I have to admit I wasn't quite prepared.  I arrived home last night from a three day workshop taught by my favorite landscape artist, Barbara Jaenicke.  She is an outstanding teacher and artist...I highly recommend her workshop!  

While the workshop far exceeded my expectations, dashed were my hopes of having all the reference materials lined up; papers selected and cut to size; pastels cleaned, organized and set up; and the studio tidy and ready for 30 days of painting.  This is SO ME!  Basically organized...but a bit unorganized too.  My right brain and left brain are constantly at war with each other.

Today's painting was from a photo taken as we drove down the highway this summer (in Utah I believe) at 75 mph.  Its amazing that any photos turned out at all...but this one had a beautifully simple composition and gorgeous roadside flowers along the shoulder.  I like this composition so much, I think I'm going to paint it again!!!