On the second day of the plein air event, in the late morning, I set up by this scene. I painted for several hours, and then the light changed too much to go on. The next morning I got up at 5 am to catch the morning light in a different painting, and then in the late morning went back to work on this panting – and kept working on it as my temp gage climbed up to 104′, but stopped again when the sun moved behind me. And then the following day I did the same. So this is officially the first plein air painting I’ve worked on for three days in a row.
Green Door at Bay Point Park, oil on linen, 9×12″, available at Red Wing Arts
May 31, 2022 I drove over to Badlands National Park in South Dakota pretty early, so I could pull over for photos as often as I wanted on the way (which was pretty often) and still get to the badlands in time to look around.
The north half of the park had the bighorns and deer and the teeth-like rocky structures that the park is known for, and the south half of the park had bison and emense rolling rocky grasslands, cut away with rocky ravines.
I got to the park early enough to drive all the way through before heading over to the town of Interior (population 94) to check in at my airb&b sleeping arrangements, and still get back to see if the sunset would be visible through the clouds. It wasn’t, but it was magical anyways. Don’t these bighorns look beautiful in the last light?
I stayed overnight in a very rustic cabin without electricity or wifi, way off the beaten path. The kid (maybe 10 years old) who gave me directions from the main house out to the cabin was adorably professional.
I slept sparsely and restlessly, and got up at 4:30 am to get back to the park in time for the sunrise. I’d planned ahead with some much needed gas station coffee in the car.
I only saw a few humans out and about, mostly professional looking photographers. But the park was full of singing birds, some fluffy beautiful deer, molting bighorn sheep and bison…
I have about 500 photos – many of which I can’t wait to paint from!
Here’s a little behind the scenes story about Friends.
I really, really want to exhibit with the American Impressionist Society again, so I decided to put my best effort towards that. Since most of my recent work is tied up in shows, I decided to make a painting specifically for this exhibit – so that whether I get in or not, I’ll know I put my best effort forward.
I sorted through all my figurative source photos and chose one of some women at an outdoor art fair last summer. I spent several days painting it, and even did a “draw with Jessie” looking closely at the woman’s hand to sort out how to simplify it.
In the end, I set that first effort aside (I think I’ll let it dry and then crop it down to the part I really love…).
Then I started fresh. Before painting I lightened up the shadows in my source material and noted all the things I loved and hated about the first painting. And then, as I painted, for some reason she just really wanted to look right at you (she’s not doing that in the source photo).
Now this painting will sit in the “held” area of the studio waiting to see if it can show with my art heroes this year.
Anyways, that’s the journey this little painting has taken so far…
Photo: Opening, 9×12″, oil on canvas, Awarded “Best of Quarry” at the American Impressionist Society wet wall competition, Sold.
Last week I went to Omaha for the American Impressionist Society National Juried Exhibition (digital catalog). This was my first time attending an AIS exhibition. I had a piece accepted (below) – Yay! – and it was only a 3.5 hour drive, so I rented an air-b&b, signed up for all the paint-outs and lectures, and went for a 4-day whirlwind.
It was great seeing the exhibition in person. It’s probably the best exhibition I’ve seen. If you’re in the area, I can’t recommend visiting the exhibition enough.
I got to meet artists I’ve admired for some time, including my favorite contemporary artist, Carolyn Anderson. Just recently I had written to her and asked permission to use one of her paintings in a slideshow about brushwork for my painting class – and was giddy when she replied yes.
I also got to paint side by side with some of the best painters there are, which was thrilling. We painted at the Omaha zoo – starting an hour before it opened! Another day we painted at a private property that was one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. It was called the Quarry, and looked like Monet’s garden. I could have painted there for months…
On Saturday each AIS-member artist who attended could submit one small fresh painting from the week to show on the “wet wall”. It was a beautiful collection of work, including zoo paintings, a portait, a cityscape, and Quarry paintings. I submitted my lillypad painting from the Quarry.
Painting at the Quarry, and then putting signature and final touches on in the gallery parking lot. This is where I should have grabbed my real camera for a real photo… Note for the future. 🙂
I am over the moon to report that Juror of awards CW Mundy, awarded my painting (above) one of the top wet-wall awards: “Best of Quarry”! It was a purchase award, and the painting is now in the private collection of the owners of the Quarry – how neat is that? There were so many other wonderful things over the week, getting to be in Joslyn Museum after hours with AIS, lovely lunch and dinner, getting to see old friends and meeting new friends… I feel so inspired.
Thanks for your interest in my art, and have a great rest of your week!
Just finished a painting that I started as a demo for the latest class. We’ve been trying out some different color mixing techniques, and will keep going with that. If you’d like to join us for the next color mixing experiment, join the painting class.
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