Thursday, April 17, 2014

Morning Tulips

Morning Tulips

When a friend brings an artist flowers there is no telling how much enjoyment they'll receive.    Most mornings I try to do a little yoga and stretch this body out, but this morning's stretch was quite different.   I stepped away from the yoga mat and away from the studio.  Time to set the easel up right in the dining room where the morning sun bathed the cad red and whites.  It was so delicious to look at, I didn't even stop to eat.  

My goal for this stretch was to mix colors without over mixing.  I did this by mixing a large pile of local color (red shown here) and warming some, lightening some, cooling and darkening.  Rather than drawing each flower, I looked for 
large shapes and within these shapes varied temp and value.  
I continued this process and then added contrasting color spots in selected 
areas looking for a vibrant living feel.  I like where I ended 
but also see things I would like to try a little different.   
Now that my yoga mornings have competition, 
I will have to start alternating stretch the body, 
stretch the creativity... and always look to stretch the soul.

Morning Tulips
8x8 Framed

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mt McKinley... Plein Air... The story.

What a glorious day.  
Driving south from Fairbanks, Mt McKinley in Denali National Park 
shared it's magnificent face for miles and miles.  After seeing it sneak it's peak from the distant and watching it grow as we got closer, the mountain 
beckoned to be painted.  
There was definitely a chill in the air but it was perfectly clear.  
I set up quickly and began.  
A couple from Virginia stopped to photograph the mountain too.  The couple worked together taking photos with a very large lens on a tripod. The woman took a break and and came by to see what I had painted.  Her comment was that I was capturing more of what it felt like being there than their camera could come close to.  That was a great compliment 
to me AND the best reason why we paint outdoors.

So I covered nearly all of the canvas except the bottom two corners.  There was something pleasing about the loose strokes of paint at the bottom 
but I wasn't completely convinced it was finished.  

Completed Plein Air

As an artist, one of the great things we can do is to bounce ideas and thoughts off each other,  BUT.. where I live, it's a little isolated.  I am an hour outside of Anchorage, Alaska and there are some wonderful artists here in Wasilla, but I wasn't scheduled to see them for some time... 
so once again I say, I love Facebook.   
I posted this piece online on my page and a plein air 
painters page and asked for input.  
It was grand.
Many opinions and great suggestions.  One that really intrigued me was to place saran wrap over the bottom and try some things on for size.  Brilliant I thought! 

darkened all the way

lighter values w/ contrasting temps 
hints of snow and lighter values

  So, here are three options, and three 
  pieces of saran wrap.  All dark on both 
  sides lost interest for me.  Keeping a bit 
  of  a lighter value was better.  But 
  adding warmth to one side and cooler
  snow to the other felt best to me.  

Thanks to the many talented artists 
and the use of the internet, I found a solution.
Now, to carry it through.

"In View of Greatness"
10x10 Framed

Interesting fact... 
Mt McKinley was named after President McKinley in the late 1800's but
Athabascan Indians have always referred to it as Denali, meaning the Great One. 
After many legal battles the park is now Denali National Park 
where Mt McKinley resides.
However you will commonly hear Alaskans refer to the mountain as 


plus actual shipping costs