It was a busy packed day. Taught a class to a great group of enthusiastic painters this morning then came home to work in the studio and get it organized. I stepped outside around 5 to see the moon rising into the misty clouds that moved in this afternoon. We are getting snow tonight.
I originally planned to paint my house after dark from the back yard. Then I saw the moon over my neighbors house and little lights in the street beyond. That was it! I set up my easel in the side yard next to my studio and went to it. It was still, calm, cold and quiet. Within minutes I was just so happy. It is so awesome to be outside painting in winter. It’s the quiet season. I could hear my neighbor the next block over letting their dog outside to run around the yard. He was dashing around in the cold having a great time. Everything was a deep shade of blue and violet. It was beautiful. Tomorrow is another great day to paint. See you then….
Today was a big work in the studio day. Sometimes I have to days like this with deadlines. Its a good thing! It was raining or misting off and on all day. No problem!
I carved out 20 painting minutes in my studio schedule and painted the view looking out the back window of my studio. This painting was painted with heat, snacks, drinks and electric lights in a very short amount of time. And I still had a pile of fun! More coming tomorrow…
Day #3. Daily painting! I went out to paint at dusk after a busy day at work. I knew where I wanted to go. I wanted to paint the last Christmas lights. Who knows how many more days they will be up? I went by the elementary school to paint the lights on the Ryan house. While I was setting up I noticed the lingering light over the big pasture and woods behind the house . Its a real wild area back there with nature trails and wild animals. I painted the view of the corner of the field looking out at the snow covered roof of the elementary school’s outdoor classroom out in the meadow.
When I turned to paint the house and its little glowing lights it was getting dark and perfect for painting. I worked on a panel that I will not use in the future. The surface was horrible, the paint just scudded around on the surface. It was extra work to get the brush marks to sit on that surface. Lesson learned: Dump these panels. I am purposely using different substrates in this project to see which ones are the best for alla prima painting.
Next I headed down the block to the Hurd Mansion where I painted the windows and their tree lights. Discovery: I need to have more large panels in the car. Everything I had was too small . So I just grabbed a section of the building and an arrangement of lights and painted it on a small panel. It was very dark by this time. I had no idea of the color harmony I was using . If I could see better I would have neutralized the colors a bit more. Still the values are what make it work.
Lesson learned: I have to prep a lot more materials before I head out tomorrow! Today Marcus came with me and live streamed my painting process on Instagram & Facebook. He just happened to find some wifi out there. It definitely is fun have him along on the painting trip. Stay tuned for more adventures tomorrow !
Today was a lucky day. I was planning to go paint at the historical society where there are big open fields and hopefully no big snow piles to block the view. Before heading out to paint I needed to stop by the church to check out the room specs for my class there next week. When I walked back to my car after the meeting I noticed the light on then snow and the barn next door was gorgeous. I decided to stop right there and paint from the parking lot. As I was taking my easel out of the car I noticed the back lit pine tree on the edge of the driveway. With about 20 minutes left before the sun set behind the trees I painted the pine and snow shadows.
As I finished the first painting, the light was getting even better. It was after sunset, the sky was a bright golden color and the snow was lavender blue reflecting the sky above. I painted the elementary school with the lights on in some of the classrooms. It was a very fast painting. I didn’t put on my head lamp. I just guessed at the colors. I used a slick substrate and one soft dagger brush to paint it . I think I’m going to try some more paintings on slick surfaces with soft dagger brushes.
I’m painting at least one painting every day this month.
DAY 1 I went out late this afternoon about one hour before sunset. I didn’t plan this one too well. We just got 12- 15 ” of snow over the past 2 days. I forgot that my usual nice locations might not be visible. Snow plow piles create walls in locations that were once nice spots to paint. I had to drive around looking for a spot without a 10 ft snow pile. I found a small spot at the elementary school, at the bottom of their drive way.
I set up and painted fast. My paint was stringy and acting like it was concrete. Very strange as it was only in the low 30’s. The sun was down behind the trees when I set up. I painted fast . As I was finishing up the second one the street light came on over my head. Maybe I’ll do nocturnes as this early sunset favors them!
Lesson learned : I wasn’t dressed warmly enough. My Iditarod boots were in the back of my car and I didn’t want to stop as I was seriously running out of light. Tomorrow I will start painting with my boots on. The take away? The air was fresh and clean and it was so gorgeous out there!