Recently I decided to go out locally with a friend plein air painting. We had an idea to go to a nearby farm field and paint the cows in their bucolic setting! Great idea but the farmer had moved the cows and there wasn’t one to be seen. I will spare you the details of how each place we decided to try fell flat for one reason or another. I think we were on our fifth idea – and putting miles on in our search – when my friend suggested calling a friend of hers and going to their garden. Well that turned out to be wonderful! They gave us wine and snacks and I got to paint the last hollyhocks of the season and an enormous bumblebee …a lovely afternoon of painting after all.
The California lilacs are bursting with blooms and humming with life at this time of year. Capturing the scene including a little tricolour bumblebee seemed such a natural choice …and that tiny pop of orange really makes the painting!
I was playing Karl Jenkins “The Peacemakers” while painting this one …thinking about the world situation but wanting to have some hope for peace. Out of the darkness, new growth and blossoms that overcome the tangle of the thicket with their beauty.
This was a demo painting I did during a workshop earlier this fall for a lovely group of women. Market flowers seemed the perfect subject – almost the last fresh local flowers of the season. Despite wandering around during my own painting process to check the students’ progress, I ended up with a piece I was pretty pleased with. It’s fresh and loose.
This is another in my “Skyflowers” series. Having so much fun with this. It’s whimsical and there are so many ways to play with the idea. Here I really like the cascade of roses transforming from cooler to warmer depending on how the sunset would affect them.
Fun with colour and flowers! Another view from a friend’s garden this summer. This one was painted in the studio from photo references rather than plein air though. I enjoyed getting into the textures and depths as well as letting the buds dissolve into the sky.
About a week after my first visit to Nola’s pond, I had the chance to go back and focus on the now blooming waterlilies. What a treat. There is something about painting waterlilies …I guess Monet was onto something!
Another lovely day in late June spent painting a garden. I was so pleased to be able to create this piece which ended up having quite a personal resonance for the owner.
And here is the setup in the strong sunshine we had that day.
Have I mentioned how much I enjoy my plein air set up? It’s a Coulter Easel, and I have been using it for a couple of years now both for plein air and often (at least for smaller paintings) in the studio too. It is compact and very ergonomic with the palette and painting held at the perfect heights for working …and in cases like this with sloped ground, it is very easy to adjust a leg of the tripod to compensate for the terrain.