A recent opportunity to paint in a friend’s garden …this view captured the light starting to come through the gap in the tree and make the red tree glow. We set up ahead since my friend knew exactly when the sun would make an appearance. Awareness of time and light is so important to success in plein air painting! I was pleased with this one. I got the main shapes and values in place quite quickly but I did need to finish up a bit in the studio. Once the light dipped too far, everything looked completely different!
Here’s a detail of the red tree that inspired the painting.
The pops of pure colour (cadmium red light) in the tree as well as some “sky holes” were the details needed to make this one sing.
The second day I painted plein air at the festival, was overcast and rainy. The quality of light was completely different as a result. It was an interesting challenge. The above view was looking past the gate I painted the day before. This one was cropped in much closer to showcase some of the flowers and structures inside the community garden. It’s quite a charming place!
I decided to paint one last piece but started it just as the banjo player was finishing up his set. So it ended up rather sketchy/blocky but I rather like it. When I started there were people standing watching but I wasn’t fast enough to catch them. However, I did manage to catch the banjo player twice! The seated figure is also him as he was starting to pack up his instrument. 🙂
I just got back a few days ago from being away for a couple of weeks. I was feeling a bit rusty and maybe even a little resistant to getting my oils out when a friend invited me to her place to plein air paint together. She has a lovely garden with a great variety of textures and colours so it was a lot of fun. I definitely feel back in the groove now! I did two little paintings. This first (above) was really loose and abstract inspired by the California lilacs and other shrubs.
This second one was looking in another direction towards the orange door to her studio and the pots of flowers on the small deck in front. While I left the first one as it was, this one I tweaked in the studio slightly to enhance the dark/light contrast.
Playing with colour! Warm and cool… and complementary orange and blue. As I painted, the idea of a garden started taking shape – leaf textures and floral forms. Maybe that’s a pond in the upper right. I like the feeling of this piece – calm but full of life. Looking forward to the buds in my garden showing their faces…
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 friend/neighbour invited me to paint their lovely garden. I really enjoyed the pond here! A chance to get into the shadows and reflections in the pond as well as the varied planting around (and in) it. In June, the irises were still blooming and the waterlilies were just starting to show some colour.