Plein Air - A Real Challenge

Plein air, or as we say in Tennessee, pantin' outside!  I finally mustered enough courage to venture out into the weather with painting gear in tow.  I set up the easel, decided on my composition, started to paint, and then one drop...10 drops... deluge!  Ahhhhh, April showers bring May flowers, and oil and water do not mix.  But I'm proud to say that I stayed with it.
Perhaps that would be a valid excuse for making the dogwood look more like a Bradford pear tree.  I did not take the time to do the lacy detail that was needed to have the painting read as a dogwood.
So what was my excuse today on the azalea bush?  Wind, of course! Plus Paul made me move my easel so he could get the lawn mower out of the storage area that I was blocking. 
Some artists make painting on location look so easy.  Roger Dale Brown, a marvelous artist and excellent instructor, told us in the workshop this past weekend, that if we wanted to improve our work that we needed to paint, paint, paint.
I will get better at this style of painting!  Yes, I will.
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Winter Hay

Winter Hay
Today's landscape is from the photo files.  I have plenty of farm scenes photos, but wanted to get on with painting this morning, so visited the image files at  I had intended to paint a summer hay bale, but really liked the winter scene.  Note to self....get photos organized!!
I am taking a workshop with Roger Dale Brown later this week and thought I needed to brush up on some landscapes. 
Original Oil "Winter Hay" 9x12 on canvas.  Contact Marie to inquire about purchasing this or any other art work.
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Seascape from Photo

I had planned to paint outside today, but the weather forecast was for rain.  Being a wussy when it comes to braving the elements, I decided to paint a landscape from one of my photos. 
The Artist's United Convention at Surf Side Beach, SC is in a couple of weeks and since I intend to do some plein air painting while there, this was a good exercise.
I probably will add a figure on the beach or a sea gull in the air when the painting dries. 

4-13-09 "Surf Side Beach" Original Oil 11"x14" To inquire about purchasing this or any other painting, contact Marie. 
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Yellow Tulips

I could call this painting a mulligan. They take mulligans in golf, don't they? Well, I took a mulligan on this painting. In other words, I did not count my first attempt. Thursday I set up the design and drew it on the canvas, but did not have time to start the painting. By the time I returned to my studio on Friday, the poor little tulips had drooped. They looked pitiful and the drawing no longer resembled the arrangement of flowers. I had no choice but to cut more flowers and redo the drawing. Oh well, I needed the practice!
Throughout the painting process, I was tempted to take another mulligan, but in golf they only allow one false start, so I struggled through the process. Whether it was due to taking several days off from my daily paining projects, or because of the challenge of the light yellow flowers in a very dark setting, I was sufficiently challenged. Whenever I struggle, which is normally with every painting, I do what I know to do...  I remember the basics. That involves asking myself the usual the next color lighter or darker? Is it warmer or cooler? Is it brighter or duller? Is it more yellow, red, blue? Between finding the illusive answers to these questions, trying to paint the shapes of the light and dark patterns, and chasing the wilting flowers, I completed the painting of this bouquet today.
Golf's objective is to complete the round in the fewest strokes possible. When painting fresh flowers, the objective is to capture their essence before they expire. Both tasks take practice in order to master.  I could go watch the best golfers in the world pay at the Master's, but instead, I better go practice my craft of painting.  I do not mind admitting that I struggle with a painting.  If it were easy, it would not be as much fun.  Besides, several of those guys in Augusta are struggling with making that little white ball go where they want it to go.  I bet they will be on the course this afternoon and again tomorrow when they are not playing, practicing their basics.

Daily Painting 4-11-09 "Yellow Tulips" Original Oil 14"x11"
Contact Marie to inquire about purchasing this or any of the other paintings.
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