May 31, 2015

The White House at the Corner - Urban Landscape Small Oil Painting

"The White House at the Corner"
Oil on gesso board

Two weeks ago there has been the 12th Annual Historic Dublin PaintOut, and I was one of the organizers.
I knew that between setting up things and handling some of the registrations I wouldn't have much time to paint, so I thought a 6"x6" should be small enough for me to handle easily.
However, I did not consider the possibility of my kids' piano recital being scheduled exactly on that day. But it happened.
I only had a very short amount of time to pick a spot and start the painting. Then I had to leave for the recital. I planned to come back and finish later, but it started pouring, and the recital (wonderful by the way, they both did a great job!) ran longer than usual.
So, I ended up not entering a painting into the competition that I had worked so hard putting together. Not even a tiny 6"x6".

However, despite the weather, several of the participants were able to enter their finished work, and most of them were amazingly good, and big!

I finished my paintingin the studio the day after, trying to stay faithful to plein air painting style, quick and fresh, without many retouches.

I really liked that cute side street, with the white house at the corner. I may go back and do more similar ones, there are so many beautiful corners in Dublin, OH!

Thanks for visiting!

May 22, 2015

Changing Season - Landscape Oil Painting of Fall Colors

"Changing Season"
Oil on gesso board

Last fall I spent a nice Saturday morning at Highbanks park, painting with a group called COPA (Central Ohio Plein Air). The group is open and friendly, and every Saturday they go to a different outdoors location, paint until about 11:30, then have a critique. I don't make it very often, but when I do I really enjoy it.

As I was saying this painting is from last fall, but it was not quite finished that day, I still had a few areas of paint to fill when it was critique time.
I took it home and did not work on it for a while. Part of the reason is that I had a reference photo, but it's not the same.When you see the landscape in person it's so much better! And going back was not appealing because it got REALLY cold and all the leaves had fallen.

So I had no choice but work from the reference photo and finish it up. The pavilion roof gave me some trouble, the color it was did not fit in well with the painting so I tweaked it and tweaked it until it made sense. Now I am quite happy with it. :)

May 19, 2015

Rocking the Shore - Plein Air Landscape Oil Painting

"Rocking the Shore"
Oil on canvas board

Not far from my house runs the Scioto river. Even thought it's right in the middle of the state capital, it offers beautiful natural scenes that really inspire me to paint.
This one is one of my favorite spots at Scioto park, on the northwest side of town.

There was a fisherman behind me while I was painting. I was almost tempted to include him in the scene too, but I had already started the landscape facing the other way. Maybe next time.

I painted it on a canvas panel, not on my usual gesso boards, that are so smooth. On the gesso board the brush slides quickly, which makes painting a little faster, but also, somehow, you don't need a huge amount of paint to make it look thick.
The texture of the canvas on this panel made the same amount of paint look much thinner, and I had to force myself to load my brushes more to give a thicker look.
Still it does not look as thick as I thought I was painting! : )

May 15, 2015

Rock in the Stream - Plein Air Oil Painting

"Rock in the Stream"
Oil on gessobord
It was a very cold day at the park. Cold, cloudy, with on-and-off rain, and I did not feel like painting the landscape because in cloudy days colors and value contrast are not there, and paintings come out a sort of bleah (at least my paintings, lol).

So, since I was already at the park and I had made the effort to bring all my painting gears with me, I looked around for something interesting, and found a stream.
In the stream I saw this rock, and I decided to give it a try.
Now you should know that I try to avoid painting two kind of things: things I don't like and things that I deem too difficult.  Moving water is one of the latter, very challenging to paint. I rarely saw painting of moving water (by anybody ) that I liked.

The fact that I had a small 6"x6" with me (not over-committing) helped me pick a challenging subject. I tried it out. And you know what? I think that overall it turned out much above expectations. I like my rock in the stream. :)

May 4, 2015

The Simple Joys Are the Best - Daily Painting of Marigolds

"Three Marigolds in Blue Vase"
8" x 10"m Oil on canvas panel

To keep happiness in my life, I always try to pay attention to the small blessings and appreciate what I have.
Sure there are lots of things I don't have. I could have a nicer and newer car, a last generation smart phone, a trendier wardrobe. But I don't really need those things. What I have works for me.
So I'll keep my old car, my few-year-old clothes, and my dumb phone until they are functional.

As long as I have the smile and hugs of my family, and what I need to eat, travel, and function every day, I don't care about comparisons with the Joneses. I'm good. :)

Look at these marigolds: I grew them from seed, watered them during the summer months, forgot to water many times, and they kept flowering into a colorful bush no matter what. That's a blessing to me. :)
They seem to enjoy that blue vase too, it does not matter that I paid only 50 cents for it.