Front porch special!

Blue Porch on 1st Street.

Blue Porch on 1st Street. Oil on panel, 6×6.

Yesterday, we were invited to paint the historical part of Georgetown by the Heritage Society.  Georgetown proper was founded in 1848!  Much of the down town features homes, buildings and architecture from the early 1900’s. The weather was great already warming up into the 80’s and the last of the Georgetown poppies were gorgeous.  It made it quite challenging to pick just the one spot to paint.

So I settled for walking just beyond the town square and discovered a lovely little spot to paint.  I chose to work smaller on a 6″x6″ panel to be sure I could finish most of it while on site.  Then set to work out an interesting composition within the square format.   I love the dynamic juxtaposition of blue green porch with the vibrant red-orange poppies.

I am happy to say that I am very pleased to have captured the bright morning glow and shadows surrounding such a lovely place.  Even better to have it displayed next week in part of the Heritage Society exhibit as part of the Heritage awareness month.

Cheery Inspiration!

December 20, 2013

It has been a few weeks (I think ) since I have had something new to post here.  I have been in a bit of pit.  Most everything I have started, I have ended up scraping off and washing off.
A few days ago I snagged a few more baubles and bits from the tree and bin of boxes & bows.  I have been rearranging these things for a few days trying to settle on an exciting composition.  Seriously,  I have stated and scraped at least 4 studio paintings in the last week.

Baubles n Bow 6x6 2013_12_20

Baubles n Bow 6×6 2013_12_20

Click to Bid here!
Finally, something clicks!  Try something new with the studio still life.
O.k. um, Bird’s eye view and something playful for a change could do wonders.  Finally,  I started to feel the composition might work with the paint again.  I roughed in the composition.  Establish the main color balance and then took a long 2 hour  break.  ( I had to volunteer for my child’s holiday party.)

Then I came back to re-established a few color spots to work more consistently.
I focused on the high key color scheme and played with the visual diagonals.
This one was definitely a challenge for jumping back into the studio again.  I am quite pleased with the results.

Barr Mansion Carriage House. 7x5. 2011.07.21

Plein Air painting “on the spot” will get you out the studio and give you a chance to take a drive and find new places to see fresh colors and shadows.

This weeks paint out with the Plein Air Austin group was hosted out at Barr Mansion outside Austin.  The staff at Barr Mansion have done a beautiful job creating an inspiring space to spend  a morning painting.  It was hard to choose just one spot. The 7″x5″ painting above is of the carriage house nestled in the summer gardens.  Location influences a lot of outside painting.  There are many beautiful spots but painting in direct sun is bad news, and an even bigger health risk these day in the heat. I’ll just have to go back to look for a different spot on another day.

The goal was to capture the play of sun light on the building in the early morning shadow patterns.  Plein-air painting requires quick accurate painting to capture the moment before sun moves higher and the shadow patterns and color temperatures begin to change.

I decided I needed a warm light /cool shadow focus to relate the summer conditions.  Next, I work out a pencil sketch to be sure what i am intending to paint will fit on the canvas.  Then mix out a limited value and color range.  For plein air, I limit myself to 8 tubes of paint.  R (Alizarin) Y (lemon yellow) B (Ultramarine and Cerulean for sky) +white, +black, sometimes adding a green or cadmium depending on the lighting and subject. Everything I need can be mixed from these.  Then I set about painting shapes and values that reflect what has captured my interest today.

Some small plein-air paintings can come together in a hour to hour and half.  Anything past that and the light has begun to shift significantly from where you started the painting that it can quickly turn in to a night mare if you are unaware of how long you have been working.  Not to mention risk sunburn and heat stroke in the Texas weather.

A fair days painting for a fair day of triple digit temps.

*I will post a picture below to show my easel setup on site just before I came home.