New Year, New Tools, New Toys!

Storm Season, Cattle Point
Oil on panel, 24″ diameter

For my artist husband’s birthday wish a few weeks ago, we both selected large round wood panels to spend the day with in the studio. My new fondness for painting knives, a love for new Princeton brushes and their “paint mover” plus some photo references from Cattle Point a few days before resulted in a painting which I am very, very happy with. I LOVE working with painting knives!

The knives allow me to put paint on quickly and in a more structured way as well as thicker. I can then use the brush to vary the texture so it’s not all so hard-edged. The round format was great fun and though I’ll use it sparingly (for cost reasons and so as not to make it trite), I think it brings a new perspective to the standard rectangular landscape.

It did, however spoil me. I want to paint larger and larger and larger…

Few Words, Plenty of Thoughts

I am blessed with some time off this holiday season and now that the bulk of the celebrations and obligations have been taken care of, I am starting to immerse myself in making art. In the studio first while the weather is typical Victoria winter (RAIN) and then hopefully en plein air as the sun appears, slightly. I don’t feel I have much to say about this but at the same time, plenty. So I will leave you a just-finished studio painting and a plein air location to cover for that contradiction.

Falling into Place

Frosty roofs and thin crystalline ice on the ponds tell me winter has arrived here on the wet coast. As I walk through the woods to work I think to myself that I should be stopping to paint here where the mist is rising off tall golden grasses or take reference photos of the red shards of light from the low-sitting sun reflecting on tall, bare trees.

Our lives are finally finding a routine, a pattern, as we work our way out of the funk which the late spring brought. Friday morning sessions with the Al Frescoes plein air painters is one sure way to anchor that pattern to our passion for art. Another is my morning mediation routine which provides my brain and body a chance to let go and float into a more peaceful day.

My plein air work is still a fight. I’m working my way towards more abstract work. It’s taking more time and effort than I ever imagined. Though I am not complaining when it involves being outside in such beautiful surroundings.

Walking Into the Fall, plein air and studio oil on cradled panel, 8” x 24”