Size Matters

My last post was a while ago but it’s interesting that it ends off saying that I wanted to paint bigger… because I’m painting bigger now! Well, sometimes. Painting en plein air with a large panel is difficult because you turn into a human kite. So mostly I’m bigger in the studio. I have been working on a few low tide scenes. All that variation in colour and texture is so fun to play with, it allows me to add more colour and use the palette knife on the more hard-edged stones and the depth of field helps me to work on composition – drawing the viewer’s eye into the scene. It’s all just huge fun.

Here’s a piece in progress (below). I believe I have just a bit more work to do – on the upper left side rocks. Since it’s so big, it has taken several long studio sessions and as I am back at work after vacation now, even more 1 hour sessions after work. I’m using a solvent-free medium rather than linseed oil to loosen the paint and it creates the ability for me to use transparent layers of colour. Very nice. However, if you use too much of it, the medium won’t layer on top of itself anymore – it just pools. Live and learn, people. Live and learn.

The Sidney Fine Arts Show is being adjudicated right now so we’ll see if either my work or Andrew’s is accepted. Hopefully both!

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”

Loving Kindness

At those moments when I am struggling with a painting, I often comment to my artist husband that painting is hard. In the big scheme of life, however, painting is pure pleasure even when it is not working out.

At those moments when I am struggling with all the small (and a few big) challenges thrown at my family and me this year, I note to myself that you never know what’s going on in a person’s life and we all need to be kind. In the big scheme of life, however, I am happy to be alive and this too shall pass. And this. And this.

Even when we chuck that painting in the bin or personal struggles trip us up, the living is good and painting is still hard!

Evidence from the summer of 2018: