Category Archives: Plein Air

Small Works Show

Clouds Gathering over Grandfather

“Clouds Gathering over Grandfather”, 12×12, Oil/Panel

This scene was painted in one of my favorite places to paint in the Blowing Rock area.  Up Shoals Mills Road you can pull off and get the most spectacular views of Grandfather Mountain. This particular day, we were dodging thunderstorms all day.  I was lucky to get a span of time to paint!!

Hope you can join me Saturday, August 11th from 5-8 pm for “Small Works”, a group exhibition of works smaller than 14×18″ at Blowing Rock Frameworks and Gallery.  The show will run from August 6 through the 20th.

Share

Plein Air Painting on a Bike

Maiden Voyage

Today was my maiden voyage — riding my bike to plein air paint.  I uplifted my bike with some big baskets so I could fit all my gear. 

Painting by bike

Fun!  Makes it so much easier to look for places to paint.  Not trying to drive a car and scope out possibilities!!  This particular tree is one that I always look at in my neighborhood.  I love the twisting branches — it looks like one of those trees on the coast that’s been windswept.  

This is Day 2 of the 30 day challenge.  Once again if you purchase this painting, half of the price will go to a charity to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Make sure and let me know which charity you prefer.  I mentioned 3 in my first blog post about 30 in 30.

All the best to you and yours!!!

 

 


Share

Blue Ridge Impressions: Brush and Knife Paintings

This is one of my favorite places to paint plein air at Bass Lake in Blowing Rock, NC.  The view is spectacular and there’s plenty of shade.  In fact, Bass Lake has so many wonderful places to paint that I never run out of options.  You’ll run into lots of other painters there — as well as runners, walkers, hikers, fishermen, horseback riders, and lots of other lovely people.

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to have a show this summer with my paintings from the Blowing Rock area.   “Blue Ridge Impressions: Brush and Knife” will open July 17th and run through July 27th at Blowing Rock Frameworks and Gallery.  The reception is July 22nd from 5-8 pm.

The show will include lots of views of Grandfather Mountain, Cone Manor area, Bass Lake, Trout Lake, Price Lake and other landscapes from the area.  I’ve had such a great time exploring some new areas to paint while preparing for this show.  The views from Grandfather are so spectacular.  I even painted on top looking at the Mile High bridge.  I had to paint with one hand on my easel the whole time because of the wind!

Thank you to Tim and Alex at the Gallery for being so supportive!  I so appreciate the opportunity! And I am so grateful for my patient husband, Michael, who’s been my cheerleader all along and picked up the slack while I was frantically trying to get paintings done for the show!!!

Hope you can join us on the 22nd!!!

Share

Same Spot, Different Day – Day 25

Painting Freedom Park Again

I decided to go back to the same spot where I painted yesterday.  I liked the composition, but still trying to get a painting I’m really happy with.  Practice, practice, practice!!!

Day 25 complete!  All the best!!!

Share

Yeah Sun! Plein air of Garden Shed

Shadows on the Garden Shed

So grateful for the sun today!  It was actually in the 70’s here in mid January!!!   So I had to get outside and paint!  As I was cropping this painting, I realized that I didn’t put the door on the shed.  I was so captivated by the shadows that I completely missed it!!!

Anyway you get the idea!  Day 13 done and a beautiful day it is!  All the best to you and yours!

Share

Art Show at Free Range Brewery

I had the lovely opportunity to have a one woman art show at Free Range Brewery here in Charlotte,NC. The brewery is owned by some folks who love art, and happily are providing an opportunity for local artists.  The show runs from February 1 to March 14th, and combines portraits and plein air pieces.  There’s great wall space and lighting. Sarah, one of the owners, has an art background and gallery experience— so a great eye! She chose the pieces and hung the show.  Thank you Sarah!!

Freerangeinterior

The beer was wonderful!  I normally am a wine drinker, but discovered I really like their stout made from oysters!  Who knew!!! The selections also include many other beers, cider, kombucha, soda and coffee.  The brewery is family friendly as well.  We had a crowd  —- thanks to my incredible group of friends —- and happily we sold three pieces that night!!

Web_MichaelfreerangeHere’s Michael and I enjoying friends and brew. Don’t know what I would do without him.  He’s so supportive of my art obsession.  He also has a great eye, so I frequently get his feedback on paintings.  It’s always spot on!

Web_ExteriorFreeRangeThank you to all the lovely people who joined me that evening!  Hope any of you who might be interested will take some time to see the show and taste some of the great beer and other selections at Free Range. http://www.freerangebrewing.com

Happy February and happy painting!!

 

 

 

Share

Plein Air at Badin Lake

Badin Lake 6-2015 Web-Badin-Sky_Rwellner_8x10Had the lovely opportunity to do some plein air at Badin Lake this weekend.  Beautiful place, gorgeous weather.  Got to zone out for three hours painting! My favorite thing!!!  The top painting was done completely with palette knife.  I did block in with a brush of course.  Then I tried to very deliberately paint it from the back forward.  First laid in the sky, then the farthest view, then closer, etc. etc.  I’ve read recently that that is the best way to have success with the palette knife.  Not my style to be very deliberate!!

The next painting I changed the focus to the clouds, which were moving quickly!  So I can’t say that I painted them specifically.  Just tried to get their essence from observing.  This one I used my brush but tried to load it up with more paint than usual.  So much to learn with plein air!!I think I could have blued or grayed down the farthest scene to make it more successful.

All the best!  Happy painting!

Share

Transparent Darks

Transparent-Darks

 

This is a recent painting of a waterfall in Boone, NC.  I have been viewing a DVD by Jeffrey Hein, who is an amazing painter (www.jeffreyhein.com).  He talks about using transparent darks and opaque highlights in this film.  I remember him discussing his exploration into transparent colors a few years ago at the Portrait Society conference.  That concept went right over my head.  He again mentions that keeping your darks transparent helps with the illusion of depth and making forms turn.  I won’t do his information justice, but I did accidentally find that worked in this particular painting.

I blocked in the stream area and some of the other darks with some combination of Sap Green, Alizarin Crimson Permanent and some Ultramarine Blue.  I kept that transparency particularly in the forefront of the water.  I think it made a difference in creating depth.  I also kept it in some of the darks in the bushes with the green and blue.

Looking at the painting again I’m not happy with that triangle of trees above the bright green patch in the background — also the clouds follow that line as well.  I’ll probably go back in and adjust those so they don’t look so contrived. But all in all I was pretty happy with this painting.  It’s a combination of brushwork and palette knife.  I didn’t try to demand that I do palette knife everywhere.

Of course the next day I went out and tried to duplicate that sense of depth with transparent darks and was not as successful.  But it’s a concept that I want to continue to explore.  In fact I think that Jeff Hein has an opaque and transparent version of all his colors on his palette.

All in all a fun weekend painting!  Happy painting to you!!!

 

Share

Bass Lake – an amazing place for Plein Air

Another incredible day at Bass Lake.  It was actually chilly in the shade.  It’s an amazing place for Plein Air painting.  There are so many possible scenes and lightings.  And lots of pleasant people to interact with if you’re so inclined.  My husband and I have been in Boone/Blowing Rock area a great deal this summer —- so I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to do lots of plein air in a beautiful location.  One of the quandaries I’ve discovered recently is lighting.  When I position myself in the shade because of comfort, I have a very hard time really seeing my painting.  I’m looking out at a sunlight scene and I guess my eyes just can’t adjust quickly enough.  Sometimes I feel that I’m painting in the dark.  Often I’ll take my painting back in to the sun and do more adjustments.

I’ve also started taking my decent camera with me.  I’ve realized I sometimes need a better reference when I want to rework a painting back in the studio.  The iPhone shots just aren’t that good. Altho once again I’m amazed at how many colors I see in real life as compared to photographs.  Painting from life – regardless of the subject — is so helpful.

So while I was painting, my husband was fishing.  Caught a huge bass out of the lily pads in the lake.  Actually caught several.  Life is good!

Bass Lake, Plein Air, Oil Painting, Landscapes

Share

Painting my way around Blowing Rock, NC

Painting Landscapes at Bass Lake

My husband has been working on a project in the Blowing Rock/Boone NC area.  As a result we’ve been traipsing back and forth between there and Charlotte.  I’m spending lots of time painting landscapes or plein air in this area. I’m trying to capture some of the amazing scenery around here.  It’s just so beautiful!  This painting was on the trail around Bass Lake.  It was my first experience of having folks come up and wanting to look. “Where do you sell your work?” was a frequent question.  So I need to get in gear and either find a gallery or something.  I have started giving people a photo postcard of one of my paintings with my contact info.  Looking forward to hearing from some of those folks!

One wonderful addition to my plein air equipment is my new palette that my hubby made.  It’s just a smaller version of my other one.  Much easier to pack and I anticipate finding a backpack so I can hike with my equipment and paint some less accessible areas.  This is all new to me so I continue to refine as I discover better options.  I am told that I’ll be restricting my palette colors eventually.  Still addicted to some of my colors even though I know many use many less than I do.  It continues to amaze me how much there is to learn with painting.  Good thing I love it!!

 

Share