Saturday, April 18, 2015

Final post for Paintbox Journal

I've changed directions in painting as I often do  . . .
  . . . . and I'm not painting outdoors much any longer.  After I spent many years painting outdoors, I realized I was wearing myself out by traveling often to paint.  I live in the middle of the Sacramento Valley, in Davis, and I've always traveled to paint, to find the landscapes that really inspire me and my soul.

If I lived in the desert, in the mountains or near the ocean I wouldn't have reached this point so quickly.  I've changed gears in the last few years - I've begun a new blog that relates better to my current artwork.  I ended the posts with the last entries where I was painting outdoors frequently.

Please visit my new art blog, which picks up after this last post, with contemporary artwork in acrylic and oils - you're welcome to visit! 






Plein Air painting, Virginia City, Nevada in Fall 2010

Chino Canyon, San Jacinto Mountains, collection of the artist

Monday, September 24, 2012

North Rim - a return to a special spot

"North Rim Nirvana", plein air at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon
12" x 9", oil on panel

"Cape Royal",  plein air at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon
9" x12", oil on panel

During the trip home from Wyoming to Northern California, most of the time we played tourist and had a great time.  I put the painting supplies in the far reaches of the car and focused on traveling, taking photos and taking in parts of the southwest we hadn't seen before, or were stopping in again.  

When we got to the North Rim the urge to paint (of course!) overcame me and I began scouting out locations for painting.  In between thunderstorms and hikes, I painted twice.  There were some artists from Arizona and L.A. staying in a nearby cabin and we visited often while coming and going;  there were artists participating in the Celebration of Art at the Grand Canyon.  I met and chatted with the Artist in Residence who was painting one evening on the deck at the lodge.  It was a pleasure to meet and talk with all of them.  That added much for me to this part of the trip - the connection of painting and plein air!

painting alongside the North Rim

Friday, September 21, 2012

Returning home after Brush Creek


'Francis Meadow', my first plein air from the artist residency
9" x 12", oil on panel

Photo from my perspective - 
 I think that's a shelter to protect haybales but I'm not sure !

I've returned home!  I've been home for a week ~ for many trips, you're anxious to be off on your adventure, and then at the end of the trip you're anxious to be home!  That's my case .  It's an experience that will take a while to settle in and percolate.  After the month at Brush Creek, we took in several towns and locations in the southwest.

This landscape was very familiar;  the arid sagebrush hills, aspen forests in the upper elevations and riparian creeks.  The unfamiliar:  MUCH more wildlife that popped up while I was out painting!  Surprises and memories for life:  a mama moose with 2 calves that passed close by me while painting, a bald eagle perched over a pond, a baby black bear cub and herds of deer with fawns who visited our camp constantly for feeding on the lawn.  The herds of horses on the ranch always caught my eye, with riders and the guides ambling by on horseback . . . what beautiful, friendly and calm horses live at Brush Creek.  

What I'll miss (missing it already!) the outdoor life at 7200 feet elevation.  I mountainbiked a lot, hiked a LOT, rode horseback, did my ballet and warmup exercises on an outdoor deck in the shade of aspen trees.  I got in touch with my outdoor self again and completely.  Without a car there, by foot or by mountainbike was my transportation.  I hiked with my plein air stuff in a small backpack and that worked very well.

Brush Creek Photos, Facebook AlbumBrush Creek photos, Facebook AlbumFor paintings,  the plein air first; the photos included give some context for the location and paintings.  Above is one of my favorite spots, Francis Meadows, a quiet large meadow with majestic cottonwoods backed by low mountains.  I painted here for my first plein air outing (above).  In no particular order here are some of the plein air paintings:

'Francis Draw Cabin'
9" x 12", oil on panel

Thistle fields in the foreground; I'm sure this 
photo is destined for a future painting!  

'Rocky Heights',  plein air 
12" x 16", oil on panel
 'Day I saw the Moose',  plein air - this is a working title, not sure it'll remain
12" x 16", oil on panel
Photo of the riding trail along Brush Creek; this trail is very near
Artist Camp and where I was standing when a 
mama Moose came jogging by with her 2 calves

Mama Moose; photo courtesy of Minnesota Public Radio
there was no time to react and get photos of the moose that visited me!

More to follow . . ..later . . .. 

edited 11/20/12:

I've added a link to about 30 photos of Brush Creek Ranch, most of them taken on one memorable, crystalline day:  














Wednesday, September 12, 2012

color study for Summer Flows

"Summer Flows, color study"
12" x 16",  oil on canvas

$250., available unframed 
view at Palm Desert Community Gallery
To purchase please  email me and I will send you a Paypal receipt;
a credit card is necessary although a Paypal account is not

This painting is one I used as a color study for the larger 'Summer Flows'.  Both are on display at the Palm Desert Community Gallery; see previous posts for 'painting the big one' and the process.  I've grown to like this one very much for the Monet-like color and mood setting quality.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

new paintings going in at Seasons Restaurant, Davis


"Ring of Fire", oil on gallery wrap canvas
20" x 20"   completed July 30, 2012

$700, available

may be viewed at :  Seasons Restaurant
102 F St.
Davis, CA     (530) 750-1801




"Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire" . . . .

sung by Johnny Cash; lyrics by Merle Kilgore and June Carter

This photo has beckoned me for a few years since we were last in Napili Point, Maui ~ where we were married.  It's one of those places that feels magical and at the same time feels like home.  I cannot wait to get back there again.  

As I wrote, this photo is one I've wanted to paint for a while, taken from the perspective of looking up through the canopy of blooms, branches and Maui skies.



Davis landscape painter awarded artist residency





Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tweaking the plein air paintbox; headed to Brush Creek Ranch

The Mabef pochade . . . I tweaked it again!

The definition for tweaking (in case you need it)  refers to modifying, refining, improving.  In this instance I'm tweaking my plein air paintbox , again!  

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tweak or tweaker can refer to:
In a computer related context:
  • Tweaking, the act of making subtle improvements to machines, especially a computer

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I'm prepping for my artist residency at Brush Creek Arts  , making a lot of decisions on what to take or how I'll go with my plein air gear for this trip.  I won't have a car to get around while there so I've gone to the very lightweight, scaled down size for plein air painting easels and tripods while on the ranch. I'll be hiking or mountainbiking with my equipment.

I've taken my small Mabef paintbox and have taken out the original palette (the thumbhole was in the wrong spot and took up too much palette space) and had another spare palette cut down for use.  Now I've made the thumbhole round and larger for the little turps container, which is actually a 'Mighty Mite' from   Judson.     And actually it's OMS that goes in it, not turpentine . . . real turps is too stinky even outdoors!   I like this arrangement very much where the turps container sets into the palette.

The hole was close to the edge of the palette, too close so after enlarging I glued on a square dowel for reinforcement on that edge .  I am NOT a woodworker, lol, so everything I build is built for utility but not looks.


larger palette with hole for 'Mighty Mite' 

 glued reinforcement on edge of palette 

Universal tripod mounting plate (from my last tweak)
for a very lightweight tripod

I've painted with the lightweight camera tripod many times . . .the setup with  tripod and this paintbox is only 7 lbs.,  easily managed in a backpack.  However that connection from the little tripod universal screw  into this plate (also from Judsonis not completely solid and the pochade will rock a little when painting.  

It's a workable situation but I thought why not have more options?  So I looked through all my attachments and easel hardware collection . . . and there was a spare   EasyL  tripod adapter with a screw that looked suspiciously like it'd be the size that would fit .  It does fit! 

The universal plate with an EasyL adapter 
screwed onto it, ready for heavier tripod

The result after this little bunch of tweaks means I can use the lightweight camera tripod, or the heavier Bogen tripod, either way I want to go.  The 'Mighty Mite' fits right into the palette. Everything is more lightweight,  smaller, more adaptable . . . .and I have a new smaller backpack that's comfortable. The new backpack is from REI  which I've been visiting a lot these last few weeks! Additional webbing straps and buckles I've sewn on to be able to strap a tripod on top.  It's carry-on size, perfect for the flight.  

I'll also have my EasyL (the big Versa) because I can't imagine plein air painting without it .  The Jullian French easel and the French companion palette are staying home because they're  too big and bulky. 

From what I hear, my private studio at Brush Creek Ranch awaits with a huge easel . . .a picture window, my own door to let in the breeze and log cabin walls.  I'm nearly ready!  Just have to check off the gazillion items on my list, pack and ship them.  

my destination

another post on plein air easels, tripods, pochades, etc.:  

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