Posts Tagged ‘Landscape painting

14
Oct
13

Amazing tree

Fall has come very late to Minnesota this year, and we’ve have many days of warm weather and near-blinding sunlight. This has made most everyone very happy, including plein air painters!

In the parkland near my house, I have a favorite tree that I can see across the grassland during my regular walks. This tree continues to amaze me – its heartwood is absent, presumably scorched away by lightening and perhaps fire years ago. There is also a hole in its bark one can see right through. Yet the tree stands strong, alone on the hillside, always with a full, healthy display of leaves.

Here are a couple paintings I did over the past week featuring this tree, along with a quick sketch of the adjacent treeline and wetlands.

Companion animals: garter snake(s), deer ticks

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20
Oct
12

Early fall at Tamarack Nature Center

Many of the leaves have already fallen now in Minnesota, but a few weeks ago when they were just beginning to turn, I went out to do some small sketches. Here’s one of the trees in my local park, in the afternoon light.

Tree at Tamarack in fall color

01
Aug
12

Value study

When I was up in Grand Marais last weekend, I took a class in Outdoor Painting at the Grand Marais Art Colony taught by the landscape painter Neil Sherman. Neil taught us his variation of the Prismatic Palette and some formal, basics of developing paintings by blocking in dark values. I struggled mightily to overcome my fear of using black paint after years of being taught that it’s a no-no, and produced several clumsy attempts to emulate Neil’s process.

When I got home yesterday, I went over to Tamarack Nature Center down the street to practice. Given some time to sink into the process outside of class, I was feeling a lot more comfortable with a wider range of values by the end of the day.

01
Aug
12

Wood’s Creek

Last week I was up in Grand Marais vacationing. Everywhere one turns there is material for inspiration, including along the many hiking trails. Along the Superior Hiking Trail you can follow Wood’s Creek, a lovely, meandering stream that runs into Devil Track River. I did this painting there as the afternoon light was fading.

16
Jul
12

Onion river

This painting was done last month when I was up on the North Shore, following the plein air painting course I’d mentioned earlier. Even though I liked the painting, I wasn’t sure I was done with it, but the longer it sat, the more complete it felt.

I painted this along the Onion River, where there are some striking geological formations. It takes a fair amount of rock hopping to get around the riverbed, and the black flies were pretty fierce, but the magic of the river is worth it.

26
Jun
12

Centerville Trail

Yesterday was one of those beautiful days we wait for all year. I took my paints out to the bike trail in Centerville and found a shady spot. It was fun painting in the company of bikers and dog walkers passing by.

14
Jun
12

Quick Paint Up North

This past weekend, after years of yearning for some proper equipment and guidance, I got myself a plein air painting set up and took a class in outdoor sketching in oils through the Grand Marais Art Colony. My teacher was Todd Voss – an extremely talented, thoughtful and inspiring instructor. The demonstrations he did for us each morning were beautiful as much for Todd’s measured, economical and masterful strokes as for the stunning final products.

Todd Voss plein air demo

I have very little experience painting in oils, and my first paintings were struggles to simply manage my materials – both on and off the canvas – within the 45 min. time frame we were allotted. The idea was to capture a scene within a limited time – as a sketch that had some freshness and character on its own. It may or may not be improved upon later or used as the basis for a studio painting.

By the end of the second day of painting, I was starting to feel more comfortable, if a bit overexposed to the elements after a day of chilly fog followed by one of intense sunshine. We finished up near the North House Folk School docks.

16
May
11

Barn Bluff, Redwing

Last month on one of the few warm days we’ve had this spring, I took a hike with Mike up Barn Bluff in Redwing, MN. Overlooking the Mississippi River Valley, the top of the bluff allows one to see more distinctly the islands streaking the wide river and the contours of the many hills surrounding the river plain.

At this point the grass was just starting to emerge, and the only things with much color were the evergreens. In the bright spring sunlight most of the color of the landscape was washed out. I did a sketch of the lines and forms before me, think a bit of Depression-era painters who tended to simplify shapes and lines.

A couple weeks ago I painted the same scene, making edits here and there, and having some fun using color to define the different shapes. I’ve left the painting kind of sketchy, partly because when I returned to it today, anything I added felt wrong and I ended up scrubbing it out. The painting was telling me it was fine the way it was and didn’t want me to mess with it.

09
Mar
11

Mississippi River Bluffs

Several weeks ago my husband Mike and I took a drive south along the Mississippi River, on Highway 61. Once you pass Red Wing, there are miles of bluffs that rise up off the river plain. With just the snow and bare trees covering them, the hill shapes were drawn so graphically – it was thrilling to drive along seeing all the forms and variations!!

This past weekend I explored that effect some more through painting.

29
Dec
10

North of Hverager├░i

Here is a painting I did this weekend, based on landscape I saw hiking in the mountains of southern Iceland.




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