Today I tried painting a horse plein air. The herd of about 14 horses are used to pull wagons for the tourists. They are constantly moving and even though I was painting as fast as I could I ended up mostly depending on my memory. The view of the river off in the distant is another element I hope to incorporate into my painting. I think that was worth plein air painting this scene.
Theses are the photo references for a studio painting. I liked the pose on the left but the light and shadow from the horse on the right.
Painting and drawing horses was a lot of my early art education. I got the book Album of Horses by Marguerite Henry for Christmas and sketched every horse in the book. That is also how I decided that these might be Percherons, although there looked to be some Belgians in the herd. The action sketches were so dynamic. This made painting the simple horses grazing so much easier. I often wonder where she got her training, copying Sir Alfred Munnings. or maybe Frederick Remington.
I have an up coming exhibit with an animal theme. Three artists...the others medium with be fabric and ceramics. You may be seeing a lot of animals paintings for a while. One of my favorites.. the American White Park.
This is one of my favorite spots. This view is from the boat landing on the banks of the Skunk River access looking east. I was inspired by the light crossing over the tree reflections. The last time I was here I could not get down to the bank and painted the tracks in the muddy riverbank.
I went plein air painting at Heron Bend with Jessica .http://jakpaints.blogspot.com/ We both used 6" x 12" painting panels, but hers was horizontal and mine vertical. They say that the horizontal format is more tranquil and vertical is more dynamic. All I brought with me was the 6" x 12" and I liked the driftwood and the distant trees. When a view inspires sometimes you just need to go back and do another painting because you cannot get it all in.
I paint on preprimed canvas and attach it to panels later. This gives me the option to crop the canvas to get a better composition.
This is a watercolor I painted probably 25 years ago and the barn has since been torn down. It was my first plein air painting and it took two Saturdays. When I went back the second time my dad had cleaned up the weeds for me. My aunt Adelaide also wondered why I would paint the overground weeds. I went to visit my aunt Pauline in the nursing home and it was on her wall. I am honored that it was one of the things she brought from home.
I didn't plan to go painting this morning but when I walked outside it was too nice to work inside. A friend joined me at Wilson Lake to paint the water lotus. If I can get in a couple of hours to start the day it is just like that early morning walk to the non-painters.
Volunteer for the Main Street organization. This organization helps promote downtown. We have a very vibrant downtown in Fort Madison. She has also volunteers on the Fort Madison Area Arts Association board.
We went plein air painting at sunset. I did not like the results when I used the headlight a couple of nights ago. The light would focus on one section and I needed to see the colors/values relative to each other. Still looking for a better option. This was painted using the natural light remaining shortly after the sun set. At least it started there and by the time I was finished I could see the values but not so much the actual colors. I was surprised to see this.
8" x 8" oil on Raymar panel
I worked on this the next morning. I wanted the far distance trees and buildings to recede.
When I paint at the Skunk River access I can usually set up on the river bank but the river was up and the only way to get there was to walk through the mud. This scene of the muddy boat access challenged me. I have not painted mud before at least not intentionally. I should have done a close up study.
We were lucky to stumble upon this boat anchored offshore. Sometimes I pick a scene for the challenge of the subject matter without much thought to the composition. It's a study. This one was perfect for that reflection on the boat from the light on the water. I did wipe it off once and this was cropped to a little better composition.
Wilson Lake is a favorite place to paint because of the beautiful waterscapes. I had that intention but this time of year the wildflowers are out and this scene was too good to resist. The next painting should be studies of the various varieties of wildflowers. I know Queen Anne's lace but that is about it. I might add that I started this on a slightly wet ground which I ended up fighting to get the values and colors I wanted. I have prepared several canvases with different grounds ready for the next time.
Beautiful clouds today. I could not decide between the clouds or these trees. When I first saw this the sunlight was hitting the tree trunks, but like on any cloudy day the sunlight came and went leaving me to my memory. The clouds added more interest to the background like the blues starting as a mass above then breaking up into particles dropping down. This weekend I saw the movie "Pixels" and that is probably why it seems that way.
My last two attempts at plein air painting were not worth posting. Today I feel good about this one. I decided to take the dogs out to Martin Pond and see if I can get a painting in. At one point I heard a large splash and I turned around thinking it was one the bull frogs, only to catch a glimpse of my Dachshund, Lucy swimming in the green duckweed by the bridge. I think she will get a bath later. The green pond scum was challenging along with the teal green bridge. The bridge color was created using a combination of pthalo green and Ultramarine blue.