Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Seal Rock: Getting Over My Issues.

 "Seal Rock"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I've had issues with Seal Rock in the past. Fog, Food poisoning....bad paintings....but Seal Rock is my husband's favorite beach on the Oregon coast, because the enormous yellow rock protects the beach from wind, keeping it warm enough to frolic on (in bathing suits, which no one would dare wear on the OR coast, except Jesse and Ellie, because they are extremely warm-blooded, and also crazy). To keep out of the wind, you have to climb down a nicely paved path just south of the rock itself, but for this painting, I set up a quarter mile down 101, at a viewpoint off the highway. I climbed over the guard rail and planted my easel and umbrella in the clifftop dirt. It was a great spot, and a not-too-windy day - considering - luckily I stayed upright long enough to sketch this in. I also enjoyed talking to the many photography enthusiasts who seemed to know the spot well.

Ah, Seal Rock. I may finally have figured out what my husband sees in you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Early early.

 "Yaquina Head Lighthouse from Agate Beach"
11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

One of my favorite things to do at the coast is run on the beach. Early. The light is so spectacular at sunrise. Instead of running this morning, I dragged my gear out onto the beach (not a short hike), optimistically planted my umbrella in the sand, and began to paint. Well, the light - and the umbrella - didn't last long. But I got this down on canvas before I was forced to flee by the advancing sun.

After wading back through the rapidly drying sand, I retreated to town for coffee and breakfast!

 Painting with subject, taken well after I'd gotten the intial light/shadow realtionships down.

...And in case I haven't made you Oregon-coast-jealous enough: my lonely easel on the sunrise-washed beachscape: 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Street Art

"Above Toledo"
12 x 9 inches, oil on canvas

Toledo, Oregon is a sunny little town about ten miles inland from Newport. It has a vibrant arts community, and I was lucky to be there during their annual art walk. After exploring the town, I decided to stay and paint a while. I didn't even need to search out a parking garage to get this view- it's a seriously hilly place! (and there aren't any, anyway - parking garages)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Ocean Rocks, Yes It Does

 "Ocean Rocks"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
A very special One Dollar auction!

On my second day at the coast, I returned to Yaquina Head - site of this lovely lighthouse - to capture a scene I'd scoped out on my previous painting trip.

If you stand next to the lighthouse and look to your left, you see this:

 ...And if you stand there long enough without a jacket on, you get VERY COLD, like I am in this picture!

Friday, September 12, 2014

On A Beach. Ona Beach.

  "The Bridge to Ona Beach"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

After the excellent time I had painting the coast back in July, I was determined to return before the end of summer. And I did, last week!

I started out at Ona Beach, a lovely spot just south of Newport, where Beaver Creek meets the sea. Colorful kayakers crossed through my painting several times during the morning, and a group of boisterous kids built a campfire nearby, sending smoke signals across my view. Also there were clouds. Moving clouds. But how could I complain? I was in one of my favorite places on earth, doing the thing I love to do more than anything else. It was bliss - and a great way to warm up for plenty more coastal action.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

McKenzie Art Festival Paintout

 "Leaburg Dam"
16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas
 Special paintout price: $350

Well. This paintout was a blast. And it was three weeks ago. Bad blogger! Since then, I have been to the coast to paint (much more on that tomorrow), and to the Bay Area for a wedding. Also plenty of other stuff that I can't even remember right now because I'm busy planning my next adventure: the Hillsboro Plein Air Plus paintout, which is this weekend in Portland!

But back to three weeks ago...The McKenzie Art Festival paintout is a nice event, in conjunction with a sweet little arts festival with live music and a display of vintage RV's. I arrived early to get my canvases stamped, and headed out to find a good spot, finally settling on the Leaburg dam. A picturesque spot - but more importantly, a spot with parking, porta-potties, and SHADE!


 The day got sizzling hot, and I had to shed several layers before dropping my painting off to be juried. Here is my piece, below my friend (and figure-painting companion) Farley's entry:

With only seven artists in the contest, I still felt honored to take third place. Here I am in the winner's circle, with friends Farley (1st place), Patti (juror), and Brent Burkett (2nd).

I'm the one in red, in case you're new to the blog. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Plentiful Paintouts

"Cornucopia by the Tracks"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I painted this on Sunday afternoon. It was a fun one, and a great way to warmup for the Plein Air Paintout that went down yesterday. That was a great event - I won third prize in the cityscape category with this painting, which I hope to tweak and post here after the exhibit comes down. Meanwhile, plein air season is not over yet! I'll be at the McKenzie Arts Festival this Saturday, competing in another paintout. My dear Patti is the judge - not that I expect any special treatment (*wink wink*). Come out and join us!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Iconic Eugene

 "View From Skinner Butte"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

This view of Eugene is so iconic, it's the Facebook profile picture for the city itself! If you want to get the lay of the land around here, head to the top of Skinner Butte, and take it all in!

I've been exploring all kinds of high places to paint in - from parking garages to beach cliffs to hillsides. I love the challenge of simplifying a busy scene, capturing the feeling of all those buildings and trees with dashes of color.

Here's a work-in-progress:

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Plein-Air First

"Valley Sunset"
14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas

My first sunset painting! I never did try it out at the coast - it was just too blinding, looking into the sun going down over the ocean. This valley view had the sun at my back. I love the golden light on the pines.

For locals wondering where I found this scene, it was on Mt. Baldy. Not a mountain, but a nice view nonetheless. Here's a picture of me enjoying my post-painting glow.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

No Rain

 "The Flower Stand"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

My second painting from the flower farm. The sky was pretty crazy, with some ominous-looking clouds moving through. It never rained, though - not that we couldn't use it. Yes, this is Oregon, and YES, it rains a lot, but not from July through September. By August, the ground is always fried to a crisp! It kind of works for me - I can use my repertoire of flesh tones on the brown patches.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

At the Flower Farm

 "Sparhawk Flower Farm"
11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

Sparhawk flower farm, at the base of Mt. Pisgah, is a spot I've been wanting to revisit since last summer, when I painted this view of it from above. It's a lovely place, run by artist-friendly folks who were happy to host me for the morning. U-pickers strolled around me, gathering beautiful bouquets to take home. Creativity was in the air!

Coming up in just four short days is the plein air event of the summer, here in Eugene. The second annual Create!Eugene paintout is this Wednesday, August 20th, and no, I still haven't decided where I'm going to paint that day. I've entered both the landscape and cityscape categories, though, so my options are wide open!

Friday, August 15, 2014

So Many Peaches, So Little Time

 "Peaches and Tea"
10 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I've been eating a LOT of peaches lately. As many as we picked, I feel like I should be making hundreds more peach paintings, but plein air is obsessing me lately - and also I just bought a huge carton of prune plums at Costco....SO, the remainder of my peach bounty might have to miss their moment to model!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lying Awake

 "Lying Awake"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

Here's another painting of this lovely model. It's intimidating to paint a face sideways, so I just treated it like I'd treat any scary subject: as shapes, colors, and values, rather than as a face (or a glass bottle, folds of cloth, water....)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Colorful Characters in Coburg

"Colorful Coburg"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

After completing my painting of Green Island, I was ready for a slightly less bucolic subject. So I headed into the town of Coburg, only a few miles away. It's a very small town, known for antique shops, with a shady gazebo in its grassy central park - which I commandeered as my plein air painting studio for the afternoon. 

The green house on the left is a photography studio. The owner was spending the sweltering afternoon relaxing on his front porch, and soon headed over to see what I was up to - and to snap a picture, which he generously printed out for me. My only other company were some friendly geocachers, whose quarry ended up being directly under the floorboards I was standing on! I don't pretend to understand geocaching as a hobby, but I'm sure there are PLENTY of people who don't understand packing up half your studio and toting it 20 miles into the middle of nowhere to paint in the baking sun for the day, either!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Plein Air on Green Island

 "Green Island"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

On Saturday, I headed out to a spot called Green Island with the Plein Air Painters of Lane County. It was once farmland, surrounded during the rainy season by rivers that required the farmer to access his fields by ferry boat! Now it's being reforested with native trees. 

It was a peaceful spot, but hot and windy. Too bad I didn't capture my umbrella fails - they were numerous!

Here's my painting-in-progress:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Perky and Positive, Moi?

16 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

Here, finally photographed and bloggable, is my figure painting from last Tuesday. I absolutely love the busy-ness of Summer - I feel like I could go out plein air painting every day and never get tired of it. I did spend some quality studio-still life time last night (with coffee), though, and that felt damn good too. 

Let's see if I'm still this perky when the temperature's hovering around 100° later today!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Urban Plein Air

 "Party Downtown (sketch)"
14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas

I titled this one "Party Downtown" because my mom told me to. Also because that's the name of the restaurant in the long yellow building at the lower right. It's a fun name for a restaurant and a fun name for a painting. Thanks, mom!


 Speaking of fun, I'm all suited up and ready to head out to the country for a day of non-urban plein air. You can follow along on Facebook, or Instagram if you like.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Fruits of My Labor

 "The Peach Harvest"
11 x 14 inches, oil on canvas

Earlier this week, we went peach picking for the first time. Growing up in Ohio, there was always apple picking, but peaches, pears, blueberries? So Oregon. Ironically, the apples are better in Ohio.

I made a special effort to pick some leaves along with my peaches, with a painting just like this in mind!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Weekend Update

 "Six Grannies"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

Whew, what a weekend! It kicked off with a fun Friday of painting at Oregon Art Supply. The art-walkers were out in force, and I had friendly and interested company throughout the evening. I even got to say a few words to the group - an opportunity I never shy away from. Just give me that mic!
I had all my recent coastal landscapes on the walls, along with plenty of still lives, and I even got to send some of them home with awesome collectors!

The rest of my weekend was spent getting ready for Ellie's 5th birthday celebration, which was a blast. (And the adults enjoyed it, too!) I can't believe my daughter is five. She's very happy about it.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Above It All

"Oak Street Summer"
16 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

This was painted on the top floor of a parking garage. I scoped out this location years ago when I had a job watering plants in office buildings. Instead of a watering can, yesterday I had an easel to lug in and out of my car! What a welcome change. And speaking of cars, the best thing about painting in a parking garage is that you can park right next to your setup! What bliss.