It stopped raining so I worked at painting irises at Connie Hansen Garden in Lincoln City. A gorgeous day and perfect for trying plein air painting again. I see it’s not the best idea to paint in the sun (even though we adore sun when we get it) because the oil paints started to get really warm and soft. I started to wonder if my painting would drip off the canvas. I definitely need more experience.
Connie Hansen Garden 9×12″ oil on panel
Today was the day. I have been thinking about going outdoors to paint — but always had something in the way. I tried the backyard a few days ago, but it sent the neighbor’s large dog into a huge anxiety fit, so I trekked back inside. Yesterday I went shopping and picked up an outdoor easel. Practiced inside with a couple of paintings, then today was the day.
I headed to the nearby public garden and set up beside a darling little pond. It was difficult! There was so much to look at, all around, up and down. What to focus on? I had forgotten my little viewfinder (thank you, Katia) so tried to create a composition from the absolutely HUGE world around me. I painted about 90 minutes, until it looked seriously like a downpour was about to happen. I learned a ton. I had figured I was painting water — but the painting is really about the rocks. The rocks were fascinating and all sorts of shades. Anyway, it worked out. I am eager to try it again. Found some peonies there that are still in bloom, so tomorrow they will be mine.
Anyone who has thought about getting outdoors to paint — give it a try. It is so very different from the studio.
Busy weekend, too! I enjoyed working in Katia Kyte’s oil painting workshop at Oregon Coast Community College last Saturday and Sunday. It was quite different from seascapes, as we painted from ordinary objects. She was such fun and very inspiring. And, now I look at peppers, pears, and so on with a new appreciation.
This was my first try at painting shiny metal, too. So the spoon is quite the accomplishment. I’ve posted the first attempt, and the second, and it’s easy to see improvement. Except in the second painting, I have really ignored reality, making the spoon so much larger in proportion to the pear. It was very important to me, so I just naturally made it bigger. So it goes. Anyway, some interesting studies done over the weekend.
It’s been fun to be a student again — and getting to paint from 9 till 4 every day for two weeks with a lively, dedicated and talented group of seascape painters was quite an experience. Byron Pickering, long-time Oregon coast seascape painter, taught his annual workshop right here in Lincoln City and I was thrilled to learn it was happening and be included.
Artists came from all over: Hawaii, Georgia, Germany, Australia and Canada. And they were talented and skilled. I’ve posted the four paintings we did over the two-week workshop. Byron is a studio painter, working from memory and imagination, rather than photographs. He captures the stormy, misty coast better than anyone I’ve seen.