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On the Easel

Painting Inside & Outside

So, as we know, time flies when you're having fun, enjoying your work, and trying to meet deadlines. Am I right?? So, Winter's flurries turned into Spring swirlies of activity! That’s a great thing too for the most part - with new artworks from the field and the studio! I’ve been switching back and forth between capturing the fresh spring greens and blooms, and working on a new seascape collection that I started in January. Was that a good idea? I dunno… but each does inform the other. The shifting light and (fickle) weather keep me on my toes, and remind me to work loose and light. Back in the studio I can dig into color studies and larger works, trying to keep that feeling of freshness but with stable lighting and without the wind and rain!

It’s a bit of ying and yang, and a busy brush, but it has yielded a wall full of in-progress and almost-done artworks ready to receive their final touches before a good long drying process before retouch varnish, hanging hardware, and framing activities. Yes, there are a lot of steps to getting a piece ready to hang!

So this is a bit of a double update - sharing some recent plein air highlights and offering a mini peek at the new Dawn to Dusk collection pieces that are drying on pretty much every wall and easel surface in my studio right now...

Outside - or Painting at the Whims of the Fickle Northwest Spring

Painting with PAWA at the Arboretum and with SPACE Gallery at Magnusson Park was so much fun! (Plus the tulips at Roozengarde (see April's post). Rain, wind, sun, our own bloom -boom - the NW in Spring has it all that's for sure! I've learned that an umbrella rig is a must if you want to stick it out with oil painting in the rain or if you're a melty gal that NEEDS shade! The works above aren't in my web shop yet, so if you see something you like, drop me a line at my email or via the contact page. I'll have them at upcoming events, and will add them to the website later in July if they're still available.

I've also decided that I just don't "get" social media, so I'm going to just do what I want and have fun with it! Here are short and silly Part 1 and Part 2 Plein Air videos that I created from the Arboretum Paint Out in May.

Where to start can sometimes be a challenge, so sketching first is a must!

I had the best of intentions to show ALL the steps... but once I was in the flow, I forgot to stop for steps #5-7. Oh geez! I'll try again this summer to create a better set of plein air steps... But #8 Celebrate is really a good one, so I'm glad that I didn't forget that one! :)

Inside - Creating an Idea that Dawned on Me Long Ago!

On the studio in-side of things, I've spent most of this year creating early morning seascapes, playing with predawn to sunrise, water reflections spilling into the day. The early inspiration to create a collection of dawn paintings is from a 2018 trip to Vashon Island with my daughter. I remember lying in bed one morning, awake around 4 or 5 a.m. with my daughter pressed at my back. I faced the open window, and the barely perceptible brightening of not-yet-day beckoned with twinkling lights on the distant hills. I dozed and awoke multiple times, with each peek the soft light slowing emerged in a sort of stop motion flow. I couldn't reach my camera, so most of this lives in my memory only, and a couple photos taken later in the morning. Maybe that's why I can't let it go, and have to paint it out of my re-looping brain. One benefit of being a full time artist is that I finally have time to chip away at the backlog of ideas in my brain, and get them out onto canvas! Thus "Dawn to Dusk" is finally emerging in 2024!

My working wall above shares my studio process, with lots of small studies to work out color relationships across the first works in the collection. I've been using a blend of thin layers, and oil bar for some great textures. Some pieces are softer, earlier in the morning or representing more misty days. Some have more strident marks, as light bursts from clouds. I'll share more photos in next month's post... Please join the subscriber list here to receive the Subscriber-Only Preview. And if you'd like to see them in person, Part 1 of the collection will officially launch at two upcoming events. Three of my Dawn on Vashon monotypes will be included in the "Seattle Summer" exhibit at Gallery B612 in SODO that opens on July 11. And selected "Dawn to Dusk" canvas works will be revealed at the Alki Art Fair July 19-21! 

Hope you have a happy and artful summer!

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