Thursday, December 31, 2015

beginnings and endings...


"beginnings and endings"
24" x 30" oil on gallery wrap
©2015dottietleatherwood

This is an appropriate painting today for both the weather, my thoughts and New Year's Eve.  I have my fingers crossed that after nothing but rain for days and days and days on end that it will be ending soon.  According to the latest forecast the rain will end at 2:45 today.  I sure am hoping that they are right on target with that forecast.

I love the little sliver of light hitting the ground and illuminating the grass in this painting.  It stands out among the moody sky and the foggy, misty surroundings.  Just like life (and the weather), sometimes all we need is that little glimmer of hope to give us the optimism to keep going.

I believe there is always that light at the end of the tunnel.  Always that silver lining.  Even though at times, it can be so hard to find.  I lost a friend this week to cancer.  She worked at the middle school that all three of my children attended.  With three children that are two years apart, you can only imagine how long I was involved with PTO at that school.  She worked in the office and always had a bright beautiful smile for me when I came in.  We soon became friends and I always looked forward to seeing her.  She was such a beautiful woman with a wonderful sense of humor and never failed to make me laugh.  She was a radiant light and inspired so many along her journey.  Even though she has left this world behind, her light.... her glimmer is still there.   That is the both the beauty and the tragedy of life.   Beginnings and endings.

And so it is with this year.  Today is the last day of 2015.  For me, it has been a wonderful year to be an artist.  So many doors have opened that I never anticipated.  I have been working so hard these last four years and this year I have seen the groundwork and all the long hours start to pay off.  I look forward to next year and the surprises and opportunities that it may bring.  I know that there will be clouds but the sun is always waiting behind them.  A glimmer of light.  I just have to have faith.

Here's to us and the new year ahead.  May there be more beginnings than endings and more sun than rain.  And when the clouds roll in, like they always do, may the glimmer get us through.  Happy New Year!
___________________________________________________________

I will be teaching a plein air workshop in Edisto Island, SC in March.  If one of your New Year's resolutions is to learn to paint plein air or just paint better, come join me!  We will paint, learn, laugh and have fun.  Click Here for more information! Edisto Island Plein Air Workshop

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Gearing Up and Winding Down...


"There is no such thing as motivation in my world.  I am not motivated to do what I do.  As an artist, I am compelled.  I am thrust forward by a force so rooted inside me, so convincing, that it seems futile to try to explain it.  Although it has a name:  passion."   - Philippe Petit
---------------------

I'm sitting here on my couch watching the rain come down outside.  Again.  It started raining last week and hasn't stopped.  Bad plein air painting weather but good painting planning weather.  I am also taking care of some computer tasks that I have been putting off.   Do you like the new blog header above?  A fresh new one to start the new year!

The 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge starts on Friday.  Panels have been ordered and stained and stacked up ready to go. I am painting plein air for the challenge so I am hoping this rain is leaving soon!!



Busywork aside, I am doing lots of reflecting on this past year and planning for the one ahead.  The beginning of a new year always makes me a little nervous.  I feel like I am standing on the edge of a cliff looking out into nothing.  Wondering what's ahead of me and how my life will be different next year this time.  Every year as I grow older, it seems as though the years are filled with more changes.  The changes seem bigger.  Everything moves much faster.  I know I can't always count on the same people being in my life year to year like I could when I was younger.  Somehow all of this makes life much sweeter, more meaningful and so much more fragile.  

I've always used art as a way of capturing moments.  Sometimes these moments are real and sometimes they are dreams of how I would like life to be.  It gives me a tangible way to hold on to memories and places.  It's like once I have recorded them in this way, I can move on to something else.  I captured lots of "moments" this past year.  I wish I had time to capture them all but that is impossible.  You have to pick and choose in this life....Even in painting.

My biggest goal for 2016 is the same one I had for 2015.  To become a better painter.  To see and understand more and translate that understanding onto the canvas.  It seems I can never learn enough.  And that keeps me hungry for more.  I feel like a sponge most of the time, trying so hard to soak it all up.   It is inspiring,  overwhelming and humbling..... all at the same time.

As 2015 winds down and I gear up for all the opportunities that 2016 has to offer, I am so grateful that I am walking down this path.  There is nothing that I love more, than to paint.  Even on the days when I suck at it.  I still love it.  It is my greatest joy.  Thanks for following me this year on this journey of mine.  I hope we cross paths in the coming year, in a class or outside painting or maybe just on Facebook.  I'm glad we are connected.  You make my year sweeter.

Happy New Year!
______________________________________

Speaking of gearing up.... I will be teaching a plein air workshop in Edisto Island, SC in March.  If one of your New Year's resolutions is to learn to paint plein air or just paint better, come join me!  We will paint, learn, laugh and have fun.  Click Here for more information! Edisto Island Plein Air Workshop

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mossy Rocks

It is raining buckets here today, but yesterday was a beautiful day to paint ....70 degrees and sunshine.  I couldn't stay in the studio.

I headed to one of my favorite spots, little creek near my studio.  I just love the challenge of painting the rocks and water.  Each time I paint there, I learn something new.  And not just how to climb up and down the steep bank without killing myself either.

This time I focused on the rocks and not so much the stream.  I forgot my hat and had to face the sun the whole time so that my painting and palette would be in the shade.  I'd like to go back and paint the same scene again and try to catch more of the subtleties in color changes in the rocks that were hard to see because of the glare.  But I am happy enough with the composition of this one and how I simplified the shapes of the rocks.   Just enough information, but not too much.  I also liked the little tree growing in a spot between the rocks.  Takes perseverance to do that.  Just like painting plein air.


You can tell that the sun was starting to get lower in the sky by the golden cast reflected on to my plein air setup.  Here is a better view of the finished painting.

 "mossy rocks"
8" x 10" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sugar Creek

Another gift of a day to paint.  I will paint outside in just about any weather, although rain is not my pick, but warm sun and blue skies are my favorite. The short days mean that the beautiful, golden afternoon light comes a little earlier in the day and lasts a little longer.  It really adds such a glow to the golds and bronzes on the trees.  Painting the landscape around me is still all about the softness.  Soon all the leaves will be gone and painting the southern landscape will be more about the structure and starkness.   Neither is better, just different.  I think that is one of the things that draws me to paint outside... the constant change.  Nothing ever stays the same.

I painted yesterday afternoon beside a little creek with my studio-mate, Paul Hastings.  He is mostly a studio painter but I am trying to convert him to the joy of plein air.  :)  The reflections in the water of the trees and the bright blue sky were so beautiful and such fun to paint.

What an absolutely awesome way to spend an afternoon. :)  This painting is available on Daily Paintworks if you are interested.  It will be dry and ready to ship in a few days....just in time for Christmas!
 
"sugar creek"
9" x 12" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December Plein Air...

It's beginning to look a lot like....... fall.  Even though Christmas is two and a half weeks away, we still have a few fall leaves on the trees.   And today we had the sunshine, blue skies and temperatures to go with them.  I just couldn't stay in the studio.  :)

I belong to a plein air group and paint with them as often as I can.  Today they met at a nearby lake to paint and I joined them.  What a glorious day!!

I painted a walking path that runs alongside the lake this morning.  I loved the way the light was filtering through the trees and casting shadows on the path, and it was set against the dark trees in the background.  I worked on simplifying some of the shapes in the underbrush, since that wasn't where the focus was.


Here is my initial block in.  I was trying to work out the shadow pattern.

And here is the finished painting:  

After lunch,  I walked down to the lake and set about trying to make sense of the shoreline. The tapestry of the trees was beautiful and their reflections in the water were just as pretty.  Then wind picked up and one moment there were these serene reflections and the next moment they were gone.  But I decided to take a gamble that the wind would die down and began blocking in my painting with a high horizon line. Once again, I tried not to get caught up in the details and squinted a lot to simplify shapes and colors.   And my gamble paid off, the wind died down and those sweet reflections came back!



These are both available for purchase on Daily Paintworks.  See the links below if you are interested.  Such a blissful day for me.  I love my studio but my heart and soul is outside with my paint. 

"a walk in the park"
12" x 9" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

"lake view"
9" x 12" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood










Wednesday, September 30, 2015

And that's a wrap ...Day 30

A plein air painting everyday for the month of September, that is what I set out to do 29 days ago.  A lot of friends, both artists and non-artists think I am crazy for doing it.  Sometimes, especially about the third week,  I think I'm crazy for doing it.  I started this 30 in 30 thing several years ago when an artist friend, Leslie Saeta, came up with the idea and asked me to participate.  Leslie has been one of my mentors since I first started painting so if she thinks its a good idea, I usually try it.

For the record,  I think this is my 6th time doing this.  It is crazy sometimes and almost impossible to fit into my day.  And sometimes, I don't give it the full attention that it deserves because I am strapped for time or have too many other obligations.  Some days, I feel like I am drowning. And no, they don't all sell and some aren't even for sale.  But sales, although when they happen I am thrilled, aren't the reason I do it anyway.

I do it for the challenge.  I do it to stretch myself.  I do it to push myself and make myself uncomfortable.  I don't think any of us do that enough.  Push ourselves to grow.  Expect more of ourselves than we are sure we can do. Life and all the big and little things that go with it, take up our valuable learning time.  We all have obligations but I think we let them take over our lives and give ourselves up in the process.  I have found that there is always time to grow.  Even with the exhaustion of work and home and kids and parents.  Get up early, stay up late, whatever it takes.  Every time I do this it reminds me that I can do this.  That I am still up for the challenge and have the drive to push myself.  The passion to see it through.

And the blogging.  It helps too.  I don't think this would work as well without it.  It forces me to explain myself, my choices, my successes and my failures.  Sometimes I think that if I didn't blog, I wouldn't really know why I do what I do.  I start typing and my thoughts come tumbling out and I even surprise myself with them.  It keeps me both motivated and humble.

Thank you again for sharing this month long journey with me.  I know it's exhausting to do this and I'm sure it's exhausting to watch it happen day after day.  So thanks for sticking with me.  Again.

Here is my last little plein air painting of the month.   Did I mention it is still raining here?  Not sure it is ever going to stop.   I'm thinking of using the unsold paintings this month to build an ark. :)

"solo act"
8" x6" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

30 Days ...Day 28 and 29

And it is still raining.  I missed the blood moon and the lunar eclipse, my raincoat is a permanent accessory, my windshield wipers never stop and I've forgotten what the sun feels like.  Although the grass here has made a fabulous rebound from burned up brown and now looks like a lush meadow.

Painting a rainy landscape is interesting.  As dull and low as the light is, I feel like I almost see more color than when it is sunny.  And everything is soft and hazy.   No sharp edges or shadows.

Today, I post two paintings to catch myself up.  And tomorrow is the last day of the challenge and the last day of September.  How quickly this month has flown by.

These paintings are available for purchase on DailyPaintworks.

"the space between"
8" x 8" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

"rain on a tin roof"
6" x 8" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Monday, September 28, 2015

30 Days ... Day 27

Another early autumn tree study.  Although I was dreading painting in the rain, I had a delightful time  doing these little studies.  I used to dread painting trees.  They overwhelmed me.  I couldn't get the fluid shape I wanted.  They looked stiff and artificial.

In May of this year I did a month long study of trees.  One every day.  It was called a "Chunking" Study and was a part of artist Bryan Mark Taylor's Master's Mind project.  I met Bryan in April at the Plein Air Convention, where he gave a presentation on the study and the benefits of Chunking.  I have admired Bryan's work for the last couple of years and was excited by the prospect of working on my painting this way.  The thought behind "chunking" is that you can improve much more rapidly if you break painting down into smaller chunks and repeat that chunk daily over a certain period of time.  In this case a month.   I also had a to have a sponsor that I had to answer to on a daily basis.  To keep me on task :)  My good friend artist Kathy Collins did that job for me.

I picked trees for my "chunk". I had to copy a masterpiece that I wished to learn from and then paint a plein air study of a tree once a day for four weeks.  The master I chose was Levitan.  The work was "the oak".  Below you see the original on the left and my copy on the right.
  

Doing a copy is a lot tougher than I thought!  After that I did 28 plein air studies of trees over the next month and sent them to Bryan for his thoughts and input on what to work on.  It was enlightening to say the least.  I learned so much and even though my trees still aren't how I see them in my mind, they are miles better than they were.  And I don't dread them or shy away from them in the landscape anymore either.  I would definitely recommend the experience.

Here is today's study.  Another little taste of fall color on a very rainy morning.

"paintbox leaves"
12" x 6" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Sunday, September 27, 2015

30 Days ...Day 26

OK, so I am a day behind posting and painting.  But I am catching up.  The weather has been less than cooperative and less than inspiring to get out in and paint in.  As in rainy.  Really rainy and overcast.  Blah.  I am a sunshine or at least semi bright skies kind of girl.  I have a hard time getting fired up to paint outside in this weather.  So I have been in the studio painting instead.  But I am out this morning painting and making the best of the weather.

I am working on tree studies.  Close up landscapes...since my "vistas" are not so great.  The colors of trees are finally progressing toward a fall palette instead of the greens of summer.  Much more fun to paint, here in the south.  Here is the first of several to come:

"changing palette"
12" x 6" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Friday, September 25, 2015

30 Days ...Day 25

Confession time... I didn't actually paint plein air today.  I worked in the studio most of today and had a meeting this evening and was planning on painting after that.  I ran home to feed the dog and as I was checking the mail, my foot slid on the wet grass and bam!  I hit the ground.  I'm fine but I scraped about 20 layers of skin off of my big toe in the process.  It hurts like the devil so I am having a nice big glass of wine, putting my feet up and taking the night off.

However, I do have a painting to post.  And it is plein air.  I painted this little study last week when I was in Savannah. So I do have a Day 25 painting after all!

"tree study
12 x 6" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Thursday, September 24, 2015

30 Days ...Day 24

Painted in my pajamas again today.  But today I got caught.  A house is being built next door to me and there are always construction workers milling around but I've gotten used to them.  However, my new soon-to-be-neighbors came by this morning to check on the progress and there I was, sitting on the ground in the back yard painting.  My dog started barking his head off, just to make sure that there was no way they would miss seeing me.  I kind of gave a little wave and tried to hurry up and finish my painting.  Then it started to rain but I was too far into the painting to quit so I just kept painting. In the rain.  In the middle of the yard. In my pajamas.  I'm sure they are wondering what kind of crazy they are moving next door to!
This is about the time it started to rain.  I snapped a picture in ca there was a downpour but luckily it was just a good steady drizzle.  Threw some pumpkins into the mix this morning.  Wish there had been a little sun to give it some zing but such is the life painting plein air.

This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks.

"a fall composition"
10" x 8" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

30 Days ...Day 23

It's Day 23 and it's the first day of fall!  I celebrated by getting up, pouring a mug of coffee and heading out to paint.  In my pajamas.

This morning was gorgeous.  It's as if Mother Nature knew it was officially autumn.  There was a cool breeze, leaves were falling around me and the light just felt "soft".  Not sunny, not cloudy... just soft.

I sat down in the grass in my backyard and painted my overgrown patch of zinnias.  The last of summer on the first day of fall.  Such a peaceful way to start the day. :)


This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks.

"the first day of fall"
10" x 8" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

30 Days ...Day 22

I paint fast but painting a sunset, even a cloudy one without lots of color is a race against time.  I don't always use a palette knife when I am painting outside just because I am comfortable mixing with my brush.  However, with a sunset or sunrise it is necessary for me.  I can mix a couple of big piles and work quickly from them just adjusting the value where it is needed.

The name of this one came to me as I was painting. It looked as if the clouds were holding the sun in a hammock....keeping it aloft a little longer.

This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks.

"cloud hammock"
6" x 12" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Monday, September 21, 2015

30 Days ...Day 21

Here is another one from the coast.  I painted as many as time would allow while I was down taking care of my mom, so there are a couple more to come :)

I loved this little half-hidden house on the marsh.  The sky that day had just cleared and was just the most brilliant September blue, which was also reflected in the water.  Looked like a dream spot to me and I could have moved right in to live.

This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks.


"a place on the water"
8" x 10" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Sunday, September 20, 2015

30 Days ...Day 20


I can hardly believe there are only 10 days left in this challenge.  I painted yesterday on the beach.  Can't imagine anything better than feet in the sand and a paintbrush in my hand.  If only every morning started out that way :)

This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks: Click Here

"dunes at daybreak"
6" x 8" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Saturday, September 19, 2015

30 Days ....Day 19

The skies have cleared here at the coast. A gorgeous day yesterday and even prettier today. I painted this one yesterday. 

Fall is coming and the marsh grass is beginning to turn that beautiful golden color. What a lucky girl I am to get to stand in the midst of such beauty and paint. I couldn't ask for anything more in this world than that. 

This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks. Her is the link: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/dottie--t--leatherwood/autumn-begins/413662

"autumn begins"
6"x12" oil on panel
AVAILABLE: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/dottie--t--leatherwood/autumn-begins/413662

Friday, September 18, 2015

30 Days .... Day 18

Still loving these moody skies although today its scheduled to clear up a bit. The grays are a such a challenge. I want to capture that softness and the gradations without exaggeration. But it's difficult to make read in a painting sometimes. I could use a lot more practice!

This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks at this link:
http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/dottie--t--leatherwood/fluid-forms/413478

"fluid forms"
8"x10" oil on panel 
AVAILABLE: click here: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/dottie--t--leatherwood/fluid-forms/413478


Thursday, September 17, 2015

30 Days... Day 17


Another cloudy but beautiful day on the coast today. I stood under a bridge and painted just in case it rained.  But it was absolutely perfect. No rain just a lovey breeze and the smell of salt water.  

I'm using my phone to write this blog so I hope it turns out ok. I've never done it this way before.  Fingers crossed!

"chance of rain"
6"x8" oil on panel
Available on DailyPaintworks at the following link: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/dottie--t--leatherwood/chance-of-rain/413314


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

30 Days ...Day 16

I'm in my hometown of Savannah for the next several days taking care of my mother who is having surgery.  But that also means that I get to paint a little of the coastal beauty that surrounds me.  It's cloudy here this morning but somehow the clouds on the coast are always so much more interesting and beautiful.  Lots of cloud layers this morning and a little light peeping through in spots.

I only have my iPhone with me to take pictures so there is a bit of shine on the wet paint.  I hope you can still get a feel for the way this moody morning started out.

This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks

"September dawn"
6" x 12" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

30 Days ...Day 15

I am traveling today, so I painted this one yesterday at the park.  This is the view of the embankment that I have to climb down to get to my favorite spot to paint by the creek.

I loved the way the light fell on the path and lit up the rocks.  Almost like a waterfall of light... a "nightfall" !

And just so you know, it is always easier climbing back up in flip flops than it is climbing down :)

"the embankment"
10" x 8" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood


Monday, September 14, 2015

30 Days ...Day 14

I left the studio early today to go paint outside.  What a beautiful day it was!  In the 70's, sunny, with no humidity.  Just perfect.

I headed to this great park not far from my studio.  It has a lovely little creek running through it.  The only challenge is climbing down the steep embankment to get to it.  Especially when you are wearing flip flops.  But I've never let that stop me before, so I said a little prayer and made it safely down to the rock ledge right above the water.

I had the perfect spot in the shade, or so I thought.  I had been painting about 15 minutes when I realized my shady spot was about to be a sunny spot.  Unfortunately, I was pretty much in the only flat spot to put my easel so I made the best of it.  I had to face the sun to keep my painting in the shade.  Every time that happens, I always have to adjust my values when I get the painting home.  It's either that or paint with sunglasses on... and that option doesn't really work either.

So while I am happy enough with this one and the other one I did that I will post tomorrow, they both are a little washed out and need some touch ups to get the values to read.

"on the rocks"
8" x 10" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Sunday, September 13, 2015

30 Days ...Day 13

Barely got this one done today.  It was such a beautiful day and I wanted to paint outside so badly but I have several commissions that took precedence, so I spent the day in my studio.  My Day 13 painting was done this evening right before dinner.  In fact, I almost burned the potatoes, running back and forth between easel and oven.

I painted this one on my front porch looking down the street.  I must have looked interesting because several people almost ran their cars off the road trying to see what I was doing :)  I do like how abstractly this one turned out.

Forgive the bad picture....wet paint in inside light doesn't photograph well.

"canopy"
8" x 10" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Saturday, September 12, 2015

30 Days ...Day 12

Today I am in Greensboro, NC teaching a workshop so I knew I needed to paint this one yesterday.  After a gray morning, the sun finally made an appearance.  The setting sun really lights up my neighbor's oak tree and it was a perfect subject to paint.  But as evening light has a way of doing... it changed quickly.  Faster than I could paint.  I got the light on the tree trunk down and the cascade of lit leaves and then the light was gone.  So the rest is from memory.  It is proving to be a good exercise in observation.

This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks.

"oak in late light"
8" x 6" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Friday, September 11, 2015

30 Days...Day 11

Today, there is no subject more fitting to paint than the flag flying at half-mast honoring the victims of September 11th and reminding us how proud we should be to be Americans.  God bless.

"at half-mast"
12" x 6" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Thursday, September 10, 2015

30 Days ...Day 10

Another plein air vignette from my garden.  I always throw a bunch of zinnia seeds in the garden among my tomato plants.  They are one of my favorite summer flowers and they really brighten up the garden.  Such happy flowers.  They almost look like they are dancing in this painting.

This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks.

zinnias
8" x 6" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

30 Days ...Day 9

Don't you just love a good tomato?  They just taste like summer to me.  I still have a few tomato plants in my garden.  The drought and heat really cut into the harvest this year. Now that it's finally cooling off a little, the remaining plants are producing tomatoes again.  I'm hoping they will keep holding on until October.

This was a challenge with all of the reds and greens.  I played around with the edges a lot and tried for a really loose feel.

This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks.

"on the vine"
8" x 10" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

If you are in the Atlanta area, I hope you will make plans to come to our opening reception at Ferrari Fine Art today!  Here is all the information:

Where: Ferrari Fine Art
             425 Peachtree Hills Avenue
             Suite 3
             Atlanta, GA 30305
When:  Wednesday, September 9th
             Light Lunch: 11am - 2pm
             Wine & Hors d'oeuvres:  6pm - 8pm

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

30 Days ...Day 8

I am in Atlanta for a gallery opening at Ferrari Fine Art this week, so this weekend I painted several plein air paintings to post while I am gone.  I wandered around my back yard in search of painting opportunities and came up with some little vignettes.

Today's painting is a close up view of the rose-of-sharon blooms on a tree just off my porch.  Love these delicate little flowers and I had fun painting the abstract leaf shapes.

If you are in the Atlanta area, please stop by and say hello.  It is going to be a beautiful show.  Here are the details:

Where: Ferrari Fine Art
             425 Peachtree Hills Avenue
             Suite 3
             Atlanta, GA 30305
When:  Wednesday, September 9th
             Light Lunch: 11am - 2pm
             Wine & Hors d'oeuvres:  6pm - 8pm


This painting is available for purchase on Daily Paintworks.

"opening up"
6" x 8" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Monday, September 7, 2015

30 Days ...Day 7

Sometimes you have to get up early to catch a great painting.  I enjoy doing nocturnes but I just don't ever think to do them.  I love the soft fuzzy edges you get when there isn't much light.  It simplifies the scene. And the longer you look, the more color you see.

This painting is available for purchase on Daily Paintworks.

"waking up"
8" x 8" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood



Sunday, September 6, 2015

30 Days ...Day 6

Sometimes all you need to do is look up for inspiration. Today started out sunny and  then clouds moved in. And then they moved out.  And then they moved back in again.  All day it was like that.  Beautiful, fast moving clouds.  Lots of grays and purples, mixed in with various shades of white.  I put aside the painting I was working on to try and capture them.  It was like chasing ghosts but I think I managed to get a reasonably good idea down in paint of what was going on overhead.

This painting is available for purchase on DailyPaintworks.

"above the treetops"
6" x 8" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Saturday, September 5, 2015

30 Days ...Day 5

Spent the morning at Duke Mansion painting in the garden.  Such a beautiful place and gorgeous morning light even if I was staring into the sunshine the whole time.  My eyes are still watering this morning :)

This painting is available for purchase on Daily Paintworks.

"morning sun in the garden"
8" x 6" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Friday, September 4, 2015

30 Days ...Day 4

The backpack that carries my easel and paints is a permanent fixture in my jeep.  I like always having the option to paint if the moment seizes me.

Yesterday I drove to Tyler White O'Brien Gallery in Greensboro to deliver some new work and decided to paint my daily painting there before I headed back home.  I drove out to a lake just outside of town and found this little spot.

Sometimes you can find a great spot but can't figure out how to get there.  The gates to the marina were locked up tight.  And although I kept seeing these great little pedestrian bridges over the coves of the lake beside the road, there was nowhere to pull off and park.  I kept driving around, burning daylight. Finally, I realized there was an office complex near one of the bridges giving me a place to park and climb down the hill to the walkway.  The things I do to paint.

The walkway was fairly narrow but I only encountered three walkers so when I turned sideways they had room to pass.  By the time I set up, clouds were rolling in so the light was pretty diffused with a lot of haze in the distance.  However, the clouds did nothing to alleviate the heat....still a balmy 95 degrees when I finished up.  It was a lovely little spot to paint though, I'd love to go back.

This painting is available for purchase on Daily Paintworks.

"three pines"
8" x 6" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood


Thursday, September 3, 2015

30 Days ...Day 3

Here is another one I painted on the farm.  As all farms do, there was lots of "stuff" sitting around.  Farm equipment, old trucks, bins and barrels... a painter's paradise. And tractors - lots of old ones with great patina.  I loved this one with the little yellow wildflowers growing in front of it.

It was hot with a couple of biting flies that took a liking to the back of my legs, so this one was done as quickly as I could. There was an old water storage tank behind the tractor, that was very cool.  I painted it in but as I stepped back to look at my painting when I was done, I realized it competed too much with the tractor and so I painted it out.  Now it is behind the trees :)

old tractor with yellow flowers
6" x 8" oil on canvas panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

30 Days... Day 2

Day 2 and I was off to the farm to paint.  So many things to paint and such a hot day to paint them.  I was scrambling for shade.  This turning your back to the subject thing worked out well, as I stood under a tree with my back up against a barbed wire fence :)

All in the name of staying in the shade and learning something.

"red roof inn"
8" x 10" oil on linen panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

30 Plein Air Paintings in 30 Days ...Day 1

It's September and you know what that means.  30 Paintings in 30 Days.  I do this every January and September and it is a great lesson in discipline. I paint pretty much every day, year round.  Painting is my happy place.  I lose track of time, worries disappear and I am at peace.  I also paint everyday to get better, to work on things that I need to learn and learn new things that I want to figure out.

Today is Day 1.  Every time I do this challenge, I have a theme.  I like to learn something different or concentrate on something that I want to improve.  I'll be painting plein air all month like last September but with a little twist.  When Leslie Saeta and I interviewed Anne Blair Brown last month on the AHA show, she talked about painting from her visual memory.  The ability to look at a scene and paint what she remembers.  That intrigued me.  So I will be painting plein air but with my easel facing away from what I am painting for at least part of the time.

I'm thinking that this is going to be a real challenge.  Plein air is hard enough.  Looking over my shoulder every so often to get glimpses of what I'm painting, scares the heck out of me but I would love to be able to remember a scene in greater detail and for a longer period of time than just a few minutes.  I also think it might help to eliminate my tendency to render too much.  We shall see!


Here is my painting for Day 1.  I painted it early this morning on my back porch, just as the sun was rising.  A pot of geraniums.  I turned my easel so that I had to look over my shoulder to study it.  I can't say it was easy.  But I did remember more than I thought I would.  Colors were easy.  The structure of the plant...not so much.

cascade of pink
7"x5" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"saving for a rainy day"

Back in the studio and painting away.  I'm still hooked on cloudscapes and am fitting one or two in just for fun while I am working on gallery paintings.  I saw an artist post on Facebook the other day that he always paints a painting for himself with every 3 he paints for galleries.  What a fabulous idea!
I love to paint for shows and commissions, don't get me wrong.  I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have. But when I have a painting in my mind, I just have to get it out and onto the canvas.  Makes me happy....
"saving for a rainy day"
36" x 24" oil on canvas
©2015dottietleatherwood

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Beach Time....

After trying all summer long, I have finally made it down to the beach.  Mostly family vacation with a little painting time thrown in here and there for me.  I love waking up early before anyone else and setting out with my paints to find a great spot.  To be truthful there are no bad spots....the decision is always how far do I want to go.

I've painted in the same spot for the last couple of days.  There is so much to paint and the light there in the morning is just killer.  It has my three favorite things...marsh, water and sky :)  And those clouds this morning were so gorgeous.  And changing so fast!


Here are my two paintings that are available on Daily Paintworks if you are interested in a little coastal inspiration.  
"piece of heaven"
6" x 8" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood


"breaking light"
8" x 10" oil on panel
©2015dottietleatherwood