Saturday, January 30, 2016

"winter glow" ...Day 30

Done!  30 Paintings in 30 days once again.  I am always a little relieved when this day arrives.  Usually about day 15 I start thinking there is no way I'm going to pull this off.  That this will be the month I can't get it done.  At that point, it is a day by day job.  One day at a time.  Which is really a lesson in how I should do everything.  One step at a time.  Not get too far ahead of myself and get overwhelmed.  Hmmm.  That is one lesson I keep having to learn over and over.

So I am finishing the month out with the last little bit of snowy landscape that I could find to paint.  It was one of those afternoons when there was a thin veil of clouds and the sun was just a glow in the sky.  Everything was lit with a soft diffused light.

Thank you for staying with me this month through the 30 in 30.  I have enjoyed being outside everyday painting. It added a little bit of peace and joy to my day and I hope it added a little bit of joy to yours as well.  If there was one that tugged at you, they are all for sale on Daily Paintworks.

"winter glow"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

(Ironically, as you are reading this I am on a ski slope in Wyoming surrounded by more snow than I could ever paint:))

Friday, January 29, 2016

"lyrical" ....Day 29

Wow!  Only one more day to go!  Snow has all but melted here as this 30 day challenge is wrapping up.  I caught the very last of it at a small lake nearby.  You can see that the only snow remaining was across the lake.  I was standing in the mud.  And although it looks deserted, I was not alone.  At least two dozen geese wandered up and down the bank and around my feet as I painted.  I was of no interest to them.

I loved the way the branches and fallen logs dipped and weaved in and around each other and just touched the surface of the lake.  The wind was blowing which kept the reflections to a minimum but the deep olive green of the water was beautiful.  A lovely afternoon to paint.

"lyrical"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OR PURCHASE

___________________________________________________________

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, January 28, 2016

"just around the bend" ...Day 28

The snow covered path just called to me.   The evergreens on the left provided an nice solid area of color to offset the grasses and snow on the right.   There was a lot going on in this scene with color and texture and it was so hard to choose what to simplify and what to leave out.  I would love to explore this one a little larger and have fun with all of the different textures.  Don't you just love that Carolina blue sky??  So pretty.

"just around the bend"
5" x 7" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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, January 27, 2016

"at the edge of the woods" ...Day 27

Snow fades fast in the south.  Most of the snow and ice is off of the roads now although this morning my driveway could still be used for a skating rink.  I headed back to the same spot by the creek and painted two paintings on Sunday...the one I am posting today and the painting I will post tomorrow.  Enough snow remained undisturbed to still paint although the grasses were becoming more and more a part of the scenery.  I like the different textures that snow in the landscape provides.  It is an ever changing scene as more snow melts and reveals what is underneath.

This was actually my second painting of the day.  I loved the bold blue shadows that streaked across the snow from the trees.  I always marvel at how a white blanket of snow seems to open up the landscape.  The southern landscape, especially the wooded areas, tends to be dense with undergrowth and trees close together and many small trees shooting up here and there.  But snow provides a clean and airy look to the woods and makes everything seem so much more open and visible.

"at the edge of the woods"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"snowbank" ...Day 26

I found this beautiful spot to paint just as the sun was starting to sink low in the sky.  It had been cloudy most of the day but finally the clouds broke about 4:00.  There is a creek not far from my house and I thought it might be a good spot to paint.  I was right.  No one was around and the snow was pristine.    The water was this gorgeous dark color which made everything else around it seem to glow.

All I wanted was a bigger canvas.  I thought that I would learn to love these little 5x7's but I don't.  I am frustrated because I just don't seem to have enough room to explore the subject in front of me.  They have been a great lesson in simplification, though.  There is too little canvas to go into much detail.  Sometimes that is fine but when I'm in a spot that is really awesome, I want a bigger place to play.

So I painted the 5x7 and simplified my shapes.  If I had more time I would have pulled out a larger panel when I finished and painted a larger one but daylight ends quickly in January.  The sun was setting quickly as I was packing up.   By the time I got to my jeep it was almost dark.

I will use this study and the pictures I took to paint a larger work.  You can see how dark the woods appear in the photo above.  But in reality, they were so much lighter....like in the painting.   That is the beauty of having a plein air study to develop a painting with.  The camera can lie and cause you to paint values that are all wrong.  I look forward to going bigger with this one.

"snowbank"
5"x7" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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

Monday, January 25, 2016

"sparkling" ...Day 25

Here is another painting from the first day it snowed....Friday.  The big oaks in my neighborhood form a wonderful arching canopy of limbs over the road, which is lovely in any season.  But when it snows, it's almost like going down a sparkling secret tunnel.  Just magical.

This one was a tough one to paint small.  I wanted much more canvas to say what I wanted to say.  It took several revisions to simplify it.  But that's the way it is with painting, right?

"sparkling"
5" x 7" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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


Sunday, January 24, 2016

"soft surroundings" ...Day 24

Another day of painting in the snow.  I painted this one the day of the storm when there was almost a white out going on.  A mixture of sleet, freezing rain and snow made the horizon soft and fuzzy.  Not much value difference in the landscape at all, which made this one an interesting one to tackle.

I painted outside yesterday as well.  It may be a week of snow paintings to show for the little bit of snow we received. The snow started melting yesterday and with the temperatures forecast today,  most of it will be gone by tomorrow.  Got to make hay while the sun shines.... or in this case, paintings while the snow lasts :)

"soft surroundings"
5" x 7" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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




Saturday, January 23, 2016

"snow day" ...Day 23

Today was a snow day.  You know, late breakfast, half the day spent in your pajamas, a warm fire and for me...lots of time at the easel.  Trying to make sense of all this snow.  Playing with light and color and figuring out how far to push things and when to back off.  Or scrape off... paint, that is.  Not only that but painting outside in the snow causes the light to bounce around on your canvas and palette so that your painting looks one way outside and another way inside.  I was thinking I had pushed the color too far several times and then got the painting inside and realized I didn't push it far enough.
 Like I said lots to figure out.
"snow day"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

Friday, January 22, 2016

"snow before breakfast" ...Day 22

We woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground with lots more wintery weather to come.  They say lots of ice is expected today before it turns back to snow late tonight.  Not only that but the wind is blowing.  As I stood out and painted this the cracking of the limbs on the trees that are already coated in ice provided the only sound in an otherwise quiet morning.  We don't do much in the south when it snows.  We stay put.
I'm not sure who was more excited about getting out in it this morning....me or my dogs.  You can see all of the dog footprints in the snow.  It was as if Christmas had come all over again.  It actually seemed much warmer than 28 degrees...that is until the wind started blowing.  And although the dogs were happy to go out in the sleet and play, I opted for the shelter of my back porch.  I'm sure both the dogs and I will be back out many times today to take advantage of the snow, but first there is breakfast.   I do love a snow day :)

"snow before breakfast"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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, January 21, 2016

"red sky in morning" ...Day 21

There was the most glorious sunrise this morning before I left for the studio!  Another really cold morning and I was headed outside to warm up my car and was stopped in my tracks by the sky.  It was as if it had caught fire.  Absolutely gorgeous!  I got down the color notes before I left and finished up the edges this evening.  As beautiful as the sunrise was, it was over in just minutes and the clouds moved in.  I drove home in the snow tonight.  Red sky in morning....sailor's warning.
"red sky in morning"
5" x 7" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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, January 20, 2016

"January's kiss"

Daylight ends so quickly in the winter.  Before I know it, sunny afternoon has turned to twilight.  The skies were clear and the day was cold but the evening colors didn't disappoint.  I love that glow at the horizon before the sun sets.  Depending on the direction you turn, you can see anything from pink to yellow to purple.  And the bare branches lit by the last rays of sunlight are so dramatic against the pale blue of the late afternoon sky.  A painter's bliss.

"January's kiss"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"western light" ...Day 19

I got this one painted in the evening yesterday.  It was a balmy 36 degrees.  Actually, the wind had died down and I was sitting in what remained of the sunlight so it was doable.  I was also home and painting in my backyard so I could go inside every once and a while to warm up.   And if you look closely in the picture you can see there was also a game of fetch going on. Multi-tasking at it's best.

The only remaining color in January are the cedars and evergreens at the back of my yard.  They are a tangle of greens and aren't really very interesting until the western light shines it's golden light through the open spaces between them.  The greens are always a challenge to capture.  I tried to capture the subtleties between them and not exaggerate them.  No easy job.

As you can see from the in progress picture, I am painting over a used panel.  It is actually my favorite way to start.  Nothing to lose :)  In the weekly class that I teach, I had my students use some of my old plein air panels to paint their studies on last week.  I have plenty of sanded down ones to choose from.  Even though I paint a lot outdoors, they aren't all keepers. Some of them get wiped down immediately and others make it back to the studio and I wonder what I was thinking.  I'm not sure it is ever possible to get it right every time.  I think it is more about the lessons you learn from painting outdoors and less about the finished painting.  And even the wipers have value.  They help me work out different solutions to painting issues.  Sometimes my experiments work and sometimes they fall flat but I always learn from them and enjoy just being outdoors, in the moment.

"western light"
5" x 7" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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

Monday, January 18, 2016

"rooftop sculpture" ....Day 18

 It is 36 degrees here at 2:00 this afternoon so I painted plein air through a window.  I pass this structure everyday as I walk up the stairs to my studio.  The building I am in was once a furniture manufacturer and this was sawdust bin.  I just love all the lines and tangle of metal and steel.  I used to draw floor plans and houses when I was a little girl.  I know....strange.  But even now that kind of thing appeals to me.  I think I love the challenge of trying to make order from chaos.

"rooftop sculpture"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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
 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"southend sunset" ....Day 17

Better late than never!  I have had a lot on my plate the last couple of days getting a corporate art proposal ready.  I have been pushed for time with teaching demands and other large paintings that I am getting ready for a gallery and waited till the last minute to paint my studies and put the proposal together.  Just what I tell my kids never to do.  But I finished it this evening so I am finally posting Day 17.

I painted this from a top secret vantage point.  I had special permission for rooftop access and the view was spectacular.   This is a water tower that is a landmark in the "southend" part of Charlotte where my studio is located.  I loved the way it towered above everything else and was silhouetted against the setting sun.  The sunset was so gorgeous, it was hard to keep my mind on my painting.  I just wanted to stop and watch the color change.  And it was changing ....every minute.

 "southend sunset"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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

Saturday, January 16, 2016

"inbound" ... Day 24

We had another day of rain yesterday, but for a brief time at sunrise yesterday there was some color.  I kept this one very loose and fuzzy....just like the light was.  All soft edges and orangey yellow from the streetlights.  When I blocked it in originally, I had the headlights and tail lights in the composition.  But after I looked at it, they just took to much attention away from the sky so I wiped them out.  So many people thing that to paint plein air you have to include everything in the scene just as it is but if it doesn't add to the painting, I leave it out.  Or sometimes I move it.  Artistic license, right?  :)

"inbound"
5"x7" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood


___________________________________________________________

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


Friday, January 15, 2016

"the other side" ...Day 15

So Monday, I painted the left side of the warehouse across the street from my studio.  Yesterday I painted the right side. I just love the lines and the light on this building.
Funny story.  I had a hectic day yesterday with teaching all morning and blocking in some large paintings in my studio in the afternoon.  I had a 4:30 appointment across town and only had about an hour to paint my challenge painting.  I walked downstairs and decided to sit in my car and paint the warehouse across the street because I was familiar enough with it and thought I could get it done in time.  I sat sideways in the drivers seat of my jeep with my pochade box in my lap and the door open and started to paint.  I was about 75% done with the painting when I notice a car idling beside me and waiting for me to shut my door so she could pull into the parking space next to me.  So I stopped painting, got out of the car and moved everything to let her pull in. As she is pulling in to the parking place, which of course will completely block my view of what I am painting, I look around and notice that the parking lot is half empty.  Of all of the places she could have chosen to park, she had to park next to me.  Crazy.  I had to finish the rest of my painting standing up and looking over the top of her car.   So much for my perfect set up!

"the other side"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood


___________________________________________________________

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, January 14, 2016

"twos and threes" ....Day 14

Here is another one from the park yesterday.  I was freezing when I started this one and only got it about 80% done.  I had to finish it in the studio this morning.  As I was painting it, I realized that all of the trees in my line of sight were in groups of two or three.  Hence the name.  And once again, there is the bridge that keeps cropping up in my paintings :)

"twos and threes"
5" x 7" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OR PURCHASE

___________________________________________________________

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, January 13, 2016

"ivy and bare branches" ...Day 13

What a gorgeous day to paint today!  But COLD.  The temperature wasn't that bad but the wind was blowing and that made it seem much colder than it really was.
There is a group of plein air artists that paint weekly in Charlotte and I join them as often as I can.  Today we painted at a park not far from my studio.  I wandered around through the wooded area looking for a sunny spot to stand in so I wouldn't freeze.  The sky was such a bright blue that it almost hurt to look at it. There were some fabulous trees with what I think of as "halloween branches".  You know, the spooky trees in all the halloween shows.  Lots of personality!  I picked a couple of trees that were close together because I liked the differences between them. One was very spare and had lots of arching and twirling branches and the other was covered in ivy.  They made such a nice combination.
I have to tell you about my favorite new plein air toy.  It is a brush holder that clips to my easel.  It looks like a giant chip clip with two cylinders that hold brushes.  It has eliminated my need for a side tray to hold my brushes and palette knife.  You can see it a little closer in the picture on the right.  Anything that makes the job easier makes it more enjoyable!  If you would like to order one here is the link: Brush Clip 
I will be teaching a plein air workshop at Edisto Island, SC in March.  If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to learn to paint plein air or just learn to paint better and enjoy it more, come join me!  We will paint, learn, laugh and have so much fun.  for more informationClick  Here  for more information! Edisto Island Plein Air Workshop


"ivy and bare branches"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OR PURCHASE

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"warehouse on a Monday" ....Day 12

The holidays are officially over at my house. My last child went back to college yesterday so I'm back full time at the studio.  I've been itching to paint some of the buildings around my studio and this is one of them.  It's a warehouse right next to the building my studio is in.  It is definitely "old guard" and is surrounded by new construction.  I love the way it is lit in the afternoon sun.  Not to mention the fantastic lines and angles.  Simple but fun!

"warehouse on a Monday"
7"x5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OR PURCHASE

___________________________________________________________

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

Monday, January 11, 2016

"old cedar" ...Day 11

"old cedar"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

Clear skies! At least in the morning anyway.  Clouds rolled in after lunch but I had already painted this one.  I loved this old craggy cedar tree, tall and proud against the sky.   The winter landscape in Charlotte is always a bit screwy.  Our grass here is beautifully green all through the winter, not brown like I grew up with.   I always think that the landscape looks like a parfait.  Spring on the bottom, fall in the middle and winter on top with the clouds for whipped cream. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

"clinging to a cloud" ...Day 10

Beautiful moody, morning to paint.  That is if you like mist and fog.  I'm definitely a sunshine kind of girl but if it's going to be cloudy then give me a little atmosphere to make it all worthwhile.  This morning started out that way.  I spotted this church on the way to my son's basketball game and loved the way the white of the steeple almost disappeared into the sky.  After the game, I made a beeline back to the church to paint it.

Architecture is difficult to paint.  Lines, angles proportion and perspective.  I actually kind of love the challenge.  It's about as mathematical as I get these days.  On a 5x7 canvas it is really a challenge.  The shapes in the painting are so small, you have to be spot on or it is glaringly inaccurate.  I had to use my left hand to steady my right so I could get them straight.  Not to mention, in addition to the mist, the temperature was in the 40's so my hands were a little cold.

A great challenge for me and a nice little painting for a Sunday morning.
"clinging to a cloud"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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


Saturday, January 9, 2016

"January afternoon" ...Day 9

I love the tree across the street.  It is my go to painting when I am pushed for time and have to paint.  My day yesterday was slammed and I was once again down to the wire.  I had to stay home for the rest of the daylight hours that I had so my subject matter was limited to what was in my own backyard ....or front yard for that matter.

The cloudy January sky eliminated a lot of the color in the landscape. Only a little burst of green in the grass.  But the tree with all of it's branches illuminated was beautiful.  It's hard to do it justice on such a small canvas but trust me it's a beauty.

Off to a basketball game this morning.  Happy Saturday to you!

"January afternoon"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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

Friday, January 8, 2016

"tough love" ...Day 8

Part of the joy of plein air is the finding beauty in unexpected places.  Often we think that a painting has to be about a breathtaking sunset or a gorgeous mountain vista.  But there are millions of paintings all around you just waiting to be noticed.  Sometimes the lighting is what catches my eye or the shapes may have a great abstract design.  And sometimes its about the juxtaposition of the elements in a space and the narrative that runs through my mind when I study them.  We all have triggers.  One of mine is a good story.  I just love a painting that captures my imagination.

First a story:  The winter holidays for me means all of my kids are home.  Two are college kids now that are home on break and one is a high schooler.  Each one is spreading their wings at a different pace and in totally different ways.  We don't all live together anymore but yet they aren't guests either. Rules have changed and some have ceased to even apply anymore.  The break went smoother than I expected but even so there were times when we hit some rough spots. And there were some times where I felt I was walking on eggshells or didn't quite know how to handle or whether to even try to handle some issues.  When do I offer help and when do I stay quiet and let my kids handle things, even when I see them making mistakes and floundering.  This is all new territory for me as a mom.  And what does all of this have to do with painting?

I've noticed a trend in painting outdoors this last week.  Bridges keep appearing and water too.  Even if I haven't used them as an element in my painting, they are in my field of view when I'm on location.  Seems like a sign somehow, or maybe a metaphor for my life right now.  I'm not sure which side of the bridge I'm on or if I'm crossing the bridge. Or could it be that I'm the bridge ...you know that song "bridge over troubled water"?!  Maybe am I under the bridge?!  I'm not sure what's going on.  But it's making me think I need to pay attention.

And all of this rambling is a long explanation leading you to today's painting.  The light hitting the underside of the bridge first attracted my attention.  And with all bridges, there was graffiti on it.  A blank canvas that someone had used to spray paint the word "love".  Nothing else.  I wondered if they were in the middle of a spray paint declaration and got interrupted or if that was just what they wanted to say.  Then I spotted this little cedar growing on the steep, rocky slope against the bridge's concrete piling.  Optimism and perseverance in tree form.  It's roots are in sparse rocky soil and it's top branches are already within a foot of the underside of the bridge.  It looks healthy and happy right now but soon it's space will be too confining.   All of these elements were just too perfect.  So many different ways to interpret it all ....both in meaning and in paint.

I titled my blog "capturing life in paint" because after some soul searching I discovered that is why I paint.   Sometimes I go looking for subjects to capture in paint and sometimes the subjects capture me.  I love this job.

"tough love"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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, January 7, 2016

"solace" ...Day 7

It's the water that gets me.  Pulls me in every time.  I didn't set out to paint water today. But somehow I found myself beside a creek while I was riding around looking for a spot to paint.  I had a tumultuous morning before I headed to the studio. I just felt drained, wiped out from it.  I think that's why I ended up at the creek.  Water gives me peace.  The movement and the sound of the water helps to drown out my thoughts and eases me into the painting.

It was a cold afternoon but the sun was out and with a coat on it actually was a wonderful day to paint.  As I was looking around this little tree caught my eye.  It was leaning over the stream and had so much personality.  When I started painting the sun was still high but by the time I had blocked in the basic shapes the sun was lighting up the branches beautifully.

I thought I would have time for another painting but I keep forgetting just how fast the sun sets in the winter.  I will be glad when the days start getting longer.  In fact, by the time I got home it was already dark and I wasn't able to photograph the painting.   I had to wait until morning.


"solace"
7" x 5" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OR PURCHASE

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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, January 6, 2016

"early riser"

O.K., confession time.  Today's painting isn't actually plein air. As in "outside in the fresh air".  It is from life though.  There was just a window pane between me and my subject :)

I'm up every morning before daylight.  Way before daylight it seems.  I was looking out the window savoring my first sips of coffee and admiring the blue of the sky and the sliver of the moon when I decided to paint it.  The only problem was it was 22 degrees and I was still in my pajamas.  I considered for a moment changing into something warmer and actually going outside to paint.  But only for a moment.  When I get up, two dogs get up also and they aren't concerned about noise at all. And wherever I go, they goest.  So in the interest of letting my household sleep, the neighborhood sleep and not freezing to death.... I set my easel up in front of the window to paint.

A warm and toasty way to paint but not without problems.  With the lights on inside my house, I couldn't see outside because of the reflections in my window.  With the lights off inside my house, I couldn't see to paint.  At this point I considered once more putting on my coat and boots and going outside.  I knew I had about 30 minutes before the sky would start to change.  So I needed to do something quickly.

I turned out all of my lights and used the flashlight app on my phone to light my palette and got to work.   There was no dimension in the trees, just dark forms against the night sky but the lights from the house across the street gave off just enough illumination to add some interesting shapes.  I also didn't have my contacts in so everything had a nice soft blur ...no need to squint!

If there is one thing that I have learned doing all of these painting challenges, it's that there is a painting everywhere.  You just have to look for it.  A nice metaphor for life.

"early riser"
5" x 7" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

___________________________________________________________

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