Friday, January 1, 2016

"ending on hope".....Day 1

Happy New Year and welcome to 2016!  A blank page.  What will you write on it this year?  So many possibilities.  So much time spread out before you. How exciting is that?

Today marks the beginning of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.  I do this every January.  It's a good way to start off my year.  I love the structure and the deadline and the challenge that it provides.  I'm painting plein air everyday this month.  That should be enough of a challenge in January :). Although I am hoping to catch a break, at least with the rain.

I'm also painting small.  5x7's.  That is another challenge for me.  I am much more comfortable with a 9x12 outdoors than a 5x7.  But I want to concentrate on composition on a small scale and this will help.

I am hoping to do a lot more urban paintings this month.  My studio is located in an area that is quickly changing from industrial and quirky to new and shiny.  It has become the cool place to live and work.  The landscape is rapidly changing and a lot of older buildings are being torn down and empty lots are becoming apartments.  Perfect subjects for painting and for documenting places before they are gone.

Yesterday, I waited all day for the rain to stop so I could get out and paint.  It was supposed to end early but unfortunately that did not happen.  Finally about 4:30 the skies brightened and the clouds started breaking up.  It gets dark about 5:30 so my time was running short.  I had the bright idea to head to a parking garage and paint the view of the sky.   A great plan, or so I thought.  I tried 3 different parking garages near me and all 3 had the top floor blocked off.  Now I only had about 30 minutes left of daylight.  Sometimes you just have to make do with what you have so I just painted inside the garage.  The view was fine but as you can see the lighting was bad.  I really wasn't sure what my painting looked like until I got home.

It's a simple painting to start off the year.  But one that is very fitting, I think.  Taking the good and the bad and trying to create something beautiful from it.  Just like the landscape that I was painting.  Barren trees and a sky heavy with clouds.  And that tiny glimmer of light peeking through.  Just a little at first but then ever so slowly it was if the light itself was pushing away the clouds.  Hope.  For better weather.  For a new year.  What a way to end the day.  Even from a parking garage.

"ending on hope"
5" x 7" oil on panel


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

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