Friday, September 29, 2017

Day 29 ..."signs of fall"

I am a summer lover.  Even though I was born in the fall, and I think the colors are breathtaking and the cooler air is a wonderful reprieve from the hot summer sun, I love summer more.  I think fall makes me a little sad.  It's the last dazzle of mother nature before she tucks away and sleeps till spring.  We got a first little taste of fall this morning and wherever I look now, I see the colors are changing.  This is my favorite little patch of woods to paint and you can catch the bronze glow just starting to happen.

"signs of fall"
12" x 9" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Day 28 ..."three way stop"

My poor sunflowers have seen better days.  Had to pitch them after I completed this painting.  Although, to be honest, it was more interesting to paint them with their curled up, half missing petals than it was when they were fresh cut.  Age makes you more interesting :)

"three way stop"
8" x 10" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Day 27 ..."tomorrow is another day"

Some days you're the windshield.  Some days you're the bug.  Isn't that the way the song goes?  Today I was the bug.  I had an absolutely upside down day and all of my plans and my to-do list went down the drain.  I'm wiped out today but as my grandmother would say, borrowing a line from Scarlett O'Hara "tomorrow is another day.  This little painting is for two of my three rays of sunshine...a reminder, the sun will come out again.

"tomorrow is another day"
8" x 10" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Day 23 ... "no clear path"

I finally got outside to paint today! I spent the better part of the day working on another large piece and then headed out about 5:00 to paint in a nearby field.  The clouds and sky were beautiful while I was driving and I wanted a clear opening to see them.  We have such a huge canopy of large trees in Charlotte that seeing the sky (unless you look straight up) can sometimes be impossible.

The trees and grasses are already shifting to a fall color palette.  I noticed a lot more gold and orange in the landscape.  The grasses in the field have gotten very tall and my pathway through it was all but invisible.  It was a golden afternoon to spend outside with my paint buddy.  Tomorrow I head back to the coast for a few days so I'm looking forward to painting there.  :)

Here is a sweet shot of my pup, Tybee, patiently waiting for me to pack up.  She was ready for dinner!

"no clear path"
12" x 9" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much.






Friday, September 22, 2017

Day 22 ... "the sweetness of autumn"

It's the first day of Autumn and it is a balmy 89 degrees here in Charlotte.  Just the way I like it :)  But the blue skies of fall are here, even with the summer heat the haze is lifting.  I didn't get outside to paint today.  Still working on larger paintings in the studio.  So another still life with my friend the pumpkin.  I had a hard time getting a good photograph of this one.  It's always a challenge with a wet painting.

"the sweetness of autumn"
11" x 14" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me!  


I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Day 20 .... "a waiting game"

Our refrigerator started leaking unbeknownst to us.  Then three days ago, I noticed a puddle on the floor.  And then, I noticed the floor was buckling.  I have no idea how long it has been leaking but it is definitely long enough to do damage to the floor.  And I, who notice everything....missed the signs completely!  That's what happens when you spend more time in your studio than you do at home 😁

Anyway, I am home waiting on the repairman, who was supposed to be here from 11-1.  It is now 1:45 and he is still not here and I am very unhappy.  But while I have been waiting, I made dinner, did the dishes and painted my daily painting.  And I am still waiting.....

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me!  

I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much.


"a waiting game"
11" x 14" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood










Monday, September 18, 2017

Day 18 ..."sunspots"

My blogging fell behind over the last week due to Hurricane Irma.  I continued to paint but with so much going on, I didn't have time to blog.  All of my paintings, with the exception of a couple that I haven't photographed yet are on my Daily Paintworks site.

Because I lost a weeks worth of painting time in the studio, I am behind with my larger paintings too. I worked all weekend and will be in the studio all week this week to try and catch up.  I'm keeping my challenge paintings to about an hour.  It's good practice for me to edit and try and get an idea down quickly and hopefully have a good painting to show for it.  So I'm keeping the paintings this week small in an effort to do that.

Here is today's painting that I did right after sunrise.  I loved the pattern of the sunspots on the grass.  I have to tell you though, I was seeing spots after finishing this one. Looking straight into the sun is probably not a great idea but anything for a painting, right?

"sunspots"
10" x 8" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me!  

I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Day 10 and 11

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me!

It's been a crazy several days in what I thought would be a calm month.  I had to drop everything and head to pick up my mother in Savannah because of Hurricane Irma.  Although the forecast last week was still up in the air, mandatory evacuation was in effect for the island on which she lives. It was a mad scramble to go get her and a nightmare of a drive back home to Charlotte.  8 solid hours in the car and only one stop!  

She requires a lot of interaction so my painting time is almost nil.  I've had to sneak off to paint :) I painted last evening as the sun was setting and this morning at dawn.  Not sure what tomorrow will bring as I head out to take her home.  I'm sure we will be back on the road with all of the evacuees.
Although I've never not finished a 30 in 30 challenge, this time I might have to take a break.  We shall see.  So far so good!

Here is yesterday's painting:

"Sunday's gift"
10" x 10" oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

And here is today's:

"bands of blue"
8" x 10" oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Day 8 & Day 9 ...catching up

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me!

Yesterday was evacuation day for the island my mother lived on so I drove down to pick her up and bring her back to Charlotte.  Took me 8 hours to make it back to Charlotte and it is normally a 4 hour drive!  So many people trying to leave and our road system is so inadequate.  It makes an already frustrating situation so much more frustrating and dangerous.  I'm already dreading the drive to take her home.  I'm just sick about all of the people in harms way and those that have already weathered this storm.  This hurricane season is proving to be an awful one.

While my mother was getting all of her things together, I left and went to paint the marsh nearby.  So peaceful and with the thoughts of the impending storm, so much more beautiful.  The grass is just starting to turn to gold with the green of summer fading away.

"calm before the storm"
6" x 12" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Today, I am exhausted.  I picked a few of the last hydrangeas out of my yard and set them up on the kitchen table and painted.  My family was all sitting around me having a boisterous conversation so it was a bit of a challenge to concentrate!  

"afternoon hydrangeas"
10"x 8"oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Day 7...."light of day"

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me! 

This will be a short post today as I am about to head to the coast to pick up my mom ahead of evacuation orders from Hurricane Irma.  I'm worried about the scarcity of gas and the traffic.  I'm thinking its going to be a long trip back.   I got up early this morning to paint this one and the bright clear sunrise made me think of the calm before the storm.  All of the people fleeing the hurricane and the ominous prediction of the damage to come.  Here is hoping for clear skies in so many ways for as many people as possible.

I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much. 


"light of day"
8" x 10" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Day 6 ..."late summer clouds"

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me! 

Clouds were moving in this morning.  It's supposed to rain this afternoon.  The sky was marvelous though with the yellow light of morning contrasted with the soft cloud colors settling in from above.  I am a cloud addict.  I will stop the car for them.  Or make my passenger snap pictures out of their window.  I interrupt conversations with friends to make them look up at the sky.  I have thousands and thousands of pictures of them on my computer.  But nothing quite beats trying to capture them in real time.  They shift and move and what at first seems like a dove gray morphs into a lavender or soft blue green.  Mesmerizing.

"late summer clouds"
8" x 10" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Day 5 ..."morning on main"

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me! 

Spent this morning painting with my plein air group on Main Street in a nearby town.  The morning light was hitting one side of the street so I did the smart thing and stood on the other side and painted. I forgot to put a large panel in the jeep this morning so I had to make do with a small one.  I wanted to paint more of a street scene but had to settle for more of a close up view.  Still a lot of fun to paint though.  Storefronts in small towns are always so charming.

I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much. 




"morning on main"
10" x 8" oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Monday, September 4, 2017

Day 4 ..."backyard roses"

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me! 

Happy Labor Day!  I decided to "labor" at home today for the 30 in 30 Challenge.  It was unusually cool this morning and I took my coffee and book to the back porch and spent a lazy hour enjoying the  peacefulness.  I'm usually up and out the door everyday and now I know why.  Once I sat down, I didn't want to get up.  I didn't want to get out of my pajamas. But the morning sunlight was beckoning and I knew I needed to get started painting.  In search of something to paint within walking distance from my back porch, I settled on the roses beside my garage.  They were glowing in the morning sunlight and I just couldn't resist.

With the cool morning air giving way to hot sunshine, I had to go in search of my umbrella so I could settle in to paint. Then the biting flies came and decided to make an early lunch of the back of my knees.   So I spent a couple of hours painting while stomping like a horse. First one leg, then the other.  And yes, I have bug spray somewhere, but I was too engrossed in my painting to take the time to go find it.

I really enjoyed painting this little vignette.  I really tried to squint to capture the patterns of light and dark and keep the detail to a minimum.  Quite a challenge but I'm pleased with the results.  I'd like to try it again this month.....with bug spray next time.

"backyard roses"
14" x 11" oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood


Last year I donated half of the proceeds of the 30-in-30 Challenge to Childrens Cancer Care Fund and it was so rewarding to paint for such a good cause.  With all of the devastation in Texas, I wanted to do the same thing this year.  I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much. 



Sunday, September 3, 2017

Day 3 ... "holding steadfast"

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me! 

This is the view out of the window of my studio.  Rooftops and wires and pipes....maybe not the average person's ideal of beauty but I love it.  All the texture and lines and edges with that morning sunlight pouring over all of it.  And the part that really captures my imagination...the wild grape vines growing 20 feet off of the ground right in the middle of it all.  Tenacity, hope and the beauty of nature  in the middle of all that man made stuff.  Makes me so happy! And reminds me of the opportunities in uncommon places, not to lose faith, to hold on for dear life and always reach for what is bright and happy.

"holding steadfast"
10" x 8" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Last year I donated half of the proceeds of the 30-in-30 Challenge to Childrens Cancer Care Fund and it was so rewarding to paint for such a good cause.  With all of the devastation in Texas, I wanted to do the same thing this year.  I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much. 


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Day 2 ... "clearing to the left"

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me! 


"clearing to the left"
6" x 12" oil on panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Wow what a beautiful day today!  Beautiful sunshine and much cooler temps than we've been having the last few weeks.  Still a lot of summer greens in the landscape but I happened upon these wildflowers in a little clearing in the woods.  I have no idea what they are but they added a much needed bit of yellow to the landscape.

Forgot to get any progress shots but took this one after I was done.  Why are dogs opposed to looking at the camera??  :)


Last year I donated half of the proceeds of the 30-in-30 Challenge to Childrens Cancer Care Fund and it was so rewarding to paint for such a good cause.  With all of the devastation in Texas, I wanted to do the same thing this year.  I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much. 


Friday, September 1, 2017

Day 1... "thinking chair"

The 30-in-30 Challenge has begun and I am using this challenge to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope you'll help me! 

I can hardly believe it is September!  It has been such a hectic summer for me, filled with travel, but unfortunately not with as much painting as I would have liked.  In addition, I just moved into a new studio space.  A week of back-breaking work but I'm finally moved in and everything is organized and put away, as of yesterday!   So the 30-in-30 is coming at a great time for me.  Getting me back into the groove of painting. 

I like to use the 30-in30 as a opportunity to paint from life everyday for a month.  I love to paint outdoors, it is absolute bliss for me.  But it was raining when I got up this morning, with 100% chance forecast for the day.  So I decided to paint an interior in my studio.  I have this wonderful little "thinking" chair that I purchased just for my studio.  You know, a place to sit and contemplate what to paint, or how bad the painting I'm currently working on is going :) It sits under the window in my studio and gets great light. My former studio mate gave me a dozen roses to celebrate my new place so I thought they would be fun to add into the composition.   Perfect little vignette.  
I set up my mini Strada easel to paint, and wouldn't you know 15 minutes into the painting, the sun came out.  So much for the weather forecast.  I did enjoy painting this little scene though. Whites are so much fun to paint.  The more you look the more color you see.  

Last year I donated half of the proceeds of the 30-in-30 Challenge to Childrens Cancer Care Fund and it was so rewarding to paint for such a good cause.  With all of the devastation in Texas, I wanted to do the same thing this year.  I am donating 50% of the sale of every 30-in-30 painting this month to help the flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The charities I am supporting are the Houston Food Bank and the Houston Humane Society.   I hope if you fall in love with one of my paintings this month, you will take the opportunity to purchase one and help me help those that have lost so much.  

"thinking chair"
12"x12" oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood



Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Power of Paint to Help...

A painting is a wondrous thing.  It can be used to provoke, calm, excite or as documentation.  It can channel anger, frustration or happiness and light.  Such power in such simple instruments of canvas and paint.

Tomorrow begins a semi-annual event that pushes me beyond my comfort level.  30 Paintings in 30 Days.  I take my easel outside and create a small painting each day from life.  It's a challenge to paint outside and it's also a challenge to fit in a small painting around all of my other obligations.  But it helps me grow as an artist so it is worth the struggle.

We have all been touched by the devastation in Texas due to Hurricane Harvey.  Even if you don't have a family member there, chances are you know someone who does.  But it is the plight of complete strangers that seems to get me the most.  Faces and stories that come to light everyday.  It's just heartbreaking.

Like so many others, I donated to the relief effort immediately after the hurricane.  But the flooding and the irreparable damage continues and it just doesn't feel like enough.  So I want to donate 50% of the sale of each of the 30 in 30 paintings in September to Houston charities.  I will split the donations between The Houston Food Bank and The Houston Humane Society.

All of my paintings will be on Daily Paintworks starting with the first painting tomorrow.  They will be a mix of still life and plein air landscapes.  I'm looking forward to getting outside with my dog and painting 30 days in September and also to raising some money for Houston.  I hope you are looking forward to it too!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

When Your Best Isn't Good Enough...

So yesterday started off with a rejection letter.  Not exactly a stellar way to start the day or kick off the weekend, right?  I just had a feeling when I saw it in my email box.  I knew it was a "no".  Which is interesting because up until that point, I thought I would get a yes.  I'm an eternal optimist.  It gets me in trouble sometimes but for the most part, I think it's a good thing.  However, I'm also very intuitive and I get these feelings and it's uncanny how often I'm right.  Even when I don't want to be.

I painted my heart out on both of my entries.  They may not be the best paintings I've ever painted but at the moment I painted them I thought they were.  I thought through the compositions.  I did a few studies.  I took my time and made deliberate decisions.  I pulled from everything I had.



But it's funny how painting works.  And learning.  I look back over my entries in previous years and think, "omg what was I thinking??" That was not a good choice.  But at the time, it was the best I could do.  I'm sure six months from now I will look back at these paintings and think the same thing.  And that's why I enter these shows.

I started painting because I enjoyed it.  And then it became something else.  So much more than a way to pass the time.  It defines the way I see and think about things now.  It has become so much a part of me and my life now.  It's so hard to explain, I usually don't try.  It is my happy, my way of dealing with worry or sadness, my way of seeing the world and connecting to it.  And I want to be able to see it and express it better.  I want someone else to look at my painting and be able to feel what I was feeling and see what I was seeing.  I'm not there yet, at least not all of the time.  I might not ever be there, but I'm going to keep working at it.  I saw this quote last year and saved it on my phone, because it expresses the way I feel so much better:  

“There is no such thing as motivation in my world. I am not motivated to do what I do. As an artist, I am driven, 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,” -Philippe Petit.

Yesterday, I got my rejection letter but I'm thinking I'm in some really good company.  1,253 rejections from the American Impressionist Society went out yesterday.  I've got a lot of company!  To all of you out there, I feel your pain! But don't let it get you down.  Have a 15 min pity party and get back to work.  And of the 175 artist that were accepted, there are some of my very favorite people on that list not to mention my favorite artists.  They have helped me and taught me and given of themselves.  They are the very salt of the earth, as my dad would say.  

I'm disappointed that my best wasn't good enough.  But I'm so inspired by it too!  A rejection lights a fire in me.  A big one.   I couldn't wait to get to my studio and start painting yesterday.  Start thinking more, studying harder, feeling more and figuring out how to put all of that on my canvas.  When your best isn't good enough... you work harder.  And I'll enter the next show, and the next and the next, to hold myself accountable.  To keep learning and growing.  Believe it or not, I'm thankful for my rejection.  Truly I am.  If we are never tested, we never will know what we are made of.  The show goes on. :)



Saturday, February 4, 2017

beauty is in the eye of the beholder..

I've been thinking a lot about subject matter in the last couple of weeks.  And what makes something "beautiful".  I've always been interested in not quite "beautiful" things.  Old peeling paint on furniture makes me giddy.  The more run down an object is, the better I like it.  Give me an old house any day over a new one.  I like to see the possibilities in things.  Look for opportunities in the passed over.  Maybe I just like an underdog.

It inspires me.  The idea that everything is beautiful, like the song goes "in it's own way".  Maybe beauty is a personal idea or sense, or maybe it is just a frame of mind.  I like to think it's just a frame of mind.  Or maybe an "open" mind would be a better way to put it.

The art of "seeing" is what painters strive for.  The edges and shadows, the color and the light.  But what if it's not the "seeing"?  What if it is just the "looking" that is the key?  Maybe just absorbing what is in front of us not for what it is but for what it could be.

Last spring, I headed to Apalachicola, Florida with some artist friends to a brand new event "Plein Air South".  We didn't know what to expect and having no expectations is a wonderful thing.  It usually means everything is a happy surprise.  And it was.  Along with all of the wonderful painting opportunities and watching some of my favorite artists work their magic, I fell in love with the little town of Apalachicola.

I'm not sure Apalachicola is on anyone's list of "beautiful" places.  It is a fishing village on the Florida Panhandle that feels like a step back in time.  Beautiful in places but rough around the edges. Freshly painted and well rigged boats docked next to vessels that hardly seem seaworthy.  A well taken care of turn of the century mansion right next to a run down fishing shack with 50 years worth of collected and curated junk strewn haphazardly around it.  In a grocery store aisle you are just as likely to run into a  hardworking, hard living fisherman as you are a well dressed businessman.  It is a place that feels real.  It reminds me of where I grew up on the coast.   I love that kind of place. So compelling....all of those contradictions.

There was a house there in town that was famous for more than it's share of "stuff". Boats, on top of trailers next to lumber piled on old vehicles with buckets and ropes and wheelbarrows and a few trashcans thrown in for good measure. Rusted objects strewn around that no longer represented anything useable or identifiable.  But when that beautiful Florida sunshine filtered through the oaks and palms and lit everything up....It was a marvel to behold.  It was beautiful.

This house and yard was well documented in the paintings of the artists that had been there all week.  From just about every angle.  It captured my imagination but I never got a chance to paint it that week.  I left feeling a bit disappointed that I didn't take a shot at it.

Last week I booked my hotel for a trip back to Apalachicola in May.  I started thinking about that house again and decided to paint it from some of the photos I had taken.  I wanted to try and recapture the magic and the beauty of the rundown objects that I saw there.  Bring the feelings back that I had when I was observing it last year.

Here is my painting of a little area of the yard.  Just shapes and color and light and shadow.  But all woven together to create a sense of place and maybe beauty.  That is, if your eye can behold it.

"beast of burden"
20" x 16" oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood



Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Day 31 ... "sunlit bungalow"

Tybee and I headed out to a local park this morning to paint with my plein air group.  We got there way earlier than everyone else and I just couldn't find anything within the park that inspired me.  I was looking to paint something different today than what I had been painting all month. The park is bordered on all sides by quaint bungalow homes and it was there that I found my inspiration.  They were catching the morning sun and I thought that would prove to be a fun challenge to paint.

I set up my easel and put Tybee on her tie-down and started painting.  After a few minutes, she brought me an orange, which she thought was a tennis ball.  I couldn't imagine where she had found an orange, but tossed it to her, happy that she had found something to occupy her besides digging holes.  As I painted, every so often she would hand me the orange to throw and I would toss it to her.


As I finished up my painting and started gathering my stuff together to leave, I happened to look down and I discovered that all this time, Tybee hadn't been bringing me the same orange.  She had found a stash of oranges.

I guess maybe someone had tossed them out for the squirrels or the birds and she had uncovered them among all the leaves.  It was pretty funny.  And it goes to show why I need someone with me when I paint.  I'm so focused on painting that I am absolutely unaware of what is going on around me!  It's so nice have my partner in crime to keep me company!


Here is my painting for today.  The last one of the challenge.  I can't believe how quickly this month has passed. I have truly enjoyed almost every moment painting outside.  Even in January.  I'd like to continue to try and paint everyday outside for the rest of this year.  I'm going to allow myself to skip some days here and there when I am traveling but I want to try and continue this practice.  And I'm also going to try and blog more.  I have gotten so out of the habit and it is something I need to get back to doing.  Thanks for sticking with me during the challenge!

Here is a little better shot of my painting:


Monday, January 30, 2017

Day 30 ..."the golden hour"

Another beautiful afternoon to paint.  Late afternoon today.  That time right before the sun starts to drop....when everything turns golden.  I set up facing west which was the best view but of course it was the most blinding.  No pain, no gain.

And yes, those are grocery bag handles again....I left my panel carrier at the studio.  The handles work so well though!  Last day of the challenge is tomorrow!

"the golden hour"
12" x 12" oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Day 29 ..."unremarkable beauty"

It was a chilly and beautiful day with blue skies and clouds for days.  But the wind!  Wow!  It felt like March.  The wind was blowing about 20 miles per hour but the gusts were incredible.  I had to grab my easel several times before it went down. After the second time, I anchored it with my bag and extended the legs of my tripod so it would sit a littler lower and not catch the wind so easily.  Despite the clouds the sun was out most of the time... thank goodness.

I had a question yesterday about how I could find something to paint in a subject that lacked much appeal.  And at first glance, the subjects that I have painted the last couple of days aren't what most people would call beautiful.  Sometimes you have to look for the beauty.  It's always there.  The more you look, the more you see.  Subtle things make all the difference in painting just as in life.  It's all in how you frame it.

"unremarkable beauty"
16" x 12" oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Day 28 ..."golden afternoon"

I headed back to the creek today with a bigger canvas.  I contemplated painting the same view that I did yesterday but decided to do something different.  Subtle is hard.  And right now the colors in the landscape are a bit washed out.  Values are close and it's much harder to paint.  I decided to try and take on the challenge.  I painted for a couple of hours.  I may be done or I might not.  I will look at it tomorrow and I may take it back to refine a few things.  But for now I'm happy with it.


I didn't have a panel carrier big enough so I taped grocery bag handles to the back so I could carry it. That's what you see on the left side of the panel.   Lugging gear and a wet panel and a dog on a leash requires some thinking :)

Here is Tybee contemplating the creek.  She really wanted to go swimming.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Day 27 ..."downstream"

It was a beautiful sunny day to paint and I waited till this afternoon so it would be warmer.  The high today was 50 which seemed warm enough, until I got out there to paint.  It was the coldest 50 degrees I've ever painted in!  The sun was out but the wind was steady and blowing out of the northwest and it was cold! I painted by the creek and I'm sure being near the water didn't help with the temperature. I am still thawing out!

I went a little larger today, 11x14,  since I had a couple of hours to paint.  The underbrush is such a challenge this time of year with all of the bare sticks and vines.  If I hadn't been so cold, I would have stayed just a little while longer and tried to paint another one of just the water rushing over the rocks. But my hands and ears were cold and Tybee was whining and ready to eat dinner so it was time to leave.  

This is the only photo I have, as it was too dark to photograph the painting by the time I got home.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Day 26...."winds of change"

It was a beautiful, sunny 75 degrees yesterday.  My kind of January weather!  A cold front is moving in today to take us back to more winter like temperatures.  I don't think I have ever kept up with the weather quite as much as I have this month.  Only 5 more days left to paint in this challenge.  Crazy how fast it has gone by!

This morning dawned cloudy with lots of change in the sky.  Although overcast, the clouds were moving quickly across the sky.  I thought about waiting until the sun comes out later today to paint but the turmoil in the sky was too tempting to pass up.  This one feels wintery to me.  Even though it was a balmy 60 degrees outside while I was painting.

"winds of change"
8" x 10" oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Day 25... "everyday miracle"

So some days, the sun just rises.  The sky brightens gradually and the sun comes up.  No fanfare.   No purple clouds or bright pinks or oranges.  Just night to day in a normal everyday miracle.  It still amazes me.  No matter how many times or ways I paint it.  Another morning to paint is a beautiful thing.
"everyday miracle"
8" x 10" oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Day 24..."tree study"

Today was my off day.  Every so often nothing comes off the brush right.  I taught most of the day and then had to do a lot of "stuff"...shipping, billing, etc.  Lots of left brain stuff.  By the time I got home I had a little less than two hours before sundown.  Plenty of time, or so I thought.

The dogs, we have four, had been cooped up all day and were wild by the time I got home.  I went out onto the back porch to paint and that was my first mistake.  I should have grabbed my easel and went somewhere to paint.  The dogs knocked over my easel twice in their efforts to get closer to me.  I wiped my painting four times and before I knew it, the sun was sinking fast and my light was fading.

I ended up painting the top of a pine tree that the sun was hitting.  My brain just couldn't connect to my paintbrush and I just couldn't settle in and focus on painting. Sometimes it just goes that way.   There is always tomorrow right?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Day 23 ..."neither here nor there"

This morning was magical.  As I walked on to my front porch to paint, the waning crescent moon was visible in the east above the trees.  It was already getting bright low in the sky and I was caught between waiting on the sunrise and painting what was in front of me at the moment.  I blocked in the sky and trees and by the time I was done, a few clouds had moved in and the color was beginning to change.  Although not a fiery sunrise it was beautiful in that soft, dreamy way.  The moon was still visible, although not as bright as before.  I would love to take more pictures of my progress but the color changes so quickly that I can't put my brush down to take a picture.  I'm sure I look like the mad scientist, painting frantically in my pajamas on the front porch.   There's absolutely no telling what the neighbors think. 😜
"neither here nor there"
10" x 8" oil on linen panel
©2017dottietleatherwood

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Day 22... "cloud studies"

I am teaching a workshop this afternoon and really didn't have time to paint this morning.  In fact, we are supposed to have thunderstorms tonight so I was going to wait and paint a nocturne in hopes of catching some lightning.  I've never tried to do that before!  But the clouds were moving and changing so fast this morning, it was a painter's dream sky.  I just couldn't resist.

I used an old panel and divided it into 4 sections and painted some really fast little studies of the sky.  So much fun!

Here they are: