Tuesday, September 29, 2009

End of Summer Update

This is the longest I've gone between posts since beginning my blog back in January, but I needed a break from my computer, especially from blogging! It's sooo time consuming but it sure has helped me in the discipline department. I've just been enjoying the summer, or what there was of it, considering it was such an unusually rainy and cool one. I've not painted near as much as I planned to - gotta get that in check! I just got back from a visit with my mother who turned 85 and we had a great Bday - just the girls. Mother said it was one of her best birthdays ever.

Roaring River State Park

My husband and I went a few weeks ago over to Roaring River in Missouri. It's a trout hatchery which is fed by an underground spring.

The hatchery was quite fascinating. It would be interesting to take one of the tours which are offered a few times daily, I think. Never saw so many trout!

When the hatchery announces they're releasing fish, people come from all around, lining up along the river trying to catch their dinner. It's almost comical to see; you'd think those poor trout don't stand a chance, but not too many were getting caught compared to how many were released that day, which if I remember correctly, were around

Although I only took reference photos that day, it's a good site to paint, as there are plenty of subjects i.e. shallow rapids, people fly fishing with their waders on, families swimming in the sun, and campers at the campsites.

You'll have to look hard to see two waders fly fishing way upstream...

PAPO (Plein Air Painters of the Ozarks) had painted there earlier this summer, but I chose to go with my hubby as he has been wanting to see it for a while but has not had the chance to get away from work. It was a pretty river and would make for a nice fall destination when the leaves are turning (for more info click on the ' Roaring River State Park' title above).

We also finally went on a weekend vacation to Vegas to see two shows: Cirque Du Soleil's Love and Carlos Santana's concert. Both were great and it was good to get away (1st real vacation in years) if only for a weekend.

I've been into pastoral paintings lately, fields, cows, and such. Probably due to reading so much about tonalism and looking at Zbukvic paintings. Anyway, below is a painting I made of a field behind Battlefield Park in Prairie Grove, AR:

I painted the field en plein air but was not satisfied with it. After taking a couple of snapshots of my subject, I attempted it again from my original plein air painting, reference snapshots, memory, and a value sketch. My goal in my landscape paintings is to achieve better atmospheric perspective and tonal (value) relationship/contrast. In the first painting, below, I'm satisfied with the background hills, but not so in the second studio painting. I think I should have made the two hills in the background a little more distinct from each other as I did in the first. Funny, the first one I'm happy with the background; the second one, only happy with the foreground. Good Grief!!

Studio painting I:
Study I: Battlefield 2, Prairie Grove
9 3/4 x 13 1/2,
Arches, 300 lb., cold press

Studio painting II:
Study II: Battlefield 2, Prairie Grove
9 1/2 x 13 1/4,
Watercolor, Sanders Waterford, 140 lb. (300 gms)
cold press, rough

Some cows:

This is another studio painting from photo references. Sometimes I just drive around taking photos of anything I think would be good reference material or has the potential for a good painting. The original photo didn't have the cows in it. I sketched them in from photos taken 'just down the road' from this same location.

Morning, off Goosecreek
watercolor, 9 3/4 x 13 1/2
Arches, 300 lb. cold press

Well, that's all for now. I can't believe it took me half the day just to get this posted, because of the photoshopping of these images, etc. Until next time, happy painting, and I hope to post (and paint) more frequently now that I'm back from my summer hiatus!