Posts Tagged ‘rain’

Painting a day 2016-Day 9-After the Rain

March 10, 2016
After the Rain

After the rain-horse eye

Day 9 of my painting a day challenge brings me to practice a detail or close up of a subject, my Halflinger cross gelding’s eye.  This painting is based on some photos I shot one evening as the sun was setting after a rain.  The lighting was warm and gave his coat even more of a rusty, orange glow.  The colors were very saturated because of the rain and he still had raindrops running down his mane and forelock.

“The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.” ~Sharon Ralls Lemon



For the love of the “fight”

June 4, 2015

“Rain, falling snow, wind…all of these things to contend with only make the open air painter love the fight”  ~Walter Elmer Schofield



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We are in, what I would consider some of the most prime plein air weather here.  Temperatures have been mild and absolutely beautiful.  We have some beautiful color created by flowers and trees blooming and then the grass and leaves have gone from drab to green almost overnight.  Birds and peep frogs serenade you as you paint and the wildlife can sometimes appear out of nowhere to keep you company.  Yes, you can paint outside any time of the year or day—just that you quickly learn there are certain times of the season and even certain times of the day that are more pleasant and appealing.

I’ve read blog posts and articles about several of the die-hard plein air painters and the more adventuresome painters.  There are those painters that have trekked up mountains and roughed it, just to catch a backcountry scene in the morning light.  Those painters that have toughed it out in extreme temperatures on both ends of the thermometer, braved the snow, sleet, rain, and wind, not only for the painting being produced but for the thrill and adventure of it.  I love reading these stories—some of these artists are not only talented painters but entertaining writers as well.  If you’d like to read some of these posts and see the art created from these adventures, I suggest you check out the work of Josh Been , R. Gregory Summers , or Shawn Cornell  and hey, for kicks and grins, check out my adventure page…it’s not all about painting but my wanderings too

As I read about some of these artist adventures, I wondered what would drive someone to paint in the less than ideal conditions.  Painting en plein air can be challenging enough.  I’m somewhat of an adventuresome type but wasn’t sure if I loved the “fight” as Mr. Schofield mentioned, enough to actually try to paint during the wind, snow, rain, or sleet.  Then I tried it.  The first time, I painted in the wind and my clunky French easel blew over and cracked “…..awesome…..just awesome”, I thought.  That easel and I had a love/hate relationship.  It used to randomly collapse one or more of it’s legs on me while painting….but that’s a different “fight”.  I tell you this, I didn’t give up.  I started taking a few workshops in an attempt to improve my plein air skill.  These workshops are scheduled and they happen, rain or shine.  Well, at another workshop, I ended up painting in a rainy mist….ok, not so bad….it was light and I don’t melt.  My hair likes to curl and frizz, but hey, just avoid any mirrors or the public en mass and it’s all good.  Then I braved the winds of the Kansas Flint hills….again, not so bad because I weighted my easel down.  Oh, and did I mention, I finally saved up and sprung for an Easy L easel and tripod.  World of difference!!!  I could adjust the tripod legs to lower the center of gravity and then hang things from the middle of the tripod to weight it down.  OK, I conquered the wind.  Next, I set up and painted during one of our snows this past winter.  I wanted to study the color and values of snow.  I got snow alright.  Half way through my first painting, I started getting snowed on….”eh, no big deal, it was actually pretty and peaceful”.  Next up, it changed to sleet, “great….who ordered this???”  It ended in a very cold, wet, rain……..OK, I’m done with this painting….and packed it up.  I have painted in a mild weather rain as well and produced a couple of my favorite plein air paintings.  I’ve learned that the key is get paint on the canvas and learn to deal with slick, oily paint.  Next up…..hiking more than a couple of miles to paint…..  I hope to conquer that this fall!

OK, I get it, I see what some of the “fight” is all about.  It’s another challenge to add to the mix.  It separates some painters from others.  It is a learning and growing experience that can have the potential for rewards (and some fails), both in the finished painting and in the satisfaction of winning a “fight”.  I get it and I’m in!  Let’s do this!

Rain is a good thang

May 29, 2012

Rain is a good thang

I had been meaning to post this painting quite some time ago but then got side tracked with other things….and before you know it, it’s months down the road.

Well, I’m happy to say, I have a new reason to post about this painting.  I recently entered it in a local landscape art competition and am happy to say, it received second place honors in the oil/acrylic category.

I’ll be the first to say that I’m not exactly a landscape painter.  I prefer to paint critters…..more specifically, horses.  However, with that said, I do have a deep love for the outdoors and beautiful scenery!  I love to go on outdoor adventures and see beauty in not only the extraordinary but the ordinary day to day scenes.  Sometimes we overlook the landscapes outside our backdoor because they become ordinary to us.  It is good to pause once in a while and take a second look, study the view….you’ve probably missed something.  God has presented us with some beautiful country out there and everyone should slow down once in a while and get out there and see it.

This painting is based on one of those “ordinary” views.  A view that I’d seen several times before and did appreciated as a “pretty” scene, however, I never really stopped and stared for a while and truly appreciate the simple beauty of it.  As an artist, I hadn’t stopped to appreciate the subtle changes in values of green….and the fact that there was green everywhere…..and how water truly saturates color and makes everything look clean, new, and vibrant again.  As a woman who had been raised in the country but had lately been too caught up in the stress of day to day life, I stopped and appreciated the smell of the fresh rain, the smell of corn growing, and felt the damp, cool breeze that you feel immediately after an early rain.

I knew I had to paint this scene as a reminder to stop and appreciate the simple things, a reminder of farm life and values and how blessed I was to grow up in the country.

….in the lyrics of Luke Bryan, “Rain is a good thang”.

Feb. 28, 2012 “Colorado Rain”

March 7, 2012
Day 28

Colorado Rain

“Colorado Rain”

Painting a Day Project

Day 28

“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.”

~Stella Adler

I’m a creative brain, I must create.  It is my enjoyment, my challenge, my therapy.  ……and I need a lot of that last one lately!

I find that I’m most inspired when I’m outside wandering the fields, mountains, or woods.  I find myself staring at the trees, sky, wildlife, rocks, etc. and imagining how I would paint it….seeing the shapes, seeing the colors, ultimately–seeing my brush strokes.  I think getting outside and doing research is as important as developing your drawing skills, learning to use your tools, or learning stroke work.  Doing this type of research helps you to learn color, value, and shape from THE ultimate artist–God.  I think getting outdoors not only helps you to truly see but helps to refresh the mind, body, and soul—and who doesn’t need that from time to time??