Sunday, February 24, 2013

Steps from Lassiter Mill Falls

On one of my "plein air" outings I went to a spot in Raleigh called Lassiter Mill Falls.  At first I was disappointed because the water level was so low that it was really more of a Lassiter Mill Trickle that day than a Falls.  

Searching for inspiration, my eye caught this fairly unkempt set of stairs leading up the bank.  Normally I might think, "Oh, that's a little bit junky", but all I could see was the way the light transformed it into a thing of beauty.  The sun bathed the path and the tree in a soft warm glow, peeked between the bushes, and dappled character up and down the weathered wood.

This is the picture I took:

But this is what I really saw.  I love seeing the world through the eyes of an artist :)
Steps from Lassiter Mill Falls
Steps from Lassiter Mill Falls, available
8x10 Oil on panel, framed

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Vineyards at Southpoint

The beautiful countryside and peaceful feel of Durham's Vineyards at Southpoint made for a great day of plein air painting with my friend Betsy Duncan.  I loved the glowing backlit vines and the wonderful shadows cast by nearby pines, so I adjusted my composition to emphasize that light by cropping out the sky (and Betsy too - sorry! :)   I enhanced the contrast of dark and light values, but kept the little white house subdued so that it didn't draw too much attention.  All in all I was very pleased with this plein air piece, so I painted a larger version (at bottom) in my studio. 
The view from my easel

 In the larger studio version, I let a little bit of sky peek through to give more depth and I warmed up the colors of my sunlit areas.   This painting was juried in to the 2011 Junior League of Raleigh art show at the Raleigh Convention Center.

And now for a special thank you gift ... 
If you sign up to receive this blog by email, I will send to you a free 6x8 reproduction of this painting, printed on 8x10 satin card stock.  How's that for sweet grapes?!  
There are only 25 prints available, so they will go to the quickest art lovers :)

Just enter your email address in the "Receive by Email" box on the top right and press submit.  Then be sure to provide your snail mail address to me (click here) so that I know where to send your gift.

Are you already a subscriber?  Just share this blog with a friend who then subscribes and both of you will receive this gift, along with a little bit of sunshine on Sunday mornings.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sweet Tooth

One of my favorite painting subjects isn't exactly a subject, but a color... white.  The reason I love painting white is that it is never really "white", it takes on nuances of the sky and the objects around it. 

In this photo of my daughter feeding my father's horse, Caramillo, I was entranced by the back-lighting that bounced all over the salmon-colored walls and, in my eye, made for a glowing effect of complementary pastel colors on the "white" horse.

I cropped the photo to emphasize the story... Caramillo with a sweet tooth :). 

Since my reason for painting this was to portray the beautiful blending of reflected sky and salmon walls, I kept the composition simple and eliminated the over-hanging tree.  Then I had fun with the colors.
This painting is currently on exhibit at the equestrian show at Waverly Artist's Group.  It won Honorable Mention from the Fine Arts League of Cary.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Shades of Tuscany, part II

Looking back over my photos of the Tuscan countryside definitely makes me want to return to Italy!  I think I'd like to go when the sunflowers or poppies are in bloom... not that the landscape needs beautifying :)

One of my favorite scenes was on the way to San Gimignano.  We came across this picturesque view with the perfect blend of grapes, olive trees, cypress, and rolling hills.  Last week I posted my small study in a square format, but this week I wanted to show you how accommodating mother nature can be... the same view, but in a 12x36 landscape format:

Of course, my heart remembers a bit differently from the camera.  Here's what I see:
Shades of Tuscany, 12x36 Oil, SOLD