This is a scene among the trees, along the edge of the White River. The places where land and water meet are usually very peaceful and I wasn’t disappointed on this visit. I took artistic liberties in painting the water which in actuality is very muddy in color.
I love painting trees, just ask my plein air buddies. Trees in the broader landscape are like people in a crowd — you have to take the time to see them individually. Each has their own characteristics and distinguishing features which are missed when we don’t take the time to look… and see. Pause to get a good look at a tree you pass by every day; you’ll see what I mean.
A thunderstorm hit town a couple of days ago. Lots of rain, thunder and lightning; overhead electric wires were down, and traffic lights were out. A transformer blew in a flash of amazing bright light several feet away from my car. Malfunctioning traffic lights and downed trees made it tricky to drive home.
In contrast, what a joy it is to spend a quiet moment over a cup of tea. So calming… Ahhh …
On a recent trip to the Indiana Museum of Art, I observed how warm the shadows were in some classic paintings (and how cool the light areas were). I had experimented with warmer shadows before and wanted to work out some ideas, so a series of small studies seemed a logical path.
This painting, “Fallen Tree”, is the first in this series of minis. It is an oil painting on panel (7″x5″, unframed). I had to stop myself from getting carried away with some of the strokes; it’s not necessary to paint every leaf to suggest the foliage. Some shots of the painting in progress:
I love plein air painting (painting outdoors) with my artist buddies. However, it’s totally different from painting in the comfort (and isolation) of the studio. Along with the views there’s nature to contend with. Sometimes it’s small wildlife that gets your attention, or weather conditions to take into consideration. And sometimes it’s bees that are territorial… or just curious.
One afternoon while out painting, my friend Rose starting twitching irregularly; she had my total attention. I had two questions for her:
“What’s the matter with YOU?” and “Why are you running over HERE?”
Apparently she was fighting with a bee and I wanted no part of it! Thankfully, no one was stung. After much laughter we resumed our painting and continued to enjoy our day outdoors. Here are some pictures:
I started the year off joining a challenge. I joined a group of artists online who were doing a painting a day for the month of January. The goal was to complete 30 paintings in one month. I didn’t complete all 30; I completed 23 paintings and learned a lot about my process.