Monday, September 24, 2012

first signs of fall first experience with a  Landscape Painting Workshop! Here is my report following the Stapleton Kearns workshop in Stillwater, Minnesota. It was great! Very intense, lots of instruction at a very fast rate of downloading.  I sketched and scribbled notes as fast as I could while our great teacher rapidly demonstrated his technique, laying in a sketch on canvas with his favorite cobalt violet underpainting. Cobalt violet is now my new favorite too.
Above is a page from my filled up sketchbook. Next is an unfinished landscape from the end of my second day of painting. By this time I had acquired a few new facts about painting in oils; oils are really messy, messier than acrylics, the oil paint never seems to dry or come off your hands; and you can scrape gooey piles of oil right off your canvas if you don't like what you so carefully tried to mix in.                                                                                
 This photo shows several of our group of artists spread out on a hillside working away on the landscape. There was a first hint of fall in the air that day, a brisk breeze, and the sunlight is different from a week before.
Minnesota is lovely and there were some bright fall colors beginning to burst out.

And last here to the left is my painting, not finished, because I couldn't work  fast enough in this new medium. Ooh, tone down the colors, please.
I guess I could say this was the best workshop I have ever attended but it is also the Only workshop I have ever attended. Oils are wonderful, I want to keep my education going in this medium and perhaps I will do this again.

Friday, September 14, 2012

my next big adventure

I am packing right now to go on an adventure. (The dog is staying behind this time.) I am attending a weekend workshop taught by Stapleton Kearns on landscape painting. Mr. Kearns is a renowned professional painter and I have been reading his blog for about 4 years now. I talk about what I have learned from his blog so often that my family encouraged me to go meet the man and paint with him. Until now I thought that was not going to ever be a possibility because he lives in New Hampshire and conducts scary workshops in bitter cold winter snowy locations. (I have a FEAR of cold and snow.)
This weekend however, he is teaching in Stillwater, Minnesota which is only a 7 hour drive from my home in the Chicago area. So I am going on my own adventure into the unknown. Driving by myself to Minnesota is a new challange. But even more so will be picking up oil paints and working with them after many years of using acrylics exclusively. Also new to me will be painting outdoors all day, I have tried this just a few times but not with this equipment. I bought a travel easel just for this purpose and still need to get practiced in setting it up. I will keep you posted...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


An illustration of myself and where I want to be today.

Monday, September 3, 2012

the last drops

I am squeezing the last drops out of my summer before Labor day (today), and school starts (too late, it has already started), and fall weather arrives and then...inevitably, winter (ohh brrr).
So, did I go to the beach and bask in the sun on hot sand while gazing at blue fresh water? Check. Michigan!
And on my must-do list, did I go to Colorado and climb some mountains? Check, oh yes! I also painted   sketches of columbines.
Also checking off the list; running every day on the Illinois Prairie Path with my dog, yes did that; planting (and eating) my own tomatoes, yes and they are good!
One of the  things I haven't done on my summer checklist is go to the farmers market and buy flowers, bring them home and paint them. Sunflowers, I need to get some great big ones to paint.