A Winter Plein Air Scene

I’ve gone from spring, to autumn, to winter.  Here is a small oil painting I did of Carondelet Park in the winter.  I had just gotten a wonderful new plein air easel, and was very excited about that.  It is the Soltek easel.  I LOVE it!!!  Man, is it quick and easy to set up and take down.  This is horseshoe lake in the park, as seen from south.  The building is either a utility building, or restrooms.  I like how the red roof shows up in the muted colors of winter.

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“Horseshoe Lake in Winter”, oil on canvas panel

 

Last Holdout

We had a nice prolonged autumn this year, due to mild temperatures.  I painted this en plein air at the very end of November here in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.  This is in the Holly Hills area, which is a beautiful part of south St. Louis.  Fall is my favorite time of the year.  A week prior, I had run into a fellow artist Henryk Ptasiewicz painting this very scene in oils.  He inspired me so much, as did this beautiful maple tree, that I came back and painted it myself the following week.  He also got me connected to Jane Flanders, who is now my painting buddy.  I’m glad I painted while I had the chance, because now, it is 6 degrees F, and very much winter.

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Last Holdout, pastel on pastel board, 10.5″ x 15.5″

“Basin at Seiwa En”

I love this peaceful, serene fountain at the entrance to the Seiwa En garden in the Missouri Botanical Garden here in St Louis.  In late summer, my husband and I spent a day here while I painted this in plein air in soft pastels.  It was a breezy, partly cloudy day.  That made it somewhat of a challenge to paint this, since I started out with a sunny day, but it was overcast at the end of my painting sessions.  I will never get tired of the beauty of this place.  This is a very quiet and subtle fountain, with a tiny stream of water that gently runs through the bamboo cane and drips into the basin.  Here is the listing in my store.

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Basic at Seiwa En, soft pastel

Yes, I’ve neglected my blog…

… because of a veritable storm of family issues.  There have been 3 significant injuries over the past 2 weeks – 2 dislocated shoulders, and a dislocated toe.  My older son Jonathan got his car totaled on a 3 week road trip all over the western USA, then got stranded in Colorado (we live in Missouri) because a freak hailstorm with tennis ball sized hail ruined all the rental cars.  My husband and I were spending the week dealing with the various health issues and auto insurance claim stuff.  Many other things have gone on too, which I don’t want to bore people with.  I’m extremely thankful that he and his girlfriend came out of this unharmed.  Thank you Jesus!  I had been praying for him every day, and the Lord was with him.

Fortunately, I have been able to still squeeze in some time for painting.

I like to walk every day if I can.  I go around my neighborhood.  I’m fortunate to live in south St Louis, where there is quite a lot of old and beautiful architecture, and tree lined boulevards with shady parkways in the middle.  One day, I walked past an alleyway, and saw a charming wooden fence.  Someone must have planted some meadow mix along the base of it. There were some colorful wildflowers growing along the base of it.

There is a subtle complementary color scheme going on here.  It is yellow and violet.  The fence is based on yellow orange, and the alley and some of the flowers are blue violet.  I went impressionist on this by using broken color on the fence and pavement.  I also have an interesting contrast between the urban elements of street, power line shadows, dumpsters, and fence, with the organic plants, tree, and flowers.  The rather austere appearance of background dumpsters and garages emphasizes the beauty and grace of the blooming things.  Here is the listing in my online store.

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Alley Rhythm, oil on canvas panel, 24″ x 18″

Just Finished Carondelet Twilight Oil Painting

This is one of few night scenes I have painted.  I love the drama of night scenes!  I’ve been getting somewhat bored with just regular day scenes.  There seem to be a preponderance of paintings of landscapes of fields, woods, hills, trees, streams, and rocks.  Don’t get me wrong, these are just as valuable and beautiful.

I love to do architecture.  There is something about building up that geometric sense of structure, and the modeling that goes along with it.  This is the Carondelet Park boathouse.  This park is in south St. Louis, just 3 blocks from my home.  One evening, my husband and I were there, just relaxing and enjoying the encroaching evening.  Since this view faces east, the sky and resulting lake reflections are very blue.  My favorite aspect of this, and the focal point, is actually the light, not any particular object.  The building acts more as a support and as a secondary minor focal point.  The light reflections on the water are the main focal point.

My palette was a titanium/zinc white, cadmium yellow medium, venetian red, mars violet deep, French ultramarine blue, terre vert, and burnt umber.

Here is the link to the online listing.

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Carondelet Twilight, 20″ x 16″, oil on canvas panel

Defiance Sunset

I participated in a plein air event in rural Missouri years ago. In this scene, I’m seated at the corner of 2 country roads painting a homestead on a hill as the sun sets behind it. The lady that lived at the corner came out and spoke to me and was friendly and nice. This is in Defiance, Missouri. I love how the sky has the warm pinkish orange glow, and the long shadows of the trees on the gentle slope.  I remember feeling peaceful and relaxed as I was painting this.  I think this feeling came through in the art work.

Here is the etsy shop listing.

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Riot of Spring Blooms

I will never, ever get tired of spring flowers.  I also love architecture.  I love the way the architecture combines with growing things.  The flowing, soft lines of nature contrast well with the hard, straight, geometric lines of things built by humans.

One day last spring, my husband and I were driving around in his truck looking for something to paint.  We were driving around the Tower Grove south neighborhood of St. Louis.  As we drove down a side street, I was drawn to this whimsical, charming and delightful home filled with all kinds of flowers and neat things.  I introduced myself to the owner of the home, and she was just as delightful.  I started this painting in the bed of my husband’s truck.  It was so windy, he ended up holding on to the easel as I started the painting.  After about an hour of this we both became quite uncomfortable (it was cold, too).  So I took a photo, and finished the piece in my studio.

Here is the listing in my etsy store.

Riot of Spring Blooms
Riot of Spring Blooms, oil on canvas panel, 16″ x 20″