Creve Coeur Shadows

I recently took a class with Jerry Thomas called French Impressionist Blue Painting.  The basic premise is that you use at least 2 or more pigment blues, and keep them isolated

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“Creve Coeur Shadows”, 18″ x 14″, oil on canvas panel

from each other in different areas of your painting.

This particular scene is at Creve Coeur Lake in St Louis Missouri.  My husband, sons, and I have spent lots of time sailing here during summers.  I used cobalt blue for the sky, Prussian blue for the water, and ultramarine blue for the snow shadows. Blue is a space color, and there is a strong sense of space in this piece.  I started with a panel toned in bright yellow, to offset all the blues and warm it up, so it wouldn’t look icy cold.  I also used soft pinks, yellows, and violets in the grays of the trees and shrubs.

See the store listing here. 

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Shadows and Reflections

When I was walking past the lily pad ponds by the Linnaeus House in the Missouri Botanical Garden, I was mesmerized by the pattern of lily pad shadows and reflections on the water.

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Shadows and Reflections, acrylic on canvas panel, 14″ x 18

I painted this in acrylic based on a photo I took of the scene.  I enlarged it on my ipad mini, and did a drawing first.  Then I painted in the scene.  It was colorful, but looked somewhat flat and disjointed.  So, I put my Monet on and put lots of broken color in the shadows and the sky reflections.  This made it much more vibrant, and unified the painting.  Later, I darkened some of the shadow areas, and brightened the lighter areas to improve the value system.  Finally, I realized it was hard to tell the reflections and shadows from the actual lily pads and flower, so I put a glaze over the water using a mixture of translucent zinc white, iridescent silver, and iridescent gold.

My favorite part of this is the foreground lily, with the white and gold light reflections on it.

Here is the listing in my online store. 

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