Yesterday my husband and I went to Forest Park, only 20 minutes from out home, and set up at the top of the Grand Basin in Forest Park. This is in St Louis, Missouri. It was a very warm, sunny, and breezy day. The redbuds were blooming, and the trees had their tender light green leaves just sprouting. I loved the way you could see the other 2 lakes in the distance among the trees.
I did this painting in pastel on indigo blue Canson Mi Tientes Touch pastel board. The dark blue was a very good background color, as that easily provided the shadows. It was a very relaxing and peaceful day for me, and I really enjoyed doing this piece. A very friendly and nice photographer named Kerry Klein introduced himself to me, and we talked for a bit.
I was inspired by the beautiful warm sun, the fresh colorful spring leaves and flowers, and the serene peaceful water. I love the way the sun comes through the little spaces in the bridge too.
I just LOVE spring! Woohoo!! I’m so excited that winter is over, and spring is here! I’ve recently been trying out acrylic paints. They feel a lot different that oils. I love the fact that they dry quickly, so I can put another layer on in just 5-10 minutes, instead of waiting a day or two, as with oils. I’m also reading a book about how to paint in acrylics. This new acrylic adventure is really inspiring me! This book has lots and lots of new ideas, techniques, and so on. I realize that I’ve been a very traditional painter up till now, relying only on the most basic of tools and techniques. That’s fine, because it forces me to learn to draw and paint really well. However, it was starting to get a tad boring, too.
Here is a painting I did of a crabapple tree in full bloom. This tree is just a block from my house. I took a photo of it close up. My palette is titanium white, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium orange, quinacridone red, quinacridone magenta, perylene violet,
ultramarine blue, and olive green deep. I started on a bright yellow toned canvas. This gives the painting a bright, warm feeling. I painted a bit looser than my general tendency. I made a point to allow the yellow underpainting to show through. I drew the shapes in detail on the dry underpainting, then painted it all in.
The two challenges of acrylics for me, is the fast drying time can make it hard to get a good even blend or gradation, and the color shift. I spent a lot of time researching how to deal with the color shift. They tend to dry darker than when you apply them. I bought some tubes of Winsor Newton the other day because they claim to have no color shift, but there is still a slight color shift. It’s not a big deal. I’m learning to make the paint a bit lighter than I want to be before I apply it, and to repaint areas that dry too dark.
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.