Warning: Long post ahead. This is an exercise in the online art group I belong to on Mighty Networks called 4C, owned and lead by Sharon Lynn Williams. It is a community of artists who are serious about improving their paintings and growing their art practice.
I was "Mining My Photograph" as an art exercise. The top photo is the winter scene photograph I am working from. The top right is the work I did on paper to find the shape and what I wanted to paint from the scene. The ones underneath those are the oil painting I first did (8" x 10") on canvas pad. I will often look through my phone at the image in black and white to check the values.
I also tried to paint in oil in my sketchbook on thin gesso'd water colour paper. It was interesting and very dry to work on. The gesso just seemed to soak up the paint and not move it well. I used a two page spread to make it 12" x 6 1/2". If you click on the photos you will see it full size.
I want to make a larger painting in a rectangular format so this is my working page on oil canvas paper. The squiggly lines in the preliminary drawing is an evergreen tree. Deciding on a format, values and shapes are always easier to do in pencil rather than in oil at the easel. These exercises are so valuable to do but I am always eager to get the brush in my hand and often skip these steps. I will post the final larger version when it is completed.
As our daughter and 5 month old grandson were visiting for a very busy week of travelling around the city to visit (and introduce Jack) to her friends and our friends, there was no time for a paint session. I signed up for a free 5 day course called Mandala Magic with artist Julie Gibbons and got up early to work in my sketchbook. The top 4 were moons and the last one was the 8 stages/seasons(?) of the sun. It was quite meditative as you just did what your heart desired following her prompts. I played with water colour and pens. The second one has cut out paper moons glued on. I did enjoy the non-stop writing and colouring the letters in.
Well a tough decision was made...pickleball or a plein air painting time (well maybe not so tough). I dropped my husband off at the Salmon Arm pickleball courts and then drove back down the road as I had spotted this barn on our way. I found a shaded spot under a beautiful old willow tree and set up. With the heat, smoky summer, and our first grandchild born (Jack), the summer flew by without very much plein air painting which is my favourite way to paint. The weather, smells, sounds, people visiting and checking out what I am doing is all embedded in the painting. It was a glorious morning.
The owner of the barn was driving by and stopped to chat so I also enjoyed the historical information. Of course using my creative side of my brain, I forgot all those details so can't share them!! If anyone recognizes the barn, please let me know. Next time I will bring paper and pencil, Lovely walkers and couple of cars stopped, to look and chat. The wonderful neighbours offered me a chance to come back and paint their vine covered old barn in the back. My time was up before I had a chance to see it but will definitely go back next spring.
Barn in Salmon Arm, B.C.
8" x 10" plein air (on location) oil painting, #20122121
My husband and I were loving gifted a holiday stay at the wonderful Crystal Cove Beach Resort in Tofino, B.C. by our daughter, son-in-law and our son for our 40th wedding anniversary. We had our own loft cabin complete with hot tubs in the trees! We had a wonderful time exploring on our bikes and I was able to complete the painting below on site. I hope you feel the calm and peacefulness I felt while painting it!!
"Tofino Anniversary View"
8" x 10" Oil on canvas panel, plein aire (on location) #20116121
The sketches below were done on water colour paper in my homemade concertina sketch book. The last one was done on the ferry ride on our way home. Jack is our first grandchild and was definitely on my mind after we sadly hugged goodbye and headed home from our visit together. It was a good way to celebrate and use up the ferry ride time. If you click on the image you should get the full view.
This was the second year my friend Evelyn and I stayed at the wonderful Beaver Lake Mountain Resort just above Lake Country, B.C. in Last year we stayed for 2 nights, this year 3 nights (whooo hooo!!). It is a beautiful fishing lake with cabins, camping, motorized and paddle boats & boards to rent and wonderful accommodating staff. We laughed a lot, ate extremely well (Evelyn is an excellent cook and I was an excellent chopper and cleaner-upper). I had my plein air set up and happily painted 3 oil paintings (8" x 10") while I was there as well as a couple of sketch book pages. Much to our surprise (after a full moon walk the night before) we woke up to snow one morning that melted by noon, so many surprises, and so much fun!
We also both had a wonderful and healing session at the Lotus Wellness Retreat on site. Thank you Daniela and Myra for your wonderful expertise, intuitiveness and sensitivity. We both felt amazing after and are still enjoying the effects.
Karen Oliver's Art Journey
Thanks for stopping by to see my art journey and what I am currently working on.