In the early morning, a bike ride to the opposite edge of town to a night time entertainment bar was my next plein air location. An artist has created many shapes and sculptures such as this very large heart on the beach and all over the property. The washrooms, bar, tables, light holders etc. are all made from hand out of driftwood found in the lagoon behind. This shady spot was up against the outdoor bar so I had access to stools to put my supplies on. Fun and interesting conversations, a new book to read, metal sculptures shown on a phone etc. are all information shared while I painted this on site. You are rarely alone when painting "en plein air", just the act of painting seems to draw people out, what fun! These are all memories I will have when looking at this piece!
11" x 8.5" en plein air, oil on canvas paper
It was also interesting when I came out from the dark outside bar palapa to take a photo of my easel that the colours I mixed for the driftwood were more on the green side, going to leave it as it is all part of the adventure. The other part of the adventure was watching people walking along the beach looking like they were going in and out of the heart frame, quickly passing by.
I am fortunate to have art greeting cards and five of my paintings in the first show of 2023. The hanging committee does an exceptional job of hanging the paintings and placing the pottery, jewelry, knitted, sewn, woven art pieces to highlight each piece. Gratefully, Marg brought my paintings in for me and Bonnie does a wonderful job of making all the tags. If you are going through Enderby, B.C. it is really worth the stop. As an artist run gallery, there is no pressure as it is lovely to see people take a break and enjoy a feast for the eyes. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am until 4pm.
Bottom left - I watched a skim board competition on the beach. There was amazing skill and talent. Unusually large waves were coming in which made it even more difficult and a lot of hard falls occurred. I loved watching the younger boys following their idols and trying to copy their moves. Top right - I found a shady spot on the sand and painted this scene before meeting family for lunch. Bottom left - Bugambilla's beach restaurant was closed but they leave some of the umbrellas and tables set up for people to enjoy. Bottom right - painted pineapple on our deck, the scent alone is delicious!
What a wonderful morning! The group had decided to paint the area around the Red Lobster restaurant. What caught each artist's eye was really interesting. I used the restaurant table and had my easel beside it. The beautiful and very full bush that was leaning over and the colourful doorway behind caught my eye. Some of the artists did drawings and chose not to put them in the "smack down" at the end for the photo (see below). I love the name "smack down" as that is the sound of the sketchbooks on the tiles. This time I remembered to take a photo of the painting on the easel with the view (below).
"The Weight of Beauty"
8" x 11" oil on canvas sheet #20024123
Working in a sketchbook takes the pressure off of a "finished piece". Wild colours and textures, experiments and most of all memories are all captured. Below is a good example: the feathers are from Magi a Macaw parrot living on the property (water colour and ink). Diane feeds, waters, pets and talks to this bird daily and brought back a feather for me!! The feather was so interesting as each side had completely different colouring, I had no idea! The second is a pineapple (acrylic 10"x7") that I was about to cut up and decided to paint it first in a Robert Burridge style. It tasted as delicious as it looked. I picked a few flowers after visiting Magi, cut a plastic water bottle into a vase and enjoyed it for a couple of days before painting it in my 7"x5" watercolour sketchbook. Another beautiful sunset on the beach (7"x10" acrylic).
This very enjoyable couple of hours at Las Hamacas restaurant (before it opened for lunch) has a beautiful view of the ocean and beach. Some artists like myself chose to paint in the covered restaurant and others went down on the beach. At one point I counted 16 artists sketching and painting, what fun! Before everyone was gone, we did the "smack down" which is basically the sound of sketchbooks on the tile floor for a photo with those that want to participate (not a requirement) of finished and unfinished work. It is always so inspiring to see what has caught each artist's eye at the same location.
"The Shade Huddle"
8" x 11" oil on canvas paper #20019123
So happy to reconnect with the weekly plein air group in Mexico! We met last Saturday at Bungalows Azteca and happily planted ourselves around the grounds. Some painted by the pool, others in any shady spot available. The bungalows were all so brightly painted, it was a feast for the eyes. I planted myself in the shade and dug out my oil painting supplies hoping I did not forget anything.
Mid morning, my husband exchanged bikes so he could get mine fixed. I did not consider that his did not have any baskets when I left so had to balance and carry everything as I walked his bike. A vehicle drove by on the dusty dirt road and the breeze picked up my painting off the cardboard and it flipped upside down into the dirt, of course it did! I brushed off the larger bits and left the rest on to dry, hoping it would just brush off later. The smeared painting is the second one below. Once it dried enough, I painted over with some of the same colours left on my palette. Some of the dirt is still on the ground in front of the bungalow. Plein air is always an adventure!
8" x 10" Oil on canvas pad #20013123
Below is some of the artists' finished and unfinished paintings from my first plein air experience of 2023. I had so much fun being around these wonderful artists and found what they focused on very interesting and inspiring! Looking forward to the next outing at Las Hamacas,
Lucky me, won the year long course from Kara Bullock Art School. There is a weekly demo done by various artists and access to the course for as long as the school exists. I really enjoyed the course last year and was going to go back and repeat or re-watch some of the weekly demos, but now have 2023 to do and watch. The challenge for me is that I am away from the studio and have limited supplies so the art of "making do" is also part of the process. I have a few sketchbooks with me so can work in various sizes.
Week 1 demo was done by Kara Bullock on a very large canvas. I tried to cram it all in on my 7" x 5" sketchbook page, tough to do it so small. Loved the process and very interesting to work on an orange surface using only black and white.
The colourful creation above has many layers and textures. The Week 2 artist was Cyndy Ross @crossimagination This was painted in a 10" x 7" mixed media sketchbook.
I signed up for Kara Bullock's Art School "Let's Face It 2022" where a different instructor does an online demo once a week. I have been trying to paint along if I have the tools. Some of the classes required specific apps or programs (those I watched, but bypassed). I was in Mexico for the first 3 months with very limited supplies so did my rendition with what I had with me. That was fun, creative and challenging. The photos below are my renditions and the artist's name and link are below that. The first 3 were posted before the start of the course as warm up bonuses by Kara Bullock and bottom right was instructed by Jennifer Bonneteau. Once you have paid for the course you have access to it so I can continue with the weeks I am interested in now that I have more supplies. I happily signed up for "Let's Face It 2023" and in fact won the 2023 class, whoo hoo (thank you Kara Bullock!!)
Week 1. Top left - Lauren Rudolf. Week 2. Top middle - Robert Kelly Week 3. Top right - Christa Forrest Week 7. Bottom left - Nadyia Duff Week 8. Bottom middle - Emma Petitt. Week 9. Bottom right - (Sculpture) Kathryn Lewis Day
Week 10 Top left - Jennifer Bonneteau. Week 11 Middle - Week 12 Top Right - Katrina Szyszkoski. Week 13 - Top left - Dylan Sara in handmade inks, mine is painted with coffee.
Week 15 Top left - Dina Wakley abstract mixed media, Week 16 Middle - Angela Kennedy, Week 17 Top right - Tara Roskell - abstracted face with water colour pencils, Week 18 Flo Lee @florenceleeandco, expressive portrait on toned background
It is with a very grateful heart that I thank everyone who has encouraged, bought my art, travelled this journey with me (near and far), commented, cheered, painted with me, helped with suggestions and expanded my learning on this very heartful art journey part of my life. I am looking forward to continuing this art journey with you and am very grateful to you, thank you!
Karen Oliver's Art Journey
Thanks for stopping by to see my art journey and what I am currently working on.