plein air

Plein air at the River Trail

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8 by 8 inches, oil on hardboard

Beautiful weather today, warm and sunny. I had a little time to paint outdoors near the River Trail Nature Center.


Pickeral Lake 2012

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8 by 6 inches, oil on hardboard

Here are some of the paintings from Pickeral Lake. I chose the same view from the cottage’s front yard as last year, but I think this attempt turned out better. My nieces and daughters were very productive with watercolors, and held a successful art show on the beach the next day.


Family Plein Air Painting Session

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10 by 10 inches, oil on hardboard
10 by 8 inches, acrylic on illustration board

Memorial Day – the girls wanted to try plein air painting in the backyard, in the heat. I felt a bit wilted by the time they got going. I am not happy with my very quick cloud study, but I love the girls’ paintings. This is Meredith’s first try with oil paints. Holly says hers is a sculpture. I’ve been admiring the paintings of Roos Schuring, a plein air painter in the Netherlands. I’m amazed by her work, and I love watching her video demos.

6 by 6 inches, oil on hardboard

Oil Painting: Moon Over Meadow

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14 by 10 inches, oil on hardboard

Whoo! Another gorgeous morning. I spent about 2 hours in the Grove, Glenview’s outdoor history and nature museum. I walked around quite a while looking for a view that was a little wild and woodsy, but with simple forms. The moon caught my eye. I followed the steps Laurel Daniel laid out in a recent post: block in, upright plane, ground plane, sky plane, refinement. Not sure why I feel so out of control painting outside. At one point I felt like I was mixing cake batter on the panel. The photo has a lot of glare. I may repost it later, but I’ve put off my chores long enough.

Plein Air Sketch of Beck Lake

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10 by 8 inches, oil on gessoed hardboard

It was a beautiful day. I spent an hour and a half painting at Beck Lake this morning. Painting outdoors is complicated and full of distraction. I’ll try to do more plein air this year, and get a better feel for it. I may work on this painting more tomorrow, indoors. Two inspiring artists who do beautiful landscapes and frequently paint en plein air: David Westerfield and Laurel Daniel.

Plein Air Painting Party

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6 by 6 inches, oil on hardboard
Meredith - 15 by 11 inches, watercolor
Holly, 15 by 11 inches, watercolor
Friend - 15 by 11 inches, watercolor

I set up my easel in the front yard yesterday so I could try an oil sketch while I watched the kids play. Pretty soon the girls and a friend wanted to paint, too, so we got the watercolors out. The weather was so fine, it was great.

Oil Painting of Hosta and Hybiscus

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6 by 6 inches, oil on hardboard
8 by 10 inches, acrylic on hardboard

The girls and I painted together today, first thing! For this week’s Daily Paintworks Challenge, we hauled our supplies outside and found some flowers blooming in the yard. Holly and Meredith chose the Rose of Sharon (hybiscus). I started there, too, but wiped that painting out in frustration. Later on, refreshed and caffeinated, I sat down in the shade by this trusty hosta and tried again.

Meredith made another bold choice with her background color, and I love it. Holly just reminded me she did NOT want her painting on the blog. She insists on showing it only in person – I’ll respect that. It’s lovely, though, so come on over.