Friday, December 27, 2013

Golden December Days

Short Sands Beach. Oswald West State Park
Did you hear that whooshing sound? That was the sound of the winter holidays speeding by! Our weather went from frigid winter to late fall warmth in the blink of an eye too. The sun is shining and the temps are up to the low 50ยบ F which, for this time of the year, feels lovely.
The urge to get out to paint becomes a roar on days like these. I haven't painted as much as I would like to due to the seasonal celebrations. My mate and I spent the afternoons of Christmas Eve and Christmas day on Short Sands Beach. It is a 5 minute drive up the road and about a 1/4 mile hike to the beach through a beautiful old forest. The trail to the beach runs along Short Sands Creek which empties into the sea.
Christmas afternoon we took Twill's ashes to their final resting place. We still had them as I had a purpose for a tiny bit of them to remember her by. That will be included in a future post. She is now resting in a perfect spot where there are many dogs to visit her and a beautiful beach to enjoy.
Before Christmas, I took a field trip to the Columbia River Maritime Museum.
Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria Oregon
It is one of the best Maritime Museums in the state. The Columbia River meets the open ocean close to Astoria. The river is still quite mighty when it hits the sea and makes the Columbia River bar crossing one of the most dangerous in the world, even to this day. They had awesome footage of a huge cargo ship being tossed around in the waves. Even on a good day the crossing is tricky. I could go on for a whole post on the museum. I have been there before but needed to do a bit of research for a painting I have in mind.
Today, at last, I got out and painted. I went back to Short Sands Beach to paint and commune a bit with my Twill. As I mentioned last post, I am changing things up a bit. I didn't paint the waves even though they were quite spectacular. I was there at low tide so the surf was quite a ways out. High tide is after dark at the moment. Here is a two hour coastal landscape study:
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Short Sands oil sketch, 6"x8", oil on canvas

I decided to paint a sketch as I am just starting to paint the rocks and trees. A bit of a change and I felt anxious the whole time I was painting. The light changed so fast. I need to take a different approach than the one I use for painting the waves.
The rock formations in this area are beautifully layered sandstone with jumbles of basalt scattered out to sea. The wind and water carve the sandstone into fantastic shapes and caves. Where we live, the forest meets the sea and creeks, streams, and waterfalls cross the sands into the waves. The Oregon Coast is a beautiful place. I could have painted several different paintings without even moving my easel.
The clouds will be returning over the next few days. I will be spending time getting ready for the January challenge and refining my goals for the new year. I am also happy to report that two of my paintings have sold!
Welcome winter.
Stay warm everyone.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Branching Out

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Stacked, 6"x6", oil on copper panel.
I started this painting en plein air in October. It was a bit challenging for several reasons. I needed to go back to get the detail but the weather changed, as it does so often here. I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get more detail due to the fact that what some people build, others enjoy knocking down. This rock stack wasn't as easy to see and was one of the more beautiful ones I have seen built. Much to my relief, I finally made it back, after a failed attempt, with my sketch pad.

© 2013 R.L. Delight, sketch for stacked. Graphite on paper
Of course, this was drawn on a different day around the same time as I wanted to catch the right lighting. I painted it not long after but wasn't happy with it. Something was off so I set it aside to think about it. Oh, and sure enough, the rock stack was knocked down a week later.

Over the past couple of months, I have had a lot of thoughts and ideas about how to grow and improve as an artist. Some thoughts due to reading and studying and some from thoughtful suggestions by artist friends. I have been studying hard and doing a lot of reading. Two books in particular, Composition of Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne, and Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting, by John F. Carlson. I have also been reading several wonderful blogs and am currently making my way through Stapleton Kearns' blog.

With all that I am learning, I went back to this painting and changed a few things. Mostly a bit of the values (tone, or lights and darks in the painting) and a bit of the color temperature (warm or cool). It is working much better now. I learned quite a bit on this painting. I am going to put the brush down on this one and move on.

The seascape studies are slowly continuing in the background. The weather has been too cold and intense to do much these past couple of weeks. I have decided to expand my painting subjects a bit. I mainly want to focus on coastal landscapes in addition to waves and seascapes. I also have been working on still life painting during the days when I am not able to get outside to paint.

All of it is good for honing the skills. I want to make a leap in my skills for 2014 which is why I am studying more and will be taking a workshop. The studying does cut into painting time temporarily and I know I also need to put in the brush mileage. With that in mind, I will be participating in another 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. Those that have been reading this blog a while will remember I did this last January too. It will be very challenging this year as I will be working three days a week for the month of January at an outside job. I am getting prepared and hopefully will be more prepared than I was last year. I did manage to complete 30 paintings in 30 days last year!

Wishing everyone a wonderful winter holiday!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Invitation to Adventure

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Invitation to Adventure, 4"x6", Oil on Copper
This painting is available for purchase on my Daily Paintworks site. Please click here to view and purchase!

It took me a bit of time to be ready to let this one go. I admit that this is one of my favorites. Not only am I please with the way it turned out but it led to a lovely adventure. I blogged about it in a post a while back. I will fill in a bit of background about this painting here as well.

We live in a small coastal community. My mate is a very outgoing guy and has met many people through joining and volunteering in the community. I am not as outgoing as he is but I do a lot of walking, usually with our dog Twill. I have met many people from a lot of different backgrounds just by walking with my dog. As many know, our Twill crossed over the bridge last August. I still walk but, without my beautiful four-legged ambassador, I don't meet as many people.

One person I met on the beach has lived here for many years. I have talked with her several times over the past couple of years and she would stop to chat when she found me painting on the beach. The afternoon I was painting this plein air seascape was very cold and I was shivering in spite of my layers while trying to finish it. When my friend came upon me she invited me to tea on the spot and I accepted without hesitation. While she was helping me put my gear away, the painting flipped off the stand and landed in the sand. Fortunately it landed face up but there is still a bit of sand along the top edge!

The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying tea and conversation with two wonderful artists while surrounded by some amazing sculptures and an incredible view.

One of the very great pleasures of plein air painting are the stories that each and every one bring to me. This painting is one of the special ones.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Crossing the Shallows

Here is number five in my workshop fundraiser series, Crossing the Shallows:
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Crossing the Shallows. 6"x8", oil on canvas
This painting is for sale on my Daily Paintworks Site! Please click here to view and purchase.

I had to set this painting aside for a bit as I wasn't happy with it. After letting it sit for a week or so without looking at it, I took another look and decided that it wasn't as bad as I thought! Funny how that works. It isn't perfection, none of them are. All of my art is very much a work in progress.

This particular painting day was all about the shape of the waves and the beautiful colors. The waves were not particularly large but still very interesting. This was painted in the early afternoon on a Fall day.

The weather is taking a turn toward winter. This week the arctic air is sliding down from the north with strong winds and the possibility of snow on the beach. It will make for some very interesting painting!

Please do visit my Daily Paintworks site when you have a chance. All of my paintings for sale are on it. My website has all that and more as well. Don't forget! If you purchase a painting, or if you refer someone who purchases a painting, you will be entered into my drawing for a 12"x16" painting that will be completed after the workshop.

More to come!

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Tale of Three Paintings

A couple of weeks ago I sifted through my older wave studies to find one to paint a studio painting from. Here is the one I landed on:
© 2013 Wave Study #5, 6"x8", oil on hemp canvas
This is Wave Study #5 done November 2012, a year ago. It was on my homemade hemp canvas which I soon abandoned for the smoother canvas I use now. As I painted the current studio seascape from it, I kept feeling it looked very familiar. After I finished, I remembered. I had painted a studio version of this study last January for the 30 in 30 challenge! Here is the painting I made last January from this study:
© 2013 R.L Delight, Gray Green Fall, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel
This is still for sale on my Daily Paintworks site, at the moment! Here is the painting I made a couple of weeks ago:
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Gray Fall, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel
Those cross waves do fascinate me. I like both of the paintings. I kind of wish I could just combine the two. At this point I am not sure what I am going to do with this painting. I might hang onto it or take the earlier one down and put this one in its place. I will have to think about it.
I am going to venture out on a limb here and ask, which one do you prefer? Please feel free to leave a comment. My feelings won't be hurt either way. I know my two-step comment moderation is a tiny bit of a hassle. I have had such problems with robo-spam that I was getting buried. They are still there but the comments don't appear. 
Finally, today I went to pick up my paintings from the Cannon Beach Artists Gallery. Even though there was a cold arctic wind blowing I headed up to the north end of Cannon Beach afterwards to sketch. It was incredibly beautiful. Here is a parting shot:
Cannon Beach on a cold November day

Sunday, December 1, 2013

At the End of November

"Tear-stained flops are necessary. They're the gift you give yourself when you're willing to fly."  -Sara Genn

I loved this quote when I read it on the Robert Genn Twice-Weekly Letter. Sara is an artist in addition to being Robert's daughter.  She is carrying on the newsletter as they deal with Robert's terminal illness. These days the newsletter is bittersweet. 
So, I gave myself a couple of those gifts last week. I went out painting at Arch Cape as the winter storm that is now upon us hadn't arrived yet and the waves were so tiny. I am pushing myself, trying hard to achieve several aspects I desire in my seascapes. 
I have mainly focused on the waves the past 68 wave studies but I do eventually plan to add the surrounding rocks and cliffs. On the days when the waves a too tiny, I am starting to turn to the rocks. Arch Cape has plenty of beautiful rocks the size of large hills. 
I painted two wave studies. The first one, Wave Study #69 was one hour long. The second, Wave Study #70 was 45 minutes long. I had a time constraint and absolutely had to cut it off at 4:00 pm. The light was fading pretty fast anyway. 
The light, that was the challenge. The sun was not out but the clouds were thin in areas which created weirdly glowing spots in the sky and confusing reflections on the water. Still, the challenge was very interesting. The following two photos of the studies were taken at night under indirect daylight bulbs. Not the best of photos but good enough for the post. Here they are:
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #69, 6"x8", oil on canvas

©2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #70, 6"x8", oil on canvas

I considered working on them further in the studio before calling them good but I am finding that I prefer the studies to be in the raw state. They are not meant to be finished but are meant for practice and for references for finished work. I am finding that these give me plenty of information. That said, I might clarify a few things on Wave Study #70 before my memory fades. 
I believe I will try my hand at creating a finished painting from Wave Study #69 this week. 

We have a nice little storm going on at the moment and cold arctic air is due to arrive tomorrow later in the day. I might see if I can squeeze another study in tomorrow as I have an errand up the coast. I think I will take along my painting gear and see if I can get a plein air session in before the weather gets too extreme. 

Last week the studio paintings I made were not to my satisfaction so I did not post them for sale. I will be able to use the last one for the next post as I unintentionally used a study I already had created a studio painting from. It is interesting to see the difference between them all and will make a fun post. 

I have 30 more plein air wave studies to go before I hit 100. I already know that I will continue to create seascape studies after 100. I will not be posting all of them after I pass 100 though, maybe not even any of them. I plan to have plenty of finished paintings to post about instead. With this in mind, I am now going to slow down my posts on my remaining 30 wave studies. I will still post the occasional wave study and I will definitely post the road marker ones such as every fifth study and the 100th of course. I am finding I want to push myself even more, which in turn means more flops to cry over. I want to be able to do that without squirming every time I feel I have to post one of those flops.

I hope to have plenty to post about as I want to bring more paintings to completion to raise funds for the workshop I will be taking in the spring. It is going to be a busy winter!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blinding Light

©2013 R.L. Delight, Blind Light, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel
Oh this week has been a challenge. The main challenge being the weather. Not bad weather but cold sunshine and wind blowing from the East off the mountains. This time of the year the sun is low on the horizon as it approaches the Solstice. I can't find a place to put my easel, indoors or out, that the light doesn't blind me. I literally cannot see the colors on my canvas accurately. The painting above is a case in point. The color of the sea on the horizon is too intense and jumps out. I couldn't tell until I photographed the painting late this afternoon. That is just one of the issues. I will put this one aside and come back to it later to see if I can fix it. This was painted using a plein air study I made in January 2013 as a reference.
The sunshine also means calm seas. The waves are so puny that they hardly make any foam. They stretch out in miles long unbroken lines parallel to the beach. Beautifully different but not what I like to paint. I might have to look into finding some nice rocks to paint while I wait the weather out.
Well, I just deleted a whole rant about bad insurance and enormous hospital bills and assorted billing errors. Amazing how easy it is to stray off topic! I won't bore you all but will say that the U.S. healthcare system is a rather sad testament to one of the many things that ails our beautiful country. Our people deserve better. Other countries lead the way.
The only way I know, the way forward, is to paint. So, I will paint. Good, bad, I will paint. It will all eventually work out one way or another.
I will get there. Dinner time calls. Tomorrow I paint.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wave Study #68

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #68, 6"x8", oil on canvas
This was a challenging one in several ways. We had a nice little fall storm pass through here yesterday. Today was fairly calm. On the beach there was a light breeze but there would be sudden long sustained gusts that seemed to come out of nowhere and then suddenly cut off. One such gust blew my easel over when it came up at the very moment I turned to toss my little notebook back in my pack. Fortunately nothing was broken, the paint didn't get sandy, and my terps can was still sealed shut as I hadn't started painting yet. My four brushes got strewn all over the beach but a quick wipe cleaned them off.

The other challenging part was more internal. Resistance reared its ugly head as I started out. There was that little voice at the beginning, "what a boring composition", "you have done this before", "that color is ghastly", "why are you out here? It is cold!", and so on. Each time I felt my hand starting to put the brush down I grimly pushed on. I would love to say I eventually got into the painting groove. I sort of did but it was a struggle all the way.
That is OK. I recognize what is going on. Almost buried in all the resistance chatter was another little voice that said I need to regroup a bit and study my books and DVD's to push on through to the next level.

That is what I plan to do in between painting for the workshop fundraiser and going out to do the occasional wave study. It won't take long to do a bit of studying. I don't want to stop with the wave studies though because it can be painful to start again after a period of time off as I well know.

What really kept me painting today was the wonderful light. Some of the waves were in cloud shadow and some in light. The sun approaching the Winter Solstice next month is fairly low in the sky. This makes the light golden and not very strong. I am also having fun getting more color into the paintings and I am letting myself experiment more. So much to learn still!
Here is a parting shot of my office today. As I left that squall over the ocean hit and I got a good dose of sandblasting as I made my way back to my car. Only got a few drops of rain on me.
A dramatic office today.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Gray Effect: Workshop Fundraiser #4

© 2013 R.L. Delight, The Gray Effect, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel
This is available for purchase on my Daily Paintworks site starting 11/17/13! Please click here to purchase.

The Gray Effect is another painting I created using a wave study, #66 in this case, as a reference. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been playing around with Notan lately. Notan is making a simple black and white sketch of the composition to place the light and darks. In my case, I used dark red as that is what I have at the moment. I did three Notan sketches to work out the composition on this painting. I played with the position of the horizon line in the first sketch. In the second sketch I tried a different horizon line but I also did a few quick mini sketches on the side to play with the wave placement. The third and final Notan sketch I added dynamic symmetry principles to come up with the final wave placement. I drew thick black lines to show up better in the photo for this post. Dynamic Symmetry is a whole chapter of posts in and of itself. I spent a winter studying it both graphically and mathematically about 6 or 7 years ago. I am a bit rusty but I remembered enough to use it here. Here is a collage of all three Notans:
Notan for The Gray Effect painting
The Notan on the far right is what I ended up using and has the simplified dynamic symmetry markings.
Here is also a side by side picture of Wave Study #66 and The Gray Effect:
© 2013 R.L. Delight wave study and final painting.
If you read the post about Wave Study #66 you might remember that the rain started to interfere with the paint causing it to not want to stick to the canvas. I raised the horizon line slightly and changed the shape of the wave a bit but, the colors and the wave shapes are fairly close.
I decided to call this The Gray Effect because the gray misty light brings out colors in the ocean waves that are usually only seen when the day is dim and filmy.  The waves also take on an inner glow which I had a great deal of fun trying to achieve. Not sure I hit it but I did enjoy the challenge.

I am still a bit behind but things are moving forward and are falling in place. I am ready for the new week!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Of Land, Sea, and Sky: Exploring a Palette

I have crossed a lot of things off my to do list this week. I plan to get another painting finished tomorrow as well. Which reminds me, available paintings for my Workshop Fundraiser can be found here. I will post a link somewhere in the beginning of each post for the duration.
The following is a bit of technical painting geekery so you have my permission to skip it if you are not interested and come back to read my next post! However, this is one of those behind-the-scene things that goes into a painting.
One of the items I crossed off my to-do list was a long overdue color chart of my painting palette.   I have been using these particular colors to paint my seascapes for a year now. Here is the list of what I use and which brand of paint:
  • Burnt Sienna- Gamblin
  • Raw Sienna- Gamblin
  • Greenish Umber- Rembrandt
  • Alizerin Crimson Permanent- Gamblin
  • Cadmium Red Deep- Gamblin
  • Cadmium Red Light- Gamblin
  • Yellow Ochre- Gamblin
  • Cadmium Yellow- Gamblin
  • Hansa Yellow Medium- Gamblin
  • Viridian Green- Gamblin
  • Green Earth- Rembrandt
  • Cobalt Blue- Gamblin
  • Ultramarine Blue- Gamblin
  • Titanium White- Sennelier
Here is a color chart I painted using this palette:
Color Chart for palette, 2012-2013
Roughly for rows 1-8, I mixed yellows with blues except for the last 5 columns. I mixed the paint 50/50 more or less. I just wanted an idea. I have messed around with these colors enough to know that I can shove them one direction or another with the addition of more color. Underneath each row of mixture, I painted another one mixed with white. The final 5 columns I added a third hue, one of each of my reds mixed with each of the two blues.
Sounds complicated, I know, but it works really well for me. Rows 9-14 I used my greens to mix with the blues. Here is the actual list of paint going across: Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Ultramarine Blue+Alizerin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue+Cad. Red Deep, Ultramarine Blue+Cad. Red Lt., Cobalt Blue+Cad. Red Deep, Cobalt Blue+Cad. Red Lt.
I added Cerulean Blue and Raw Umber just to try. I don't use these in my current palette.
The only new paint I added to try in the line up going down the chart is a yellow ochre from Michael Harding. I wanted to see how it compared to the one from Gamblin. I liked it very much and will try it in the field when I use up the Gamblin.
One of my reasons for doing this is that I am trying to get a bit more translucency in my paint. Looking at this line-up, my cadmium reds are opaque paints. I hauled out a few semi-translucent reds that I had on hand to compare and did another chart with the three color mix of greens, blues, and a bit of red. No scientific measuring, just striving to hit the colors I end up with in my finished paintings. Here is that chart:
Color chart for new paint consideration with inset from first chart.
I pasted on a snippet from the first color chart with the cadmium reds to the bottom of this chart to give a general reference for comparison. Again, these are not precise, just somewhere in the neighborhood. I used Perylene Red, Napthol Scarlet, and Napthol Red, all from Gamblin and semi-transparent, for the reds in this chart. Quite honestly the difference was very slight. The reds were tricky to use since I am not used to them and I had a tendency to add too much. It didn't take very much to go too far either.
I have decided to give the Perylene red and Napthol Scarlet a try out in the field and I am going to drop the alizerin permanent for a time as I rarely use it. I will have a report after I have used them for a few times. The bottom two rows (not on the inset) are using cadmium green. I had it and thought I would throw it in to see how it worked. I won't be using this green but I might try cerulean blue or the raw umber once in a while.
I am happy I did this as I now have a reference when I get stuck trying to achieve a certain color. I did another notan sketch for the next painting and will have a bit more on that along with another painting for me next post.

If you made it this far you get a virtual gold star and a heaping of gratitude from me.
Until next post!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tidal Shift

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Tidal Shift, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel
This painting is available for purchase at my Daily Paintworks site! Please click here to purchase.

I am still behind but catching up. There are a few things that I need to have in place for this workshop fundraiser that I didn't realize I needed. They differ widely from needing to have daily needs organized, to getting the backs of the panels sealed, to ordering a few shipping supplies. I also took a day and cleaned and de-cluttered my studio a bit. Just a bit as there is still clutter. I have a tiny sewing area in one corner, my cello and music gear in another corner, and all the art stuff in the other two corners. It makes for a full studio.

It feels good to get all that organized. I am still working on the final bits today and I want to do a color chart exercise to work on my seascape painting colors. I have started to build a daily habit of working on some of the fundamental skills such as drawing too.

I painted Tidal Shift in the studio yesterday. This week will be a studio painting week just because I need to catch up and get organized. This isn't an exact copy of Wave Study #67. In fact, here is that wave study to compare it to which I published last time:

©2013 Wave Study #67, 6"x8", oil on canvas
 There is a bit of a difference. I like both of them for different reasons. I decided to play around with each wave study I choose to use as a reference. With that in mind, I made several quick sketches called Notan using a dark felt pen to get an idea of values and composition. I think it is a big help and will be doing that with each painting in the future.

It can be a challenge, at least for me, to create the best composition and use the values to the best effect when out painting plein air. I am hoping that by doing this in the studio each time, I will get better at being able to do that out in the field.

Tidal Shift was painted late in the day and the light was growing dim. The tide was also changing which causes the waves to sometimes change direction.
I am enjoying the mini challenge I have going with this workshop fundraiser. I think it will contribute quite a bit to my artistic growth. I hope you all will enjoy the paintings too!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Painting in the Wet

I am behind in my posts. This first full week of November was a busy one but I did get out to paint. There were a few wet and wild days, and a few just plain wet days.
If you look closely, the little dots you can see is the rain on my easel. This is with an umbrella over me too! It was wet this day but warm and no wind. It was a fairly pleasant day to be out and the waves were decent. Unfortunately, the wet crept in a bit too much and my paint did not want to stick after a while. Here is wave study #66 which suffered a bit from the wet.
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #66, 6"x8", oil on canvas
I painted last week's wave studies on canvas panels and they became my first two paintings for sale in my Workshop Fundraiser. I decided that I did not want to do that for several reasons.
The main reason is that I want room to experiment, fail, make mistakes, and have a breakthrough, or two, once in a while. I also want to keep the wave studies. With that in mind, this week's paintings for the workshop fundraiser are not plein air studies but painted from a compilation of studies.
They aren't finished quite yet but will be soon.
Here is Wave Study #67:
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #67, 6"x8", oil on canvas
 Both of the above wave studies were painted in about an hour to an hour and a half due to conditions. Wave Study #67 was done late in the afternoon on a mostly gray day. The sun peeked out through filtered clouds toward the very end.  I pretty much ran out of decent light to paint on this one.
Up to this point I have had a policy of putting the good, the bad, and the ugly on the blog to show not only my process, but what it takes to build an artist. Basically, it takes years and hard work! I am still going to more or less continue to post the studies but I am now going to allow myself  not to post one if I choose. I want to give myself mental room to push a bit harder. That means even more mistakes and bigger messes than usual.
One final bit, I am happy to say that my painting Zipper Wave sold and looks very nice hanging in a frame in its new home.
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Zipper Wave, 6"x8" oil on canvas panel
This is a painting from earlier this year. More can be found on my Daily Paintworks site.
I appreciate the support! Stay tuned for more new paintings.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wave Study #65: Out of the Blue

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #65: Out of the Blue, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel. 


Here is the second painting in my workshop fundraiser series. It is also Wave Study #65.
Out of the Blue was painted at Indian Beach in Ecola State Park. It is a stunningly beautiful place. The day was our final warm blue sunny day of the season. It was a fantastic day to paint and I also had a painting friend along!  Our next blue day will be brilliant and cold. I titled this painting Out of the Blue because it feels like we have ran out of the warm blue days until next year.
This will be on my Daily Paintworks site November 5th, 2013. Click on the link below the picture to visit. I  have also updated my website. I had to visit every page and therefore saw the work I first put up last year. Oh dear. I have to admit part of me cringed. Another part was pleased to see the progress I made. Then, there was a tiny voice in the back of my mind wondering if this year's work will make me cringe next fall.
I am not where I want to be in my painting yet but I am getting there little by little.

P.S. Don't forget! Anyone who buys a painting will be entered into a drawing for a 12"x16" painting that will be painted after the workshop by July 31, 2014. In addition, if you refer someone who buys a painting, your name will be put in the drawing too!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wave Study #64: A Bootstrap Kickstarterish Project

Before I get started, here is Wave Study #64, which not only has a title but is for sale on my Daily Paintworks page starting November 1, 2013. I am putting it and the next 54 or so paintings I make for the following project in a Daily Paintworks Auction. The title of this painting is Gray Break. Read on for the full story on the project!
© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #64: Gray Break, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel.
This painting is now for sale! Please click Here if you would like to purchase.
One of the activities I did during my recovery time was to write down my goals as an artist. I wrote the goals 10 years out. The first five years' goals were much more detailed than the last but I am glad I did this. I had the time to put some thought into it.
This month will be my official one year anniversary of plein air painting. So far I have been learning mostly from just going out and painting. I have also studied books and videos. One of my goals this coming year is to attend a plein air workshop. I have only had one other workshop, from Robert Liberace, which was two years ago and definitely not plein air. It is time.

I have a short list of two people I would like to take a workshop from. Donald Demers, and Kathleen Dunphy. I am still adding to the list but these two are at the top. Don Demers is mainly on the East Coast of the U.S. and for my next workshop, I decided to stay closer to home. Kathleen Dunphy is in California and lives near my husband's family.
Kathleen Dunphy teaches around two workshops a year and they fill up fast. Of course, it was already too late for this year but I found a workshop in May 2014 and sent my deposit in. I am very excited! Her work is exquisite and more importantly, her painting and art philosophy appears to mesh with mine, with room to grow. I have actually been wanting to take a workshop from her for quite a while. She recently was interviewed on the Artists Helping Artists podcast which pretty much sealed my decision to sign up.
It is one of the shorter workshops but this one is a prerequisite for her longer "No Whiners" workshop. The shorter one will also give me an idea if I want to invest in the longer one. I don't intend to take very many workshops so I am going to be choosy.

Speaking of investments, that leads me to the "bootstrap kickstarterish" part of my post title. I will need to pay not only for the workshop but travel and lodging expenses. It is a financial investment well worth making. With that in mind I am going to paint my cute little rear end, um,  dignified posterior off!
This project will go from November 1, 2013 to May 1. 2014.  I will be painting 2 small paintings a week to sell on my Daily Paintworks site with a starting bid of $75. The auction goes for one week with a re-list of three times. If the painting is not sold in that time it defaults to $125. All of the proceeds will go to pay for the workshop and the expenses of travel and hotel. There is also the added beauty that people will own a painting to enjoy.
Wait! It gets better! As a small token of gratitude, every person who buys a painting will be entered into a drawing for a 12" x 16" painting that will be completed after the workshop and no later than July 31, 2014. I will be painting 54 paintings in all so that means a one in 54ish shot for a larger original piece of art.


Well, I know that I am personally not in a position at this time in my life where I have a few extra dollars to buy a wonderful piece of art. If someone refers a lovely person to my site and they purchase a painting then both the art collector and the person who referred them with be entered into the drawing. Believe me, I would love to fill my walls with all the wonderful art I see. This gives someone a chance to be rewarded for doing a kind deed.

This is the project and Gray Day is the first painting in the series. I will come up with a name for the project soon. Suggestions in the comments section or on my Facebook page are welcome! Details on the drawing of a winner at the end of the project will be coming in the next post.

Whew! That is it for now. Time to go roll up the sleeves and paint! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wave Study #63-Return of the Gray

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #63, 6"x8", oil on canvas
The gray is back! It is back in the form of coastal fog. Here is wave study #63. The lighting on the photo is weird which gave it that grainy textured look. Unfortunately with the time of day and lighting conditions this was the best photo out of three. There are a lot of subtle colors in the painting that just do not show up in the photo. I think I am going to have to work on that.
Painting on the beach in the fog is a cold proposition. Even though the wind was minimal and I had several layers on, I was pretty cold when I came off the beach. That was about a half an hour ago. I am posting right away as I am not only pressed for time, I have a backlog of posts to blog. Dinner is cooking and I am finishing a welcome mug of hot chocolate hemp milk.
I can't say I am completely happy about this wave study. I struggled with the color and values. I can see improvements but they are slow in coming. One of these days I hope I can get somewhere in the neighborhood of where I want to be. In the meantime, I will keep slogging away.
I need to eat and then come band rehearsal. I have some finished copper paintings to post soon and I am working on the Munsell color studies. In spite of the above gloomy tendency of  the post, I wouldn't want to be doing anything else!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wave Study #62

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #62, 6"x8", oil on canvas.
When I go to my usual spot at the foot of Neahkahnie Mountain to paint wave studies, I like to go a little before the high tide. The waves are usually at their largest and I can get closer to the action, depending on conditions. If high tide is before noon, I head out in the morning to paint. If it is in the afternoon I head out after lunch. Lately the high tide has been hitting in the afternoon. It is about to hit evening which means I will have to wait until it cycles back around to a reasonable hour in the morning. When that happens, my ideal plan is to head up the coast a few miles to paint in places like Hug Point and Short Sands Beach which are best accessed when the tides are lower.
One of the joys, and sometimes pains, of painting plein air seascapes is that conditions are always different from day to day, and even minute to minute. No squalls yesterday but sunshine and a small insistent breeze. I brought all my rain gear anyway. I learned my lesson!
I was able to remove the rain gear but admit I should have put my outer layer back on toward the end of the day as the breeze was making me cold. I didn't want to stop and do that so I shivered the last half and hour of painting. It is hard to stop when you are racing against sun and tides.
I am studying books and reading blogs to help me improve. Sometimes trying new approaches and making new observations means a step back and some, and sometime most, of the elements slip. Not only am I out of practice but I am trying new things. In spite of the many things I can see that need to be tweaked or fixed on this 2 hour study, I am fairly pleased with the results. I was trying hard to capture the afternoon autumn light on the waves and I feel I did manage to get a tiny bit of it. It wasn't a perfectly clear day and the sunlight was diffused as is often the case here on the coast.
After painting yesterday afternoon and hauling gear for a band rehearsal in the evening, I am a bit sore in my middle today. I am feeling quite well but my body does let me know when I need to back off a little. So today, I am going to go out and sketch a bit and then work on another project that is due this weekend. We shall see if I am fit to go out to paint tomorrow.
Oh, it feels so good to be back!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Shelter From the Storm-Take One

I went out to paint yesterday with a possible storm shelter to try. It was a good day for it as it was windy with frequent squalls. The waves were fantastic of course! My mate had purchase a lightweight backpacking tent a few years ago. It is basically a fancy tarp. I carefully read the instructions and pulled it out to look at before heading out to give it a try on the beach. I actually managed to set it up fairly quickly and crawl inside. Alas! as I sat there trying to look out I realized I would only be able to have a clear view if I was laying down. I quickly packed it back up and set up my painting gear.
Now, I know this might shock some of you considering how careful I am with everything from dressing properly to knowing the tides, and never turning my back to the ocean, but apparently I wasn't quite awake when I set out to paint. I was so confident that the tent would work that I didn't wear my rain gear...or even pack it. Of course, as soon as I set my painting gear up and literally had the brush in hand, a sudden squall came out of nowhere and I was soaked to the skin in about two seconds flat. Just as quickly the squall passed leaving me standing there dripping wet (I did have a hat and coat on but not a raincoat). Did I mention it was windy? Even though the sun came out a little bit, I knew I had to leave. Wet clothes plus cold wind is a recipe for hypothermia. I packed it in and spent the evening researching lightweight storm shelters. I am waiting for another one to try out with hopefully better results.
Today I set out again. I just love painting this time of year with the stormy seas! Here is a quick one hour or so sketch I painted, wearing proper rain gear. I tried a new-to-me approach which means about 5 steps backwards (more on that later) but here it is, Wave Study #61:
©2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #61, 6"x8", oil on canvas
It is still in the flat shape stage, no highlights and just the suggestion of wave shaping. The tide was just reaching its high point when I had to pack it in due to a rather nasty squall coming in fast. The cross waves were just beginning to form at this stage and they were quite large. There is just a suggestion of the cross waves in the painting. I am not going to do anything more to this study because I like the energy. There is actually a lot of information I can use in this one if I wanted to create a studio painting from it.
This is the first time I have painted sitting down. I didn't have much of a choice as the gusts were pretty powerful. I used rocks to help anchor my painting tripod and stayed low by sitting on a rock. The wind suddenly got stronger and I looked up to see this coming at me:
Fortunately I can pack my painting gear up in about 3 minutes. Huge drops were splattering around me as I scrambled. Well, tried to scramble. I had been so absorbed in painting and was sitting on a rock, when I got up my legs didn't want to work and I almost toppled over. It was more like lurching around packing up. It took the three photo shots above as I was hiking down the beach in the rain. I just got the back end of the squall as the winds were from the Northwest. The storm went south before hitting the shore.
It is probably just as well I packed up as I was pretty cold. I has spent a little time before starting to paint just observing, something I try to do whenever I go out.  I need to wear more layers. I haven't used my new foul-weather gear I purchased this summer yet. It is for pretty serious weather. When I got home I made a cup of hemp milk hot-chocolate in celebration of the Fall storms.
Fancy sipping chocolate from The Beehive in Nehalem.
One final note, as I was heading home I passed another plein air painter standing in front of her hotel room sliding glass door painting away. She had a nice set up and was sheltered from the worst of the weather. At first I thought, Hey, another painter! And then, the rather silly thought that she was somehow cheating went through my head and out again. I quickly realized that although she had a lovely view of sea and dramatic sky, she could not really see the waves very well from where she was. I want to paint waves. I also realized I really love being out in the thick of it all even if it is very challenging at times. She looked like she was having a good time and I hope she gets some great paintings during her stay here.
Stay tuned for more on my efforts on finding shelter from the storms while painting on the beach with the ocean roaring, wind screaming, and waves surging around my feet... OK, maybe I am getting a bit dramatic here. Chocolate does that to me!

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