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!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...