Monday, January 20, 2014

Wave Study #71

Our glorious weather continues! It is a little eerie to have warm sunshine and no wind instead of our usual cold, wind, rain, and stormy weather. Usually I am wearing several layers to go outside this time of year. Now, just a coat and hat over my usual clothes. I will take it, for now!
I decided on my morning beach walk to head to Short Sands Beach again to paint.
The beautiful weather and holiday weekend has its drawbacks. Today I constantly had people standing around me. Maybe that is why I like to paint in the wild weather, I am usually guaranteed privacy then!
 It was so warm on the beach that worked without even a coat!  I was actually hot in the sun. Thankfully I put on sunscreen and wore my painting hat. Here is part of the view of my office from Short Sands today:
© 2014, R.L. Delight, North end of Short Sands Beach.
That is the waterfall I often mention when talking about Short Sands Beach and, even though the tide was going out, the falls were cascading into the incoming waves. The scale of it is hard to tell from this photo. Perhaps I should have included some of the people in the photo, the falls is a fairly respectable size. Twill's ashes are buried nearby and today she had plenty of dogs on the beach to commune with.
In spite of the calm weather, the waves were about 10 to 12 feet. In fact, they grew larger as the tide went out. That meant they came rushing in further up the beach which gave the effect of the tide staying in the same place rather than receding. I was pleased that I had gauged the tidal reach perfectly and the water only got within a couple of feet of me at its highest point. There was one grand sneaker wave as I was leaving that came up the beach quite far. I looked back and saw the water had shot past where I was set up. Good thing I had already left. I always put my gear up higher so that I only have to worry about my easel and myself if a wave gets unruly.
I usually bring a selection of panels to paint on. Everything from my study canvas to canvas panels for finished paintings. That allows me to choose what I am going to paint based on conditions and my own state of mind. Today I decided to do a wave study with rocks. The wave conditions were different than what I usually see. Here is Wave Study #71:
© 2014, Wave Study #71, Short Sands, 6"x8", oil on canvas
I timed this one. I did a 30 minute block in, reset the timer for an hour and finished the study in that time-frame. I am trying to get a few processes in place, the block-in being one of them. I usually do the block-in and then paint the study on another panel. Today I tried it all on the same panel. At the moment, this way of working feels quite awkward. Hopefully it will smooth out with practice and then I will decide if it is a good way for me to work.
I work at the store tomorrow and Wednesday so no plein air painting. I will do a couple of block-ins of still life to get a bit of practice in. The weather outlook shows the strange warm weather to be continuing this week. I have to go up North on Thursday to stock up on groceries but will stop to paint at Hug Point, if conditions permit, on the way up.

Have a great week!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Warm Winter Sunshine

© 2014 R.L. Delight, photo, Winter moonset as the sun rises.
The weather has been strangely warm and calm for our part of the country. Today started beautifully with the full moon setting over the ocean as the sun rose in the east.


I have been getting out to paint. I basically dropped everything indoors in the studio for the moment, as well as housework, and other chores to spend as much time outside painting. Dinners have been a bit sketchy around here lately too!
I am out of practice with my plein air painting and yesterday was very frustrating. I knew I would be rusty so I painted studies and they were pretty bad. To add to the issue, I am trying new techniques and approaches again which always means one takes a step or two back in one's progress. Today was better but still not quite happy with the results.
I am starting off the painting day with a 30 minute block in. Then, depending on the conditions, I either do a couple of one hour studies or a 3 hour or so painting. Yesterday was one hour studies, today I decided to go for a painting as things seemed to be going fairly well.
Yesterday I was at my spot on Neahkahnie Beach, today I went up the coast to Arcadia State Park.
I saw very few people in the hours I was there. I took along a lunch to get more time in.
It was, in a word, glorious!
I got my 30 minute block in which looked like this:
© 2014, R.L. Delight, 30 minute block-in, 6"x8", oil on canvas
After I completed this I had my lunch sitting on a log facing the ocean and soaking up the sunshine and beauty. I went back to work and did a quick sketch on paper as I didn't quite have everything as I wanted. For some reason I had a hard time getting everything in the painting and in the correct positions. I had to change a few things and I made progress but I am still not entirely satisfied with the more finished result. Here is the final painting of the day:
© 2014, Winter Warmth, 6"x8", oil on linen panel
As you can see the sun had changed positions when I a laid this one in. I really tried to keep the shadow and light consistent once I got them down. By the time I finished this the tide had gone out quite a bit.
Well, I could go on about everything I don't like about this painting starting with the linen panel. I had this pack of panels for quite a while and don't like it so much. The linen has too much texture for my taste and it is double oil primed. I will spare you all the remaining list of problems. Ah well, it all goes toward experience. I will be heading out again tomorrow. Got to paint while the sun shines!
I am still on my Facebook break and, while I miss reading about what my friends and family are up to, as well as my furry friends that I follow, I am also enjoying this break. It isn't the time factor. I am usually on and off Facebook quickly, in about 5 to 10 minutes. I pop on and off 2-3 times a day, so it doesn't take that much time. It does take a lot of mental energy though. I am enjoying my time to "hear" my own thoughts and think deeply.
I will post more as time and painting allow!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pulling Inward

©2014 R.L. Delight, WIP detail.
I started this blog a little over four years ago, at the beginning of my art school journey. When I started, my intention was to show the building of an artist. I think I have done that and I will continue to do this. However, I have decided it is time to change things a bit.
First of all, I have decided to drop out of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I did this challenge last year and did it successfully. I did indeed paint 30 paintings in 30 days. I learned a lot from it and grew from there. It doesn't fit me this year. I want to dive a bit deeper into my studies and cranking out 30 paintings just to do 30 paintings doesn't fit my needs at this time.
I am also finding I need to retreat a bit. I have become weary of constantly feeling like I need to be on the social networking circuit. Being on social media is entirely self-imposed but is also based on current art marketing beliefs. I do enjoy it but...I feel like I don't have the necessary time to go within and listen to my own voice. It feels like it is being lost in the clamor. To me, these are all signs that I need to disengage for a tiny bit and go on a mini-retreat.
I have several paintings in my head and on paper that have been bumping up against my brush hand begging to be painted for a few years now. I just might even have the skill to paint them! So, I am going to do just that. It is winter and it is the season to go within on these dark and stormy nights and tell the old (and new) stories.
My blog posts might be slowing down for a time as these paintings are larger and more detailed. I will still be getting out to paint waves and other coastal landscapes and some of them will be available for sale. I am looking into changing my website and blog up a bit too.
None of this will happen overnight. It will take a bit of time but I am hoping to have much of it done by the spring equinox.
The photo above is a small detail section of a work in progress. It has been in progress for a while and I feel it is time to get back to it. The painting is 24"x36", a bit larger than my 6"x8" size! It is nearly all blocked in.
For those folks that I am connected to on Facebook, I will be taking a break starting on 1/13/14 until the end of the month.
I have so appreciated and will continue to appreciate all of you who have read my blog posts and specially those wonderful people who even leave comments!

Until the next post,

Friday, January 3, 2014

30 in 30 Challenge-Day 3: Three Dollars-With Inflation

© 2014 R.L. Delight, Three Dollars-with Inflation, 6"x6" oil on gessobord.
Sold! Thank you.

Day 3! When I lined these sand dollars up to paint in descending order, I couldn't resist thinking about the shrinking dollars in our economy. Hopefully I got the concept right. I am definitely not an economist, but you all probably figured that out! This is the final painting in this mini-series. I had fun painting the sand dollars. It was a good challenge to capture their colors and textures. Each one is different.

My schedule gets a bit tricky this week but I am determined to make my daily painting. More tomorrow!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

30 in 30 Challenge: Day 2

© 2013 R.L. Delight, Two Dollars, 6"x6", oil on gessobord
This painting is available for purchase! Please click here to go to the auction. Thank you!

Here is day two and the second painting in a mini-series of three. The title is Two Dollars of course! Can you guess the next one? Perhaps, but the final painting in this mini-series will have a little twist.

The day is beautiful today and unusually warm for this time of year. I had a chance to do a quick oil sketch at Short Sands Beach which is one of my favorite places to paint.

This week is very busy so I will keep this post and the others nice and short. Stay tuned for day 3!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

30 in 30 Challenge 2014-Day 1: Happy New Year!

© 2013 R.L. Delight, One Dollar, 6"x6", oil on gessobord

This painting is available! Please click here to go to the 30 in 30 challenge auction. Starting bid at $25.

Happy New Year! The year is starting beautifully here on the Northern Oregon Coast. January is going to be a very busy month for me. As you can see, I have decided to put all the 30 in 30 challenge paintings on auction with a starting bid of $25.
This painting is the first in a series of three still life paintings on this topic. Painting still life is a good way to build skills without the challenges that plein air painting bring. Last year I painted 30 seascapes, some plein air and some from studies. This year I thought I would do something different. I have four categories, one for each week, although I am not going to hold myself to painting only in one category for a week. I might hop from one to the other but the paintings will be in the following categories:
  • Beach-found items
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Fiber art and handcraft tools and materials
  • From the still life shelf
All of these subjects are still life. I might throw the occasional plein air coastal-scape painting in too. As I have mentioned before, I like to paint from life, oil studies, or my imagination. I remember it was a struggle for me to do that last year when the weather wasn't cooperative.
I had a bit of a distraction today in the form of a baby fur seal. I helped ward it from curious onlookers until the aquarium people could assess the pup and put up signs. The pup made it safely back into that water at sunset. This shot was taken with a telephoto lens while the pup was being assessed for injury or sickness. Apparently it was just a tired young fur seal.
Fur seal pup on Neahkahnie Beach
Until tomorrow!

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