Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Neahkahnie Churn

Yesterday was beautiful and a welcome break from the recent storms. The sun felt warmish, at least for an hour or two, so I grabbed my sketchbook and headed up the beach. One of the reasons I haunt the beach around the Neahkahnie cliffs is because of the interesting wave action. With the large 10-12 foot waves and high tides, the area didn't disappoint!

Here is the plein air sketch I did for Day 28. As always, I strive to get the anatomy and action of the waves colliding, riding over and under each other. I find them endlessly fascinating.

©2015 R.L. Delight Fine Art, "Neahkahnie Churn", 8"x10", graphite on paper, plein air

Note the small graphic of a wave I quickly drew at the top. I needed a basic reminder of what is happening due to the jumble of waves I was seeing. Of course, graphite doesn't capture the wonderful flashes of color that appear but it does make it a bit easier to get an idea of what is going on.

Here is video I made of some of the waves in action:

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Settling Into the Studio for the Winter!

I am doing my best to settle into the studio for the winter. We had a short break today between storms. I got out and walked around town doing my errands. There were chainsaws buzzing everywhere as workers cleared out downed trees and branches. I passed one house while walking to the library that had a pair of tree surgeons rigging line on three trees to remove a large tree that was draped over the roof!

I took a short walk on the beach where the waves were getting quite large, building for the next incoming storm.

I spent a bit of time today getting my studio revved up. I spent most of my painting time the past year outside due to the unusual lack of rain and cold and the studio needed a bit of reorganizing. I cleaned up a plein air painting that I painted this summer in Whistler to get it ready to send out to the dear friends we stayed with. I also decided to sketch a still life set up I have had hanging around since this fall. I finally feel up to painting it!

Here is the sketch and a photo of the sketch in front of the set up. It was a quick, one hour rough sketch. I wanted to get a sense of how to tackle the Big Leaf maple leaves.  I really enjoyed sketching the abstract shapes they made. I love the color and shape of the green pumpkin and the glowing dried leaves. I am going to enjoy painting this one.

© 2015 R. L. Delight Fine Art, Day 22 Sketch: graphite on paper

© 2015 R.L. Delight Fine Art, Day 22 Sketch

That is all for today. I will be cooking a feast tomorrow and will probably only get a quick sketch in and some prep work for painting.

Stay safe and warm this winter day. We are heading into the light!


Monday, December 21, 2015

"Taking a Line for a Walk"

Day 21 sketch:
© 2015 R.L. Delight Fine Art, Day 21 sketch, graphite on paper

I remember this time last year everyone in our community on the coast was wondering where the rain was. Well, we have found the rain, and the wind! We have been rocked with storm after storm causing floods, landslides, and sinkholes big enough to close the main road up and down the coast, Highway 101. Some communities have been periodically cut off.

In spite of all the weather, I usually am able to get out for my daily beach walks. Today was one of the exceptions. I made it a couple of blocks to the post office and store but trees were coming down and branches were flying. I could see the waves raging on the beach in the distance. I didn't need to be convinced to wait until tomorrow to go for for my walk!

Unfortunately, I have also caught the seasonal cold that has been making the rounds. Between the cold and the stormy weather I have been cooped up more than usual. Perhaps I needed the break. I have been using the time well by studying art, sketching and preparing for my sketchbook class. I am working on getting my weaving loom out of the studio and have put it up for sale one last time. The info for that can be found here.

Not all the sketches have been post worthy. In fact, most are not as I have been using them for practice of certain techniques and ideas. Somewhere in all my online wanderings I recently came across a mention of "The Bird King: An Artist's Notebook" by Shaun Tan. I wish I could remember where. Oh the perils of wandering the internets! The book is a joy and I highly recommend it. Check out his blog here. I checked it out from my local library system and have fallen in love with the book so much that I ordered it.

In his intro, Tan quotes Paul Klee on "taking a line for a walk", which I interpreted as just following the sketch to see where it takes you. I realized that I need to relax on occasion when working in my sketchbooks. "Taking a line for a walk" is an appropriate reminder for me to do just that. The above sketch was not one of those sketches but it does share the page with a sketch that I made that brought me pure joy. It started with random lines drawn on the page and then morphed into a drawing of a water serpent or water dragon. Something I have had in the back of my mind for quite a while now. Alas, at this time I do not wish to share it but perhaps in the future.

I have also been watching some of my painting videos. I am coming to grips with the thought that I will be indoors a bit more this winter than last. I am getting excited to dig a little deeper in my painting. I will be posting on that as it comes.

Here are two parting pictures of  elk at the community garden and the stormy beach from a few days ago.

Have a Joyous Solstice and Happy Holidays to all!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Day 8: Stormy Weather

Day 8 Sketch: Graphite on paper          

The weather has been very stormy here on the Oregon coast. We have had three high wind and heavy rain storms come through in the past three days with more to come. There are landslides, sinkholes, major flooding and closures on Highway 101, the main road here on the coast. I still get out for a daily walk but the torrential rain and high winds mean I spend most of my time indoors. Needless to say, getting out to paint or sketch is not only not practical but potentially dangerous!

I am actually enjoying the break from painting outdoors and am taking time to think long and hard about my work and where I want to go with it. I have decided that I want my studies to support my growth toward being able to paint what I envision and feel when painting outdoors. That might seem challenging during the bad weather we are experiencing at the moment but fortunately, I have a lot of interesting driftwood and rocks I have picked up here and there on my beach walks. I plan to make a lot of sketches of them this year.

Today's sketch is just that, a bit of driftwood. I love how driftwood has many twists and turns. It is often smooth and worn from being tossed around by the waves. It is challenging to make the sketch three dimensional as it flows between various planes and angles. It will be an interesting exercise to sketch these.

Here is a picture I took on the beach yesterday. It looks like it is in black and white but, at the moment, this is exactly how gray the beach looks during these storms.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sketching Up a Storm

While out on my morning walk around town, I swung by the beach and took a look at the stormy sea. It was so beautiful, and relatively warm, that I couldn't resist. I had to go out sketching. I decided to pack a very stripped down version of my sketching supplies.

I knew it would probably be wet out there even if it wasn't raining at the time. I decided to go for the watercolor sketchbook, water pens, water soluble graphite pencils, a couple of small brushes, and white gouache. I optimistically threw in some gray-toned paper taped to a clipboard just in case. The gray-toned paper is one of my favorite papers for sketching waves with graphite and white gouache. I put the the gouache tube in a small jar thinking that I could use the lid to hold the paint and the jar for water.

I also added an umbrella. I never carry an umbrella. They aren't used here very much. When the rain is going sideways, which happens most of the time, the umbrella doesn't really work that well. I knew that there would be driftwood piles I could shelter from the wind and the umbrella might keep my sketch dry if it started to rain.

I decided to get my exercise and walk to the north end, about a mile or more up the beach. The wind was from the south, southwest and warm. It didn't start raining until I got unpacked and nestled in between some driftwood logs on the rocks above the waves. There was a driftwood pile shielding me from the wind so I was just fine. The umbrella was keeping my sketch mostly dry. 

Then the wind shifted. First it shifted to the west where it came directly at me, then it swung to the north. I no longer had the driftwood pile blocking the wind and the rain started blowing sideways.

Did I get the sketch? Yes I did! However, the temperature started dropping so I headed back with a rather soggy sketchbook.

I took a hasty picture of the sketchbook when I got home. The graphite had pooled into grainy bits and the sketch melted into the block-in so that all the lovely gesture and smaller waves were pretty much lost. Not all is a wash though! I will use it for a block-in foundation sketch tomorrow and try finishing is using water-soluble colored pencils. Here it is:

Day 3 Sketch

After the hike home, I dried out, cleaned up, and made a nice hot mug of tea. Ahhh, I love this time of the year. I must admit, it is my favorite time to paint and sketch the sea.

Before I go, this blog gets posted both here and on my website. I haven't found anything that allows me to share video on my website blog but I know blogger does. Here is a bonus video I took while out sketching!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sticks and Stones

I like to keep a handful of sketchbooks going. This wasn't exactly planned, it sort of evolved. I noticed that I liked to do certain kinds of sketches in certain kinds of sketchbooks. They are all different in size and format. I started naming the books only recently. I am a huge fan and reader of James Gurney's blog and he names his sketchbooks based on the first word or phrase in the first sketch of the book. I liked that idea and adapted it for my sketchbooks. It helps to keep them a bit more organized. My names are also based on the first sketch in the book but not any words or phrases since I don't do so much lettering. The titles are more descriptive of the sketch. As it turns out, the contents of the sketchbooks loosely follow the title. For example in "Jamming", there are a lot of sketches made at musical events. As a musician and as the spouse of a musician, I tend to go to many musical events a year. Flip through "Jamming" and you will find sketches of musicians and audience members.

"Driftwood" holds sketches from nature, mostly of the beach, and many of, well, driftwood.

"Green Fork Farm" is a newer one. It is bound with watercolor paper. I have my experimental sketches of watercolor paint, pencil, and gouache in this one. The first sketch one of the many I did at our local Farmer's Market this summer.

In the back of the photo is the sketchbook I started in art school, hence the title, "And so it begins." I like the larger format but I don't use it as often as it isn't quite as portable as the smaller sizes. This sketchbook is nearly full.

Finally, the smaller sketchbook open to the first sketch, which was yesterday's Day 1 sketch, doesn't have its title painted on yet. It is a sketchbook I am trying out for the workshop I will be teaching next month. It is a Strathmore Mixed Media. It doesn't have as heavy as a paper as the watercolor sketchbook does but it is definitely heavier than the regular sketchbook paper. It seems to be holding up to the use of water pens and ink.

Day 1's sketch is of a piece of driftwood and I used graphite and water soluble graphite by ArtGraf. The sketch was interrupted in progress so is not very finished. That is OK, I got enough in.

Here is Day 2:
Day 2 sketch, graphite on paper. 363 more days to go!

I want to use this newest sketchbook to work on two natural forms that are found in abundance here, sticks and stones. Of course, that will be the name of this sketchbook! Both of these sketches were done indoors due to the current weather conditions. I suspect tomorrow's sketch will also be indoors as we have a high wind warning for gusts of 65 mph. Hopefully the power will hold.

The weather and a few other events have kept me from painting outside for way too long. I can't wait to get back to it at the first opportunity.
Thankfully, there is plenty to keep me out of mischief in the studio!


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Living the Sketchy Life

It is hard to believe that fall is winding down and the winter solstice will be here in a couple of weeks! What happened to fall? It seems a bit of a blur to me due to not only being busy with music, art, and daily living, but having several life events thrown into the mix. Life is like that, as we all know.

Painting has slowed down a bit but still continues, as does drawing, however, I am picking up the pace in both again, even as the holiday season is upon us!

A month or so ago my mate and I went to the "Seeing Nature" art exhibit at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. This is a collection of landscape masterworks from the Paul G. Allen family collection. I was very excited to go see this and it did not disappoint.
We were allowed to take non-flash pictures so I took a few. I spent most of the time with my nose as close as they would allow to the painting. All the paintings were covered with clear plexi-glass so, as you can see, some of them have glare and reflections. My two favorite paintings from the exhibit were the following:

Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon of Arizona at Sunset, 1909, oil on canvas

The picture doesn't even come close to how exquisite I found this. I spent most of my time in front of this one and the following.

Thomas Cole, Ruins in the Campagna di Roma, Morning, 1842, oil on panel.

This was equally exquisite and I would be hard pressed to choose between the two of them! There were several others that I enjoyed as well. If you are in the Portland Oregon area, I highly recommend seeing this exhibit. I thought it worth the price of admission.

Finally, to end on a personally exciting note, I will be teaching a workshop at our local art center here in Manzanita, Oregon next month! I had the opportunity to teach a sketching workshop last month in Bend, Oregon. While I have taught several workshops in the past, it was the first time I taught an art workshop. I had a lot of fun and certainly learned a lot. I decided that teaching a sketching workshop here in my own town would be a wonderful opportunity to spread the joy of art and for me to learn and grow. Info on the workshop can be found here.

While I sketch nearly everyday, I still feel the need to develop a daily sketch habit. I have experienced how effective frequent sketching is. Sometimes it is too easy to ignore the continuing development of drawing skills through sketching and drawing in favor of painting. Since I sincerely believe that good drawing skills are fundamental to good painting and good art, it is time to put my beliefs into action and step up to a daily drawing/sketching habit. With that in mind, I started a personal challenge today, and I am officially beginning a year long sketch-a-day project. Believe me, committing to this publicly makes me all kinds of nervous, as I know that all kinds of obstacles will be gleefully laid in my path. I will take it, well, one day at a time!

I have been inspired by several of my artist friends who have also committed, and are proceeding to create a painting, sketch, or drawing a day. If anyone wants to join me, let me know! No rules as to amount of time or how big or how finished the sketch is and no pressure or guilt allowed when tripping over those obstacles. I will share today's sketch tomorrow. I am not sure at this time whether or not I will share them all and probably won't share them everyday. I will do my best to share often.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A trip to Whistler, B.C.

We recently had one fun trip this summer with dear friends to Whistler, B.C. in Canada. I took along my painting gear of course! We have been there several times before and it is one of our favorite places to go hang out with our friends. 
We have usually stayed in Whistler during the late summer months. This is the first time we have been there in early fall. The leaves are changing color on the trees and the cool mornings and evenings with warm afternoons it just about perfect. The crowds aren't too bad either, considering.

Mornings find the four of us doing our own thing. The guys tended to go off to coffee shops to do a bit of journal writing. One friend likes to do her morning reading and meditation, and I, well I head out to paint of course!

We gather at lunch and then head out together on various activities such as hiking, biking, or taking in the new Squamish Lil'wat cultural centre.

Due to various reasons, my mate and I were not able to stay as long as we had hoped, however, I was able to get out two mornings to paint. I could easily spend a few weeks painting there!

The first morning I spent more time than I had wanted to hiking around with my paint pack trying to find a spot I had in mind. The last time we were in Whistler was before the winter Olympics were held there and things have changed a bit.

I finally found a spot that fit what I had in mind along Fitzsimmons Creek. Here is a picture of the spot and the painting:

I haven't really done any painting of a river or creek before and I found the rapids a bit challenging. Much different than the ocean waves I am accustomed to. I love the color of the water in this area. Much of it is glacier run off and has that characteristic milky turquoise quality to it.

The next morning I had to take a break. It has been such a busy summer and the need to rest a bit more is starting to catch up with us. The final morning ( I know sad isn't it?) I hiked out to a spot on Lost Lake. I had scoped it out the afternoon before. I arrived nice and early and didn't account for one fairly important thing. I was facing due east. As soon as the sun climbed up over the impressive mountains, I was blinded. I had to wait for about a half an hour before I could see anything such as color and detail. Eventually, the beauty I was hoping to capture popped out as the sun climbed higher. I think the light would have been better for what I had in mind in the afternoon but I had to take what I could get.  Here is the spot and the painting:

The first picture of Lost Lake shows the light when I was finishing up. It was much warmer than the earlier light when most of the forested mountains were in shadow. I was painting the cool morning light when the colors looked very different. On this painting, I feel that I did not quite get the correct value of the foreground water. It needs to be darker. I admit that I was torn between trying to capture the deep reflections and the lovely glacier water color and I think it shows. I really need to go back and do several paintings at that spot, not to mention all the other spots I missed.

I thoroughly enjoyed not only painting the change of scenery, but painting in this beautiful area of Canada.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Three Wave Studies

I have been busy with not only drawing and painting, but working in our community garden, playing music, working in my little yard, sewing, and a whole host of other things. Summer has been overflowing! Thankfully, at least in my eyes, Summer is winding down and fading into Autumn. I think Autumn and Spring are fairly tied for the title of my favorite season. Spring has my birthday in her favor so it might be a bit weighted toward that season.

I have given myself permission to take a break from sharing every little study, drawing, and painting. I felt I needed a bit of time to flounder around and try a few new-to-me things without having to post every little triumph and many failures. Every once in a while though, I make another wave study and I am sharing the last three I have done.

Wave Study #86 is painted with my full palette, which is nonetheless a limited palette of a cool and warm of red and yellow, ultramarine blue, plus a warm white. I also tone my canvases with Burnt Sienna. Here is #86:

© 2015 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #86, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel, plein air.

It was one of those beautiful misty mornings where the sun was just starting to burn it off. I love the colors that pop out with gray skies. They can be both subtle and startlingly intense.

Starting with Wave Study #87, I decided to use just black and white paint for a few studies. I am not sure how many I will do in just black and white but I am finding it not only educational, but fun. To be specific, I am using Gamblin's Chromatic Black (a combination of alizarin permanent and viridian), and Gamblin's Warm White. I rather like Warm White over the Titanium White. My subject matter here on the Northern Oregon Coast tends to be on the chilly side. Warm White gives a subtle warmth to the painting. Here is  Wave Study #87:

© 2015, R.L. Delight, Wave Study #87, 8"x10", oil on canvas, plein air.

Using black and white forces me to focus on value of course. I start out with paint laid out in a 5-value range and add in between values as needed. I really am enjoying the process.
Finally, here is Wave Study #88, also painted with black and white:

© 2015, R.L. Delight, Wave Study #88, 8"x10", oil on canvas, plein air.

This was painted this morning and I took the picture on site so there is a tiny bit of glare on the photo in the upper right. Today was a lovely sunny fall-ish kind of day. Very bright, with the sun beginning to slide to lower angles. I love the quality of the fall light on the coast. It has a lovely red gold cast that only occurs this time of the year.
Here is a parting shot of today's office. You can see the black and white progression of paint on the palette along with the splotch of Burnt Sienna that was used to tone and draw a rough sketch-in to start.

View from the "office"

Summer is nearly over but there is plenty more adventures and painting ahead!

Happy painting,

Monday, August 31, 2015

Bad Year for Tomatoes

© 2015, R. L. Delight, Bad Year for Tomatoes (WIP), 12"x16", oil on linen

I have a backlog of posts for the past couple of months. Instead of cramming them all into one giant post, I will be making several posts. After a long, hot (for here), dry summer, we are finally getting rain. Rain is something we are rarely short of on the Northern Oregon coast but this year was different. The Pacific Northwest has been very dry and is burning with wildfire. Hopefully the rains have decreased the fires. I have read that it will take a lot of rain to put them out. With rain, comes the opportunity to spend time inside, catching up on the blog, and other neglected tasks.

The Word and Image Show happened this weekend. It was a wonderful evening of literature and art. The link gives a bit of a description. Above is my entry and response. I was paired with a wonderful local author, Gail Balden. All artists and writers submitted 3 pieces of work and were paired randomly a month or so ago. We were given packets with our partners submissions and had to choose one to respond to and be inspired by in our work. It was a tough choice for me! I spent time reading and letting it sit, with thoughts and images flowing through my mind until one of the essays came forward to be painted. The essay I chose was called, "Bad Year for Tomatoes" by Gail Balden, and can be found here if you would like to read it. Please do! Her website can also be found here.

I am so fortunate to live a few minute's walk from a wild 7 mile stretch of beach. I get a lot of thinking done on my morning walks. It was on one of these walks that I decided that I needed some letters to include in the still life portion of my set up. I could have just gathered some papers together and pretended they were letters but I decided I wanted real ones. I turned to my FaceBook page and sent out a request for hand written letters. I asked that they be from a distance, at least 100 miles away from me, and that the letters be about the beauty in their lives. I received several responses and was blown away by the heart felt sincerity and eloquence of the letters. I felt moved and truly blessed.

Perhaps it cannot be seen in the painting, but those letters definitely had an influence in the final work. The deadline came up fast. It was barely enough time for me to get what I needed to get on canvas. I am not a fast worker. I did get it to an acceptable point. It is not quite finished. There are a few areas that need to be tweaked before I will call it done.

I will be posting more this week. I have been painting wave studies as well as working on drawing and landscape studies. This winter I should have a lot of reference material to draw from to create a few larger paintings. I am looking forward to it!

So, where is the beauty in your life?


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Summer Daze

It always seems like summer gets jammed up behind the 4th of July. Our little town is a destination spot with thousands of visitors converging upon our town and beaches. The crowds, coupled with hot-for-us weather can try the patience. Even our amiable shop keepers lose their cool once in a while!

Yesterday my mate and I spent the morning preparing to march in our parade. My guy pulls together a local marching band every year. We are lined up and ready to march before 1:00 and away we go through a solid tunnel of people. Here is a 20 sec. video clip. It is rough and shaky as I took it with my phone, while marching and banging a drum.

Directly from the parade we jumped into our truck and headed up to Cannon Beach where my husband was playing a two hour concert in the park with another band he is in. In case you are wondering, I am marching directly behind him in the video, he is the one with the trumpet!
We made it through that and the late, late night (it doesn't start to get really dark until after 10:00pm) firework show and general town craziness.

It has been good to rest today. In the meantime, I have been painting and drawing. I have painted at three of the four markets and am getting better each time. Here is a picture of the one before last in progress.  I still have a ways to go.

Painting at the Manzanita Famers Market
I decided not to paint at the July 3rd market. I brought a sketchbook and sketched the people. There were so many people that I wouldn't have been able to see or move!

I have been out plein air painting as well. Here is a study of the south end of Short Sands beach.
© 2015 R.L. Delight, South End Shorty Study, 9"x12", oil on canvas, plein air.

I am also participating in a local show called Word and Image and have started to work on my painting for that. I will be posting on the show, and the work in progress soon.

I know I have been a bit remiss at regular blogging. It has been a super busy summer so far. I will do better. It is easier to post at least once a week so things don't get stacked up and crammed all together like this. I also had to leave a lot out.

Until next week. Praying for rain,


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Behind the Sphinx

"Behind the Sphinx", 8"x10", oil on canvas panel, plein air

It has been a very busy painting week! The weather has been spectacular. The warm sunshine also brings the winds, which are challenging, but I managed to find shelter from the worst of the winds. There is a reason why I call this blog "Gritty Paint"! The plein air paintings of the sea and beach pretty much all contain sand from the Oregon coast and "Behind the Sphinx" has its share.

The painting above was done on Wednesday of this week at Arcadia State Park. I have painted this rock formation before from a different angle. Here is my painting set up, which sheltered me from the winds, until they shifted.

Painting at Arcadia State Park

Tuesday mornings are community garden days. I love working in this beautiful community garden. It once was a dairy farm but now is part of a large parcel of land that a few generous and forward thinking people purchased and then put it into a land trust. The community garden is worked communally instead of in private individual plots. I am learning so much! On days when the weather cooperates, I bring my painting gear. I have to admit, I haven't been able to paint there as often as I thought I would. This week I decided to paint the beautiful double poppies in the orchard area. It is good for me to change things up once in a while.

"Peace Prayers", 8"x6", oil on canvas panel, plein air

I haven't had a chance to get  a good picture of this in better light. I will get one when I can.

Monday I was at my favorite painting spot, Short Sands beach in Oswald West State Park. I did another study at the north end of the beach. There was a marine layer when I started, making the light beautifully opalescent. Here is the work in progress:

Short Sands Fall, WIP, 10"x8" oil on canvas panel, plein air

This is another painting I need to get a better picture of. I might be just leaving this painting as is in spite of it not being completely finished. It makes a great study and reference painting. I plan to return to Shorty this coming week. 

Thursday I needed to regroup and clean and organize my gear so I worked in the studio on my gear and drawing skills. That will be in a future post.

Friday was a very challenging day. I stepped far outside my comfort zone and painted at the seasonal opening of our local Farmer's Market. it is a somewhat small one but growing larger and every nook and cranny of the small area is filled. I found a corner to squeeze myself into and my set up in and painted, or at least tried to!

Usually, the first hour or two is fairly crowded but then the crowds thin out a bit toward the end. Not this time! I only caught 30 second glimpses of my subject, one of the farmer's booth, before the crowds blocked the view for 15 or more minutes at a time. It took me an hour to get an incomplete Notan sketch for reference! The market goes for 3 hours from 5pm to 8pm. I was finally able to see the whole booth five minutes before closing time, when they were packing up!
Here is what I mostly saw:

The booth I was trying to paint is behind the booth with the blue awning. I was able to get a brief Notan sketch and some color and composition notes on the painting.

This was the first time I have painted in such a venue. It is also a departure from my usual seascapes and landscapes. Quite a challenge! I will be returning next week to a different spot. So far, I have decided to make a few changes in my approach. Because I would like to get a completed painting of my spot from this week, I plan to go back a bit before the market opens with my sketchbook and get in some of the important details that I wasn't able to see due to the crowds. I will also make more efficient use of my time by keeping the sketchbook near by to sketch people, once I have my composition down, while I am waiting for the crowd to thin enough to paint.

We shall see how it goes next Friday. This is a pretty steep learning curve for me and a bit nerve-wracking as a lot of friendly people stop by to see what I am doing. I am hoping I will have some good progress to show by the last market of the season in late September.

That was my week! It feels great to get out and paint. I will be out again next week and will be working on drawing skills in the studio. I am trying hard to get a daily drawing practice going. I also want to get back to painting wave studies. So much to do!

Finally, I will be starting to put paintings up for sale. I need to buy art supplies as I am getting low.

I will try to post more during the week so these posts won't be so long.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Short Sands Fall Study

© 2015 R.L. Delight, Short Sands Fall Study, 10"x8", oil on canvas

Every now and then I take a stab at painting the falls at the north end of Short Sands. Most of the time there is tiny improvement and I get a little closer to what I want to convey. The cliffs in this area are actually formed from ancient seabed. The "rock" is soft and crumbly and has many layers. It has been carved by sea, wind, and rain. It is quite beautiful and has been very challenging for me to depict to my satisfaction. I learn something more every time I paint it.

I painted in the late afternoon when the tide was just coming to its highest point. What I have the hardest time with, along with a few other things,  is depicting the scale of the falls. I am actually a bit of a distance away since it was high tide. During the lower tides, it is possible to get to the foot of the falls. They are far, far larger than what they look like here. The shadows in this area change quite rapidly and dramatically too, no matter what time of the year. I will keep trying. With every study I see more and more. Here are a few pictures of work in progress and the area.

As can be seen in the picture with my easel, the area I was painting was in shadow within a fairly short time-span. I have been doing my Notan sketches before starting to paint and am finding them immensely helpful, specially when the light and shadows change so fast. The last picture is looking south as I head back to the car which is about 1/2 a mile away through a beautiful old growth forest trail. I plan to paint this view too but will need to wait for the right tide. The waves were much larger than they looked and quite powerful.

Today I got my new two-year park pass and worked on my gear and in the studio. We will be having a warm weekend here on the coast.

Enjoy the weekend!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Lurking on the Horizon

 © 2015 R.L. Delight, Lurking on the Horizon, 9"x12", oil on canvas panel, plein air

I decided to head up to Cannon Beach to paint yesterday to paint at Ecola State Park. My decision was mainly based on two reasons. The first is that my two year park pass expires at the end of this month and, while I will get a new one, I seem to want to cram in as many visits as I can in the remaining time. I am sure there is a psychological reason for that! The second reason is that I wanted to stop at the White Bird Art Gallery to have a look at a couple of artist's work. I admire both of these artists and both are local.

I stopped at the art gallery first. It is always a treat to go and enjoy and admire the art, one I don't partake in nearly enough. I was not disappointed either! I even managed to find a parking place in Cannon Beach the day before a very busy weekend. Memorial Day weekend kicks off our busiest season on the coast. This year, probably due to the nice weather, seems to be busier than usual, even during the off season.

After the gallery, I headed up to Ecola State Park. I wanted to paint at Chapman Point again. The day was foggy but I love the mysterious diffused light. It brings out the most amazing colors in the sea. When I reached my painting spot, Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach's breathtaking icon, was barely visible. I have been putting off painting Haystack Rock because of its famous icon status. I wanted to wait until I was ready, but I loved the misty illusiveness of it hanging on the horizon and decided to put it in. Of course once I started in, the fog thickened and it wasn't visible. I wasn't worried though, I knew it would be back. Sure enough, it reappeared and I was ready for it.
Here are a few more pictures of the day:

Chapman Point looking toward Haystack Rock.

A foggy view with Crescent Beach

A visit from a crow friend hoping to be invited to tea.

Breathtaking beauty.

Today is a catch-up day for the small things that need to be done to make life go a bit more smoothly. I know I am spoiled with the solitude that can be found in such a beautiful area but I find it challenging to be out painting on a holiday weekend. I don't mind talking to people when I am out painting but when they outnumber me by such large amounts it is hard to get work done and concentrate. I will be working close to home until next week.

Have an enjoyable, safe Memorial Day weekend and remember to take time to honor the spirit of the holiday!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Contemplating Spirit

Yesterday I joined a local group of artists and painted on the grounds of a local church, St. Catherine's. This church is one of my favorites as it was designed by a local architect with Spirit in mind. It is beautiful, inside and out. Nature plays a big roll in the design here.

The afternoon shadows were lovely and I was drawn to this quiet contemplative spot. I admit, I misjudged the direction of the path of the sun. I will need to pull out my compass when in unfamiliar spots! This was a bit of a change for me, which is always a good thing to do. I have come to the realization that I really don't like human-made artifacts in my paintings and I prefer the wild places to those that are deliberately shaped by people. It is a beautiful spot, just a different kind of beauty.

The wild places touch my soul more than cultivated spots. They call to me.

Here are two pictures of the final painting. The first was taken on the spot before packing up. The second was taken this morning with filtered overcast light. I love the light in the first one. The second one is nice too but gives a different mood. This gives me food for thought about photographing my work. Something I will have to work on.

© 2015 R.L. Delight, Contemplating Spirit, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel, plein air.

© 2015 R.L. Delight, Contemplating Spirit, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel, plein air

I am heading up to Cannon Beach this afternoon to paint. Back to the wild places...


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Change Over

© 2015 R.L. Delight, "Change Over", 10"x8", oil on linen panel, plein air + studio

I am finally able to get out to many of my favorite spots to paint. I even managed the hike into Short Sands last week! The painting above, however, is not from Short Sands beach in Oswald West State Park but from a few miles north, at Falcon Cove. This was painted at a vacation rental, owned by a friend. My mate was doing some work there so I went along too and painted. Oh my! I couldn't have asked for better conditions or a more beautiful spot.

I didn't quite finish the painting before we left. Not only did I have a small interruption from the garden maintenance crew but the light, tides, and color of the ocean shifted dramatically. I don't usually see such a dramatic color change in the ocean over such a short period of time. It was beautiful to behold. The name of the piece is derived from all the changes that happened as I painted. The tide turned, the light, the color of the sea, and wave direction changed, and there was a change in color from the horizon to where the ocean approached the breakwater.  I finished the painting yesterday in the studio using my Notan sketch and memory. Here is a picture of the painting on site while still in progress:

"Change Over" WIP

I did not make major changes, just a few corrections and finishing. I will probably be putting this one up for sale. I want to consider if I want to use it for a reference for a larger painting before I do that.

Since this is such a beautiful spot, here are a few pictures of the view I took:

Cape Falcon looking north to Cannon Beach

Looking out to sea.

Needless to say, I could happily stay there at least a month painting all day, every day. The ocean energy is quite fierce at this spot as it is on the cliff side. I can imagine it would be intense during a storm! Such beauty here where I live. I am fortunate.

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