Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

First, I would like to wish everyone good health, happiness, and prosperity in 2015! With a new year comes a new 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. I must admit, I hadn't planned to sign up this time but Leslie Saeta's wonderful enthusiasm is really hard to resist. In case anyone is unfamiliar with the Artists Helping Artists site and podcast, you should definitely check it out here.

As I did the previous time I participated, I am going to tweak the challenge to fit my needs and goals as an artist. I am not expecting to produce 30 paintings in 30 days for this challenge. I am currently finishing up a part-time job in the month of January. That, coupled with my new determination to put my personal health and well-being as my first priority in life, means that I will not be able to paint every day this month. My goal after this month is to get a solid and regular five days a week as a working artist.
In the meantime, I have some skills I really need to work on. That means I will be making quite a few messes. Today's painting being a very good example.
I wanted to spend the first day of the new year painting in my favorite place, Short Sands beach on the northern Oregon coast. The air was cold today but the sun was out and it was warm enough on the beach to paint in long sleeves and a fleece vest. After some consideration, I decided to have another try at painting the waterfall at the north end. I have painted various studies of this falls the past year. Each study brings me closer to what I would like to accomplish. Here is a quick picture of the area. I took it after I stopped painting on the study. If you look closely there are people at the base of the falls to give a bit of perspective.
© 2015 R.L. Delight, Short Sands

This can be a challenging time of the year to get the light and color just right. This far north the angle of the sun is pretty low and I probably don't need to mention how short the daylight hours are. The colors are beautiful but I am finding them a bit tricky to capture to my satisfaction. I will keep trying. Here is my study which is most definitely not completed. Many spots, such as the falls and some of the rock, are still just blocked in. The light shifted too much to keep going. I didn't want to start changing things or chase the light so I made myself stop. Here is the study:

© 2015, R.L. Delight, New Year Study, 10"x8", oil on linen panel

I was working on getting the rock color, values, and shape and texture today. I probably tried to get too many study factors in one painting but it is really hard not to cram in as much of the beauty I see as possible. I know, I have heard that is a beginning painters mistake before. I did more than one study today. I turned my easel around and painted a rock portrait. Since the tide was still going out and the tide line was very low and distant, I wasn't as concerned about having most of my back to the sea. I painted a quick one hour study of the rock and then wiped the panel off.

This month I will be going out to paint every possible day. When the weather will not allow, I want to start making finished paintings from my studies. It has been a long time since I tried that. I am also working on my drawing skills. I will post more on that later.

Finally, I will add that when I create a finished painting that I feel is up to my standards I will put it up for sale!
It will be an exciting month and year for me. Thanks for reading this far.


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