The Hellobores are starting to bloom. It’s a very slow spring and very dry, so it’s nice to see these lovely pink flowers.
I’m still painting inside, as the weather outside is cold, dank, and drizzly. So I’m putting my yearning for color and brightness onto the canvas.
“Walk at Little Island” 16×20 oil on canvas
“Moon over Nobska at sunset”; oil on canvas, 12×16
I’ve started knitting a new sweater; purple stripes! I’m making it up as I go, so I hope it will turn out well. I’ll post some photos as soon as there is enough to show. I’ve had a year off from knitting due to tendonitis, so I’m hoping that my hands are well enough for my favorite activity!
Painting low light scenes requires a very different palette of colors. I find I’m using a wide variety of yellows with some red and orange and burnt sienna mixed in – also a lot of mixed blacks. I’m having fun focusing on the way light really stands out in these paintings. I’ve also been trying some low light and night photography and finding that it’s a challenge to depict night scenes with good information in the shadows. A great learning experience!
Glow in the Snow ~ Oil on Canvas 16×20
Main Street New Years Eve ~ Oil on canvas 12×16
Main Street New Years Eve II Oil on Board 12×16
Main Street New Years Eve III ~ Oil on Board 12×16
Red Sky at Night ~ photograph
Sunset on the Bay ~ Photograph
Watching the Waves Roll In ~ Photograph
The Monday members painting group is still getting together to paint indoors in the new studio (“Sally’s Studio”) at the Art Center. I really enjoy the company and the feedback when painting with this friendly group of artists. Here are my most recent paintings (We missed one week due to a big snowstorm.):
Shivericks Pond 12×16 oil on board
Ice House Pond, 12c16 oil on board
My summer plein air painting group is so enthusiastic that they have organized to get together on Monday’s at the art center to continue to paint. (The art center has a Monday afternoon open painting time for members.) I really enjoy painting with others and profit from the good feedback from others as I paint! Here’s a previous week’s painting (which I’m going to put into the next art center show). I plan to be there painting this afternoon.
Autumn at Sandy Neck, 12×16 oil on canvas board
Two years ago I knitted a white handspun nordic sweater for my husband. He liked it so much and has worn it so much, that he asked for another one!
White Nordic Sweater, natural white handspun
The patterns are involved and tricky to do, but I said yes! I’ve been working on the new sweater since before Christmas and am working on the second sleeve now, with the front and back finished. I decided to use the purple/brown handspun that I’ve pictured here previously as I was spinning it; I had two pounds and I thought that would be plenty until I started knitting. It became clear that two pounds just wouldn’t be enough and I had no way of getting more of the exact multicolored fleece that I had spun. We decided that interspersing a coordinated gray handspun in the top half of the sweater might work, so that is what I’ve done. The photo makes the purple more intense than it is in person. I’ll have to post the finished sweater here in a few weeks. Below is a photo of the fronts, backs, and sleeves. The front and back have to be bound together at the top and the neck band then will be knitted. Then I’ll sew in the sleeves and finally do the sleeve and side seams. Here’s the work in progress:
Several friends and I planned a plein air painting trip today to the shore houses along Surf Drive (on Cape Cod Bay). This is a very scenic spot to paint and we chose to visit an area with both shore houses and marsh views. What we didn’t count on were the huge remnants of the coastal storm that just passed us by. The wrap around winds from the south and the high tides due to the full moon made for a bit of a wild painting session. The breeze from the south was so stiff that we parked our cars on the south side of the parking area and set up the easels in the lea of the cars. That helped a bit, but the wind intensity kept picking up as the afternoon progressed.
It was really funny to have the brushes and palette knifes almost torn out of our hands as we tried to paint. I have a french easel that holds on to the painting board pretty securely, but we painters were really getting blown around! We had blue sky, nice clouds, and the bright sun shining on the west side of the shoreside cabins, creating nice warm light and rich shadows. I ended up with a painting that I’m pretty happy with, in spite of the crazy weather. I’m glad I decided to go.
I’m hoping for quieter weather when we visit Monk’s Cove on Buzzards Bay next week.
Surf Drive Stilt Houses
It’s amazing what a wonderful stimulus group painting is to one’s artwork. The “+” in our group’s title is an indication that we work in various media, not just palette knife. Several artists work in pastel, several with brushes, and some of us use the palette knife, but often in acrylic as well as oil. I stick to my favorite medium, oil, because I love the colors and the ability to work into a painting for several days, but I get many, many ideas from the work of my compatriots. What I like best about palette knife is that it forces me to work in light and shadow and blocks of color. With palette knife one cannot get bogged down in trying to render things in photographic detail; if one wants photographic detail that’s easy to achieve with a photograph. But a painting, I think, should be so much more than a photograph, an enhanced impression of that place or scene that provides an even better understanding of it. That’s my goal, anyway!!
My goal this spring has been a painting a week and here are my paintings from the first three weeks:
“Sunset at South Cape Beach” 12×16 oil on board
“Boathouse in Winter” 16×20 oil on board
“House in the Dunes” 12×16 oil on board
Speaking of photography, it is very possible to be creative with photography, too; the ability to vary light and color, focus and other parameters make it possible to enhance the image so that it, like a painting, brings much greater understanding to a place or person. It’s different from painting, but very much an artistic endeavor. I explored this when I created an image for the spring juried abstract show. Below is an altered image created from a photograph of a much loved spot here on Cape Cod.
One of the first day’s painting sites
I spent a wonderful two days last week at a painting workshop in the Elizabeth Islands with six other painters from the local Artists’ Guild. We took the ferry each morning, painted all day, got together for a critique with our coach, and rode the ferry back to home port. The weather was spectacular (sunny, in the 70’s with a south wind) and the scenery was unbelievable. There was a potential painting every 10 feet! Plus it was inspiring to be painting with some very talented local artists.
On the ferry to the islands
End of the day critique on the dock
some of the paintings; two of mine are on the right
In addition to the wonderful island and marine scenery, there were historic buildings along miles of paths, beautiful horses, amazing trees and rock walls, a herd of sheep with guard llamas and a herd of yaks. What a privilege to be part of this trip!