It is always a day of total excitement when I get to show my works at a gallery or event. Today I received an invitation to show 3 of my paintings in the beautiful Wallowa Valley, Oregon, home to the Chief Joseph tribe. I first visited there on a bicycle tour years ago and was so impressed by the beauty of the landscape, its rolling hills and wildlife, the Grande Ronde river cutting through the ravine. The Josephy Arts Festival, held annually, accepted these works this year and I am so pleased that I will be able to visit that destination once again. What a lovely time of year to go visit Wallowa.
It's so much fun to paint outside onsite, so challenging as the sun moves and the shadows change. And landscapes are filled with green in the Pacific Northwest, every variety of green you can imagine. These paintings are works developed from "plein air" paintings, most only 6x8 or 8x10. The sizes of these paintings are anywhere from 11x14 - 20x20. The rose is from my garden and the other works are based on local scenery. Of note, the LaConner sailboat scene and the beach scene are both going to be in the art show at the Guilded Gallery in Stanwood, WA. Opening is July 29th and it closes September 23rd. The website for more information is: https://stanwoodcamanoart.com.
Having retired mid November was a blessing I wasn't aware would impact my life in such a positive way. Though ready to slow down the pace, it was the surprise of the C-19 virus which gave me a sense of thankfulness that I could be home taking care of my long retired husband, not worrying about his health and what I might bring home to him. This has been an extremely trying time for our whole world, it leaves one wondering what will be next. In the mean time, I was spending my new found time painting, sorting out what to keep and what to reprocess. The first Plein Air gathering was down in the Nisqually Basin but I couldn't make it. So those who did posted photos of the area and gave us all an opportunity to create paintings of the scenery as we liked. These two paintings below were accepted into the Scott-Milo Gallery in Anacortes, WA, for our annual spring juried show.
Thankful for the workshop in Arizona this past January, I took the opportunity to develop one of the scenes that I liked using the plein air painting of the same scene. This is the Saguaro River, in a basin that is surrounded by huge red rocks. The ranch that is close by maintains lodging and meals for visitors and offers horseback riding on the many trails in the area. It was a most delightful week, and painting alongside Mitch Baird was as always full of instruction. This is 16x20, painted from an 8x10 work.
Art workshops are always fulfilling and always challenging. Last week I spent 4 days in Mesa, AZ in a workshop put on by Mitch Baird. This will have been my 3rd workshop with him (you keep coming back when you know its a good experience) and as usual his way of teaching is straight forward and easy to understand. My challenge was to get past the "orange/pink" of those background hills, which he insisted were purple. Atmosphere always leaves the yellows behind first, then the reds second which finally leave you with blue. Not to say that any of those colors are pure color, ... Oh so many nuances to plein air painting! Mostly, it's the values that make the scene, values get lighter as the landscape recedes. Then it's the temperature of the color you lay down, distance is cooler and grayer. Foreground has the most saturation. So, these 3 paintings are on 8x10 panels, and maybe developed into larger studio works, or maybe not. I haven't decided quite yet... I rather think I just like them the way they are and leave it at that.
At the end of October it becomes more uninviting to paint outdoors, the chill makes the oil paint stiff and our fingers freeze. The sun had moved much farther south but our intrepid little group of painters wanted to explore English Boom preserve on Camano Island. The temperature was in the high 30's so we dressed as seemed reasonable, but by the end of our 2 hours we were all quite frigid. I painted down near the end of the tree line as seen on this painting but was not very happy with my efforts. Then, as I was taking photos of our area and one of our artists was pondering his efforts, I thought what a great composition. The yellows and golds working together with the blues seemed a perfect painting.
...here in the Pacific Northwest, the return to standard time is a big blow to those of us who love being outside. Sunset occurs at 4:30 now and if it's overcast and rainy, it seems dark all day. But that means time for studio work! Without the change, I would never be in the studio. Now I can look back at the rack of plein air paintings and decide which of them will be my next studio painting. Though I detest coming inside, I find that my plein air works inform my studio paintings and visa versa. So, once I get over that resistance, I settle right into my new works. This one is going from my plein air study to a full sized studio painting.
Summer is gone and the sunflowers are prominent everywhere I turn. It's the last shout about intense color from nature for the year as the season changes. The air is cooler, the wind and rain have begun and it's time to turn the heat on in our house. Though we have had late fall painting days in the past, this year may not be so kind. It's hard to close up the plein air easel and store it away for the year so I am going to keep my fingers crossed that we still have a month left to paint outside.
This Saturday is the opening reception at the River Gallery in Mt. Vernon for 37 artists.
WELCOME TO OUR 2019 FALL SHOW
A Showcase of Smaller Fine Art Works
Created by 37 Artists
Including Paintings, Sculptures,
Glass and Jewelry
Special This Show:
Paintings by Susan Martin Spar
JOIN US FOR THE OPENING RECEPTION
Saturday September 21, 2pm to 5pm
Friday - Sunday
September 21 to October 20
10am to 5pm
Preview this Show: www.rivergallerywa.com
Jacqui Beck, Vojtech Rada, Joan Enslin, Susan Martin Spar,
Kent Nordby,Coizie Bettinger, Brooke Borcherding, Dotti Burton, Dedrian Clark,
Charlotte Decker, Rita Hornbeck, Stephen Hunter, Maggi Mason,
Ria Harboe, Denise Takahashi, Suzanne Powers, Jarmila Radova,
Nancy Crowell, Lovone Newell-Reim, Christine Troyer, Terry Mac Donald,
Kathleen Ritz, Hannah Salia, Nick Fennel, Maria Wickwire, Becky Ollinger,
Robert Gigliotti, Sharon Stapleton, Peter Welty, Gail Thein, Leslie Strong,
Karen Bakke, Donna Nevitt-Radtke, Linde Husk, Margaret Arnett,
Peggy Olson, Denise LeBlanc
19313 Landing Road
Mount Vernon, Wa 98273
Between La Conner and Conway
from Best Road
Follow Green Signs
To Our Door
Each year Plein Air artists have an opportunity to show their works at the Scott-Milo gallery in Anacortes. All works submitted must be 11x14 inches or smaller, hence the name of the show, "Little Gems". It is a fun event and located in downtown Anacortes during the local art walk. Opening ceremony is June 7th and this photo of my daffodils will be one of the collection. Hope you can come.