Friday, November 2, 2012

Recent Paint-Outs - a little report

Below are highlights of recent paint-outs.  I always ask artists first if I can take a picture of their painting, and post it.  It is meant to share-and-tell, and to encourage others to join us...that we don't do everything perfectly ourselves, and that we are still learning each and every day, and we can learn from each other as well.

On Oct. 31, 2012, three of us (Carol Grigus, Ida and myself)  met in Genoa to paint.  What a difference a day makes!  The day before was gorgeous, and the day we were there, there was no sun shining on those gorgeous golden cottonwood trees.  Overcast days are not a favorite lighting condition for plein air artists because there are no shadows which help create form, contrast, and good compositions.  When there are no darks in the landscape, we need to emphasize what darks we can, for instance, the hills behind golden foliage.  The dark against the yellow really makes them pop.  If we painted them against a pale blue sky, the yellow would just blend in to the sky.  Another trick is to add a little purple into the darks next to a gold/yellow - since the complimentary color of yellow is purple, it makes the gold brighter appearing.  You can see where Ida did that in her painting below.

We did our best, and at least got our paintings blocked in before lunch.  Carol got a great start massing in her shapes with a great composition, and she will work on it at home.  I can't wait to see it when it is done.  Ida, working in pastel, says her painting is still a work in progress and also wants to do more at home.  My painting, in oil, was a learning experience!  I found that in certain lighting situations, glare from a grey day can make it hard for me to see my painting - especially when it has a glossy reflective surface like oil!  Next time, I'll turn my easel in such a way that I can see better. Thanks Ida, for reminding me to mass in my darks first!  Next time, I'll do that and maybe I won't struggle so much.

Mine (Carolyn)
On Oct. 24, 2012, Carol and I went to Thomas Creek (last minute - so it was not scheduled here).  We were having a cold front move in, and although it was sunny, there were snowflakes coming down now and then from the wind.  Bundled up for cold, I worked for 2 hours.  Carol drove up the road, so I never saw her or her painting, but here is mine:
oil on panel

On October 9, 2012, Carol and I went to Taylor Creek, Lake Tahoe, to paint during the Kokanee Salmon Run.  It was a GORGEOUS day, but also a day where lots of people come to see the salmon run, including busloads of school kids.  Since this is such a unique event, we both painted the fish in the stream.  I stuck it out near the visitor center and was visited by lots of school kids!  It made it impossible to finish my painting.  Carol went upstream to avoid the crowds, but was on the lookout for she did not finish either.  I hope to see her finished painting someday.  I can only post mine at this time:
9 x 12 pastel over watercolor


  1. All of the artist's paintings are gorgeous!! Sounds like so much fun. I lived in Reno for over 20 years. Wish I had known about your group, I would have loved to paint with you. You are bringing me sweet memories of my beloved home. I live in northern Idaho now and while it's pretty up here, there's nothing like the Sierras. sigh~ ~Rhonda

  2. Hi Rhonda, Thank you! If you ever come back for a visit, you can look us up and join us!

  3. Hi Carolyn, thanks for a great painting report, and outing. While it was cooler, and a greyish day, it was nice to get out there, and get my head thinking again. I am hoping more of us PA folks get to your blog, and then get out there and paint!! I am telling everyone. Nice job on the Oil, I really like Carol's comp--how interesting!

  4. Hi Ida, so glad you could join us - it was great seeing you again and painting in your company!