Summer Landscapes

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

--Proust

What I did over my summer vacation:  I painted plein air!  Boy, did I paint!  All summer long!  

Here I am with my bag of supplies and my bulky french easel and my optimistic attitude, in a field of golden coreopsis flowers!

As many of you know, I took the month of August off from blogging, and I'm glad to be back!  I didn't realize how much this weekly practice sustains me, and how much I look forward to it.  Over the summer, since the kids were out of school, I wasn't able to have much time to myself.  The kids were restless to play outside, and I was restless to paint, so, we went on a lot of plein air adventures!  I took the kids to beautiful outdoor places, like the river, and set up my easel to paint while they played.  Or occasionally I painted in the evening when my husband was home from work, or when I had childcare, or when the kids were in summer camp.  

What follows are photos documenting my summer of painting: my golden, hot, dreamy, painterly summer!

(You can see even more photos on my facebook album, "Plein Air Adventures."  All these landscapes are for sale, unless it says otherwise.  They range between $50-$240, depending on size.  They're not on my on-line shop yet, but I'll put them on soon.  Meanwhile, you can always send me an email if you're interested.)

 Here I am on my first plein air adventure of the summer.  I found this great vista at  Stoney Ridge Horse Farm  in Bangor, PA.  Thanks to my good friend Berry for babysitting my kids this particular day!  Friends are the best!!!

Here I am on my first plein air adventure of the summer.  I found this great vista at Stoney Ridge Horse Farm in Bangor, PA.  Thanks to my good friend Berry for babysitting my kids this particular day!  Friends are the best!!!

"Stoney Ridge Horse Farm" 6x10" 

"View from Stoney Ridge" 9x12" 

One morning, our family drove down to Mueller's General Store, down 611 just south of Easton, PA.  My husband took the kids into the restaurant for breakfast, and I walked down to the river and set up my easel.  Attention painters: this is a great spot, there is a path down to the river where there is a great scene for painting.

"You will connect to that great river of lovely ideas that is running through you all the time." --Margaret Peot

 Later, my family came to join me.  The kids played with the rocks by the river, skipping stones.  But, I'll be honest, they weren't always this cool or happy.  In general, 2 hours was the maximum amount of time they would tolerate me painting.  Good enough, I'll take it!

Later, my family came to join me.  The kids played with the rocks by the river, skipping stones.  But, I'll be honest, they weren't always this cool or happy.  In general, 2 hours was the maximum amount of time they would tolerate me painting.  Good enough, I'll take it!

"The River Near Mueller's" 4x5"

A typical 4x5" sketch of the river.  I did a lot of these little tiny sketches.  Partially this is due to the stress of working with kids around, and not wanting to commit to something big in case I have to stop too soon.  But also, I'm really fearful of painting large landscapes, so that's something I'd like to overcome in the future.

The next day we went camping by the river south of New Hope, PA.  I went swimming too!

My son took this picture of me painting in my bathing suit.

The kids wanted me to swim, not paint, and kept begging me to jump in the water!

The river, just south of New Hope, PA, where we were camping.

 I did a lot of value studies with Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, and White, before I did my "real" painting.  Here's a sample.

I did a lot of value studies with Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, and White, before I did my "real" painting.  Here's a sample.

"Peaceful River" 4x7" oil on board 

“...we make art to fulfill our days among the living...as the river quietly flows, we proceed at our work.”

--Julia Cameron

 

One week in June, the kids were signed up for a nature summer camp at the Giving Pond in Upper Black Eddy.  My husband was leading the camp.  (He's an environmental educator for the Delaware Canal State Park.)  We came early, and I set up my easel in a stunning yellow field of coreopsis flowers.

My kids playing angelically while I paint.  Just kidding, they were fighting a lot and being pretty annoying. But I still like the picture. 

A series of paintings of this coreopsis field that I did during the three-day summer camp:

 "Coreopsis Field 1" 8x10" oil on board 

"Coreopsis Field 1" 8x10" oil on board 

 "Coreopsis Field 2" 5x7" oil on board  

"Coreopsis Field 2" 5x7" oil on board  

"Coreopsis Field 3" 6x9" oil on board

Paradise!

"Coreopsis Field 4" 9x12" oil on board

Mid-summer, my family drove out to Morris Run, PA to visit my in-laws.  I got to see my little nieces, and my brand-new baby nephew.  While the kids played happily in my mother-in-law's lush garden, I painted them!

Painting in Lida's garden...

"Children in the Garden" oil on board, 5x7" SOLD

We came back to Easton, and I made two sunset-painting-dates with friends, one day with Rachel (I blogged about it: Painting the Sunset.) and another day with Ellyn (you can see her doing yoga in the field.  This is Stoney Ridge Horse Farm again; that place has enchanted me forever!  

"Sunset and a White Horse" 5x7" oil on board SOLD

“No one could ever paint

a too wonderful picture

of my heart or God.”

--Hafiz

Above: me, the sky, and another small sketch, "Sunset Sketch."  4x5" oil on board

In July, I enrolled my kids at a great summer camp at the Book Garden in Frenchtown, NJ.  While they had fun at camp, I went down to the river near the Frenchtown Bridge and The Bridge Cafe.  I loved this spot!  I painted this view a lot, as you will see.

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing.”

--Maya Angelou

"The River at Frenchtown on Monday" 8x10" oil on board

"The River at Frenchtown on Tuesday" 9x12"

I really used things I learned from a plein-air painting workshop I took in April (see my blog: Everything is Relative.)  The workshop was led by Adriano Farinella and there was a strong emphasis on Value.  You can see me trying to figure it out in this photo:

One day, my friend Adrienne came to paint with me.  She is a great artist and friend!  

Her website is www.adrienneluntstudios.com.  

Above: Adrienne and myself.  Just two ladies wearing awesome hats and painting....

Here are some more sketches I did of the river in Frenchtown:

Below: "Sketch of the Giving Pond" 4x8"  (Upper Black Eddy, PA)

And so, you can see that I had a full, productive, sun-soaked summer.  I painted, I learned stuff, and I had fun!

"Woman Painting Outdoors" a sketch of Adrienne at her easel, 4x5"

Thanks for reading!  This blog post represents my 1-year anniversary of blogging about art.  

A year ago, I wrote MY FIRST POST, Generous Permission.  It's kind of neat to go back and re-read it, and review my goals.  Since I began this adventure a year ago, I have done so much!  In addition to my weekly blogging (47 consecutive weeks without fail, including interviews with artists, essays, poems, and original short stories) I have managed to generate a regular, consistent income through art sales, I have had two art shows (one collaborative, one solo), I have surpassed my goal of 250 people on my email list, and, most recently: 

I signed the lease for MY OWN STUDIO in August!!!

I'm very grateful to my supportive family, especially my husband, and my friends, without whom I never could have accomplished so much.  I'm also very grateful to the amazing, inspiring artists in my life, the many teachers, mentors, and friends that have given me kind encouragement, critique, and feedback to help me grow.  

I feel very lucky to live in Easton, PA, where the arts are held in high esteem, and where artists abound.  It's a great place to be an artist!