Sunday, July 29, 2018

Donna painting sunflowers at Linden Plantation

Donna painting sunflowers at Linden Plantation during a former workshop.

detail of painting by one of Donna's students. 
Donna, I enjoyed the en plein air Sunflower workshop at Linden Plantation so much. I learned so much about mixing the colors of nature and simplifying shapes. Thanks! Linda W.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Absorbing a Place

Sunflower Inspiration, Fluid Acrylic, 14 X 10.5 Inches

My studio work is inspired by my work en plein air and time spent outdoors. On the third day of the Sunflower Retreat, participants asked me to show them how I work in the studio.  I completed the above painting in 30 minutes in the Sunflower Field.  With bodies accustomed to air conditioning, July outdoors in the Mississippi delta is not for the faint at heart .  I had painted there en plein air for 3 days within a 2 week period.  One thing I have learned is that if you get into the place, the place will get into you. I have had some wonderful experiences while painting en plein air that have made me a richer person.  I think this is why so many people find reasons to be outdoors whether it is to hunt, hike, play, or paint.  I have hiking buddy that always encouraged me to "be in the moment". There is nothing that will help you "be in the moment" more than painting outdoors.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Sunflower Retreat

 Painting a field of Sunflowers without painting every flower.

Since I began painting outdoors I find painting from photos very limiting.  However, one of the hardest things for beginning painters en plein air seems to be not painting every detail.  Many people are accustomed to accepting the frozen camera view of reality, but in reality your eye sees the world very differently.  You see the field of flowers as moving shapes and colors while only seeing the details of the closest flowers. Sunflowers follow the sun until they are heavy with seed and can no longer turn their heads with the sun.   I painted with the sun over my left shoulder as I viewed the field. Still I found that the painting was more about suggestion of distance and color filled space than about contrast of value. Changes in color notes were subtle and that is what I concentrated on. 
Sunflower Field, Fluid Acrylic, 11 X 14 inches