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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gallery Night in Mineral Point

So thankful to Sandra, Judith and Mike for hosting me as the featured artist at Longbranch Gallery in Mineral Point a few weekends ago.  It was a bitterly cold evening, but the hardy art lovers came out with smiles on their faces.  The exhibit is on display through end of February.  Please stop in this lovely town full of amazing galleries if your travels take you that way!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fall in Wisconsin!

There is nothing better than spending a day at one of our numerous pumpkin patches/apple orchards in Wisconsin.  The colors are finally muted from the "screaming" greens of summer and the orange provides such a stunning contrast in the Wisconsin landscape. 
Painting the pumpkin harvest

Last week, I spent the morning at Barthels in Mequon, painting in one of their pumpkin patches.  Unlike last year when all the apple blossoms froze, they are expected to have a great year. 
One of the venues where I exhibit my paintings selected a pumpkin piece to grace the poster they created for Wine & Harvest Festival.  There are framed, matted (or unframed) posters still available, so you can contact Bohemia in Cedarburg if interested.  They also have the original painting there for sale.  Now get out into the great pumpkin patch!
Poster available at Bohemia in Cedarburg

Original painting, "The Plump Pumpkin Patch" also available at Bohemia, 11 x 14, oil

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Shorewood Plein Air

There's a new plein air event in Wisconsin in the beautiful village of Shorewood.  The event organizers did a great job promoting and running the event....thank you.  My favorite part was meeting the residents of Shorewood who were excited and grateful for the artists painting their city.  The children were especially fun and many said it was their first experience meeting a "real" artist.  But I quickly reminded them, that we are ALL artists.  We each see the same thing in our own unique way and that is what makes art so much fun. 
Sunrise and sunset along Lake Michigan at Atwater Park were great places to be.  I also painted Colectivo Coffee, but need to return to make a few adjustments sometime soon.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat and most importantly, to the new collectors and event organizers!!! 
Touch of the Sun, 11 x 14, sold

She's up all night till the sun, 8 x 10, sold

The early morning hours....two days in a row at the lake before sunrise

Light changed quickly....

Magical Mins, 12 x 12, oil, sold
My quick paint of the competition....what an amazing store in Shorewood.

Atwater 1, 8 x 10, oil, available

Atwater 2, 11 x 14, oil, available

Friday, August 23, 2013

Moovelously Lynden

Last night, I enjoyed a wonderful evening of plein air painting at Lynden Sculpture Garden's annual educational fundraiser.  My animal theme continued since I painted the Bremen musicians sculpture last year, I decided on the cows this year. 
This is the first time cows have ever stood still for me!  And they came in an assortment of unique colors.  It was a ton of fun and I met so many wonderful people.  (Stu, I am planning to see you painting the streets of Cedarburg next year!).
While painting, I was visited by a cedar waxwing that would sometime land within inches of my easel.  And, a massive frog also kept a close eye on all the comings and goings.
My photo of the painting is not so great as I was rushing to get this framed and to the auction table.  Thank you to the collector!  Here's a recap of the evening.

The very friendly Cedar Waxwing

Frog watched all afternoon

"Moovelously Lynden"  11 x 14, oil

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sunset Chaser

You've probably heard of storm chasers and those crazy people who photograph tornados and other violent storms?  I profess to be a sunset chaser, always wondering what magic will happen at sunset and the afterglow and if there's anything worthy to paint.  Some evenings the sun sets in an ordinary way, still beautiful but nothing to write home about.  On other nights, the skies go crazy and I always wonder if some artist in heaven helps God put on a good light show.  Evenings are full of Wonder and Awe, always a good way to end a busy day. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Darla the Donkey and Friends

Today I'll continue writing about my plein air experiences during the Cedarburg event in June.  I met another very kind property owner who allowed me to paint her precious donkey, Darla. 
A donkey was a brand new subject for me.  After Darla and I got acquainted, she settled into a nice pose for me with the geese running all around!  Granted, she probably only rested in that spot for 10 minutes before getting up for stretching and food, but that was enough to capture the moment. 
The geese provided lots of entertainment along with a rooster who kept guard of the whole barnyard situation.  Plus, I left the farm with some amazing asparagus that was a real treat for dinner that night. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Brushes with Bovines

At the recent Cedarburg Plein Air event, I decided to go forward with my plan of painting what speaks to me....what inspires me. 
Naturally, that lead me to cows and chickens and other assorted furry animals.  While I have done many studio paintings of cows, my time spent plein air painting them has been limited.  Let's just say they don't sit still very often and tend to wander off into a pasture.  Well, often times that is what happened with this recent experience. 
Here is a documentation of some recent bovine plein air adventures.
These beautiful Charlais cattle are a real mystery to paint, because they often look like sheep in a finished painting.  Here in the US, we are not so accustomed to the all white animals.  Our eyes are used to Holsteins or Herefords dotting the countryside.  But I had to give it a try a few times!
For the Quick Paint portion of the competition, I also selected cows as my subject.  Well, just as I arrived, they were all going in the barn for morning milking.  I figured they would be out to pasture again, and I managed to get one cow painted in under the old tree before the 2.5 hour time limited was up.

"Solitude"  Quick paint Plein Air, 10 x 12
I asked the farmer, Mike, if it would be okay to return to his farm to paint in the afternoon and he agreed.  Couldn't think of a better way to spend an afternoon!  I hiked quite a ways up into the pasture, thinking I would paint this nice cluster of cows eating grass.  Ha!  They scattered after saying Hello so I decided to paint them randomly throughout the pasture. 
"Out to Pasture"  Plein air, 11 x 14
 I was also delighted to see a Bobolink along the fencerow.  Haven't seen this bird for ages, so it was another treat!
With a great day out in the pasture, I was ready to take a break and go into Cedarburg for one of the artists' gatherings.  Instead as I was passing one of the sheds, I noticed more curious cattle.  Yup, grabbed the backpack out of the car and captured the moment.  I'm so happy I went back for this one. 
"Peek A Boo" Plein Air, 8 x 10
A few days later, I returned to Mikes to paint just a few more, including "Mike's Vista" listed in the previous post.  So much can be learned painting cows from life that I will put to good use in the studio for future paintings. Met some wonderful people too which makes the experience even richer!

"A Day in the Shade", 8 x 10 Plein Air

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cedarburg Main Event Entries

Whew!  It's over. More than a week of painting outside and in the elements.  I was able to get out and paint this year more than in the past and learned so much in the process.  While I enjoy painting downtown Cedarburg, I really LOVE the countryside and the wide open spaces.  My feet are best suited in boots and stuck in the mud (or manure).  Thank you to the farmers who allowed me to paint on their properties and trusted me to shut their gates right!  I will post more about my experiences in the days ahead.  These are the two paintings exhibited in the main event and I'm thrilled to say both are SOLD.

 "Cheryl's Chickens"  11 x 14
 Painting in progress
 "Mike's Vista"  12 x 12

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Quick Paint

It's been a busy week.  I'm involved in a Plein Air painting event in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.  Last Saturday we held our "quick paint" where you are allowed 2.5 hours to start, paint, finish and frame a painting.  I always enter this part of the competition with some anxiety, as the weather is a big unknown.  I was lucky to find a quiet spot where I found some cows.  Suddenly, the cows were for morning milking.  But luckily they returned before the time was up.  I chose to include just one cow under the old tree.  It turned out to be a morning of "Solitude" for me in spite of the hurried feeling of the Quick Paint and dodging the raindrops. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Adventures in Port Washington

We had a mix of weather for our Port Washington paint-out portion of the Cedarburg Plein Air Event.  Artists were painting in mittens and hats on Wednesday, huge storms rolled in overnight and Thursday was beautiful.  It was fun painting both types of conditions. 
My early morning was spent on the breakwall painting the old lighthouse.  I was the only one out there for a long time, then a few fishermen showed up. 
Then, I turned the easel around and painted the marina.  The next morning I woke up early to capture the sunrise looking north from South Shore beach.  Port is a beautiful city and the artists look forward to returning next year.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Port picture perfect morning

Finally, it was a great morning to be out painting.  Headed up to Port Washington to gear up for the Plein Air painting event next week.  Port Washington is filled to the brim with subject matter.  Decided to try a very complicated subject and focus on simplifying.  Need to tweak a few things, such as toning down the red of the sailboat.  An easy and quick fix.
You've heard me say it before...."something interesting usually happens when you're out plein air painting."  Yes, it did again surprise!  These three planes were fueling up in Port and did a nice drive by, then later a fly by for us!  This is something at least I don't get to see everyday!  Especially love the YELLOW plane.  Thanks for providing the eye candy!
If any artists are reading this....word of caution.  Bring your insect repellent.  The horseflies are fierce and I had to pick at least 50 off this painting.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Spring Sunset

I've been exploring more places to paint that are closer to home.  Mequon has lots of little nature preserves that are poorly marked, therefore, it results in minimal use because no one knows they exist! 
To get to this spot, we had to hike a bit.  I'm very happy with my new Timbuk2 backpack.  It's extra wide and I can load it with all my gear so I finally have my hands free!  Our son works for an outerwear company and put me on to this backpack which he purchased for me at a discount (sweet). 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Class Dismissed

Looking out the window it feels as though spring is still just a dream.  The grass is brown and the flowers are still tucked in their winter rest. 
As a family, we have fun planning for our little garden but have also decided to supplement our vegetables with a shared CSA.  A friend asked us to buy a share of a CSA this winter and we thought it was a good decision to know where your food is grown.  Turns out, I had also painted their wonderful chickens after meeting the owner at an art gathering this summer.  Finally, I will be consuming the eggs of the chickens I have painted. 

Art and life are all interconnected indeed!  And Spring HAS to be on the way soon!

Here's "Class Dismissed", oil, 8 x 16

Monday, April 8, 2013

Maple Syrup Time!

Just before all the snow disappeared, I had a wonderful opportunity to go out painting a few times on a friends property where they are collecting sap for maple syrup production. 
Like most things in life, it's a labor of love.  But then the reward is tasty in this case and we can only imagine those pancakes smothered in this 100% homemade maple syrup.
This painting is "Ricky's Passion."  (Plein Air, 9 x 12)