I spent one week at Lakeside Chautauqua on Lake Erie this month. My Friend Michelle and I taught at the Rhein Center. My classes were, you might guess, Plein Air classes. This was a demo for my class. It has sold since then.
I scheduled Simon's hay field for our Monday Plein Air meet-up. My hope was that the round bales would still be sitting, throwing some shadows onto the fields. The clouds too were making a wonderful display of rolling light & shadow. Thankfully the dramatic landscape held. The wind was somewhat gusty, forcing me to hold the easel still with one hand while painting.
Marianne and I each painted a demo for Michelle's art class at Capital U. one morning. That afternoon we had a few hours before picking up our paintings from a show at Columbus Art Museum. We chose to spend our time painting the gardens at Franklin Park.
We had about given up our plan to paint with John Daniels plein air meet-up that evening, considering the sporadic rainstorms. However, about eight PM we decided to give it a try. The meet-up was on Franklin Street, an old section of Columbus. Between a few scattered showers I caught some light and angles of this interesting house on Franklin.
Last week my friends Michelle and Marianne painted with me in the Columbus park Garden Of Roses. It was a beautiful day! An accomplished classic guitarist came along to play nearby as we painted. As the afternoon wore on a black cloud blew over us and everyone scattered. But, I was not quite finished. Fortunately I paint in oils, the water runs off of them. I was able to cover my board to finish, and the rain let up a bit.
We painted again this year in Mary's well tended garden. It happened that early that morning the farmer who rents her fields had baled the hay. We were so excited for the opportunity to include them to lend interest to our paintings. Just as we settled on our composition the farmers drove in with a wagon and bale lift to take up the bales. We groaned. Sweet Mary ran out to ask the farmers if they would begin pick up in fields over the hill. They were very kind to agree, much to our relief!
Our painting group returned to Fellows Riverside Garden to paint this week. The roses are blooming, so hard to decide which nook and cranny to paint! This color is Elle. The petals range from yellow to peach to orange, exquisite.
Mid-month the Plein Air painters met to paint at Fellows Riverside Gardens. I was in the mood to paint iris. I only found four. These two were blooming in the shade of a linden tree. They had been planted on an island in the parking lot.
The second week in May my artist friend Michelle made the 3 hour trip across Ohio to paint with me. We met another artist, Kathy at this farm near Paris, Ohio. The Lowmiller farmer was gracious, having no problem with us painting on his propery.
The first of May I scheduled our plein air group to meet in Leetonia. I saw this pink dogwood against the old brick building. It had rained in the morning and the sky did not appear to promise sunshine. But, it did stop raining about noon. So I decided to go, knowing most of the artists wouldn't venture it. I had the composition down when the sky turned really dark. Without any more warning the sky began to dump bucketsful of water, that felt like bullets. Before I could get packed up and into the car, even my tennis shoes sloshed full of water! I returned another day to finish.
Last week the apple trees were in full bloom. It doesn't take much to bring the petals down. The deep yellow dandelions seemed to overpower the delicate pink of the apple blossoms. I thought at first I'd not paint the dandelion, but it didn't seem right to leave them out.
I had no idea this 42 Foot high, 350 year old white oak tree existed, 20 minutes from our home! One day when drive an uncle and aunt home from church my aunt happened to mention it. I was finally able to make contact with the owner for permission to bring my plein air group here. Absolutely awe inspiring to spend an afternoon observing such living treasure.
One lovely spring day I met-up with my artist friend Michelle Walker at Mohican State Park. We asked about an interesting place to paint and were told there was a waterfall ten or so miles up the road. Upon arrival we discovered it was a 2 or 3 mile hike, mostly uphill, to the falls. I did not have my backpack, still we were determined to check out the falls. We climbed, me pulling my card over roots and rocks imbedded in the path. Sometimes along a steep drop off into a river, at other times crossing a rivulet flowing down to the river. When we arrived at the rather narrow trickle of a falls it was completely in shadow. Neither one of us felt we could get a good painting from it. So, since we had climbed all that way we painted with our back to the sound of falling water. Plants hadn't sprouted much yet, but the moss was nice.
There is an area of Mill Creek Metroparks called Daffodil Meadow. My plein air group painted here twice this month. It is very popular with the public when in peak bloom. We have been painting here three years at least, when the hillside is covered in bright yellow blossoms. I will try to get a better photo. The painting is hanging at the Davis YMCA this month.
A few weeks ago My artist friends Michelle Walker & Marianne Miller met to paint at the Franklin Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio. The orchids were in bloom that week. It was the perfect place to paint on a cold winter day. Under a roof, but brightly lit with natural light and living plants of every type throughout. We hope to return at some point.
Kathy Farthing and I painted together again on February 13th. The thermometer registered around 30 degrees. I was not expecting to stay out long. However the sun shone brightly on us. We were a little protected from the breeze in this wooded area, near the Mill Creek Park fitness trail. In fact we were very comfortable.
This our paint group has been meeting inside. Anita, the host artist, sets out a still life or we bring objects to arrange. My main enjoyment is to paint from life (as verses a photo or memory), so a still life is fine.
I have noticed the lovely hills along State route 172 when I drive west toward Canton, Ohio. I keep thinking it would be wonderful to paint in that area. Well,few weeks ago, it worked out that my artist friend, Kathleen Gray Farthing, wanted to meet to paint a snowy landscape. We arranged to meet at Arrowhead Orchards. The temp that day was 13 degrees fahrenheit; however, that didn't stop us, we dressed warm and had a lovely time.
I posted the painting on Facebook and Plein Air Magazine writer Bob Bahr picked up on our story, especially Kathy's thick fur coat that had been her mother's. If you click on the link below you can read the wonderful write-up!
When painting en plein air I’m drawn into a deeper sense of the beauty of the landscape. Capturing in paint some essence of God’s handiwork is an intriguing thrill. Shapes and colors change constantly via the elements, like a kaleidoscope turning as it is held up to the light. Sunlight and shadow, the movement of a breeze, makes painting en plein air so much more stimulating than painting from a photo.
I work to capture that flash of wonder the light reveals to me. Spontaneity contributes to the energy that comes through in my painting. My painting is a celebration of light and color. Light is a metaphor of Christ the creator. Light reveals color, exposing immediate substance. It reveals depth and detail. Light communicates relationships, revealing nuances that continuously change, yet have a timeless source. My Paintings are for sale in the sales gallery of Butler Institute of American Art & The Hoyt Art Center Gift Shop & on Etsy as "Pleinairimpressions". It is my privilege to be a participant in various juried artist shows, Denver Plein Air in Colorado, Ohio Plein Air Society, Butler Museum of American Art, & The Hoyt in New Castle, PA.