Sep 24, 2015

Wrestling Gramma's Stew


My husband is a meat and potato guy.  I'm not.
He loves a big heavy meal.  I like the cookbook "365 Days with Quinoa".

We each do our own thing for breakfast and lunch but dinner is a compromise.  His favourite thing is a Stew.  Not just any stew.  A full blown stew with dumplings.  A 3 page recipe, lots of prep, tons of clean up, hours to cook, more prep (for the dumplings) more clean up, finally dinner!  Not a task to be taken on lightly.

We do have stew occasionally.

FULL SUN  - Watercolour - 12 x 16
On a cold, wet, winter weekend the stew pot comes out.  And I must admit it is nice to have the aroma wafting through the house as rain beats against the window and everything is dark.  ( On the west coast of Canada that's what winter is like)  And of course the leftovers are great as well.  No meals to prepare for at least 2 days!!

This summer we had a massive heat wave.  (Well, on the coast the temperatures were holding over 30 C for days on end.  I know, for many of you that is not really hot but I am a 25 C person.  Anything hotter than that is way too hot.)  We were on Texada Island, right by the water, let me tell you that ocean breeze wasn't really working.  It was hot.  Too hot.

Time to pull out Gramma's Stew recipe. 

I had some great pictures of our rhododendron bushes that I really wanted to paint.  Several months ago I had cropped a section and had a plan in place.  That was as far as I got.  I knew it was a 3 page recipe: lots of prep, lots of clean up, lots of detail and lots of glazing.  (Not a picture that was going to work up quickly. )

I set up my studio in the shade and started working. There was no lovely aroma in the air but it was a great way to enjoy the heat. 
My outdoor studio on Texada Island
 There was lots of perks: wonderful view from my outdoor studio; the transparent glazes dried in a jiffy; I hardly noticed the heat; and it was easy to stop and pick up again.  ( Of course I had to jump in the water for a swim now and then!) 

The view from the our campsite
 "Full Sun" was the challenge I anticipated. It certainly wasn't for the faint hearted.  The blossoms were so intertwined it was easy to get lost. 

No extra meals for the freezer, but it was worth it.

I learned a lot about glazing: keeping it thin so the underlying colours could shine through.  Making sure it was really dry before the next layer.  ( I did have to scrape a few off at first as I got impatient.) Understanding how colours change with layers of glaze.  The main colours I used were Phallo Blue ( green shade), Alizarin Crimson, New Gomage, Brunt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. 

I learned a lot about painting white flowers. They really can be any colour in the shade, colours can be pushed, and darks need to be dark.  I put layer after layer in the flower centers, I couldn't believe how dark they needed to be. 

It really taught me a lesson.  Get those '3 pager' pictures out and get to work. There are plenty of lessons waiting to be learned. 

Be sure to like and share my posts. You won't miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page.  Keep up with all the art events by joining my email  list  (see sidebar)

Have a great artful day,

Sep 17, 2015

Painters Just Wanna Have Fun!!


That is for sure!

Have you forgotten? Are you buried in your studio, working hard for shows?  Barely keeping up with things?

So easy to forget why you paint.  And how much you love what you do.
When you are in the trenches it is hard to see over the top. The world is whizzing by and you are missing it.

Breaking the cycle doesn't always mean a rest, a quick change my make the difference. 

Some of the Gibson Scenery
The Gibson Plein Air Festival was a great break for me. A perfect way to end the season and get ready to head into the Fall/Christmas rush.  Jan Poynter is the organizer and with her many volunteers she has put together a great 3 day event.  

Jan and Ruth with their demos - Sorry Edna I just didn't make it to your demo
Friday started with a morning demo on Plein Air Basics - how to equip yourself for mini to maxi outings in watercolour, acrylic and oil.  I was happy to assist with that demo and even though I do lots of outdoor work I was pleased to learn a few new tricks.

Sketch Crawlers Working Hard
In the afternoon we were off on a sketchcrawl, lead by Paula & Dennis O'Brien.  Stopping for 20 minutes at a spot to do a quick sketch.  I loved it.  I have been following a Liz Steel, a major urban sketcher blogger in Australia and I really felt like I was on one of her outings.  We chatted, we walked, we sketched, we shared.  And Gibson has so much to offer in such a tiny space!!

Some of the Sketch Crawl drawings
My Sketch Crawl Paintings
The evening was a barbecue, great to meet and greet everyone.  Lots of juicy discussions, met many new friends, and of course good eats and drinks.
Good to have time to chat
More Art talk happening, and others too

Saturday saw us up and on the docks by 8:30.  Setting up and painting. We blanketed the little town with painters.  Soooooo much fun.  

Working hard
1pm was a gathering time, showing off work and of course a picture moment.  

Our Saturday Painters 
Some of Saturday's Paintings

Early Morning - My Saturday Painting

Many went back to paint but many went to RuthRodgers Pastel demo.  Not really my thing but very interesting to watch.  Ruth did impress us with how quickly a pastel can be worked up and how many of the steps are so like working with oils and acrylics.  The late afternoon sun set most of us on our way for the day but a few were back to catch the light.  ( I must admit there was a golf course at our campsite and I could feel it calling me.  I got 9 holes in before dark!!) 

This fellow greeted us on the wharf Sunday Morning
Sunday was a little different. 

Our nice weather was starting to collapse, it was cooler and windy.  Well gusty, actually.  Made for innovative methods to keep everything together and paints wet. A few paintings hit the dirt and hats went flying but over all the painting went well. 
Some of the Sunday Group
Enda Bardell had a watercolour demo at 2.  I had to miss this as I was not finished my Sunday Picture.  Then at 4 we gathered at the Landing Gallery for show reception. 
Not too many photos for today as my battery died. ( Who checks and charges their battery at night when they are immersed in painting.)  But there are tons more pictures on Jan'sWebsite.   (Give her a few more days to get them up on her site.  She was tired by the end of the weekend!) 

Headed home on Monday morning, feeling fresh, inspired and full of new plans.  

Bring on the fall rush, I am ready for it!!

If a 3 day break doesn't work for you, try something shorter.  Get out, paint something new, kibitz with artists, revitalize your love of painting.  When that spark is back, nothing can stop you.

I know that you aren't all painters but you know what I mean.  You are head down, working hard, pedal to the metal.  Just taking a break wont do it.  Get out, try something new, kibitz with friends, revitalize.  Get your spark back. Be ready for the fall rush.

The Plein Air season is drawing to a close here on the coast. (I know some of you are out all year and I will be too on a nice day.)  There are more and more festivals and groups out there painting now. Good Starting Place to find groups or events are the Meetup groups, Urban Sketchers or  Start preparing for next year. 

Be sure to like and share my posts.  You wont's miss a single one if you follow by email or Like my Facebook Page.  Keep up with all the art events by joining my email list.  

Have a great day,