The entrance to Boone Hall Plantation was everything I hoped it would be. At the end of last month I met a California friend in Charleston and we toured many things including this Southern Plantation with this grand avenue of Live Oak Trees with Spanish Moss hanging gratefully from the tree limbs.
After painting 30 paintings in 30 days, I took off for some vacation days. I was in Charleston for five days sightseeing and eating my way through town. Then off to Las Vegas for a TWA Silver wings convention. I saw lots of beautiful casinos and hotels. The Bellagio was my favorite with a Chuhily glass ceiling and the Degas to Picasso art exhibit from the Boston Museum of Art. My last stop was Santa Cruz with a walk along the ocean on West Cliff and a visit to the Monarch Butterflies wintering at the Natural Bridges Beach State Park. To complete the California stay was a drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to Mill Valley where I lived for twelve years.
Yesterday I replenish my art supplies and today I will start painting again. It is great to be home.
I tried to make each painting a special challenge of something that I needed to improve on. I picked perspective, water, contrasts of dark and light, urban landscapes, reflections, people, and animals. It was an exciting month and I learned a lot. I have some favorites among these paintings.
This is my final painting. I was painting three days ahead because of leaving town at the end of the month. Well the end of the month is tomorrow. Some days I painted two paintings because of day trips to the mountains and one day working at a habitat house in Charlotte. This scene is from the nursery at Biltmore Estates. This was as pretty as the gardens there. I will finish my collage tonight for all the paintings that I did this month. I hope you enjoyed following this painting journey with me.
More peppers from our garden. In one post I mentioned that sometimes artists still life ends up being a snack or dinner. This time I did expected to cook these peppers for dinner. I wanted bright colors and dark shadows on these peppers. Only two more days to go. I have been painting three days in advance because I will be out of town at the end of the month. I'm still not sure that I will make it before I leave on Monday. We will see!
Time is running out so I wanted to do more still live. This is another purple pepper from our garden. I wanted this painting to be about light and dark. I love the background with a little red peeking through.
Various markers lead the way to Santiago de Compostela. This ancient stone marker is filled with symbols. On the left in blue is the scallop which is always found to mark the way to the church of St. James. The cross is the symbol of St. James. The "Stones of Sorrow" are placed on the marker. Some bring them from home or like me, I would pick up one and carry to one of the special places that we stopped.
This is a little fishing village in New Brunswick. The challenge on this painting was the roof lines and color. I wanted to make this more colorful than it was and I wanted to use lots of juicy paint on the one.
A path to the beach in Cape Cod. The ocean is a deeper blue than it is here in the Carolinas. Working on greens and shadows in this painting. I never get tired of mixing greens because they can be so different.
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This is plein air piece that I painted on Tuesday. I was standing across the street from Providence Presbyterian Church in the cemetery. I closed the gates and stepped back and thought that the gates looked better open. The challenge for this painting was getting the feeling that the church was across the street. I didn't put the street in so it looked closer than it was.
Merry Christmas. Today is a first day of Fall which means Christmas is around the corner. This was an on line lesson with Leslie Saeta. This was a double gift. I won free lessons in 2015 but it included three lesson from 2014. I didn't get the three lessons in 2014 right away so I forgot about them. I checked back much later and there they were. This is the last of the lessons. I thought this would be a fun one for one of my 30 day paintings. This was done with a palette knife. It was hard to make the round shapes with the palette knife and my colors didn't quite look like Leslie's. I am challenging myself each of the 30 days to do something difficult or scary or something I need to improve on. So here are my box of Christmas ornaments.
The challenge today is a still life with lots of juicy paint. My husband grows vegetables on our desk because the deer eat whatever is in the garden. The pepper plants are very tall and healthy. On this plant the peppers start out purple and then turn red. I'm beginning to love peppers.
Believe it or not this is the white mane of this wild pony. You have to hike up to Grayson Park to see the herds of wild ponies. It is an amazing sight. The challenge in the painting was to paint my first horse and especially his white mane. Do you think he could see through that mane? Another challenge is this painting is all the different greens.
Sometimes painting on a small canvas seems like it will be faster but actually it takes more time because the drawing and painting part of it is very small. This photo has intrigued me for awhile. I felt that almost would have made a good abstract.
This is a church courtyard in Sarria, Spain. We took a break from our walk on the Camino de Santiago in Sarria where many people started their walk. For us it was another 62 miles after walking 90 miles. My husband and I started in Ponferrada. I wanted to do this painting for perspective and shadows.
I wonder if this man resting on the stone bench was walking for a while on the Camino de Santiago or just enjoying the view before going to town.
I had two semesters of drawing and four semesters of figure drawing but it has been awhile since I have done any figures. It is hard to draw this small figure in the painting. But I think by adding figure to a landscape, it tells a different story.