February 22, 2015

Big Surf at Big Sur 8X10" oil on mounted canvas

I have just returned from a time of teaching and painting in Southern California.  It was a wonderful break for me, as I am still caregiving my mom.  Life has been a bit of a blur, frankly, and the time away was a tonic from an artistic and emotional standpoint.

Many of you have noticed my posting totally dropped off over the last months.  I have had to choose between painting time and posting time as my energy and time have been at a premium.  

  An update on my plein air project of painting 91 paintings during the 91 days of the summer solstice. -  I didn't finish all 91 during the 91 days as my duties with mom were very absorbing.  What I did accomplish was this: 72 paintings in 91 days, the balance painted between the end of the summer solstice and now....but I did get 91 painted.  Under the circumstances I will take that win!

  I will be posting them over the next months, probably not in order, and most certainly not all of them,  just my favorites, or the ones I want to talk to you about.

  I have chosen to post the painting above as it was one of those daunting painting situations. They are such good teachers!   The level of mist in the air changed with each set of waves that came in (they came in sets of six, I counted)  and the tide and light were both changing.  Mid day sun beat down on the surface of the whitewater, which made it really difficult to see color as my pupils were wanting to shut down.  It was just so bright!   No pressure.  No problem.....

The mantra that has helped me on my journey and that I am fond of repeating endlessly to my students is "You can only paint four things:  shapes, values, colors and edges."  Whenever I am in a painting situation that creates a sense of befuddlement and overwhelm, I remember that.  This was one of those days. Edit down, focus on what you want to capture, and just start, getting one right relationship after the other.

It was so exhilarating to spend a day painting in this location.  I lost myself in the experience.  As I relaxed with my wonderful painting companions over glass of wine at the end of the day,  I had a sense of having sucked the marrow out of every moment.   Does it get any better?  

All the best and happy painting!

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