Good idea, yes or no: Take your dog on your plein air paint-out?
We have a lovely little secret park just down the road. Hardly anyone goes there because it doesn't look like much from the parking area. When your first view is of a Port a Potty, well… I have noticed it's a popular stop off for the UPS driver, among other service providers. To be fair, it is one of the better, larger Port a Potties. My dog, Coco, seems to like it.
Anyway, I digress.
This park, imaginatively named Hendersonville Park, is riddled with walking paths through copses of trees and small fields. Paths that curve around bends in the most delicious way that just makes you want to see what's around the corner. It's quiet and lovely and a great place for a dog who loves to sniff.
My poor Coco is very old. On her last legs, literally. I thought she would like a low-key park outing and I wanted to do another round of plein air painting, so I took her along. She did great, although I think she would have preferred to keep moving rather than stay in one place for an hour. Her hips and hind legs give her trouble and going up or down stairs can be iffy, bless her heart. I had to put my gear down to help her manage the small embankment, so it was as much my fault as hers when she tipped over onto the painting.
She added a nice doggy touch to my small landscape and got a little in return:
Making things gray
Life seems to be colored gray right now with the passing of Robin Williams. If your only impression of him is based on his hyper, frenetic craziness then take a listen to this sweet interview I heard on npr the other day. I've noticed my Facebook friends posting tender and thoughtful links about depression, suicide, loneliness and I am hopeful that we are all deciding to be kinder and more caring to each other. It makes me think about making gray...
Mixing colors is an educational challenge all its own and some of us (me) are slow learners. It's taken a long time to get a comfortable understanding of the tube colors: their names, their properties and their uses. When I was starting out I thought I'd never remember any of this. It's getting easier now that I am painting faster and more frequently.
Every color (or hue) has a complement and when you mix two complements together you will get a gray. In some cases it's so dark that it approaches black. Pick a color, look on the color wheel for the opposite/complement, mix them together and add white as needed and you will have some type of gray. For a long time I started with purple, adding a warm yellow and white, and ended up with a concrete-ish shade of gray, which is great for a painting of a statue. Another stony gray comes from mixing a cool red (alizarin crimson) with a cool green (pthalo green), which initially is a very clean and dark black until the white is added. Lately my favorite gray is coming from mixing a blue hue with orange. It gets a little tricky because both these colors tend to come with a bias (blue-green or blue-violet/ orange-red or orange yellow.) I actually returned a tube of orange because it was so biased to yellow that I ended up with green, not gray, no matter what blue I used.
It's handy to make little color charts like the one in the photo, and helpful when learning just which tube of paint to grab. If you zoom in you can see how that first orange has enough of the red bias to make the gray lavender, a perfect shade for a distant mountain. I hope this hasn't bored you silly, or if it has, then I hope you are as silly as Robin W. was.
Have a gray(t) day!!
I feel certain that I detected the scent of pity from Judy (said chicken owner) when she saw my truly pitiful chicken scratches, er, sketches. I always precede the viewings of my plein air paintings with the phrase, "take a few steps back; it will look a lot better than close up", but this time there just wasn't enough distance that would improve the view. Hahaha!! I have long since learned humility/humiliation, so it's ok. I embrace the learning curve!
The Tomato Art Fest is coming soon! August 9th! Aren't you dying to join 30,000 sweaty people and their dogs crushed into 3 square blocks in sweltering heat and humidity for the celebration of the glorious fruit/vegetable that is the Tomato???? I don't think I could make it sound any more appealing if I tried!
These are my two entries in this year's art show. Here's hoping they find forever homes!
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...