Tides are Changing Study was done on location at Stony Creek village. This is one of my favorite places to paint and I often talk about it in my blog posts, but this time I'd like to share about my painting process.
Painting from life is truly the best way to learn to paint. Back in 2012 when I started painting again, I would set up still life arrangements in my studio and paint small paintings 6 x 6 inches up to 12 x 12 inches. I was able to complete 2-3 small paintings a week even with a busy schedule of shuffling kids around from school to activities. Reflecting now this training was vital when it came time to paint en plein air. I didn't know this at the time, because plein air painting wasn't even on my radar. I was enjoying these small still life pieces. posting and sharing on Daily paintwork art gallery and displaying them in a local coffee shop.
It was in the spring of 2012 that one day after dropping off my step daughter at elementary school I pulled into the driveway and looked over at our garden and decided, that's it I have to paint this. I had a portable easel used a TV table and set up right in the driveway. I can remember that day so clearly because it was the absolute best feeling to be outside capture this incredible scene in real life, not from a photo.
Transitioning from studio painting to painting en plein air can present a new set of challenges for any painter. With weather changes, wind shifts, clouds moving and the sun is always on the move, no wonder it's easy to get frustrated.
This night a Stony Creek the sky had this beautiful pinkish orange glow, and just as the sun was setting it looked like it would be a magnificent sunset. Like so many we had seen before. But that wasn't the case tonight. The purplish blue clouds rolled in and eclipsed the sun and blanketed the sky leaving only a sliver of that gorgeous color to poke through.
This is when I had to make a decision, did I go with what I original saw or should I modify the painting to match what I saw before me. From past experience and many failed pieces, I have found it best to stay with the original vision, to the best of my ability. It's hard because that means you need to rely on your memory for color and your sketches for shapes. And that's exactly what I did.
The next morning I worked a little bit more on the plein air study back in my studio with a few quick glances at the photo references. Which were really not that much help because they didn't capture the beauty that I saw with my own eyes.
I knew I wanted to turn this piece into a large painting. I had 30 x 36 canvas available and started the "block in" or first layer. This is one of my favorite stages, it moves quickly and within an hour I have the base down. Like a skeleton, it's the bones of the painting. From there I start to work the larger areas, the sky, clouds and water. It was when I got to the details of the boats and the houses on the islands I found myself stuck.
My small plein air piece didn't give me enough information, nor did the photos. So that night we head over to Stony Creek just about the same time the night before. But this time the sun was just too bright, the glare was too strong and the photos were completely washed out.
On to plan B, the next morning I headed back again around 8am, I knew the lighting would be completely different but my goal was to spend an hour just sitting on the dock with my sketchbook in hand drawing just the boats, islands and houses.
Back to the easel I go, I had enough information to tackle just about all the missing pieces but the lobster boat in the foreground. Since the boat was turned the other direction I couldn't get a clear view inside and at the angle I thought was just right.
So, what did I do, yep, I headed back to Stony Creek the next day hoping the star of the show would be in the right place to capture another sketch. No chance, I did a few sketches waited about a half an hour to see if it would turn but it wouldn't budge.
Plan C, I hopped in my car, drove down the street, parked my car in front of the library and walked down Hull's Point Road. Peaking between each house to see if I could capture the lobster boat in just the right angle. I truly hope the neighbors weren't watching me. And then I spotted it, I had to hold my camera up high in the air to shoot a photo over the dock in the foreground but I did it! Back to the studio I go!
With this last round of reference photos I was able to complete the painting. What an adventure but so worth the effort. I'm so thrilled with the way this painting came out and now, I'm ready to start another!
Thanks for reading and enjoying the creative process with me - it's always nice to have fellow sojourners to travel with -
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PSS - Do you know we are planning to have the Shoreline Arts Trail Open Studios 2020? Join the mailing list to hear more about the Open Studios and to reserve your space for a studio visit. We have over 24 artists from Branford, Madison and Guilford participating this year.
PSSS. - Do you hear about Artists Sunday?
Artists Sunday is the nationwide movement dedicated to supporting artists and recognizing the impact they have in enriching our lives, communities and the economy.
the powerful new effort is designed to make the Sunday after Thanksgiving the most profitable day of the year for artists. Consumers are encouraged to shop with artists and purchase creative, handcrafted gifts for the holidays. Artists Sunday follows Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, prior to Cyber Monday.
This is such great news since 2020 has been such a challenging year for most artists since shows, exhibitions, fairs and festivals have all been canceled.
Purchase one of kind original art as gifts for those on your shopping list is one of the best ways to say I love you!
Go here to visit the website and artist directory
10 x 20" acrylic on canvas
framed in a gold tone frame - other framing options are available
What a picture perfect autumn day at New Pond Farms in Redding, CT. It was my first time visiting the farm and I'm glad my friend John invited me to join him and several other artists. We painted on Sunday October 11. I found a nice spot up on the hill near the Educational Center. There's an enormous Weeping Cherry Tree to the right of me, something to keep in mind for a springtime painting when it's in full bloom, I can only imagine right now how beautiful it will be with all the pink petals!
What an incredible place with the most spectacular views of the rolling hills, pastures - the barns and chicken coop are not your typical red barn, these are painted a light yellow with white fencing around the grounds for the animals and an old white farm house. They have many programs all year round for families and schools.https://newpondfarm.org
Definitely on my list to return again. There were so many views and just not enough time to paint.
*** Partnership Program** - if purchased online through this website - 35% of sale of this painting will go todirectly to New Pond Farm as a donation to their organization.
Purchase an original piece of art not only makes you feel good, you're also helping to support local artists and art organizations. It's a win-win-win!
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Secure packaging and certificate of authenticity is provided.
Thanks for being apart of the journey!
Mark your calendar for Artists Sunday - November 29, 2020
Painted at Branford Point in the the park near the pier. It was late July into early August when I set up my easel one morning. I love painting at Branford Park there are always folks walking around, fishing, swimming, jogging and biking. It's a busy spot but it never seems too crowded.... well, expect for weekends.
Behind me is a quickly ascending hill that's covered with trees and foliage. It makes for great shady spots to paint and gives a nice panoramic view of the harbor and Branford River.
I met so many wonder people while painting. A father with his young son in the stroller, a couple who the husband's name is Bob Ross! A lovely lady who grew up in Branford and shared a few fun stories about what the local scene and how it's changed over the years.
I truly love living here in Branford. It's a very friendly community.
painted mostly en plein air and finished up in the studio. This is a favorite place for both me and my husband to go on a painting/fishing outings. It's hidden little spot with a public boat launch on Trolley Road in Guilford. There are just a few parking spots and easy spot to load your kayak or small boat into the the marshy area that has fresh sea water rolling in during high tide. There's a small beach that residents enjoy and the views of the shoreline houses is amazing. It's a very desired location in Guilford.
This is the first time I saw this small row boat parked up on the shore next to tall grass and I just had to paint it! It felt so inviting, calling out "do you want a ride?"
I also love the distant seagull perched on the rocks waiting for his next meal.
Part of a Bigger Movement: #ArtistsSunday #ShopArt
The first time I heard about Artists Sunday was on the Connecticut Art Alliance Website and I was thrilled! I could immediately see the amazing benefits an organized movement to help connect both artists with buyers who love to give art as a gift is truly a win-win! I will encourage all my artists friends to join in and sign up. https://artistssunday.com
The Waveny House is an iconic landmark in the town of New Canaan. Growing up in New Canaan we spent many wonderful Fourth of July holidays watching the fireworks on the grounds, playing on the terrace and flying kites in the fields. So many fond memories and it's always a pleasure to return to see how so much has truly stayed the same.
I've participated in this event with Carriage Barn Arts Center for the past two years. Capturing New Canaan and enjoyed it very much. It's a wonderful art organization that does a great job supporting the artists and local artists.
This painting along with 2 others will be in the Capturing New Canaan Sale and Exhibition at the Carriage Barn Arts Center in New Canaan, Ct from October 22 to Nov 4, 2020. Purchase through the Carriage Barn Arts Center in New Canaan, CT or through the Partnership program.
*** Partnership Program** - if purchased online through this website - 40% of sale of this painting will go to The Carriage Barn Art Center in New Canaan, CT.
Open Studios - November 1 - December 30, 2020
Shoreline Arts Trail is on for 2020 with a virtual gallery on the website and links to schedule one-on-one studio visit with the Shoreline Art Trail artists.
Over 25 artists from Branford, Guilford and Madison will be participating in the Open Studios this year. Here's the link to register for and Open Studio Visit:
www.Shoreline Arts Trail. com
Shoreline Arts Trail - Open Studio Visits
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I have lots of new work, framed and unframed as well as special prices on older works.
Great for holiday gifts or let's talk about a commissioned piece!
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2021 Art Calendar
30 Day Challenge
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Acrylic Painting Instruction
Art In Homes
Arts Escape Southbury CT
Artsplace Cheshire CT
Beginner Art Instruction
Connecticut Plein Air Painters Society
Daily Paintworks Challenge
In The Kitchen
In The Kitchen
John A. Neff
Live Painting Event
Live Wedding Painter
My Favorite Websites
New Canaan Ct
Pink Ribbon Series
The Artists' Loft
Weir Farm CT
Branford, CT 06405
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