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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

#62 "Sweet Spot in the Shade", 11" x 15" plein air watercolor

On the afternoon of day 2  I was sitting in the shade close to the ranch house talking painting with one of my painter friends. I kept looking at these trees, the golden hills behind them that roll on and on, the clear sky and the wonderful varieties of texture in the grass between me and the trees. Once again, the contrast of the hot hills and the cool shade and the colors of that landscape were working their way into my bones. The Ray for the Day is "Sweet Spot in the Shade".

Thursday, July 9, 2009

#61 "Red Door to the Barn", 15" x 20", plein air watercolor painting

When I had finished The Rusted Relic there was still one hour left before lunch. I had energy for painting and decided to do a "quickie" of the red door slightly ajar. Again I was captured by the stark contrasts. It was nearly noon and the yard was hot and the light was flat. The neutral grays of the barn boards were washed out in the sunlight. The red door popped out, and the cool, dark interior seen through the slight opening in the door seemed very inviting to me. It was, in fact, very cool inside that barn. I went in there to the sink to get water and to wet my paper. I started this painting with the red door and went out from there. Using a two inch wide brush (I lay in all the local color with that brush) to splash on that rectangle of red was quite thrilling. The Ray for the Day is "Red Door to the Barn".

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

#60 "Rusted Relic", 15" x 20", plein air watercolor painting

On the morning of day two I could not resist this wonderful rusting relic. I was grateful that it was situated in a shady grove. It was hard to find a flat spot to set up on, though my easel has adjustable legs, so I could get that set up securely. I prefer to stand when I am painting. It gives me more freedom of movement. I always carry a folding back pack chair though, so I can sit back, view the painting and rest my back for a bit. This subject was a no brainer for me, as I am so attracted to old rusting stuff. I was especially attracted to the seat on this piece of machinery. I loved the holes with the light coming through. The bugs were out en force on this morning. Fortunately a fellow painter and friend, Barb, had heard that Avon's Skin So Soft was a good bug repellant. It also makes your skin so soft. It smells good and it really worked. So I was able to paint in relative comfort. The bugs stayed away and I smelled good. One of the challenges of painting in hot weather is that the paint dries very rapidly. I generally paint wet paint on wet paper. I had a squirt bottle handy, and regularly squirted the paper, my palette and myself! We all had to adapt to the circumstances and found ways to accomodate to the quickly drying paint, and to the heat. Some were wearing wet head rags and wet t-shirts to keep themselves comfortable. The Ray for the Day is "Rusted Relic".

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

#59 "Early Morning at the Hay Barn", 15" x 20", plein air watercolor

Over the 4th of July weekend 20 of us (most of us watercolorists, some spouses) convened at the Ranch of a friend's family in Golendale, WA. Some of us were in the large comfortable ranch house, some were in tents on the lawn under oak trees. We hired a cook (the food was divine and plentiful), rented a portapotty, and had a phenomenally good time. We spread out over the 240 acres, some on foot, some in the wonderful all terrain Gator vehicle, some stayed close to the house. Mostly we sought shade. It was well into the 90's every day. All of the views were fabulous and fun to paint. We gathered for lunch and dinner and evening critiques of the work done during the day. Other than that we were on our own to explore, paint, nap, read, visit. It was a heavenly 4 days. I painted 8 paintings during our stay. 1 I gave to our hostess and 1 is not worth posting. The rest will be posted here over the next few days in the order in which I painted them. Of course each has a story. The posting for today is the one I did the first morning. The sun was coming up and back lighting this outbuilding known as The Hay Barn or The Goat Barn. I was especially entranced with the sunlight coming through the hay bales, and the the contrast between the very bright morning sun and the deep cool shadows in the barn. The Ray for the Day is "Early Morning at the Hay Barn".