Thursday, April 30, 2009

Plein Air Painting at Mobile Environmental Studies Center

Yesterday was a busy art day for me. We met at the Environmental Studies Center on Girby Road for plein air painting in the morning. We had seven of us: myself, Missy Patrick, Lydia Host, Mary Elizabeth Kimbrough, Gail Bramer; and two new folks for our group: Marie Nickerson and Ainsley McNeely. Marie had been trying for awhile to join with us, but schedules were a problem until yesterday. Ainsley has started a Lower Alabama Artists Plein Air Group and a Yahoo Group website (pleinairsouth) to try to get some organization together, for group plein air sessions, and future shows and plein air painting trips. Hopefully we get something started here.

Here is my effort to capture the pitcher plant bog at the center. I found it was relatively easy to get the colors and shadows on the paper, but very difficult to capture the essence of thousands, if not millions, of pitcher plants, lilies, orchards and pincushion plants - A bog is so very diverse! Will try to see if I can still do that in the foreground without flubbing it up.
Here also are a few photos from our outing.
Below, Gail is getting up close for some botanical drawings.
Below gives an idea of the diversity of plant material!
Marie enjoys her spot in the shade.
I also made it to Figure Group last night, but will post a drawing later this week.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Disappointment, but Life Goes On

Well, the watercolor of the Old Barn at Kaiser Farm did not get juried into the Mobile Art Association Spring Show. It is always a disappointment to spend time and effort to prepare for an exhibition, and not make in the show. Most of us have had this experience, and we all know that it is just the individual taste of the judge, and if another judge on another day we may have made it in - but it is discouraging just the same. My best response is to just pick up and work on something new, and that is not a problem right now for me because I'm behind and want to finish a painting for the upcoming Shared Expression community arts exhibition at the Mobile Museum of Art. I have to turn in a painting for this show by next Monday, and have alot to do on this painting by then. At least I know it will be fresh because I don't think I'll have time to rework and overwork this painting! It is another cow painting that I was not able to complete for the Divine Bovine Show. In the meantime, here is a graphite sketch from last week's Figure Group. We had the Sarah Palin look-alike model again (sans glasses this time).

Friday, April 24, 2009

Kaiser Farm Barn Watercolor

Here is a simple watercolor I just finished a few days ago, based on some photos taken during a plein air session at Kaiser Farm in Baldwin County last October. We painted in oil an 100-year- old rustic barn that day, but I was intrigued by this other white barn on the property and the juxtaposition against the red shed. Mrs. Kaiser indicated this barn was also very old, but had been covered with white aluminum siding to protect it from further dilapidation. The bones of the old barn are still there, and the shadows and light on the white siding made a nice portrait of the structure, I think. I just picked this up from the frame shop and intend to enter it in the Mobile Art Association Spring Juried Exhibition tomorrow morning - will hang at West Regional Library I hope.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Plein Air at Five Rivers

Seems like I've been on a hiatus from painting. We took a couple weeks to drive out to Colorado and back to visit the grandbabies - got to see snow, had a wonderful visit with the family, and got to see the southwestern vistas in route. However, once I returned I did indeed finish a small watercolor of an old Baldwin County barn that was based on a plein air excursion last October to the Kaiser Farm with Missy Patrick and Gail Bramer. It is at the frame shop being prepared for entry in the Mobile Art Association Spring juried exhibition this weekend. I had a great day today plein air painting with Missy, Jami Buck, Lydia Host and Lydia's sister-in-law Tracy Host. Beautiful weather and pleasant company! We went to the Five Rivers site in the Mobile Delta. The others did wonderful vista paintings of the marsh - I did a close up of the shoreline behind the visitors' center. I tried to paint oil on board without having primed it - which means the surface was so slick paint would just slide off unless I applied it with a palette knife. So here is my impressionistic palette knife painting. The water really was a kind of ochre color near the shore. Bull tongues predominated. Lydia says good bloggers post both the good and the bad...

I also made it back to figure group tonight. Will post some figure drawings later this week.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Divine Bovines Gets Some Press!

Today's Sunday Mobile Press-Register had an article in the Neighbors Section featuring art exhibitions at the public libraries. And the feature exhibition, complete with 3 color photos of artwork from the exhibit, was the Divine Bovines Show. The headline stated that the "Library walls sing with color, whimsy of 'Divine Bovines'"! Nice article about the role of the library in the community and the cooperative efforts between the library and local arts organizations. Here is a link to the article:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Back in the Groove with Figure Group

Thursday night was the first session of Figure Group for this term. We were all glad to get back in the groove but feeling a bit rusty after a month off. Here are a couple of pencil sketches anyway. We had our favorite expert model -Dawn. By now she can instruct the new members on the class protocol and is ready and able to suggest different poses or adjustments of poses we all can appreciate for the next sketch. She always provides such elegant poses.

On Friday we celebrated my artist friend Jami Buck on her 50th Birthday with lunch at Zea's. Mary Beth Culp, Gail Bramer, and Mary Elizabeth Kimbrough all joined us. Here is a photo of us charming young gals (me, Jami, Mary Beth, Gail and Mary Elizabeth) provided by Mary Elizabeth. Our gracious waiter took the photo.

I've started a new cow portrait, and am hoping I will be able to finish by May 1st for the Shared Expressions Show at Mobile Museum of Art. My challenge is that I will be out of town for 10 days in April, and will really have to be disciplined to finish this one. Discipline is not my strongest feature, but we will try...