Friday, February 25, 2011

Plein Air Paint Out -Day 7

Today we were at Fairmont park, its a beautiful park with lakes and wonderful trails covered by mature trees. The weather has taken a turn for the COLDER! Brrr, we have a storm coming in and the temps are supposed to drop into the 40's again for the daytime high! We all made a good college try at a painting but once the drizzle started most packed it up. I worked in watercolor too but it wasn't drying to well concidering. Jennifer and Chloe came with me today, even with her little pink sweater, Chloe never did stop shivering.

Tomorrow is the Quick draw and a crique of some of the painting we have produced this week. Should be fun, most have decided to paint in their cars since we are expecting a few inches of rain. I can't wait to see what we produce in our cars!

Plein Air Paint Out- Day 6

I had forgotten to mention that at Jurupa park I ended up with a fan, he happened to be Canadian goose that followed me around the lake all day. Then someone actually fell into the lake trying to get to close. Plein air is not for the faint of heart! We went to the Oak Quarry Golf Course again. It turned out to be a beautiful day to paint. We started early and then stopped to have lunch in the club house. In the afternoon the sun came out and created beautiful light. The golfers are amazed to see so many people painting the golf course instead of playing on it. We have had a lot of buzz about the paint out. CBS news was out doing a story on plein air artists and then the local paper was out taking photos. The group is wonderful, so many amazing artists and everyone is warm and fuzzy!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Plein Air Paint Out- Day 5

Jurupa Regional Park
I am posting these all on one day as I have been feeling defeated and tired when I get home. The sun, the pressure and the concentration are making me feel like giving up. Everyone keeps telling me how horrible their first paintings were when they started painting Plein air and not to give up, so I am telling myself everyday is a new day. Really!? Why does it feel like everyday is worse than the one before! LOL Today we went to Jurupa Regional Park which is also a camping site. They have beautiful lakes for fishing and more bike trails and you can have dogs so Chloe came along for the ride. I decided to paint smaller, bite sized paintings since one of the hardest parts of Plein air is editing what to paint. It becomes a sensory overload as you take in the surroundings and then have to choose what to paint. I find that the biggest problem is trying to capture too much information on your canvas, dah, thats for sure. I have been analyzing myself and I have also started talking to myself! This could be a bad sign.  During one of these episodes I told myself if I painted smaller canvases it would be more like my sketchbook.  Therefore forcing me to crop and edit what I would paint. WRONG!  I crammed 3 palm trees, background trees, midground brush, shoreline, lake and reflections on a 5"x7" LOL I am hopeless! It was a better day though since I did have to leave off the gazebo and the fallen log.  I managed to get three smaller pieces done. Today was also cloudy and cold, we heard that a new storm is coming our way. Tomorrow we are back at the Oak Quarry in our down jackets and I hope to make myself settle in and get something painted!

Day 3&4 - Plein Air Paint Out

Day 3 and 4 were harder days that left me frustrated and tired. Martha McLean Park was nice and I started a pastel of the train bridge going over the water. I didn't finish it and my finger was so sore from sanding off all my fingerprints from blending the pastels on that sanded paper. We took Chloe and as we were on our way home the painting slid off the back seat and onto Chloe's bed which smeared all the pastels. Sorry no post for that day unless I get it fixed inbetween. The Oak Quarry Golf course was beautiful but I just had a hard time settling in. We were all scattered across dirt hills and on the deck of the country club restaurant. It was empty when I arrived and I started painting and was fighting with my set up and paints etc when I turned around to see a restaurant full of people watching us paint. AHHHH I just wasn't ready for that, I decided to move again and then just left. Thursday will be another day there so hopefully it will go better. I got my new Pentel Pocket pen and decided to play a bit, here is my poor excuse of a painting or sketch. I am sharing everything, good and bad, mosty bad at this point. Plein air is challenging!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 2- Plein Air Paint out

Today I was a bit later than yesterday, about 9:00, the continental breakfast was over and they were all on there way out to grab their sites for the day. My little support group and I drove around looking for an area to paint and I decided on the Coffee Depot. It was a part of the original train station that was built in 1904. It closed in 1971 and remained closed about 30 years until Geof Gaines purchased it and renovated it for the Coffee Depot. It was much more than just a coffee house, as it was also a theater, concert venue, etc. Read more by following the links provided. Anyway, I love this building and when it closed on Dec. 26, 2010 it saddened the community. It still sits vacant and I decided to ignore the giant "For Lease" sign, the Coffee Depot truck and painted it.
I spent a few hours on this and I realize I need lots of practice painting plein aire. It was a beautiful day but when that wind blew it was so cold. It is supposed to be warming up and the rain is gone, I am keeping my fingers crossed. Jennifer managed to get a sunburn with her sunglasses on, she looks like a racoon now!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 1- Plein Air Paint Out

En Plein air is the french expression that means "in the open air" and is used to discribe painting outdoors. Today was the first of 9 days in which the Plein air artists of Riverside, or PAAR, will paint at different locations around our city. I am the newest member of the group and I am hoping to learn more about painting plein air and not just sketching plein air. Last week the weather was perfect, this week rain storms are expected. The weather paused today long enough for the opening ceremony and for us to paint. Today we are painting the Mission Inn, tomorrow we will paint the area around the Inn. I managed to get this one painted before I got too cold and the rain started.  Tomorrow may prove to be more challenging.  It is nerve racking and exciting all at the same time. Although very chilly, people had come out for the Farmers Market so there was a lot of interest in what we were doing. More tomorrow, I am looking for some fingerless gloves!
    Since I haven't done a lot of plein air painting I am a bit nervous on how much painting I will actually be able to do on site. I can't even decide if I want to paint in pastel or watercolor. There are some wonderful artists in our local plein air group so the pressure is on to perform, but all self imposed. Plein air painting also required me to figure out what I will wear in an attempt to stay warm enough to paint. I must admit the weather was constantly changing the lighting and the temperature, much different than studio painting. But there is something exhilarating about standing out in weather and painting. You become part of the street activity as well as an observer and recorder. It is wonderful to see artists in the streets painting, it reminded me of Paris and all the wonderful artists that filled the streets, selling and painting. We don't see that very often here in the states, sadly. But today I was comforting to see others out painting, filling the sidewalks and courtyards with easels and umbrellas. Randy was kind enough to cover me with the umbrella when the rains started and helped me shuffle supplies and equipment to and from the car. I am not accustomed to hauling art supplies around town so I look like an amateur. Jennifer stayed with me too, only leaving to shop the farmers market, my own little support team.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Finishing up my SAQA Auction Quilt for 2011

Every year the SAQA, Society of Art Quilters Association, holds an amazing auction. It is filled with hundreds of mini quilts from famous and well known art quilters. They begin with an amount which continues to drop over the week if the quilt does not sell. Read more on their blog, the auction is in Sept. I find that most of the quilts go very quickly. I love the whole auction process, the excitement of seeing if my bid has won. I hope you will mark your calendars.  This little mini quilt is done with bleach discharging, pen, hand painted silk and threads. Does the butterfly look like its floating about the wood?

I have so many projects on my work table I can't see straight. I am trying to finish them up so I can get back to doing some artwork for my portfolio. I love the whole process of being creative, what are you working on today?

Saturday is the first day of a nine day plein air paint out and its supposed to be pouring rain. Should be interesting and I think I need to rethink my materials and medium. Randy has offered to be my umbrella holder! LOL

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday my Art Quilters Group, Sub Q, met for our monthly meeting. Being so close to Valentines day we each brought a valentines gift or card we had made, sealed in a brown bag. After a musical chairs type pass around the bags ended up at their final destination and we each took turns opening our gifts. I made a bookmark out of the cut off edge of a quilt I just sent to SAQA's " this is a quilt". I had micro stipled the background of my painted, inked fabric and added some embroidery and beading for detail. After trimming it to the proper size I had some wonderful scraps left over. I satin stitched around all the edges and then around a few flowers for detail.I cut out around the top flower and I even took my new white fabric marker and added some highlights here and there. Here is the bookmark that Nancy recieved on Friday from me. I received a beautiful little quiltlet/card from Ann T, thanks Ann I love it!  Remember to tell those you love how special they are to you and make the time to appreciate your family. Happy Valentines day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Postcard from my walk

I belong to an amazing group of artist that enjoy painting plein aire and exersizing so they combine it in a group called "sketchersize". We have decided to do a postcard exchange as I mentioned in a privious post. There are 13 of us and from all over the world, it should be such fun recieving a postcard each month from a different country.  Mine was posted today, you should come over and see the amazing artwork that has been put up so far. Its exciting to be a part of such a talented group of people. My postcard went to Katherine in London, hers came to me but I wont be able to share until the 20th. Check back then to see her amazing work. 

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Descanso gardens

Descanso gardens
Originally uploaded by ddhabicht
We had a photo Meetup at Descanso Gardens today. It started off a bit chilly but turned into a perfect day for the gardens. Most of the camelias are in full bloom right now making the gardens a must see if you are in the area.
Randy decided about a year ago, to join a photo meet up group in an attempt to learn more about photography and meet some like minded people. One of the things I enjoy about belonging to the group is exploring some of the amazing areas that I never knew exsisted! Some of these areas are right under my nose!  Its so true that we often will travel for days to go sight seeing when we haven't even visited the sites closest to our own homes! These day trips are perfect for us as we can include Jennifer who loves to explore.  Although we have been to the Decanso many times but it was fun to explore with a camera and a paint brush. You begin to see things you have never seen or noticed before. You begin to pay special attention to lighting and shadows when you are painting or photographing.
 Today at the gardens was "fairy day" and all the little girls were dressed up as fairies, it was just too cute! I am posting my sketches now but I will add some photos of these little pixies in the next day or two.
After the gardens we were invited to have lunch at a very dear friend's home who lived close by. After a perfect lunch and some great conversation we headed home! What a perfect Saturday excursion! What did you do today?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Pool mural

Pool mural
Originally uploaded by ddhabicht
I am working on the pattern for the custom tile guys. This is going to be a 26'x3' mural for the back of a pool. It will be done in blues, oranges, yellows etc. They will use this pattern for the wax resist and then all the glazes will be hand painted.
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