Monthly Archives: February 2015

Plein Air Painting on Monhegan Island -Catherine

“Monhegan Island… a Maine plantation” 

If you are looking for an east coast “plein air” painting destination with panoramic ocean views, well maintained hiking trails, and you want to feel totally immersed in art history and culture, you should check out Monhegan Island.  (Monhegan Island click here).

I can see why this island is an artist and an art collector destination.

(Monhegan Island Light click here ).

Ferry to Monhegan
Glad to have My Art Cocoons!

A short ferry ride from Port Clyde, brought Philip and me to a harbor nestled between Monhegan Island and Manana Island.  Ray Eugene Phillips made Manana Island his home for many years, living alone, but also knowing that there was a neighborly connection with the islanders across the harbor.  (click here for Ray Eugene Phillips).

(My Art Cocoon click here).

Brackett & Son, Monhegan
Picking up supplies, Monhegan aug2014

Monhegan is alive with a strong sense of community from the people who’s daily routines contribute to making this island flourish.  Walking around the island we pass many local and visiting artists painting, and many Island artists provide a seasonal trail map inviting the public to visit their art studios.   Continue reading Plein Air Painting on Monhegan Island -Catherine

Frigid morning! & The Cape Codder – Catherine

As expected, there were not many out painting on this windy and cold 32º morning.  David Farquhar was surprised, and it was a fun surprise to find this picture in The Cape Codder, December 12, 2014 issue!  Thank you David for your enthusiasm!  -Catherine

Catherine photo by David Farquhar - The Cape Codder 12/12/14
Photo by David Farquhar – The Cape Codder, Catherine painting at Skaket Beach 32º
Britt painting on that 32º morning at Skaket
Britt painting on that 32º morning at Skaket

 

Monhegan Island, Maine – sunrise challenge -Catherine

IMG_6898
Monhegan Island, Maine Aug2014

“Accepting” Britt’s sunrise challenge was the easy part when I was on Monhegan Island in Maine .  The real challenge was capturing the amazing sky that morning.  You might see from these photos I kind of lost my way.

I kept painting past sunrise and eventually lost my focus.  Soon the sun was up, casting wonderful shadows, and I lost my dramatic sky.  I’ll keep my focus on the sunrise next time.  Click here to see how Britt captured and kept the dramatic sunrise colors back home on the Cape!

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Monhegan Island, Maine by Catherine

Thank you Britt for the sunrise challenge!  -Catherine

Taking a risk – painting in Provincetown

Provincetown
Captain Jack’s Wharf, oil by Britt

The point of this post, for me, is that as we have ventured out into the “art” world, painting outside in public places really opens one up for all sorts of things.  One of those interesting things is when people walk by your set up easel and want to see what you are painting.  As a beginner, it is really sort of intimidating in a way because the silence can be deafening.  Anyhow, this particular day we set up in the West End Lot in Provincetown, looking out over to the wharf and here is the result.  Britt

From this lot we had great scenic views and subjects to paint.  We ended up facing different directions.  I painted facing the open water, and Britt painted Captain Jack’s Wharf.  The clouds on this day were amazing.  Enjoy the gallery!  Catherine

Continue reading Taking a risk – painting in Provincetown

Blocking in the darks and the lights

Darks and Lights
Again trying to show contrast between lights and darks

As part of the  plein air group, and as a definite neophyte in this whole arena of oil painting, I have tried to be intentional about learning more about oil painting through reading books, watching videos, and just by doing it.  There is so much information on the internet and in books that I found that I was sort of overwhelmed by all of the information.  To direct my learning during the group plein air experiences, I have chosen to focus on one thing in each of the sessions.  This particular day, we painted in Orleans at the windmill.  My focus was blocking in the darks and the lights.  I have read that that is what you are supposed to do — so this time instead of rushing to get a picture on the canvas that remotely looks like what it is “supposed” to do,  I instead took my time to really  look at the shadows:  the darks and lights,and paint those in first.  It really helped me have one important thing to focus on.  One of the books that I use as my “manual” is Oil Painting for the Serious Beginner, by Steve Allrich.

Darks and Lights
View from Orleans
Working on lights and darks
Trying to show contrast between lights and darks

 

I tried to block in with a tone that was darker than what I thought was to be the final color.

Blocking in

Mill Pond – flat bottom boat – plein air – Catherine

I liked this flat bottom boat at Mill Pond Landing.  Click here for link to Mill Pond Landing.  The angle of the boat resting on the hill and the tree trunks made strong shadows.  I was hoping to capture these shadows to give the impression that the boat was resting on a hill in my painting.  I didn’t bother putting in the leaves.  I am learning that there are times I just want to work on one aspect of a painting.

You don’t have to put everything that you see in front of you in your painting.  My husband, Philip, always encourages me to “keep it simple!”  This way I don’t put pressure on myself to complete a painting in one attempt.  I can focus my attention on one or two challenges that day.  -Catherine

Plein air using a painting umbrella – Catherine

Boat at Snow Shore CB
Boat at Snow Shore Landing Nov2014 by Catherine

This is the first time I set out to paint with my painting umbrella.  No glare from the sun– extra sun protection for me!  It was a windy day and I am glad I purchased an umbrella that has wind vents.

 

This umbrella has clamps and rotating arms.  For me, that meant adjusting, readjusting, and fumbling (hilarious!)… no fault of the umbrella, it is a great design.  Painting a boat in the water on a windy day is another challenge because the wind kept turning the boat around!     Snow Shore Landing. -Catherine

Taking my time at Taylor Bray farm, Cape Cod – Britt

BM2014 Taylor-Bray Farm
Taylor-Bray Farm October 2014

Sooo, as I attempted to explain in my previous posts, I am working on a specific technique that I have either been reading about or someone has explained to me — last time I was concentrating on not just hurrying and almost panicking to get paint on the canvas and tried to block in the darks and the lights that I saw.  This day we were painting at the Taylor Bray Farm and I wanted to  add one more layer to my study.

 

That layer is to think about where the light source is, where it is coming from, and what color is it.

View from Taylor Brae Farm
Scene from a distance

I really don’t get yet how to determine the color of the light — I think I am getting there, but this study is about continuing to take my time to block out the color AND to think carefully about the light.

 

Painting Taylor Bray
I actually was brave enough to give this to my daughter, Ashley

 

BM Taylor-Bray Farm
Britt at Taylor-Bray Farm