Category Archives: Challenges

weather, nature, terrain, composition, time

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

Scoop from the coop! – painting my chickens – Catherine

Scoop from the coop!
The girls – Fiona, Molly, & Mona Lisa

Not only do I look forward to finding an egg in the nesting box, I am enjoying learning how to paint my chickens.  Anyone who has chickens for the pleasure of having fresh eggs understands how quickly they become fun, family pets.  What I am practicing, is trying to capture the softness of their feathers and personality in their movements.

Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa hitching a ride!

We have a beautiful hen, named Mona Lisa.  Her feathers are a shiny, black iridescence in color.  Molly is our country hen, with her spotted feathers.  Sadly, we recently lost our Fiona, the colors of her feathers were similar to a pheasant.  We’ve all seen white and brown eggs, but Fiona laid a robin’s blue colored egg:  Enough about my chickens– back to painting them.

 

Nasturtiums and coop
Garden view of the coop
Nasturtiums and chickens
Nasturtiums and chickens by Catherine

I painted the nasturtiums and coop plein air.  The chickens were added back in the studio. Catherine

 

 

 

Continue reading Scoop from the coop! – painting my chickens – Catherine

Just Show Up

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After spin class – Burn Cycle – Portland, OR

It seems that I older I get, the more important it is to continue to stretch my level of discomfort. To me, sometimes that means just showing up.  I did my first sprint triathlon last year at Nantasket Beach.    As I am writing this a year later, I cannot remember what prompted me to sign up for it, I think perhaps it was my yoga instructor.  Anyhow, the point is that the older I get the more it is about not waiting and just showing up.   I did train for that first one and I continue to swim a mile every other day and we run on the beach for two miles.  BUT, I never really was that person in my youth.  Now as time is of the essence, I just sign up and  show up on the beach every morning, or take a training swim class, or go with my daughter to this REALLY hard spinning class (see photo). This photo symbolizes that philosophy.  My daughter lives in Portland and works out religiously at a spinning studio, BurnCycle.  She is really strong as is her fiance and they are both in great shape.  SOOOO, they always ask me to join their workouts and I do.  It is really hard and I can’t stand and cycle as long as they do, but I feel so good afterwards – and this practice of showing up has served me well so far.

-Britt

New to plein air painting – Cape Cod – Catherine

Walking with our dogs one morning, Britt and I talked about how lucky we are to be able to exercise while enjoying the beautiful beaches of Cape Cod.  Britt was explaining to me triathlon training.  That let me to tell Britt how much fun I am having learning to paint plein air (painting outdoors instead of indoors) with my husband Philip.

I am grateful to my husband Philip for introducing me to the world of plein air painting–  encouraging me to have patience and sharing his knowledge of plein air painting with me.  Most importantly, making all the times we paint together a fun adventure!

Britt talked about trying plein air painting.  Not letting cold, wet weather get in our way of walking our dogs, we decided not to wait for a nice spring day to paint.

We met at Skaket Beach and set up our easels… all bundled up with warm clothing.  We accomplished what we set out to do.  The fun on this day for me was helping to introduce plein air painting to Britt.  Learning how to set up an easel and squeeze out paint from a tube can be challenging in cold, windy weather wearing gloves and bulky clothing.

Back then, close to a year ago, March 2014, we never planned on starting a blog.  But here we go…

Skaket bolders by Catherine Mar2014
This is my attempt at the bolders. Catherine
Skaket Mar21, 2104
Skaket Mar2014

My challenge to myself that day was to paint rocks.  Rocks are difficult subjects to paint for me.  Lots of angles and shadows.  I set up by some boulders and here is my painting.  Catherine