Sunday, August 15, 2010

Plein Aire Six: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield

What a perfect morning for painting outdoors!  There was a light breeze; it was sunny and about 70 degrees.  Ginger & I met in the Chatfield Denver Botanic Gardens parking lot.  Our first location was on the south side of the building complex.

Ginger's first painting was the barn, silo and other buildings:


The colors on her piece are quite vibrant, more so than what shows in this photograph.


My first painting focused on the silo.  This is very much like one my Norwegian grandfather built when he began farming in Iowa; the bricks are very similar, and his silo still stands after 100 years or so, although he is long gone.  But I digress... 

Here is the scene I painted:


 And here is my painting after about 1-1/2 hours:


Update:  Here is the final of the brick silo I finished in the studio.


 We relocated to an area east of the building complex and found rolls of hay in a field.

We had a small visitor who seemed rather unafraid of humans:


He (or was it she?) moved on, and Ginger & I set up to paint.  After about an hour, Ginger had come up with this:

 
She can really capture the light and dark patterns.

I selected this scene:


And here is my painting after an hour:


I was excited to paint this week, knowing it will be my last for a little while.  I tackled the hayrolls piece and ended up with this final version.


We plan to return next week.  There are so many painting opportunities at the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield location.

On this day, I painted on 5" x 7" panels of hardboard that I primed with neutral medium gray gesso and applied a layer of fine pumic gel after the gesso had dried.  When that had dried, the panels were ready to be painted.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Plein Aire Five: Elk Meadow Open Space Park

Elk Meadow is an Open Space park in Jefferson County, along the Evergreen Parkway at Lewis Ridge Road, and about 5 miles from I-70 at Exit 252.  We met about 8:30 am Sunday morning, and the parking lot was beginning to fill up with hikers, bikers, runners...you name it.  It was just Ginger and me painting this day; we hiked a little way up the trail and set up to paint.

Ginger's first subject and painting:


 Oil
My first painting was this scene of Elk Meadow:

I started on a piece of 5" x 7" hardboard that I had gessoed with a mid-tone, neutral gray.  When the gesso had dried, I applied a layer of  fine pumice gel for additional "tooth."  This is a slight departure from panels I have used previously in the base color of the gesso.  Other than that, it is identical.

And here is my painting after 1-1/2 hours:
 Oil
5" x 7"

The wind kicked up after about 45 minutes, and I struggled to get the panel covered with paint without everything blowing away.  I relocated to a calmer area and found the following scene to paint:
I really like the movement in this scene.  It could be a future studio painting.

The panel I used for this piece was 8" x 10" archival linen that I primed with the mid-tone neutral gray gesso and followed up with a coat of the fine pumice gel.

Here is my painting after about an hour:
Oil
8" x 10"

In general I am satisfied with these two painting starts.

Ginger's second painting was of the clouds rolling over the mountains:
Oil

The skies were rapidly clouding up at this point, so I packed up for the day.  The parking lot was packed when I got back to my car.  This is a popular outdoor destination.

Ginger, however, stayed to start another painting.  I can't wait to see what she came up with.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Two Paintings Completed

I'm always happy when I can spend half a day painting, but when I finish a piece, it is even more rewarding.  I recently was able to wrap up two paintings.  One was from my Studio Atelier painting challenge blog, and the other was from my plein aire outing at the Bear Creek Greenbelt.

This is the Lily Pond painting challenge; I'll have to post a better photo after it dries and I can scan it.  But this will have to do for now:
Lily Pond
8" x 10"
Oil

And here is the painting from the Bear Creek Greenbelt:
5" x 7"
Oil

I still need to some up with a title for this piece, let it dry, and then frame it. 

I hope you like these.