Welcome! This blog began as an assignment in a digital art class. That was in 2008. I decided to keep it going as my art journal. It is fascinating for me to see how a painting develops, so this is where I post my painting progressions and exciting new things I find on creative blogs and websites. I hope you will learn along with me about painting, drawing and all kinds of art.


Final day Marc Hanson Workshop

Cannot believe the week is gone! Days flew by ...

It was raining quite hard this morning so we met at Mary's house again for a demo then a memory painting exercise.

The day looked like this for awhile.

It stopped raining and Marc began his pastel demo for us
 (incorporating his third and final video for <whereintheworldispleinair.com>)
 My friend Barbara (Be) was the videographer! She did a terrific job!

This is Marc brushing OMS (odorless mineral spirits) over the darks to set them 
so they wouldn't blend too much with the other pastel going on top. 

 After lunch, Marc set a timer for a couple of minutes while we observed a spot and tried to compose a painting in our minds; then he again timed us for 13 minutes as we turned around, not peeking at our scene - and painted from memory. We had 4 sessions of 2 minutes observation, 13 minutes painting. This was extremely difficult for me. I worked on just getting the shapes on to the canvas ... and it turned out rather abstract, which is ok. After this, we painted for 45 minutes actually looking at the same scene.

My exercise is on the right, top being the memory painting, bottom the 45 minute observation painting. 
Not sure whose paintings those were on the left.

This has been an incredible week of plein air painting! 
I feel so lucky to have been a participant in this workshop; 
to meet and learn from wonderful painter and very generous person, Marc Hanson.

Me, Marc & Be
 Happy (plein air) Painting!


Plein Air Workshop - Day 4

Started out the day with a talk about what Concept means for our paintings. 
When finding a spot to paint, make sure something about it, a color or shape or feeling 
 "speaks" to you 
because if you don't have a connection, your painting will lack emotion and energy.

But - before talking about today's painting, 
I wanted to post my Primary Palette painting - done using only these colors:

Cadmium Yellow Light
Permanent Red Medium
Ultramarine Blue

It was harder than the Split Primary, as you might agree ... because you only have three colors!

Ok, here are the progression photos for my painting done today.

The scene and the beginning of block in.

Walk & Breathe     8 x 10    Oil on Linen panel

For this painting I used Cad Yellow Light, Cad Yellow Deep, Perm Red Medium, Ultramarine Blue, Viridian, Transparent Red Oxide, Alizarin Crimson, and Greenish Umber (true name).

I loved that toward the end (which I didn't really know was the end) I felt the tiniest bit hopeful that I might be ok with this painting. There were so many greens in the scene that I hoped I wasn't just blending them all together. Stepping back, I think I like it!
Now I need to think if it reflects the concept I tried to portray - see the title. Do you think it does?

The last part of the day was Marc's demo and second video "taping" of the start/middle/end of a painting for the whereintheworldispleinair.com three day event! 
If you check out this vid, you will see that,
 wow, we were avoiding the rain 
but the wind was blowing & it was chilly standing there watching Marc paint.
The sound of the St Vrain River rushing by over its normal water level, contributed to a rather dramatic event!

 Marc's beautiful painting exhibits some of that drama. 
His concept for this painting was capturing the snaggle-tooth view of these snags in the river.  

Nothing is work unless you'd rather be doing something else.
 - George Halas (founder/owner Chicago Bears)

I love this quote! It is VERY fitting for the 20 painters out here in this fantastic workshop.

 One more day. Stay tuned ... hope I have time to post something tomorrow!

Thank you so much for stopping by!




Workshop - Day 3

Some painters would rather paint a tree than a nose, but what if the tree HAS a nose?

There was a discussion today in the Marc Hanson workshop 
about figure painting versus landscape painting, 
and there were those who said they would rather paint the landscape than the figure.
 But when you come right down to it, a figure is just a kind of land-scape, isn't it?

We met today at a park in Longmont and most of us painted near the river. I finished the exercise of painting with less colors than yesterday - using the Ned Jacob palette.

Cadmium Yellow Light
Cadmium Orange
Alizarin Crimson
Ultramarine Blue

This is my little 6 x 8 Ned Jacob palette exercise.
I enjoyed using the cad orange!

Think I forgot to mention that with all of the palettes, we include a white.

After lunch Marc demo'ed again.

He is looking at this (my shot is at a little different angle) -

We were watching and trying to listen to Marc 
while the swallows were noisily feeding their babies in the rafters of the shelter.

I didn't catch a photo of the swallows, but they had nests up under the roof.

Love this big handful of brushes Marc was using.

Marc's finished painting! 
(mostly ... he signed it ... just a few more touches ...)

So - some fun news! Marc and this very painting 
will be in a video on the
It is their 2nd Annual "Live" Plein Air Art Show and the first day was today.
Tomorrow will be another video and another painting, and Marc will do it again for the last one on Friday.


Detail of the lilacs in the painting.


Tomorrow we will paint again and are really hoping it will be dry! 
We were lucky and missed the rain this afternoon.

Cheers to plein air painting!

(and thank you for your support!)



Painting workshop - Day 2

 Day 2 

Lesson in color this morning, then 
Marc demo'ed the Split Primary Palette and ended up with this wonderful painting.

There is a warm and a cool version of each of the three primaries in this limited palette, which does include white.

Cadmium Yellow Light (cool)
Cadmium Yellow Deep (warm)

Alizarin Crimson (cool)
Cadmium Red Light (warm)

Ultramarine Blue (cool)
Phthalo Blue (warm)

Using this palette I tried a little 6 x 8 study:

Too tired to write more. It was near 90° today!



Plein air workshop in CO

Marc Hanson's plein air painting workshop! (That link takes you to his blog.)

I feel so lucky to be a participant in this week-long plein air workshop - taking place in Longmont, Colorado. 
They had been having some rainy weather but today the sun was out and it was beautiful. Locals are talking about how green everything is. We have noticed there are an abundant amount of sweet peonies!

Day 1
Here is Marc speaking about Cobra Water Miscible oil paints.

The easel he has tipped up to show the paints is a Coulter Easel, made by James Coulter.
It looks like it is a very simple design, quick to set up and handle. Marc painted on that mid-sized one today when he demo'ed for us.

We painted on private property that included this pond (some people called it a lake), with lovely scenery all around us.

The demo above shows Marc's value painting and then how it looks when you add the color notes, 
all the while trying to keep the same value scale as you work with color.

This is the scene that he viewed as his concept.

 Next we were to try it!

 I picked this tree with pond behind.

My value painting with a toned ground of red oxide and walnut alkyd.
 I err'd right off the bat because I put the tree over on the right side with no space around the tree. 
It did feel strange as I was doing it, but at the time I didn't know what to do.

The next exercise was to add some color, but trying to stay within the values that you saw before. 
As you see, I moved the tree out  from the edge of the paper, but I worried about putting in the foliage for the tree, 
so Marc showed me how to carve out the shapes of the groups (he called them pods) of leaves. And it worked! Not sure why I was so stuck ... I have painted leaves before. I think it is just this new situation I am in! Anyway, he did come to the rescue.

Tomorrow we will have a lesson in color.

My friend Barbara (Be) painting away.
I hope I will be able to post like this every day. We will see how it goes ... if I take enough photos and if I don't become too exhausted to post - it is almost midnight!

Thanks so much for checking in!