Thursday, 30 September 2010

Places to Paint: Charlene Brown's Rockies

Rim of the Opabin Above Lake O’Hara
Watercolour and crayon
©2009 Charlene Brown

I associate Charlene Brown's blog 1150 words with paintings of the Rockies.  Not surprisingly the Rockies are also Charlene's favourite place to paint. 

In her post My favourite place to paint she explains that she tried to pin it down to just one place but then decided she needed to plump for the whole of the Rockies!
...until I was about eight, I was only vaguely aware that anybody painted anything but the Canadian Rockies.
You may think Charlene has maybe always painted the Rockies and nothing but the Rockies - but you'd be wrong as her bio tells us.  As you can see Charlene is choosing the Rockies after having seen and painted a great many other places
Charlene Brown is a Canadian painter who started writing about painting trips during the ten years she and her husband lived in Dubai. The Gulf Weekly began publishing her accounts of painting trips in that part of the Arabian peninsula -- then said they might consider other countries, even such exotic locations as Canada! She had written about painting trips in over twenty countries by the time her husband retired and they returned to Canada to live.
The image at the top is the painting from her blog a year ago this week.

Note: If you'd like to participate in this series, please read the preamble in Places to Paint

Monday, 27 September 2010

Places to Paint: Linda Blondheim in Florida

Summer at Fair Oaks Farm (2010) by Linda Blondheim
acrylic 24x36 $2300
Fair Oaks Farm in Evinston Florida is Linda Blondheim's favourite place to paint
I've been asked many times where I love to paint the most? I've been painting in the tiny hamlet of Evinston Florida for about 15 years at various farms and on Orange Lake. Evinston is located between the two cities of Gainesville and Ocala. About three years ago I discovered Fair Oaks Farm in Evinston.

Fair Oaks is my very favorite place to paint and to be. It has all of the qualities that are appealing to a plein air painter.
Continue reading on Linda's blog to find out more about Fair Oaks Farm in Evinston Florida

Links about Linda Blodheim:

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The landscape you love

Every landscape painting represents a view with which the painter has fallen in love.
Alfred Sisley
Cabins along the Loing Canal, Sunlight Effect (1896) by Alfred Sisley (French, 1839-1899)
I'm not sure whether I'd go so far as to say every landscape is one that an artist has fallen in love with.  However it's certainly very true that if you look through galleries of artist's work, again and again you come across different versions of the same view

Alfred Sisley painted this bend on the Loing Canal again and again at different times of day, in different seasons and in different weather conditions.  All are recognisably the same place and all are different.  (See the Atheneum Gallery of Sisley's work to see the differeent versions)

Sisley moved with his family to a small village near Moret-sur-Loing in 1880.  The forest of Fontainebleau where the painters of the Barbizon school had worked earlier in the century is just to the west.  Unfortunately Google Street View has not yet done the smaller roads but there are one or two possibilities for where this view is if you click the link to look at the map
Here, as art historian Anne Poulet has said, "the gentle landscapes with their constantly changing atmosphere were perfectly attuned to his talents."
Of course, one of the rather nice things about landscape painting is that you can never ever get bored once you've found a landscape which appeals to you!

Do you have a landscape you love?

See more about Places to Paint

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Would you like to paint the Arctic?

Sarah Mayer contacted me to highlight an opportunity which exists for people wanting to paint the Arctic.

A blog post earlier this year -  Extreme Plein Air - painting the Antarctic! - showed what it was like for Rowan Huntly who painting plein air in Antarctica on HMS Scott! (see her expedition to Antarctica on her Antarctica Blog.)  Rowan was helped by Sarah in preparing for an earlier trip to Greenland.

the beautiful classic sailing yacht Noorderlicht
to be used as a floating studio' for next summer's 'Artistic Odyssey' in Svalbard.
Sarah's company, The Polar People have put together a trip in June 2011 titled Spitzbergen: An Artistic Odyssey which sounds quite unlike any painting holiday I've ever taken!

Plus you get to stay on a sailing ship and use it as a floating studio!
We've designed this adventure specifically for artists: Book before 1st October!

Join us for a superb voyage of Artistic discovery in the Arctic, only 600 miles from the North Pole.

- Breathtaking widlife
- Amazing Arctic landscapes and seascapes
- 24 hours of daylight
- Time to stand and stare and sketch and think.
- Good long forays ashore, not just a quick dash then off to the next.
- Really high staff ratio - so we can divide our little group still smaller.
- Beautiful classic yacht as our 'floating studio'.. and you can help sail her!
- Expert painting tuition if you would like it.
- Informal, laid-back and convivial.

All welcome! Whether you are a beginner, a dabbler or a professional - and whatever your art: Painter, sculptor, writer, photographer, musician, dancer.... or the long-suffering travelling companion of an artist!
Sarah wondered whether any of the plein air bloggers who read this blog might be interested - and I'm happy to help highlight the opportunity
I'm looking for Plein Air artists to join a Spitsbergen journey next June and Rowan suggested some of you bloggers might be interested! We've got 6 so far but need another 6 for the trip to go ahead. I am able to offer a free place to anybody who is able to bring 4 paying artists with them, so please do spread the word to your friends and 'fans'.
If you are interested please contact Sarah via her website.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Marc Dalessio's Sight Size Video

This is Marc Dalassio's extremely helpful and very short video on how to use the sight-size approach to plein air painting

You can:

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Graham Brace's Environmental Inspiration

Hook Quay by Graham Brace
One of the themes of this blog is favourite locations for places to paint.  

This is a guest post by Graham Brace who is a fellow coloured pencil artist and a founder member of the UK Coloured Pencil Society - about his favourite place for stimulating his art.  It was prompted by a recent post in the UKCPS Yahoo Forum.  I've inserted a few links to places Graham mentions.  

Being essentially a landscape and seascape artist, I’ve often wondered if my specialism would be different or if my creative enthusiasm would be diminished if I lived in an urban/city/industrial environment, much different from the one in which I currently reside.

Although I find many things visually (and mentally) stimulating, throughout my entire life I have always had a deep interest in natural history and been drawn to the natural environment. For this reason, early in my graphics career, I made the positive decision to move from central London back to Pembrokeshire, where my wife and I were born and brought up.

For 24 years I ran a graphic design and advertising business in Pembrokeshire before succumbing to the long held desire to turn my energies to drawing and painting for a living in 2000.

Since returning here in 1976 we have lived in an estuary-side village in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park within spitting distance of the entire spectacular Pembrokeshire coast and the moors and crags of the Preseli Hills in the north of the county (Bluestone country). Indeed, for an artist like myself it is absolute heaven. And believe me, I count my lucky stars every single day!

From my desk in my small studio (which used to be my eldest daughter’s bedroom before she flew the nest) I can see over the rooftops of the terraced cottages below us to the river (which is tidal) and the oak wooded shore beyond and watch boats going by and water birds on the mudflats at low tide. The changing light on this scene is sometimes a wonder to behold.

Bright December Day by Graham Brace

My daily early morning walks take me over fields, through woodland and along long stretches of shore. I often don’t see a soul and the silence (bird calls apart) is sometimes almost ‘deafening’! These walks not only sort my head out but set me up for the day and provide for me endless inspiration and subject matter. I often think that I could spend virtually my entire life just drawing and painting the views and features of interest within a two mile radius of my house. In fact, there is so much to draw on that I occasionally have a real conflict as to what I should prioritise…and I wonder if I’ll find the time to do it all. ‘Is this a form of stress?’ I ask myself!

Having once lived in Cardiff and London for a combined period of 10 years I don’t recall my morning walks around Holland Park (as pleasant as it is) and Shepherd’s Bush stirring me quite so dramatically.

Consequently, I strongly believe that the quality of my environment is essential to what I do and the standard to which I do it.

Pembrokeshire, like Cornwall and East Anglia, attracts creative people and consequently has a large and diverse creative community. From the many conversations that I have had with fellow artists, it appears that we are all inspired by the same stimulus…Pembrokeshire and its natural (and spiritual) attributes.

I can’t be completely sure but if I was a conceptual or fantasy artist then, perhaps, I would not necessarily need to live in such a stunning location. Different people require and react to different stimuli. For my part, I need and feed on my surroundings and without that kind of continual nourishment I doubt if I’d start each day with such a big smile on my face!

Graham Brace is a full time professional artist and illustrator producing landscape and seascape paintings and marketing a range of limited edition prints.  He was born and brought up in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire and currently lives and works in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Places to Paint:  You are invited to write about your special place.  Please click the link to find out how you can contribute to my "favourite places to paint" project.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Manhattan hosts the Virtual Paintout

Bird's eye panorama of Manhattan & New York City in 1873
The Virtual Paintout is in Manhattan Island, New York - September 2010 - continuing the island theme which Bill has been following of late!  (see Prince Edward Island, Hong Kong, Hawaii and the Canary Islands).  Will he run out of islands any time soon? ;)

It's open for participation from September 1st till September 30th.
You are free to travel Manhattan Island this month from the southern tip to its northern boundary at the Harlem River. As you'll see by studying the map, the river starts at the northern most point of the island near Inwood Hill Park, then traverses in a southeastern direction, separating Manhattan Island from its neighboring borough of the Bronx.
I found some links to help orientate me look for a spot to draw
As always the Virtual Paintout post explains the rules which must be observed if you want to participate