Last Monday was a beautiful day to sit in the sun and paint. The gardens at the south end of the Lincoln Park Conservatory were in fine shape and provided the subject matter for the afternoon. All of the rain this summer has provided lush growth that still looks great in September. Now the leaves are starting to turn colors and I hope to get an opportunity to capture some of that transition before the leaves fall.
Well it has been almost two weeks and another sketch group trip is almost here so I better show this before I forget! A nasty midday storm moved us from Olive Park destination to nearby Navy Pier to paint. We went near the exhibition hall area on the upper level for the view south and were able to watch the storm push thru the city and off to the south, interesting clouds and eventually some peaks of blue sky. It turned out to be a good spot! This is my second effort, the storm clouds against a patch of clearing sky above a bit of south Michigan Ave.
"Heartland Patterns" is the title of my featured exhibit at the Illinois Artisans Gallery in The Thompson Center, Chicago. Currently, 18 framed watercolors grace the front window and wall of the gallery that is located on the 2nd floor. There is also a large selection of matted works and note cards, including a limited edition card of the painting that is hanging in the window. The exhibit will be up thru September 12 and the gallery is opened weekdays from 9-5. I will be at the gallery on Friday, September 5, from noon to 4 working on some paintings and answering questions about my work.
Trying to grab a little time in the studio this afternoon before weekend activities begin. It has been a busy week, delivered 20 framed paintings and 22 matted works to the Illinois Artisan's Gallery in Thompson Center for a featured artist show that will run thru August. It should be up and open on Monday. Also had to prep work for shipping and took care of getting a couple of digital entries sent out. All that cuts into studio time! Since my time is short and choppy , I have been working on some small-scrapes. This first wash of cadmium orange and cobalt blue is a start at establishing an interesting sky. Will post about the show after I get some pictures there early next week.
I am sorting thru a stack of small watercolors in preparation for an upcoming show at the Illinois Artisans Gallery in Thompson Center. I just came across this, it was done during a residency at the Fields Project/Ogle Co. It has been a few years ago, but I do remember painting at Barb Samsel's farm, always a favorite location for me, yellow barns, white farmhouse, flowers, animals, laundry or quilts on the line and planted fields all around. Such good memories of friends and beautiful country.
So rain kept the group from today's trip to the lily pond, we will try again in two weeks and hope for better weather! Instead here is a watercolor from the Lurie Garden at Millennium Park. This was from earlier this summer when the tulips were still looking good! I have been thinking about doing some larger floral paintings, it's been many years since I did a floral series.
Fortunately the rain moved off to the east last Monday by the time we were to meet for sketching in the Sculpture Garden on the north side of the Art Institute. Altho skies were gray for most of the afternoon, temperatures were warm and humidity kept the watercolor washes from drying too quickly. My first sketch was of a Calder sculpture in the garden, which needs a few finishing touches. My attention was given to the row of unopened umbrellas over small tables. I love umbrellas altho they are often much harder to draw or paint than I expect. This red one turned out well for a quick study and it joins the ranks of umbrella sketches. Perhaps I should do a few more and have an umbrella exhibit!
Monday was as beautiful a day as you could wish to have for painting outside! We were along the Chicago Riverwalk, just east of Michigan Avenue on the north side of river. This sketch is of a boat that was moored and not in use so it was a good non moving subject! The sun was bright and I tried to keep it simple. This was the second of two sketches I did. The area is rich with subject matter and space to sit and paint so I hope we will return here in the early fall for another session.
It has been a couple of busy weeks since this was painted, but it was one of the nicer days I have spent at the Lurie Garden. Finally, we got there to paint and sketch while the tulips were still lovely and plentiful! This was the second of two small paintings from our visit, I was sitting near the center of the garden and looking north. I will post the other one later.
Here is another detail from a larger work called Twelve Verses. This painting is a part of the more experimental abstract series where I apply color, texture and forms thru a variety of methods including pouring, stamping, transfers, brushwork and lifting. I do enjoy the looseness and flow of ideas that are a part of this approach.
Cold weather has kept me indoors more this year, even had to cancel the April location painting for our group due to wet, chilly day. So yesterday I sat inside my front hallway and painted a few of the tulips in the planter right outside. A little bit of outdoors as seen from the indoors. Today I am in the studio working on a couple of different pieces, sun feels good thru the window but I have been outside and know the chill persists!
Our little group has been fortunate to have an indoor meeting spot for the first three months of this cold and snowy year thanks the Holy Name parish. The first two meetings involved demos of drawing and watercolor techniques and discussions of material, supplies, line, color and composition. Yesterday we all brought objects and put together a still life to work from or you could choose just one object to concentrate on. It was good practice for all. Next month we will return to being out on location around the city, hopefully the weather will cooperate!
So I continue to experiment with pouring, printing and painting abstract watercolors while I do my usual abstracted landscapes. This is a detail from a piece I have titled Twelve Verses and it is in the final stages, just a few details left to finish! I have it hanging in the studio and keep seeing little things to tweak or add. I have five paintings going right now in various stages from just starting to almost done and ranging in sizes as well. Just need more time in the studio.
Well the Holidays and colds always seem to disrupt the work schedule! But I have been back in the studio on a regular basis for the last three weeks and making progress on some new work. This is a small study but it was fun way to get things going. I had the opportunity to exhibit three watercolors in the Atrium of Thompson Center during the third week in January which went well. Two of the three paintings are now on display in the Lt. Governor's office for the rest of her term! I am working on a variety of things now and will continue to try to share regularly.
A nasty virus knocked me out of action for the better part of last week and caused me to miss last Monday's trip to the Zoo. But here is the second half of the work done on the previous group day to Buckingham Fountain. We were fortunate to find some tables and chairs in the shade next to the refreshment stand on the south side on the fountain. So we all had the long distance view, no close ups in that heat! The fountain is always a difficult subject and we had much discussion on how to depict the water in our sketches. Next week we are to meet at Ping Tom Park in Chinatown. Hoping for cooler weather!