Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wind and Chill Speed Up Painting Plein Air Landscapes

 Wind and Chill demanded lots of perseverance and flexibility and speed for plein air last week.

(Redbud in full bloom by the pond on Cherry Blossom Trail
 at Greenfield Park, Botetourt County, VA)

 I headed outside two mornings last week to work on small landscape paintings on paper.  They were again mixed media works using pastel, colored pencil, graphite and acrylic paint.  Most of the acrylic was laid down in thin washes as the wind quickly dried out the paint of the palette.

The challenging weather conditions necessitated that I work quickly and the options of multiple media made that easier to do.

Here are photos of the mixed-media landscapes that I painted at Greenfield Park, Carvins Cove and the one from the week before at Mill Mountain.  I did work on them a bit more in the studio and feel that they are close to finished.

Greenfield Study
mixed media on paper

Carvins Cove
mixed media on paper

Mill Mountain
mixed media on paper

 I wanted to keep them fresh and simply impressions of what I saw each plein air session. What do you think?  Thanks for checking and reading my blog!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Naturalized Gardens and Abstracted Flowers

Soft Glow
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic on canvas
24 X 20 inches

This abstracted floral features layers of transparent color to create the soft glow.  And it is hard not to keep my mind on anything but flowers and gardening these past couple weeks.

Spring has arrived with its plants racing at full speed to push out of the ground, bud and bloom.  

(Tulips in full bloom at Colonial Williamsburg last weekend.)

Despite the poor weather forecast we ventured out last Thursday to capture the dogwoods and redbuds at their peak on top of Mill Mountain in Roanoke.  Setting up under a covered picnic area, I worked on a mixed media sketch of the trees in the photo.

(Dogwoods in front with Redbuds in the back.)

Yes it was wet and chilly.  I had my raincoat, rain hat and even gloves on to keep warm and dry.   But it was well worth the time as to view this "naturalized" garden and create an excellent study for a future painting or perhaps complete for display.

I have a delivery scheduled for mid week to 2nd Helpings Gallery.  A few of the paintings have been featured in recent blog posts.  However, I will post to the StoneCoalStudio Facebook page a photo of all the new works.  Please go to my page to view or even "like" to see all the new paintings on display.

Enjoy the happy spring colors!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Beauty of Bulbs...Flower Bulbs that is.

The Beauty of Bulbs
by Judith F Lochbrunner
acrylic on canvas
18 x 18 inches

Flower bulbs are one of nature's true survivalists.  They each contain food storage units to insure the plant's survival in adverse conditions.  Here is a link to a good explanation of these wonderful plants known as bulbs.

The painting is inspired by the iris that bloom every spring throughout all the gardens.  A few are older varieties purchased from historic gardens' gift shops, others are passalong plants, and still others were dug up from my previous gardens (I always left plenty for the new gardener).  Each of the individual bulbs has a story and some are more unusual than others.  

Often floral paintings focus on only the flowers but this work puts the focus on the sword-shaped leaves that are such a welcome sight in early spring.  The blooms are woven between all these leaves.   And of course this work is from a more abstracted view so you, the viewer, can fill in all the details.  

Many of the bulbs currently sending up leaves in the early spring garden are from previous gardens, friends, travels, as well as late season clearance.  If you look in the upper left, a purple tulip bulb is nearly ready to bloom (had hoped it would cooperate to be open in time for this blog).  In the lower right more tulips are nearly ready to send up buds.  These clearance bulbs survived a winter in a storage unit instead of in the ground.  I planted them the next spring in an attempt to salvage whatever I could and to my surprise and delight they bloom every spring.  

At the top of the photo, a couple of the iris clumps can be seen.  These are some of the passalong iris that I received to help me fill an empty garden the first year we were here.  Hope to share some blooms with you in future posts.  Happy Spring!