Stone Coal Studio

Stone Coal Studio

Friday, April 22, 2016

Practice for Plein Air Paint-Out

Yesterday was a wonderful day to explore the Lynchburg Old City Cemetery for the upcoming 1st Annual Paint Out Lynchburg next week.  

This is my first participation in a plein air competition and it seemed very prudent to do some preparations ahead of time to help make the actual paint-out day more successful.   Sue, Linda and I arrived before the clouds had burned off and walked the cemetery checking out the historic museums, gardens (including the wall of antique roses which had a few already blooming) and both the old family plots as well as the Confederate section.  

We took photos, made some notes as well as visualized possible locations for setting up for next week's paint-out.   After lunch we set-up our easels to paint.

I chose a spot in front of the Pest House Medical Museum with its medicinal herb garden already showing some blooms.  As I painted I tried to think ahead as to what else would be helpful to pack.  A couple additional paint colors would be helpful, a larger size canvas might be better and adding in a few more brushes would speed up the painting.

Another item on my check-list was to determine the best colors for the underpainting.  I do not like to paint on a white canvas.  Since this is a competition, all canvas much begin totally blank (white) and will receive a stamp on the back to approve its use that day.  The painting yesterday had a bright blue with touches of pink and red on it (I like colorful underpaintings.) which I felt worked. The plan will be to take a moment before I begin to quickly lay a wash of those colors on the canvas and while they dry to do some initial sketches.

Now if I can only remember all this preparation and not get too rushed or distracted by seeing all the wonderful, accomplished plein air artists next Friday, it will be a good day!

Before this blog is finished I want to share a photo of a pioneer rose that was in bloom in the medicinal garden.  Yellow roses are a family favorite and always grab my attention.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.    

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Plein Air Season Begins

While acknowledging that for some artists the plein air season is year round no matter the weather conditions; however for our group, Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge, the warmer spring weather brings us back outside to paint.  And the conditions were near perfect today with pleasant temperatures, little wind and a beautiful blue sky.  

I set up on top of the hill at the old cemetery in Fincastle (VA).  It is still early spring here as the trees have not filled out and the bright yellow greens of the emerging leaves dominate the landscape.  Redbuds and Dogwoods are in bloom as well as several ornamental cherries.  

This is a view of my new guerrilla paint box on the tripod.  It set up easily and allowed me to quickly get to the painting.....well actually to the decisions of placement, design, drawing, re-design, painting in a few shapes and then doing a bit more drawing before settling in to paint.

(the building in the top center is not the building depicted; it is the one located to the far right)

By the end of the morning I was pleased with my "start".  Happy to report that there is enough information to complete the painting or to use if as a study for a larger work.  For the first outing of the season I call that the measure of a successful outdoor painting session.

Happy Spring!
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Art on Display: Different Locations, Different Focus

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of visiting Black Dog Salvage Marketplace to do some shopping. The Marketplace at Black Dog Salvage has also featured my art for the past few years.  If you know anything about their TV show Salvage Dawgs , then you already know what a unique place it is!

Art is displayed alongside the vintage furniture, up cycled items, antiques and "whatever" in vignettes.   Koiner and her staff do a wonderful job of arranging and highlighting the best features of all the items in the shop.  


"Red Flowers are Never a Bad Choice" is displayed on an antique mantle with other pink items and backed by a mirror.


"Late Summer Sensation" sits on a small table surrounded by vintage purses in colors that bring out the colors in the painting.

A more typical art display places all the artwork in a pleasing arrangement on a wall.  This allows many works to be seen at once and provides lots of choices for the collector.   Often there is a hanging system like the slat wall at 2nd Helpings Gallery to create arrangements with ease and without damage to the walls.

"All Critters Great and Small" by Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge at 2nd Helpings is now on display until April 28, 2016.  The artist reception is this Saturday, April 9 from 1-3 PM.

Come by to say hello and enjoy this fun show.  
And thanks for stopping by my blog.