Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shawnee Pavillion

Louisville Metro Parks spent $350,000 last year to restore this pavillion at Shawnee Park and enhance nearby restrooms(not pictured here). The balance of the $800,000 total restoration cost was met by the Olmstead Conservancy and Brown-Foreman which gave $100,000. The structure was originally built in 1920. This morning I started a painting of it en plein air at Shawnee Park.

Looking at the canvas at home, I was not satisfied with my focal point and am toying with the idea of adding my great-grandmother strolling with parasol up the path to the pavillion. (See her round parasol sketched in in yellow in the lower right quadrant. She visited this park often by taking the streetcar from the city out to the edge of town. Shawnee Park was developed in part to encourage city people to move further out. Cities were dense and dirty from the coal dust. Funny how times change. Now 100 years later we are trying to get people to move back into the city center.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Painting with friends

Today we painted the lovely Jessica again. I think I captured a pretty good likeness which is to me what a portrait is all about.

I bet her mama loved her sweet face!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The 4th Revisited

I just received an electronic invite to the Telluride Plein Air Festival for 2009 and thought I might want to compare my painting from last year's parade with the painting chosen for this year's parade. Maybe I'll rub my ruby slippers together and get thee yet. I see many good things in the painting selected and would like to try my hand/brush again.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Happy Hand

Here is the porch again with a few more strokes and hopefully for the better. The funny hand was actually a statue there. I guess it was waving, "Hey look at me and my glowing porch!" Good job Maestro Hand! And a good opportunity for my brush to play with the light and shadow and the green glow! I added a whole lotta nuttin' and the final touches next will be to the hand conducting the play of sun and shadow on the porch.

My own back porch was glowing last night...Mom and Dad and my family gathered for a southern dinner of kale greens, smoked pork chops with green apples, taters, and plenty of iced tea. My Dad saying 'pour me a little more tea sug,' really brought back the memories of summer dinners on their screened -in porch. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, welcome summer!!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Porch Aglow

I photographed this glowing porch last summer when we visited Telluride. Today I painted it. I am not finished but I am pausing for the day and wanted to post my effort so far.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Trying to apply what I learned last you tell me, "what is the focal point?"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Rounded Porch

After painting the fountain all morning we escaped the heat and dined in the Conrad House on our sack lunches. Like little flowers given a fresh drink we revived ourselves. Then we returned to the 'plein air' and the 90 degree temps. Most of us had struggled with the fountain and wanted to try our hand at painting one of the old homes that line the street. As everyone gravitated to the house with the red geraniums, I turned to see this house on the opposite side of the street. I fell in love with its gracious rounded porch in green and the sun illuminating the red brick of the home next door. I tried to guide the viewer to the square made by the porch columns where the fern's tips were brightened by the sun. Debra gave me some helpful hints and a compliment for my effort as well!

Life is Best viewed through... window. An old wisdom! The first morning of our workshop we assembled under the shadow of the great Water Tower and listened as Debra dropped many pearls of wisdom. She also did a demo of the building we faced - the old water company and pump building. Such an elegant building for the common function. That speaks of a more elegant time I think. Then she turned us loose on our canvasses. I chose this one window to paint. The sunlight changes so quickly and I did not get it quite right and tried painting over and made it worse then the painting angel - Debra - brought over her magic brush and fixed it! I think this is a lovely window.

Cool fountain for a hot day

Tuesday morning our workshop participants met at St James Court Fountain. Our wise leader gave us a few suggestions and I listened carefully. I can't believe how right on she was about using your brush to sweep down and leave the impression of water cascading from the fountain. What do you think?

The statue is not well defined but I will try that another day.

How to paint a river

Monday afternoon was a steamy day along the river. Our workshop group left the air conditioning of the Water Tower after lunch and Debra informed us we were going to do a 'paint along.' She wanted us to understand the process of capturing a large scene quickly and then having the energy left to do a lot with the focal point. So we squinted and saw the varyng color of the three distant hills and put them in. Gotta have that blued color. then scrub in the tree masses and the lawn and bank - then the river and then the sky. I have not put the focal point in as we ran out of time but we did watch as she added sailboats and a family watching, a flag waving and also boats on the left bank. Really cool how she broke it down for us!


Cherries are such beautiful fruits. So red, round, shiny, lovely and tasty. It's like a bonus - that something so pretty could also be so tasty!

One of the things we focusssed on with Debra Huse during the workshop she taught here this week was making your painting have a focal point. She described how putting a "whole lotta nothin and a little bit of sumpin" makes your painting work. Creating a painting is all about inviting the viewer into your canvas and giving him\her a guided tour. The focal point is where you guide the viewer.

Just looking at this painting now I remind myself how important it would be to do this one again as an exercize. First I would conceptualize what was important - the cherry I think. so how would I make a whole lotta nothin with the cantaloupe and the peach which are lovely in themselves but need to be subordinate. I learned so much this week and hope to share and recollect it so that I can go back to it over the next month. Our entire group was energized by this workshop.

Paint Out #2

This is the second one - of a new building downtown and of the park by the waterfront. It's only a 5X7 so it's teeny but was fun to do. But I have learned so much from my workshop (it started the day after this) that I would like to turn the clock back and try again!
Must clean my brushes and re-pack my art 'stuff.' Look for more tomorrow.

The Great Paint-Out

I've been tooo busy painting to post lately so now that I'm back I have lots to post. Sunday I participated in the Louisville Visual Art Association's paint-out marking their 100th anniversary. Their chief goal has been to provide free art lessons to children who are interested and show artistic promise in art. I believe my blogging sister may have gotten her start with some of the classes they sponsored years ago at the Free Public Library.

Our canvassses were stamped at 7 AM and we were off to paint until 3 PM when we were to turn our best effort in. Here are the two I painted. It was lots of fun!