Friday, September 26, 2008

Plein air art off the gate with Schmid

"Autumn Glow" 4.5x6 oil on gesso board
Now that's I've finished my charts, I was just itching to use them with for a plein air painting. The charts worked nicely, I saved time trying to figure out the right mixture. And what I like about Richard Schmid's chart is that the colors glow. I know this because when I painted the next piece "Copper Warmth" 8x10 oil on canvas panel (shown here finally scanned). I started out mixing my own take on the still life set up. Then just for kicks I thought I'd borrow dear friend Linda Cassady's Schmid charts. My colors literraly paled and fell asleep in comparison! At that very point I decided I'd have to buckle down and tackle the charts. Actually to my surprise I feel I have a better understanding of the charts and I'd like to create another set. It's not so much because I plan to be completely dependent on them, but more to educate myself and especially my eyes more.

I can't tell you how excited I was about painting en plein air. I enjoy the explosion of information that's before me which is mostly absent from photos. And I think it's good exercise to be decisive I can sharpen my instincts.

Much to my husband's chagrin I brought this old TV cart home from a neighbor's trash last Tuesday. Apparently he drove by the pile and was thanking his lucky stars that it didn't look like I'd find something to bring home. Welllllll as he was pulling in the driveway that evening he saw the cart immediately HAHAHAH! Glad to know I can still surprise him :) But look it was soooo handy for my painting session! And I bet he also loved all the tracks I left on his perfect lawn that morning when I was furiously looking for a good spot to paint. This photo reminds me of Smokey Robinson's song "Tracks of my Tears". Actually composers Robinson, Moore,Tarplin originally were writing the song inspired by me; it was meant to be called "Tracks of my Wheels". And if you believe that, there's also a bridge I want to sell ya!


  1. Erika, your rose and still life are beautiful! Such vibrant colors!! I have to check into the color chart you are talking about.

  2. Its not often I read a blog and actually laugh out loud, but your trolley (good find!) and tracks made me nearly spurt my coffee over my screen. So funny!

    These paintings are lovely, the coppers are vibrant - look forward to seeing what else you get up to with your new-found trolley.

  3. Hello Akiko thanks for your compliments, yes Richard Schmid's charts will work for any medium!

  4. LOL Kari I hope you didn't end up spraying your beautiful watercolors!!! I'm so glad you like these pieces and it's so nice you can visit me again all the way from Scotland!

  5. WOW! Hope I can paint like that someday. So fresh and vibrant, you can almost smell the rose!

    Being on this journey with you, Theresa and Linda and our Schmid charts has been very enlightening. What I learned also, was that all those 800 or so colors are made with only 2 pigments (and white). No chance of mud.

    Haven't really used mine yet, but need to, huh!

    Need to get my Templeton charts labeled too!


  6. Red you paint very well! What was helpful with the rose was the strong light source also. Yes, better start playing with your charts before you forget why you painted them (so carefully btw).

    I should see how the charts work on figures.

    Cart is flattered ;)

  7. Bravo Erika!!! Bravo for a spectacular plein air piece (and being so creative about it!) Bravo for getting out to paint...really teaches you a lot about color and simplifying! and bravo for using your Schmid charts. When I first did them about 6 years ago...I was astounded at how much I learned and how much I didn't know. The charts assimilated into my subconscious pretty easily. I will occasionally verify my color choices by them..if I am in doubt. I have painted with Schmid palette since I started painting 7 years ago. I have a few colors that I use that he doesn't but I just apply the same theory. Wonderful writing and painting as usual!

  8. Theresa!!!!!! ((((hugging you))))) what a wonderful response from you my mentor - THANKS SO MUCH! Bless you for being so generous with yourself to always take the time to write thoughtful posts in my blog! I really means so much coming from an excellent teacher and successful artist such as yourself! xoxox


Thank you for taking the time to comment ~Erika