Friday, July 29, 2011

DPW flower and reflection challenges

Since I all my plans didn't quite work today, I was determined to at least get some painting done finally.  So I braved the 98°.  This challenge put forth by James Coulter on Daily Paintworks, instructed outdoor painting for an hour only.  It was almost 10AM when I finally stepped out the door to paint my blackeyed Susans which were planted by my neighbor Shirley for me by the gazebo.  They looked tired so I watered around first to give them a chance to perk up a little bit.  After I carried everything I needed outside I realized I was using a different tripod/easel which was not compatible with my artbox.  So I ended up just holding my artbox on my lap and proceeded to paint after I set my mobile phone timer to 60 minutes. 
 "Blackeyed Susan in 98° Heat" 12x9 oil on canvas

This next photo was the beginning and after that, 30 minutes later I had what I thought was gonna be the finished painting within an hour.  But I actually feel pretty good about the painting after 50 minutes of working in the heat and the ants that made their way to under my sundress.  I now realize one doesn't wear sundress plein air painting.  But I enjoyed being outside, hearing soft movements among trees and ground from birds and other moving things.  Butterflies visited the flowers but I didn't bother to paint them in.  Of course I actually could have painted them since they were so wiped out by heat and were very thirsty.  But my brushes wouldn't have done them justice.  I still have 10 minutes I didn't use, I wonder if I should tweak a bit more?  I finally got in the house after hauling everything back in at 1PM.  Suffering for the love of painting outdoors is fun as long as I have air-conditioned house to come home to ;)

^^First stage of the painting^^

 "Cherries and Cream Reflections"  2.5"x3.5" watercolor on paper
I painted this last week for the DPW Reflections challenge.

I am brave enough to report that I've failed my 30-day painting challenge.  I had to forfeit because my dear artist neighbor Shirley sold their house and were moving to another state.  I helped her for two weekends at her garage sale.  She had given me artist furniture and other supplies and I had to make room for them in my art room.  And since my art room was already busting at the seams, I had to move most things out so I could rearrange and sort through things.  When I decide to organize, I try very hard not to just pile everything back in.  I really sort. 
Above is the new development.  I moved my desk at the corner where I am now surrounded by windows on two sides.  These pics are actually from last week.

This the artist furniture Shirley gave me.  I had been DREAMING of having something like this!  What a wonderful gift! :)

One view of the old pile.  It doesn't look half this bad anymore.  But my rotator cuff problem has flared up again.  As I was painting today it reminded me of watching Serena Williams play tennis with a lot of grunting.  But all I was trying to do was raise my hand up to my eye level.  Hey, the painting looks pretty good though :)


  1. Erika, I enjoyed reading about your plein air experience. Even though you got attacked by ants, your painting turned out beautiful!

    It seems a lot of artist had problems with bugs and the heat. For me it was bees, mosquitos and my easel falling apart. It was a fun challenge though wasn't it.

  2. Oh my goodness Carol I couldn't believe what you went through! I definitely have greater admiration for plein air painters after today! It's been a while since I painted outdoors plus that heat took a lot out of me than I realized while I was enjoying painting. I would do it again -you're right it was fun!

  3. Goodness you are a painting working machine...and in the HEAT at that! Good job, but if I had a critique it would be that my eyes want to stay at the top of the canvas above the flowers. Probably in real life the background isn't as light at it appears on the computer and isn't the focal point. Love the other painting too!

    Talk with you later!

    PS: Well....I looked at your painting again and "What was I thinking?" Looks fine. Sorry.

  4. This 50 minute painting is awesome! That’s the way to go! If you could paint like that all the time, that fast, you could make some serious money on Ebay I’ll bet.

  5. Erika I forgot to say your words really described things I experience when I paint pleinair you have such a way with writing but you've been told that many times.

  6. Sweet CD, you are such an inspiration to me. Somehow you manage to accomplish 3 times what an average person does. Your paintings are really showing well now that you've been painting more often. Love the sunflowers...and the little ACEO gem too.

    xxoo Red


Thank you for taking the time to comment ~Erika