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September 2013



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Plein Air painting weekend...

Sometimes I've just been working so hard or juggling so much (new book contract!) or find myself so frustrated with the long drawn-out progress of our rehab projects (I SO want to finish SOMETHING--we started a year ago April!) that I have to run away from home to feed my soul. Saturday I went out to Watkins Mill State Historic Site in the afternoon, after waiting half a day for my workmen to show up, but all the while I was there, ! kept thinking about that lovely little gravel road I keep fetching up on, south of town.

So Sunday I packed up and went there to see how spring was treating it...and I was glad I did. It was wonderful. I painted one more springlike piece in my journal on the same page with my grocery list, here:

Vassmer Spring

...but then decided to try those wonderful aged, angular rooflines that have called my name for months. Funny, this one didn't end up with spring green grass at all--it felt as if it would distract the eye--so I renewed my artistic license and just left that bit out...for now.

I'd painted the journal sketch sitting on a folding stool by the road, in front of the Jeep--and in full sunlight, getting a wonderful case of the equivalent of snowblindness, so for this one I moved back inside the car to contend with the steering wheel instead of the glare of sunlight on white paper!  Most people who drove by were very considerate when they saw me working at the verge of the gravel road, but I did get well dusted by one gentleman in a heck of a hurry--at least in the Jeep you're safe from flying gravel!

First, I sketched in the bare bones with my mechanical pencil, then used my 1" flat brush to lay in the soft sky color, the drybrush cedar tree, and the blue-grays of the old tin and cinderblock walls, with refreshment at hand, as you can see. The rough Saunders Waterford paper worked really well to suggest the broken, lacy cedar tree.

Step 1, Milk Sheds

Then, I warmed to the task (this stuff is so exciting, if you're a fanatic like I am!) and began to the things that had caught my eye in the first place, those gorgeous rusty roofs...mostly in Burnt Sienna, Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet, and Ultramarine Blue, mixed on the paper, still using a flat, but a 1/2" now. I began to add details of the windows and texture as washes dried.

Step 2, Milk Sheds

This is as far as I got, on the spot:

Step 3, Milk Sheds

...the details of the weathered tin roofs, the texture of the siding, and that second cedar tree.

Back home, I added a few more details and scanned the finished piece that appears at the top of this post.
; the scanner picks up more of the warm color of the paper.  And so far, I still don't want to add a lot of color in the grass, feeling it would draw the eye, so it's either vignetted or snow, take your pick! Let's hear it for artistic license...

And then, other vistas down the road tugged at me...more on those anon!



New Book?

This is terrific Kate!!! Do I see a book in this???


Re: New Book?

Maybe a CD or eBook I produce myself, Miss Lin--I may as well earn part of my living without having to do it on commission--the highest I ever get is less than 20% of net. ;-) I adore North Light, but it doesn't pay my bills by itself!
Thank you Shelly!


Thanks for posting this - it's so helpful! Love the colors in this painting.
You're very welcome--I was hoping it would be!
this is lovely. i can almost smell the rusty roof.

it has been too long since i just fed that part of my heart. too much to do, right now, to be able to just sit--too many houses to clean out. i was organizing studio space yesterday, to make room for more stuff on main floor. i took the time to go through yarn and a bit of fabric. that helped. just "petting" it made me feel better.

as soon as the kids are settled in grandpa's house, i'm declaring it open season on soul-feeding. there will be sketching, paint, yarn, and fabric strewn about in large amounts!

meanwhile, kate's eyes feed my soul. thank you from your hungry friend!
I am so glad to help, dear friend. It's all that keeps me holding on by, you should pardon a pun borrowed from your sewing, a THREAD. I don't think I could cope, otherwise. (Did I ment5ion life's a bit stressful here too? :-{)

Neat that the kids will get to have grandpa's house, what a wonderful thing!

Plein Air painting weekend

All of the new watercolors on your site are just beautiful. You have really captured the colors of early spring. Again, just beautiful!

Re: Plein Air painting weekend

Thank you, Jennifer! I always WANT to paint a lot at this time of year, but don't always get to. It's so tender and ephemeral...