Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Across the Wide Expanse, Oil on Linen, 12x16
Here is another view of Lake Pepin. I never tire of this lake. We saw a large flock of pelicans circling over us, more eagles than we could count, and dozens of song birds serenaded us while we painted. The deer got pretty close before they noticed us. I like that about plein air painting. You stand in one place long enough, animals will come right up close, either out of curiosity or because you are so quiet and immersed in your painting that they don't see you as a threat.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Smooth Sailing, Oil on Linen, 12x16

Later in the same day we were on the Minnesota side of Lake Pepin when we came across this lovely view of the lake. it illustrates several of the themes I am concentrating on. This little native garden in the foreground with its long sponge-like roots absorbs pollutants before they reach the lake. The Kentucky blue grass with its short roots, does not. Pepin is a haven for sail boats, but trains regularily whiz along its shores and of course there are the barges (not shown) and pleasure craft of every description. Pepin, after all is just a widening of the mighty Mississippi, one of the busiest and most beautiful waterways of the world.

The Bottoms from Above, Oil on linen, 9x12 (SOLD)
We got to this location early Sunday morning. It had just poured buckets. While we were setting up, the fog rolled in and obliterated the view for quite a while, and then the no-see-ums started gnawing at us. Despite all that, this was a great place to hang out for a few hours. I'm having a great time getting ready for the Project Art for Nature (PAN) show at the Phipps Center for the Arts in September. My portion of the show will concentrate on the area around Lake Pepin, one of my favorite areas to paint.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sheyenne Valley, Oil on Linen, 9x12
We just returned from a 7 day trip to North Dakota where we celebrated a milestone class reunion, visited with friends and relatives, rode ATVs, canoed, camped and still found time to get some serious painting in. I'll post some more once I've touched them up a bit, but for now, here's a sampling.

The grain elevator you see off in the distance is the only building in the hamlet of Catherine that is visible above the trees. It's a lovely little village in a beautiful river valley. The quiet was amazing! The only sounds were the breeze in the grasses and the chirping of birds. We saw a coyote, and several different hawks while scouting.

We came across the location for this painting the day before. At the time, the hills were dotted with cows. I love cow's structure and was really hoping they would make an appearance so I could paint them. It was beginning to look like they would not show, but just as we were about to lose our light, they came over the top of the hill and I got my chance. I actually like the painting better than if they had been more in the foreground thus becoming too much the focus of the painting.