Welcome to my "meet the artist" blog; designed to couple with website AnOriginalHitt For Current events, Classes, Newest Paintings, Outings, Venice Plein Air MAPs, etc. will be shared on a more daily basis. If you are interested in any of the paintings paypal is available. Would LOVE to hear your reviews and art news. You may become 'a follower' for updates... Hope its an UP day! k
Questions? Contact Karen At: orighitt@gmail.com

ALL Photos. Artwork and Writing on this blog Copyrighted to K. Hitt ... None to be reproduced without the written permission of the artist.
Plein Air Magazine Outdoor Painter Featured Artwork

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Naturalistic Sketch, is it what we now call Plein Air? Learning from those that came before inspires this Artist today.

 Paintings Painted while Twachtman Studied in France, over 130 years ago, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and viewed for the first time by this Artist over 35 years ago while studying at Parson School of Design,  reconnected their inspiration this past May 2016 while demoing to a first time Plein Air Painter as an Ambassador at the Forgotten Coast Plein Air event in Apalachicola, Florida. The little 6x8 painting a key tool that made the inspiration for the 30x40" oil painting possible, has just been completed in the studio to be debuted at the first Venice Art Walk of the New Year Jan. 5th, 2017 at the working art studio.  Amazingly, as I read the story behind Twachtmans monumental canvas the realization of how history does indeed repeat itself continues for all of us painters. 


John Henry Twachtman; ca. 1884-Oil on canvas-18 1/4 x 25 7/8in
During the summer of 1884 Twachtman—then a student at the Académie Julian in Paris—rented a château with his family at Arques-la-Bataille, Normandy, near the port of Dieppe, and focused on painting unpretentious views of the Arques River valley. In this work, he portrayed the edge of the Béthune, a tributary of the Arques, bordered by a fringe of reeds and meadow flowers. In his Paris studio the following winter, he reconsidered the naturalistic sketch and created his monumental canvas "Arques-la-Bataille"(Metropolitan Museum Of Art notes on paintings)

Arques-la-Bataille John Henry Twachtman; 1885 Oil on canvas 60 x 78 7/8 in. 

Studying as an artist in Munich in the mid-1870s, Twachtman had painted with a dark palette and lively brushwork, both of which he abandoned when he moved to Paris to enroll at the Académie Julian in 1883. This painting is one of several large landscapes he created during his two years in France. Based on a preliminary oil study (pictured above) also in the Museum's collection (not on display), it depicts a scene at Arques-la-Bataille, a town four miles southeast of Dieppe, in Normandy, where the Béthune and two other streams flow together to form the Arques River. Its emphasis on formal design recalls both Japanese woodblock prints and James McNeill Whistler’s nocturnes.(MMA notes)
From the first time viewing this painting, it has inspired and influenced me.  This past May, real life brought these Twachtman paintings back to the forefront of inspirations. While doing the  demo this was also shared with the student, as an Ambassador at the Forgotten Coast Plein Air Event.  The coincidences continue to reveal themselves today too.  The scene up in Apalachicola are at the dock of Mill Pond, which is fed by the Apalachicola River.  Mill Pond is where many of the working boats of the area dock, and the river leads them to their catch in the gulf.  All a very still, and brackage water area, lined with rivers of grass.  The Plein Air Study painted that day, a 6x8 oil on linen, had to be kept simplified as demonstrating how to capture a plein air scene to a first time painter that signed up for this community event, Paint Stations with An Artist.  So the goal in instructing the how to's for this beginner, was to keep the scene very simplistic, and what better model than these Twachtman's.
All learned from studying Twachtman's exercise, to applying it myself from the plein air field study to the studio, seems the perfect reply to this mission to grow as an artist to meet the next season in life. The journey is indeed the destination and it continues. From my first ticket bought to attend the Plein Air Convention & Expo in 2013 to going again this year as faculty.  The honor of being a part of the Forgotton Coast team last year as an Ambassador, and this year will be an artist in residence supporting the "Save The Shotguns" PEARL the first week in April.  More on that to come. Hope to see you out and about, this newest paintings debut at the Venice Art Walks 
Jan-Apr 2017  
1st Thursdays 5-8 pm. 
13 Galleries and Studios in Venice come together each month.  Meet the artist, enjoy a snack and splash of wine too.  There is more information on each of the Artwalks at my events page at my website.  Click on the image here:


Saturday, July 23, 2016

How To Set Up a Plein Air Summer Series "Slices Of Red - Awakenings"

As this Series continues, this sharing of  'how to- set up', are from the NEW Techniques explored on the first dozen.
"Slices...I-XI" the first eleven in the morning series...
 Slices Of Red - Awakenings Plein Air Oil Painting Series, 
in effect, came about from a colliding of circumstances and working them together for the good.
Slices...XII by Karen Ann Hitt

One Collision in working Art Studio.. can you say boxes?!?

When you have this going on at your art studio! After math of relocating from a home you had lived in the last 21 years, moving into a condo (zero painting room), with all art supplies being moved to the Art Studio or storage

and you have a quote like this one written literally on the side of your working art studio wall... 
click on images to enlarge
You find a way to keep the inspirations working.  Besides, when an artist is stressed out, the BEST thing that they can do is find a place and way to PAINT.

I just returned from "Paint Camp" Eric Rhoades, Plein Air Magazines Publishers Invitational in the Adirondacks. And because of all going on, this was my first year out of four flying to it instead of taking my own vehicle.  That was a challenge for me getting all of my art supplies to fit into ONE SUITCASE.  Are you kidding me?  There are professionals out there that are MASTERS at it.  I, am not that Artist- but I did overcome and accomplish it - with a LOT of help from my friends.
High Falls, NY; my painting on the left, Erik Koeppel, right.
#PaintCamps beloved spot

This one of the paintings painted on that trip.

Next The Adirondacks painted by Homer,

Thanks to Eric, recommending it as a place to visit; Clark Museum of Art, flying out of Albany the next morn,  just before returning home.  Can you say all warmed up, and  INSPIRED TO PAINT

First Big technical difficulty, No paint room INSIDE the new place. No solvents etc. allowed in this closed in space. Besides, that is what the Art Studio is for. You saw what that was looking like, and frankly 21 years takes time to sort through... Alas, the inspirations also keep rolling through.
Leading up to the  
Second detail, this new place is literally up in the sky and the summer skies are absolutely amazing daily- there is no way that i can just be distracted by them and NOT find a way to paint them.  So, that is what i did. Inspiration Abounds. Plan- Paint, simple. Oh, and of course a great big Thank YOU God!
The original plan still continues: grow as an artist to meet the next season in life.
Who knew all the new that was ahead for this season.  So, grow, press on, working within the details at hand (Click on link if you would like tmi details).
  • How am i going to paint at the new condo with minimal and non toxic supplies here? 
That is where things really started working toward the good, by believe it or not being simplified! 
If you scroll down to other entries on this blog, you will find my out and about plein air supply list.  It is still relevant.  BUT, it has been significantly downsized-- so we shall say:
Micro Strada loaded and in freezer
Soltek loaded too
Here is how I resolved things:
Insert the distraction...
and the tools

AND the results so far:


 So how to do with no Gamsol, No Mineral Spirits, etc. 
M.Graham Alkyd Walnut Oil Medium
My supplies:
1. M. Graham (main paints)[Walnut Seed Based]
2. Rosemary & Co. Brushes
3. Alkyd Walnut Oil Medium
4. Gamblin Solvent Free Gel
5. Palette knives
6. Paint Panels/Linen
7. Easel Brush Clip
8. Murphy's Oil Soap
9. Ziplock Bag / Paper Towels
This how rigged things up on our new balcony. Then, when cleaning up, Paper towels, Murphy's Oil Soap, Ziplock Bag

  • I still start with toning my linen canvas. I use to use something like Liquin, or Gaklyd.  After this adventure. No more! and YAY!  I now simply put some of the Walnut Oil/Alkyd on the paper towel, then a dab of transparent Iron Red Oxide. And tone my canvas as always did.  I do this first thing when I go out to set up, just before the dawn.  It drys enough for the painting process by the time I get set up. 
  • That is usually when I finish setting up (make coffee :) ). The reason I have my Soltek Easel, its my least used travel Plein Air Easel.  It is also the best easel for the wind.  We can get some pretty serious gust up here, I do not have my usual back pack and all my supplies to weight anything down.  I also put a table cloth under neath everything, just in case a brush should fall.  Alot of what I am sharing with you is obviously NOT rocket science -- and i do not claim to be a know it all.  These are simply some of the simplified materials I use up here.  And to be honest, I think that I may try this edit on my next out and about too.
  • Painting the skies, involves having to paint very quickly. Painting the Sunrises, at least here with our summer skies, every morning there is a rainbow effect to the layering of colors from horizon to the zenith. This is usually achieved with palette knives and then blending for a smooth transition with various feather like brushes.  (Did I mention that I love my Rosemary & Co. Brushes?)  This view, all changes so quickly.  You can't chase the light either, because it is so radically different from moment to moment. I want to interject here, personally, before painting this series, each morning when I rose for my quiet time, I was distracted away to watching the effects of the sun rise... again and again and again.  SO, though no two are ever a like, you start realizing the different effects to be looking for, and how to capture them very quickly.
  • Once the underpainting of the various colors of the overall sky are laid in, it is usually now just minutes from the sun actually rising.  THIS is to me, the most beautiful time of the day. ALL THE COLOR EXPLODES JUST BEFORE THE SUN RISE... then, the sun, in the summer is often the red ball, sending out sparks above it.  All i can say is, get out there and watch it if you can. Its awe.
  • And that explosion of color is your next mad dash to capture. whisking your hands with palette knives and brushes seeking to reflect literally the movement of wisps is the sky. Clouds don't tend to sit still for you any better than a two year old.  You capture that movement, and predict and prepare for the timing of which level of burst you want to capture. You softly move your brush over the  under painting of the skies effects.
  • A picture paints a thousand words.  These plein air paintings are all tools for the studio paintings that will follow.  What i am painting each morning the camera simply can not pick up the colors, or the light.  They simply MUST be painted!  As you look through these 12, you can see just how much each day differs.  I also tried to capture a variety of times in the sunrises too.  Many before the sun, or one emphasizes the moon setting.
  • While in the painting process, to clean brushes while painting, I simply used paper towels to wipe off access paint. Or a fresh new fresh...!
  • And when its time to clean up: ALL I need is a ziplock bag and my murphy;s oil soap! I have even forgotten my brushes over night! When I come in the predawn hour and see them, it is a breeze to simply pull them out one by one and walla good as new, sharp as swords, and ready to reflect wisp with you
    Beginning the underpainting
    and Rosemary, back to as good as new.,, in spite of me


Thursday, April 14, 2016

PACE16 begins...

SEEingYour Way to Getting Outdoors — Plein Air Painting FUNdamentals 
             is where I am honored to contribute to this amazing event.  I will be a part of the Basics Course, sharing about Oils.
Whether you are a seasoned studio painter or you’ve never picked up a brush, getting outside to paint can be a daunting challenge. Join me as I share the FUNdamentals of painting oil outdoors, from setting up to sketching, design, composition, and learning to SEE en plein air — and capturing it all on canvas.
to join me in Tuscan in the Basics Course click here

The painting that Plein Air Magazine featured here in this promo is one of my two entries into the Women Painters Of The South East Exhibit.  While we were traveling to PACE16 I received the news that this 20x24 Plein Air Painting won "Outstanding Landscape" The First Painting that i painted attempting this subject, i actually wiped out!  I didn't give up on it though it was a few months later before we were back at this location where I could attempt it again.  It took me multiple sittings to complete it, and I am glad that it did.  The 'Ladies' entered into the scene on day two.  Then, as the corn in the field across the road began to be harvested, it was a perfect time to share a few ears with these two Mares.  They are  the last in the line of a family tradition, making it all the more important to catch them at their ole familiar home-front.  Family. heritage, history are all a part of this particular Plein Air piece. The sentiment in it, could have made it intimidating, and yes daunting.  Too much pressure.  The opposite ends up true though, there is excitement in the opportunity to reflect the scene unfolding before you. This one had an important story to tell. That is not the way that it always is though.
Where one Plein Air Painting, borders on being an illustration, another is simply an attempt to catch a fleeting moment, At That Moment...
"Rhapsody" another Plein Air Oil, was exactly that.  The waves on the shore exploding along with the light catching their every wake... Continuous motion if pondered, could be another daunting task.  Its not though, its simply reflected.  Its only paint on a canvas, and a learning experience.  A gift, if accepted! I personally have been on a mission, to grow as an Artist to meet the next season in life.  Who knew, what all was ahead... it remains a gift that i look forward to sharing with you, on how to see yourself getting Outdoors -- Plein Air Painting FUNdamentals.

THAT is also what i look forward to sharing at PACE16 this year in the Basics Course.  PLUS, I look forward to learning more myself too==  The Plein Air Convention is like going to 30 Workshops in a week.  It doesn't get any better than that!  Add to that the Camaraderie with other Out door Painters... heaven here on earth for an artist. Again, I can not wait to see and learn with so many wonderful artist's!  The best in the world are gathering in Tucson this week!

I hope you will join me at the Basics Course, or Out And About with me as one of the Field Painters too.  I look forward to sharing my perspective on Plein Air Painting with you, and help you to approach it with new eyes, just like me, and peace of mind... 

This, is just one of the views here in Tucson, it just so happens to be our home away from home while we are here...  yup heaven here on earth indeed... Hope to see you soon 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Exploring Blessings Part V... How to's of...

First, the  LAST local workshop this season looks at the  
FUNdamentals of Drawing - SEEing Like an Artist                              
Friday, Monday & Tuesday, April 1, 4 & 5 -- 9:30am – 3:30pm The essential of ANY work of art is sound draftsmanship and DRAWING. Learn how to ‘see’ like an Artist, and apply what you have learned to SEE with sound draftsmanship, composition, shape, form, character.
what may look like a scribble is in-fact an artist blueprint... Also known as a 'thumbnail'. Not all of them start the size of a thumbnail, it is just a term. They are essential to planning your work. No civil engineer would begin a bridge without a blueprint/plan... more artist might learn to see how it saves them time in the long run, if they get in the habit of starting with a plan... they will begin to see it as their Artist bridge. It is a lot easier to work out your composition on a small scale, than attempting to do so on your canvas.

We will take lessons from the Masters as you develop classic talents building a strong foundation for your own works of art.  All levels of experience

here is a link to a blog post when sharing about when this painting was in the works

  this is my last local class offered here in SW FL before 

HITTing the road for Tuscan and Plein Air Magazines 

Plein Air Convention & Expo... where I will be sharing MORE how to's with all that register for the Basics Course that I am so honored to be a part of the faculty for!

 Karen Ann Hitt Basics

Whether you are a seasoned studio painter or you’ve never picked up a brush, getting outside to paint can be a daunting challenge. Join Karen Hitt as she shares the FUNdamentals of painting oil outdoors, from setting up to sketching, design, composition, and learning to SEE en plein air — and capturing it all on canvas.
to join me in Tuscan in the Basics Course click here

There is one last adventure here in VENICE FLORIDA Before I HITT the Road, and you even have a chance to win AN ORIGINAL HITT during this NEW SEASON -- In thanks to The Buzz of Venice giving me the great honor of having my painting "Saturday In The Park- Fountain Park" be the cover for the Historical Venice Visitors Map 2016-17you have an opportunity to win the original or a "Heart Of Venice Views" version of it by participating in  Venice Art Walks and An Original Hitt Fine Art & Atelier during the Season.  Drawing is on May 5th at 7pm.  NEXT Art Walk is April 7th 2016 and that is my LAST Night here in Venice before Gary & I HITT the road !

Click on any image here for a pdf printable MAP and flyer

come on out and register to win 

An Original Hitt on April 7th 5-8pm


AND Last but not LEAST the fourth on this HITTing the road agenda... I am honored to be invited to be an Ambassador At Florida's Finest during The Forgotten Coast Plein Air Event in MAY 7-1 ...more of that coming soon.  I hope to see you Out & About HITTing The Road... 

at one of these learning opportunities of the 'how to's of... 

1. FUNdamentals of Drawing - SEEing Like An Artist April 1, 4&5

2. SEEing Your Way To Getting Outdoors- Plein Air FUNdamentals April 14th

3. Venice Art Walk - 12 Studio/Galleries April 7th & May 5th 5-8pm 

4. Ambassador At Florida Finest The Forgotten Coast Plein Air Event May 7th-15th  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

EXPLORE BLESSINGS: Part IV Painters Paradise Plein Air How To's

Explore BLESSINGS: Part IV next in How To series, continued from "You Be The Judge..."; Part II: How to make your own Painters Paradise & Part III: How To's of Plein Air Painters Paradise
replace rock after you share your hands on it
Find This Rock in the Grand Tetons National Park
 Plus Adding a CONTEST-win 5 Day Workshop Explore Blessings Contest No purchase necessary, all you have to do is EXPLORE Blessings to Win, and send a picture to me showing that you found the ROCK !  HINT: 
40 paces!  
Gary had the idea to leave a mark, to see if we can find it when we return again.  He had me sign my name on a cool Rock he found, while I was Plein Air Painting the GRAND TETONS. Why not see if others can find it too, AND make it a contest?  So.... in an effort to get others out to explore, to enjoy the blessings that The National Parks are, and discover this view for yourself... Gary's mark, is now your opportunity to be blessed too!  Not only with a view, but with a Painting Workshop too* !
I love the 
National Parks, and 2016 marks their Centennial !!!  In honor of that, and what just may be my new favorite National Park, Grand Tetons National Park...  first time explored, is on this USAHoneymoon, If you have further questions on this little contest, send me an email, and I will reply asap and/or click here.  The photos are your clues as to how to find the spot that the rock is at.  Again, the hint of 40 paces.  Along with that, note 4 wheel drive.  Check out the title of the painting too... for a further clue.  Good luck on this win win... getting out to explore more of the Grand Teton National Park.  I am very curious how many will even take on the challenge... 

Next some "How To's" for you in this Part IV of Painters Paradise.  This outing was a learning experience for me too.  While visiting Jackson/ Jackson Hole, Wyoming, home of Grand Tetons National Park, i sought out learning experiences for myself too.  
Two of those stops:  
1. the premiere Tetons Painter, Jim Wilcox Gallery, and 
2. the National Museum of Wildlife Art.  
Both inspired me to take on new challenges, just as I hope I am doing for you too.  

First, Jim Wilcox, is not only a great painter, he is brilliant as an inventor out of desire too.  He invented the 

Soltek Easel 
Some of the things that make it special; is the easels ease of set up, its strength in the wind, and its ability to hold large plein air pieces.  I ended up putting all of these to the test on my humble attempt to paint both the Snake River, and the Grand Tetons Range. Two things never done before.  On top of that we took a 4 wheel access only drive to get to this location. Most of you know of my handicap, of two reconstructed knees.  Though i would LOVE to climb a mountain, I simply cannot.  The jeep or other ways of 4 wheel driving gets me to places i wouldn't have been able to get to before.  If you don't own one, a lot of places will rent you one... just a thought. 

Day 1 -Snake River Bend, check. Grand Tetons, will have to be taken on in round 2, of impromptu

well, the winds on day two for round two of this view, gusted to about 20mph.  When we initially headed down this highway, the day before, it was to explore.  Well... um as a plein air painter, the

Day 1 Snake River Bend; check. Sun going down, forced time.
view just couldn't be ignored!  Gary was a dear, as I began to impromptu set up my gear.  I had both of my easels with me. Both my beloved Mini Strada, and my New Soltek ( **#3 on my list).  Along with that a 16x20 hanging out in the back seat since we arrived at the Tetons a week ago.  To save time, I nabbed my **Mini Strada, and today just used it as a palette, because it was already loaded up with paint.  BUT this view was tooooo Grand for a little panel, soooooo the 16x20 came out, and therefore my NEW **Soltek too. (Note the mini with an extension can hold a 16x20 too, just liked the excuse to try this new) 

Day two, Sun came out after all... and we raced back to this spot with a packed snack and Gary in hiking gear this time too.  Rocks, were added to brace the Soltek legs.  I don't think they were needed, but my creature of habit to weight something down kicked in with the wind. 
this the finish... "Snake River Bend At Grand Tetons" by Karen Ann Hitt

 Above, how the painting came out of the trunk, though weighted, and 'thought' all hazards tucked underneath.... well, after a very rugged FUN drive back in the Jeep... this the result.  Dirt, bag, and paper towel magically appeared ... into the painting too.  ALL is fixable, lesson though known before trying... thoroughly learned.  THIS WHY SHOULD ALWAYS USE #18 or the like on my list**: RAYMAR Wet Painting Carriers.  I didn't have one in a 16x20.  Not traveling in my 'trusty steed' that has ample area to lay down a wet painting... i tried something new... and  re-learned what works best.

before, loaded into trunk under evening light
after, a little beat up but fine...

the view of the drive home!

 how the jeep looked in the morn, as went out to open up the trunk to see how the painting survived.  All is well, and fixable indeed. The lead picture that was shared at #7 on the list**, also shows my carrier usually used.  I will next time! The drive home so much FUN, again, all fixable and all worth it.  Sharing here so you don't have to learn the lessons the hard way...

 This leads me to the next part of the how to do's.  NEXT taking example from the paintings viewed at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
While at the museum, a HUGE pleasant surprise, AND a great learning envirionment too.  Next i will let the pictures do the talking.  My hope to try this approach on my next adventures here.  If time allows, a hike to a lake that Gary also has some awesome references for me of too.  Resources can come in all shapes and sizes.  I do believe that Plein Air Painting in itself, has completely awakened these eyes in how to see!  Years ago, i went out with a paint box, and stantec easel.  Simply using what I had on hand, an got myself outside.  Also originally just to get out, because often worked on commission portraits alone in the studio, of children from photographs.  Something that I still love to do, but the plein air painting has enhanced that side of my work too.  LIFE simply brings to LIFE all that you do.  GET OUT AND EXPLORE AND LEARN ALL POSSIBLE... no matter how professional and experienced you are... there is so much MORE out there.  Hope to see you soon.  And I can NOT wait to see if anyone finds the ROCK!   
Pictures from the Museum:
1930 version of Plein Air to Studio... before the time of the fanciful name of plein air.  OUT DOOR painting, was simply titled field sketches.

the plein air... field study
 Just as this professional artist found new ways to branch out and reach new professional avenues... we each have that potential to grow as an artist to meet the next season in life too.  This is my 3rd year into this three year mission of concentrated studies to do just that.  With all the new added, beyond the original plan, the key remains: "the journey IS the destination" - Godspeed indeed.  Hope to see you out and about.

If you would like to see any of my classroom/workshop opportunities coming up this new season; visit this page: WorkshopClasses

email: orighitt@gmail.com 

* * My List:
1. Rosemary & Co. Brushes.
see last post (Post II) for more on each brush loved

2. Guerrilla Brush carrier
3. Strada Easel 
    and added a new one too Soltek Easel 
4. M. Graham Walnut Seed Oil Paints
5. Shade Buddy Umbrella
6. Tripod
7. Car Window Shade Screen
8. Back Pack
(misc. bungy cords, clamps, etc.)
9.Bug & Sun Stuff
10. Sunscreen Shirts
11. Smart Wool Socks
(Out Door Studio)
12.Screened Gazebo
13. stool
14. Easel ( for larger panels)
15. Stan Rite Portable Easel
16. outdoor mat
17. portable Table
18. Raymar Panel Carrier
19, Revelite EL light

*if you can't make a 5 Day workshop, a comparable trade will be made for you to still enjoy the
*Prize:  Intensive Oil Painting FUNdamentals study Workshop
January 25,26,27,28&29, 2016
*waiver: not responsible for any expense, injury, loss, etc. of any kind as you explore. PLEASE keep it fun :-)

#findourparks  #TetonsNationalParks #PleinAir #OutdoorPainting #NationalParks #USAHoneymoon  #CentennialNationalParks