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May it be an UP day! k

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"Artist Studio Life", En Plein Air Essentials & Fellowship. Even when traveling solo-- Do you Think we as artist need to remember how important our 'fellowship' is?

Artist Studio Life - Oil on Linen - by K Hitt (sold)

'Artist Studio Life' an alla prima oil, painted with the plein air paintings from the initial 5 month,  Grace Love Fellowship Tour as the back drop. Two main dots on opposite ends of the country influenced the 21k+solo road trip.
This last jaunt; 7K+ solo miles, 40 days, Leg VII highlighted the 'fellowship' portion of Grace Love Fellowship tour!

Back home to An Original Hitt Fine Art and Atelier for a few weeks now, and to say the catch up and the 'to do' list is long is putting it mildly.  Wouldn't change it though. Currently working on an 88" x 96" mural of subjects never painted before.  Putting on my Illustrator hat as it accompanies the Fine Art one. This just one task at hand.

Plein Air Class In The Park
Returned in-time for a plein air lesson scheduled before I left for Bob Vedder's awesome Granddaughters too.  Sometimes work IS a walk to the park. As I taught them how to set up and carry their own easels, we walked from my Studio/Atelier and set up. The youngest  had never even painted before, she and her sister thoroughly enjoyed their introduction to 'en plein air' Think they both are naturals! Must say teaching this beginner level introduction to Plein Air, to inexperienced eyes, really made you focus on the essentials of Plein Air painting, so here they are in a nutshell.  Yes, before we went outside, I taught them how to set up. Doing so made them feel ready for the adventure.  Showed them what they were looking for, and how to use a view finder next.  Then we brought out our sketch books and did a quick thumbnail sketch. This essential, should never be looked at as a delay to getting started. Its really just the opposite of that, it frees you up to paint with a blueprint of your plan.  It keeps you on track too, as you continue, remembering what it is that had you stop "At That Moment..." to capture it.  The youngest chose the flowers next to her, and the older did an awesome job, with a building, even adding perspective.  Instruct also, every time in a lesson its essential to include the basics on composition as they planned their painting. Personally my favorite is the Fibonacci Sequence, or Golden Means. What is that? Basically a 1 to 1.618 ratio that offers perfect balance. No, I did not share this with the girls. That simplified is the thirds method. Art really does imitate life, when you have a plan, taking essential steps seem a little easier and makes it easier to find balance. Not to mention order enables fun in the simplistic and profound :0) Next we blocked in the big shapes, covering as much of the canvas as we could. Teaching both even at this level about the warm and cool light. The beauty of Plein Air, when you are out there looking, its so easy to get that... because it shouts a little. Finally in our last half hour of our time, told them now they wanted to make sure they had their focal point emphasized.  This the basics of Plein Air in a nutshell. The girls had a ball, and they did a great job for their first outing and painting. I have fun instructing at all levels, in workshops, classroom, and this semi-private too.  It had been awhile since teaching not only a beginner, a first... I had a ball too, as it also refreshed the essentials to en plein air painting in my mind too.

Honored with a visit...

Fellowship... THAT is what want to concentrate on here.  Do you think that We as artist need to remember how important our 'fellowship' is? Even when traveling solo! What does fellowship mean to you?  For we know that we are not just painting for the sake of painting... our heart, our passions... and many times our story are a part of the picture that paints a thousand words. My illustration background, influences my fine

and making some too...
art painting too.  I like telling a story. And since I can't spell to save my life, God made me an artist to do so with.  Thank you God! To be honest, sometimes parts of the fellowship in this life are not on a happy note, tragedy strikes usually when we least expect it... especially just when you think all is well.  When I was on this journey I was reminded of a phone call
Journal entry detail...
received one Mother's Day that no mother EVER wants to receive!  The tears of that memory came at a most inopportune time. My host
graciously carried on the conversation, until the good at the end of the tunnel showed up too.  I can't possibly fit all here in words, nor do I need too. This though awakened the passion, the fellowship, and the purpose in me in an illuminated light.  We as artist have opportunity to reach places in the heart that no other medium can.  We can tell tales that words can not. "At That Moment.." Turns out At That Moment... is for life.  Changed the name of the exhibit just now I think too.  '"At That Moment..." For Life'. After two more short trips this summer, my teaching schedule has been downsized, and the main concentration of the studio effort of painting the tales begins.  There currently are Fifty plus plein air paintings (counting only the ones feel worthy to exhibit) from the journey, they are only a part of the story to tell.

One of the HUGE blessings receive that didn't even imagine on the list, was a call while still touring in California.  I was invited to attend the Plein Air
my home away from home
Academy Pilot at the Forgotten Coast Plein Air event in Apalachicola and be mentored by Don Demers! YUP!  Exceedingly MORE than can imagine. On top of this, my hostess accidentally double booked her spare room, and she
asked me if I would mind staying by myself, and on a house boat? YUP ! Exceedingly more than can imagine replied again! Thank YOU God! Leg VII quite frankly was a roller coaster. Let some people down, tried to fit too much in, changed my mind in the middle, frankly though succeeded, also failed.  Because I care about people.  A lot. Discovered, was behaving a little bit like a kid in a candy shop with my new found freedoms.  Yes, highs and lows of a rollercoaster.  Learned a LOT more than just painting on this journey.  Fellowship remains the key, and the story in us to tell.  Good news I have always loved rollercoasters.  Also, I always bounce back. Many of the things unmentioned that have bounced back from would have derailed most. Alas, I digress.

The theme of my tour Grace Love Fellowship, is a story in itself, that is also a part of the big picture, which is also the name of the exhibit that ends up three years in the making.

Closing last leg before all the studio work is to begin again by being mentored by Don Demers? This, at the tail end of a 7K+ journey, that followed a 21K+ mile journey that focused on growing as an artist as a surprise gift a coincidence? How it juxtaposition-ed a heartache of a call, seemingly illustrating how all things do indeed work together for the good Godspeed. For I was at a Don Demers workshop when I received that call one mothers day, and I had to emergency leave.  No it
Thank YOU Joe Taylor & Leslie Fedota
was no coincidence that i was invited to be mentored by Don Demers at this season, at this exact time.  This time the change of course was for the good, not tears.

Though remembering this brought me unexpectedly to tears and yes, weighed heavy on all I saw from there about priorities. Don't know if I got all of them right, but pressed on. Forever thankful for the blessing and opportunity.

 Its a fact that Plein Air Painting enable my eyes to see as an Artist, in a way that just doesn't happen in the studio.  Don Demers, when he heard of my travels, said I am going to have to close my eyes for weeks to be able to push the refresh decipher button.  As said, have been back a few weeks now. The
sketch book concept doodles for studio work- anchor holds
journey continues back in the studio where the tales of fellowship, and places continue to be told  ' "At That Moment..."For Life.'  Don Demers also gave just the right encouragement this artist needed to hear to not be afraid to speak up in my paintings too.  To allow the voice to speak up boldly.  I often jest, but its oh so true too, that I am the most insecure confident person you will ever meet. This
single mom of three, when her youngest turned 22, responsibility of that season released, well, momma was blessed to take a road trip. A really BIG trip. Discovered on this journey that it's one for life.  At That Moment... is my artist statement now too. Its why I paint.  And the studio paintings are about to unfold, that tells the story all along the way that will hopefully bring you each to your own "At That Moment..." Godspeed.

yes, business! tough job but somebody has to do it!

in close, This last leg VII of what seems to continually grow from an already epic journey, focused on 'fellowship'.  There was laughing, crying, exploring, learning, growing, new, old, lifelong goals, and never imagined possible ones touched on too.  Exceedingly more than can imagine is the journey, in a nutshell.  As a follow up to last years 21k+ mile journey, this last little jaunt closed at just over 7K+ solo miles driven in my trusty steed of a Chevy Tahoe, and exactly 40 days.  Starting in what is nicked named both Paradise, and Mayberry By The Sea; Venice, FL, then bee-lined to Monterrey for #PACE14.  If you have not been to a Plein Air Convention & Expo, can not recommend it enough. The camaraderie with like minded Artist, the endless list of the top talents painting en Plein Air today to watch, and paint along side with is a priceless opportunity.  Its like attending 30 workshops in a week, not to mention some of the most beautiful landscapes this country has to offer. On top of that, there is what is called Marketing Boot Camp for artist that starts at 6:30 am each morning.  If you are not learning here, you are not trying.  AND there is the expo, where you get to touch and feel and try some of the best plein air supplies and frames available too.  You just may need to HITT the road too and get to PACE in '15. Hear tale that there is a group of artist talking about their own road trip forming.. could one of them be you? (ok, back to our regular programing :0)  )

When I originally began this quest last year, that had me HITTing the road,  my plan was pretty simple; besides the two big red dots on my road maps, was to grow as an artist, and to do so nationally as my sponsor desired for me to do. My way to cover the nation, was to do so painting en plein air and visiting all of the national exhibits, galleries, museums that I could, and culminate the experience to the mission, an exhibit just about three years in the making,  now titled 
' "At That Moment..." For Life' with Karen Hitt.  All made possible by an unexpected gift from a student, turned patron.  Now, I don't think they expected me to hop in my vehicle and Hitt the road, to create the exhibit that they are also sponsoring. Because 'the journey is the destination' it in itself is the exhibit too.  "At That Moment..." For Life  is back at where it all began, our local not for profit Venice Art Center.  I have been an instructor there since 1998, when first became a single parent of three, they, how helped to keep a roof over my head while schedule worked around my children's. My loyalty to them will never fade. Now, all my students over those 17 years may play a part in this adventure too, by entering their painting to their portion of the exhibit in a separate gallery. The main Pat Buster gallery/museum exhibiting my works,  and the students are entering their works to the Altman-Vogt gallery portion of the exhibit with the same theme. (stay tuned for an artist/student prospectus) Yup, exceedingly more than can imagine continues here too. (There is another exceedingly more than can imagine in the works too, as a part of this exhibit, will share with you asap to publish it!) The tasks at hand are a wee bit daunting, the journey great, The plan was simply to 'put this money to work' as best knew how.  Leaving ashes behind, sought beauty and to learn how to reflect it as best know how. Well, it has ended up being even well over  the initial 21 THOUSAND miles of them to share; the plein air, the places and the people that have made up the epic journey of growing as an artist. Save the date to visit beautiful Venice Florida -- On 27 Feb 2015 the exhibit opens and runs through March 20th.. Bob Bahr with Out Door Painter -Plein Air Magazine coined the phrase for me 'HITTing the road...'. Leg VII had me doing that again this year.  I will also be journeying in a couple weeks to the beloved 'Paint Camp' in the Adirondacks hosted by Eric Rhodes titled 'Publishers Invitational'.  There, 100 artist gather to paint in the beautiful finger lake region of the Adirondacks, seeking out the very locations great landscape painters like Fredrick Church and all of the Hudson River School Artist depicted. It is a another highlight for this artist growing in her ability to depict the next "At That Moment..."

Well, in addition, I have been encouraged to write a book on the journey's and the tale that leads up to and throughout it all. Its more than the painting. Stay tuned.  Have a helper that even knows how to write a proper sentence, edit and spell. They were a goosebumps conversation at a fellowship lunch and ends up a great part of the tale too.  Sure we all as Artist dream of getting in our vehicle and HITTing the open road to paint en plein air. 
Do believe quite miraculously have been enable to do so. As a women traveling solo, people often ask me "were there times you were afraid?" Yes, but no.  There is a reason that I travel as I do, I actually feel safer in my trusty stead that has an alarm system and a custom made custom bed with a feather blanket and pillow... than most hotel chains out there. The fact that street wise came from going to college in NYC helps a little too, and that am not petite, even though a gimp helps.  Now, mind you if I was independently wealthy and 4 or 5 stars could always be on the agenda... well maybe I would be tempted.  BUT the reality is the journey IS the destination. No, I don't live in my car. Yes, I love a good B&B along the way too, friends and families homes too, besides the camping. No, not physically possible to paint 'every' day, have to drive some too, but the en plein air remains the daily focus.
Now, Back to the FELLOWSHIP side of the journey... that occurs even when you are traveling solo.  I did discover on this last leg, that its very difficult planing personal stops in a timely manor, with all the miles and views and yes distractions along the way.  Also discovered its impossible to make all fit.  Ironically I once facilitated a class titled "Boundaries" ...was reminded of the need for them along
Back Home at An Original Hitt Fine Art & Atelier
the way, even when traveling with an open road map! One other thing that I have learned after all these miles too...  I DO NOT NEED 75% of what is packed! SO am even learning to edit.  And as to doing so in writing... well, that is why a 'writer' is helping with the book concept.  Now i just need one to help me edit this blog :0)  Thanks for being a part of the tmi post.  Hope you enjoyed, and hope to see you either at An Original Hitt Fine Art & Atelier, or out and about HITTing the road. Don't forget to save the date too!  Until the next... May it be an UP day! K

To close, here are some of the pictures from this last Grace, Love, Fellowship... all along the way!
a heart rock that marked the spot to paint
painting at that exact spot outside of Yosemite along the Merced! 

the painting AND the rock back at An Original Hitt Fine Art & Atelier fresh off the easel wall...
Great Nephew with ...
teaching Daughter in Law to en Plein Air

her finished painting back at their home
Julie with the heart rock...

Son Fishing while we painted for his birthday :0)
He caught dinner, and used his bday presents to prepare it for us

my little painting from the day...

FINALLY made it to my best friend from HS home to meet her husband and see her and her two boys in action.  Fabulous visit!
This some of the painting from there too...


Painting at La Jolla surrounded by spring blooms was wonderful.  Torrey Pines, Balboa Park, Old Mission, etc. etc. too.  On top of this long awaited treat, I also made it to a life long quest... Yosemite!  On top of that my last day there was painting en plein air a piece requested I paint from the sharing while traveled.  It was of the Chapel.  The person requesting it shared also from an early sharing that the first time that they saw Half Dome it made them cry.  So from that fellowship, and the storyteller in me came this little Plein Air...  The " "Light Is On"  Painted on Good Friday at Yosemite National Park.  And when I finished this little painting... went as is to that little chapel, for the Good Friday Service.  Yup, exceedingly more than we can imagine... always has a way of showing up... Godspeed

and one last tale to share from there... met a new best friend at a place never even planned initially to stop...  Hye Texas!  if you are ever in-between Fredricksburg and Austin Texas in Texas Hill Country wine country may I simply say, Hye Noon Cabins is the place to stay!  No wi-fi or TV... just lots of what is really important... fellowship!

and now am really signing out... until next time I get to see you Out and About, with An Original HITT :0)