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May it be an UP day! k

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