Archive for the Painting Category

For the Beauty of the Earth

Posted in faith, inspiration, Painting on September 28, 2018 by sebland

imageThere’s a hymn that I’m reminded of: “…for the beauty of the earth, for all gentle things and mild….”

On this, our third day driving down Highway 101, we were in Depoe Bay, Oregon. The fog had just lifted and as we pulled out in one of the many scenic overlooks, we heard shouts. Someone had spotted whales breaching! What a gift! All nine of us raced down to the edge of the cliffs to catch glimpses of the whales as they blew. We had never expected to catch sight of them, and we were all amazed that after a day of fog and drizzle, even some showers, the sun broke through just in time for us to enjoy this gift. We were completely enthralled.

Folks from dry Texas, where we’d been enduring days of 100 degree weather, felt blessed at the cool weather and the sight of these amazing creatures not 50 yards away! We could not have chosen a better time. It seems we were just in the right place at the right time. Over and over during our journey, we felt incredible joy and awe.

Some in our group spotted baby seals when the fog lifted momentarily. Others explored sea caves and grottoes and brought beautiful shells and flowers for others to enjoy. Travel is not always easy. For some it is quite challenging. It is easier to sit home in your easy chair and feel comfortable, but for those willing to risk it, our country has many treasures to reveal. No matter one’s age or physical infirmities, there are places of incredible beauty that one will never forget.  If you’ve always wanted to go somewhere special, I encourage you to find a way. This land of ours is just so amazing, and you will cherish those memories forever, I promise! Hopefully some new paintings will emerge.

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This is How We Roll!

Posted in art, faith, inspiration, Meditation, mountains, Painting, PLEIN AIR PAINTING, seascapes with tags , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2018 by sebland

imageOur ages range from 59 to 80 (am I really the oldest?) and we are on our way. Casting doubts and fears aside, we have one goal: to have a good time. We had our mannies  and pedis (except for Drew), colored our hair,

 

grabbed our coffees and descended on Austin airport. Southwest Airlines took it all in stride, literally. We felt like royalty  as we passed through the gates headed for our first stop, Oakland. Looking out the windows I think of the Scripture verse that says we are made a little lower than the angels. I am always awed to be above the clouds, and the mountains below look like crinkled folds of cloth.

We try to determine: “Is this the Rio Grande” or “Are we over the Grand Canyon?” As artists we are already dreaming of that next painting and we wish someone could tell us what town lies thirty thousand feet below us.

 

We have time to grab some lunch before our flight to Portland, and arrive in time to pick up our vans to head on west to the coast.  We’re feeling mighty fine as we clear Portland’s traffic and drive past farms that look like picture puzzles. I wish we’d stopped for photos. The rolling hills, clouds falling below the mountains give us a preview of the week ahead. Stopping to shop for groceries and dinner, we explore Tillamook.

 

Too late to tour the factory, we settle for a delicious dinner before the final lap to Oceanside. Our oceanfront home, The Anemone House, is incredibly beautiful and roomy. To sleep with the window open to the roar of the ocean, we are in Paradise. image.jpeg

Never Stop Dreaming!

Posted in art, faith, inspiration, Meditation, mountains, Painting, PLEIN AIR PAINTING, seascapes with tags , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2018 by sebland

imagePhoto courtesy of Fon Thayer-Ulrich

Earlier this year on my 80th birthday, a group of my friends surprised me with a fun-filled celebration of life. Known as THE ART CHIX and THE DUDES, our group is composed of amazingly creative people who paint, draw, sculpt, write and drink a little wine together now and then. We talked about how we had dreams of far away places and how we’d like to see some of those beautiful places together. When I went home I realized it was time to put those dreams into action.

I realized I would not always be able to go and do what I wanted, so I began to look into a trip with my friends to the Pacific Northwest. I’d visited Oregon several times and really wanted to share that beauty with my fellow artists. You need to realize I’m not terribly young nor am I agile. I have an 83 year old husband who needs lots of care and I almost believed my travel days were over. Just for fun I began to say – “what if?” Going on line, I started looking for lovely places on the coast that a group of us might rent. I began to ask my friends if they’d be interested, hoping one or two might travel with me, provided my best friend and husband were cared for. My beloved children stepped forward and said, “Do it, Mom! We’ll care for our Dad.” And so we began to dream it and then scheme it, which is my motto.

Before I knew it, eight artists committed to join me and our plans began to grow.

I won’t deny I had moments of doubt, but as the days flew by, the excitement began to grow. I really felt more and more confident that this might happen. For nine months we dreamed and schemed. We had planning parties, shared ideas and goals and wondered if this might really happen. I prayed for direction and was reassured by Proverbs 3:5-6:  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him,  and he will  make your paths straight.”

Tomorrow, the team begins to scheme….

Reflections

Posted in faith, inspiration, Meditation, Painting with tags , , , , , , on August 12, 2018 by sebland

imageI’m pleased to check another item off my bucket list!  Among my many dreams has always been a desire to write a book. This one, just released, is full of original watercolors, acrylic and pastel paintings, more than fifty of them, which I did over the past year. As a bonus I’ve added some reflections and home spun wisdom you might enjoy. Some you’ll recognize from previous blogs. The book is available from Amazon.com, or if you contact me  I will send you a signed copy.

That being said, I’m moving into a new focus. In the past, art has been my first love and will continue to draw me (pardon the pun), but events over the past months have led me to want to dig a little deeper. Without apology I want to share my faith. As I age, I like to think I’ve learned a bit, and now and then I believe sharing those thoughts might be helpful. So if you can use a bit of the old lady’s philosophy, feel free. I’ll share as they come along and hope you’ll gain a little from these insights.

Gosh I like Gouache!

Posted in art, Gouache, How to Paint, inspiration, Painting, Pastels, Watercolors with tags , , , , on May 28, 2018 by sebland

imageI’m planning an art retreat in September for my Art Chix and a Dude, and wanting a minimal amount of supplies. I like the convenience of watercolor, but it can be challenging. I decided to try gouache, and boy do I like it, for lots of reasons. First, it’s opaque, so you can paint over your mistakes. Second, even 24 hours later, you can put a wet brush to your dry palette and pick up nice juicy color. Economical! The colors blend beautifully so you don’t need a ton of paint. It flows easily, thin or thick. Cleanup is easy. If you make a miscue, it lifts with a damp brush. I’m liking it so much I think I’ll paint a sample a day. Anybody want to pick up some art work  at a bargain price? 5 x 7 matted for an 8 x 10 frame.  Lovely colors, new every day,!

In a Thumbnail

Posted in art, How to Paint, inspiration, Meditation, mountains, Painting, PLEIN AIR PAINTING, Watercolors on April 11, 2018 by sebland

image.jpegIn preparing for today’s class, I was pondering over the fact that some of us were having trouble with our plein aire paintings. Searching the Internet soon revealed I’d been leaving out one very critical piece of advice. Every workshop teacher I’ve ever had has begun each session with a thumbnail sketch – sometimes more than one. image.jpegLazy and eager to get into the fun part of putting paint to the canvas, I had let slip this most important step. It was an “aha” moment. For those viewers who are raising a questioning eyebrow, a thumbnail sketch is a small study, usually about two inches square. The artist can draw a quick outline in pen or pencil, indicating what’s important in the piece, where it will fit in the picture, and indicating where the light, medium and dark values are. Sort of a roadmap or recipe to help guide one through the painting.  I like to think my time of meditation and prayer every morning is my thumbnail sketch. I look at the overall picture of my day, try to decide what is important and where my values should be, what is light, what is dark, where are the gray areas? If I spend a little time with my thumbnail , I’m likely to paint a better picture of my day. I definitely need to practice this before I begin every painting. Maybe I’ll be a little more diligent before rushing into my day, to get the values right.

Sitting on the Riverbank

Posted in art, inspiration, Meditation, Painting, PLEIN AIR PAINTING, Watercolors with tags , , , , , on April 10, 2018 by sebland

imageI’ve studied under several plein aire artists: Michael Chesley Johnson of Campobello Island, and William Scott Jennings in Sedona, Arizona –  numerous online painters, and countless videos and DVD’s. These guys paint in subzero weather and desert thunderstorms. Not me! In New Brunswick, I’m the old lady who left the workshop when the rain was  blowing sideways into my poncho. I had lunch at the Fireside Inn where FDR had lunch and toured the “cottage” on Campobello Island while my classmates struggled on and produced good work. I’m a Texas gal, and we know when to come in out of the rain. So when the weather is pleasant and the winds aren’t too cold, I gather my friends, a pot of coffee or a bottle on wine, and we find a shady spot and set up our easels. I have painted in Northern California on a wet and foggy day, and I’ve been alone on Ghost Ranch in an arroyo, painting very close to my car because a mountain lion warning had been posted. These are memories I cherish, and I’m looking forward to painting with my friends on the Oregon coast this fall, but nothing, really nothing, can compare with sitting on the bank of a river in the Texas Hill Country with good friends, feeling the breeze, smelling the diesel fumes off the trucks rolling over the bridge, and being grateful for this day. This best day, because it’s the only one promised me. I’m hoping you are feeling grateful for your day. It’s a gift, so treat it with the greatest respect. It is truly precious.

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