I am so taken by all the beautiful flowers blooming around my studio in Dry Creek Valley. I found myself drawn to these beautiful orange poppies and purple wisteria which lead to creative play in my studio and the resulting piece, Blooming (shown below).
There are both challenges and rewards to working outdoors. The greatest reward is simply putting myself in the way of beauty. Some of the challenges are wind, sudden downpours, wet canvases falling in the dirt, bugs flying into and "joining" the painting, and 90 or 100 degree summer afternoons. The challenges lessen as I perfect my own approach to painting outside.
One of my biggest challenges used to be hauling all of my supplies to a painting sight. I've meticulously whittled down what I bring to the bare essentials. Here's my list:
1. Soltek Easel
2. Richeson Grey Matters Paper Palette 12 x 16 + Sticky Tac
Tip: Leave the palette pad at home. Instead, roll a few sheets in your paper towel roll for transport and attach to Soltek palette with sticky tac. This makes for fast clean up.
3. Bungee Cord + Viva Paper Towels
4. Waste Bag + Bulldog Clip
5. Guerrilla Painter Stainless Steele Brush Washer (leakproof)
6. Atlas Gardening Gloves (keeps hands clean)
7. Limited selection of brushes and palette knifes
8. Limited selection of oil paints 37ml
9. Guerrilla Painter Shadebuddy Umbrella
10. Hat + Apron
11. Canvas Carrier + Canvases
12. Skip Hop Signature Duo Diaper Bag
Tip: use stroller straps to attach bag to easel
13. Picture Perfect 3 in 1 Plus View Finder
14. Sun Screen + bug spray
15. Wet Wipes
17. Thinksport Insulated Sports Bottle (2) 500ml
Tip: fits into Skip Hop side bottle pockets.
18. Emergency kit in car
It's amazing - with the rain comes mushrooms. I photographed all of these mushrooms, around my house in NorCal, since the beginning of December. Some of them are the same mushroom, but in a different stage of life and-or show a different view. I don't know enough about mushrooms to confidently identify these beauts, so let's safely assume they are all inedible, proceed with caution and simply appreciate their beauty and diversity. Click a mushroom for an enlarged slideshow :)
It was 96 degrees today and there was slim pickings amidst my roses. Luckily, I found two yellow roses ripe for clipping underneath the glorious shade of a tree. This painting started with a quinacridone rose wash, then went more towards an eggplant-ocher combo, which I didn't much care for. I decided to tone the painting down with a neutral green and created movement with my palette knife, both of which really made the yellow roses pop!
I'm fortunate to have a Steller's Jay nesting about six feet off of the ground in a camellia bush. I can't see in the nest, but if I hold my arm up over my head, I can snap pictures of inside the nest with my iphone. I've been excitedly following the progress of the mama bird and her nestlings. She usually pops out of the nest in the late afternoon to look for food, which sometimes provides me a small window of time to carefully visit the nest and photograph the changes.
The nestlings are much more aware now and I need to be careful not to get in their way. I also do not want to be caught by mama - as of yesterday, the babies squawk at my arrival. Mama bird has been very tolerant of me and my curiosity so far. It's truly a pleasure to watch the progress of her nest!
Post edit: Shortly after this post, the babies left the nest. Apparently, they leave before then can fly. I'm going to miss them!
Spring is nearly here and the garden around my studio is coming to life! It's been lovely to capture some of the little wonders through my photography. Starting top left and moving clockwise: Gorgeous quince blooming, a mushroom born from the soggy ground, one of many bees busy in the pear tree blossoms, and miner's lettuce all around the stumpery garden.
I created this space to showcase my past work, chronicle my current projects, and share my inspiration.