Tag Archives: plein-aire

Seeing More: A Scientist’s Field Journal

I’m linking to Isaac Yuen’s piece at the Ekstories blog because it tells a wonderful tale of art and science, as inseparable as mind and body.

Finding Place through Art and Science: The Field Journals of Lyn Baldwin

Biologist Lyn Baldwin’s field journals are full of beautiful watercolors from her travels as a biologist in British Columbia.

Her careful observation and reverence are apparent in the drawings.

“I always see more when I draw.”

from the post:

Baldwin describes the act of drawing as a powerful means to know something on an intimate level, whether it be a single flower or an entire landscape.

In an increasingly disconnected and attention-deficient world, sketching the veins on a leaf or the mountains out the living room window can help ground us in place and time, train our gaze towards the ordinary beauty we would otherwise skim over.

While her finished illustrations are stunning, Baldwin stresses the importance of process over product. “Regardless of what the final drawing looks like,” she writes, “I always see more when I draw.”

Do you sketch when you travel?  Document flowers and bugs in your garden?  Tell us about it, share your work!

Read the whole blog post HERE

Read an article by Lyn Baldwin HERE

Cherry Blossom Joy!

I try to get out and paint plein-aire from the Yoshino cherries during their brief and glorious blooming. It’s always unpredictable! This year it seemed imminent, then a cold front delayed their progress, then BAM! an explosion of flowers.

CherriesPhotog2016
Ducks check out the Photographer

When I first came to Washington, I expected something gaudier. I was amazed by the subtle beauty of these earliest blooming trees. They are a ruddy color before their buds open, then a soft pink when they’re newly opened. Finally they create a soft glow of white with but a memory of pink, as if a cloud were caught in the dark and twisted branches of the old trees.

Morning at Capitol Plaza
Morning at Capitol Plaza

Saturday I spent the day with easel and paints under the pale clouds, enjoying the color and all the other folks who came there to do the same. Lily got lots of petting and I got one small and one large canvas started. It was a perfect day.

If you’d like to join me, leave a comment. I plan on heading down again on Saturday April 2 from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm. Visit me on Facebook for daily updates and spontaneous painting trips!

River Painting: Deep Summer Afternoon

I’m in the last throes of completing a series of river pictures that have been ‘almost done’ for weeks now. I nudge each of them forward every time I get out the palette, and yet they seem to stay stubbornly in the ‘not quite yet’ camp. ALMOST!!

Last Sunday I completed this one: (click for larger view)
summerclouds

Deep Summer Afternoon, ©2015
20″ x 16″ Oil on board; $500 unframed

This was one of those summer days when you can feel the thunderstorm wanting to happen. Living on Piscataway Bay gives me the most wonderful relationship with the sky. I am so much more in tune with the movement of weather and celestial bodies than I was living in the big woods.

Moyaone Market this Saturday, October 3rd.

Come on down for new paintings and new things happening at Clearwell Studios

Art in the Open Air Studio

Painters have been busy in the beautiful open-air studio here in the Swamp Forest, my pet name for Piscataway NP’s hidden Moyaone neighborhood, just south of DC. The mild summer temperatures have made outdoor art a pleasure, and my students and I have been taking advantage of this.

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New Mexico ©2013 Neil W. oil on canvas

Meet Neil, Accomplished Oil Painter

At the ripe old age of 15, Neil is quite handy with a brush. He and I have worked together for about 2 years now, and I’ve had the joy of watching him gain mastery over this ancient technique.

Neil loves the landscape; he’s a hiker and a camper, active in Boy Scouting and soccer, so for him, plein-aire painting is just another outdoor activity – one he really enjoys.

Bumpy Oak Road, ©2013 Neil W.
Bumpy Oak Road, ©2013 Neil W., oil on panel

We’ve worked on-site and in the studio, in fast-drying oils on paper, canvas and panel in a variety of sizes. Neil has a great sense of composition —the fundamental arrangement of shapes within a painting — a tough skill to lear, or teach. He’s learned a great deal about the nature and science of color, pigments, and how to mix colors that create the illusion of space and shape.

Neil will be exhibiting in his first show, the Charles County (Maryland) Arts Alliance Fall Art Show, a multi-media public exhibit, to be held at the Waldorf West Library, 10405 O’Donnell Place, Waldorf, MD, from October 2 to December 30, 2014. 

A “Meet the Artists” Public Reception will be held on Saturday, October 4, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, at the  Gallery to honor all the artists participating in the fall show.

For more information on the Waldorf West Library Gallery or the Charles County Arts Alliance, call the CCAA office at 301-392-5900, or email info@charlescountyarts.org.

For more information about art lessons contact me with a comment here or email patrisehenkel@gmail.com

Cherry Blossom Time!

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cherryMap

This Sunday April 13th if you’re in the DC area you can come and join me and other plein aire painters while we paint cherry blossom landscapes at the foot of North Capitol Street. Click on the map for directions.

If you are NOT local, click HERE.

Bring your sketchbook, easel and brushes, camera or phone, picnic or dog, or just your eyeballs. These are some of the prettiest trees in the city, complete with Capitol view and reflecting pool, andthere’s parking on the weekends.  (Please don’t tell anybody! It’s my big secret, just you & me.)

UntitledLast year we went to Fort Washington Park and there were just a few lovely old Yoshino trees, but no water for them to reflect in, which really makes them extra pretty.

You can tweet me at @PatriseArt for realtime info, in case I just can’t take the beauty of the day and end up there sooner, which seems very likely.

Carpe Diem!

 

 

 

Stubborn Cherry Blossoms

DC is rightfully famous for our very special flowering cherry trees, “as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan.” The world renowned collection bordering the Tidal Basin is packed with tourists every year in early spring. Check out the live webcam here.

And for me, it’s often the first plein aire painting session of the year. This year I was eager and organized by March 15, about the earliest we ever see them bloom. And, since I have an enthusiastic student who loves painting from the landscape, I was really ready to get out there. But the trees were not cooperating!

March 31st near the Capitol: usually warm and blooming by now
April 5: not blooming yet!!

That’s what they’re supposed to do, but for weeks the have clung to their tight little buds, shivering in the long cold spring.

But FINALLY! We achieved blossoms and the pink clouds opened up, and the people and the bees were overjoyed.

halleleuyah!

And we made art.

young artist at work
Neil’s painting
Patrise’s painting

art from Mountain Retreat

SKETCHES

My week on the Rapidan River allowed much time for contemplation via drawing and painting.

One notable feature of the landscape there is the many dead hemlock trees. The area we stayed was formerly a grove of massive Hemlocks which were all killed in the 90s by an invasive insect.  Now you will see the skeletons of these trees standing ghostly, or mostly fallen giants. The standing trees are like white bleached bones, while the fallen trunks have a warm sienna colour.

Fallen Hemlock - brush pen
Rapidan riffle - brush, pen and watercolour
Rapidan rocks and logs
Mill Prong stream - H2O soluble graphite

WATERCOLOURS

Glee on a rock - watercolour
The Source - watercolour

 

OIL ON PANEL – unfinished

Rapidan River - plein-aire oil on canvas panel