And I almost didn’t make it…

Today painting inspiration was thin on the ground and it took me until the last hours of my day to get to the drawing board. Things like grocery shopping, laundry, and putting out my first ever newsletter sucked up my time.

But when I finally sat down, my morning hike with the dogs came back to me and I decided to paint this photo of a lovely downy woodpecker I saw on our hike.

downywoodpeckerOne of my favorite bird artists is Lori Presthus because she does exquisite calm backgrounds. I resolved to try to mimic her style for this painting.

14 - downyIt’s harder than it looks, but considering how late in the day this is… I’m going to take it.

In addition to my painting a day challenge, maybe I’ll enter this in my vague idea for a “Birds of Canemah” series. So far I have my owl and this… but it’s a start.

No more painting today

Well, I did it. In fact, I more than did it. I got three paintings done, matted and framed, and entered in the Hillsboro Plein Air Plus for judging.

“In the Weeds 2” and “Turn” you saw started yesterday, but “Sunday Brunch” was all done today (inspired by the friendly ducks who hung around again.)

A heron also dropped by, but chose to hang out too far away to really do me any good (inconsiderate heron).

I spent the day out at celloplayerRood Bridge Park again, though this time no accidents (I fell in the duck pond for all those who asked (that was my accident). On the day God was giving out balance, I apparently got in some other line.) I stopped painting about 1:30 and spend the next two hours going back to the Walters Center and getting everything framed up for competition. I also talked with fiends Sandra Pearce, Steve Klier, Bonnie Burlew, and Marianne Ryder and met some new friends.

At 4:00 we we treated to a nice reception with FOOD (artists love food…) and music (a nice, very young, jazz group. I’m sorry I can’t tell you their name.)

judging1At 4:45 the artists were allowed in to look at the over 120 paintings turned in and allowed to cast their ballots for people’s choice. I don’t mind telling you, it was a touch choice for me!

Formal judging will take place in the next couple of weeks and the formal opening of the exhibit will be October 7, I’m going to mark my calendar and see if I can attend. I hope you do the same.

I have to tell you, though, I’m done painting today.

Day 1 and I should be halfway done…

So I woke up the morning and made my way across town to participate in the Hillsboro Plein Air Plus event. I scoped out the park I planned to paint in for the day, so after getting my paintings stamped, I headed over to Rood Bridge Park and set up on the side of the lily pond.

tealI started my first painting of the day. I wanted to convey the tranquility and coolness of the day, as well as busy antics of the ducks cavorting around the pond. Tentative title: “Morning Abolutions”

painting1I quickly lost the light, so I decided to switch to another view. Before I could get started, however, a friendly duck came up to check me out and have a few grains for breakfast.

One thing I liked about this area was that it is not heavily landscaped; there are weeds and native roses allowed to hip out and a variety of other interesting points.

I decided to try to capture this in my next piece, tentatively titled “In the Weeds II”; I plan to have it be similar in style to the painting that sold when I did the Johnson Creek Watershed project.

painting2I’m pleased with how this is going, though the color on this shot isn’t great. I stopped at this stage because the light was changing and I will come back to it tomorrow.

There was a lunch break, then I moved over to an afternoon spot I had picked out a few weeks ago. They have great fences here, and I thought a bright colorful painting could incorporate it.

painting3I was hoping to get more done here, but unfortunately I had an accident while I was waiting for it to dry and ended up sore and dirty. I really wanted to at least see the next stage of the event, which was a figurative quick draw, so I packed up and made my way across the park to the area the models had set up.

figurativeUnfortunately, this didn’t strike any artistic inspiration, so I went over to the duck pond and admired the ducks there.

ducks1This area has an interesting shelter, so I decided to do a little architecture piece.

painting4While the drawing on this is acceptable (and again the color isn’t coming up right on the camera I’m doing), at this point I recognized that I was getting tired. I saw sore from my accident, tired, and pretty windblown. So I decided to pack up and head home. I’ll go back tomorrow and try to finish these paintings. It’s my goal to turn in at least one for judging.

Finn and Willie were glad to see me… in a very mellow way, of course.

Cheating (ever so slightly…)

Tonight I am forced to cheat a little on my painting a day challenge.

1. I did do a painting (technically a mixed media) but it is currently covered in rocks waiting to dry. I will show it to you soon.

2. I started another painting, but the project above prevented me from getting more done on it due to lack of work space.

3. So I am showing you a piece that I almost finished last night in class; but it needed just a few more touches, which I did this evening, so I am going to count it.

11 - eri


4. Tomorrow I am headed over to the west side of town for the Hillsboro Plein Air Plus. This will be my first plein air competition. I am hoping to submit one painting for judging (heaven only knows how many I will start…) Saturday night there is a reception at the Walters Cultural Art Center. I hope some of you consider coming! I’ll try to post details soon.

5. However, I hope a lot of my friends are out doing the inaugural Highway 101 Yarn Crawl. That’s where I would be if I wasn’t doing that. My friend JJ helped organize it and it looks awesome.

7. Because JJ is organizing the crawl, I am puppy sitting this weekend. Meet Wilson (aka Willie).

wilsonWe are having a very good time so far, but I’m not sure the cats are too excited; however, they are bigger than him, so I’m not too worried. In fact, the oddest thing about Willie is that he is so small. He seems tiny to me. I don’t think of Finn (or the cats) as big, but compared to Willie, they are HUGE.

Thus ends today’s story. Hopefully I’ll have a better one tomorrow.

Traverse… super quick

Tonight I went out to a painting class at Angie Grainger‘s. She had just come back from a Robert Burridge seminar and had us do a warm up: we mixed two colors (one light, one dark), she chose a word from the dictionary, we painted in three minutes.

The word: Traverse.

I kind of like it.

10 - TraverseI did a lot of other work which I’ll detail tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’m counting this as today’s painting.

Marsh Song

I took the reference photo for this near Cascade Head on the Audubon Society of Lincoln City’s monthly trip.

09 - marshsong

Red & a Rant

Today on my “Walk the dog everyday” challenge, the bonus was to be inspired by something red. I was a little short on inspiration, so I went looking through my reference photos and came across a horse in a red halter that inspired my little painter’s heart.

08 - redI like this well enough I’m thinking about doing a bigger version where I could do some more detail.

And a rant

Be aware, I am changing topics.

I haven’t said much about my dad for a while, because I wasn’t sure there was much to say. To recap, he moved into an assisted living facility in mid July, and it quickly became apparent that he needed more than they could provide. About the time that was becoming obvious, Dad developed a UTI and possibly had another stroke. In the course of this, some more evaluations were done and moving him became a necessity, not just a suggestion.

Last week my mom came up here for a few days to scope out some facilities. It was a frustrating process because so few places really want (or accept) cases like Dad’s (somewhere between alzheimer’s unit and nursing home). After some deliberation, Mom decided to put him in the same facility where my grandma lived out the last year of her life.

We thought that a nurse check was a mere formality. And it turned out it wasn’t. The place didn’t like some of the medications Dad was on (turns out we aren’t thrilled to find out he’s on these medications (at this dosage) either) and said he couldn’t move to Mom’s choice of facility.

So, we’re back to square one. Mom is hurriedly looking for the right kind of place in the right area, but it’s a frustrating process. To make that worse, each place wants some new and bizarre kind of write-up or evaluation. And getting these things is like herding cats into a dentist’s office.

I’d really like to call up these places and give them a piece of my mind: My father is dying of the worst possible, slow, and humiliating disease possible, and they want MORE FREAKING EVALS? Like what… Mom and I are hallucinating this? Let me just assure you, there is NOTHING FIXABLE GOING ON!!!!!

Logically, I do understand. Each place wants to make sure they know what’s going on and what they are signing up for. They don’t want to get in over their head or put anyone in danger.

But I’m more upset seeing my mom tired and discouraged. I worry every day that when my mom calls to report how Dad is doing, it’s going to be more than just falling and bruising she tells me about. I’m concerned that Mom is going to get sick from the stress of the situation. And I just don’t know how to help except to listen and pray.

I know that moving Dad won’t really solve this problem, but I’m still hoping that it might prevent more problems from developing.

September 7 Painting (Painting a Day Challenge)

I started this painting as a study for a piece my friend asked me to make. I now know that this composition and technique won’t work…

Good knowledge to have before starting a full sheet piece.

07 - CApoppy

Kevin MacPherson Demo

Today I went to a demo out at Cathedral Park by a painter named Kevin MacPherson.


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It was a very educational day and I learned a lot. Kevin was a good instructor… particularly for free! I didn’t realize how famous he was until I overheard several different people talking about how he was “their god.” I’ve put a couple of his books on hold from the library.

Personally, I didn’t have the best painting results, but you can’t have everything…

In case you’re wondering, I’m only counting the first one towards my “Painting a Day Challenge.” You may see more of the rest…

But frankly, I’m too tired tonight to do anything else.

Summer mascot

Today before settling down to paint we took a long hike in Canemah. On a whim we “stopped by” the area where I have seen my great horned owl several times. I didn’t hear anyone scolding and no one was flying, so I figured it was a lost cause.

Then I looked up.

owlI’m thrilled with this photo.

I bet you’ll never guess what my painting of the day was…

05 - gh owl

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