The Nanuary Challenge

Snowed In, 11x14”

Snowed In, 11x14”

Path of Puddles, 11x14”

Path of Puddles, 11x14”

San Francisco Twilight 11x14”

San Francisco Twilight 11x14”

Pescadero Surf, 12x12

Pescadero Surf, 12x12

Plein Cold at Meeks, 16x12”

Plein Cold at Meeks, 16x12”

I have a friend who said I should make my birthday month all about me so she coined the first month Nanuary. I’ll go with that!

This past December, I put my brushes aside to enjoy time with family and friends. In January, I rededicated myself to daily painting to get back in sync. This was my third year to do so and I invited friends from the Los Gatos Plein Air group to join me.

About 18 people accepted my invitation and we created a “secret group” on Facebook. The rules were loose: do the best you could to paint every day but it was ok to take a day off if needed- it’s all about balance! Life happens!

You could work on old paintings or start new. Just post what you worked on that day.

We had lots of lively discussions, gave support, and learned a lot about each other through the month. And the art created by the group was exceptionally strong- easy to see growth when painting daily. Can’t wait to see how this group progresses this year!

I’m posting just a few of my Nanuary work here. Enjoy!

How I Spent My Plein Air Season: 2018

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I attend three plein air competitions a year: this year I got into the Carmel Art Festival in May, and the Frank Bette Art Center's Plein Air Paint Out in August (Alameda California).  Alameda is rich with subject matter; with moderate temps and light that sparkles near the SF bay. This scene really hit me; I really liked the shapes and color, and apparently the judge liked it too... Best of Show! What a thrill! On to Capitola in November! Another favorite spot!


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A week later I was on the shores of Lake Tahoe giving my first painting workshop to a wonderful group of students, with my friend and mentor, Randall Stauss. For three days we had a great time teaching eager students.


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Every year I look for a unique opportunity to learn; this year I flew to Atlanta for a 5-day Plein Air Painters of America masters class. I spent 2-days in a small group with Matt Smith and another 2 days with Jill Carver- two great painters AND wonderful instructors! We also had a day of lectures by all 8 instructors.  Great learning!

Encore!

I started blocking in this painting for the Capitola Plein Air and couldn’t quite get it done. Who can resist purple awnings, right? So I went back after the event and nearly finished it. When the homeowner came out and saw me working, she was so ecstatic to see the painting included so many elements she loved about her house, that she playfully spanked  me as she listed them ...”the Aloha sign!” (Spank!) “the orange door” (Spank!) the birds of paradise! (Spank!) I don’t expect to ever get spanked again for what turned out to be a double sale! She wanted a second painting to give to her Scottish in-laws who had stayed there all summer and dubbed it, “ our wee little hoose.”

So I stayed on and painted the afternoon sun on the house. Very interesting to try 2 lighting conditions. I can’t think of a single impressionist painter who ever did that! But just give me a monet and I'll think of someone!

“The Aloha House” 12x16”    

“The Aloha House” 12x16” 

 

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“Our Wee Little Hoose” 

 

 

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This is why I had to stop painting that first day; the clouds moved in and I lost the light. 

 

My new friends were thrilled to find a painter outside of their home. 

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