Sunday, October 06, 2013

Diary of a Plein Air Painter #26

A Pristine Moment, 8x10in. Oil on linen/panel. Painted En Plein Air in Powell's Pt. Park, Nova Scotia.

Available Here


A Pristine Moment

We have been graced with an exceptionally beautiful day. Not a a cloud in sight, only calmness and a crystal blue sky. I have come to the park to immerse myself in its beauty. It is these types of mornings, that one yearns for in the midst of winter. Its serene nature and quiet allow the mine to settle. 

A new angle and an opening to the sea allow the eye to wander amongst the haze. Back lighting adds a dramatic touch, emphasizing nature's pristine presentation. I wish I could freeze this moment allowing it to envelop my soul for an endless pause. But like all things, it will only last a short while, as time passes on. It shall become a sweet memory to daydream upon, when the land rests like Sleeping Beauty.

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald




Wed., August, 7, 2013
Powell's Pt. Park, Nova Scotia.

9:15-12:05 p.m.

Last night I planned my outing, getting my materials organized, replenishing some and preparing my outdoor picnic. I awoke to a chilly, but fresh morning with a crystal blue sky and calmness. This is one of those days one wishes they could package and retrieve at will!

After arriving in the park and driving around I decided to perch myself on the top of a hill overlooking a breath taking view. This was a new angle I had not painted before. The lighting was incredible this morning. A haze veiled the scene and back lighting added drama.

Powell's Point Park, Nova Scotia.  Aug. 2013

I began by toning my panel thinly with terra rosa and then quickly began sketching in my lay out with the same color. This is a great way to move around the canvas while making decisions about what will be included. This quick sketch also heightens my awareness and observation of values and how I will deal with them. 

Putting on the finishing touches.

After I was painting for about an hour and a half, I was struck at how the scene had changed. The haze had lifted and the lighting was not near as dramatic. I was happy I had also blocked in sections that were in strong light earlier.

Afterwards, I enjoyed my little picnic with a hot cup of tea of course. At the same time I wrote my reflection and this diary entry. I hope it transports you to a peaceful place and brings a smile to your day.

Warmly,
Debbie

P.S. While I painted three tiny dogs arrived before their owners. They scolded me profusely, annoyed that I was taking up space in "their" park.

P.P.S. Many rustlings from birds and squirrels surrounded me. Boats left trails of white foam and crows cawed nosily. Nature is a very busy place, but in a most peaceful way.


Quick Links:

Fine Art Shop
Imagekind --for reproductions
Fine Art America--for reproductions


Newsletter sign up--- My  Recent Newsletter 

Monday, September 02, 2013

Diary of a Plein Air Painter #25




Available Here

Bursting With Color

"Bursting with color, zinnias add radiance to summertime gardens."

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald




July 23, 2013
Fraser's Mtn. Nova Scotia.


I have ventured up to my parents' flower gardens once again. I decided to get out early this morning as it is predicting overcast skies this afternoon.

After having a chat with my mom, I began my walk about searching for my inspiration for the day. At last I spotted vibrant colored zinnias. I have always been intrigued with shadows against walls or buildings and loved how the zinnias cast a shadow on my parents' house.


My Subject--Zinnias

Zinnias' petals are so dense and solidly shaped that they almost look artificial. Even their vibrant colors make them appear almost "plastic" in nature.


Set up in front of my subject.
Adding the finishing touches.

I tried to make every brush stroke count so as not to loose their vibrancy and shape. Taking time to really observe before I applied paint was a good working method. Looking at darks and lights helped me form their shape. I have to say they were super fun to paint. I think I would like to paint more zinnias in the future in a larger format. 

As I finished up the day changed drastically. The clouds rolled in, the wind came up and the sun totally disappeared. I left feeling grateful and satisfied that I was able to paint this little painting today.

Warmly,
Debbie

P.S. While I worked my dad scared me as he came up from his garage. We had a nice chat.

P.P.S. Just before I cleaned up, I took a break to have lunch with my parents. My aunt and her granddaughter also arrived at the same time. So overall it was a great painting session and visit. Working art into my everyday life leads to greater productivity. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Diary of a Plein Air Painter #24

Lily Grandeur, 8x8in. Oil on linen/panel. Available 

Available Here

(I have included my written reflection below and my diary entry both written on location.  My written  reflection is attached to the back of this painting.)


Lily Grandeur

I have come to my parents beautiful flower gardens to paint this morning. Everywhere one turns is a scene waiting to be captured on canvas. Little nooks and crannies are bursting with color and cheer. Blooms have been lovingly tended creating a floral show of grandeur. 

The lilies have stolen the show with their exquisite color and size. They dominant the garden with a splash of color that will be short lived. Soon the wind and rain will carry their large petals upon a breeze allowing them to soar to new heights. There is no time for sadness regarding their demise, as they have been eternalized in paint. I smile knowing that next summer they will once again reign within the garden...if only for a short while. 

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald





July 16 and 19, 2013
Fraser's Mountain, Nova Scotia


Painted in my parent's flower garden in two plein air sessions

My set up and painting in progress.


I have come to my parent's beautiful flower gardens to complete my plein air painting I began 3 days ago. It is predicted to be a hot day with record breaking temperatures. I must work quickly before the light shifts and my shady spot is overcome with intense sunlight and heat. 


My subject---fell in love with these giant lilies!


The lilies won as my subject as they presented themselves in a grand manner. Their exquisite color and height make them a real show stopper. I love the bird feeder nestled in alongside them and how it catches the morning light. 


Some of my favorite roses in my parents' gardens. 

I decided to mute the siding on the house as I didn't want it to be a focal point. I wanted the subject before it to take center stage. I think it seems to work this way. I would have found it too contrived if I made the siding really distinctive.


... and the gardens continue to bring inspiration.


After I finished painting I had lunch on the back doorstep with my parents. We shared a few belly laughs and enjoyed a pleasant breeze on this hot day. I admire my parents' pride and tenacity as they continue to be care takers for their gardens. Mom in her early seventies and dad in his early eighties are true inspiration. They create belief that it is possible to be blessed in this way as well.

Warmly,

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald

P.S. During my painting sessions I had to move all my gear many times in order to stay in the shade. The sunlight was ignoring my presence and continued to flood the area where I was sitting. lol

P.P.S. The lilies had changed on my second sessions, some had lost many petals during our bouts of wind in previous days. I was really happy I had finished painting them on my first session. Continual change is always a given in nature!




I presently have a few auctions running on DPW. You can visit my shop page for links to each auction. Thanks for looking!

Quick Links:




Imagekind --for reproductions
Fine Art America--for reproductions


Newsletter sign up--- My  Recent Newsletter 


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Blooms Before Autumn

Blooms Before Autumn, 4x4in. Oil on linen/panel. Available

Sold


Blooms Before Autumn

"Carpet roses burst into full bloom before autumn nips their beauty."

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald



I painted this little miniature in my back yard early last autumn and neglected to post it online. It was early autumn and I knew I had to seize the moment before they perished in the cold autumn nights. I love carpet roses! They are so delicate in appearance, but yet so hardy. They were so cheerful in the sunlight with their fresh pink hue and sweet nature. 

I have been a bit scarce with my posts lately. Ian was on vacation, so he was a bit distracting. Chuckle! We have gone on a few tours enjoying nature and scouting out new/old painting spots for me to paint on location. Tomorrow (Aug. 18th) we have plans to head down to his old stomping grounds where he grew up. We have already been there over his vacation and I have a few spots in mind that I would like to paint. Soooo it will be an early rise and a nice picnic will be part of the adventure. Definitely a couple of thermos' with hot tea are in order as well.

Besides painting outside this summer I caught the "decluttering" bug in spring and have been clearing old belongings, clutter etc. around our house and yard. I enlisted Ian as a participant in my project--much to his delight! Big chuckle! He has been a good sport about it. We made a few trips to the dump and I must say it feels really good to purge old belongings in preparation for new opportunities etc. Although our place did not look messy, it is amazing how much "stuff" we hold onto.  

We have also been busy cleaning and adding little accents to areas around our home. We painted a small bench a wonderful apple red color. It was unfinished when I had placed it on our front doorstep last fall. I am excited about dressing it up this fall and winter. This summer, I loved decorating it with plants and a couple of outdoor cat ornaments my mom gave me for my birthday this year. Staining our doorstep is our next summer project. I'm hoping Ian won't go on strike on me. Wink, wink. 

Our apple red bench --amongst many of my summer projects. Photo taken at night.

One of my favorite books on clearing clutter is "Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui" by Karen Kingston. I bought it in 2001 and thus my journey in to "clearing" began. I have picked it up many times over the years, loaned it to friends and recommended it to others. When I reread sections, I always feel inspired. Kingston makes the idea of clearing clutter such a sensible thing to do.  Lately I have been reading sections again and they make so much sense. Good energy and keeping things flowing is the basic premise. Being aware of our surroundings and how they affect us is one of her main points.




You can find this book on Amazon. 

Cheers to making room in our lives for new beginnings!

Warmly,
Debbie


P.S. I presently have a few auctions running on DPW. You can visit my shop page for links to each auction. Thanks for looking!

Quick Links:


Imagekind --for reproductions
Fine Art America--for reproductions


Newsletter sign up--- My  Recent Newsletter 




Thursday, August 08, 2013

Diary of a Plein Air Painter #23

"A Touch of  Elegance" 7x5in. Oil on linen/panel.

Available Here


A Touch of Elegance

"Basking in summer sunlight, wild roses add a touch of elegance."

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald



July 12, 2013
Plymouth, Nova Scotia.

3:30-7:00 p.m.

It was a beautiful day with comfortable temperatures. I was feeling especially productive today as I completed all my domestic chores. My house was looking tidy and sparkly clean. It was time to pull out my paints and be creative.

I wanted to stay close to home, so I decided to paint a still life in natural light on my back doorstep. Wild roses were on my mind. They would not last much longer and I knew where a beautiful patch lived not far from my home. So I got all my materials, easel etc. set up before I drove to the rose patch to get clippings.

 My subject --Wild Roses 

I was feeling proud of myself on how organized I was: getting set up before I left, filling a small jar with water and even taking a glass of water and scissors with me for my clippings. When I arrived on site I was delighted to see a beautiful patch of roses. Just as I was about to wander into the bushes, I looked down at my feet and realized I had worn my flip flops instead of sneakers! So much for being totally organized. Wink, Wink. Flip flops were not the best footwear for treading amongst rose bushes. At any rate, I did manage to retrieve a few nice clippings.

In Progress

Once I had my clippings in my jar, all was a go. I had the green light and began my painting session. I wanted to create a bit of a dreamy feel, thus I took care to not use too many hard edges. I loved the rose colors, lighting and the shadow cast on the table top. It was getting late in the day, so I knew my light would be changing soon. In the end I did have to rely on visual memory. By the time I was finished painting, the evening was upon me and the light had definitely changed. 

Warmly,
Debbie

P.S. The bottle I used in my still life was saved from a small jar of apple/raspberry jelly I gave my son for Christmas in his stocking. When I was washing it I thought it would make a great prop for still life set ups. I cheerfully added it to my still life collection. Still life artists are always on the hunt for items they think might come to life in paint someday!

P.P.S. Painting outside is so refreshing--not only is the light beautiful, but the sounds of nature are very soothing.


Quick Links:


Imagekind --for reproductions
Fine Art America--for reproductions


Newsletter sign up--- My  Recent Newsletter 




Saturday, August 03, 2013

Dairy of a Plein Air Painter #22


Purple Trails, 3x3in.Oil on linen/panel. 

Available Here

Purple Trails

"Petunia trail happily, spilling over floral bins in the warm summer breeze."

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald



Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Plymouth, Nova Scotia.


My car was in for repairs, so I decided to paint en plein air on my back doorstep. With my flower gardens in bloom, there is never a loss for subject matter. I love how these miniature petunias happily trailed over top of  a flower bin and how the light created varied violet hues in their petals. 


My Subject



My Set Up

I view these little miniatures as meditation in motion. With nature strumming on around me it is a wonderful feeling to feel present while a peaceful shift occurs. As I painted, our beautiful sunny day turned into a cold and cloudy one. Such strange and unpredictable weather! I'm glad I seized the moment when I did as it passed quickly. Truly something to keep in mind as we navigate through life; screening out what is really important and enjoying small moments that are right in front of our eyes.

Warmly,
Debbie

P.S. While I painted hummingbirds nosily zoomed to and fro to my feeder hanging on the deck. They really are quite entertaining for such small creatures!

P.P.S. Visual memory really does come in handy when the weather decides to change in the midst of a painting. It is important to not change what you have already completed and continue on your initial plan for your painting. 


Special Note: If you had signed up for my blog posts to arrive in your email inbox, I finally have that enabled! Thanks so much for your patience. 

Quick Links:

Imagekind --for reproductions
Fine Art America--for reproductions


Newsletter sign up--- My  Recent Newsletter 


Sign up for new blog posts in the side bar at the top of this page. Then enjoy special delivery to your email box!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Diary of a Plein Air Painter #21


Bends in the Journey, 6x6in. Oil on linen/panel. 

Available Here 
 (You can also read the reflection I wrote on location that accompanies this painting here.)



Monday, July 8, 2013
Big Island, Nova Scotia

10:15-11:30 A.M.

When I awoke this morning a fog had blanketed the world outside. It looked as if the sun would break through. The sun was not predicted to appear today. Excitedly I knew it was a day for a plein air adventure. Quickly, I raced to get ready and get on the road before the moment faded. Big Island was on my mind with its wild and carefree personality.

Once on route, I somehow missed my turn off and had to travel an extra distance to finally reach my destination. What a treat when I arrived; not a soul in sight--the whole island to myself! After doing a couple of walk abouts and jutting to a couple of spots, I settled on a distant view. I loved the little sea path leading around a bend and the swirly sky. Strokes of light colored water streaked across a darker blue.

My Subject

The light would change fast especially near the ocean with a moving cloud cover overhead. I set up quickly and intuitively began a brush dance with my canvas. The sky appeared much lighter that the ocean today. The ocean looked cool with its darker color.

My Set Up


Beginning

As I painted visitors passed by on bikes. Tourists I could tell as they began to speak French. One proceeded to take my picture enchanted that they should come upon such a sight. One set of visitors stopped their car directly beside me and had complimentary expletives. Once again tourist were upon me, as two of the occupants spoke a foreign language to me. They were all very nice. It is these momentary encounters that add interest to a plein air painters life!


Almost finished


One of my visitors was curious about what scene I was painting as my easel was sideways and the scene before it did not look like the one I was painting, I quickly explained that I had turned my easel sideways to avoid having direct sunlight on my canvas. I told him I would make my values too dark as I over compensated for the bright sunlight on my work. (A plein air tip for today.) I have made that mistake in the past and my painting turns out much darker than I thought it would.

Looking down Big Island Road

A peek hole to the wide open ocean on the other side of the road.

As I was leaving the sun was becoming more scarce. I was so happy I had spontaneously followed my instinct this morning and ventured out into the world of plein air!

Warmly,
Debbie

P.S. While I was writing my reflection, I noticed a shiny spot in the long grass. It was a little ladybug twinkling in the sunlight. A sign of good luck they say. :)

P.P.S. My car made a great side table today as I had my cup of tea and snack while I wrote this entry. Adjustments; that is what plein air painting is all about. Cheers!

Special Note: If you had signed up for my blog posts to arrive in your email inbox, I finally have that enabled! Thanks so much for your patience. 

Quick Links:

Imagekind --for reproductions
Fine Art America--for reproductions


Newsletter sign up--- My  Recent Newsletter 


Sign up for new blog posts in the side bar at the top of this page. Then enjoy special delivery to your email box!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Diary of a Plein Air Painter #20

Summer Has Arrived, 12x6in. Oil on linen/panel. A Study for larger work.



Saturday, July 6, 2013
Powell's Pt. Park, Nova Scotia

9:00-10:30 a.m.

I escaped the heat of the house and my to do list today by coming to the park to paint. Summer has arrived in full force with temperatures that make one slow down. As I made my way to the park, I anticipated the vision of wild rose bushes in full bloom. Sure enough when I arrived I was not disappointed. I always take delight in their bubble gum pink color and cheerful disposition.


My Subject at Powell's Pt. Park, Nova Scotia

When I arrived I walked around viewing the roses from different angles and admired the ocean view peeking through the foliage. This is one of my favourite scenes to paint this time of year. One cannot help being mesmerized by its charm.


My Set Up

I found a shady spot to paint my subject. It is a perfect view and a most comfortable location. I must set up quickly before the light shifts. It is  time to dance with nature.

During my painting session, I had several visitors as I was completing my painting. I enjoyed two interesting conversations. One was with an old acquaintance from childhood. I am sure we solved all the problems of the world! My second conversation was with a gentleman of native descent. We talked about nature and he shared some native terms for various months. The month of July was the month the birds lost their feathers. He came to the park to bird watch and find feathers which he will use for a creative project. 

 I think I will make a larger painting of this scene using my study as reference. Such an interesting session today and a most beautiful day to be in the park!


Warmly,

Debbie

P.S. My first visitor was in awe of my painting palette and the whole process of how I could create a painting. Many questions pursued! He had a great appreciation for art and artists. I even had my picture taken while I painted. Wink, wink. It is special how some people think we create magic as artists!

P.P.S Two ladies arrived with two sweet little girls. They sat in the picnic table beside my subject and carried on a most intense conversation. I felt like a statue on the sidelines privy to all. A bit of an odd feeling. I guess I really blended in with my subject. People are a most interesting species indeed! 

Special Note: If you had signed up for my blog posts to arrive in your email inbox, I finally have that enabled! Thanks so much for your patience. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Violet Heads" -New Miniature



Violet Heads, 3x2in. Oil on linen/panel. $55
Available Here

Violet Heads

"As the herb garden awakens, violet headed chives sway about in a gentle breeze."

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald 


This past Spring when my herb garden was overgrown and full of weeds a bundle of chives decided to bloom in spite of their surroundings. Their violet coloured heads made me smile and were a wonderful discovery after a long winter.

I love puttering around my herb garden, filled with lovely scents and little discoveries. It seemed fitting to capture a couple of these interesting looking flowers in a miniature painting. I really enjoyed observing their intricacies and various hues.

During my creation of this miniature, I posted various stages of my process on Facebook. Here are a few photos of my various stages. I hope you enjoy viewing my process.


My subject--chives from my herb garden.



Subject set up--sketch in charcoal--bring on the paint!


In progress


Subject comes to life in paint!


I hope you get to wander in nature and drink up her intimate glimpses of beauty. Beauty is often not the grandeur, but the little glimpses of something incidental. These little moments of observed beauty make us stop and come into a present moment. For me...that is how I renew my spirit. How about you?

Warmly,
Debbie


Quick Links:

Imagekind --for reproductions
Fine Art America--for reproductions


Newsletter sign up--- My  Recent Newsletter 


Sign up for new blog posts in the side bar at the top of this page. Then enjoy special delivery to your email box!


Facebook Comments