Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Early Morning at Hume Lake

Early Morning at Hume Lake, 8x8", oil on panel

You know, I hate when I start following a blog and then the blogger just walks away and doesn't post anymore. Oh, wait, that's about 80% of bloggers, right? Well, that's what I did in May.

I managed to paint and even blog throughout the spring, while helping an elderly family member in health crisis. And then in May, after her passing and the aftermath, I found it almost impossible to paint. Oh and what I did paint wasn't blog-worthy. 

So I am painting again, and I like this one. This is my husband enjoying an incredibly peaceful early morning on Hume Lake in the Sierras a couple of years ago. I really like the light and shadow play on the hillside.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Favorite Ride

Ventura Ride, 5"x7", oil on paper
©2014 Cindy Greene
While looking for a photo reference the other day, I came upon a photo I had taken while riding my bike (confession: sometimes I ride with my compact camera around my neck). I was immediately hit with a wave of emotion: "I have to paint this." This is part of the bike path at the north end of Ventura, California, and is probably my favorite bike ride. The photo had some walkers and a bike rider in an awkward position, so after painting the path, I put my favorite riding companion (my husband) in instead.

When one of our daughters was attending college nearby, we frequently stayed in Ventura near the beach path and have ridden this many times. The views are spectacular!

I'm always experimenting with materials, and have enjoyed painting on gessoed watercolor paper lately. While cleaning the garage recently, I found a large number of high quality full sheets of watercolor paper — I can probably paint on gessoed paper for some time! I like the painting surface, but have to experiment with mounting the painting on a panel.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Uptown Morning – Plein Air Architecture

Uptown Morning, 8x10", oil on panel
©2014 Cindy Greene
A friend and I have been meeting to paint, and ended up in downtown Fullerton, which is sort of between us. It's a very cool downtown and I enjoy being there. After walking around for a while looking for something fun to paint and a spot to set up two easels, we discovered a building that was vacant and had a largish alcove where we could be out of the way of passersby as well as out of the wind. The best part is that it was across the street from this scene. 

We were working on composition issues, and choosing what to leave out to make a stronger composition. This was a good example — obviously we left out the cars whizzing along the street, but we also left out a large grassy median and more trees. I loved the detail in the red building (occuped by a Buffalo Exchange in case you wondered), and obviously that was going to be the focal point. But how much detail to put in on the other storefronts? The Irish pub next door was great — the sign and flags balance the details in the shop window, and if you look closely you can see suggestions of the shamrocks in the pub window. I left out the faux window boxes and flowers painted above the pub — it would have been much too fussy. 

The shadows were much of what drew me to the scene in the first place. It was a blustery sort of day and the sun disappeared frequently. When the sun came out, I quickly put in shadows and snapped a couple of phone pics to refer to later.

After a couple of hours, our fingers were fairly numb and we packed up. After the painting was dry, I needed to do a bit of correction on perspective issues, and clarified some shadows.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Painting at the Back Bay

Come On Up, 10x8", oil on panel, ©2014 Cindy Greene
 In the middle of Newport Beach, California, right under the airport flight path, is an oasis for both humans and fauna of many sorts. The Newport Back Bay is a famous birding site, and is also enjoyed by bicyclists, kayakers, SUP-ers and families with small children, as well as artists. I've painted there many times, and always enjoy watching the change of seasons as well as the wildlife. In March, I took a plein air painting class from Kim VanDerHoek, and we painted in two different locations at the Back Bay. It was a fun group, and Kim always has a challenge for me.

The painting above, "Come On Up," was painted from the visitor's center. It's a lovely spot (once you get used to the jets overhead). I've painted the marsh and bluffs from that spot many times, so I had a great time painting the steps to the center's patio.

 Below is a path off the road in the Lower Back Bay. The marsh is beyond the shrubs, and you can see part of Newport Beach in the background.

Lower Bay Path, 8x10", oil on panel, ©2014 Cindy Greene

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Hour

Happy Hour, 6"x12", oil on canvas panel
©Cindy Greene 2014
I've long admired paintings of interiors or urban views, especially showing people going about their lives. Last month, we were enjoying cold shrimp and steamed mussels at one of our favorite seafood places, and I noticed this couple sitting directly across from us at the outside patio window. They looked like regulars, and I loved the lighting. I quietly set my small Panasonic FZ-35 on the bar and took a couple of shots. 

I'm still not sure what she was doing to her red wine.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Winter Hills

Winter Hills, 6"x8", oil on canvas panel
©Cindy Greene 2014

It's still a New Year, right? So what happened to January?

I had a traveling October 2013, a full November, an art-filled December that also included a beautiful Christmas and three family birthdays, and then slid directly into January 2014. The first few weeks of the month were all about putting the finishing touches on, and then enjoying, our daughter's wedding in Camarillo. I can't even describe how blessed we were to spend a week with family and friends celebrating the marriage of two amazing young people.

clowning around with the bride before....
On their way to the ceremony

And the new siblings

Painting has taken a back seat to family life, but I did manage to paint this landscape last week. The resource photo (again thanks to my brother) was taken in Southern Arizona. I grew up in Arizona, and miss the red hills. 

Thanks for hanging around with me — let's hope there are a lot more paintings coming soon.
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