A Colorful Summer

AtHighlandEasel

Work in Progress on Easel and View of Highland Lighthouse

Summer on Cape Cod is always colorful. From the selections of ice cream, the beach umbrellas, the kayaks on top of the cars going over the bridges, and the towels on the beaches there is color. But, this year Cape Cod Life Magazine wrote, “It’s going to be a colorful summer.” Plein Air Painters would paint, demonstate, and exhibit their interpretations inspired by Edward Hopper in “After Hopper” events hosted by Addison Art Gallery.

Plein air painters were at Highland Lighthouse which is located in Truro in the Cape Cod National Seashore. I was one of the artists who demonstrated my painting techniques in pastel near the lighthouse and the Truro History Museum.

In describing Hopper’s work Dicum of the New York Times wrote, “Isolated buildings in broad vistas are meditations on form and color that steer toward the abstract while remaining figurative.” Keeping this in mind, I set up my easel, so that the lighthouse was viewed at a distance. It was also convenient for transporting my set-up.

APastelPalette

Assorted Pastels

There were many specific questions about materials and types of pastels and paper supports. I welcomed the discussion and enjoyed sharing my passion for pastel.

Technical notes: Assorted pastels – Terri Ludwig, Sennelier, Unison, Rembrandt, and Conte Pastel Pencils on Sennelier La Carte pastel card.

Lace, Lighthouse, & Links

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Easel at Cape Cod Nat’l Seashore Highland Links, Truro, MA

Wildflowers in the windswept meadow in the rough of the links course by the Highland Light in Truro caught my eye. The Highland Links dates to 1892. Several artists were painting Cape Cod’s oldest lighthouse which dates to 1857 for the Light on Truro painting event. I chose to focus my attention on the natural beauty of the Cape Cod National Seashore, rather than the architecture of the lighthouse. A sliver of the blue ocean beyond the trees balanced the blue of wild chickory and Queen Anne’s Lace in the foreground. This scene beside the Highland Historical Museum is a reminder of a bygone era when the building was a turn of the century resort hotel on the Outer Cape.

I had a clear vision of the image that I wanted to capture in my painting. Soon I felt I had enough information to sign and frame the piece for an exhibit that afternoon at the Truro Library by the Addison Art Gallery called “Light On Truro”. The exhibit celebrates the Centennial of the National Parks and “Found Our Park!” which features art inspired by the Cape Cod National Seashore. “Queen Anne’s View” is available through the Addison Art Gallery.

QueenAnneView

Queen Anne’s View, pastel, 12×16

Technical Notes: Sennelier LaCarte pastel card with a variety of pastels by Rembrandt, Unison, Terry Ludwig, Girault, Sennelier, and Conte pastel pencil.

Japanese Iris Garden

Iris Garden Entry, pastel, 11 x 16

 

The Japanese Iris at the entryway of the Cape Cod Art Association caught my eye on a June afternoon for plein air painting. I loved the deep blues and purples against the many greens. The garden scene was fairly complex with bouganvillea, lilac, and azalea combined with the light and shadow patterns of the weathered shingled wall. There were areas of bright sunlight and deep shadow by the entrance. I am focusing on painting stronger light and shadow and this was a good opportunity for this. I omitted the sculptures on the right and cropped the trellis at the top for emphasis and composition.

Painting notes: Uart #400 Pastel Paper; Pastels – NuPastels, Rembrandt, Terry Ludwig, Unison, and Conte and Carbotello Pastel Pencils. Underpainting of 91% Isopropyl Alcohol.  (See underpainting below:)

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Photo of Iris Garden Entry

By the Sea

EaselbytheSea

Easel at Mayo Beach for After Hopper in Wellfleet, MA

The Paint Out for  Addison Art Gallery’s “After Hopper” in Wellfleet, MA was last Saturday. The event celebrates the artist Edward Hopper and continues the tradition of plein air painting iconic images of Cape Cod. I chose Mayo Beach and the oil house behind what was once the Mayo’s Beach Lighthouse on Kendrick Avenue. The pink and white beach roses which surround the simple painted brick outbuilding were in full bloom. Artists had the morning to paint and then deliver the finished work to the Wellfleet Public Library for an afternoon reception. This is often called a Quick Draw at other plein air paint outs.

ThumbnailBytheSea

Thumbnail sketch for “By the Sea”

I planned my composition with a quick thumbnail sketch. With only a few hours to work from concept to completion, I thought the simple building that originally held the oil for the lighthouse would make for good painting that could feature the simple beauty of the Cape scene. The race against the clock is helpful to push me to capture the essence of the view and not get caught up in overworking a painting. I used the broken split rail fence that was surrounded by the roses as a directional element to draw the viewer into the focal point.

I finished the pastel, framed it, and delivered it to the Wellfleet library to be hung for the reception to be held from 4 to 6 pm.  Soon I was rewarded for my morning’s work, when a new collector chose “By the Sea” for a gift for his wife. I have memories of a beautiful day by the sea.

ByTheSea

“By the Sea”, pastel, 11×14, private collection

Corn Hill Beach

“Corn Hill Beach”,11×14, plein air pastel


The days of summer on the Cape are just memories now, but I finally have a moment to post some of my paintings done on locations where artist, Edward Hopper painted in the 1930’s. He spent half of his summers in a home studio in Truro, MA on the outer Cape. He painted Corn Hill which is a long, narrow sand beach which borders grass covered sand dunes that is north of Pamet Harbor. Corn Hill is named for the location where the Pilgrims found a cache of Indian corn which sustained them through the first winter.
On location at Corn Hill Beach

On location at Corn Hill Beach


Often the experience of plein air painting is more than the created image. When I look at this piece it brings back the warmth of the summer day at the beach, the sounds of music from the group of beachgoers, and the scent of sunscreen covered bodies. These are sweet memories to sustain me until the next summer season.
Painting notes: Ampersand pastel board (11×14) with a variety of pastels from NuPastels, Conte Pastel pencils, Rembrandt, Unison, and Terri Ludwig brand pastels.

Waiting to Sail

“Waiting to Sail”, 12×18, pastel

 
“Waiting to Sail” is one of my recent pastels that just returned from the frame shop. It is a studio painting that I did this spring from a reference photo that was taken on Cape Cod a few summers ago. The scene was simplified since I thought there were more boats than were needed. I generally paint from top to bottom and left to right. However, this time I worked in more of a circular pattern. For some reason, the painting called for me to change my usual procedure. Here are a couple of process images:

Early Stage of “Waiting to Sail”


Mid Stage of “Waiting to Sail”

Technical notes: Painted on Uart #400 sanded paper mounted on archival board. The underpainting was done in a peach Rembrandt pastel which was then brushed down with water to give it some warmth. A variety of pastel brands was used in addition to Nu Pastel, Rembrandt, Unison, Terry Ludwig, Sennelier, and Conte pastel pencils. I have eliminated elements in a marine painting before. It presents some challenges when depicting the reflections. I think the vertical masts and post on the dock help the composition which also has a few horizontal elements. Also, the water has many bright reflections which challenge the common idea that water is always blue.

At the Elbow

The latest painting on my easel is “Lighthouse Beach” in Chatham. When New Englanders raise a left arm and point to their elbow, they are referring to the town of Chatham, MA. Cape Cod which was formed by the ice age is shaped like an arm at a right angle and there sits Chatham with a quaint  downtown, picturesque lighthouses, and barrier beaches. The beach is one of the outstanding beaches on the Cape at the base of Chatham Lighthouse.

"Lighthouse Beach", pastel, 12x24

“Lighthouse Beach”, pastel, 12×24

To access the beach one must go down a flight of stairs and the scene that I captured is looking to the North across the rose hips of the beach roses and beach grasses to the water beyond. The diagonal design that this emphasized seems to add something different from the standard horizontal prospective of sky, water, and land that most beach scenes offer. Lighthouse Beach seems to go on as far as the eye can see and I hoped that the painting captures this feeling.

Technical information : I worked on  mounted U art #400 to archival foam  board. Pastels for the sky, water, and sand were mostly Unisons.   Grasses and foreground foliage were mostly Rembrandt, Terry Ludwig, Sennelier, and NuPastels.

Painting this in the studio after a summer on the Cape was a good way to make the summer last a little longer.

Wellfleet Plein Air

“Capturing Wellfleet” is a plein air painting event that is sponsored by the Addison Art Gallery and showcased at the Wellfleet Public Library. I was one of 24 artists who painted on locations around Wellfleet which is a town on the Outer Cape of Cape Cod. For an artist, Wellfleet combines beautiful landscapes of its protected harbor and quality art galleries.
On Friday I set up my French easel near the pier and painted the scene before me as interested passers-by stopped by to watch the progress.

"Capturing Wellfleet",  See top Right

“Capturing Wellfleet”,
See top Right


It was a beautiful day for painting outdoors. The changing tide exposed more sandbars in addition to boats that continued to move provided more than enough challenges to the ever progressing light of day.
"Wellfleet Morning", pastel 11x14

“Wellfleet Morning”, pastel 11×14


Plein air painters need to work quickly to photograph, frame, and ready the work for a show. When the public arrived at the Wellfleet Library for the Saturday night reception the room was filled with art supporters, refreshments, and the music of a jazz piano. The show and plein air demonstrations continues through Aug.1st.
"At the Pier", pastel, 11x14

“At the Pier”, pastel,
11×14


Top right, "At the Pier"

Top right,
“At the Pier”

Both Sides Now

My pastels are collected on both East and West Coasts now. My goal of showing my work on Cape Cod where I now have a summer studio is now a reality. The Addison Art Gallery in Orleans, MA hosted a Painting Orleans Plein Air event during the week of July 14. Artists painted on location from Main Street down to Nauset Beach. I spotted a beautiful garden at 26 Beach Road and Leila graciously welcomed me to paint it.

Leila's Garden and Easel

Leila’s Garden and Easel


It is always a challenge to capture moments in a painting. Plein air painting can be a quiet respite from our busy world, but even the flowers were changing before me. What a privilege to watch the unfurling of the bud of a red poppy during the time I painted. A close up view of nature doing it’s magic before my eyes. But this quiet reflection was soon interrupted by a rain shower. I am glad I brought my umbrella to cover the pastel. The paintings were to be delivered to the gallery by 2 pm, so it was time to put the pastel under glass and framed in the back of my car.
Framed Painting "Leila's Garden"

Framed Painting
“Leila’s Garden”


The Addison Art Gallery hosted a great reception and sale on June 14th where artists and art collectors admired the work painted for the event.
Addison Art Gallery, Orleans, MA

Addison Art Gallery,
Orleans, MA


My painting was also included in the next show on June 21st which featured paintings done during the Orleans Garden Tour. When I arrived at the reception to show the painting to my daughter who was visitning, I found that it had been SOLD. So, I am collected on both coasts or “Both Sides Now”. And the temporary moments in Leila’s garden are captured in time and enjoyed by an art collector.
"Leila's Garden", pastel, 11x4 “Leila’s Garden”, pastel, 11×14[/captain]