Friday, May 31, 2013

Plein Air Challenge: Day 12

I've been trying to think about a goal or concept I want from my daily piece before I go out each morning.  Of course, that doesn't always work.  Often what I decide to do and what I thought I wanted to do are two different things.  But today it worked.  After painting so many cloudy gray days in a row with nothing but green, I really wanted to focus on finding the variety in the color I see.  I pushed the sky just a little more violet, and also pushed the warmer grays in the water.  It's interesting that just a little pushing toward cool or warm without getting into intense color can really make a difference.

"Tree Reflection"  oil  6x6  ©Kim Casebeer

Plein Air Challenge: Day 11

I've been really good so far about keeping a schedule, which I'm finding is very necessary for a challenge such as this.  My other painting committments didn't stop during this challenge.  In fact, I have several pieces that need to be finished soon in my studio.  Therefore, my routine has been to take my son to preschool then go straight out to paint.  Then spend the remaining day in my studio.  Even on days such as this when it's raining and I would most likely hold off painting outdoors until another day - I still do it!  I've been happy with my results so far.  It's a nice feeling to know that I got something good out of a day I would normally not go out!  And I keep rediscovering things that should seem obvious. For example, if you want atmosphere, go paint in the rain.

"Vera Road In Rain" oil 6x8 ©Kim Casebeer

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Plein Air Challenge: Day 10

I've made it to day 10!  Ok that's not really a big deal, but it does feel like a small milestone.  Today's painting was done from a road 7 minutes from my home/studio where I go to paint A LOT.  I tell students and anyone else wanting to do more plein air painting that they should think of it as this big adventure where one has to drive an hour to find a good location.  Instead, find a place that can inspire you that you can get to in 20 minutes or less.  You will be surprised at what you can find in your own neighborhood!  Then when the mood strikes, you'll be ready.

Hillside  oil  9x5  ©Kim Casebeer

Plein Air Challenge: Day 9

I didn't travel far from home today. This is a small part of a tree row I can see from our back yard.  I find it very inspiring to look at other artist's work that transforms something very ordinary into something really beautiful.  It's interesting to see through other artist's eyes.  The simple subjects are often best for that insight.  I've often thought of doing a series of work just from my backyard, or from a road very close to my studio where I often paint.  How many pieces could I produce from the same spot?  They would look different, not only by which direction you look and how you crop, but also with time of day, light, and weather.  The possibilities are endless. 

"Summer Tree" oil 6x8 ©Kim Casebeer

Plein Air Challenge: Day 8

After an exhausting couple of days "on vacation," we got home and all I really wanted to do was rest.  I DID NOT WANT TO PAINT!  But I promised I would every day so I took my stuff out and started to push paint around. Many artists I admire say you can't wait for inspiration, you have to go get it. So true. So true!  It was nice to have the opportunity to wait to for the sunset this evening.  It was worth the wait.  The clouds were practically dancing.  So much fun to capture their movement.

Memorial Day Sunset, oil, 10x12 ©Kim Casebeer

Plein Air Challenge: Day 7

Technically, this was completed by 10:30pm on day 6, but I wanted to paint the moonlight and had a great covered patio with an outdoor light to help me out. We were also in Branson with family and were going to Silver Dollar City on this day.  So glad I did this because I can't imagine setting up to paint after an entire day in Silver Dollar City with 3 kiddos!

"Clouds and Moonlight" 8x6 oil ©Kim Casebeer

Plein Air Challenge: Day 6

Here's an idea to challenge yourself.  Go on a weekend vacation and find yourself without a painting umbrella on a day it rains.  You've got a 4x5 covered patio at your condo.  So set up on the patio and then what ever you can see from there - you paint!  I didn't turn out half bad either.  Another good reminder to that it's often better to quickly find something simple that can inspire you rather than driving around for an hour hoping for that perfect spot. There is no perfect spot!

Palace Heights Back Door, oil, 10x8

Plein Air Challenge: Day 5

I've already fallen behind in posting my daily paintings.  Here's Day 5.  This isn't something I typically do but I guess that's why it's called a challenge.  I'm usually drawn to the wide open landscape but wanted to test myself and try something new.  I struggled to simplify and find large shapes, even though in reality there was soooo much going on in this little space!  The point of this excercise is to get better at painting all types of subjects on location.  I am hoping to try something like this, maybe even this location, again later in the challenge to see if I can improve.
Six Mile Creek, oil, 8x10 ©Kim Casebeer

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Plein Air Challenge: Day 4

It was much calmer out this morning, but since it was cloudy and the light was a little flat, I decided it best to include some structure in my painting for today.  This quaint little ranch sits on Hwy K-4 close to my home/studio.  It was so peaceful painting next to the cows who went about their business eating the tall grass or taking a nap.

Miller Ranch, oil, 9x12  ©Kim Casebeer

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Plein Air Challenge: Day 3

Wednesday, May 22, 2013.  This post, which is today's painting, gets me caught up on the blog.  Wow it was windy this morning!  Not nearly as nice as yesterday.  The silver lining in this, some dramatic things were going on in the sky.  Mostly overcast when I started, I mixed a variety of gray values from warm to cool in preparation for painting the sky.  I laid in most cloud shapes as well as the trees and ground plane.  Then it was a waiting game - waiting and watching for the clouds to break.  Thus the name, Cloud Break.  I'm happy with the movement of the sky.

Cloud Break, oil, 12x9  ©Kim Casebeer

Plein Air Challenge: Day 2

Tuesday, May 21, 2013.  It was a beautiful day to be out painting!  70 degrees and sunny - who could ask for more?  My routine for most days during this challenge will be to drop my son off at school around 8am, then go straight out to look for a spot.  All my gear stays in the car so it's ready to go.  I took a road I don't usually take so it seemed to take a little longer to find a spot than normal.  This violates one of my rules - don't spend much time looking for that perfect place to pull over.  There are great things to paint if you stop long enough and really look!  This painting was an attempt at trying a little bit different composition.  I don't think it's my strongest piece and not sure I like the design.  I do like the shadows, however.  If I can find something good in each piece I do, this will be a success.

Plein Air Challenge Day 2: Two Ponds, oil, 9x12 ©Kim Casebeer

Plein Air Challenge: Day One!

A few days ago I posted on facebook that I was starting a Plein Air Challenge - to paint one plein air a day for the summer, perhaps beyond.  I realized later that this would be best expressed on a blog, so from this point on I will post each days work on my blog along with any experiences I want to share about the process, the successes, failures, or simply about that day.  I will still post pics on facebook.

I have thought about doing something like this for a while but held back for lots of reasons - too busy, too many comittments in the studio, fear of failure, etc.  All lame excuses really.  After getting back from a whirlwind trip to Fredericksburg TX for the OPA show and seeing so much great art, I was newly inspired.  We got home late Sunday night, and Monday morning I committed myself to this goal of painting one plein air a day!  This has been a goal I've wanted to accomplish for a long time so I'm letting you all know before I chicken out.  From this point on, I will post daily if you'd like to follow the craziness.

From Day 1, May 20, 2013: 37th Street Morning, oil, 8x10 ©Kim Casebeer

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sharing a Wonderful Paint Trip to Carmel, California

Here I am painting along the beautiful coast.  Photo courtesy Debra Groesser.
I've recently returned from a wonderful paint trip to the Carmel, California area.  What a great experience!  We had beautiful weather for painting and I got a lot of work done.  I have included several photos of some of the plein air pieces I completed.  These, as well as some studio work, are available at Mountainsong Galleries in Carmel through May 19.  Our group show opened April 19 and the work looks great!  You can see the studio pieces in the show online at Mountainsong Galleries website.
Painting in progress at Carmelite Monastery.  This was the first painting of the trip.
Who knew that all my painting in the Kansas wind could prepare me for painting along the California coast!  It was windy and a lot cooler than we thought it would be.  However, we were determined to paint water and rocks so we braved it.
Deb Groesser and I celebrating after a great day of painting, even though it was a little cold!  Photo courtesy Gary Huber.
Garrapata Mood, oil, 8x6.  The day I painted at Garrapata State Park, the clouds were spectacular.  Both this piece and the one below were painted in this park.  Both available at Mountainsong Galleries.
Fair Weather Clouds, oil, 8x10
The day we painted at Garrapata was windy but what great atmosphere!  And a bonus - meeting some of the artists that stayed to paint after the PleinAir Convention.
Here I am with Michele de Braganca.  Got to know her and Gary Huber while we tried to keep warm in 15 layers of clothes painting at Garrapata!  Photo courtesy Gary Huber.
Sticking it out was worth it.  Mother Nature gave us a beautiful sunset!
Deb Groesser and I pausing to enjoy the sunset.  Photo courtesy Gary Huber.

Painting at Point Lobos State Reserve the next day was equally wonderful.  The weather and the atmosphere were both great!  Many of us painted the rock formations. 

Several from our group checking out Point Lobos before settling on something to paint.  Left to right:  Cindy Baron, Becky Joy, Christine Debrosky and Shanna Hernandez.

See those painters in the distance??
And I couldn't resist giving China Cove a try.  I went for the back lighting which made for great color and mood, however not so good on the eyes.  Even with my cap really, really low I still had to quit.

Painting in progress at China Cove.  This one will have to wait to be finished in my studio under more controlled lighting.
Sundown at Point Lobos, oil, 6x8.  Available at Mountainsong Galleries.  We spent a day painting in Point Lobos State Reserve. This was my last painting of the day.  I worked fast to catch the evening light.  Sometimes faster is good as there's no time to over think.
There were several times we simply did the beautiful drive along Highway 1 and found places to pull over to paint.  The Eucalyptus trees were fun to paint because they had such nice shapes!

Ocean Side Meadow, oil, 8x10.  Available at Mountainsong Galleries.  Just had to paint this beautiful, open meadow along the coast.
Another area along the Highway 1 drive with great views was close to the Big Sur area.  Cindy and I pulled over to paint the fog.
Cindy Baron and I at one of our group's favorite painting spots.

Painting in progress near the Big Sur area.  The fog continued to move making for great atmosphere.
Morning Impression, oil, 7x10.  Available at Mountainsong Galleries.
Our group met many other artists in town for the PleinAir Convention during a beach side bonfire - how fun!
As if painting in a beatiful location with great artists wasn't enough!  During the trip I found out that "Chasing Light," a 36x36 piece which won the January/February bi-monthly competition, took an honorable mention in the annual PleinAir Salon Competition.  The winners of the 2nd Annual PleinAir Salon Competition were announced during the PleinAir Convention in Monterey, CA organized by PleinAir magazine which was taking place while we were there. has a nice online article about this piece:

Opening Night at Mountainsong Galleries. Left to Right: Becky Joy, Deb Groesser, myself, Cindy Baron, Christine Debrosky, and Shanna Kunz Hernandez.
It was great to see all of our hard work together on the walls of the gallery at the end of the trip.  We have a strong show hanging now until May 19 at Mountainsong Galleries.  Please visit the show online at Mountainsong Galleries website.  I hope you have enjoyed learning a little about our trip to Carmel!

A small sample of the work hanging on the walls - Shanna Hernandez, myself, and Becky Joy.  Plein air pieces in front.