Wednesday, August 02, 2017

No apologizes for not posting in such a long time ...

No apologizes for my lengthy absence in posting  ...

While not apologizing I will share with you some things that have taken place since my last blog post.

Some how there seemed to be a rash of small health issues that came out of the blue.  An aching shoulder, a neck issue, a knee that kept clicking whenever I bent my knee, and a hand/ finger issue.  None of them major ... just an irritant.  Thank goodness thats all behind me now.

Our lovely 13 year cat Odessa was losing weight and not eating like her normal self.  After a few veterinarian appointments she was diagnosed with a hyper-thyroid.

The treatment we chose for her was Radioiodine Therapy.  She had to stay at the treatment center four nights.  We missed her so much during that time, but finally she was able to come home and has spent the last month resting and gaining back some of the weight she had lost.

Its such a relief to have those issues behind us!  And now we are getting back to the good life we enjoy.

Each year Sequim celebrates the development and support of the irrigation ditches which brought water to the once dry prairies of the town.  This year was the 122 festival celebration and celebrated May 5th- thru the 14th. They celebrate with a car show, huge parade, large logging show, & carnival.  To say the least, there is a lot of things going on during the week.  It is a major event and most of the town comes out to celebrate. This year we chose to take a helicopter ride over the town that was offered.  It was our first time in a helicopter and it was amazing to see the area from this perspective.  What fun. When we landed I told my husband we needed to buy a helicopter it was so fun. Hmmm, guess that isn't going to happen.

Pre take-off

We saw some amazing views while on the helicopter ride

The end of March we took our camp trailer down to Southern California to visit our daughter.  It was nice and warm and we could sit out in the morning sun enjoying our coffee.  We decided to come back Hwy 1 & 101.  Heading back up north we started encountering rainy weather as you can see in the photo of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Many of the sights we saw while there and driving home.
More recently, in July, we enjoyed Sequim's Lavender Festival.  There are lavender plants in the yards of many homes not to mention numerous fields in the area.  Each beautiful and smelling amazing.

One of the many lovely lavender fields in Sequim.

Thanks for following along on my art journey.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

:: A very good day ::

Earlier this week my friend Barbara and I packed up our painting gear and went to a lovely location in hopes of getting some plein air work done. We both thought this was a perfect location with views in every direction.

Looking east you see a couple of apple trees that still had plenty of apples on the tree … and on the ground. Yes, they made a great snack.
To the north were some huge fir trees.
East were some mature aspen trees as well as some young less developed trees.
And then to the south were the majestic Olympics Mountains and some grazing milk cows.
Dungeness Cows © Nancy Van Blaricom
Dungeness Valley Cows, 8" x 10" Oil on Canvas ~ ©Nancy Van Blaricom
I haven't done many plein air paintings but as I started to set up I realized I had forgotten a few things.  I forgot my phone, that meant no in progress photos.  I also forgot to bring a bottle of water, that alone makes a person thirsty, lol. And lastly I forgot my tripod mount … what attaches my easel to my tripod.

All was not lost. Fortunately I had a small blanket that I carry in my car to set anything on that might soil the carpet in the car.  I spread it out on the ground between the apple trees and had a great view of the cows and mountains.   It was a rather perfect place to be and sitting on the blanket instead of standing was just fine.

As I mixed my paint I tried to remind myself of all the steps I needed to take ...  things I really wanted to remember that would help this be a successful painting day.  I took my time.
  • Do a few thumbnail sketches to make sure I would be happy with my design.
  • Using a neutral paint color to sketch my design on the canvas.
  • Block in my darks ... shadows. Once that is working add some light and color.
  • Try to get my values right.

Anyway, you get the idea .. I didn't hurry when working on my canvas.  

After two hours my I felt very happy with what I had accomplish.
I think I am getting the hang of this stuff.

Once home I gave the cows a little more detail since they were quite far away while I was painting.

Wahoo … I'm calling this one a success ! What do you think?

Friday, September 30, 2016

:: Moving Forward ::

One day last week as I was thinking about the end of summer and how it seems to be hanging on, I decided to do some cleaning up on our patio and was greeted by a geranium that was flourishing. 

When I planted it I was worried that it might not make it.  It was looking very sad, dried out and very spindly.  

Then in a few weeks after that I noticed it was looking better and out of laziness I decided to leave it in that spot since it was very late in the season.

When I went to the patio recently I saw this beautiful healthy geranium in a flower bed.  What?  Could this really be the same plant that was hardly alive earlier?

I grabbed my oils and started painting. 

I had a great time painting this 'en plein air'.

I tried to remember that I wanted to use bigger brushes, plan my values,  and only one or two brush strokes per loaded brush. I think all in all I was successful.  2 hours well spent.

I think I'm kinda like this geranium plant ... I'm moving forward with where I want to be.  I may not see the growth as fast as I'd like, but, before you know it I just might flourish.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

:: Without Plans ::

I love to plan things.  I like goal making … task lists etc.  It motivates me as a rule.

Recently we decided to take our travel trailer for a weeks get-a-way to the coast.  
Yippee, I'll take my oils and paint a bunch of small plein air paintings.  Of coarse I'm hopeing the weather will cooperate, but if not, I can paint out the window.  Maybe I''ll even take my watercolors and sketchbook just incase ...

And, the weather was beautiful.  Walking on the beach could not have been better.  Fall was in the air but the sun was giving us the impression that summer would hang on a lot longer.

And then out of the blue I hurt my shoulder.  Bursitis maybe?

The Group - Nancy Van Blaricom

Anyway I just need to stop making these plans ... its like the universe says "You are not in charge, I am in charge".

So, once again I did no plein air painting. 
This has to change ! I need to work thru these obstacles that I keep running into.

Last week before we left with the trailer I decided to work on a small study of some tangerines that I had purchased earlier in the week.  So,  just for practice, to see if I can remember to use big brushes and more paint,  I gathered my tangerines and a lovely blue and white saucer & arranged them on a tall plastic roll-around cart I have in the studio. Its a perfect height for a still life  set-up if standing at my easel.

After I had blocked everything in the light had changed to some degree and I decided to change the black to look more like a wood table top, from imagination. The black just wasn't working for me … 
  • Had I used big brushes? YES but I still was too nit-picky.
  • Did I mix enough paint so that I didn't end up scrubbing the paint into the canvas? NO
Even though I didn't remember everything I wanted to accomplish while working on this little study, 
I do think the painting session was a successful one because I will take notes and re-read my them prior to my next session.

Practice, practice, practice !
But its not a plan …...

Friday, September 09, 2016

:: Lazy Autumn Days ::

Fall is definitely in the air here in Sequim.  Leaves are turning color and the warm and sunny days have a crispness to them that only fall can have.  

Maybe its just the changing of the season, but, I find I'm less inclined to hurry on to different projects. Maybe instead lay around and read or maybe take a nap.

One project I managed to accomplish was to hang two pieces of my work in my studio.
I always have to give the act of hanging any of my work a lot of thought. 
So up until yesterday my studio walls were bare.  

Below are the two that I hung.  Both is Floater Frames.

Now I have two small 6" x 6" paintings hanging on my studio wall.  It actually looks nice to have some work on the studio walls and maybe now I'll be more inclined to frame a few paintings and hang them.

Fall is a perfect time to get out and do some plein air painting.  I had ordered a few Signet Bright brushes that arrived in the mail and now I'm packing up a few panels and my tripod and pochade box in anticipation of some autumn plein air painting.

I hope the lovely fall days gets you outside and you can enjoy it before winter arrives.
Happy painting.