“Let there be Light,” said the Creator, and there was Light. After seeing the Light was good, He broke it down into the Spectrum and there was Yellow. He thought Yellow joyful and made it the color of the sunflower, which brings happiness to all who see it. Positive energy, cheerfulness, and optimism are a few of this hue’s emotional properties. Because it is such a warm color, there is no wonder so many of my artist friends have been making paintings with lots of yellow during these cold winter days. I love bright colors.
Maybe that is why I enjoy painting flowers so much, whether they are in a landscape or a still life. To me, painting flowers is far easier (and enjoyable) than planting them. Yellow flowers and foliage are so much fun because I can use pure pigment and not worry too much about toning down the color (I’m kind of lazy like that). So when I was commissioned to paint a bridal bouquet with sunflowers contrasted with darker colors, I was pretty close to being in Yellow Heaven.
Yes, I exaggerated the color of every blossom in the bouquet, but painting it was like listening to great jazz. With every stroke of brilliant color I found another note in the spectrum that added joy to the composition. Light is good, and yellow = happiness.
Painting an interior with sunlight spilling through the windows is very much like painting en plein air…the light will change quickly. When I saw the shadow patterns created by the light, I just had to paint it. Happily, I was invited back to my friend’s home a few days later and was able to capture this scene.
I will have work displayed in the Cafe Gallery at the Baton Rouge General Hospital, 8585 Picardy Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA. There will be a reception on Thursday, February 21, 2019 5:00-7:00. The work will be on display through June 27, 2019.
Associated Women in the Arts at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
Louisiana…You Inspire Me is the theme of this year’s exhibition in the historic Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge, LA. The show dates are March 12-April 27, 2019, with a reception on March 14, 5:30-7:30.
Baton Rouge Plein Air is at The Foyer, 3655 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA. View work by members of this local group of painters.
The Baton Rouge Plein Air group painted at Cinclare Plantation in Port Allen, Louisiana at the tail end of the sugar cane harvest. It was a cloudy, humid morning, and we spent quite a bit of time looking for a paintable scene. There were several white houses along a gravel road that led to another cane field. The structures appealed to me, but it was the color of the leaves and the road leading to a neutral colored field that made an impression on me. Fall color appears late in the season in SoLA, and as long as there is not a lot of wind, it hangs around for a few weeks. Knowing the trees would be stunning just as soon as the sun broke through the clouds, I blocked in the shapes, pushing the color where I believed it should be (and because it’s what I do) and waited.
Finally, the sun appeared, throwing light on the yellow, orange and red foliage. The clouds disappeared, and I was able to put some blue in the sky. Happy Day!
Several years ago I received a weekly planner as a Christmas gift. I liked that each date had lines to write on (I don’t like writing on blank paper–my lines start sloping downwards with the the first sentence) and began keeping a Happiness Journal at the first of the year. I have had three of these books (thanks, Barnes & Noble for keeping them in stock). I enjoy looking through them, remembering what the weather was like each day (because it often affects my happiness) and one thing that made me happy. Sometimes it’s just seeing a tree in autumn decked in glorious golds and reds or a delightful meal at a favorite restaurant. Funny how the same event or weather condition repeats on or near the same date from year to year. Painting with my friends is a frequent note in my Happiness Journal.
Here is to filling my blank book for 2019 with many entries of happy painting occasions, documentation of gorgeous weather, and notes of time spent with good friends. Happy New Year!
Baton Rouge Plein Air is currently showing paintings at The Foyer, 3655 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA, in the Acadian Perkins Plaza Shopping Center. This group, which meets weekly to paint different locations in the area, recently celebrated its first year. The group is open to artists of all skill levels in different media.
Light is twinkling everywhere, now that the Christmas season is upon us. Retailers have had decorations up since the beginning of November, and neighbors try to out-light each other with displays in the yards and on their houses.
At the end of November and beginning of December here in South Louisiana the leaves finally turned to yellow, orange, and scarlet, and their contrast against the blue sky was amazing. The light reflecting on the foliage resembled sparkling jewels; the display lasted about ten days before fading.
It’s been a few weeks since I have been out in the field painting, and it was not hard to see I was sorely out of practice. I am not an outdoor person, but there is something about being in nature trying to capture a feeling or image that makes putting up with the cold/heat/damp/maybe rain/once snowflakes a pleasure. For me, painting en plein air is not so much about the product but the process. Of course, getting a good painting every now and then is pretty cool.