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Plein Air Painting – Ripley, Ohio 16 June 2020

It’s been awhile since I have been Plein air painting. All my recenty projects have been in the studio. When an artist friend invited me to meet up somewhere to paint outside, I said ‘sure! Where do you want to go? ‘ It didn’t matter to her, so I got to pick.

I picked the Rankin House in Ripley, Ohio. It’s a historic site that was once the home of John Rankin, an abolitionist who helped many people escape slavery. Perched on a hill, overlooking the village and ohio river, the rankins were able to give signals from their home to Kentucky.

Not only is the rankin house an important part of the underground railroad, it offers artists a magnificant view!

I wasn’t fully prepared to capture the view. I *should* have brought a panoramic canvas to capture everything. To improvise, I used 2 8×10″ wood panels, and set them beside each other to make a dyptich.

I have been experimenting with live videos and I tried live streaming the entire painting. It put a little bit of pressure on me…having a live live audience brought out some of the best of my talent, and I am happy with the finished painting!

Ins addition to my ‘virtual’ audience online, some friends (1 a fellow artist) came up the hill to watch me work.

Thanks again for a great day!

Here is the full length stream of the painting…originally live streamed on Facebook.

You can w

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Georgetown, ohio Grant’s childhood home

Today i came to Georgetown, Ohio with a goal of painting US Grant’s Childhood home.

The childhood home of US Grant

After sketching the front view of the home, i decided that the light wasn’t right for a painting, so i walked around, looking for a better view.

The back view of the house

The back of the house had much more interesting light, so i sketched it out, and was surprised that the composition wanted to be a panoramic.

The values and composition worked out for the painting

I decided to ignore the bright blue sky, and emphasize the orange bricks and yellow light bouncing off everything

Not only did i get a good painting, but i also met quite a few really nice people, like Vince and Bobbi Shelton, a retired couple (celebrating 50 years of marriage) who are traveling to see all the different homes of the different presidents.

They have been to all except, Obama, Ford, Reagan, Nixon, both Adams and Kennedy…isn’t that a cool project!?!

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UPDATE i stayed long enough, the light is where i wanted it, so im going to make my original painting. Stay tuned for updates as they happen

Composition and values worked out…time for color
Finished! Us grant’s childhood 4 1/2×6″ oil on wood panel
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Plein Air Painting in Arkansas

I really love Arkansas! Once I crossed the Mississippi river and Missouri, there was a southern vibe I have never experienced. Armadillos, Cotton Fields, and miles and miles of wheat! Much of the landscape is flat, so I can see for miles and miles.

For my first plein air painting, I chose a giant grain silo. Agriculture is such a big part of this area, and with the land being so flat, the grain silos tower over the towns. I decided to stop in in the town of Corning to paint their grain silo because of the muted primary colors: red, yellow and blue.

the silo is so enormous, i decided to only paint a section of the structure
Corning AR, 4 1/2×6″ Oil on Wood Panel

I wanted to make a painting to capture the flat landscape of the Mississippi floodplains. Coming from the hills of Kentucky; flat earth takes a little getting used to. Once again, i tried to zoom in, and paint the little farm, far off in the distance

Wheat Fields-Arkansas 12×4 1/2″ oil on board

It was a whirlwind trip, but my first time that far west on Us Route 62-I’m looking forward to returning soon to get to know it better and make more art!

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Maysville from sutton hill

Ive been busy today, doing non art chores and getting ready for an upcoming trip, but i wanted to make at least one painting today, so i am at one of my favorite views of maysville. The view from sutton hill. Its cloudy, a grey day, so im going to have a lot of fun with the red roof and the whites of the buildings

I orgot to being my brushes!!! Good thing i am an art supply hoarder, and found a few brushes in my car. One a little too small, the other a little too big, this will be a fun challenge! Heres the values/composition
There were some challenges today (wrong brushes, grey day) but i enjoyed working out the problems, and i feel like i capturwd the moment. I really enjoyed all the color mixing. I might bring oit the details of the bridge a little more when i get back in the studio
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Poppies are popping and the rain is a droppin

The weather forecast has some rain, so im spending the morning in my garden…i dont paint a lot of flowers, but these poppies are too beautiful to ignore.

The composition is worked out…time for color-this painting is going to be all about color!
I made it this far before the rain arrived. I decided to do something i hate: i took a photo of my subject, to use as a reference
The rain passed after a few minutes and i avaoided disaster (having to paint from a photo) now im back in the poppy field
Greetibg from under the tree. Its not raining enough yo run for the porch, but do need some shelter… Still havent had to use my reference photo

I almost abandoned this painting, because the weather kept causing interruptions, and it was getting kind of wild, but i finally have it under control, and see a path to finish…its just down to the details. I have a feeling, like most of my challenging ones, it could turn out to be one of my favorites!

Finished! Poppies-12″x4 1/2 oil on wood panel

Well, that’s a wrap! I stayed dry for the majority of the painting. I tried mixing colors in a way I never have before, and learned a lot with this one…I had some doubts while working, but I think the finished painting is fantastic! I like the dark, rain storm in the top right corner.

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The moonlight school morehead ky 8 may 2019

To continue celebrating teacher appreciation week, im going to make a painting of this famous kentucky schoolhouse. Heres my sketch-im ready to start painting.

I have my composition and colors worked out. Now time for color!
The sun is bright today… Its all about blues and purples
Moonlight school – morehead, ky 4 1/2 x 6″ oil on wood panel

this painting has already found it’s home. You can browse available plein air paintings by visiting my gallery, or clicking here

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Red Roof Barns near Flemingsburg, KY

The fields in Kentucky are covered with a beautiful yellow flower. My goal for today was to paint one of those fields.

While looking for fields, i came across this farm (it does have some yellow field) and decided to paint it instead. I was interested in the way the light was illuminating the red roofs of the barn, and the white of the building

once I got the thumbnail sketch worked out, it was time to paint!

i was so excited about the painting, i forgot to take a photo of the monochromatic underlayer. So here is a photo of the painting as I started to add color.

since i am painting on a regular basis, I have more opportunities to experiment and explore color. I decided to try to paint this scene without using any green.

the colors aren’t true to life, but the subject and light are. My hope is that the painting captures the ‘feeling’ of the place

Red roof barn- oil on wood panel by Ken Swinson 4 1/2×6″

I’m really pleased with how this painting turned out..AND I learned some new things about color!

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Morning painting view from covington

Painting the view of the city from covington. I like the cluster of old towers, and the ferris wheel in the foreground. Lots of interesting shapes. Im going to try a new pallette. Stay tuned. I will update this post as the painting progresses.

The composition and values are more or less worked out…time to start building up some colors
Im starting to lay my colors down. I recently added brown to my palette, which is toning down my normally bright palette

My friend, and photographer, Constance Sanders stopped by to visit, and make a short video of my work in progress.
Visit her website by clicking here:
Finished! Here it is!

this painting has already found it’s home. You can browse available plein air paintings by visiting my gallery, or clicking here