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Old Washington Paint Group – Larkspur

Todays model for our paint group in Old Washington was an old watering can with Larkspur. It’s always fun to paint with a group–not just for the company and feedback, but also to see how each artist interprets the subject.

3 artists holding paintings of larkspur
Ken Swinson, Taliah Rey + Dawn Kincaid (left to right)

For this painting, i tried something a little bit different: compressing the values, and only using 3 colors: prussian blue, quinacridone magenta and cadmium yellow light + titanium white. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

This is painted from life and direct observation: no cameras, transfers, computers, ai–I think it would qualify to go in my ‘plein air’ gallery. Will decide once it’s dry and framed 🙂

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First Irises – plein Air 29 April 2024

The evening light is so pretty–and dramatic. Lighting up these seasonally early irises that popped up in my yard.

as if flowers aren’t already hard—oh the translucence of the sun shining through

Here’s the underpainting – i have to work fast while the sun is setting–no time for a composition sketch

I am looking towards the sun, so color choices are really tricky, but I think i have something that will work

oh my gosh!!! that was crazy and fun!!! Painting while looking towards the sun–talk about a chaos palette!!!

First Irises 2024
6×8″ oil on board
Painted by direct observation:
no photos, technology or Ai used

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Poppies – Plein air 28 April 2024

To celebrate a beautiful morning, I’m going to try and capture the vibrance and joy of these poppies. I’ll work from direct observation: no photos, no technology, absolutely zero ai.

i scratched out a simple composition…I like the cluster of poppies in the foreground, then tall blades of grass, and poppies in the distance. A bee is floating between the different flowers. stay tuned to see if miss b makes the cut

All my big panels are in my studio, but I was lucky to have some little 6x8s laying around in my car. For this underpainting, I’ve used my biggest brush -to keep from getting lost in details…on my smallest panel size. it might not make sense right now, but color is what will hold this painting together…that’s the next step!!! Stay tuned!

Maybe it would be easier to work from a photo. the flowers are Constantly moving, blowing with the wind…and then the SUN moves too1-changing everything. But there is nothing like being outside + a part of the world I am trying to capture with paint.  I *think* I have a color scheme worked out, but it keeps changing: at this point, I’m going to trust my eyes, and go with it!

the wind decided to obliterate one of my models!!!! oh the carnage!!!

Well, im truly a Sunday painter! What a nice way to start the day! In nature with my paints (and Facebook friends!!!). Hope you all have a great day! Pop goes the poppy!! 6×8 oil on panel

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Tulip Time! plein air 25 April 2024

Good evening! theres Nothing like the warm late afternoon sunshine. Going to try and capture it (and these tulips) with some oil paint!

afternoon light changes fast, so no time to fuss around. Here’s my composition-let’s get it started!

Values (dark and light) worked out. Time for color! This painting is all about the bright yellow flowers, so all decisions made will be to support that yellow.

I have a color scheme worked out…now it’s all about the details…and a race to get them on the board before the sun gets any lower

I have a color scheme worked out…now it’s all about the details…and a race to get them on the board before the sun gets any lower

As if the quickly changing evening sun isn’t challenge enough: NOBODY TOLD ME THEY WERE GOING TO CLOSE THEIR PETALS ONCE THE SUN WENT DOWN!!!! That was a surprise! Well, regardless, I had a wonderful time painting from direct observation: no photos, no tech, no ai: is nothing like working from life…bugs and all!!! Clever titles welcome – oil on board, 6×12”

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Asparagus – plein air 24 April 2024

It’s lunch time, and these asparagus are ready to eat! It’s been a good year for asparagus so far, so I want to celebrate the bounty with a painting! 

I have a composition worked out. The drawing on the left is close to the values (dark and light) I want to capture, but the sketch on the right is closer to the composition I want. I want to emphasize the height of the asparagus. A panoramic proportioned board will help. Ok painting time!

The underpainting is roughed out. I used a combination of yesterday’s leftover paint and some violet and Veridian (green). Now it’s time to put colors in!!!

I have a color scheme worked out. A lot of artists find GREEN to one of the more difficult colors to mix. Well, this is a green plant with a green background. I’m living my dream, and I am the one who picked this subject, so will try not to be a crybaby and complain.

Ok! That’s a wrap!!! I really want to title this “kiss my asparagus” what do you think? 6×12” oil on board

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Yellow Tulips – Plein Air 23 April 2024

Hi there! It’s been awhile since we’ve painted live. These tulips arent going to get any prettier, so let’s paint them today!!!

Worked out a few thumbnail sketches…going to go with the bottom left sketch. Let’s paint!

The underpainting…boy is it windy!!! Let’s get some color on the panel!

Some color down…now to work the colors into a harmony without losing my mind

My painting buddy says he thinks it looks good enough. I think he just wants to get out of this wind. A few more touches and it’ll be finished!

Threes company 6×8”
oil on panel

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Carriage House at Federal Hill 21 April 2024

Did I show you all this little oil painting I made earlier this week when up on federal hill with the Wednesday painting group?

Its the carriage house to the north of the main house: loved how the dogwood tree contrasted with the shady side of the building.

Unfortunately, the wind was too bad to paint from life, so we made sketches and took photos, then worked in the studio.

8×10 oil on canvas

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Fort Massac State Park – 14 April 2024

Greetings while plein air painting from the ’other’ side of the Ohio River: Fort Massac, Illinois. This is where Lewis and Clark stayed for 3 days on their trip out west-they recruited their interpreter here.

Created with photos or technology—painted directly from observation and my emotional response: while the wind blew, and the shadows crept up the buildings. One building a little skinnier than it should be, but I wanted to squeeze it all in.


Hope you all had a great weekend.

8×10 Oil on board

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Spring Suffering – plein air – 19 March 2024

The march trend in Kentucky seems to be: either no wind and no sun, or sun with lots of wind!

I’m in Flemingsburg hoping to catch this sun without being Carried off to munchkin land!

Wish me luck!

sorry for no sketch…was busy chasing this palette before it floated into the creek! I have an ok underpainting. Let’s get some color out!

If you are the kind of person who likes your artists to suffer for their art, you’ll LOVE this painting. Other than being happy to paint sunshine, this has been a miserable experience. ive had too keep my left hand (freezing) in n the palette, to keep it from blowing away. ok, enough crybaby me…let’s get back to work!!!

Spring suffering 8×10 oil on canvas