Spring in My Garden

Spring in My Garden 5.5x17 inches Watercolor and ink on paper ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Spring in My Garden
5.5×17 inches
Watercolor and ink on paper
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Last Saturday, the plein air group painted in my garden and had lunch at my house.  I didn’t paint because I couldn’t focus on cooking and painting at the same time.  Today was a calmer day and the weather was beautiful, so I perched on my concrete bench and painted this scene in my watercolor book. 

I don’t have many flowers blooming yet, but there was dappled light and shadow on the ground and many variations of green in the foliage.  I used diverse brush strokes and ink accents to add texture the painting. 

 

Posted in Garden, Plein Air Tagged |

April in Winnsboro

April in Winnsboro 5.5 x 17 inches Watercolor on paper ©2017 Lucinda Howe

April in Winnsboro
5.5 x 17 inches
Watercolor on paper
©2017 Lucinda Howe

This week in South Carolina the weather is beautiful.  It’s prime time for gardening and plein air painting.  Today I had the opportunity to have lunch and paint with Barbara Yongue, Melinda Smith, and Alice Marcel at a beautiful home and garden in Winnsboro.  What a treat! This small piece was painted across two pages in my watercolor journal. 

Posted in Plein Air Tagged , |

Flowers Everywhere

Big Bold Roses and Lilies 30x24 inches Acrylic, charcoal & pastel ©2016 Lucinda Howe $1,400

Big Bold Roses and Lilies
30×24 inches
Acrylic, charcoal & pastel
©2016 Lucinda Howe
$1,400

Among the April showers this week I delivered new paintings to Ellen Taylor Interiors on Gervais Street in preparation for Artist Vista April 20-22. I’ll be there for Art Night April 20, 5-9 pm.  Hope you will stop in and say hello while you are enjoying Artista Vista.

I’m gathering inspiration for new floral pieces by studying the Master Gardener course and looking forward to adopting some new plants at the local plant and flower festivals.  If you are looking for plants for your garden, here are two opportunities coming up in April 2017 around Columbia, South Carolina:

Midlands Plant & Flower Festival at SC State Farmers Market , April 6-9, 2017

Midlands Master Gardener Plant Sale at Sparkleberry Fair, April 29, 2017

Happy Gardening!

 

 

Posted in Acrylics, Garden Tagged |

Spring Fever

Weeds 11x8.5 inches Graphite and watercolor on yardstick ©2017 Lucinda Howe NFS

Weeds
11×8.5 inches
Graphite and watercolor on yardstick
©2017 Lucinda Howe
NFS

In the spring of the year, I find my attention divided among many creative pursuits.

The warm weather that makes me want to paint outdoors also tempts me to work in my garden, paint in the studio with the windows open, sew a spring dress, and cook spring vegetables. This year, taking Clemson’s Master Gardener course even further distracts me. On a day when I could be painting, I’m studying weed identification.

I decided it was OK that my interests overlap and started drawing weeds. I find that by carefully observing and drawing the weeds, I’m more likely to remember the identifying characteristics. Also, any drawing from life that I do improves my drawing skills in general.  

Do you find yourself wanting to try many different things in the spring? How do you combine several of your interests into a project?

Posted in Garden Tagged |

Windy Day at Sandhill

Windy Day at Sandhill 5.5 x 17 inches Watercolor on paper ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Windy Day at Sandhill
5.5 x 17 inches
Watercolor on paper
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Last Saturday, the plein air group was painting at Sandhill Research and Education Center in northeast Richland County, South Carolina. I wanted to go because it’s near my house and a favorite place to paint, but the weather report predicted rain. Through the morning the sky got darker and darker, and it started to sprinkle, but I decided to go anyway. Arriving about 10:00 am, I didn’t have long to paint, so I made a small painting in my watercolor book.

Clemson’s property is a small reminder of our rural heritage in the midst of the Two Notch/Clemson Road suburbia. In this painting, I wanted to capture the sandy road between the trees and equipment shed with only a hint of the surrounding industry in the background.

Posted in Plein Air Tagged |

I Digress

Sewing Studio

Sewing Studio

 

Over the years, I’ve experimented with many types of hobbies that involve making things with my hands… crafts, sewing, crocheting, gardening, cooking, drawing, and painting.

Painting is my favorite activity, and the one I most like to share on my blog. However, sometimes I go off on a tangent and focus on other creative ventures for a while. During the 27 years that my husband and I have lived in our house, my hobbies have expanded to fill up all available work and storage space, overflowed into galleries, an external studio, and a storage unit.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to do some clearing of my creative clutter in order to clear space for new interests and projects. My word for 2017 is spaciousness. I’ve cleared out a storage unit, and consolidated and downsized some art supplies. There is more do to as I explore what is “enough”. It’s a day-to-day process to see how that will play out in terms of mental and physical clearing.

Recently I’ve signed up for a Master Gardener class, and I’ve felt the urge to get back into sewing clothes. When I got out my sewing 43-year-old sewing machine and second-hand serger and started sewing in the basement, I needed more light and wanted to be able to use my light-filled studio at the back of the house. So I put away some of my painting supplies and set up my sewing in the studio. There’s not enough room to do both at once.

For the foreseeable future, I’ll be learning about gardening and sewing, and doing a little less painting, and trying to find my preferred level of spaciousness. Please bear with me while I figure out what comes next.

Posted in Studio Tagged |

Remembering Wallace

Wallace's Pink Acrylic and pastel on canvas 24x24" ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Wallace’s Pink
Acrylic and pastel on canvas
24×24″
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Camellias are favorites in the southern garden, having glossy evergreen foliage and blooming through the winter when few other things are in bloom. Frost often turns the blooms into brown mush, but this winter has been so mild that the camellias are full of blooms. The blooms are white, pink, red, single, double, and variegated. Many cultivars of camellia japonica have been developed and given expressive names like ‘Pink Perfection’, ‘Debutante’, and ‘Pearl Maxwell’.

Early in our marriage, my husband and I visited his favorite uncle in North Carolina. Uncle Wallace had a beautiful lakeside garden with traditional plantings of wisteria, irises, forsythia, and camellias. He gave me rooted cuttings of plants that are still in our garden today. When he gave me a camellia, I asked him if he knew what variety it was. He took his cigar out of his mouth, holding in between thumb and forefinger, shook it for emphasis, and said, “It’s the PINK one!”

The unidentified pink camellia has grown into a small shrub that is blooming profusely this year. When I cut these blossoms and arranged them, I was glad to have the remembrance of Uncle Wallace in my garden, and I enjoyed some good memories of him while I was painting.  

Posted in Acrylics Tagged |

Bon Mardi Gras

Tuesday Flowers 14x11 inches Mixed media: acrylic, pastel, tissue paper, Sharpie marker ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Tuesday Flowers
14×11 inches
Mixed media: acrylic, pastel, tissue paper, Sharpie marker
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Happy Mardi Gras!  This small mixed media floral painting reminds me of the colors (green, purple, and gold) and excitement of Mardi Gras.  Hope you have a colorful day! 

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged |

6 Tips to Improve Your Plein Air Painting Experience

Popcorn's Ready 5.5 x 17 inches Watercolor on Strathmore Watercolor boo ©2017 Lucinda Howe Not for Sale

Popcorn’s Ready
5.5 x 17 inches
Watercolor on Strathmore Watercolor book
©2017 Lucinda Howe
Not for Sale

If you haven’t painted outdoors (“en plein air”), you might be hesitant to meet up with a group of painters and get started. I encourage you to join in the fun.

On Saturday morning, I joined the About Face group at Soda City market in Columbia, South Carolina. I was running late, so I had only an hour to work before critique and lunch. The market was busy, so I knew I couldn’t capture a lot of detail. I decided to work small in a watercolor book. I sat on the low wall at Boyd Plaza near the Kettle Corn tent. The man rang the bell every time the popcorn was ready. Although you see only the painting, I remember the ringing of the bell, the smell of the popcorn, and the movement of the people, dogs, and strollers. For me, the best part of painting in a busy environment like Soda City is the memories of the sensations I experienced while painting.

If you would like to try outdoor painting, here are 6 tips to get you started….

  • Supplies- Pack your kit with easel, paints, supports, brushes, tools, bug spray and sunscreen. When I started plein air painting, I would go out in my back yard and paint, and I always forgot something.   I’d go back into the house to get the paper towels, then I’d go back for the bug spray, then the kneaded eraser, until I finally had everything I needed. Then I made a checklist to be sure I had the essentials when I ventured out with a group.
  • Scouting – When you arrive at the site, scout around. Look at the angle of the sun, take photos, think about composition before you select your spot.
  • Shade – It’s important to be in the shade for the sake of your skin. Also, your canvas should be in the shade or the painting will be too dark when you take it inside.
  • Small Supports – Sketchbooks, small panels and canvases require minimal paint and can be completed in a couple of hours. It’s more satisfying to complete most of the piece on site than to just get started before time to quit. Painting small also forces you to narrow your focus and simplify your composition. Save the large canvases until you have more experience.
  • Senses – Outdoor painting is not just about what you see. Observe the smells, tastes, sounds, and feelings that surround you as you paint.
  • Sharing – Be sure to share your drawing or painting with others. You’ll learn from group critique, but you will also be able to share your unique view of the experience with others. I’m always amazed at how all the artists have different perspectives on similar subject matter. Isn’t that what visual communication is all about?

As we move into spring, there will be more opportunities to paint with plein air groups and to pack your art supplies for vacation travels. If you would like more information about painting with a group around Columbia, SC, contact me. If you don’t paint here, paint somewhere!

Posted in Plein Air Tagged , |

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Big Bold Roses and Lilies 30x24 inches Acrylic, charcoal & pastel ©2016 Lucinda Howe $1,400

Big Bold Roses and Lilies
30×24 inches
Acrylic, charcoal & pastel
©2016 Lucinda Howe

I appreciate you for reading my blog and being interested in my art.  I wish you love and peace in your life.  Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

 

Posted in Acrylics Tagged |