My Kind of Christmas Tree

Deodar Cedar at Sandhill 12x9 inches Oil on panel ©2016 Lucinda Howe $295

Deodar Cedar at Sandhill
12×9 inches
Oil on panel
©2016 Lucinda Howe

I like my Christmas trees live and outside.  This 80+ year-old deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara) at Clemson’s Sandhill Research and Education Center near Columbia, SC, is one of my favorites.  


Posted in Oil Painting, Plein Air Tagged |

Plein Air Exhibit

Cocktail Hour, Edisto 14x11" Acrylic on masonite ©2015 Lucinda Howe $425

Cocktail Hour, Edisto
Acrylic on masonite
©2015 Lucinda Howe
$425 (includes frame)

December 1, 2017

The Loft at 115

115 S. Palmer Street, Ridgeway, SC 29130

Holiday Spirits and Hors d’oeuvres will be served

I hope you will join us in Ridgeway, South Carolina, for this show of work by the talented artists of About Face.  I enjoy traveling and painting with this group.  Cocktail Hour, Edisto (above) brings back good memories of a group trip.  I’m always amazed to see the quality and variety of work produced under the challenge of painting outdoors in a limited amount of time.

Come do some Christmas shopping, visit with friends, relax and enjoy yourself before the craziness of the season begins.  

Participating Artists:

















Posted in Plein Air Tagged |


Holiday Palmetto 7x5 inches Gelli plate monotype with Sharpie marker ©2016 Lucinda Howe

Holiday Palmetto
7×5 inches
Gelli plate monotype with Sharpie marker
©2016 Lucinda Howe

On this holiday week, I’m giving thanks for (among many other things) family, home, health, art, and trees.  What’s on your gratitude list?   Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


Posted in Acrylics Tagged , , |

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern in New Mexico

Last week I wrote about seeing “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern” at Reynolda House Museum. This is part 2 of the series.

There have been many exhibits of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings and books about her life. Her biographical details are well documented, so I won’t repeat much of that here. My interest is mainly in her wardrobe and how her clothing style remained fairly consistent throughout her life.

During her marriage to Alfred Stieglitz (1924-1946), O’Keeffe lived in New York City. In 1929 she started spending part of each year in New Mexico. After Stieglitz’s death in 1946, she moved in New Mexico permanently.

In New Mexico she expanded her wardrobe to include denim and colorful cotton dresses that were more practical in the dessert environment.

A favorite style was a simple wrap dress called an “artist’s smock” introduced by Neiman Marcus in 1950. She had more than 20 of these dresses in her wardrobe. She also bought multiples of simple flat shoes.


One of the most striking dresses in this exhibit is a 1954 “chute” (parachute) dress by Emilio Pucci that O’Keeffe purchased around the same time she was experimenting with abstracting natural and architectural forms in a V-shape. The dress was displayed near O’Keeffe’s Polaroid photos of v-shaped canyons and her painting “In the Patio, IX”.

O’Keeffe was introduced to Asian art as a student and continued a life-long study of it. The label says, “Unlike most of her peers, who came to modern, abstract art through encounters with Expressionism and Cubism in Paris, O’Keeffe developed a modern aesthetic from a lasting immersion in Eastern arts. Evident in these galleries is the powerful role of emptiness in Asian paintings, and the beauty of spaces defined or activated by lines that are not filled in. The voids in her art, as in Zen practices, are often spaces that quiet the mind and invite inwardness.”

She collected kimonos on her travels and may have made some of them herself.

She also had dresses with frog button closures and mandarin collars.

O’Keeffe also collected a few pieces of jewelry, Native American silver pieces and an Alexander Calder pin shaped like OK, the first two letters of her last name.

Later in life she continued to wear black suits and to sit for photos in black garments and her signature jewelry. In 1983, at the age of ninety-six, she ordered a black suit consisting of pants, skirt, vest, and jacket from a men’s tailor in New York. The inclusion of pants was step toward the feminism of the era and in keeping with the androgynous look of the wise elder that Georgia O’Keeffe cultivated in her later life. 

This exhibition shows how one artist integrated a personal aesthetic into her life and work. Georgia O’Keeffe developed her style early in life and stayed consistent throughout her life. She followed fashion, but brought it into her wardrobe only when it fit with her style. She combined influences from fashion, architecture, and oriental art into her clothing, lifestyle, and art.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s popularity and influence continues today, more than 30 years after her death at age 98. While she has always been well known in the art world, this exhibit has expanded her influence to the fashion world. In a fashion show in May of this year, Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director for Christian Dior, cited the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition (when it was at the Brooklyn Museum) as one of the influences for the Christian Dior 2018 Resort collection.

Some of the looks appear to be very similar to specific items from Georgia O’Keeffe’s wardrobe, including her favored gaucho hats. (Click here to see a slideshow of the collection.) I’m not sure that she would have added tassels to her vest and forgotten to wear a skirt, but I think she would appreciated knowing that her style is still Living Modern.

If you want to see “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern” before it closes on November 19, 2017, click here for more information.

[P.S. On a personal note: When I was a student at Wake Forest University in the 1970’s, Reynolda House was used for some functions of the school. I remember attending a poetry class in an upstairs bedroom that currently functions as a gallery for part of the Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern exhibition. The Reynolda House Museum is quite fabulous and has an impressive collection of American art.  My favorite part is the party basement… bar, lounge, squash court, bowling alley, and indoor swimming pool. It’s worth a visit any time you’re in Winston-Salem.]


Posted in Travel Tagged , |

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing an exhibition called “Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern” at Reynolda House Museum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The exhibition explores how O’Keeffe’s modernist aesthetic is reflected in her paintings, her clothing and her homes. There was a lot to see, so I’m reporting this in two parts.

As a young woman in the early 1900’s, Georgia O’Keeffe sewed many of her clothes, often dressing in black and white. Early dresses in cream-colored silk are fashionable for the time and constructed with tiny hand stitching. Three white blouses are shaped with tiny pin tucks and unusual collars. Throughout the exhibition, the clothing is displayed near paintings that echo the same shapes and simple elegance.


After O’Keeffe met and married Alfred Stieglitz, he taught her to pose for photographs, and together they carefully crafted her public persona through his black and white photos and her simple clothing. Through the years, she wore beautifully tailored, simple wrap dresses and black suits. She sewed or commissioned many of the pieces, often making slight changes to a favorite silhouette. She kept up with fashion trends and bought pieces from designers in New York when they fit with her style. The exhibit included designs from Finnish company Marimekko, Zoë de Salle, and Claire McCardell.

Three black suits and a cape from the 30’s and 40’s have details of pleats and white collars and cuffs. She would have worn these outfits for meetings and openings in the city. The design lines relate to the paintings of New York that she was doing around the same time.


Next week, part 2… New Mexico

If you want to see this fabulous show before it closes on November 19, 2017, click this link for more information.

Posted in Travel Tagged , |

Fort McAllister

Fort McAllister Journal ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Fort McAllister Journal
©2017 Lucinda Howe

On a recent trip to Fort McAllister State Park in Georgia with a group of artists, I had been under the weather for a few days and didn’t feel like lugging a heavy easel and canvases.  I packed  my travel kit and a small accordion-fold journal.  Combining lettering, drawing, and watercolor painting, I captured the feel of the marsh and some botanical details.  This turned out to be a very satisfactory way to remember the trip and add to my visual vocabulary for future paintings. 

Fort McAllister #1 ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Fort McAllister #1
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Fort McAllister #2 ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Fort McAllister #2
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Fort McAllister #3 ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Fort McAllister #3
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Fort McAllister #4 ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Fort McAllister #4
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Posted in Plein Air Tagged , , , |

Mansfield Plantation (part 3)

The day after the plein air event in Georgetown, I painted the third painting in the Mansfield Plantation series in the morning before leaving to come home.  I was inspired by the path and the strong shadows of the trees.  I started with a value drawing using black gesso.  Once that layer dried, I glazed with red and orange. 

I added mid-value opaque colors to complete the painting.  As often happens, this process was more enjoyable, and I was happier with the painting, than when I was painting for a contest the previous day.  

Mansfield Plantation #3 12x12 inches Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas ©2017 Lucinda Howe $395

Mansfield Plantation #3
12×12 inches
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Posted in Acrylics, Plein Air Tagged , |

Mansfield Plantation (part 2)

Mansfield Plantation #2 24x24 inches Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas ©2017 Lucinda Howe $1,100

Mansfield Plantation #2
24×24 inches
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
©2017 Lucinda Howe

After working on two paintings at the same time at Mansfield Plantation, I wasn’t completely satisfied with either.  For this larger one, I used a limited palette of colors and large brushes.  I liked the movement of the brush strokes and the glow of the transparent underpainting, so I entered this piece in the Seaside Palette show.  

Back in the studio the following week, I made some minor adjustments and finished the piece that you see at the top of the post. 

Posted in Acrylics, Plein Air Tagged , |

Mansfield Plantation (part 1)

Mansfield Plantation #1 12x12 inches Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas ©2017 Lucinda Howe $395

Mansfield Plantation #1
12×12 inches
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
©2017 Lucinda Howe

The Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Art in Georgetown, SC, kicked off with a plein air paintout on September 30, 2017.  Barbara Yongue and I stayed at Mansfield Plantation, a beautiful antebellum rice plantation, now operated as a bed and breakfast.  

We decided to paint on the grounds of the plantation in the shade of the old live oaks.  The water is old rice fields that have been permanently flooded, so the setting is very peaceful.  

I started this small piece first with a black gesso drawing, then started another larger piece while it dried.  Then I applied a transparent layer of red and orange glaze over the black and white value drawing.  Working back and forth between the two pieces, I almost finished both before time to pack up and go to Georgetown for the reception in mid-afternoon. 

Posted in Acrylics, Plein Air Tagged , |

Georgetown Boats

Georgetown Boats 8x6 inches Acrylic on panel ©2017 Lucinda Howe $95

Georgetown Boats
8×6 inches
Acrylic on panel
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Over the weekend, Barbara Yongue and I travelled to Georgetown, South Carolina to participate in a plein air event. Although I planned to paint my contest entry in another location, I started the morning with a quick drawing of boats on the river using a Sharpie on a gessoed board. I was inspired by how the white of the boat hulls and reflections glowed against dark industrial buildings in the background.  Later I applied a transparent warm red-orange glaze over the drawing. Today I finished the painting in the studio.  Barbara and I talked about whether to eliminate the buildings and invent a more traditional water and sky background, but I decided to just simplify the buildings and let the dark warm colors contrast with the light boats and sky.  Since Georgetown is known for its paper mill and steel mill, I felt that the industrial look reflected the feel of the location. 

Posted in Acrylics, Plein Air Tagged |