Category Archives: Plein Air

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

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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
$395

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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
$1,100

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. 

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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
$395

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. 

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Georgetown Boats

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

Georgetown Boats
8×6 inches
Acrylic on panel
©2017 Lucinda Howe
$95

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. 

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Marsh Dreams

Morning on Pitt Street 14x11" Acrylic on masonite ©2015 Lucinda Howe $425

Morning on Pitt Street
14×11″
Acrylic on masonite
©2015 Lucinda Howe
$425

This week has been busy with activities related to Master Gardeners, church, and family. Although I haven’t done much painting this week, I’m planning some painting trips to the low country this fall, so I pulled out this marsh painting for inspiration. As the weather grows cooler, the warm colors of the marsh intensify and provide exciting contrast with the cool blues in the trees and sky.  I’m looking forward to new opportunities to continue my series of marsh paintings. 

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Street Trees

Street Trees 24x24 inches Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas ©2017 Lucinda Howe $1,300

Street Trees
24×24 inches
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
©2017 Lucinda Howe
$1,300

Last Saturday, September 18th, I painted in Winnsboro, South Carolina at Barbara Yongue’s Plein Air Paintout, an event in conjunction with Oil Painters of America.  28 artists participated in the event and set up an exhibit for a reception in the afternoon.  I painted on Congress Street, the main thoroughfare of the town.  As usual, I was more interested in the trees along the side streets than the buildings.  I started with a transparent underpainting of orange and red to contrast with the variety of greens in the foliage, leaving just a suggestion of the red brick buildings in the background. 

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Storm Grove

Value pattern painted on location

Value pattern painted on location

Last Monday I painted outdoors in pleasant late summer weather. I completed most of a small painting and started a larger canvas. Since the larger canvas was already toned with a mid-value red-orange, I established the light and dark pattern with white and black paint.

Storm Grove in progress

Storm Grove in progress

Today Hurricane Irma passed to the west of Columbia, bringing wind and rain and making us concerned for the welfare of friends and relatives in Florida and other parts of the southeast. Not being able to go outside, I worked in my studio most of the day. I decided to work on the large canvas I started last week, using the small painting as a reference. I decided on a yellow-green and purple complementary color scheme and painted quickly, limiting blending and preserving brush strokes.

My studio is surrounded by trees that swayed in the gray light of the storm as I worked.After blocking in the trees, I decided on a light purple sky and light green background foliage to show light coming through the trees. When I finished the painting, I felt that it reflected the weird light and uneasiness that comes with a storm.

Storm Grove 24x24 inches Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Storm Grove
24×24 inches
Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas
©2017 Lucinda Howe

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New Beginnings

 

 

Oak Trio by Lucinda Howe

Oak Trio
9×12 inches
Acrylic on masonite
©2017 Lucinda Howe

Ah, September!  

Although January is officially the beginning of the year, September always makes me think of starting new projects.  Maybe it’s a holdover from school days.  September is the beginning of the year for many clubs and organizations.  It makes me hope that cooler weather is on the way.  I have some plein air painting trips planned for this fall, so I wanted to get my brushes wet and see if I remembered how to paint. 

Today I set aside my sewing and went over to Clemson’s Sandhill Research and Education center to paint.  I was inspired by these old live oaks.  There aren’t many trees this large around my neighborhood.  It’s wonderful to have these beautiful trees nearby.  

 

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Quebec City

Quebec City Tulips ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Quebec City
Tulips
©2017 Lucinda Howe

The second part of Jane LaFazio’s watercolor sketching class was in Quebec City, Canada. After a cool, wet spring, the weather warmed up the week we arrived.  The tulips were in full bloom around the Chateau Frontenac and City Hall, but as the temperature rose to 85 degrees, the petals were dropping even as Jane conducted a lesson in flower painting.

 

Quebec City Window boxes ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Quebec City
Window boxes
©2017 Lucinda Howe

The city had beautiful old buildings with flower boxes on many of the windows.  I did these sketches quickly in pencil and added watercolor later when I had a few spare minutes. 

 

Quebec City Boat Tour on St. Lawrence River ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Quebec City
Boat Tour on St. Lawrence River
©2017 Lucinda Howe

One afternoon, we enjoyed a boat tour on the St Lawrence River on the Louis Jolliet, named for the French explorer and cartographer. 

 

 Île d'Orléans ©2017 Lucinda Howe

Île d’Orléans
©2017 Lucinda Howe

On our last day together, we had a tour of  Île d’Orleans, and island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, a short drive from Quebec City, known as the “garden of Quebec”.  The island has a warm microclimate and is know for its produce including strawberries, apples, wines, and maple syrup. 

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