Friday, May 23, 2014

Plein Air Painting at Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum

Yesterday, I traveled with a group of artists to Spring Grove Cemetary & Arboretum.  If you live in the Cincinnati metropolitan area and haven't been, it is worth a trip.  The cemetery dates to the mid-19th century, and they have fabulous grounds with numerous state champion trees.  

It's open to the public, so we wandered in and painted, sketched, drew, and meditated in an area of the cemetery that had ponds, bridges, and beautiful cypress trees with cypress knees.  


I cleaned out my bag before I went, so I was portable--one of the first posts I wrote for this blog was about plein air painting, where I got stuck at the parking lot because my bag was so overfilled.

When I opened my bag, I discovered I must have put my palettes away soggy--paint had run all over the place, including into the wells.  Rather than spend my time cleaning palettes, I just used the colors that were moving.  Phthalo blue green scale, lemon yellow, and I threw in some cadmium red because it makes nice grays and browns.

It was a very nice place to paint, very peaceful, with the sound of a fountain and periodic splash from a startled turtle.

Last night, I added a little bit of Caran D'Ache crayon to my most realistic landscape.  I had gone too dark where the water met the cypress knees at the pond's edge, and had too much of a line between the dark shadows and the field behind.  (You can get an idea of what I was painting from, by looking at the bottom photo....I don't feel compelled to be accurate, but still....)

The other paintings are just small abstracts for fun....riffs on the first landscape.

All on Kilamanjaro 300 lb paper (that's Cheap Joe's house brand), top painting is 10x11 inches.  The small abstracts are approximately 3.5x3.5 inches and 5x4 inches, respectively.