Last year around Christmas, this area of Oklahoma had a significant amount of snow and ice. I was iced in before and after Christmas day and we postponed our family gathering until the following weekend to allow time for roads to be cleared.
After the holidays, I took photos at Keystone Lake, west of Tulsa, where there are beautiful surrounding woods. I cropped a photo for a closer view of melting snow finding its way down an incline. Our native scrub oaks keep their leaves throughout the winter and they can take on a glowing apricot color when they are highlighted by sunshine and offer a lovely contrast to green cedars. So far, no snow this season which should allow for safer holiday travel in our area. We do, however, have the cold wind and cold temperatures, 19 degrees last evening.
Our pleasant fall weather will soon be gone so I am enjoying each day and being outdoors as much as possible. An early frost has nipped a few of my plants but many are left and still blooming, especially those wonderful knockout roses.
Using my plein aire painting and the photo as a reference, I painted this version in my studio and will use it for a class lesson this Monday evening.
The plein aire piece and reference photo are below.
This was my first painting on Thursday morning. This lane is close to a boat dock and, from my vantage point, I could just see a bit of the lake. It was mid morning, the light was just right as was the temperature. We brought and ate our lunch before moving on to another spot. A great way to start this 3 day plein air competition.
I had a marvelous time painting at Big Cedar this past week. In Missouri, near Branson, it sits at the edge of Lake Taneycomo. This is such a beautiful time of the year and the weather was perfect for this three day event. A reception, exhibit, and sale was held at the close of the paint out in Big Cedar's beautiful conference building. It is planned to have this paint out annually and it is scheduled for the same time next year. I will be going again! Will share more photos in later posts.
I see I haven't posted for several days, still painting but not getting it to my blog.
This is the demo painting for my evening class last Tuesday. This scene is near Meers which at one time was a bustling town of 500 gold miners who mined in the Wichita Mountains. Now, I understand, there is a family of six left. This family owns the Meers Restaurant, home of the famous 7 inch diameter Meersburger made from the long horn beef they raise. Absolutely delicious and purported to have less cholesteral
impact than chicken. But back to the
stream.....you park and then hike up an
incline for this view. The stream splashes
over rocks and boulders and
around a bend offering up many paintable
options. Also great place to hike.
Been thinking about Venice and looking at my photos. I remember the day I took the photo I used for this painting. It was a cool and not very gray day. The building reflections shimmered in the canal as the tide was rising. I was there with good friends and it was a special time.
Hot and humid summer weather here in Oklahoma has me thinking of Colorado in the early fall. I am not sure if I took the photo for this painting near Aspen or Pagosa but am leaning toward Pagosa. I will certainly be thinking about another trip north. Meanwhile, here, as in other locations in the U.S., we are suffering through the heat and worried about those who may not have air conditioning. Hope you are staying cool where you are.
Around and behind Morrow Bay is Montana de Oro State Park (I think that is the name). It is a wonderful sanctuary and from the view and to the right, I could see the backside of Morro Rock. The wind was high and the seas rough.
The views from up high are spectacular and I am not the only one who thinks so. First time I was there, there was a movie being filmed. They had set up camp with big trailers and all the accompanying equipment in a cove below the main road.
Great place to hike and enjoy just being in a place so beautiful.
Sumac, much like red cedars, are a threat to pasture land. Ranchers go to great lengths to keep the land clear for grazing. Since it is much too early in the year for sumac to be this color, I suspect it has been sprayed to kill it. There were several areas along this road where this effect could be seen.
Aside from the reason why, orange and red sumac added a welcome relief from green along with the red steel fence posts.
Chico, NM, is situated at the entrance of a recently designated state wildlife area. I was there in late August last year, did some plein air work and took photos. This is from one of those.
This has become a favorite area for me. It is starkly beautiful and challenging......arid, hot, difficult terrain. I remember at mid day trying to situate an umbrella on a tree branch to gain some shade, working against a breeze, and my tripod on a down hill slope.
We have had an abundant rainfall this spring and early summer. The wildflowers are blooming in fields and ditches across my area of Oklahoma.
These are called "something" lace, perhaps Veronica's Lace or Queen's Lace. The white has faded a bit in this photo of my painting.
In the midst of the green,green, green, the blooms really pop. In my outing yesterday, I saw fields drifting in the yellow and gold of Black Eyed Susans along with unidentified purple and orange blooms.
It is somehow freeing to paint aqua skies and an aqua river, then throw in a purple mountain.
This is another six incher for our Six by Six on Route 66 Show which begins with an opening reception this Thursday. Then Sapulpa's Route66 Blowout is this Saturday. Thousands of people come in for this event. Water Street will be blocked off for a beer garden and music. There is a car show and an art show. Good times and good fun.
If your have ever wanted to paint plein air in Venice, this is your workshop. I have been there with Lesley three times, and I am going again this coming September. Lesley is a marvelous instructor, genuinely wants her students to learn, and shares her knowledge unstintingly.
My first attempt with oil and canvas
was in a Lesley Rich workshop in Mexico. I, a non-painter, went to Ajijic, Mexico, on holiday and she was there staying in the same house. Long story short, friends outfitted me with painting gear and I went out on the street with Lesley and her workshop people.
Guess you could say that experience changed my life.
SHOULD YOU BE INTERESTED, THERE ARE THREE SLOTS LEFT FOR THIS WORKSHOP.
Tell her Dalsing sent you.
Venice is an unforgettable experience and then there are the islands of Murano and Burano which offer a different experience.
And, of course, there are the magnificent churches.
VENICE IS ART!
VENICE PAINTING WORKSHOP
Instructed by Lesley Rich
September 14 - 24, 2009
Eleven days in Venice. Limited to fifteen students. A wonderful painting opportunity.
I've reserved 8 rooms in a hotel in Venice for September 14 through September 24, 2009. It's a small hotel on a small canal that just happens to be a popular route with serenading gondoliers, certainly not fancy, in fact, modest, but clean and the owners are very, very nice. A perfect painting location in the heart of Venice. The hotel has a terrace, 'perfetto' for a small group of painters to get together at the end of the day for a glass of wine and painting talk.
Years ago I spent five weeks in Venice painting and identifying locations for a class and I guarantee that this "Paint Venice Experience" will be exceptional in its genre ... breathtaking and diverse painting locations, both in Venice proper and on the outer islands. Now every year I return to this city, my favorite place on earth, sometimes by myself, sometimes with a class. Venice can be a very crowded city so part of the exercise is to stay away from the crowds when it is possible. I've become expert at locating walkways that dead-end at the Grand Canal and secluded residential areas for quiet canal paintings and less visited spots for Venice sunsets and heart-stopping skylines for Venice sunrises. I know where to board the vaporetto to get a front seat, so you can ride, ride, ride, taking photographs of the Grand Canal until your luggage can't hold any more film.
And then of course there is the art all around you in Venice, in every church, on every building, around every corner. Venice IS art. Venice respects art. Venice both diminishes and encourages the artist. But it is an experience that every artist must have. Venice has my heart and I am looking forward to sharing it with you.
The cost for ten nights, eleven days, tuition, lodging (double occupancy) and daily continental breakfast is $1950.
Just finished this piece using a photo I took one fine day in New Mexico. In this one, I chose a vertical approach and eliminated some of the left and right information that you see in my first painting of this scene.
My first painting, below, was done on location outside of Santa Fe. It was a beautiful fall day and I was there with a very good friend with whom I have often painted. We painted, set up an umbrella for a picnic and glass of wine, and had a great time.
It is wonderful to be in New Mexico when the chamisa are blooming, particularly if they bloom near purple Russian sage which smells so heavenly. I knew I had to have Russian sage on my property and now I have it in abundance. With a gentle breeze, the sage scent floats toward my yard swing where I may be sitting with a book and a glass of something.
This nice article is in the May issue of a regional publication:
Water Street Art Gallery opened its doors one year ago in a quaint area of historic downtown Sapulpa.
Julie Miller and Betty Dalsing are two of the working artists who own and operate Water Street Art Gallery in historic downtown Sapulpa.
By Duane Blankenship
Water Street Art Gallery opened its doors one year ago in a quaint area of historic downtown Sapulpa. It is owned and operated by enterprising working artists with a mission to serve the Tulsa metropolitan area. The main gallery of Water Street exposes an 80-foot brick wall plus a vintage pressed tin ceiling. Off the main gallery are smaller display areas and a classroom where classes and workshops are held. In addition to showcasing beautiful fine art by regional artists, this artistic co-op provides a location to teach. Classes are offered in painting, portraiture, drawing, photography, jewelry and mixed media, with demonstrations for adults and children.
Water Street Art Gallery delights the palette of imagination and offers quality pieces by professional artists expressing themselves in diverse mediums including oil, acrylic, ceramics, jewelry, pastel, pencil and photography.
Water Street Art Gallery publicly celebrated its one-year anniversary this April. The following is just a hint of some of the scheduled activities they will be bringing to you this year.
The second annual Route 66 Six-By-Six Art Show will kick off with a reception on Wednesday, June 3 from 6 to 9 pm. Artists and the public are invited to attend. Artists will be submitting 6-inch-by-6-inch canvases to the gallery. Each work of art will be on exhibit and may be purchased for $66 each beginning June 3. Fifty percent of each sale goes to the artist, 25 percent to the gallery, and 25 percent to a local charity to be announced. The event will run in conjunction with Sapulpa’s Route 66 Blowout and will conclude July 4.
Oil painting classes are held each Monday afternoon and evening. Other Monday classes feature palette knife techniques. The focus for Tuesday classes is oil impressionism. On Saturdays you will find classes offered in just about any medium. And there are scheduled workshops throughout the year that focus on popular mediums including collage, fabrics, acrylics and watercolor.
Several artists will be featured in workshops this year, including Heather Sleightholm from Sapulpa. She creates mixed medium whimsical art using watercolor, fabric and collage techniques.
Water Street Gallery will be hosting a Trunk Show featuring Debbie Vinyard, an artist and designer who celebrates “Happy First,” the first of each month, by sending emails to each of her clients.
The first Wednesday of each month includes a gathering for coffee and conversation. Anyone is invited to attend and enjoy coffee and rolls, along with an art demonstration from one of the gallery’s artists. The third Thursday evening of each month features a professional artist doing a demonstration. April’s featured artist was Anne Spoon, who did a still life demonstration in oils.
The philosophy of Water Street Art Gallery is simple: To be artist- and community-friendly and to provide a place for local working artists to sell their art.
Please visit Water Street Art Gallery’s website, www.waterstreetartgallery.com, for information about featured member artists and to see some of their artwork, as well as learn about upcoming events, classes and workshops. You will also enjoy linking to the gallery’s daily blog from the website.
Water Street Art Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You are invited to visit the gallery often and just linger and enjoy the beautiful works of art, take a class, or take part in one of the frequent workshops or events.
We did not get to paint out today. We had a cold front move through in the early afternoon with wind and light rain, temps dropped into the fifties. So we moved to the gallery and painted from photos.
I took a photo of this scene the last time I visited the Art Barn in Valparaiso. I have good friends who teach workshops there and some of us drove to this area not too far from away. It was a breezy, warm day and I have great memories of the time spent there.
We had a great day at Woodward Park, a bit windy but everyone was prepared for that. There were plenty of scenes to choose from and for several reasons we chose this one. We had many onlookers and a few critiques......one of the many "fun" things about painting in a public place.
It was the first time for this group to plein air and they aced it. People watching did not faze them, nor did picking the scene, and eliminating extraneous material to get the design they wanted.
What a group!!
Today was one of those rare spring days when most things are perfect, especially my walk through the azaleas. The plan for the class to paint at Woodward last week were dampened by showers and threats of storms. So, we are going to try again tomorrow. Showers are again in the forecast but we are hoping for sun anyway.
I am posting a few photos that I particularly like from today.......too good not to share.
I drove south of Sapulpa on old 75 to Okmulgee Lake and Dripping Springs Lake and returning home found this little stream beside the road.
It is another of those small streams that you find after snow melt and/or generous amounts of rain. The woods are green and fresh, the trees that flower are doing exactly that and you see redbud and dogwood here and there........such friendly little trees.
It is a lovely time of year and I will remember it when August arrives.
We are all so happy to finally have some warm spring weather. We are very appreciative after what seems an overly long and dreary winter.
Visiting this park is one of the rites of spring in this part of Oklahoma.
Wonderful Woodward Park occupies the corner of 21st and Utica Avenue in Tulsa. Next door south is the Tulsa Garden Center with its marvelous rose garden and on the southeast corner is the Linnaeus Garden. All go to make up Tulsa's Eden.
People flock hereto see the azaleas, the pink and white dogwoods, and the colorful tulips, all in a semi-wooded setting.
We painted one of these scenes in my classes this week. We are practicing for a plein air session on a Saturday. It will be the first time some will paint outside.
Oklahoma received it's March snow storm over the weekend. I had at least a seven inch accumulation on my patio furniture. So, please, surely now it is spring. Snow has all melted and today it is 70 degrees.
Well, there was no snow in my studio so I painted from a photo that brought back memories of a warm day near Taos. There were five or six of us painting down this side road that led to an old adobe church. In a close by field, a multitude of sunflowers were blooming. I am remembering the one guy who was with us standing hip deep in sunflowers with his french easel set up and painting the sun flower field. I have a photo of him there. I wonder if he remembers......
I love my California (love my Oklahoma, too). This is the north side of the Morro rock in front of the dunes. It is ever changing, always something new to see, perhaps the ocean is bluer today than yesterday or maybe a bounty of sand dollars will be lying on the beach waiting to be picked up. Dogs will be running in and out of the surf and later the surfers will be in the water hoping for the "big one".
In addition to the distinctive salt plain in northern Oklahoma, there is the adjacent wildlife refuge. The ponds are fed by Salt Creek and is a popular fly through for migrating birds. It is beautiful year round (unless there is a drought) but most scenic in spring and fall. It is one of my favorite spots. If I am lucky, I may see a road runner. They are fascinating to watch and, of course, remind me of the old cartoon I watched as a child.
This pond is on the property of a good friend, her last name is Peace. She is a city girl who moved to the country and came to love it even though she has run into critters that she preferred not to befriend. My favorite of her encounters is the BIG snake she found draped on and hanging from a limb that stretches out over this pond.
Thankfully, it is too cold for snakes just now.
So.....that's my pond story.
Among the cedars, there is sometimes a bit of color to brighten the wintry landscape. Here, in the middle of February, we know we are close to Spring and we are impatient as we wait for signs that the trees will leaf and the flowers will bloom. We give a nod to our neighbors to the north, knowing they may have months more of the white stuff. We wish we could send them one of the warm days we know we are soon to have.
Across the nation, we are hoping spring will arrive early this year. Oklahoma, along with many other states, has had record snow falls and low temperatures. My neighbor across the road tells me he is thoroughly disgusted with the weather, "too cold to get outside and work", he says.
I understand how he feels, we are usually blessed with many warm days during the winter months. Days when the sun shines early and the temperature climbs into the high fifties. We find reasons to be outside, perhaps checking to see if there are leaf buds on the trees or any sign of crocus or jonquils peeking through. " Ahh well, won't be much longer," I say to him hopefully.
Tenacious roots anchor trees in quite precarious circumstances, be it on the California coast or in the rocky and wooded hills of northeastern Oklahoma. I have often come across Oklahoma cedars growing out of a crack in a huge rock on a hillside, a rock you know will some day tumble down the steep incline. Or have the roots of the tree grown deep enough to secure the rock in place for many more years?
Will this cypress hang on for fifty years or will the battering of the waves at high tide loosen its hold and float it away to sea?
When I started this blog, I wasn't sure what I wanted the content to be other than my artistic appreciation of this part of the world I live and work in. Lately, it seems to be about my small landscape paintings and for several days I have been able to post one almost every day. So, for now, that's where I am and it is interesting and challenging.
I am an artist living in northeastern Oklahoma and just a few miles from Route 66. There are sections of old 66 that I like to visit. I take my paint box and my camera to record something that appeals to me on any particular day. I like the 6 inch by 6 inch format for painting and will use that often.
What you will see on my blog will often be related to Route 66, either a painting or a photo. Some images will be of paintings I have recently finished and they are often of the Oklahoma landscape.
Oklahoma is particularly beautiful in the winter. We have a lot of cedars and pines in this part of the state and the grasses turn to red and orange with the colder weather. We also have quite a few lakes so already we have a painting - blue lakes and skies, green cedars, and orange grasses.
I am not a professional photographer so my photos are not for sale but my paintings are. I paint in oil usually on canvas covered board but sometimes on stretched canvas.
I hope you enjoy seeing Oklahoma through my eyes.
I use archival materials for my work. My canvas, canvas boards, and paints are of good quality.
I choose canvases that are of standard size so that ready made frames can be used for them. They are sold unframed.
If you are not pleased with your purchase and need to return it, you may do so within 30 days. You will pay return postage and I will refund your purchase amount.