Thursday, November 5, 2009

Miles of Summer/Cool Link!

I have to apologize for my absence on this blog! We have been busy combing the countryside (at least in Wisconsin) to catch up on all the places we missed while Bob couldn't leave the house for the past three years. We painted, and explored, visited family, bookstores, neat little shops, museums, a state fair, and state parks! We put on 15,000 miles on our new van since last March..and we are in for the winter--more or less. The snow plowing services are weak here in the Northwoods, so it's best just to stay inside and work on studio paintings!

I will have plenty of paintings to show you when I get my photos taken and downloaded. I plan on doing that this weekend. In the meantime, please check out this WONDERFUL link--direct to the master of plein air--Vincent Van Gogh! The museum of his name has put out there a wonderful section to letters of his, transcribed into English and annotated! Also included are his wonderful sketches he wrote into his letters. The English version shows up next to his original letter--it is amazing to view his handwriting and little sketches! If you have piles of money to spend, ($600+) you can order the complete set direct from the museum. I will be viewing them on the website, unfortunately....but this would be an AWESOME gift for the Van Gogh Lover in your family! Here is the link--ENJOY!

Also, if you have an IPOD, there is an App for viewing Vincent's letters-here is the title: Yours, Vincent, The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh, I'm downloading it as I write this. Very cool!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why I Paint.....

Baling time -- Watercolor in Moleskine w/c journal

An artist friend of mine is having a plein air paint out this weekend in Central Wisconsin. She wrote me today to ask me if she could use something I wrote a few years ago to our painting group. I was trying to encourage others who haven't painted outside their studios to try something different. She kept my letter all this time. I had forgotten I wrote it! But, it about sums it up on how I feel about painting plein air, so I thought I would share it. If anyone is in the Central Wisconsin Area and would like to join us, please follow this link:

Plein Thoughts--
Plein air painting can be challenging. Not only do you have to have
your studio with you, you have to be aware of weather
conditions..and try and plan for them...with clothes, places to
paint, etc. Sometimes all you can paint is through your front room
window! The light changes...people move in front of your
subjects...rain/snow/sleet/hail happens.

Some of you don't have much experience in plein air painting. That
is ok. Experience will help you in what to bring along. I am no my medium or in painting. But, I am a lover of plein
air painting. I feel there is nothing like it. You are IN the FEEL the wind and sun on your HEAR the
birds...rain...children learning to SMELL the flowers
and the foliage. You SEE the rich colors of the a
way that can't be duplicated in a photo. The nuances of light on a
pond or stream, the cloud formations. They are ALL 100% real! Talk

No matter if you feel that you did well or poorly at your learned something..experienced something...that will
help you in all your art. To push yourself is to grow...and to grow
as an artist...will help you in your studio matter if you
paint flowers or's ALL good! Some people throw out
their "failures" some people save them and record their efforts to
see how they have progressed in 10 paintings...100 paintings. I
like to keep mine...and not fuss with them much after I get them matter if they are mud...or wonderful....they are an best at the time...of what was in front of me...of what
I experienced.

Vincent was driven to candles on top of his
hat...painting in severe weather--local and professional
ridicule...he was driven to paint what inspired him. Monet painted
plein air as his sight was failing and painted in severe
conditions. He actually BUILT his garden to paint it! Renoir had
his assistants belt his brushes around his wrists so he could paint
as his hands were crippled with arthritis.

We paint light..we paint life.

Sorry for going on and on...painting plein air is a subject I am
very passionate about!

Nancy Patterson

Northwoods Plein Air Painters

Hope all my readers get out there an experience this wonderful feeling! Thank you for reading and visiting my blog.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Decade of Ups, Downs, but most of all Love

Henes Park, MI watercolor in moleskine

Paine Art Center gardens

I met the love of my life 10 years was so very lucky that I let myself love him, after being in a terrible marriage many years before. He was my "one more chance". We came together with similar passions--his photography, mine painting. But we both loved the outdoors and nature. He came from background of Boy Scouts and camping, hunting and fishing. I came from the background of loving the beauty of nature and trying to reflect it in my art and life.

For our anniversary last weekend, we spent the weekend doing the things we loved. He took me to the Paine Art Center in Oshkosh, WI for a photography exhibit as well as to see the beautiful gardens. Our first year, he gave me a dozen roses....this year, he gave me acres of flowers! Here are a few pictures of the beautiful grounds.

I wanted to paint...had my watercolors with me, but we didn't have much time, for they closed at 4pm...but I took HUNDREDS of pictures..and want to go back to paint en plein aire!

The next day we went to a local park, doing what we started out doing...going out to find beautiful places, and he explored with his camera, and I with my paints. He took me to Henes Park in Menominee, MI--the UP close to our county and right on Lake MI. We saw pelicans and many birds either nesting or fledging their young. I painted three little sketches that day.

It was a great weekend! Happy Anniversary Baby!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

First Flowers in the Northwoods

Hidden Hole, plein aire watercolor 5 x 7"

After a long winter, and this one has been particularly long, finding the first wildflowers are always a treat for me. These are the first to bloom here in the Northwoods are Marsh Marigolds. As soon as the swampy areas thaw, this little yellow beauties pop up all over swampy or wet areas. I love to see and paint them each Spring. It heralds Spring, along with the songs of the birds! More in May we are treated to another spectacular presentation of trilliums. More on that later...I'm going out for a walk!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Confessions of a Sunday Painter

Ready to Roll! 9 x 12 oil on masonite panel

I am a Sunday Painter. I am not ashamed...I feel priviledged to have found something that I adore, love, can't live without. I relish my short times to paint....and am sad when I can't--due to whatever reason. Sometimes, though, I do enjoy imagining what my life would have been like if I could do art as a Rembrandt or Vermeer. What would it be like if I could study a flower for the whole day? How would my art be different if I could concentrate on it...doing countless sketches every single day??

A couple of weeks ago Ovation TV had day long specials on different artists. How Rembrandt went to autopsy's to study the human form. How many of them did he study to be able to make portraits so beautiful? How did Renoir feel when his parents were proud when their son decided to become an artist--not worried that this was "just a hobby"?

Do not get me wrong..I do not regret going to college and becoming an accountant. I was a single mother and raised two children by doing this job. I love the job that I currently have--the people I work for are wonderful and I get to live on a 4,000 acre ranch all year with countless inspiration and the time to endulge in my heart place....and that I have found is art. I don't know if I will ever be "any good" at painting...get into any real shows, hob nob with the "real" artists. etc. But all that doesn't even mean anything to me anymore. I love my process of dreaming and thinking of where I will be painting, organizing my tools, planning when I will be able to go, looking forward to the experience, getting out there and just painting...not thinking about anything else. No dishes, no laundry, no work...just painting...and what I am experiencing in nature. That is enough for me. I then begin again...dreaming of the next time...and it starts all over again.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Summer Past

Summer Past--Oil on board, 9 x 12"

Sometimes the dreariness of winter gets to me. Last week we had a few great days of above 40 degree weather and it made even the birds start singing their spring songs. This week, back to the single digits and teens...time for some summer memories!

I actually painted this boat for an online class that I'm taking in oil painting. I've never really taken a class in the actual dynamics of oils, but got a couple of books and out the door I went. I really love painting in oils, especially for plein air work. They don't succumb to the weather pressures as much as pastels or watercolors. They stay moist, and even if you get rained on, it doesn't matter. Although I do still love the lightness and versatility of first love, the brightness and spontenaety of pastels...oh dear...I guess I love them all!

I can't wait to get out and paint again for the spring. I have my boxes all ready to all mediums. Just give me a good day..and I'll be out there again!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

They Say it's Your Birthday....

Well, my little grandsons birthday parties were today. Both were born so close together that it just is easier for one party since I live so far away from them. They live in Green Bay and it's an hour and a half to get here. Luckily, we had a fairly good day for travel. That's not easy this time of year. Last year when my youngest grandson was born, it was on the coldest day of the year...24 below zero...wind chills over 40 below. It was also on Brett Favre's last game with the Green Bay Packers. 1/20/08. (You can't live up here without being a Packer fan BTW)

His older brother, Kenyon is going to be 3 tomorrow. He had a cold today, but loved his presents. His little brother, Keenan, loved his presents too. They ate well, we had cake, and then they went home. Pooped out, I decided to paint a piece of cake while watching the Super Bowl. Here is my entry....oil on carton board. 6" x 8"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Been Too Long

Life sometimes gets in the way of art. This was my case, unfortunately neglecting my creative energy. I also broke my right hand, which left me pitifully typing with one hand! I did this small painting today--broke out my oils. Woke up this morning to a lovely backlit scene right outside my window. Although it's not really plein air, I did paint it through my window, but did so in my comfy pj's and cup of coffee. It felt so right to be back at painting after such a long absence.

Snowy morning, 4 x 6" oils on panel