Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gardens

Changing Colors, 7x5"pastel on board- SOLD

Daylilies, 7x5" pastel on board
  Two more recent garden minis.  Architecture plays an important role in my garden series. It's there to give a context, but it's never the main feature.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Garden by the Shed, 7x5" Sold

Garden by the Shed, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
   This pastel was one of the four paintings sold at last weekend's Plowshares fair.  In fact, three of the paintings were bought by three different previous customers.  Still, doing the fair is a great opportunity for me to meet new people and to get them interested in classes and future workshops.
 
Last summer I lost a sale for not being able to accept credit card payments. This time around I was prepared for it and I'm glad I did!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fall Crabapple, 7x5"

Fall Crabapple, 7x5" pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
   A few weeks ago a friend called and asked me if I was free to go with her to a nice place to collect nice dry flowers. She wouldn't tell where, but told me to bring my camera. It turned out the place was nearby: an abandoned golf course that I didn't even know existed. I came back home with lots of reference material to keep me busy in the winter months, but I had to paint this little crabapple tree right away, as I was afraid of forgetting how it looked in late afternoon light.

  For those of you in CNY, Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival is this coming weekend at Nottingham HS. If I'm not mistaken, this will be my sixth year there! Stop by and chat with me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dried Sunflowers

Dried Sunflowers I, 6.5 x 6.5"

Dried Sunflowers II, 6.5 x 6.5"
  Well, I have been having so much fun rediscovering oils that I haven't had the time to finish the last pastel done en plein air. So this is what I consider a cheating post since these pastels were painted last year.

   I had bought the flowers with the intention of creating a large painting, but as often happens, other things got in the way. The poor things were languishing in the studio making me feel bad for having wasted money on them so, in the spur of the moment, they were painted one on top of the other, on  a leftover piece of Pastelmat mounted on foamcore.  I love the looseness in the second one and I wonder if that was the result of not taking too seriously what I was doing.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Alfalfa and Corn, 11x14"

Alfalfa and Corn, pastel on paper by Adriana Meiss
Last Tuesday afternoon I went painting with my friend Marybeth to Otisco.  This is one of my favorite areas to paint and photograph. The variety of crops and the hilliness of the terrain add so much color and interest to the landscape that everywhere one looks there is a nice scene ready to be painted.

We found a field on Bailey Rd. and after being granted permission to park in the property by the owner's son, who was about to start mowing the alfalfa field nearby, we wasted no time exploring and setting up. We knew we had two hours at most before the daylight faded. This view attracted me right away because of the good feeling of distance and because it offered the opportunity to deal with orange foliage.  I have always found oranges to be very difficult as those colors can overwhelm a painting if used in large areas.

I used a black sheet of Richeson Premium Pastel Paper because it was the only surface I had in the size I wanted, and was surprised by how much I enjoyed working on it. The surface feels more like fibers rather than grit, but it's definitely coarse as you might be able to appreciate below.

Using Richeson pastel paper.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Seneca Plain Air Painting Festival, Geneva, NY


Five O'clock Cows, 8x10" pastel on board, 2nd Place Award
I'm very happy to say that I came back home with two awards from this event!
I was very lucky in so many ways. A woman I had met at a workshop I taught last June offered to host me and that made the experience even better. Thank you Bernadette!
Just to warn you, the images were not taken under the best conditions which is something I will need to address fnext time.

DAY 1:
Knowing that one should always be ready to paint a good scene no matter what time of day it is, I had my boards stamped the day before, during the orientation.
The first morning of the event I set up my alarm for 6:00 AM. I wanted to go to the farmers market but decided instead to capture the sunrise from behind the place where I was staying . I knew I would struggle with the bottom part of this painting because of the moving cars, so I ended up not framing it.
Geneva Sunrise, 9x12" pastel on board
Just when I was about to put my things away I saw a delivery truck that would have blocked my way had I decided to drive somewhere. "Should I paint it?" I thought. I have never painted trucks before and normally is something that does not appeal to me. But what's the point of painting if one doesn't find some sort of challenge in it?  I waited to see for any indication that it was going to stay for a while and seeing a man pulling forward several boxes from the back, I started planning my strategy. First, was finding the right placement for the truck, making sure I did not have any important lines escaping at the corners. Then I had to establish the truck's boundaries in case it would leave. I took several photos just in case. Fortunately for me the truck stayed half an hour or so and afterwards I felt more relaxed to deal with the background.

Delivery Truck, 10x8, pastel on board
 After lunch I took Rt.14 S in search of farmland or a lake view to paint. I found my scene on Reed Rd. under a nice shade and enough space to park by the roadside.

A Bend on Reed Rd, 9x12", pastel on board
 Afterwards, I continued scouting the area and a few minutes later found my next scene at a Menonite Farm. What attracted me first to this scene was a tree in the very distance and the yellow light. The cows could be a problem, but again, I had to try. First, I asked for permission to park in the driveway and getting it I proceeded to paint. Towards the end, the setting sun was casting beautiful orange light on the cows. I stopped painting to take photos, but in my head I remembered instructors saying that the important thing when capturing animals while painting outdoors is their gesture, so I gave it a try thinking that back at home I could fix anything I did not like. That is the painting on top. Before leaving I thanked the young woman for letting me paint there, she asked me to show her my painting. We had a short conversation in which she told me she painted on saw blades. I also ended buying fresh eggs!

DAY 2
I wanted to paint vineyards on the west side of the lake. I found a nice lake view from Travis Rd. Bernadette, my hostess, who had come along to paint, spotted a scarecrow. We asked for permission to paint under the shade of trees, which not only was granted but we were also allowed to park on the owner's driveway (Thank you Peggy L!).
There was early morning haze which I new would dissipate soon, so I worked on it first. Midway I realized I had not recorded the foreground colors of the vines, a mistake that got me into a little trouble later on. By the time I was almost finished the bright yellows I had on the foreground vines did not seem to agree with the haze of the middle ground so I had to replace the yellows with more subdued greens.  The wind blew my painting away while I was putting things back in the van, but I repaired the damage right away. Lesson learned.

On Duty, 11x14" pastel on board
  Because it was getting much windier, I felt I had to be careful with my next location. I went along Rt 14 and on Hansen Point Rd I found a house with a barn on top of a hill. There was no sheltered place to paint from so I parked by the side of the road and opened the hatch hoping it would offer some protection from the sun and wind. I had my umbrella with me but it would have been blown away. So I applied on a lot of sunblock and started to paint. The point I'm trying to make is that no matter what your plans are, when you see your "scene" you just figure how to make it happen.
I liked the hilliness of the terrain, the textures, and the soy field at the bottom, but it was the barn that I liked the most, which somehow looked so lonely withstanding the wind. There was a house in between the barn and the white (blue here) shed, but it had to go.

Farm on a Hill, 12x9", pastel on board  
Right after, I headed to the yacht club but nothing inspired me there, besides, I was afraid of the possibility of tree branches falling on me while painting, as I had seen several on the road. I continued along East Lake Rd and saw gorgeous scenery. At this time, the late sun was casting orange tones on the opposite side of the lake and the dark blue clouds made a nice contrast with the yellow fields, but there weren't that many places to paint by the roadside. Turning back I spotted a farm with a shed and some horses. I decided to try my hand at painting with oils. It went bad from the get go so it will have to be finished in my class. I wish I had painted a pastel instead!

DAY 3: Paintout
The rain woke me up. I wondered if the paintout at  Pulteney Park would be cancelled because of it, but on approaching the park I noticed several tents for registration and for anyone who needed to paint under one. I went around looking for a subject to paint from places were my pastels wouldn't get wet, but I had to settle on painting under a tent. The view I chose was somewhat complicated, but interesting so I mapped things down before starting.  Because there were buildings in the background, it was important to get the perspective right, as well as the placement of the fountain. After that, it was a matter of getting the right temperature and depth. All I can say is that I'm very happy the judges liked it. I think this was the first time they had three awards for this event. 
Pulteney Park Fountain, 9x12", pastel on board, 2nd Place Paintout
On Saturday afternoon there was the gala and auction where the winners were announced. It was also a chance to talk with fellow artists. I was really surprised at my getting another award for Five O'clock Cows (top). which also sold!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunset on Island 27, 10x8"

Sunset on Island 27, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
This is what a painting I did while island-hopping during my trip to Saranac Lake looks like now.
The original (below) was painted in mid afternoon. Even after finishing, I knew it still needed work, but just before departing the island, the sun lit the tree from behind giving me the idea on how to finish it at home.  Big difference, no?

Original painting done en plein air.
 This coming week I'll be heading to Geneva to participate in the Seneca Lake Plein Air Painting Festival. I just hope to produce at least three good paintings. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Enshrouding Fog, 12x9"


Enshrouding Fog, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
This is one of the paintings included in the A Dialogue with Nature exhibit, and this post is about how it came to be.

The original painting (below), was started on location during the third day of the Adirondack Plein Air Festival in July.  The painting was progressing well until the cloud blanket broke up into puffs that kept on changing the sunlit and shaded areas. My struggle with the changing conditions became so bad that midway I just quit. I saved the painting simply because I knew I could finish it at home.

Original painting done en plein air
 Once home, I saw things differently. The composition bothered me mainly because there were two equal masses of trees on both sides. So I started brushing off trees and  the idea of a foggy scene germinated.
Playing with the painting...
 During that trip to the Adirondacks I saw so many foggy bogs and marshes that I really wanted to paint, but couldn't because of  a bad location (too close to a main road) but also because how fast those conditions change. So I took the opportunity to develop this idea. In the stage below, you might be able to see the ghost of a dead tree I was considering placing on the left,
Getting a better idea of where I'm going with it...
I'm happy I was able to save the painting, and also happy for having taken pictures at different stages of the process, because I still see some good things from the original composition that might be worth developing some other time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Adirondack Plein Air Festival

Rearview Mirror Inspiration, 9x12 pastel on board
Last week I participated for the first time in the Adirondack Plein Air Festival, in Saranac Lake. Below is a summarized account of what I did each day.

Day 1: Paint the Village
The trip to get there took me 4 hours but the scenery along the way was great and I had the chance to take lots of photos for future studio paintings. Once I got in the village the first thing I did was to get my boards stamped then immediately went around looking for a subject to paint in a 5x7 format that I had agreed to donate for a silent auction. After a while I found a river spot, by a supermarket, with a red bridge. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it! Afterwards I headed for a place I had seen on my previous trip there, that had a nice field and a great view of the mountains.

A Magnificent View, 11x14" pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
 Day 2: Paint the VIC (Visitor Interpretive Center)/Paul Smith College
I got up very early and seeing fog from my bedroom window I decided to scout first some nearby locations before heading to Paul Smith College, 12 or so miles away. Once there I did more traveling looking for a pond to paint. After a while I settled for one I had seen earlier on that morning, but by then I had wasted 2 precious hours!  The funny thing is that three other pastellist arrived to paint the same scene after I got there, Then two other artists painting in oils joined us too. I worked slow and easy on this one and ended up spending close to 3 1/2 hours on it!

Kingfishers'Playground, 9x12" pastel on board
Afterwards, I headed for the VIC in search for more to paint. I really did not find anything inspiring there, but since there was to be dinner for the participants right there later on, I forced myself to paint trees. The painting was coming along well but at some point I ruined it; maybe I put too much darks to indicate areas under branches, in any case it wasn't worth posting it here.
  On the way home I stopped at Donellys' Ice Cream and started a painting of the barn and shed behind the store. I knew my chances of finishing right there were slim, but I got a lot done before it got too dark to continue.

Day 3: Paint the Adirondacks
I went to a marsh area on Rt 3 and found another artist painting there already. The day was cloudy and the clouds kept on changing, and I started chasing the clouds; good thing I realized what I was doing and changed gears. Next time I'm in a similar situation, I'll make sure I either stick with the original design (if it's good) or make the cloud area as small as possible in the painting.

Hope for a Sunny Day, 9x12", pastel on board
On my way to my next location by impulse, I stopped first to paint a shed with a painting of a moose head sticking from a window. My composition included mostly the road so the shed was tiny, but working under the shade of trees did not help and the painting will likely be erased.
I drove several miles to Clear Pond, which I had seen the day before, and although the scene was beautiful, I did not feel like when I saw it first. I had some serious struggles with this painting. First I started it in a vertical format but before I was done with the main outline I switched to a horizontal one. Then in the middle, I simply gave up and erased it right there, which I had never done before with any painting. Very disappointed I sat by the bridge railing and realized that things weren't working because I was very tired. After some minutes of relaxation I tried starting another painting but halfway into it I knew it was a waste of time. I spend  the next hour just taking pictures of what I had produced.

Before heading home (to frame) I went the opposite direction simply to take more photos. Seeing cattle under a tree, I looked for a way to get closer to them. I spotted a side road that intersected the road I was on just a few feet ahead so I took it and had a better view of the cows. I continued driving, looking for a spot to turn around, and that's when I saw  "my scene" in the rear view mirror. My tiredness magically dissipated. I pulled over, got my gear ready, and started to work. I worked fast and by the time it was dark I was done. This was my best painting in the event (it's the painting above). It did not win anything, but I got nice comments on it from several artists, and it sold!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pecking Order, 12x12"


Pecking Order, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
 
This pastel will be among the twelve (or fifteen) pieces I'll have in the upcoming A Dialogue with Nature exhibit at Baltimore Woods starting next month.

   It's based on a photo that my friend Shailesh Joshi (artists/photographer) took of his backyard and posted on FB. I loved the light so much that I asked his permission in using it as a reference. He kindly sent to me more photos of that scene, and putting it altogether I came out with this. I actually flipped the image to have the focal area on the right.

   On another note, this week I'm heading to Saranac Lake for the Adirondacks Plein Air Festival. I've been so busy that I haven't had time to paint outdoors. However, I'm going with a new goal in mind: to conquer my tendency to finish work in a hurry. The most I have spend painting one piece on location is two and a half hours. Sometimes that works but very often it doesn't.  So, I need to learn to go the extra mile.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

In Hiding, 18x24"


In Hiding, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
This is a studio painting done a few months ago for the Onondaga Art Guild Show. It's from one of my favorite places in the area, Meadowbrook Pond. Who's hiding?

Changing the subject, it's official now, I'll be showing at Baltimore Woods Nature Center this fall with my friend Maureen Barcza (oils). The title of the exhibit is A Dialogue with Nature. I gradually learned to converse with nature when I started painting outdoors. These conversations continue in the studio until the painting is finished. The funny thing is that now, even when painting from a reference photo, it is normal for me to engage in a conversation with the photo and my memories of the place.

Monday, July 21, 2014

On Location at Saranac Lake

 I spent this past weekend in the Adirondacks with a group of painters from Syracuse. 
AuSable River-west branch, at Wilmington Flume Falls, 14x11" pastel on board 
Having registered for the upcoming Saranac Plein Air event in August, I was somewhat worried about going to paint at an area I did not know anything about, so I decided it was time to join Sharon B., from our local art store, who has been organizing this weekend trip in that area for several years now.

Friday morning we went to Wilmington Flume Falls, where I painted the above scene of the west branch of the Ausable River. I did a lot of walking before finding this shaded spot, at the bottom of a wide trail.  The splashing sounds of people jumping from the rocks and swimming tempted me to get into the water but I was there to paint!  My poor case on wheels took a beating on the way back as I took a different route closer to the canyon edge that was very steep, and to make things worse, I had to carry the painting in my hand because I had left the glassine paper in the car...  I think that rock in the foreground will either have to go or get darker.

Saturday was boat trip day and island hopping.  We rented a boat with an outboard motor at the Saranac Lake Marina and went exploring the lake, then went through a small lock to the Middle Saranac Lake where we saw marshy areas. On the way back we stopped on Island #27 and decided to paint there.

This first painting was a real challenge for me. I felt like giving up on it at some point but continued till the end. It was an exercise on what was important in the composition and of colors at that time of day (early afternoon). Half the trees were left out.
Island #27, first painting, 9x12" pastel on board
Having finished and seeing the others still painting, I tried a second one. This one needs more work. There were bright yellow reflections on the water that I was not able to represent.
Island #27-second painting, 10x8" pastel on board 
On Sunday, three of us were back at Wilmington Flume Falls. This time, I wanted to paint the ski trails of Whiteface Mountain. I knew I couldn't go back home without trying to paint this scene. I asked for permission to paint at the parking lot between the motel and the restaurant where if not the very best view, it was the safest.

At the parking lot of the Hungry Trout Restaurant

Ski Trails at Whiteface Mountain, 11x14" pastel on board
Two funny things happened while there, a woman asked me if I wouldn't mind letting her daughter take a picture of her pretending she was painting my pastel. Of course I did not mind at all especially after seeing a picture of this woman pretending to be carving a bear!  I bet they will have great stories to tell their friends.  Then, when I was packing to leave, a man who worked at the restaurant came to where I was with a small food container for me. It was a piece of berry pie! Both were sweet.

After farewells and directions for several other places to paint, we parted ways. Before my next stop, I saw places along the road that offered great views and parking areas, and stopped to take pics. At Two Monuments, my next destination, there is a section of the Ausable River that is all smooth and the afternoon light was perfect on the opposite side. Halfway into the painting it dawned on me that I must have been very tired when I just couldn't get to make the upper left side work, so I packed; at least I have enough info to finish it at home.

The Ausable at Two Monument, 12x9"pastel on board
I have to say that it was a worthwhile trip. It is always great to paint with people who seem committed to paint.  And seeing the Adirondack High Peaks was the tip of the cake!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Skaneateles Lake, View South, 9x12" en plein air

Skaneateles Lake-View South, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
  Two weeks ago our plein air group had an invitation to paint at a lake front property on Skaneateles Lake. On arrival, I was tempted to paint the water and the distant hill in front of me, but there wasn't anything special about them: both areas seemed to have little color variation, and I have learned that unless there is something particular about what you want to paint, it is best to forget about it.

  After some checking I found an interesting composition involving part of the cottage, with a group of red Adirondack chairs in the distance as my focal area. The painting did not turn out the way I envisioned so I walked around looking for something else to paint. When I went to the shore the view south really captivated me and in a hurry, before the clouds were gone, I took my open box to a shaded spot and painted the pastel you see here. The scene could have been from any of the Finger Lakes because most of them, when seen to the north or south look like this, with several layers of hills as result from glaciation. I do feel lucky living in this area of NY!
Me painting, photo by Barbara Delmonico

Monday, June 30, 2014

Gate to the Orchard, en plein air, 9x12


Gate to the Orchard, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
This pastel is from a week ago. This is the gate that divides our backyard from the orchard. The late afternoon light on the apple trees was so bright that I had to try paint it.

Here is another painting of that gate but from a different angle, done in the spring of 2012. New is the small Walking Stick tree on the foreground. Two nice metal cranes are also in the Vinca patch between the tree and the gate but they were purposely omitted. To the left of the tree is the "pond complex", but that will be another painting...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

On Location at Stone Quarry Hill Park

Pond at Midday, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
  I went painting today at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park in Cazenovia. There are two ponds at the top of the hill that offer great views from most angles. This is the same pond of two post back but this time I was facing SW, and the weather was nice.

 After a short break to see the All Things Cazenovia exhibit at the gallery (my painting A Chance of Rain is in the show!), I found a shaded spot with a bench and decided to paint from there. I wanted to challenge myself by painting submerged vegetation in the pond but I chickened out and painted a shed instead. The strong contrast of the lit and shadowed areas in the shed versus the lack of contrast in the grasses and trees appealed to me.

Shed with Red Door, 8x10 pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
Maybe next time I'll paint the challenging scene first...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Finger Lakes Plein Air Competition

Vineyard in Naples, 9x12 pastel by Adriana Meiss-Honorable Mention
Yesterday I came back home from another wonderful 5-day experience in Canandaigua and what made it even more special is that my painting Vineyard in Naples was awarded an Honorable Mention by juror Lori Putnam. This is the 3rd year I've been accepted to this competition, and while last year there were six or seven pastellist, this time around I was the only one!  
I was somewhat apprehensive because previous to this event, I had not painted en plein air this year. Below is an account by day.

Wednesday June 4th
Arrival  in the afternoon and stamping of boards. The stamping is done to assure all work was produced during the event and not beforehand. Ampersand boards are the best because they  minimize the fuss of framing. But one thing was clear to me: organizers of these events aren't that familiar with the logistics of framing pastels. For example, if you use paper, you can have it stamped with a seal, but then you'll have to use a backing board to frame it, which will cover the seal, thus making the stamping procedure somewhat pointless. I asked what to do about it and was told not to use a dust jacket. In lieu of dust jacket, I used framers tape to seal the boards to the frame so that the stamping was still visible.

There was a get together and light diner that day at the Pat Rini Rohrer Gallery. It was nice to see some returning artists and meet new ones. Afterwards, I went to my hostess' home which was nearby. I had met Donna two years ago during my first competition there. She had seen me painting the first morning and she stopped to converse; we exchanged phone numbers and she invited me to stay at her home next year. Well, that did not happen then, but this year, she called me and renewed her invitation which I gratefully accepted. 

Thursday June 5th
After a light breakfast I headed outdoors and scouted the neighborhood for a nice garden or house to paint. I found and interesting red house at a corner. The sun was hitting only part of it and I liked the orange color of the painted brick in sunlight as well as the green shutters. The painting did not come out the way I expected, as I did too much blending and now that I look at it, the flowering bushes should be darker.  While I was at work, I talked to two of the neighbors who told me interesting stories about the house, which is a historic site. One story is that the workers who build the Sonnenberg mansion (the "mechanics") were housed there, and another that it was a school for African- American children. Also, while there, a group of 5th graders came and surrounded me. They lifted my spirit with their show of enthusiasm about my work. 
The Mechanics House, 8x10 
Later, I headed to Sonnenberg Gardens for a second painting. I wanted to paint a pond with reflected clouds, but the weather was changing rapidly and the effect I wanted was lost. I settled for a distant view of the mansion from another pond. If I had moved more to my right, I would had had a better view of the mansion, but I was too lazy and did not want to give up the convenience of the spot I had found. While I was careful with my use of greens, I did not get the effect I wanted.
The Mansion, 9x12
Right after a late lunch my desire to start another painting waned so I went home to get ready for the Meet the Artist event at the Yatch Club. We all were allowed to bring previously done work for display and sale. After the event, hearing that other participants were going to the lake to paint, I headed that way, but not seeing anyone and not wanting to be alone in case it got dark, I went to the grocery store to purchase dinner and things for next day. On my way home though, the beautiful sunset directed me again to the pier where I did not even bother with my setup. I got a board, a box of Rembrandts, and sat at the pier to paint with the board on my lap. The changing light went from yellow to orange to neon pink in less than 30 minutes, but as fast as I tried to paint, I was not able to finish it. I was afraid of chasing the light to the point of losing the original effect. I went to bed not feeling too happy with my day's effort.

unfinished, 8x10
Friday June 6th
I got up early again and went directly to a yellow house with a large flowering pink bush in the front yard that I had seen the day before; I imagined it could be a good subject with the sun behind it and I was not disappointed. Before starting I tried to visualize the effect I wanted and proceeded accordingly. I used first a midtone blue  for the flowering bush; also, I avoided using too strong darks or pure white in the painting,  and tried to use more neutral greens and yellows. I was finally feeling confident!

Warming Up, 12x9
While cleaning up, a woman approached me to tell me that her twin daughters had been among the group of students who had seen me painting the red house the day before, and now couldn't stop talking about it and wanted art materials. That made my day!

For my second painting I went to Notre Dame, a retreat west of the lake, where some of the artists were staying. The view of the lake from there was beautiful but I did not feel like painting the same scene as everyone else.  I went instead to the entrance road which had called my attention in the first place. I liked the composition and the simplicity of the scene with the angular shapes, and the blue of the sky.  Once again, I reined in the desire to use very darks and brights and tried instead to concentrate on the temperature and color shifts on the road and grasses. I also tried to work on mark making.

Road to Peace, 12x9
  Feeling I was on a roll, I headed south looking for another location to paint. I ended up on the south end of the lake, and then having lunch in Naples. Right after, I set up my gear by a nearby vineyard I had seen the previous year, that offered the chance to show distance in the painting. This was a learning piece because a few minutes into the painting I became aware of how often the light on the different objects changed due to the passing clouds. I needed a plan if I was to get somewhere with my painting, so I decided to go for bluish hills and yellow middle ground trees and that made it work for me.
...almost done!
  Three good paintings in one day was great, but even so and just in case, I continued scouting the area on my way north. The next great scene was tempting, but it would have required longer time to finish and at that point I realized that my body was screaming for rest and there was still the framing to do.

That evening  I managed to frame the three paintings of the day, before getting ready for a demo by Lori Putnam. Back home, despite being so tired, I continue framing until 1:00 AM

Saturday June 7th
While loading my three framed paintings I realized that it would have been smarter to frame at least one more just to have a replacement in case of a sale. So, back to framing in a rush. I managed to deliver the paintings on time and still have about 40 minutes to scout the area for the Quick Draw event which was supposed to start at 9:30 AM.

It did not take me long to find my subject, but the funny thing is that it drove away! I had chosen a blue car parked on a shaded sidewalk that offered a very nice composition with strong darks and lights. I was ready, just waiting for the clock to read 9:30 when two guys got into the car ready to drive away. Oh no! I needed a car on that spot. Another artist suggested to move my own car there and luckily for me, mine was nearby so that's what I did!

A Shaded Spot, 9x12 - Quick Draw
I finished the painting with a few minutes to spare (we were given 2 hours) and even though the shape of the car is not accurate, I decided to leave it alone because to me it was the idea, the atmosphere and the temperature that I wanted to express in the painting. It did not win in the Quick Draw, but I received several compliments and consider it a personal win because I tried to work in a loose way and succeeded! After this event I went home and tried to sleep so I would be refreshed for the award ceremony and art preview that evening.

I'm sure most artists suffer some anxiety at award ceremonies. We all hope to get some recognition. I told myself that no matter the results, I had some personal wins in this event. Lori Putnam started with the honorable mentions in no particular order. She said something about why the painting had called her attention before calling the artist's name. Mine name came third of fourth, and all I remember is that she said something about the good use of greens, time of day, and temperature in my painting Vineyard in Naples. I was shocked and elated!

Honorable Mention

Sunday June 8th
The exhibit and sale at Sonnenberg Gardens Carriage House opened to the public. It was a nice time to interact with other artists and relax. Some even painted on the grounds

I sold my winning painting and a smaller one that someone had liked during the Meet the Artist event. Best of all, my hostess became the recipient of my award painting, as it was a gift from her boyfriend.

As in previous years, the organizers and volunteers did a wonderful job. They were probably as physically tired as the artists were but they never failed to ask if they could do something for us. My sincere thanks to all of them!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Chance of Rain, 12x9" en plein air

A Chance Of Rain,  paste on board by Adriana Meiss

  An oldie from last year, when our plein air group went to Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Cazenovia, NY. This was actually the second piece I painted that day.  The first piece (here) was done under sunny skies, but by the time I was half way done with this one, threatening clouds were moving in. Fortunately, I had captured enough of the mood to recently finish it at home.

  I used one of my own prepared masonite boards, and the rough surface seems to work well for cloud reflections or even to indicate rain drops on water --hum, that's giving me an idea...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Farm in Pompey Center, 11 x 19" - reworked

Farm in Pompey Center, pastel on paper by Adriana Meiss
This is another reworked pastel. The original painting, done on location in 2009 is below, and you can read more about it here.

original pastel, done on location
 The first thing one notices is that light in the original pastel is too blue, but that was my fault when taking the photo. The real problem which, I did not see at the time, was that the rows of corn stubs in the foreground pointed to the plowed field in the distant left, thus guiding the eye outside the picture plane. Once I knew what and how to fix it, it was really fun to work on it.

The following are the main changes done:

  • the plowed field in the distance was  removed 
  • the color and value were adjusted in the distant row of trees 
  • ochres were added to the closer row of trees to indicate late afternoon light
  • blue and turquoise were added  to the barn
  • the direction of the rows was slightly switched to the right in the middle ground to guide the eye towards the barn

So far I think it works and I might frame it soon.