Thursday, September 28, 2017

September Bluffs

September holds both the Driftless Area Art Festival, and the Plein Air Between the Bluffs painting event - both celebrating the beauty and art of the region. It seems fitting then that many of my paintings this month have been especially focused on the bluffs and valleys of this corner of the Driftless Region. Here are some of my September oil paintings:

A Change in the Air, 9 x 12" plein air oil on linen/hardboard. September 4th. sold
 This first one was painted in Alma, Wisconsin. The trees near the water already showing their fading greens and hints of fall color. The weather that afternoon cycled through soft sunshine, rain, and gusts of wind. It was beautiful.

Evening on the Ridge, 8 x 10" plein air oil on linen/birch. September 8th.
 This little bluff and river painting was the first I did for the Between the Bluffs event, which is centered in La Crosse, Wisconsin. This was done across the Mississippi river on the Minnesota side, as evening fell.

Worn Wood and Sunshine, 10 x 12" plein air oil on linen/birch. September 12th.
As part of the La Crosse event, I agreed to be one of the demonstrating artists - doing one painting at a set time and place for anyone who cared to watch. I'd not done this before, and frankly it can be a bit intimidating having people watch as the painting comes together! But it was fun; thanks to everyone who stopped over as I painted this beauty of an old barn.

Then I had to take a break from painting for a bit as I finished up all the little and big things that go into preparing for an art fair. The Driftless Area Art Fair is a gem. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and made it so special!
My booth at the Driftless Festival, day 1.

 Then it was back to painting for the last few days of the Between the Bluffs event:
Shadows on the Bluffs, 8 x 16" plein air oil on linen/hardboard. September 19th.
A hot September afternoon, watching the shadows from the clouds drift across the bluffs, and the breeze blow the willows and leaves on the small poplars that grow in the marshy lowland. (I was so happy to receive the "Spirit of La Crosse" award on this piece from judge Scott Lloyd Anderson at the opening reception!)

Down in the Valley, 8 x 10" oil on linen/birch. September 19th and 20th.
I began this painting the same night, but it was late. I liked that color on the bluffs that were lit by the setting sun, but I just didn't have the time to get the painting to where I wanted it to be. The following night I returned to the same spot and refined it a little bit more.

Afternoon in the Woods, 9 x 12" oil on linen/birch. September 20th. sold
It was warm down in the woods and damp too, despite the dry weather. I had my easel wedged against a tree, with only its back leg set up, to keep it from sliding down the steep hillside, as I sought to capture the varying greens looking down towards the valley.

5 x 7" plein air oil on linen/birch. September 22nd.
This last one was a little painting done for a couple who used to live in this area, but have moved elsewhere. I little reminder of the bluffs and valleys. I loved the light at that time of day!