I walk in the mornings after bringing Noah to school. I look, listen, breathe. I take in the shapes of light and shadow, the myriad greens, the pinks, violets, reds, birdsong, my favorite wind chime. I get as close as I can to birds before they fly away, try to get close enough to see their tiny chests moving with their breath. I look up at the big sky, taking in the sunlight-filled blues, the racing clouds, or the broad plush grays. My morning walks are one of my favorite parts of my day. Moving, feeling the cold or warm air on my face, thinking, sometimes even figuring things out! I take the light, shapes, colors, sounds, smells, back to my studio. I’ll keep trying to filter all of these experiences into my painting.
A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary by hiking at our beloved Pilot Mountain. The state park is located thirty minutes North-West of Winston Salem. We enjoy hiking there year-round and camping there in the shoulder season. This mountain is my current obsession and the inspiration for the series of paintings I’m working on. Between the rock, trees, sky, earth, air, and birdsong, Pilot Mountain is IT. I’ll share with you a little bit of the Ledge Spring trail in the video below. Enjoy!
I made this pochade box to use for plein air oil painting over 15 years ago and it’s still going strong. To give you a bit of background, a pochade box is traditionally made of wood, has a hinged lid that acts as an easel, a storage box to hold your supplies, and holds a palette. The concept of plein air painting started in the time of the French Impressionists who painted outdoors with the help of the cutting edge tube paints that became readily available in the 19th century. Before paint in tubes, painting outdoors was unwieldy. So here we go: I’ll share with you my kit for painting outside with oil paint.
Looking for more tips for artists? Check out some of my blog posts below:
How to pack a travel watercolor and drawing kit
Timelapse showing how I pack my plein air painting kit
11 Things athletes do that will make you a better artist
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