Monday, December 6, 2010

The Big Picture is in the Details-WPW on Expedition

We were 12 artists on Sullivan's Island, SC, getting to know each other. We were strangers in the beginning, but that all changed!
I wanted to add a bit about what the rest of the WPW on Expedition trip was like after the opening at Robert Lange Studios. There was painting during the day and sometimes in the evening as well. The living room was transformed into a studio.

 Here's my oil sketch of Lauren.
A small burnt umber rub-out sketch that I did during one of the evening sessions.
The foyer was full of gear. Luckily it was a very big house.

The first morning we painted at Magnolia Cemetery. It was chilly and I was more concerned about about staying warm than looking cool. I simply must figure out how to look good while plein air painting before the next trip. Gotta invest in some cool hats like Mia Bergeron.
This is my first plein air painting, I spent most of the time trying to figure out how to see with the glare. I ditched the white apron, which was bouncing glare on to the painting. Other plein air painters in the group said, yes that's why plein air painters wear dark colors. Who knew?
Alex Tyng suggested that the light changes too much after about two hours so it's best to do a couple of paintings rather that one that you just keep changing. I felt like I was chacing the light. So, rather than cart all my stuff to another spot in the cemetery I simply turned around and saw an interesting pattern of light on a Celtic cross headstone. This was my second plein air painting. I think this is a more successful piece.
 This is Alia El-Bermani with her painting that day.
Another day we painted at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. I love red and couldn't resist the bridge with the bright green duck weed in front of it. My friend, Birmingham artist Justine Rynearson had suggested to me from her experience to look for contrast in the environment, that you could get lost in too much green. Good plein air painting advice and I heard her voice as soon as I saw the red bridge.
Sadie Valeri, Rachel Constantine and Mia Bergeron choosing their views, tough choice when every view was breathtaking!
 Rachel Constantine and Kate Stone painting on the bridge.

I had learned something the day before about where to set up. Try to find a place where your easel is in the shade and will stay there...that's the tricky part. This spot turned out to be a good one although I did struggle a little with the light aand shadow leaf patterns playing on the panel.

Meanwhile back at the house...we had a great view from our backyard. This is one I did at mid-morning and here is my great set-up that day. I had to strap the umbrella I'd borrowed from the deck to the chair since it was trying to blow away. The only issue was that I couldn't stand up cause the wind would have taken the entire chair away. I was thrilled to see that my linseed oil fit perfectly into the drink holder, ah...simple pleasures.
For this one I painted the water, waited for the color in the sky to deepen, then painted it as fast as I could adding extra colors into the sand and water. Here I am working on the sunset piece, still chilly and bundled up.
One night we were guests at the Isle of Hope home of Charleston artist Shannon Runquist. Shannon and her husband Lars cooked an amazing southern meal complete with steamed oysters, grits and shrimp, boiled peanuts and banana pudding for dinner.
All during the week we put on display work we'd done during the day. It was like magic to see the work pile up!
Our last night on Sullivan's Island, Rob and Megan Lange, and Carrie Schwab from Robert Lange Studios came by the house to say goodbye.
Whew, what a week! My previous posts about the WPW show are here, others on the trip are listed on the WPW site. Also check out another artist from the Women Painting Women Show, Sara Scribner!


  1. Wow! This looks like an amazing week was had by all. I am new to oil painting, including plein air. I am painting on the Pacific Northwest coast so have similar challenges (including looking really uncool all bundled up!). Thanks for sharing your week.

  2. Thanks Renee. Good luck with your plein air in the cold :)



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