Category Archives: Plein air paintings

Another plein air oil painting

I did this painting in oil just before I left for France, to sort of get myself in the mood for plein air painting.  Ironically, the heat and low humidity this day in CT were very much like what I was to encounter each day in Provence, so it served as a good “warm-up” for the trip.  It’s called “Apple Blossoms at Farview Farm” and was painted on a friend’s property in CT.

Apple Blossoms at Farview Farm

More from Provence

Here are a few more of the plein air studies I did in Provence.  One is of the “Dancing Trees” in the morning light, the next is of the scene looking north from the wooden drawbridge outside Arles that Van Gogh painted many times, and the last is a little study of some potted herbs outside the door of the monastery’s dining room.  There was a warmth to the air in this region that made everything glow with a slightly peachy light.  Also, wild herbs grew all over the place at the monastery, and the air was always scented with wild thyme blossoms.  Pretty close to heaven, IMHO.

Dancing Trees II
View from Van Gogh’s Bridge
Herbes de Provence (SOLD)

Back from Provence

Well, I’m back from 8 days in beautiful Provence, painting the countryside with a group of plein air pastelists.  We stayed in a monastery not far from Arles and Avignon, called L’Abbaye de St. Michel de Frigolet, and each day took a painting excursion to a different locale, including Nimes, Arles, Les Baux, and the Camargue coastal region.  We also spent a few days painting the hills and meadows of the monastery property, including what we called the “dancing trees” which were trees whose trunks were tilted as a result of the strong Mistral wind that blows through the Rhone Valley.  Here’s one of my plein air paintings of the beautiful afternoon light of Provence as seen through the trees at the monastery.

Lumiere de L’Apres-Midi

Pastels in plein air

“Sunlight on the Great Swamp”

9 x 12

The weather has been so beautiful in the Northeast this past week that I took advantage of it by joining a few artist friends to paint in the Great Swamp of Patterson, NY.  This was my plein air painting from Wednesday, painted at mid-day with a high sun.  As you can see, fall has begun!

Yesterday’s plein air study

This was my plein air study from yesterday’s class with David Dunlop at Waveny Park in New Canaan.  It was a hot day so I tried to find a place to paint that was shaded.  I think I pretty well captured the feel of the humidity at mid-day.  I am also attaching a picture of a frog who was croaking during David’s demonstraton (LOL).!

“Waveny Park Pond” 12 x 12

Plein air paintings from Gloucester and Rockport last week

“Annisquan River Harbor”  11 x 14 (SOLD)

Here are a few more little oil paintings I did on location in Gloucester last week.  We had great weather the whole time and I am finding that I am inclined to use mostly light layers of transparent oil colors in plein air work since they seem to best evoke a sense of luminosity, especially when painting in bright sunlight or near water.

“Little Harbor in Gloucester”  9 x 12

“House on the Harbor”  6 x 8

Indian River Reflection

Indian River Reflection (study

9″ x 12″
Pastel on pumiced board

A few weeks ago a few painter friends and I were able to visit another painter down in Vero Beach, FL.  This painting was done onsite in the late afternoon on a dock overlooking the Indian River.  I am working on a larger version, but like the energy this study has.