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2nd Annual Little Gems Juried Art Show

I am honored to participate in this year’s 2nd annual Little Gems Juried Art Show at the Scott Milo Gallery in Anacortes, WA.  The opening reception will be held on June 2nd and the paintings will hang in the gallery until July 29th.  I cordially invite you to attend this show and to see some fantastic plein air and studio paintings from some of the Northwest’s finest artists.  My painting, Patterson Creek, was chosen as Best of Show at the Clymer Museum’s Juried Show “West of the Mississippi” in 2014.   I hope to see you there!

landscape painting, fine art, classical realism, classical painting, classical landscape painting, oil painting, art, winter field, gray sky, creek, distant fir trees, purple mountains

Patterson Creek, 8 x 12

Matzke Fine Art Gallery, “Honey I Shrunk the Art” Annual Small Works Show

I am excited to participate in Matzke Fine Art Gallery’s 26th “Honey I Shrunk the Art” annual small works show!  The show opens on November 19th with an Opening Party and Potluck, 4pm –  9pm, and continues through January 15, 2017. Visit the website at http://www.matzkefineart.com.

For this show I created five plein air paintings of Camano Island.  As a native Washingtonian, I spent many childhood summers exploring our coastlines by boat, throughout Puget Sound and the Inland Passage. My favorite spot on the boat was sitting on the bow, scouting for logs and stumps, or any other danger to our small craft.  I loved to look past the white caps to the rows of slim blue islands across the channel and imagine what life was like at each distant port.  Fast forward a couple of decades and I am still exploring – with my oil paints.  For this series of small plein air paintings, I set out to visit the beaches of Camano Island.  Standing close to the water, smelling the salt and listening to the waves crash against the shore brought me right back to those boat rides and summer time feel.  It’s funny how the smell of salt water can trigger so many memories.  I feel the same sense of wonder today for the beauty I see in nature that I did when I was a child.  Through painting, I try to express an honest translation of both soul and the land.

impressionism, oil, oil painting, landscape painting, mt baker, cascades, cascade mountains, representational art, contemporary landscape painting, oil, gallery, plein air, farmland

Mt Baker, 6 x 8, plein air

camano island state park, representational painting, impressionism, plein air, painting, oil, landscape painting, puget sound, salt water, island, water, contemporary landscape

Camano Island State Park, 6 x 8, plein air

skagit bay, puget sound, salt water, oil painting, plein air, representational art, impressionism, classical painting, classical realism, oil, pacific northwest art, gallery, beach, sand, water, tide

Skagit Bay, 6 x 8, plein air

camano island, representational art, tide, water, pilings, mountains, sea, oil painting, contemporary landscape, landscape painting, impressionism, representational art, pacific northwest, puget sound, mountains, plein air painting,

Tide Coming In, 6 x 8, Plein Air

mudflats, salt water, puget sound, oil painting, landscape painting, plein air, painting, representational art, impressionism, classical realism, realism, puget sound, mountains, piling

Mudflats, 8 x 6, plein air

Rhythms of Nature, Solo Exhibition, Burien Arts Gallery, Nov 4-30, 2016

This Friday, November 4th, 5:30pm-8:30pm, is the Opening Celebration for my Solo show, “Rhythms of Nature,” at Burien Arts Gallery.  The gallery is located in downtown Burien.

826 SW 152nd Street
Burien, WA 98166
206.244.7808

As a contemporary landscape painter, my work is a sensitive interpretation of mood, color, and light.  Born and raised in the West, I am rooted in the diverse ecosystems found in western America. There is a sense of stability and order that I feel with the land, and when a location arouses my curiosity and inspires me,  I will create a series of the scene, changing the key, the composition and color harmony. I look for new ways to express spatial relationships and distance with layers of paint, brushwork, gradations, and diffusions of light.

But my paintings are more than that to me.   As a naturalist and outdoors woman since childhood, I have always felt a spiritual connection with trees and fields, and meadows and mountains.  Quiet places speak to me, as well as, long, stretching views with diminishing values and great big skies.   These places make my heart soar to new heights and inspire me, in a lifelong effort, to explore and communicate an honest translation of both soul and the land.

Join me at Burien Arts Gallery if you can!

 

representational art, fine art, impressionist art, classical realism, tonalist landscape, landscape painting, classical painting, barrels, high desert, art

Backyard Barrels, 11 x 14

landscape painting, tonalist painting, representational art, contemporary art, contemporary landscape, classical realism, oil painting, plain air painting, nocturne, deschutes cabin, full moon, mountains, sage brush, trees

Late Night Fishing, 9 x 12

classical realism, contemporary landscape painting, landscape painting, realist art, realism, impressionist art, representational art, nisqually basin, pacific northwest art, fine art

Nisqually Barn, 8 x 10

Deschutes River, oil landscape painting, dead tree snag

Eagle Creek Deadfall, 8 x 10

 

Spring National Oil & Acrylic Society International On-Line Exhibition

I am honored to learn that my painting, A Bay View, was accepted in the National Oil & Acrylic Society’s Spring International On-Line Exhibition!

The idea for A Bay View came about one morning at Bay View State Park, part of Washington state’s Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.  I was on a multi-day drawing and painting trip, observing and appreciating the coastlines, the waves and the trees at different times of day.  On the last morning I returned to the beach and sat on a log, watching as the pale Northwest sky slowly filled with pinks and roses of early dawn. I knew that an idea was born.

Thanks for reading!

A Bay View, 20 x 30

A Bay View, 20 x 30

Instagram (@lollyshera) and Other News

I have been remiss in regular blog posting and many of you now follow me on Instagram, where I post several times per week.  It has come to my realization that longer blog posts take so much time and I have mostly appeared on IG (@lollyshera) as a way of keeping up.

Since I last wrote I have some wonderful news about exhibiting in the Seattle area.  The Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists is sponsoring an exhibition in the Rainier Club starting in early October.  I am honored to have my piece, Rattlesnake Cove, chosen as part of this show.  This painting was inspired by the early morning light shining down through the cottonwoods in a small cove at Rattlesnake Lake.  Located up in the foothills of the Cascade mountains outside of Seattle, this lake is a popular destination for swimming, fishing, hiking, and kayaking all year around.  I love the mountain scenery there and I have done several paintings of this area. The paintings in this show will hang from early October throughout the holiday season.  Stop by if you get a chance – there are some wonderful artists exhibiting!

landscape of trees and water, reflection, lake, indirect method

Rattlesnake Cove, 19.5 x 12

In other news, I am pleased to announce that my gallery, Reinert Fine Art in Charleston, S.C. is opening a new location in the small mountain village of Blowing Rock, N. C.  Located deep in the Blue Ridge mountains, Blowing Rock is a perfect getaway spot and is sometimes referred to as the “Aspen” of the east!  As a huge skier and mountain enthusiast I love the idea of someday visiting and skiing in Blowing Rock, NC!

Many of my paintings are now be shipped to either Charleston or Blowing Rock.  If you are interested in a particular painting please contact my by email and I will direct you either to the gallery, reinertfineart.com or to my home studio gallery at Lolly Shera Fine Art; my home studio email is lollyshera@gmail.com.

And finally, those of you who have been following me know that I am preparing for a SOLO show at the Clymer Museum in March/April of 2016.  The opening is Friday, March 4th, 2016 at the Clymer Museum & Gallery in Ellensburg, WA.  Their website is clymermuseum.org.  I am sharing my process of some of the paintings for this show on IG (@lollyshera).

Find me and converse with me on FB (lollysherafineart), IG (@lollyshera) and Twitter (@lollyshera)!

Drawings – Field Drawings v. Studio Drawings

graphite drawing, desert plants, sage

Sage Garden, 7 x 10, SOLD

Snoqualmie Falls Drawing, 17 x 13

Snoqualmie Falls Drawing, 17 x 13

Many of you know that I create my paintings from studies – drawings done on location AND in the studio.  It’s funny why artists use the term “study,” but it really makes sense.  While we are working on a drawing we ARE actually studying the subject, whether it’s a figure, still life, or landscape – observing as much as possible in a limited amount of time in order to understand how everything holds together.

When I am in the field I will begin with a few quick thumbnail sketches before I launch into a drawing.  Then I will jot down a few notes that help me remember important pieces of information for later on.  I always include the date, the time of day, weather conditions, lightest light and darkest dark, color harmonies, and, most important, the reason for doing the drawing in the first place.  Why is it an attractive scene?  Why does it compel me?  What am I feeling at the time?  Landscapes are mirrors of our souls and I always try to figure out what it is that compels me to this location.  The top drawing, Sage Garden, was done outside on a very hot day in eastern Oregon.  I love the desert and the great variety of  plants that grow there!

The bottom drawing of Snoqualmie Falls was done in the studio.  I came back from the field with a 9 x 12 plein air painting of Snoqualmie Falls and worked from that to create this larger study.  I knew that I wanted to make a larger painting so it made sense to go into more detail in the drawing stage before I launched into the painting.  It’s amazing what we can remember from being in the field.  I work on my memory through drawing exercises and it has helped immensely.

I am trying to photograph more of my drawings (there are TONS) and I will post them in the drawing section of my website periodically.  If you ever want more information please let me know.    Thanks for visiting!

Telluride Morning

I jumped on the chance to visit Telluride, CO, last summer for a landscape workshop with Deborah Paris.  We drew every day, all day, from sunrise to sunset, breathing in the trees, mountains and very thin air.  One morning I met up with a couple of art buddies to draw the sunrise in the Telluride Valley.  It was interesting to observe how the sage brush and desert loving plants grow just above and right down to the edge of the fertile, green ponds and streams in the valley floor.  This painting, Telluride Morning, is about that edge where the dry meets the wet.

Telluride Valley, charcoal drawing, sage brush, valley floor

Telluride Valley Field Drawing, 8 x 10

Telluride, Valley, sage brush, pond, aspen trees, reflection

Telluride Morning Drawing, 8 x 10

Telluride, CO, valley floor, sage brush, aspen trees, reflection, pond

Telluride Morning, 16 x 23

Indirect Painting Technique

Here are four paintings recently completed using an indirect approach.  Starting with a monochromatic under painting gives me a visual of the final picture before  I  start adding color.  The first opaque passage is followed by several rounds of thin glazes, scumbles, and velaturas.  After adjusting  the values,  colors temperature and chroma, I adjust edges and add the final details to bring the picture to completion.  It’s a slow process of working for a short period on one piece before setting it aside to work on another.   I like how the painting develops slowly, over time;  it is similar to how a memory is recalled in your mind-  you see it and feel it emerge from the inside out.

fir trees, distant mountains, yellow clouds, early evening sunset

Rattlesnake Ridge, 9 x 9

 

winter field, gray sky, creek, distant fir trees, purple mountains

Patterson Creek, 8 x 12

 

Dawn, fir trees with dead snag, orange sunrise sky, dark foreground grasses

Morning Majesty, 9 x 12

 

Evening at the Slough, 8 x 10

Evening at the Slough, 8 x 10

 

Color Sketch for Rattlesnake Cove

I made a drawing of this willow bush against the dark trees a couple of weeks ago.  The water was still and dark showing little reflection of the big trees in the background.  When I returned to the site this week to capture the scene in a plein air color sketch the lake had dropped by several feet (Rattlesnake Lake is controlled by a dam by the City of Seattle).   All the water in front of the willow had disappeared and I was looking at brown lake bottom instead of the beautiful yellow reflections.  What to do?  Well, I decided I liked the memory of the scene from before so I stayed put and painted, making up the reflection from memory!  How convenient is that?  Once again, my paintings are about a confluence of time, place and concept.

Here is the color sketch.  I worked for two mornings during the same time for about two hours each day to complete the painting.  I started with a burnt umber wipeout and painted on top of that.  I like how the warmth of the darkish reddish shows through and gives it an overall color harmony.  This sketch is about 7″x12″.  The larger studio painting will be a golden section size of 12″x19.42 inches.

This is an iphone photo so please excuse the glare.  I’ll be getting professional photos taken soon.

From thumbnail to color study

I recently did some sketching of the water reflections on the Snoqualmie River and I decided to turn one of my ideas into a painting.  Well, I’m about half way there.  Let me show you the process from thumbnail to color study.

First of all, it was freezing outside, so I sat in my car and pulled out the thumbnail sketchbook.  A thumbnail drawing is about half the size of a post-it, or 1.5″x2″.  All I’m trying to do is see if my design idea works as a small black and white image.  I drew this one quickly with 6B pencil and added white chalk for the light areas.  As soon as I had something down I had to decide if I liked the flat, graphic image.  Was it an interesting design?  Was it simple enough or too complicated?  Were the darks clumped together or spread all apart.  The simpler the design the stronger it is.  It’s really hard to uncomplicate the landscape because there’s so much to look at!  I decided I liked the design.

Here is the thumbnail drawing

Later on I decided to make a larger, more complete value study, this time about 4″x6″.  Because I was in my studio I had to imagine the tree because I wasn’t working from a photo, just memory and the thumbnail to look at.

Here is the 4×6 value study

I liked it but something bothered me and I wasn’t sure what it was.  I showed it to my landscape teacher, Deborah Paris, and she said it’s not a good idea to put the trunk of the tree right next to the edge, as it pulls the eye right out of the picture.  I agreed and I also remembered that Edgar Payne mentioned the same thing in his book, Composition of Outdoor Painting.  So I decided to do another value study and move the tree trunk in.

This time I made the drawing an 8×10 because that’s the same size I wanted for the color study.

Here is the 8×10 value study (graphite and white chalk on gray toned paper):

As you can see the drawing is more developed and I have moved the tree in from the edge.  I think it looks better.  What do you think?  The tree is pretty dark because it’s close up and it’s a gray day in the Pacific Northwest which makes all the values pretty close together.

Now it was time to do the color study.  Working from memory of the day I did the thumbnail I painted this 8×10 study.  As I worked I looked at the 8×10 value study as a reference.  It was really interesting how I remembered the colors from that day just looking at the black and white drawing.  I think it’s fascinating how much we record in our minds without knowing!

Here is the color study.

I’m pretty happy with the colors, but I think some of my values are off and I made it into a sunny morning type feel rather than a gray day.  What do you think?  I plan to do another study to attempt to match the value study above.  If I can do that then I’ll go for a larger studio painting.