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Monday, October 24, 2011

Work in Progress: Murmuration

Murmuration in progress © 2011 Katherine Kean
oil on linen triptych 48 x 126" overall

Here is what the large triptych taking up all the breathing room in my studio looks like at the moment- click on the image to see it enlarged. It will be getting a few more layers and I suspect the bird formations will change somewhat, but I'm not going to say in what way just yet. What I will say is that I'm glad that I did most of this painting during the longer days. At this time of year my studio seems a little darker every day and I have to start depending more and more on artificial light.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

And Then the Cows Came Home


Part of the fun of painting outdoors is experiencing first hand all the elements of nature. This includes weather, light, insects, and animals.On one of the fairest days while painting in Scotland we went to the Tweed River and set up on a private road by a farm. It was really an excellent location with a view of the river and hills, but off the main road and sheltered from the wind.  The farmer, riding an all terrain vehicle, was just bringing a few cows through as we arrived and gave his permission for us to be there. He mentioned that the rest of the herd still in the pasture would likely be curious and want to watch us. As we set up our easels we did indeed notice quite a few cows clustering by the gate peering at us, wondering I'm sure, just what we were up to. However, when we approached them to take a picture they all turned and quickly shuffled off -  apparently camera shy.
We all went back to work, eventually settling down to paint, working as quickly as possible in case the weather decided to change. When we next looked up, right behind us the whole herd had returned. They must have tip toed silently up behind us, for now they were all lined up at the gate staring intently while we painted. Perhaps these were special ninja cattle, because I never heard a sound.



Later on we saw that further down the path there were cows coming from the other direction and since we were set up directly in their way it seemed wise to break down our easel set ups and get ourselves out of the way. It was about time to go anyway, so we quickly commenced capping and stowing paint tubes, wiping off brushes, packing up paintings, and folding up our tripods. Cows it seems, are not only stealthy, but in spite of their size move quickly, because quite soon a large grey one was right there before us. Did I mention how large cows are? Rose, who was closest,  reassured the cow as she packed up her things, that we would soon be out of the way. The grey cow waited, shifting her weight from side to side and occasionally swishing her tail. At last we were completely packed up and able to move aside to let the grey cow by. What did she do then? She turned around and walked back the way she had come.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wrap Em Up, Ship Em Out

I was caught by surprise when returning from my trip to learn that Paint America had been trying to get in touch about delivery of artwork to Saint Louis for exhibition. I had to drop everything and scramble to get the work shipped out. Fortunately the organizers of the exhibition had arranged for a discount to the artists on AirFloat Systems lined strong boxes. I really like using these boxes to ship because they give me great confidence that the artwork will arrive undamaged.

As soon as the boxes arrived I wrapped the framed paintings with plastic pallet wrap to prevent dings in the frames or scratches on the paintings' surfaces. Then I created a custom sized pocket for each painting  - easy to do in the pre-perforated foam - I didn't even need a knife. Then I sealed the boxes and took them to the Post Office during the first downpour of the season. I got soaked! But no matter. The people at the Post Office gave me a stack of paper towels. I dried off my packages and then sent them on their way. All three boxes were delivered to the Jefferson National Expansion Monument within 24 hours.

This leg of the Paint the Parks 2011 traveling exhibition will be on exhibit  through January 9, 2012.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Beautiful Scotland





 I returned last week from traveling to Scotland to take part in Lynne Windsor's workshop. Lynne scouted a number of beautiful locations to paint, each one more spectacular then the rest.


Since this was my first visit to the U.K. I wasn't sure what to expect. Many people told me to bring lots of warm clothing, however I didn't want to go overboard on the packing since I also had to bring an easel and art supplies. The layers I brought served well. The weather was variable, to say the least, but never extremely hot or extremely cold. Sometimes it rained and sometimes it was windy, while others times it was sunny and mild. It all suited me just fine, being the big fan of weather that I am.


The workshop was wonderful. Lynne started with a demo, explaining her process as she painted, while we watched, took notes, and asked questions. Each day we painted either outdoors en plein air, or in the studio, depending on the weather. In between painting we had the opportunity to get lots of photos - there seemed to be limitless opportunities. The skies were gorgeous and constantly changing, illuminating various aspects of the landscape, while flocks of sheep arranged themselves in pleasing patterns.  I had so much fun, learned plenty, and will benefit from seeing things in a new way.

More on this to come. In the meantime Lynne has posted several photos on her blog..