The weather is turning cooler and this morning I had to scrape a thick layer of frost off my windshield. As much as I hate to see summer go, there is something exciting about the change of the seasons. I love the wind and heavy, low hanging clouds that often usher in a storm. This little tree is just up the road from my house. I've watched it weather the storms for several years now, but this year, only a few leaves graced its branches. All trees are different, but I've always loved this one for it's the graceful lines.
I'm Back! The leaves are quickly turning colors, so I just HAD to get the easel out and head to the hills. This view is from the top of Horn Hill in Ellicottville. There was no shortage of scenes to paint from this vista, but the fence caught my attention today. When I started it was rather cold and dreary, but within an hour the sun came out and and the temperature quickly rose. What a beautiful day.
I spent yesterday framing all the paintings from this challenge. Looking at each one was a real stroll down memory lane. I found it interesting how the sounds, smells, and weather conditions are linked with that image. I must admit, I do miss the challenge... I was nervous when I started, wondering if I'd have trouble finding places to paint. Now at the end of the challenge, I am seeing painting subjects "EVERYWHERE". To answer the question "when is the next 30 day challenge"? I'm thinking of doing another Plein Air (painting outside) challenge in the winter, but more on that later. As these 30 paintings find their way to new homes, I plan to paint another painting to take it's place on the 30 painting wall in my studio (I'll post a picture of it when I finish hanging it). In that way, the challenge continues. Keep watching for new paintings, and please share the images and my website www.brooksidestudio.com with your friends!
I decided to end this challenge where I began... painting cows. When I attended RIT, painting realism wasn't exactly in vogue. Abstracts were king and realistic paintings were old-school. I needed a way to pass my courses without selling my soul… I began painting cows, because the pattern of the black-and-white patches passed as abstractions. My paintings were large and very abstract looking, but in reality, they were very realistic... cow spots. After graduating from Grad school, I became known for my cows. The ladies in this painting stand on this bridge every day at 7:30am and at 7:36am they head out to pasture. You can set your watch by them. If you head down Rt 353, toward Salamanca, look off to your left to see the girls playing bridge.
Today was a "studio" day, because of the rain, wind and cold. I photographed and signed all paintings to date. There are paintings everywhere :-) Since I wasn't going to be painting outside, I decided to work from a reference photo. I took this shot the last time the dogs went swimming, down at the creek. This is Lily in her typical swimming stance, ready for fun.
It you didn't know where little Rock City was, you would drive right by it. The first time I hiked through these beautiful rock passages it took my breath away. Today started out very overcast and (as my Mom always said) the leaves were showing their underware. As everyone knows that's a sure sign of rain, but I got lucky. The sun came out and even though it was windy, I was protected next to the massive rocks. It was fun being among the giants.
I was going to paint Buttermilk Falls in Zoar today, but I received a heads up that it isn't flowing yet, due to the road and bridge repairs. If any of you know differently, please let me know. Instead, I got an early start on painting another old barn on 240, just outside of West Valley. It's getting harder and harder to find these old wooden barns. I feel I need to paint as many as I can before they are gone.
I only had a couple hours before the rain came today, so I had to finish up in the studio. Let's play a little Game... It's sort of like where's Waldo, but we'll call it "where was Robin" :-) This is a fun place to go with your family as long as you don't have any dare devil children. A few years ago an estimated $15,000 in volunteer hours and supplies was put in to cleaning the graffiti off of this historic landmark. Any ideas?
Gosh, I'm starting to feel bad that this challenge will be over in 5 days... I've been so many new places and met so many nice people, all because I was scrambling for places to paint. Today, I planned to paint the old train tressel on the back road to Springville, but the undergrowth had grown so much that it was impossible to see it. I guess that's going to be a winter painting. I went several places and took reference photos, but decided to paint a barn that I had seen on Day 10. The swing and barn reminded me how special it was to grow up as a farm kid. It brought back warm memories.
I have no Idea where I was when I did this painting, but where ever I was, the local population certainly had a show. I was driving home from picking up a friends dog from the Vets office and I decided to take the long way home. After all, are we ever really lost when we have our smart phones with us... ? Well, I was really lost, but just when I was going to go back, I spotted a quaint old barn. I'm a sucker for barns. It was cool out so I knew Lily, my canine companion wouldn't mind extending the car ride, so I began setting up my easel. About 10 minutes into the set up, a gust of wind took my easel and umbrella and tossed it across the field. This continued to happen until I decided that I had enough of the painting completed that it could be finished in my studio.