Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Warner Park Lake Shore

We painted yesterday in Warner Park along the lake front.  The weather wasn't as bad as expected because of a nice lake breeze and plenty of shady painting spots.  But we did get rain clouds coming in about 11 am and had to rush our nearly completed paintings into cover.  We then had a nice lunch at Kung's house with some rather spectacular views of huge culmulas clouds over Lake Mendota.

Here's my painting that started out with the sunlit tree as my focal area.  Then some guy started fishing, just long enough for me to include him in the painting and the focal point changed.  Or maybe now it has two focal areas?  That's twice the value ... right?


Sunday, August 28, 2016

I'd like to have suggestions on great plein air umbrellas.  I have one with a goose neck + clamp that holds on to my Julian when I want/need it.  Looking to step up a notch to a better one.
I would post a painting but I see I'm not accustomed to the blogger system yet & the routes to get it from my computer files to this post.  :))  See ya Tues I hope.  John Mix

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pheasant Branch August 22nd

9"x 9" pastel on Colorfix paper
I went to Pheasant Branch this evening for a walk but it was so nice out I decided get out the pastels instead.  The trees are actually still green but the setting sun was warming them up.  It won't be long before they really are this color.  Cranes were flying over.  Just a beautiful evening.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Mariner's Cove

Although still hot and humid we had a nice evening painting at Mariner's Cove.  I'm hoping this is the turning point in the weather and we'll soon see an end to the heat and humidity.  Here's Joan and Reisa painting from a shady spot.  You can see how the cluster of boats makes for a bit of a challenging subject.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Plein Air Painting Events

I just returned from participating in Mineral Point's "Paint the Point" plein air painting event.  Really enjoyed this year. As always, plenty of great painting scenes / subjects.  And we should congratulate Diane Washa and Jan Norsetter who both produced outstanding paintings that received an award.

I also met a painter there named John Preston, from Iowa, who's a great painter and a good guy.  He ended up winning first prize.  I'm attaching an image of one of his smaller paintings (8x10) that wasn't entered for the judging, but I think it's a real gem of a painting.  That's the Mineral Point water tower in the distance of his painting.

John also told me about another plein air event called "Bluff Strokes" that will occur this coming October 9-15 at Dubuque, Iowa.  It sounds like an interesting event (in the prime fall color season) and if anyone wants to check it out just go to

Finally, I'm attaching a photo of my painting buddy that I acquired as I was painting by the side of the road in the countryside.  This border collie came up and watched me paint, then laid under my easel to rest.  Every time I walked from my easel to my car he would follow me step for step.  When I left, he tried to get into my car.  And as I drove away I saw him in my mirror running full speed along the side of the road after me.  I guess I have at least one loyal fan.


Friday, August 12, 2016

"Thunder over Pheasant Branch Creek"

Here's the result of my sticking out the storm at Pheasant Branch. I moved under the shelter after the winds and rains came, but I still  had to dry up the puddles of water in my pochade box before I left. It was intense!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Pheasant Branch August 4th

Tracy and a very nice view of the prairie and hill
Joan painting despite pesky insects
Elizabeth and Darya packing up
Siraj on the edge of the prairie
Doug sketching
Gouache in my new sketchbook painted the evening after
Tom and Queen Anne's Lace

We had a great turnout for our most recent paint date but not such great weather. I think I counted 9 painters and one was new to the group (Welcome Noel!). A thunderstorm cut the painting time short but there were some dramatic stormy skies to paint and the prairies are in bloom. I went back this evening to try out a new sketchbook with gouache.  It was recommended on James Gurney's blog and I loved painting on this paper.  It's a Strathmore 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch hardbound journal with 400 series 140lb watercolor paper. It lays nice and flat so it's easy to do a 2 page spread.  Dick Blick offers a substantial discount.  I have the Strathmore wirebound Artist Journal with 140 lb watercolor paper and did not care much for that paper but this is totally different and very nice for gouache or watercolor. Just after I finished the painting there was the spectacular sunset that we had wished for yesterday.
The approaching storm

Plein Air Exhibit by Doug Haynes

August 3 - October 30, 2016 
UW Health at The American Center
4602 Eastpark Blvd
Madison, WI 
Take the American parkway exit from Hwy. 151. Then follow the H signs to the Hospital. 
At the main entrance go up the stairs or take the elevator to the second floor. the exhibit will be right there in the cafeteria.

I posted a map on my site (

There are 22 works ranging in size from 40 x 30 to 10 x 8