Oil or Water?

Painter’s Choice

Gloucester Harbor 9×12 oil

So we were going to Cape Ann for a ladies’ painting trip. After last spring’s trip to Brown County, Indiana, it was time for another pilgrimage to an art colony.

What to take? The online photos of rocky shorelines and fishing shacks shouted, ” Bring your oil paints!” But when you’re flying, that’s a royal pain. You have to check a bag and buy thinner when you get there. I knew if I didn’t take the oils I’d be so envious of my Marianne, who was definitely taking oils. (I’m always envious of her talent so adding envy of painting supplies would be just too much.)

My practical friends, Nancy and Wendy, were packing light with just some paper, pens and watercolors and maybe a few pastels. I’ve done that on our winter get-aways to Florida before and it does make life easy.

Indecisive as always, I took both a little watercolor sketch kit and a new Strada easel with a backpack tripod for my oils. All materials were chosen with the valued advice of Nancy, our painting gear expert.

I used the sketch gear and painting hear in about equal measures. Some locations were windy or involved too much effort for the easel. I sat on the ground with the Strada at Wingaersheek Beach. That was a huge mistake! Gritty sand in and on everything.)

Wingaersheek Beach (includes authentic sand) 9×12 oil

I sat on the ground again to paint the tulips. I wanted to get that low angle with the sun shining through.

Tulips Along the Annisquam River 9×12 oil

Our day at the old paint manufactory, (now The Ocean Alliance), was so windy that we used my backpack to weigh down Marianne’s easel! I didn’t even bother getting out the oils. I sat on a rock wearing all the layers I brought along my knit headband and sunhat.

Historic Tar and Wanson Paint Manufactory – 5×7 watercolor
Water soluble graphite 5×7

Most of the oil paintings needed touch-ups after the plein air sessions but I left the watercolors and pencil sketches “as is”.

Old Fishing Boats in Rockport 5×7 watercolor and ink

I pasted the sketches in a little travel journal that Nancy gave me. I included a few notes about our trip, mostly about the food I ate (especially the popovers at Passports in Gloucester). Sketching is more relaxing and I like having memory books of trips but I rarely go back and make a painting out of the little sketches. So in the end I’m glad I lugged the oils and paid for the checked bag.

Boats in Smith’s Cove on Rocky Neck in Gloucester 9×12 oil

Welcome!

Welcome to my blog, From Curious to Creative.  What’s it all about?  It’s about learning and growing as an artist; keeping creativity alive by being curious.  I’m hoping my curiosity and mucking about will lead to some interesting insights.

I have painted mostly in oils but I’ve also dabbled in watercolor, colored pencil, and most recently pastels.  It’s all good.  What you learn in one medium will bring new understandings that cross over to other media.

The blog is about having a good time with art and not taking ourselves too, too seriously.  I welcome comments.  I’m hoping to keep learning as I post and read your comments.

 

 

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Pastel from a photo of a sunset in Maine