Friday, October 4, 2013

Winter Color

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

This should be the last snow painting until there is some real stuff here to paint from life. I needed one more winter scene for the 2014 calendar, which is nearly done. You will hear more about that very soon.

Don't hate me for posting snow today. This one is bright with cheery colors, so there is nothing to get depressed about.

Plus, it was warm enough to swim in Maine yesterday!* Enjoy it while you can!

Facebook fans got to bid first. 

* I really did swim in the ocean yesterday and it was heavenly!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Same Reflected Sun

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

There are some funny plants on the edge of the sea in southern Maine. They are bright green until the end of August and then they turn a wonderful pink.

A couple of years ago, the sun hit the tops of these weird little bushes at the end of a painting day. I swore I would paint them. And I did, eventually. A few weeks ago, I saw a similar thing, but this time the nearly full moon showed up too. 

Irresistible, really. So here it is.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Diagonal Wave

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Here's a little study of a rock taking a beating from a wave. 

Or maybe the wave is getting it's water handed to it. 

Hard to say. What do you think?

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Weed in the Wave

© 2013 Hannah Phelps 

When the day is really clear and the waves are constant, but not huge, you can see into the swells. The water peels the seaweed* up into itself and light plays along its orangy surface and the interior of the wave at the same time. 

This is a first attempt at studying that phenomenon with paint, after watching it intensely for 5 years and informally for 30+. 

No need to rush these things.

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* For those coastal geeks out there who thought you caught me, I know this stuff is really rockweed.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Foam All Around - SOLD

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

September is a very busy month for plein air painters. The light in New England is superb and the days are warm, but very short. Trees are green one day, gold the next and then naked soon after.

Actively painting a bunch keeps me away from my computer, but that is ok. It always seems to be here when I return.

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This painting has SOLD.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chunky Pumpkin

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Another possible image for calendar 2014 - I like Octobers to showcase the pumpkins on the edge of the ocean.

Lots of painting lately, but not much has been finished. That's ok. I know that will change soon!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Rocks Going Under

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

This is a study of water drowning some rocks as the tide comes in. When I paint moving water from life, I just paint what I see as I see it. 

Sometimes, I get "good experience" and a total mess. Othertimes, a nice little abstract painting emerges, like this one. Movement, energy, interesting color relationships - what more could I want?

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Shore from Appledore

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

I didn't really plan on painting a sequel to Appledore from Shore, but I saw a cool sky while I was on the island that I wanted to attempt. That is New Hampshire in the distance, but I don't know exactly where. 

I thought I would paint tons while on Appledore, but I did more drawings. I painted too, but not everyday. Not like me at all, but it is ok to try new things. The combination of the paintings I did do and my drawings should make for some interesting studio time.

And some interesting Brushworks!

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Thursday, September 5, 2013


© 2013 Hannah Phelps

I enjoy painting little portraits of rocks in the middle of a sometimes gentle sea.

Sometimes it isn't so gentle. That's interesting too. 

I could go on and on about that topic, but for now, I'll let the painting say the thousand words.

Facebook fans got to bid first. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Still Together

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

I had a great time painting this one, even though it is quite warm outside my studio windows.

Long ago - 2004 maybe even? - I painted a sketch of this scene and I loved it and resolved to do something with it someday. That day is today! I might not be fully finished with the idea, of course, but it felt wonderful to paint something I'd been thinking about for nearly 10 years!

The paint is chunky and thick, just like snow wet enough to fell trees.

Facebook fans got to bid first.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pumpkin on the Hill

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

We are taking a short break from snow because I also need to paint pumpkins for the calendar. I paint at least one pumpkin on site each year. Sometimes more. The pumpkins aren't out yet, so I used an old painting as a reference for this one.

I will also tell you that when I was about to shoot the photo of this painting, one of the lights blew out in my photography "studio". (Insert grumbling frownie face here.) This picture is ok, but I will have to get a new bulb.  

Wanna see more pumpkins? These links should tide you over until I see this year's batch - here and here.

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** Update 9/3/13**
This is a new photo with the new lights!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Winter Sun in the Morning - SOLD

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Why snow paintings in August? Why rush the winter?

It is calendar time! 

Since I was injured over the winter, I missed out on painting snow from life. January, February and December need cold type paintings in the 2014 calendar, so I have to paint some now. Luckily, I have some old paintings of my back yard to copy. 

This one shows the early morning light hitting some trees in the distance. Trees that I can't see this time of year, I might add. When I painted this the first time I called it Morning Tree Glow, but I never felt that the background trees were quite "glowy" enough.

In the new one, I pushed the color and am happy that I see some Tom Thomson-like brushwork and colors going on. 

There will be a few more snow paintings here this week. Stick with me. Afterall, snow can be beautiful and in a painting you don't have to shovel it!

This painting has SOLD!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

More Marsh Experiments

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

A little while ago, you saw two marsh paintings I hoped would be studies for a little print. The print is still in the planning stage because I wanted to try some square compositions. 

I meant to keep this painting simple, but I got carried away with color in the grasses. Oh well. Painting for its own sake is just as valid as painting in preparation for another project.

Facebook fans got to bid first

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Appledore from Shore

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

It rained yesterday when I wanted to paint. That's ok, because right before I got wet, the sky was really cool, so I painted this simple scene of Appledore Island from Rye. 

In just a couple of weeks, I am going to be on Appledore Island painting for five days! Maybe I will paint a rainy scene of the shore from there?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Same Marsh Different Day

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

This was painted exactly one week after the marsh scene I posted yesterday. The weather was still gorgeous and sunny. This time, though, the tide was high, so there is some water visible behind the trees.

Will I paint it again next week? Completely possible. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Marsh Past the Field - SOLD

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

When I visit the ocean and the tide is out and the water is flat,  I can paint the marshes instead. The grasses haven't quite changed color, but they are ready to change from vibrant greens to some brilliant golds soon.

This painting has SOLD!

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Thursday, August 1, 2013


© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Another what?

Another wave hitting this rock? 

Another painting of a wave hitting this rock?

Yes and yes. Sometimes waves don't dramatically crash, sending foam high into the air. Sometimes they gently swarm. I like it either way. You?

Mostly Water

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Two of the most beautiful days of this year graced the coast of NH and ME this week! I had a wonderful time painting this and enjoying the clear, sunny weather. 

When I tackle constantly moving water, I just paint what I see and don't worry about about anything else. It is fun to get lost in all the colors and shapes.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Greener Marsh - SOLD

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Another version of the marsh. This one is a lot greener everywhere. Again, I am hoping to make a relief print of this composition on light green or tan paper. 

I am painting outside for a few days, so I will take a break from these marshes. There will be more soon though!

This painting has SOLD!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Marsh Experiment

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

This piece is loosely based on Grey Marsh, a painting I did outdoors a couple of years ago on Cutts Island. 

Can you tell that I used mostly purple and yellow? I am sure you can see a little green - I added that towards the end.

I will paint it a few times - I want to simplify everything in order to make a small relief print out of it with some new paper. Some of it is sage green paper and some is tan. Will either make a nice base color for this idea?

Monday, July 29, 2013

DT Sheridan

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

I am not the first person to paint the Wreck of the DT Sheridan on Monhegan Island. Rockwell Kent created a pretty famous painting of it. And, of course, Jamie Wyeth painted it a time or two. Really, nearly every artist who hikes to Lobster Cove is tempted by the red, rusted hull in the midst of the natural greens and blues of the landscape.

Sometimes, it is good to blaze your own trail and do completely new things no one else has even considered. But it is also okay to take that more traveled path and leave your unique footprints on it.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


© 2013 Hannah Phelps

I am pretty sure this is York, ME. The original plein air painting isn't labeled. I am not always very organized.

This painting turned out to be an excellent teacher and so did the one I will post tomorrow. We will see if any lessons stick. 

Of course, that is the whole point of daily painting - to force something to happen by showing up at the easel all the time. I hope exciting paintings are inevitable.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hot at the Coast

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Another painting done during our heat wave. Just like the previous painting, I stood in the shade. 

I like painting simple compositions sometimes, and the water was a tantalizing bright blue!

I really hope to go back to the ocean in the next day or so, but now there is a lot of rain in the forecast.  We will see...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Path to the Edge

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Go ahead, jump right off! It was very hot the day I painted this and I wanted to leap into the surf to cool off. So I did! With a friend and four golden retrievers.

I chose this simple scene of grass, sky with a sliver of water because I could see it from some shade. I was even a bit chilly after swimming - but I am not complaining!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Late Spray

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

I am very pleased with this little painting. The original is very loose and sketchy, since I was painting surf at sunset and had to hurry before I lost all light. I like it as a study, but it is sort of a mess. I am grateful that it had enough information for me to paint this from it. I like way the rocks are solid and colorful, the water is fluid and the foam is flying.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Smaller Than It Looks

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

This wave was in Tenants Harbor, ME. I told you in another post that big waves are rare in that area, but a hurricane off the coast offered me some surf to enjoy when I visited in 2010.

Still, this wave was little.* I let it fill the canvas so it would feel a bit bigger.

I want these daily paintings to convey movement in the water, so I tried to stay loose with my brushstrokes. What do you think?

*I should say "this series of waves was little" - one wave doesn't sit still and pose for me, after all. I talked about the philosophy and physics involved when painting waves from life in this blog post.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Last Stand

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

A few years ago, I painted a long and skinny painting outside - this rock is on the far left of that canvas. Then I cropped it a little and created a bigger painting - 18" x 24" - from that. 

Some parts of the big one are great. Other parts....Well, I haven't really figure out yet. So I did this little one from a successful part of the big one to get some ideas. 

Someday, maybe I'll finish the big one. In the meantime, I like this little one!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Casco Bay Mudflats

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

When the tide goes out in Casco Bay, it leaves an expanse of mud behind. That meant that the dogs only went swimming during the highest of tides. My choice, not theirs - they would as happily wallow in mud as swim. Filthy dogs are not as welcome in the tent.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hazy in Casco Bay

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

The sun was trying to come out through the heavy clouds. I was still pleasantly cool in the shade while a cool breeze blew in from the water.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blue Tide, Casco Bay - SOLD

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Another painting from my non-rainy camping trip. Same trees as before, but I focused more on the water in this composition. 

The haze made me wonder how hot it was further inland. I felt lucky to be so close to the cool breezes of the coast!

This painting has SOLD!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Blue Sky Over Casco Bay

2013 © Hannah Phelps

Every year, I camp in Maine and every year, it rains. By "rain", I really mean constant downpours for days. Sometimes we get high winds and thunderstorms just to make things more interesting. Once the only sun we had was on pack up and leave day.

I often don't bother bringing my painting kit. It would be one more thing to shuffle around in the limited dry spaces.

But this year, the forecast looked good and I chanced to believe it. I brought my gear and I painted 5 little scenes from our campsite. 

This might be the first time I have seen this view at all!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Day After the First Day

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

While we enjoyed a few hours of sun over the weekend, today I cancelled another outdoor painting date because of rain. Here’s what happened the last time I ignored a forecast...

When I arrived at my favorite painting spot, the clouds were still a long way off. Thinking I had plenty of time, I shouldered my pack and released the dogs from the truck. They shot off over the unmown field with unchecked joy, scaring birds and butterflies as they flew down the grassy path, barking, growling and biting each other.

The three of us made out way to the border between field and rocks. The view took my breath away for a moment, like it always does. But as I unloaded my box and tripod, the first drops started to fall and I heard soft thunder in the distance, I returned the easel to the pack, and started back. “I’ll put this away and try to just walk around. Maybe the weather will pass," I reasoned.

After stowing my gear, I took my two dogs and the extra golden that had joined us on a walk along the edge of land. Two storm-filled clouds came close. I saw lightening in them, but they left me in relative peace. Soon, the sun emerged and walking became hot work, especially in my long raincoat.

For about an hour, I explored my regular painting spots while the dogs ran, swam, wrestled and bathed in marsh mud. I realized that if I had just started painting right away, I might have finished a small one in that time. Frustrated, I decided to try again.

But when I turned back inland, I knew there would be no painting that day. A growing, slithering blackness that would not pass easily, quickly or lightly menaced the sky. I herded the dogs to the truck, and reluctantly left.

I survived driving through sideways sheets of rain, lightening strikes within feet of the road, and hail up to the size of peas. I couldn’t see and I knew the other drivers couldn’t either. I avoided route 95 and headed for the malls in Kittery, thinking I could pull over there. Not finding the correct exit through the deluge, I pulled into a mystery parking lot for refuge.
Unwilling to leave the truck with the dogs in it, I waited.

After a few minutes, the madness passed - the terrible violence replaced by natural rains. I headed to my temporary coastal home for the night.

The next morning, I got up and painted this little canvas in Rye before it rained all over again. At least I got something done over two days of storms.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pop Up

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Tenants Harbor, ME is not known for its surf, but when I was painting there in 2010, we had a hurricane off the coast. That meant big waves where it's usually flat and calm. 

I would have found something to paint with or without the extra action, but all else being equal, I'll take waves! Knowing they were a limited commodity, I painted a lot of studies during the few days the storm churned them out. That means I can paint even more waves now!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Surf and Swell

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

The original plein air study I used for this smaller painting is 11" x 14". It was fun to crop a square out of it. There is plenty more material from that one study to continue to paint too!

I am happy with the motion in this one. And I love the colors too! What do you like about it?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Come Around - SOLD!

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Again there was a plein air painting and again I made a little painting from it. Actually doing it over and over - copying old paintings, I mean - is not boring at all. Writing that same sentence is a bit.

So let's write something else.

There once was a wave on Nantucket
But this wave was in York, Maine 
And that doesn't rhyme,
So I think it's now time
to end this poem and pain.

This painting has SOLD!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Safe Distance - SOLD!

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

You might recognize this rock from my Private Wave print and another painting on this blog, Wave Slap. This piece depicts a completely different tide - that rock is not going to get wet for a while.

This is as good a time as any to share my new method of offering these little brushworks for sale:

They will eventually show themselves on Daily Paintworks, but first, they are going to be posted on my Hannah Phelps Fine Art facebook page so my "fans" can buy them first in a silent auction format. As a special thanks to those people, the starting bids will be a little lower than on DPW too.

To read more about why I have started this blog and the facebook auctions, read this post and this one on my other blog. 

This painting has SOLD!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Rainy Day on Appledore - SOLD

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Whenever I leave my dogs to go on a painting trip, I paint. Regardless of the weather.

If I go to a place like Appledore Island off the coast of Portsmouth, NH, I am stranded out there anyway. And it is usually just as cold inside as outside. Maybe a little drier.

On the day I did the plein air version of this scene, I painted until it started pouring and my paint stopped spreading nicely - that whole oil vs. water thing at work. I still love the painting from that day. 

This composition will be a print someday. For now, it is a little painting.

This painting has SOLD.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Not Yet Breaking

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

This is a little bigger than normal Brushworks paintings, but not by much.

What do I love about this one? Quite a few things:

- The chunky paint is thick and each brushstroke is distinct.

- So many bright colors in the rocks are making me drool they look so delicious.

- Both of the above create a sense of movement and life. 

Which is what I am going for every time I paint! Yay!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Energy Channel II

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

This is the second study for the bigger print. This one is twice as tall as it is wide, just like the print.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Energy Channel I

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

As I told you yesterday, I painted this same wave crashing on these rocks 5 times. This painting and tomorrow's were specifically painted as studies for a woodblock print that is in progress right now.

To see that print with two layers and the block in its current state, click here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Two Pronged - SOLD

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

There is a small plein air version of this same scene. Then a studio painting that is only a little bigger. And two more studio versions of just the right side of the composition. Oh, and a large charcoal drawing, too.

This is the latest crack at this wave hitting these rocks.

All this because there is a jigsaw reduction woodcut in the works and I need to work out my colors. Most of my prints are from paintings.

I will share the other two paintings here soon, but if you want to see the block and first layer of the woodcut, click here.

This painting has SOLD!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Wave Slap - SOLD

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

When I like a composition, I stick with it. A bit obsessively. 

Which means that I have painted this before. And then I made a print out of it. And then I painted it again today. 

And I might not be done with it. We'll see. 

This painting has SOLD!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Trailing Off - SOLD

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

This small painting came from a larger plein air piece I did out on Monhegan Island in 2010. I have wanted to do something with the motion, energy and colors I captured that day. But the other painting has just been sitting there with all the others. 

Until today. 

This painting has SOLD!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


© 2013 Hannah Phelps

I love taking older paintings, cropping a piece out of them and painting a little board like this. 

As I study my older paintings, I experiment with color and value and brushstrokes. When rich textures like the ones on these rocks appear, I get excited! 

I can't wait to see what I'll paint tomorrow! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Let 'Em Come

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

This painting taught me quite a bit about how I really want to paint. That is exactly why I am painting these little guys everyday - to practice my own language of seascape painting. That makes this a successful day!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Wake Up Wave

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

A couple of years ago, I spent a week in a house on the coast of Maine with a bunch of other painters. It rained nearly the whole time, so I didn't do quite as much work as I'd hoped. 

On my last morning, I watched the sea out the window as I ate breakfast and I noticed something that made me put my fork down, grab my painting gear and rush outside.

As the sun rose, the foam, instead of an array of lights and whites, was darker than the background water. I quickly sketched this effect on a small canvas. I used that reference to paint this wave today. 

That tiny study has also inspired a woodblock print - Dawn Wave.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Yield - SOLD

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

I did a plein air painting of this scene a few years ago and painted this small one from it today.

It is good to practice my waves before I go out for the first time this year. 

This painting has SOLD!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Swell Rocks - SOLD

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

More from York, ME. This wave didn't get a chance to crack before it ran into these two rocks and the little channel between them. 

The shape of the wave distorts in all kinds of intriguing ways when this happens. And on a bright day, the colors shine!

This painting has SOLD!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Being Green

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

This wave was in York, Maine sometime last year. I painted it once back then and I painted it again today.

I LOVE standing on the edge of the sea painting while the waves are crashing and the wind is blowing and my dogs are running around and swimming (and shaking frigid water on me). 

But if I can't do that, using an old plein air painting to remind me of all that chaos is the next best thing. I did have a pretty good time today. Even if I was inside.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Right Over - SOLD

© Hannah Phelps

More seascapes in the studio from plein air paintings. This one is from Monhegan. I do remember painting it, but the little one I did on site is also labeled! I thank my previous self for doing this favor for my present self! 

Anyway, the label says that this was done in Gull Cove, which is quite a walk from the village area. That didn't stop me from going several times. Which means more seascapes for you! 

This painting has SOLD!

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