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.

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