World on a String ~ Kite Flying, Family & Plein Air Painting on the Beach Send Me Soaring

Six children, eight kites, a five gallon cooler, four grown-ups & Grammy!

If you notice, I didn’t list Grammy with the grown ups. No mistake!

Painting en plein air with my grandchildren on the beach, I became a kid again.
kites on a beach painting
Let’s Go Fly a Kite, 8″ x 10″ oil, Purchase this painting

Thinking I might capture quick portraits of the kids playing in the water, I hauled my painting gear over the dunes and set up my easel near the water.

Painting on the beach at Bavon
Painting on the beach at Bavon

Instead, 10-year-old Fiona watched me paint her mom and dad side by side with their kites ~ being kids!

I showed her how to block in the colors. Not too serious, simple shapes to make the eye think it is looking at a real kite!

Who knew I was talking to myself?

plein air painting on the beach
Fiona took her turn painting while her dad watches.

Looking at the picture of Fiona painting her ocean of dreams, with her dad watching over her ~ I see myself and my own dad.

Painting with Fiona that day shifted my gears. Somewhere between the paintings, I took my own advice and played with chunks of color.

It happened first as I played with this small painting of the lighthouse. At first I didn’t see the lighthouse. I knew it was there, so I walked down the beach to get a closer look.

New Point Lighthouse painting
New Point Light, oil, Prints Available   Purchase this painting>

Selecting this vantage point, I blocked in chunks of color. At first the lighthouse was light against light clouds. Then I changed angles slightly and began to see it as a shadow shape in front of the light background.

Seeing darks and lights is a lot like seeing the cup half full or half empty. I had become so avert to looking at the dark side of life, it was difficult to see the dark shapes. Light and dark define us. Einstein said everything is relative. And so it is!

Adding the line of dark dune grasses defines the foreground ~ and creates space beyond for us to see the lighthouse.

Does it look like lady liberty to you too? or is it just me?

flying kites on a beach painting
World on a String, 8″ x 10″ oil on canvas, Purchase this Painting>   prints available

I did see the light that day. Without even realizing anything had changed, I painted “World on a String.” While three of the kids flew their kites in the dunes, I played with color.

Simple and to the point. And yet …

It’s taken me a couple weeks to realize the shift in these paintings ~ and in myself. I set them aside and worked on my fabric project. Coming back to them, I feel the utter playfulness and joy I felt that day.

And I realize their exuberance and joy is now mine to treasure for a lifetime!

Win My Heart Painting, High Tide

Congratulations to Penne Poole! Penne is the winner of last week’s Share Your Heart painting. Penne was the very first one to share!

What a great way to kick off Share Your Heart than to sit down with my coffee at 7am, scanning my feed, and see my heart painting already shared down in the feed! Whoa! How inspiring is that?

Penne won my pastel painting, Muse III. I will be sending it to her today.

plein air garden painting
Muse III, pastel on sanded panel, 10 x 8

I hope you are getting the idea of Share Your Heart. This is not a random drawing! Penne’s heart jumped and shared impulsively before I’d even had my coffee. She won my heart! It’s not so much that she was first.  Being first on the first day of a new project told me unequivocally that the project connected powerfully. And so for that Penne has won my heart painting!

Congratulations Penne! Watch your mailbox for my heart!

Win My Heart Painting

This week’s Share My Heart painting is High Tide.

coastal landscape painting
High Tide, pastel, 9 x 12

To qualify for this week’s Share My Heart painting you must be subscribed to Dorothy’s Daily Paintings via the subscription link below this post.

Second, help me in Sharing my Heart by sharing YOUR heart. Use the Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ links below to share what inspires you most about it or any of my posts.

This week it won’t be about being first. This week someone else will stand out and inspire.

Good luck! And thank you for sharing my heart!

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The Nest ~ Pastel and Oil Landscapes

Now I’d started a painting with this cloud. But it didn’t come to life until I did this pastel.

coastal landscape painting pastel
The Nest, pastel on Ingres paper, 9″ x 12″ 

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The Nest ~ Pastel and Oil Landscapes

Once I had my pastel in hand, I could easily see and feel the vibrancy needed to complete the oil painting.

Thumb-tacked to the adjacent easel, the pastel helped me find the colors on my oil palette. This freed me from thinking too much. Using a palette knife, exuberant strokes blend together on the canvas.

Pastel is mixed on the paper as it is dragged through colors already in place. Palette knife is similar. Roughly blending on the canvas keeps the painting fresh, the calligraphy authentic.

palette knife oil painting
The Nest, oil on gallery wrap canvas, 20 x 24, 

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