Country Lane

11" x 14" oil on linen panel

When I arrived in Sonoma for the plein air festival a few weeks ago my plan was to complete 2 paintings every day so that I would have a group to choose from for the both the gala dinner and art sale at the end of the week. I was lucky in that my first painting, which you see here, turned out well. It ended up being sold in the silent auction at the gala dinner (I apologize for the poor quality of the photo, I didn't get the best shot of it before it sold). 40% of the proceeds from the sale of the artwork go toward funding arts programs in Sonoma County's public schools which, like so many schools here in California, have had their arts programs cut.

Here is a photo I took from my iPhone while I was painting the scene. As you can see I began my sketch with paint - ultramarine blue that's been thinned with Gamsol. Often I will do a small value sketch in my sketchbook before I start which helps me develop my plan of attack and see any potential pitfalls before I'm too invested in the painting.

Above is a shot of the actual scene. This was a nice quiet spot that I shared with local cyclists who would periodically whiz by. Just to the right is a protected wetland that is home to many birds.

I chose this scene because I'm a sucker for a good strong lead into a painting and the road here provided just that. Having a few distant trees helped add interest to the focal area once your eye traveled down the road. The telephone poles also added interest and kept your eye from leaving the painting on the left side. As you can see I edited some of the trees on the left too. In life they were much larger and didn't have a very pleasing shape. I edited them down to one tree to keep the painting balanced but reduced it's size so that it didn't compete with the large tree on the right. I also changed it's color temperature to a cooler set of greens compared to the tree on the right. It's hard to tell from the photo of the painting but, the larger foreground tree is much warmer with lots of olive green and alizarin. The hills in life were much more golden than this photo shows and I kept that feeling in my painting because I liked the contrast with the color of the road. Overall I was pleased with my first painting in Sonoma.

To see more of my work log on to


J Joy Nocifora said…
Wonderful painting, Kim! I am not at all surprised that it sold. Congrats!!
Pam Holnback said…
Thanks for sharing the photo of the scene that you painted. I love seeing that along w/ the painting! Sounds like a great event!
beautiful painting Kim. Lovely colours. It`s also great to see the actual subject that you painted from, that`s a great idea, if only we all could do that. All the best.
It's interesting to hear a bit of your thought process while you're out there painting.

Always love your work!
Tracey Mardon said…
Thanks for showing the original scene! I'm so glad you had a good trip!
Mikko Tyllinen said…
wonderful painting!

Popular Posts