Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rock Collection - Original Oil Painting of the Ocean - California Beach Painting - Coastal Painting - Laguna Beach Painting - Crescent Bay Painting

"Rock Collection" | 8" x 16" | Oil on canvas panel
(Price includes Priority Mail shipping. CA residents will have sales tax added to their total.)
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
This pretty stretch of coastline is not as well known as some of the other beaches in Laguna Beach, California and as a result it is usually pretty quiet during the week. Since there are few people who come here very early in the morning, it is used as a release location for rehabilitated marine animals. I've been very lucky to see the Marine Animal Rescuers release seals back in to the ocean in this spot a number of times. 
This painting was created on location at Crescent Beach in Laguna Beach, California. I painted it to show a group of students my method for painting rocks, water and reflections.  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Surrounded by Color - Original Oil Painting of a Colorful Tree - Winter Tree Painting - Fall Tree Painting

"Surrounded by Color" | 6" x 8" | Oil on canvas panel
(Price includes Priority Mail shipping. CA residents will have sales tax added to their total.)

Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This is a quick sketch I painted while visiting the Irvine Regional Park in Orange, California. Our trees begin turning color a little later in the year than anyone on the east coast is used to. We typically have pretty warm (if not outright hot) weather until the end of October.

It makes shopping for a jacket loads of fun because when they first arrive in the stores it's usually 90 degrees. I've learned to tough it out though and try them on because a month later they will all disappear. Anyway, back to the painting.

The trees and grasses in the park when I painted this were just turning color. Fall was making it's way in and summer was on it's way out. When I saw this tree I really liked the variety of color surrounding it. The ground was so lit up by the sun that the color reflected up onto some of the tree branches too.

I really enjoy capturing moments like this on canvas. They are fleeting and the landscape is always changing. It reminds me that each day is unique and to live it to the fullest (and to try on that jacket I saw in Target before it's gone).

Friday, December 13, 2013

Chevy Apache - Classic Truck Oil Painting - Chevy Apache Art - Classic Car Fine Art Painting - 2013 Studio Sale

"Chevy Apache in Blue" | 8" x 10" | Oil on canvas panel
On SALE now through December 31, 2013 
(Price includes Priority Mail shipping. CA residents will have sales tax added to their total.)

Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This was painted from a photo I took several years ago. Back when I shot it, I knew I didn't have the painting skills to render it successfully which is why I waited. Between now and then I'd forgotten about it entirely until I recently stumbled across it. I felt I'd progressed enough as a painter and decided it was a good time to capture it on canvas. It was a lot more fun than I anticipated and now wish I had more photos of other classic cars and trucks to work from. I'll have to keep an eye out for other opportunities to photograph or paint them.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Possibilities - Original Oil Painting of a Boat - Rowboat Oil Painting - Balboa Island Rowboat - Newport Beach Painting - 2013 Studio Sale

"Possibilities" | 9" x 12" | Oil on canvas panel
(Price includes Priority Mail shipping. CA residents will have sales tax added to their total.)

Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This little rowboat lives on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, California. They are a popular subject with local painters like myself. There are several colorful rowboats that I've painted several times and I've gotten to know them quite well. Some of these little boats have names and some are so familiar in shape and color that I can spot them in other artist's paintings. When that happens it feels like I've just spotted an old pal in a friend's photograph.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On the Way Home - Original Oil Painting of a Farm Road - Farm Painting - Sonoma Farm Painting - California Road Painting

"On the Way Home" | 22" x 28" | Oil on stretched canvas
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
This view is of a rural road in Sonoma County, California. I painted a small 6" x 8" version of this scene while on location there in 2012. The small painting was shown at a local art show and was very popular until it sold to a nice man from the area. I thought the view would be even stronger if I added clouds behind the hillside so I painted another small version with the clouds to see if my idea worked. Here is what the small version looks like.

I was happy with the addition of the clouds and decided I wanted to paint a 22" x 28" version. It was fun working on the larger painting and figuring out where to add a little extra detail.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fading into Dusk - Mountain Oil Painting - High Sierra Mountain Painting - California High Sierra Art

"Fading into Dusk" | 9" x 12" | Oil on canvas panel
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This was painted as a class demonstration for a group of students. The class was working on learning to paint mountain shapes and mixing warm and cool greens.

Instead of painting on location I worked from a photograph my husband took while backpacking in the High Sierra Mountains of California for this one.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Seaside Pedestrians - Original Oil Painting of People at the Beach - California Beach Painting

"Seaside Pedestrians" | 11" x 14" | Oil on canvas panel 
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This was the second of two paintings I completed one morning at Crystal Cove State Beach in southern California. The first painting of the day came together quickly and with some extra time left before I had to head home I decided to work on a second piece of people on the beach.

Painting moving people can be tough and I found I had to rely on memory while I was working. For the figures I took some time observing people and their positions. Once I had committed them to memory I worked on painting them into the scene you see here.

At the start I knew I wanted to try a risky composition that kept the focus on the figures so, I chose a simple open design that works as a frame for them. The waves and shoreline help reinforce where the focal point is as well. It was a fun experiment.

A quick change of subject. Recently, I opened an ImageKind shop where you can purchase prints of my paintings. ImageKind offers a variety of sizes and also offers different framing options too. I used to make prints myself but, ImageKind can print in large sizes and they have frames for any size you order, which is something I was never able to offer. It's tough fitting original art into a budget (I am very familiar with that as I love art but have a tight budget) but, a quality print is a good compromise plus you are still supporting a living artist and a small business too (if that's important to you). To see what I have available on ImageKind CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

6 Squared Art Show at Randy Higbee Gallery - 6 x 6 Group Art Show in Orange County - Holiday Art Show- 2013 6 Squared Art Show

I am thrilled to once again have three of my paintings in this amazing show at Randy Higbee Gallery in Costa Mesa, California. This is going to be a spectacular show with some of the best artists in the country participating including; Greg LaRock, Debra Huse, Becky Joy, Jim Wodark, Frank Gardner, Michael Godfrey and so many others. This is one you won't want to miss!

If you are not in the area you can still see the show online just CLICK HERE. 

If you live nearby and want to see the show in person here are the details.

6" Squared Art Show for 2013
Randy Higbee Gallery
102 Kalmus
Costa Mesa, CA

Opening Reception: Saturday, Dec. 7th from 6-9 p.m.

The show will be on display until Dec. 25th

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Monumental Edges - Original Oil Painting of Bodega Head- Original Oil Painting of the Sea - California Coast Painting

"Monumental Edges" | 20" x 16" | Oil on canvas panel 
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
Available at

This was painted on location at Bodega Head in Sonoma County, California. It is a location I always make time to visit when I'm up there painting because it is easy access to many beautiful views. For this scene I was able to pull my car into a parking spot, set up my painting gear next to my car and capture the morning light as it moved across the bluffs. It really doesn't get any easier than that as far as painting on location goes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ranch Classic - Original Oil Painting of a Red Barn - Barn Painting - Farm Painting

"Ranch Classic" | Oil on canvas panel | 8" x 10" | SOLD
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

I guess there was some confusion about what image to click on to get into the studio sale area of my web site so I am posting the link again. 


Above is a new painting that I hadn't released for sale before. Instead, I held onto it for my annual studio sale, which is going on right now. There are several new, never seen before paintings in the sale. There are three pages of paintings totaling 53 pieces, which makes this my largest sale to date.

The sale ends on December 30th at midnight and all the paintings you see are on sale at HALF PRICE. To get first pick, act quickly! Shipping on each unframed painting is included within the U.S only (email me if you are out of the U.S. for a shipping quote). 

Below are some more examples of what you will find in the sale.


Monday, November 25, 2013

2013 Studio Sale - Holiday Sale on Landscape/Seascape/Still Life Paintings - Discounted Original Oil Paintings

My 3rd annual studio sale is going on right now on my website

This is my largest sale to date with over 50 original oil paintings included. The sale ends on December 30th at midnight and all the paintings you see are on sale at HALF PRICE. To get first pick, act quickly! First come, first served.

There are several ways to buy a painting, you can click on the BUY NOW button under each painting to make a purchase through PayPal (you can use PayPal even if you don't have an account) or I can email you an invoice through PayPal, which is handy if you are buying multiple paintings, I can process a credit card through Square on my iPhone (you will have to call me for that) or you can mail me a check. California residents, sales tax will be added to your invoice. Shipping on each unframed painting is included within the U.S only (email me if you are out of the U.S. for a shipping quote). If you are local and would like to pick up your painting let me know. Make sure your shipping address is correct as I can not be responsible for an incorrect or out of date shipping address. All sales are final.


Below is a small sampling of the paintings that you will find in the sale.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hillside Passage - Original Oil Painting of Black Star Canyon - Country Road Painting

"Hillside Passage" | 16" x 16" | Oil on stretched canvas 
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This is the last one I still have available from the Laguna Plein Air Invitational.

I went to Black Star Canyon which is near my home to paint this one. It ended up being a very windy day and I had to bungie cord the bottom of the canvas to my easel to keep it from moving around too much. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to put a stroke on a certain area and having your brush land somewhere else entirely because the wind blew the canvas around.

Actually, I take that back. There is nothing more frustrating that having a bystander scare the pants off me while I'm painting.

So, I'm standing by the side of the road with my back to the other side of the wash you see in the painting. There is about 1 foot of land that separates my feet from the edge of the wash. I'm minding my own business, trying to get my paintbrush to land where I want it on the canvas when a mountain biker rides by. Now he doesn't just quietly ride past. Right before he enters my peripheral vision he yells at the top of his lungs, "Cheese!" I jump back nearly going right into the wash behind me. Normally, I'm pretty friendly and I'll say hello to curious onlookers but, this guy thoughtlessly scared the living daylights out of me so I had to give him a piece of my mind as he rode past. It makes me wonder if he really thought what he had to say was that funny or that I'd never heard that joke before and would react by doubling over in hysterical laughter. Oh well, next time I bet he thinks twice.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Awakening - Original Oil Painting of the Beach at Dawn - Morning Seascape at Crystal Cove State Beach - California Beach Painting

"Awakening" | 12" x 24" | Oil on stretched canvas.
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This painting was also created during the Laguna Plein Air Invitational.

To capture the silvery morning light on along the beach I was up before dawn and had my easel set up at first light. This stretch of beach is located in Crystal Cove State Beach near the historic district. I loved the soft colors on the wet sand and in the water. It's something that disappears very quickly as the sun climbs higher in the sky. 

For this painting I worked on stretched canvas which, I normally don't do in the field but, it was what I had and I knew I wanted to work on larger paintings at this event. 

There are a couple of problems working on stretched canvas on location. One, is that light filters through the back of the canvas which, makes getting the right values a real pain. I solve that problem by taping cardboard to the wooden stretcher bars on the back. Also, larger canvases don't fit into standard panel carriers. This can be a real issue when painting on any Southern California beach because I have to carefully carry the larger wet painting back to my car along with all my painting gear and often it's a very long walk (usually uphill too). High winds make transporting a wet painting safely to the car a true test of endurance and agility. Thankfully, this one made it into a frame undamaged.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Laguna Morning Light - Original Oil Painting of Laguna Beach California - Beach Painting - Heisler Park Painting

"Laguna Morning Light" | 11" x 14" | Oil on canvas panel.
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

Here's another painting completed during the Laguna Plein Air Invitational event in October. I started painting this view very early in the morning. My easel was set up along the walkway in Heisler Park which is a popular spot for strolling.

The shadows on the beach didn't stick around for very long and I made the a decision at the start of my process to include them. It always amazes me at how quickly a scene like this changes at the very beginning and end of the day. I am forced to make fast choices and go with my gut response which keeps me from noodling around too much.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Laguna Plein Air Invitational Recap - Path to El Moro Cove - Original Oil Painting of El Moro Cove Beach - Crystal Cove Beach Painting - Seascape

"Path to El Moro Cove" | 16" x 20" | Oil on canvas panel
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This year I received an email inviting me to be one of the participating artists at the Laguna Plein Air Invitational. It was a very happy moment for me because I've wanted to be part of the event for a number of years. It's also close to my home and wouldn't require big travel plans to be part of it.

I always thought doing a local plein air event would be easier than traveling to do one. Knowing the area and how to get around, being able to sleep in my own bed and getting to see my kids at night I believed would all play in my favor. It was actually a lot more challenging than painting at an event away from home. Choosing painting locations was difficult because I was torn between painting at familiar spots vs. looking for new views. Staying at home meant that all the distractions of everyday life were just waiting for me when walked in the door. For some reason in my kids eyes I am the go to gal for all snack items. There could be 5 other able bodied adults standing next to them in the kitchen and they will still walk to the other end of the house to find me and ask for a snack.

Me with one of my paintings from the week and a Randy Higbee Award.

In spite of the challenges, I did accomplish two goals, which were to create larger paintings en plein air and feel more comfortable working larger. At the Laguna event the organizers ask each artist to hang 3 paintings that were created during the week and artists are allowed to have up to 9 backup paintings that could be brought from home. With that in mind, I chose to use most of my time working on my 3 largest paintings and doing a few smaller works. Having less pressure to generate quantity allowed me to slow down considerably and I feel that my largest paintings were my strongest pieces from the week. I even won a Randy Higbee Award for my three paintings, which was a real honor. I'll post more photos of the paintings from the week for you to see as my time allows.

The beautiful structure that LPAPA had constructed for the show.

There were a lot of challenges for the organizers of Laguna Plein Air as well. The whole event was moved to the Aliso Creek Inn & Golf Course after the Laguna Art Museum decided not to host it any longer. Space had to be created to hang work and hold the Collectors Soiree. The organizers pulled it off though and the community turned out in force to support the show. It was a fun event and I'm very happy I was able to be part of it!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Guardian - Original Oil Painting of a Eucalyptus Tree in Sonoma California - California Plein Air Painting

"Guardian" | 10" x 8" | Oil on canvas panel 
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

When I arrived at this location one morning in Sonoma, California I originally planned to paint looking in the opposite direction. This view I found more interesting however. I liked the pattern of the bark on the eucalyptus tree next to the pattern of the oak trees on the distant hills. The house added some hard structural edges that I felt would offset all the other organic shapes.

With many of these giant eucalyptus trees being cut down in Northern California, I felt compelled to paint a few of them during this trip. Even though they are not native trees I associate them with California and will miss seeing them line roads and farms everywhere.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Laguna Plein Air Invitational Twitterview Oct. 9th at 10 a.m. PDT

Join me Wednesday, October 9th at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time for the first ever Laguna Plein Air Invitational interview on Twitter. I am one of 40 artists participating in the plein air painting invitational and I will be answering painting questions during this first ever Twitterview. Go to Twitter and follow @LAPAP15th. Feel free to tweet in questions, I'd love to hear from you!

Two for the Road - Original Oil Painting of a Farm in Sonoma County California - Farm Painting

"Two for the Road" | 8" x 16" | Oil on canvas panel | SOLD
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This is the second painting I created during the Sonoma Plein Air event in September. The farm is off of a quiet road that I've painted along in previous years. The road used to be fully lined with eucalyptus trees but, because these huge trees keep falling over and dropping large limbs, they are being cut down. Next year these large trees might be gone and this view will be very different. I'm glad I had the opportunity to paint them before they disappeared.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Elemental Encounters - Original Oil Painting of Bodega Bay - California Beach Painting - Coastal Art

"Elemental Encounters" | 12" x 9" | Oil on canvas panel
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This is another painting from the Sonoma Plein Air event I did last month. It was my first painting that week and it's from the Bodega Head area. I found the location the year before and liked the spot so much I knew I would return when time allowed.

My plan for painting locations this year included a lot of time at the beach, particularly on the hottest days. The coast is usually 10 degrees cooler which makes the hour drive to get there worth it. Well, that and the amazing coastal views. This spot has nice light in both directions so, if I'm there at dawn I paint looking north-ish and the afternoon facing south-ish has the light you see here. It makes for an ideal painting spot because I don't have to pack up all my painting gear, drive somewhere new, unpack and paint. At this spot I can paint in a lot of directions and really work the entire area.

I look forward to going back to do more exploring and painting.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

High Road at Dawn - A painting from Sonoma Plein Air 2013 - Sonoma Vista Painting - Bay Area Painting

High Road at Dawn | 11" x 14" | Oil on canvas Panel | SOLD
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This was painted during the Sonoma Plein Air Festival in California last week. It was my 3rd painting, I believe. One tricky aspect of painting at these events is deciding where I want to paint each day. Do I want to go somewhere familiar and try to find a new view or composition I haven't done before while the light is good or do I want to take a risk and go to a totally new spot that might not have anything worth painting and potentially loose the best light of the morning? 

This painting location was new to me. Another artist had told me about a road just past the center of town in Sonoma where, if I drove far enough, I would find stunning vistas. 

The problem with painting alongside most roads in Sonoma is that there is hardly any room to park your car let alone set up an easel. In fact, you take your life into your hands on some of the busier roads there. 

I drove far into the hills and found this spot with a wide area to park my car and another spot wide enough to accommodate my easel. What you don't see in the photo above is the hairpin turn which allowed me to get this straight on view down the road. And the light, did I mention the light? WOW! What light! Getting up before dawn to find this spot was totally worth it. 

As you can see when comparing the photo of the actual scene to the painting I created, I did a fair amount of editing. I took out the red roofed building in the mid-ground because it was too distracting. I also took out the telephone pole, fence and some bushes. The colors in the foreground were much darker than what you see in the photo too. The photo was also taken when I first got there and before I set up my easel, which is why there is more light on the valley floor in my painting.

The hardest part was painting in the background first instead of starting with my darkest dark. I had to work on the background first because the light was changing so quickly that I knew I only had minutes to get the key colors and values down. 

From there I worked on the mid-ground and then the foreground. It was a race because at that point the light was really moving and beginning to affect those areas of the view as well. I'm finding that my visual memory is getting a lot better and I can remember what an area of the view looked like before it changed or I can figure out what a value (light or dark) needs to be based on the overall lighting scheme of the painting.

At the end it felt like I held onto my paintbrush and the painting just happened. Looking back on it however, I realize all the quick but careful decisions I had to make to get there. It was one of my most challenging paintings from the week and probably the one I enjoyed painting the most.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2013 Sonoma Plein Air Festival - September 21st - Plein Air Painting Event

"Beyond the Vineyard's Edge" | 22" x 28" | available at

For the third year in a row I will be a participating artist at the Sonoma Plein Air Festival. At the start of the week all of the artists will have the backs of their canvases stamped with the official Sonoma Plein Air 2013 stamp. Then we are set free to paint anywhere within Sonoma County. The county includes vineyards, farms, cities, marinas and beaches.

This event raises funds to support art education programs for children in Sonoma Valley and has raised over $545,000 for these causes. The Sonoma Plein Air Foundation, a non-profit all volunteer organization, presents this annual event that is designed to be casual, interactive and educational.

I hope I'll see some of you there!

Friday, September 20th
The Gala Dinner and Auction with the Artists

Be sure to join the Live Auction at the Gala.
Individual seats for the Gala Dinner are $200 each.
Last year's gala was sold out the first week tickets became available so, check the Sonoma Plein Air website often if you are interested in purchasing tickets to this fun event.

Saturday, September 21st
ART EXHIBITION & SALE 10:00 - 4:00

Historic Sonoma Plaza
Napa Street East and First Street East
Admission is free.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Have a Seat - Original Oil Painting of Adirondack Chairs - Chair Painting - Easton Plein Air

"Have a Seat" | 11" x 14" | Oil on canvas panel | SOLD
See more of my work at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

Painted on location during Easton Plein Air in Easton.

This peaceful backyard view is from the house I was staying at in Easton. The yard faces an inlet of water and the dock you see in the distance belongs to the neighbors. The woman who owns the property has a wonderful yard for painting with lots of paddle boats, terracotta pots, a few chairs, a potting shed and other elements that make for interesting subjects. The big challenge here was making sense of all the greens in her yard. I found that the pops of orange and red help to break up the overwhelming green in the scene.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Maritime Reflections - Original Oil Painting of Boats - Sailboat Painting - Maritime Art

"Maritime Reflections" | 9" x 12" | Oil on canvas panel | SOLD
See more of my work at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

Painted on location during Easton Plein Air at St. Michaels Maritime Museum in Maryland.

This was a mid-morning painting completed just after I finished painting "Seeing Double" from my last post. It was also created on location during Easton Plein Air at the Maritime Museum in St. Michaels in Maryland. The temperature was rising quickly and I needed my second painting spot to be located in the shade. Luckily, the vantage point for this view was next to a building that provided enough shade for me to work for a few hours.

Above is a photo a friend took of me standing in the shade painting "Maritime Reflections."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Seeing Double - Original Oil Painting of Sailboats - Boat Painting - Maritime Art

"Seeing Double" | 14" x 11" | Oil on canvas panel
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

Painted on location during Easton Plein Air at St. Michaels Maritime Museum in Maryland.

To capture that early morning light I was up before dawn searching for a painting spot. Then once I set up my easel the sun was already above the horizon so I had to paint quickly. In just a few hours the light had changed this view dramatically and it was time to quit.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Easton Plein Air! 2013 - A Survivors Guide

"Up The Creek"
16" x 20" | Oil on panel | SOLD
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

A few weeks ago I was a participating artist in a week-long painting event in Maryland called Easton Plein Air! 2013. This was the farthest I've ever traveled for an outdoor painting event and the logistics required some extra planning. 

If you read my last post then you know I had to ship all of my frames and framing tools a week ahead of my arrival date to the house I was staying at. Thankfully, everything arrived safe and sound. 

Here are a few tips I have.

1) Check the settings on your GPS. After picking up our rental cars artist friend Greg LaRock said I could follow him from the Baltimore airport to Easton. He's done the event multiple times and he had a portable GPS that he uses to get around. I felt very old school with my Auto Club map of the area so, I agreed to follow thinking it would be an easy drive. After 45 minutes Greg called my cell to say his GPS was taking us the wrong way out of the city. We pulled over and consulted both his GPS and my map before getting back on track. It turns out he had the "avoid all toll roads" setting turned on The freeway into Easton includes a huge toll bridge (the longest bridge I've ever been on). His GPS was directing us around the bridge which would have taken us hours out of our way.

Me and fellow painter Patrick J. Lee after the Quick Draw
2) When the weather turns bad and it invariably will, have a plan. The first day I was in Easton it poured rain. At first I waited to see if the storm would blow over. When it didn't, I took the opportunity to drive around an check out some potential painting spots. The drive ended at the water's edge on Tilghman Island. With hours left in the day I decided to get warmed up with my first painting. I worked on the passenger side of my rental car where I kept having to turn on the windshield wipers to clear the rain so that I could see the view. I'm glad I got out to search for painting spots and to paint, I felt much more prepared the next day when the weather cleared up.

 Early morning view from my host's backyard - a painter's paradise.

3) Don't miss the artist's orientation. Easton has the best artist's orientation EVER! At most events like this you have to get your canvases stamped at the start. A few have an orientation, many just hand you a bunch of paperwork to read. Not Easton however. Artists check-in, have their canvases stamped, pick-up official Easton Plein Air lanyards with name tags and parking passes, information folders and we get to sign-up for various events throughout the week. That's just the beginning. There is also food (had I known that I would have skipped dinner), water and a bar. Then Jess Rogers took the stage with microphone in hand. I braced myself to listen carefully to a long dull orientation that contained information I really did need to know. Instead, I quickly realized why Jess is the go to gal for the event - she is smart, succinct and hilariously funny. Upbeat music began to play as volunteers and staff danced up on stage as they were introduced by Jess. What could have been a long list of dull and unmemorable introductions turned into a festive evening that had me thinking, "Wow, if this is what happens on the first day then what's going to happen the rest of the week?"

Easton charm.

4) Have fun but don't over do it. Artists are a lot of fun to hang out with. No one else understands or wants to discuss all the ins and outs of our business like your fellow plein air painters. That said, it's tempting to stay out late having drinks and laughing with the other painters. The problem is you end up paying for it in lost painting time the next day. If I'm going to stay out late and drink I try to do it at the end of the week when the art is hung and I don't need to be up early the next day either painting or selling. Or if I'm going to stay out late I keep the drinking to a minimum.

5) When the organizers of Easton say they have a beautiful property to paint at and that they are putting on a fun-filled evening with a band and dinner afterwards then show up. Seriously, these organizers pull out all the stops for this event all week long. Artists were invited to paint on the grounds at Hope House in Unionville which ended in a thank you dinner for the event's supporters. The property had lots of great painting spots which we were shown by volunteers driving golf carts (we didn't even have to lug our gear around) and at the end of the day collectors arrived to view and purchase our work. The dinner was held in a large outdoor tent, there was an upbeat band and delicious catered food.

6) Pack an insulated bag with lots of cold water and bring it everywhere. The heat and humidity in Easton is horrible, I think that was my biggest obstacle while I was there. Keeping cold water handy saved me from dehydration and overheating. Just to give you some idea I drank 2 cases of bottled water plus at least two more gallons in 11 days and I still don't think I drank enough.

7) Stay off the grass. I live in California where the temperatures are mild and there aren't a lot of bugs and I am used to being able to walk across grassy areas. Bad idea in Easton. Mosquitoes lie in wait for unsuspecting Californians to stroll by and then they attack in swarms in spite of the gallons of bug spray I had slathered on and the long pants and long sleeves of my shirt. I swear I had more than 25 mosquito bites on me at the end of the week. Strangely enough, they didn't bite my left arm at all - they must not be left-handed mosquitoes.

Another artist hard at work. Even though she is on the grass she is sitting on a tarp - smart gal!

The real danger there however, are the deer ticks, all of which carry Lime disease. After having a few meals with other painters from the east coast I quickly realized that most of them have had Lime disease and getting rid of it is not something I want to experience. Stay off the grass, especially in fields and areas that aren't maintained.

8) Wear your name tag everywhere and keep your parking pass in the window of your rental car. This was the suggestion at the artist's orientation and I quickly found out why. The name tag and parking pass got me into painting locations that normally wouldn't be open to me. Since the event is so well publicized most residents and business owners are aware of who we are and what we are there to do. Tourists are asked not to park at some of the working marinas but artists with name tags and parking passes were allowed in, some farm owners allowed artists to paint on their land and many private residences and businesses were opened to us.

"Have a Seat" just completed but still on my easel. SOLD.

9) Paint near town in the residential neighborhood at least once. Not only are there some beautiful neighborhoods a block from town but the people who live there are very nice. I was painting just past town on Harrison St. and three residents stopped by to say hello, offer me ice water and the use of their bathroom if I needed it. Wow. I've painted in Sonoma, San Luis Obispo, Laguna Beach, Orange, Santa Ana and a few other places and once in a while a resident will be kind and offer me the use of their bathroom or bring me water but, it's rare. Also, the business owners in town treated us extremely well, many of them offered discounts to us or invited us in their shops to cool off and get some water.

10)  Every once in a while take a moment to appreciate it all. I found myself taking a deep breath or two just so that I could remember as much of the experience as possible. Honestly, I've never been treated so well at a painting event. The organizers do such a great job that it was easy to forget all the behind the scenes things that had to take place for everything to run so smoothly. My day to day life with my kids and husband is usually a whirlwind of activity and there are weeks that whiz by that leave me feeling like I sprinted through each day. It's easy to do that at a painting event like Easton but, I wanted to make sure I would slow down and just experience the moment because there is no guarantee that the next year I'll get to return. But, you better believe I'm going to paint my butt off and try.

To see all of my paintings from Easton, MD go to my website

To read more about Easton Plein Air 2013, view video of the event and see who the winning artists were visit their web site at

All images ©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Getting Ready For the Easton Plein Air Festival

18 frames, 26 canvas panels, various framing tools, framing hardware, a box of Nitrile gloves, a box of business cards, 3 cotton socks and other misc. items are all winging their way to Easton, MD. I am hoping these boxes will meet me there on July 11th for the start of the Easton Plein Air Festival.

Every night for the last few days I've been dreaming about this painting trip. My dreams have included the following scenarios - showing up on the day of the sale to find I haven't painted a thing, getting lost in my rental car and not being able to find the walls to hang my art on, missing several key events including the Quick Draw competition and waking up late to find out I'd slept through the day entirely and missed out on painting.

My husband thinks I worry too much. I think he's probably right but, read on to see why my anxiety level is a bit high at the moment.

For the first time ever I will be a participating artist at Plein Air Easton. This event is considered by many to be the best plein air (outdoor) painting event in the U.S. To get in each artist must submit several paintings for a judge to review with only the best making the cut. The judge has strict criteria and uses a point scale to make their selections. To keep it fair a new judge is chosen every year. Submission is open to artists from all over the world. More than 400 artists submit work for review and only 58 are chosen. Plein Air Easton is like the "Who's Who" of the outdoor painting world.

Can you see why I'm dreaming about it now? Some of you may be asking the following at this point.

What is Plein Air Easton?

At the beginning of the event artists must check-in and have all the backs of their canvases stamped with the 2013 Easton official stamp. Then, they turn us loose in the countryside to paint over a five-day period, picturesque scenes throughout Talbot County, Maryland. During the week there are different painting events including a quick draw timed painting competition, a fabulous collector's preview party where collectors are given first chance at purchasing art and an art show and sale featuring all the work created that week.

My goal is to paint 2-3 painting per day during the event. That way I can choose only my very best pieces to frame and display.

To see last year's winners and marvel at the quality of the work created during this event CLICK HERE.Paintings will be on display and available for purchase at the art show and sale on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21.

Friday, July 19, 2013 7pm-9pm
Awards Announced at 7:45 pm
Tickets Required

This event offers the only opportunity to see the entire competition show! You can be one of the first to experience and purchase paintings during this private ticketed only event. Enjoy the company of friends, a glass of wine, hors d'œuvres and conversation with the participating competition artists. The exhibit will evolve all evening as paintings are sold and new paintings take their places. Competition paintings will be on sale starting at 7pm when the doors to the Academy Art Museum open to ticket holders.

For information please contact the Plein Air-Easton! Information Hotline at 410-822-7297.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Waves Rolling In - Original Impressionist Style Oil Painting of Waves at the Beach - Crescent Bay Laguna Beach Painting

"Waves Rolling In" | 10" x 8" | Oil on canvas panel.
Available at
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

South Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach, California is always a great place to study waves in motion. The waves seem to be larger here than at other beaches I've painted at which makes their structure a little easier to see.

This view is looking south toward Laguna's main beach area. I painted it to show my students how simply they could render the bluff in order to get the point across of what it is without painting each and every nook and cranny. There were a few other key lessons here like waves, shadows under waves and palm trees.

 ©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

While we were there the Marine Mammal Rescue Team dropped by to release 4 seals. They asked that we keep our distance so that we wouldn't scare the animals. It was amazing to see how quickly the seals made a dash for the open ocean once they were released from their cages.

©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
 ©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek