Sunday, January 26, 2014

Beyond the Lake's Edge - Original Oil Painting of the High Sierra Mountains - Mountain Painting - Forest Painting - Lake Painting


"Beyond the Lake's Edge" | 8" x 10" | Oil on 1/8" thick featherlight canvas panel from RayMar Art
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This is the last painting from my High Sierra trip. This small lake was near our campsite. It was far enough off the trail to be a quiet place without a lot of hikers or fishermen. My husband went off fishing while I worked. Since the lake was small I could watch his progress and even hear him land a couple of trout. 

The most challenging part of painting this area for me is simply getting used to painting a very different subject than what I find at home. The trees are different, the color of the ground is different and everything looks much closer than it actually is, which forces me to add atmosphere and push the background back color-wise. It's was a fun exercise.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Meadow Flow - Original Oil Painting of the High Sierra Mountains - Mountain Painting - Forest Painting - River Painting

 
"Meadow Flow" | 8" x 10" | Oil on 1/8" thick featherlight canvas panel from RayMar Art
Available at www.KimVanDerHoek.com
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
 
Near the middle of a day hike in the High Sierra Mountains with my husband we ran into a cloud bank at the top of a pass and had to turn back towards camp because a storm was coming. Fortunately, the pass we were hiking through held back the worst of the weather and only a few scattered showers moved through this meadow. I found shelter under some trees and set up my easel to paint. 

The biggest challenge was managing the constantly changing light. Clouds kept passing by obscuring the sun, then moments later the sun would peek out and the meadow would be brightly lit. My husband kept busy exploring the area until finally, he succumbed to the calming sounds of the river and took a nap beside it's bank. He woke up just as I finished and we enjoyed a nice lunch in this beautiful spot.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Peeking Moon - Original Oil Painting of the High Sierra Mountains - Mountain Painting - Forest Painting - Checkenfoot Lake Painting

"Peeking Moon" | 10" x 8" | Oil on 1/8" thick featherlight canvas panel from RayMar Art
Available at www.KimVanDerHoek.com
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
About midway through my summer backpacking trip with my husband I knew I wanted to do a morning moon painting. I'd been seeing the moon every morning during breakfast and would watch to see how long it stayed up in the sky before sinking slowly behind a ridge. For a scene like this I had to scout my painting location in advance and find a spot close to camp where I could set up my gear quickly. 
This view was just down a slope from our tent. It was very windy that morning. I found some shelter behind a tree and set up my easel. Working quickly I drew in my composition. By that time the moon was as close to the ridge as you see here and I knew it wasn't going to stick around to see how it's portrait turned out. I blocked in the sky first and the moon second. Then poof, it was gone! 
The rest of the painting took shape eventually. There were a number of rough moments where I had to weigh down my easel with bags and rock to keep it from blowing over. The fishermen (my husband included) didn't mind the wind because the fish couldn't see them with all the ripples in the water. I'm glad I had the opportunity to paint the moon in spite of the wind.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rocky Lakefront - Original Oil Painting of the High Sierra Mountains - Mountain Painting - Forest Painting - Checkenfoot Lake Painting

"Rocky Lakefront" | 8" x 10" | Oil on featherlight 1/8" thick canvas panel from RayMar Art
Available at www.KimVanDerHoek.com
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

Painted along the edge of Chickenfoot Lake in the High Sierra Mountains in California. This was my second painting of the day from a backpacking trip my husband and I took in the summer. The water in this alpine lake was so clear you can see every detail of the bottom. Which made my husband's fishing a bit easier (that's how he keeps busy while I'm painting). I wanted to render the color changes in the water and show suggestions of the rocks beneath the surface, a sight I rarely see living in the city. It was fun arranging the boulders along the water's edge and to create a visual rhythm that leads the eye deeper into the painting. Hopefully, I'll get to return again in the summer.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spire Shadows - Original Oil Painting of the High Sierra Mountains - Mountain Painting - Forest Painting - Checkenfoot Lake Painting

"Spire Shadows" | 10" x 8" | Oil on featherlight canvas panel from RayMar Art
Available at www.KimVanDerHoek.com
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

I just realized that I hadn't posted any of the paintings I did during a backpacking trip I went on in August 2013 with my husband.

Before having my second child I would always go with my husband on backpacking trips to the Sierra Mountains in California. With two kids though it was difficult working out childcare so that I could go. Since he loves it as much as I love to paint, I stayed home while he hiked through miles of back country on his own. I missed it though. In 2013 we decided to try to go together again and managed to work it out thanks to my mother-in-law who took the kids for us.

I packed the least amount of painting gear I've ever taken including 6 RayMar featherweight painting panels. That meant I could paint 2 painting per day in the mountains which I did.

This view includes Chickenfoot Lake and a spire above it. It was very early morning and I had to work fast to capture the shadows on the mountain. In 30 minutes the shadows were gone and the very dark green trees were all in sunlight. Seeing the light move across the landscape is always something that makes me appreciate how quiet it is in the early morning before the winds pick up and the other hikers are out of their tents.

I'll post more paintings from this trip in future posts.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Down and Out - Original Oil Painting of a Stairway - Interior Art - 6 Squared Show at Randy Higbee Gallery - 6 x 6 Art Show

"Down and Out" | 6" x 6" | Oil on canvas panel | S O L D
This painting received a gallery award at the  6" Squared Art Show at Randy Higbee Gallery
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek

This piece is a bit of a departure from my usual landscape paintings. The 6" Squared Art Show at Randy Higbee Gallery was coming up and I needed to paint a few pieces to enter into it. I had a couple of landscapes ready to go but wanted to experiment using some of my photo reference images.

This painting is based off of a photo I took of my host's house that I stayed at during the Easton Plein Air event in July 2013. She had a wonderful property rich with subject matter to paint and I left her house at the end of the week with several ideas for paintings rattling around in my head. This view didn't interest me until after I got home and started going through my photos.

I'd just spent some time soaking in the amazing work of William Wray (if you don't know him Google him now) before I started my hunt for images so, his style was fresh in my head. Not that my painting looks anything like his, nor should it, he and I are different people and I want my work to be my own but, I respect what he does a great deal. I've watched his work evolve over the last few years, going from very representational to now verging on abstract. He is great at painting the mundane, raising humble places or things to heroic status using composition and very unexpected color.

With all that bouncing around in my head I wanted to really push the color in this to see how far I could take it. The photo reference is very gray with bold color only on the wood floor and the outside door. I really cropped into the photo to get the most dynamic composition and to edit out distracting elements. About midway through the painting I put the photo away and tried to respond to what the painting itself needed. At the end I wasn't sure if I like it. My husband couldn't decide either. I almost didn't enter it into the Higbee show.

In the end however, it was one of the stronger pieces I'd painted and as it turned out I got a lot of very positive feedback. One of my students said it was her favorite painting of mine, painter Debra Huse (who I respect and admire) said she loved it and would give it an award if she were a judge (wow), Jean Stern Director of the Irvine Museum said it was his favorite painting in the entire show (another wow) and to top it off it won a gallery award and sold too. More importantly though, I learned a few new things about painting, like how much more I can push color, why gray might be a better choice sometimes and areas in my work where I want to loosen up. It was a good painting to end the year on.

Happy new year to you and I wish you a very bright 2014!