Painting Plein Air

impressionism, landscape, Monterey, outside, Pacific, Painting, plein air, rocks, seascape, shore, sketch, sketching, Watercolor, waves
plein-air style
I will be never tired painting plein-air style as long as I am able to go outside and withstand surprises of the Nature. Painting outdoors has its own charm and challenges; yet, still it is very enjoyable and the artworks have a special feeling to them. You cannot wait for too long painting under the open. The weather changes constantly, especially if you are at the ocean shore, like example above. It is my recent painting of one of my favorite places on Earth, Monterey Pacific Ocean shore. I’ve painted there many times and each time it comes out differently. The painting of Monterey above is free, though I “blocked” it in the ink lines to give it illustration kind feeling, e.g. I’ve illustrated the scene in the fast brush strokes with watercolor first and then “locked” the picture by adding rigid lines to amplify the stiffness of the rocks and power of the ocean.

Another plain air painting of Monterey shore is more impressionistic style as any of my outdoor paintings of Monterey:
Pacific Ocean shore impressionistic artwork

Here, I didn’t want to add the ink. The weather was so hot that it dried watercolor quite fast so the edges of each brush stroke were defined enough without any additions.

In comparison, the next plein-air painting of Monterey shore strives pretty much on energetic ink lines, the watercolors here are secondary. This free-style painting of Pacific Ocean shore is more a sketch than a complete painting, but it does have certain charm and spontaneity to it:

Pacific Ocean plein-air painting

Yes, each plein air painting tells a story of that specific day, but it also speaks for the mood of the artist. As an example, here is my recent plein-air landscape artwork of the calm sunny day from this week. The Spring is taking over, the grass is bright green, and many trees are opening their blossoms. A simple, yet informative landscape that illustrates a coming of a new season:

pond trees flowers Spring in California
My friend took panoramic photo of the area where we were painting that day, and I got into the picture by chance or intentionally. I don’t know. But this photograph shows so well the power of a fresh air and the creating artist, The Observer, who, during the plein-air painting trip, merges with the Nature!


 Cheers from

Into The Woods – Forest Creek Landscape

California, forest, forest creek, forest creek painting, Into The Woods, landscape, Mendocino County, mountain creek, pine trees, plein air, rocks, Watercolor, watercolor landscape, wood
wood river California watercolor
Not a long time ago I was on the painting trip to Northern California. The Nature there is so much different from San Francisco Bay Area where I live. 
I was fascinated by giant redwood trees, creeks and mountains. 
Gorgeous landscapes were asking to paint them right there, on the spot.

I painted this Forest Creek in impressionistic style, creating this artwork plein-air (outdoor), using fast brush strokes, capturing the beauty of the rising morning sun in
the deep monumental forest. 

The mountain creek was rolling its waters and creating
a lovely meditative scene, where you can be alone but not lonely. I was truly admiring the
beauty of the Nature. It was a great place for relaxation, to stay connected, and
rejuvenate.





www.artirina.com

California Landscapes – Point Arena Lighthouse

beach, California, grass, historical, Irina's art, landscape, lighthouse, ocean, Pacific Ocean, Point Arena, rocks, sea, seascape, shore, summer, Sztukowski, Watercolor
California Landscape

When painting this gorgeous landscape I had to practically “built”
the rocks layer by layer. It took me a couple of hours to achieve the texture
of the rocky cliff with its washes, cracks, grass, and clays. I was doing it
patiently with passion, thinking that Mother Nature did the same her way but it
took a few million years :0)
Here are a few interesting facts:
The Point Arena Lighthouse is situated on the closest point
of land to the Hawaiian Islands in the Continental United States. The point is
surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean which keeps the area cool. This Lighthouse
is set in one of the most spectacular and peaceful surroundings on the northern
California coast. The Point Arena tower is the only Pacific West coast
lighthouse of significant height that you can climb to the top! Access to the
lantern room provides a panoramic view of the rugged California coast and of
the ocean.
A Little bit of history:
The first lighthouse at this site was constructed in 1870.
The brick-and-mortar tower included ornate iron balcony supports and a large
Keeper residence with enough space to house several families. In April 1906, a
devastating earthquake struck the Light Station. The Keeper’s residence and
Lighthouse were damaged so severely that they had to be demolished.
The new lighthouse began operation in 1908, nearly 18 months
after the quake. It stands 115 feet (35 m) tall, and featured a 1st Order
Fresnel Lens, over six feet in diameter and weighing more than six tons. The
lens was made up of 666 hand-ground glass prisms all focused toward three sets
of double bullseyes. It was these bullseyes that gave the Point Arena
Lighthouse its unique “light signature” of two flashes every six
seconds. This incredible optic, that held an appraised value of over $3.5
million, was set in solid brass framework, and was built in France. Prior to
the introduction of electricity, the lens was rotated by a clockwork mechanism.
The Keepers, or “wickies” as they were called, had to hand crank a
160-pound weight up the center shaft of the lighthouse every 75 minutes to keep
the lens turning. Light was produced by a “Funks” hydraulic oil lamp,
that needed to be refueled every four hours, and whose wicks would have to be
trimmed regularly. Later, two 1,000 watt electric lamps were installed to
replace the oil lamp, and a 1⁄8 horsepower electric motor was installed to replace
the clockworks.
Nowadays (since 1984) nonprofit organization called the
Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers takes care of this place providing diligent
historic preservation of this beautiful place.
(info:courtesy to wiki and pointarenalighthouse.com/)




www.artirina.com 

California Landscapes – Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse

California, impressionism, Irina, Irina's paintings, landscape, lighthouse, Memorial, Pacific Ocean, rocks, shore, Sztukowski, Trinidad, Watercolor
California Landscape Watercolor Painting
One of the stop during my recent art-trip was a small cozy town of Trinidad. I enjoyed walking along the rocky shore. Gentle breeze, afternoon Sun, and a lighthouse, all together called for some impressionistic style loose and fresh painting.

Here is a little more details about this beautiful place:

Trinidad is a seaside town
in Humboldt County, located on the Pacific Ocean 8 miles north of the
Arcata-Eureka Airport and 15 miles north of the college town of Arcata.
Situated directly above its own natural harbor, Trinidad is one of California’s
smallest incorporated cities, (with a 2010 population of 367) and is noted for
its spectacular coastline with ten public beaches and offshore rocks. These
rocks are part of the California Coastal National Monument of which Trinidad is
a Gateway City. This natural landmark is joined by three additional marine
landmarks – the historic Trinidad Head Light, the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse,
and Humboldt State University’s Fred Telonicher Marine Laboratory.
Overlooking Trinidad Bay, an
accurate replica of the Head’s lighthouse (A Victorian keeper’s residence that was
built in 1898); Trinidad’s Lighthouse in Memorial Park. In 1947, the original
lens and bell were donated to the Trinidad Civic Club to be displayed in a
memorial park overlooking Trinidad Bay. Mrs. Earl Hallmark donated land, and in
1949 the Civic Club built the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse. On Memorial Day,
families and friends gather at the lighthouse to remember and honor those lost
and buried at sea
(courtesy to trinidad.ca.gov
and http://trinidad-ca.com/discover/lighthouses.html)

Glass Rocks Roll To Sacramento

art show, art that sells, bestseller, display, Elk Grove, Irina's art, juried show, painting glass, realism, realism in watercolor, rocks, rose, Sacramento, Sztukowski, Watercolor
Elk Grove Art Gallery
One of my favorite paintings the Rose with the Glass Rocks was accepted into a juried Art Show  at Elk Grove Art Center in Sacramento area. 

The rose in this painting was a fresh cut from my garden. The morning dew was already gone, but I wanted to play with drop-like texture that day. I placed the rose on the window and dropped a few glass rocks next to it. Each rock reflected the world: the sky, the tree branches outside, one even showed the rose view distorted through the glass:
Realistic Still Life
I am so glad that my Rose with the Glass Rocks will be on display at such famous Art Center in the Capital of California :0)

June 1, 2013
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
AWARDS PRESENTATION @ 7:00 p.m.
The show continues through June 27th
GALLERY LOCATION
9080 Elk Grove Blvd. in Old Town Elk Grove
Wed. – Sat. 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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Original Painting Rose And Glass Rocks is 10″x14″ on 100% Cotton Artist Watercolor 140lb Cold Pressed


In Every Piece Of My Art There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Freshly Painted Window – The Rose and Glass Rocks

art that sells, bestseller, decor, Fine Art, garden, glass, glass in watercolor, glass stones, Painting, realism, rocks, rose, Still Life, Sztukowski, Watercolor, watercolor glass, watercolor rose
Click on Image to See the Details
In my studio remodeling, I was responsible only for two things: to keep the dogs out and to paint the windows. And I did. But Artists is always the Artist and as soon the paint dried I’ve set up this Still Live and started painting. The painting is now completed. What I love here is the perspective. The front glass rocks are reaching the rose’s size yet, we all know, they are just half inch or so long. It is all due to perspective we can perceive the realism of the space.
And my task of keeping the dogs out was really successful one, yet I was definitely supervised when painting the windows :0)
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The original painting Rose and Glass Rocks is 10″x13″ on Arches Watercolor Paper
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

To The Lighthouse – Point Reyes, California

California, Deer, Good Morning America, lighthouse, ocean, original painting, Point Reyes, realism in watercolor, rocks, sea, shore, Sztukowski, Watercolor
Click HERE to see detailed image
Painting outside requires a lot of things. One of them is to drive sometimes to the “lands end” .. This happened to me last weekend when my sister and I joined CWA at our monthly plein-air meeting. The selected location for that weekend was Point Reyes, one and a half hours away  historical place on a shore. A gorgeous place! As the matter of fact ABC program Good Morning America named it one of the 10 most beautiful places in America. And I need to add: The Foggiest. When we drove to the Lighthouse the fog was covering the hills as a blanket. We even didn’t notice a deer until it came close enough to the road; and, if you can see the buck cared less of people presence. He was staying gracefully and posing for a picture. 
Point Reyes National Seashore is a 71,028-acre (287.44 km2) park; and, I believe its heart is in the place where they built the Lighthouse: on the rocks, in the fog, wind, and only 52 degrees F (around 11C). brrrrrr… but still beautiful! Although, we only lasted a couple hours and had to go home to finish the paintings. 

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Original Watercolor Paintings:

Point Reyes Lighthouse 10″x14″ on 140lb Arches Block Cold Pressed Paper
Deer In The Fog 9″x12″ on 140lb Arches Block Cold Pressed Paper

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More plein-air paintings are HERE
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

Standing By The Sea

artist that take commission, Carolyne Swayze, commission, commission art, Dramatic Sky, girl, girl watching ocean, illustration, ocean, rocks, sailboat, sailing ship, sea, Standing by the sea, Watercolor, waves
See the detail Image HERE
This painting was an inspiration after reading a beautiful poem Standing By The Sea by Carolyne Swayze. The author approached me with the request to illustrate the poem; and, the moment I read it, I knew what I wanted and how I wanted it to be painted.
 The poem was speaking to me in a very personal way. I’ve remembered my Grandmother who died at the end of year 2000, right before I came to America. It was so hard to let her go. She was my true soul mate ( in more Universal than romantic way). Living long but very hard life, she made herself becoming my great example; and, even now, writing this note I feel her peaceful presence in my memory (yet for some reason the tears are ready to come out)
I am sure that the poem would find a place in the hearts of the readers.
In my painting the boat is sailing into the Future, but the girl has her own Future and needs to find her own way. Her hand touches the heart and her heart is aligned with the ship at the horizon. The clouds on the left are darker and dramatic, when the clouds on the right are melting away lit by a Sun.
The poem speaks for itself:
Standing By The Sea
One day as I stood by the sea,
a sailing ship did sail towards me.
What beauty I thought,
what splendor, what grace,
when all at once my heart did race,
for as it neared, at a leisurely
pace,
I saw a figure with my mother’s face.
I called to her with all my might,
she turned and smiled, then sailed
out of sight.
For one eternal moment I stood and
stared,
before falling to my knees in
motherless despair.
At just that moment I heard a sound,
through teary eyes, I looked around,
to see an Angel, hovering over the
ground.
The Angel spoke in hallowed voice,
“Rejoice, dear child, for on
this day
a trip to Glory is underway,
and when she reaches the arriving
shore,
she’ll greet loved ones gone on
before.
So lament no more,”  the
Angel scried,
“For God’s Kingdom awaits her on
the other side.”
© Copyright 1997 Carolyne Swayze
All rights reserved. 
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Original Artwork is 16″x12″ on 300 lb Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper

In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul

San Francisco Bay, Richmond – Plein-Air – Landscapes That Were Only A Few Feet Apart

art that sells, Bay Area, Irina, port, realism in watercolor, Richmond, rocks, sailboats, San Francisco Bay, seascape, ship, shore, sky, Sztukowski, waves

SOLD

Click on each image in order to see the details

Last Saturday plein-air trip brought two absolutely different views of one Bay, in one day, which were just a few hours apart. First, took rough  300lb Arches paper to paint the morning. The sun was rising and the fog was lifting up uncover a gorgeous scene. When the first painting was done, I moved my head on the right and saw a peaceful sky with almost still waters (that what couple hours can do!); and, in the middle of all this beauty three Giants were standing at the dock. I grabbed my brush and made rather minimalistic seascape emphasizing the solid Nature and the industrial invention that came together in one.

Many artists from CWA painted that day; and, as many beautiful paintings came out of it:

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10×14 “Sailboats- San Francisco Bay” Watercolor on 300 lb Arches Paper
10×14 “Richmond Docks” Watercolor on 140 lb Arches Paper
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More Plein-air paintings are HERE
In Every Piece Of My Art
There Is A Piece Of My Heart And A Sparkle Of My Soul




Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, realism in watercolor, rocks, Tahoe, water

A couple years ago we brought my mom to see Lake Tahoe. It was my first visit there too. I always thought that people just used to say it is the great place to go, to see, to stay; and I was sure it is just another “tourist trap” as we say. But when I saw this place with my own eyes I understood that all “Awe” moments that I’ve heard of were true. This place is amazing, peaceful and really makes you feel serene, still and happy from inside..

Here are a few facts about this lake:
Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada range of the U.S. It is located along the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. And it is the USA’s second-deepest lake after Crater Lake in Oregon. Lake Tahoe was formed about 2 million years ago. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides.
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16″x20″ Watercolor on 140 lb Cold Pressed Arches Paper