~Holiday Studio Show and Open House~Please join me Thursday December 12, for this very special evening of art and cheer in my studio!~Where: St Croix River School of Painting242 North Main Street Stillwater, MN 55082When: Reception and Spirits - Thurday December 12, 5:00-9:00PMArtist Talk by 'Me' and Short Poetry Reading by friend Chuck Bransford at 6:30pm.Chuck and Wife Diane traveled to Tuscany with me last year where he wrote a piece of poetry on my painting "Tuscan Broom Brush". He will be sharing that piece on this special evening!Extended Studio Hours: Friday December 13, 11:00-5:00and Saturday December 14, 11:00-5:00"Evening Song" 18x24"August Bee-Balm" 12x12I look forward to sharing my latest works and adventures with you! Hope to see you soon. Until then, I wish you and your family a safe, warm and Happy Thanksgiving! So much to be grateful for! -Kami
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Summer has come and gone, and fall has certainly arrived full of color this year! The St Croix Valley truly is an incredible place to live and paint. I have many favorites where I frequently visit and haul my paints to 'the spot' where I attempt to capture the fleeting colors of the moment. I love that I never quite know what is going to happen, or what I will end up with after a trip out painting. Plein Air painting is so full of discovering, strategizing, observing, experiencing, revealing, translating, the list goes on and on . . . . however, along with all that, can certainly come with a healthy dose of frustrations and challenges along the way. With that said, any day out painting is a good day!
I'm sure if you were to get together with any group of serious 'plein air' painters you'd hear some pretty incredible stories of their crazy experiences out painting, and if you gave some of them a beer in a pub after a long day out painting the stories would probably grow. The 20 degree winter day out painting suddenly may turn into now 50 mile an hour winds, not snow but ice, pelting the side of their face, fingers so frozen they are like popsicles stuck to their hands, now 20 below temps, but "I stuck it out for the sake of the painting" kind of stories . . . . .you get the picture! I often hear from people how 'lucky' I am to be a painter, and how 'relaxing' it must be . . . . ha! :) I don't believe it has anything to do with luck and I'll tell you, it's far from relaxing, but I do love it and wouldn't trade this life for anything else!
Now for MY recent plein air 'story'!!
One of my 'favorites' in the Valley is William OB. State Park, (above). The day I shot this picture was a good day, I went out with a few of my painter friends, we met at the coffee shop in Marine and headed up to our location, then hiked into the park (about a 1/3 - 1/2 mile hike with gear up hill each way!;) It was cool and a little rainy which provided a nice blanket of rich color in the sky, and the land was saturated in color from the wetness, and soft light which allows the eye to see color so completely without great contrast of harsh sunlit areas. Loved it! What more could a painter ask for I say!
Chompin' at the bit to get out and do another study of this same place before the colors changed too drastically, I headed out at 7:00 AM a few days later, arrived on location around 7:30 AM. I had told my friend Diane that I would be heading out there to paint if she wanted to join me. I got out of my car and stepped into the crisp, cool, fall air. I saw my breath for the first time this year. I stood and listened before grabbing my gear from the back of the truck and heard lots of animal activity in the woods that morning and thought "sure . . . this would be the morning I'd see a bear". You see, it's been nearly 15 plus years that my Dad has been telling me I need to start carrying Bear Spray (don't worry, it causes no harm to the bear). I blow him off every time and tell him, I'm good, the wild life love me, they think I'm like Snow White out there, 'We Hang Out!". Deer lay by me and graze, and the turkeys come visit to see what I'm up to! It's true, they do! So, I hike up the hill, get set up, squeeze out my paints, put up a fresh new canvas, envision the possible potential for this painting that does not yet exist, feeling completely exhilarated still watching my breath as now the sun is brazing the damp foggy valley, looking miles out into the distance with my back is to the wooded tree line just 2o feet from where I stand, when my peace is suddenly jolted by an incredibly abrupt sound of what must be a very large tree branch forcefully cracked just behind me. In my 20 years painting out in Nature this is the first time I've ever heard this sound. I clap and make some noise, now breathing heavily and heart beating out of my chest. I hear nothing but complete silence. I calmly place my keys in one hand and phone in the other (remember I'm about 1/2 mile away from my vehicle) I don't see anything yet but I know it's a bear. What else could possibly make that sound? In an instant I make the decision to leave my equipment, to not go deeper in the park, but to walk back out to the road on the path that goes back towards where the sound came from. I speed dial my Dad while heading out (who I know is 50 miles away and could do nothing but to know where I am just in case. . . ). As I'm telling him my location I look up to my right and a 100 year old oak tree is moving like I never knew an oak tree could move, and I see the bear in the tree shaking the tree branches letting me know he's not happy I woke him up! I am now hyperventilating as he's only 2o feet from me in a tree and I'm on the phone with my Dad who I'm telling him repeatedly in a panic "I have a bear in my sight, I have a bear in my sight . . . .and close, in a tree!!" My Dad asks me over and over "is he still up there?? Are you past him yet??" Finally I am past him and my Dad says "Well, get out of there FAST!" Great idea Dad! Good thinking!!
The bear did not come down to greet me, thankfully! I safely reach my car and he says, "NOW are you going to go buy some Bear Spray?!" And I did, TWO cans!! I love bears and I think they are amazing creatures but I don't care if I ever see one that close again in my entire life! Sounds much more fun than it actually is! Yes, such a relaxing life!! :) Did I go back again? Of course I did!
Now to get my equipment. Diane and her sweet husband Doug showed up minutes later, and I tell them we can't go back in yet, "there's the largest bear in the entire United States waiting to eat us in a tree!!" Brave Doug feels confident and leads the way back in the park, the bear is gone, we get my equipment, I even did a quick study and survived another day painting!! Like I always say, "it's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it!" Embellised? Well . . . it may not be a documented fact that he was the largest living bear in the USA but as far as I remember he WAS!
Sunday, July 14, 2013
I just returned home from a week long trip on Madeline Island WI where I taught a 5 day Plein air workshop, painted, and brought my two teenage kids (13 and 14 ages) and each a friend to create some warm summer memories! Seems kinda crazy when I see it in writing, :) but it was all good! Actually, much better than 'good', it was inspiring! Madeline Island School Of Art provides the perfect palette of hospitality for painters to completely engross themselves in inspiration and productivity.
My students capturing the shapes and colors of the lagoon from Town Park early in the week
The ferry docks looking towards the 'mainland'
On my way out at 4:45 AM, yup that's right! We did a 'sunrise' painting one day
My two biggest critics, my son Nick eating his ice cream cone and his friend Brandan
My view hiking into the sunrise. . . I spotted an early bird photographer hard at work already! Wonder if she knew she herself was 'art' :)
. . . and the sun comes up
. . . .the half of my class that decided to show up to experience this incredible morning
6:00 AM, painting number 2 of the day! no joke!
. . . me working to capture early morning light before our 7:00 breakfast. . . .
. . . next day . . .painters working in the afternoon light, I just love painters!
down at the beach standing in the shade catching the colors of high key light
is that Monet?? :) oh, no it's his look alike! :)
evenings were filled with family and friends enjoying the flavors of the island, life is good!
not only water and beach scenes but also lovely meadows and prairies right from the MISA school grounds
my 'crew' all cleaned up and ready for a much earned lasagna dinner in the barn
Me and my girls! Paige and her friend Olivia watched me paint my evening demo for my class, ice cream was the next stop!
Thanks to my awesome students for working hard and being a constant inspiration on my journey as a painter!
my Wednesday evening demo from the ferry docks looking in, sold.
Friday, July 5, 2013
18x22 oil on linen
Once again, another year and time to paint the peonies! Each year around this time I'm chompin at the bit for the white peonies to open so I can paint them. This year they were a month behind usual blooming time and the blossoms were acting kinda funny. This piece was my third attempt at capturing this yearly event for me. The first two attempts were scrapped by the second day because when I came back for a second sitting on my paintings the peonies were completely melted and petal-less! Every single petal was on the table top! Finally my own garden peonies opened, I cut them myself the same morning, headed to the studio, arranged the setting and painted for two days until this painting was born. Now I'm packing and heading to Madeline Island where I am teaching a workshop for 5 days. Can't wait!
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
"Dusk At Bear Pond"
8x10 oil (sold)
"Evening At Bear Pond"
"Madeline Island State Park"
8x10 oil (sold)
I just returned home from eight days on Madeline Island painting, resting, and I guess 'retreating'. :) Oh, almost forgot to mention collecting sea glass! There's something very therapeutic about walking along a quiet beach finding little treasures, makes me feel like a kid. The weather was a little wet and cool, but I didn't mind. It created an even more serene quality to my week and the scenes I was capturing with paint, quiet subtleties.
I remember seeing a program on Mary Whyte a few years back (an incredible water color painter from Charleston) and was so inspired by her as an artist and a woman. The story was about her carving out time each year to rent a little house in the middle of nowhere to be alone and completely engrossing herself in her painting with no other distractions. I love my life and am so grateful for all that makes it full, but I will tell you, I feel so recharged and inspired by getting away and having time alone with no other distractions. I had a few people tell me how lucky I was to be able to do that, but it really has nothing to do with luck. I made it happen! Now I'm back home and everyone survived without me and are even more appreciative for me. It's kinda nice. :)
The top 2 pieces which I titled 'bear pond' were painted two consecutive evenings at the same time with completely different light effects, so interesting. I guess the second one might have been a little bit earlier, but it was close. Sun was just down on both accounts. Notice that if the sky is warm then the land is cooler, if the sky is cooler than the land is warmer. Same exact scene, totally different paintings! Making "much out of little, not little out of much" right? (Hawthorne) I could paint that simple little pond every day! Lucky for me the next night I was NOT painting that sweet little pond, because while I was safely inside looking out there wandered HUGE black bear slowly moving across the meadow from the pond. Hence the title, Bear Pond.
At least a couple of these paintings I plan to make into large studio pieces. This trip was just what I needed for a break and renewed inspiration! Now it's time to paint the St Croix Valley, so lush and green right now!