Denise’s pieces reflect the natural beauty of the Santiam Canyon were she and her husbandlive on the confluence of The North Santiam River, and the Little North Santiam. Both of them have lived in the Willamette Valley most of their lives, enthusiastically enjoying the outdoors.
Denise has worked as a watercolorist for J. Stone Cards, and also,as a graphic designer for Chemeketa Community College.Most of her work has been done in a studio with oils or acrylics on larger canvases. Recently, she has discovered the excitement of painting on location outdoors.
All of my current paintings are done in oil on small canvases. That is because I decided to try something new, and paint outdoors all summer.
The first thing I learned about painting outdoors, is that everything is moving and changing, fast! Capture the clouds and leave them where they are at that moment. Don’t chase the light. In one day, all of the shadows and colors become the opposite of what they were.
The second thing I learned this summer, is that I truly enjoy immersing myself in the details of a multi-dimensional world, while experiencing the variable sounds, weather, smells and other living beings, especially the wildlife that relaxes while I am quiet and still, focused, just picking out bits of color with my paintbrush to place on the canvas, like a puzzle.
Late afternoons, ending with the golden light of early evening are my favorite time to paint outdoors, especially from a shady spot on the North Santiam River, while wearing a good hat. Listening to music, drinking warm beverages, taking my time on large canvases in my warm studio will take the place of this summer’s exciting “en plein aire” adventures now that the weather has turned, which surprisingly, I am looking forward to.
I entered the Willamette Valley Lavender Festival Paint Out this year. Although I loved the experience of painting with other artists at Wayward Winds Lavender Farm, I found the drive to Newberg to be a bit much. Fortunately there was a lavender farm within a short driving distance from my home.
This was painted with oils on a 12×12 canvas, at Hope Family Lavender Farm, on a very hot day in July. It was so hot and bright, that I had to stay in the little circle of shade offered by my umbrella. Always take an umbrella when you are going to paint outside. Surprisingly, it is nearly impossible to see what colors are actually on your palette in direct sunlight.
There were lots of friendly honey bees, and yellow Swallow Tail butterflies on the fragrant lavender.