Day 21 and 22 of the Strada Easel Challenge

Day 21 – Rabbit Bush Study
Study of Rabbit Bush 5x10, oil on linen © Nelia Harper
Study of Rabbit Bush 5×10, oil on linen © Nelia Harper

Today, I was tired.  After an early morning hike and drawing, I was tired and didn’t feel like painting.  Going home, having lunch and taking a shower sounded like a much better idea.  But, I knew I was going to do a painting, so no time like the present.  As Preston and Eustace would say, “It won’t get done, if you don’t get started.” (Mountain Men – I love that show.)

I also had some new alkyd primed linen to test out for an upcoming class on drawing and painting trees.

Initially, I started with a large painting.  In the first go, I realized that I was going through the motions, and I didn’t ‘have it in me’.   What was the point of that?  Instead, I refocused, went smaller and asked myself, what can I learn?  If I’m going to paint, then paint like you mean it.

The new goal was to see how the paint interacted with the linen, trying out various brush strokes, knife work, wiping back, and adding layers.  I’m excited to see how future works go on the linen.  It’s very absorbent.


Day 22 – The Morning Lineup
"The Morning Lineup", 9x12, oil on linen, © Nelia Harper
“The Morning Lineup”, 9×12, oil on linen, © Nelia Harper

Today, I met up with our Fort Collins Plein Air Artists of Colorado group to paint downtown Fort Collins.  While the other artists focused on Lucile’s Creole Cafe, I looked around and saw the fun light and shapes of the post office trucks.  I really liked how the postal carrier trucks were lined up, throwing shadows on each other, and how the mail boxes did the same.

I knew the postal carriers could leave at any time, so I worked as quickly as I could, simplifying the background and doing my best to indicate the shapes.  It was a really fun painting, and required complete focus during the hour plus I had.  Sure enough, they began to load the trucks and drive away.

Next up, Steamboat Art Museum Plein Air Event – a week of painting in Steamboat Springs, CO.

For More Paintings

To see all the paintings for the #stradaeasel challenge, head on over to Instagram or Facebook to see all of my posts together.  And, use the hashtag #stradaeasel to see what others are up to in the Strada Easel Challenge.  You can also click “previous post” to see the earlier paintings from last week.


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