Day 6 & 7 – Sunflowers and Squash – Strada Easel Challenge

Day 6 – Sunflowers!

Things got a little wild and crazy in the studio today. I made a trip to the farmer’s market, looking for dinner. Instead, I found these golden goodies. How to decide?  Veggies or flowers? I opted for a bit of both.  Who can resist such lovely sunflowers?

"Sunflowers", 9x12, oil on panel, © Nelia Harper
“Sunflowers”, 9×12, oil on panel, © Nelia Harper

I decided to go a little larger (9×12) for the sunflowers and I’m glad I did. I don’t think one bloom would fit a 5×7!

The first day, I blocked in the shapes and developed the vase a bit.  Soon, the light was gone and I was tired.  I decided to do the finishing details on the second day, hoping to come back to the studio refreshed.  Instead, I found the sunflowers had flopped over during the night.  I made some attempts to adjust them.  In the end, I decided it wasn’t worth fighting nature and went to Plan B.


Day 7 – Plan B – Giant Pattypan
"Giant Pattypan" 5x7, oil on panel, © Nelia Harper
“Giant Pattypan” 5×7, oil on panel, © Nelia Harper (cropped)


The sunflower vendor (Tierra Bella Farm) had this huge yellow pattypan.   I decided to keep the dark purple background from yesterday to contrast the yellow.  This was another good challenge in shapes.  Funny how those little bumps can present such a challenge!

Now that I’ve painted it’s portrait, this squash might move to the chopping block for dinner.

Tomorrow, it’s time to get outside.  I plan to join the local PAAC (Plein Air Artists of Colorado) group for some plein air painting.  Hopefully we will have clear skies and good quality air.  I really hope that the NW (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and California) receive some much-needed help from man and nature in bringing these wildfires to an end.

Oh, If you want to see all of my pieces created for the challenge (to date), you can head on over to Instagram or Facebook.  And, use the hashtag #stradaeasel to see what others are up to in the Strada Easel Challenge.

You can see Days 1-3 here.

Day 4 is here.  And, Day 5 is here.

What do you think?

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