"Seeing Double" | 14" x 11" | Oil on canvas panel
Available at www.KimVanDerHoek.com
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
Painted on location during Easton Plein Air at St. Michaels Maritime Museum in Maryland.
To capture that early morning light I was up before dawn searching for a painting spot. Then once I set up my easel the sun was already above the horizon so I had to paint quickly. In just a few hours the light had changed this view dramatically and it was time to quit.Comment on or Share this Article →
"Up The Creek"
16" x 20" | Oil on panel | SOLD
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
A few weeks ago I was a participating artist in a week-long painting event in Maryland called Easton Plein Air! 2013. This was the farthest I've ever traveled for an outdoor painting event and the logistics required some extra planning.
If you read my last post then you know I had to ship all of my frames and framing tools a week ahead of my arrival date to the house I was staying at. Thankfully, everything arrived safe and sound.
Here are a few tips I have.
1) Check the settings on your GPS. After picking up our rental cars artist friend Greg LaRock said I could follow him from the Baltimore airport to Easton. He's done the event multiple times and he had a portable GPS that he uses to get around. I felt very old school with my Auto Club map of the area so, I agreed to follow thinking it would be an easy drive. After 45 minutes Greg called my cell to say his GPS was taking us the wrong way out of the city. We pulled over and consulted both his GPS and my map before getting back on track. It turns out he had the "avoid all toll roads" setting turned on. The freeway into Easton includes a huge toll bridge (the longest bridge I've ever been on). His GPS was directing us around the bridge which would have taken us hours out of our way.
Me and fellow painter Patrick J. Lee after the Quick Draw
2) When the weather turns bad and it invariably will, have a plan. The first day I was in Easton it poured rain. At first I waited to see if the storm would blow over. When it didn't, I took the opportunity to drive around an check out some potential painting spots. The drive ended at the water's edge on Tilghman Island. With hours left in the day I decided to get warmed up with my first painting. I worked on the passenger side of my rental car where I kept having to turn on the windshield wipers to clear the rain so that I could see the view. I'm glad I got out to search for painting spots and to paint, I felt much more prepared the next day when the weather cleared up.
Early morning view from my host's backyard - a painter's paradise.
3) Don't miss the artist's orientation. Easton has the best artist's orientation EVER! At most events like this you have to get your canvases stamped at the start. A few have an orientation, many just hand you a bunch of paperwork to read - not Easton, however. Artists check-in, have their canvases stamped, pick-up official Easton Plein Air lanyards with name tags and parking passes, information folders and we get to sign-up for various events throughout the week. That's just the beginning. There is also food (had I known that I would have skipped dinner), water and a bar. Then Jess Rogers took the stage with microphone in hand. I braced myself to listen carefully to a long dull orientation that contained information I really did need to know. Instead, I quickly realized why Jess is the go to gal for the event - she is smart, succinct and hilariously funny. Upbeat music began to play while volunteers and staff danced up on stage as they were introduced by Jess. What could have been a long list of dull and unmemorable introductions turned into a festive evening that had me thinking, "Wow, if this is what happens on the first day then what's going to happen the rest of the week?"
4) Have fun but don't over do it. Artists are a lot of fun to hang out with. No one else understands or wants to discuss all the ins and outs of our business like your fellow plein air painters. That said, it's tempting to stay out late having drinks and laughing with the other painters. The problem is you end up paying for it in lost painting time the next day. If I'm going to stay out late and drink I try to do it at the end of the week when the art is hung and I don't need to be up early the next day either painting or selling. Or, if I'm going to stay out late I keep the drinking to a minimum.
5) When the organizers of Easton say they have a beautiful property to paint at and that they are putting on a fun-filled evening with a band and dinner afterwards then show up. Seriously, these organizers pull out all the stops for this event all week long. Artists were invited to paint on the grounds at Hope House in Unionville which ended in a thank you dinner for the event's supporters. The property had lots of great painting spots which we were shown by volunteers driving golf carts (we didn't even have to lug our gear around) and at the end of the day collectors arrived to view and purchase our work. The dinner was held in a large outdoor tent, there was an upbeat band and delicious catered food.
6) Pack an insulated bag with lots of cold water and bring it everywhere. The heat and humidity in Easton is horrible, I think that was my biggest obstacle while I was there. Keeping cold water handy saved me from dehydration and overheating. Just to give you some idea, I drank 2 cases of bottled water plus at least two more gallons in 11 days and I still don't think I drank enough.
7) Stay off the grass. I live in California where the temperatures are mild and there aren't a lot of bugs so I am used to being able to walk across grassy areas. Bad idea in Easton. Mosquitoes lie in wait for unsuspecting Californians to stroll by and then they attack in swarms in spite of the gallons of bug spray I had slathered on and the long pants and long sleeves of my shirt. I swear I had more than 25 mosquito bites on me at the end of the week. Strangely enough though, they didn't bite me on my left arm - they must not be left-handed mosquitoes.
Another artist hard at work. Even though she is in the grass she is sitting on a tarp - smart gal!
The real danger there however, are the deer ticks, all of which carry Lime disease. After having a few meals with other painters from the east coast I quickly realized that most of them have had Lime disease and getting rid of it is not something I want to experience. Stay off the grass, especially in fields and areas that aren't maintained.
8) Wear your name tag everywhere and keep your parking pass in the window of your rental car. This was the suggestion at the artist's orientation and I quickly found out why. The name tag and parking pass got me into painting locations that normally wouldn't be open to me. Since the event is so well publicized most residents and business owners are aware of who we are and what we are there to do. Tourists are asked not to park at some of the working marinas but, artists with name tags and parking passes were allowed in, some farm owners allowed artists to paint on their land and many private residences and businesses were opened to us.
"Have a Seat" just completed but still on my easel. SOLD.
9) Paint near town in the residential neighborhood at least once. Not only are there some beautiful neighborhoods a block from town but the people who live there are very nice. I was painting just past town on Harrison St. and three residents stopped by to say hello, offer me ice water and the use of their bathroom if I needed it. Wow. I've painted in Sonoma, San Luis Obispo, Laguna Beach, Orange, Santa Ana and a few other places and once in a while a resident will be kind and offer me the use of their bathroom or bring me water but, it's rare. Also, the business owners in town treated us extremely well, many of them offered discounts to us or invited us in their shops to cool off and get some water.
10) Every once in a while take a moment to appreciate it all. I found myself taking a deep breath or two just so that I could remember as much of the experience as possible. Honestly, I've never been treated so well at a painting event. The organizers do such a great job that it was easy to forget all the behind the scenes things that had to take place for everything to run so smoothly. My day to day life with my kids and husband is usually a whirlwind of activity and there are weeks that whiz by that leave me feeling like I sprinted through each day. It's easy to do that at a painting event like Easton but, I wanted to make sure I would slow down and just experience the moment because there is no guarantee that the next year I'll get to return. But, you better believe I'm going to paint my butt off and try.
To see all of my paintings from Easton, MD go to my website www.KimVanDerHoek.com
To read more about Easton Plein Air 2013, view video of the event and see who the winning artists were visit their web site at http://pleinaireaston.com/Comment on or Share this Article →
18 frames, 26 canvas panels, various framing tools, framing hardware, a box of Nitrile gloves, a box of business cards, 3 cotton socks and other misc. items are all winging their way to Easton, MD. I am hoping these boxes will meet me there on July 11th for the start of the Easton Plein Air Festival.
Every night for the last few days I've been dreaming about this painting trip. My dreams have included the following scenarios - showing up on the day of the sale to find I haven't painted a thing, getting lost in my rental car and not being able to find the walls to hang my art on, missing several key events including the Quick Draw competition and waking up late to find out I'd slept through the day entirely and missed out on painting.
My husband thinks I worry too much. I think he's probably right but, read on to see why my anxiety level is a bit high at the moment.
For the first time ever I will be a participating artist at Plein Air Easton. This event is considered by many to be the best plein air (outdoor) painting event in the U.S. To get in each artist must submit several paintings for a judge to review with only the best making the cut. The judge has strict criteria and uses a point scale to make their selections. To keep it fair a new judge is chosen every year. Submission is open to artists from all over the world. More than 400 artists submit work for review and only 58 are chosen. Plein Air Easton is like the "Who's Who" of the outdoor painting world.
Can you see why I'm dreaming about it now? Some of you may be asking the following at this point.
What is Plein Air Easton?
At the beginning of the event artists must check-in and have all the backs of their canvases stamped with the 2013 Easton official stamp. Then, they turn us loose in the countryside to paint over a five-day period, picturesque scenes throughout Talbot County, Maryland. During the week there are different painting events including a quick draw timed painting competition, a fabulous collector's preview party where collectors are given first chance at purchasing art and an art show and sale featuring all the work created that week.
My goal is to paint 2-3 painting per day during the event. That way I can choose only my very best pieces to frame and display.
To see last year's winners and marvel at the quality of the work created during this event CLICK HERE.Paintings will be on display and available for purchase at the art show and sale on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21.
COLLECTORS' PREVIEW PARTY
Friday, July 19, 2013 7pm-9pm
Awards Announced at 7:45 pm
This event offers the only opportunity to see the entire competition show! You can be one of the first to experience and purchase paintings during this private ticketed only event. Enjoy the company of friends, a glass of wine, hors d'œuvres and conversation with the participating competition artists. The exhibit will evolve all evening as paintings are sold and new paintings take their places. Competition paintings will be on sale starting at 7pm when the doors to the Academy Art Museum open to ticket holders.
For information please contact the Plein Air-Easton! Information Hotline at 410-822-7297.Comment on or Share this Article →
Six Flavors - Original Impressionist Style Oil Painting of Candy - Candy Painting - Affordable Original Art
"Six Flavors" | 6" x 6" | Oil on canvas panel.
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
Once again I had the students in my Monday night oil painting class bring in candy to paint. It was fun seeing all the different kinds of candy everyone had from striped candy canes to chocolate.
I used candy Dots as well as a strawberry flavored candy that was wrapped.
There are several challenging aspect to painting a still life. One is that you have to spend a lot of time setting it up so that you have a pleasing design. The other challenge is lighting which also takes some planning. Unfortunately, my classroom isn't equipped with individual lights and we are stuck with the overhead room light which is not ideal.
In this small painting I wanted to make sure I didn't divide the canvas in half where the background blue meets the orange ground. I also wanted to scatter the candy Dots around in an uneven way so that they created unequal spaces in between. The strawberry candy added a nice vertical element.
It was a fun exercise especially because I got to dip into my red paint a lot more often than I usually get to do when painting landscapes.Comment on or Share this Article →
Stone Faced - Original Impressionist Style Oil Painting of Crystal Cove Reef Point Beach - Crystal Cove Beach Painting - California Beach Art
"Stone Faced" | 12" x 9" | Oil on canvas panel.
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
Painted on location on a cloudy morning at Crystal Cove Reef Point Beach in California.
A couple of friends and I woke up early to go paint and to try to capture the early morning light. As you can see we didn't have that wonderful dawn light because of the cloud layer. It's pretty common to have clear blue skies everywhere in Southern California except just 1/4 mile inland from the coast.
That's what the weather was like the day I painted this. It was clear at my house but socked in with clouds just along the coast. Nevertheless, it was still a beautiful place to paint and I manged to find a view I liked. The nice thing about having a cloud layer is that it makes the rocks and sand seem much more colorful.
Below my friend Dori Dewberry took a photo of me finding my view by using my trusty viewfinder. I find it really helps me to block out distractions and compose my painting in my mind before I begin putting paint on my canvas. At my feet you can see a large tide pool where sea critters like to hang out.
Crystal Cove is one of my favorite places to paint and I keep returning here again and again to capture it's wealth of subject matter.
©2013 by Dori DewberryComment on or Share this Article →
Ramshackle Cottage in Red - Red Cottage Painting - Crystal Cove Cottage Painting - Crystal Cove State Beach Painting
"Ramshackle Cottage in Red" | 8" x 8" | Oil on canvas panel.
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
One of my very favorite places to paint is at Crystal Cove State Beach. In the historic area there are cottages that were built in the 1930s and 1950s. Many of the cottages have fallen into disrepair, however the Crystal Cove Alliance is working on renovating the remaining 29 buildings. This little red cottage is waiting patiently for it's turn at rehabilitation.
One of the things I love about my job is documenting the landscape using an artists eye. William Wendt created the first known painting of Crystal Cove in 1912 and since his time the cottages were built, the land sold and then sold again and the buildings all fell into a terrible state of decay. In Wendt's time there were no cottages and his view is an unobstructed scene of the bluffs and sea.
My painting captures this moment in the cottage's history, when it's past it's prime and on the cusp of a new life. I'll have to return to paint it again once it's been renovated.Comment on or Share this Article →
Pier Patterns - Original Oil Painting of San Clemente Beach Pier - Architecture Painting - Pier Painting
"Pier Patterns" | 8" x 8" | Oil on canvas panel.
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
A few weeks ago I went down to San Clemente beach to paint. I'd never been to that location before and thought it was time to give it a try.
The beach itself is not as exciting as Laguna Beach or Crystal Cove State Beach but, it has a fantastic pier with pilings that splay out at and angle underneath. The building you see on the beach is a lifeguard tower.
The challenge with this location is that it's been painted by local artists a lot. I wanted to try a view I haven't seen painted before (although I'm sure I'm not the only artist to paint this view), also see if I could work out an interesting design and I wanted to capture several waves coming in.
It was a fun location that I would like to revisit again.Comment on or Share this Article →
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In my last post I wrote about how I had to throw my gear into my bag and run before the tide came in and I was forced to swim home. Here is my painting from that morning in Laguna Beach. I'm very happy with the loose brushwork and I think working quickly had a lot to do with it.
Also, I just found out The Laguna Plein Air Painters Assoc. just added me to their signature membership roster. I am completely honored and humbled. All the artists who applied were asked to submit 10 paintings (2 studio and 8 plein air) for judge Jean Stern, director of the Irvine Museum, to review and score. The 10 highest scores were then selected and given signature status. It is an amazing group of highly skilled painters and I am proud to now be a signature member. Wow. Click HERE to see their web site.
Can You Hear Dawn Cracking? - Plein Air Outdoor Painting in Laguna Beach California - Outdoor Beach Painting
Sunday morning after attending two art shows in one night it was time to get back to the office and work! I made plans with coworkers Dori Dewberry and Greg LaRock to paint in Laguna beach at the tide pools. In order to get to this spot there has to be an extremely low tide. Sunday the tide was it's lowest at 6:00 a.m. The three of us agreed to meet at 6:30 a.m.
I thought, great, I'll get to do a beach painting just after the sun has risen. Yeah right! As you can see it was overcast. Not that I'm complaining, I mean my office for the morning was beach front property with a stunning view.
My painting was almost finished when the tide came back in and we had to scoot out of there before our exit was blocked by crashing waves. So we threw our gear back into our bags, scampered over slick rocks, dodged hermit crabs and climbed a lot of stairs to avoid swimming home.
My coworker Dori Dewberry working in oils by the tide pools. I am amazed that she is able to get her values right with those sunglasses on but, somehow she manages!
Greg LaRock looks like he is having WAY too much fun, doesn't he know this is serious business? Didn't he get the memo? Maybe I should report him to human resources....Comment on or Share this Article →
Last night at the Laguna Plein Air Painters Assoc. Less is More show and sale my painting "At the Crest" received a 3rd place award. Jean Stern, director of the Irvine Museum, was the judge for the show.
The caliber of work in this show is amazing and I don't know how Jean Stern was able to pick just a few paintings to give awards to. It was a wonderful surprise having one of my paintings recognized! Below is a shot with my three paintings (on the left) hanging next to Paul Kratter's pieces (the center two) with Susan Jarecky's three paintings (on the right).
Below are the show details if you want to stop by. Many beautiful paintings are still available for sale.
Show Dates: April 27th - May 10th
Hours: Tues. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Randy Higbee Gallery
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
1-800-506-7624Comment on or Share this Article →