Sunrise LBJ national grasslands

I painted this a few years ago at the LBJ National Grasslands, near Decatur, Texas. We head over for the trail marathon every year. The race has rolled around again, and perhaps I will be able to sneak in a few studies between checking on my boys today. This is a complimentary color study in violet and yellow, and some neutral grey-violets. I love energy of these colors together.

¿cómo amaneció usted?


Buenos días, ¿cómo amaneció usted?
Good morning, how did the sun rise upon you?


Can you consider it plein air painting, if you paint through a window? We do. My youngest and I love to greet the day before dawn, and her easel is perfectly positioned to paint the sunrise, next to an east facing window. I switched the light on to take her photo, but we painted in the dim light and quiet of dawn, she at her easel, and I, set up in the windowsill.

Sand dunes sketch box

Painting plein air in the wind is tricky. I finally found a system that worked well….instead of setting up an easel which is apt to flip in a gust of wind, I sat with a little sketch box in my lap and worked on a 5″x7″ pieced of sanded paper securely taped down.

The sky allowed for an interesting study in color this afternoon. Above the dunes it was a bright, rich, almost-cobalt blue; above the water, the same sky looked almost grey compared to the deep blue-green ocean.

Angry Waves

This was day one at the beach…30+ mph wind, and COLD. I was freezing in a jacket, and was dry on shore, those are my crazy children playing in the water. I was hoping to plein air paint a bit, perhaps the wind will die down and I will have a chance later in the week.

The children named these waves angry waves.