Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Floating Ice on the Susquehanna by Julie Riker

8x10 plein air oil

Painted last week as the ice was starting to melt.
Spring is on the way!

study on feb 18th

The weather forecasters promised warm temperatures on Feb 18th and a group of us went out.  I, for one, froze.  But the morning light was great and somehow the color in the sky stayed for an unusually long time.   After it faded, I turned to painting the tree.  I didn't title this study, because it's value to me is in the color harmonies.  As a painting, it falls short for me.  Look at the pinwheel in the tree. Admire how evenly spaced the branches are.  Oh, boy...

February Ice by Cathy Mabius

9 x 12, oil on board
Afternoon of Feb 17th

I traveled up river and to the east shore to join another group of plein air painters in the afternoon. 
The scene:  Susquehanna River from Fort Hunter looking to Marysville, PA. 

Luckily I had big rubber boots because the mud on the bank was at least 2 inches deep, but what a view.  Hearing the ice break up and chunks fall into the river felt like I was on a glacier (on a small scale.)  

If you'd like you are welcome to visit my blog at 
or my website at

Islands on Ice by Cathy Mabius

11 x 14, plein air on morning of Feb 17th 

It was a record breaking 68 degrees on Friday.
The scene: Susquehanna River looking south 
from the West Fairview boat ramp. 
The warm weather was allowing the river ice to
 start to break up and drift down stream. 
 We were serenaded by geese and
 ducks and gulls. It was truly a divine day.

      It's a good sign of spring when plein air painters 
start to gather with easels and paint brushes in hand.
  This scene painted in the morning with one group of painters...


Poster featuring work from one of the
 last of the surviving original 'Seven Lively Artists' -
Earl Blust showing a Plein Air Painting from the area.

This is the First Plein Air Festival of Camp Hill, PA
Thom Glace encourages all artist to check this out-
it takes place the week before Mary Beth's Plein Air Event in Gettysburg.

To enter, the deadline is March 1st.
Date of the festival is June 3 - 5, 2011

All details can be seen on the web site:


Tuesday, 22 February 2011

HOUSE AT OLD FORT By Cecelia Lyden

acrylic on matboard


This is my last post from Florida this winter. We are leaving in about a week. I have used up all my canvasses and painted this on matboard, which I did not really like--the paint dried especially fast. I spotted this house between two of the gnarly trees in the park with the palm tree growing between them. The house looked like one from PA. That and the unusual, opposite growth of the trees made this an interesting composition to me.


In October 2010 I painted this painting on a dark, rainy day in Boiling Springs. I sat in the back of my van in a beach chair with the hatch up and painted for a couple of hours. The red maples really popped against the dark grey sky. We will be painting at Boilling Springs this Thurs., the 24th of Feb. and it will be interesting to see and paint the change in season. You can view paintings from my show at the Hanover Art Gallery at and at

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Receding Ice by Julie Riker

60 degrees today!! A few SVPAP members met at Fort Hunter to paint the receding ice. In attendance were Ralph Hocker, Jim Henry, Cathy Mabius, and myself.  It was a spectacular sight on the river.  The ice had broken into interesting abstract shapes that were contrasted by the surrounding dark water.  You could hear the massive sheets of ice sliding and crunching against each other as they were pushed downstream. It was refreshing to be out painting again after months of cold grayness, and we all felt our spirits renewed.

I painted this 6x8 study of the ice.

If you would like to see more of my work please visit my website

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

PALM AT SUNDOWN By Cecelia Lyden

acrylic on canvas
This is a palm tree I see every day from our terrace, but this early evening, when the sun was beginning to set, it looked particularly beautiful to me. Happily, my paints, water and brushes were all there on the table. I began to paint as quickly as I could.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

OLD FORT PARK By Cecelia Lyden

acrylic on board

Old Fort Park is on the Indian River in Fort Pierce, FLA. The fort was built during the Seminole Indian Wars in the early 1800's out of palm trees, which did not hold up to the damp weather and time. The park is very small but is the site of many cabbage palms and live oak trees. The swirling, snarling, overlapping limbs of the pines remind me of Medusa's hair and comprise an interesting contrast to the tall, almost willowy stature of the pines. . The fernlike growth on the limbs is called ressurection fern, because in the spring it changes color from a dead looking brown to bright green.The extreme diagonal growth of these pines cause me to wonder how they remain standing.

I set up my paints in the morning sun and looked across the the bright blue Indian River at sun-drenched condos with orange roofs and soft blue-gray shadows--It was so pleasant painting that morning. One of my painting buddies, Lori McNamara is a Florida resident and has painted at this site many times. She uses a palette knife for most of her work and I was inspired to try the knife, myself. I like the results on the pine trunk and the palm fronds. I wish I could photograph my paintings better--the color on the computer is not exactly like the colors on the painting.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Florida Beach Acrylic 9 x 12 on canvas board

plein air study by Cathy Mabius

I purposely didn't title this post, because my intent when in the woods painting was only to capture the colors that I saw. In fact, I remembering groaning when I reached for the panel in my pack because it was a GOOD panel and this was going to be just a quick color study, not a "plein air painting" -- I was already working on one of "those" looking straight across the stream, struggling to capture what I saw and making a good painting that I could pop in a frame to place at a gallery and hopefully sell.  That painting was well on its way, but then I looked to my right and saw this. 

 I took the chance, grabbed a new panel, mixed my colors on the plastic wrapping of another panel and got it down on canvas.  Then I threw it aside and continued on my other painting, which is now in a frame.  This little guy (12 x 9) is sitting beside my easel right now... I don't intend to sell it.  Why? It is much more valuable as a study that I meant it to be...
If you'd like to see the studio painting I just completed using this study, visit my blog at

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Conodoguinet/LeTort Confluence - Imressionistic Representational Acrylic Plein Air Landscape by Pennsylvania Daily Painter Pat Koscienski

Conodoguinet/LeTort Confluence
12" x 9"
Acrylic on Canvas
This painting was started plein air and I finally got to putting some finishing touches on in the studio. The LeTort Spring Run is in the forground emptying into the Conodoguinet River in Carlisle, Pa. Many members of SVPAP turned out that day and many ended up painting at this exact location. If you have any questions or wish to purchase, contact Pat. If you would like to see more of my paintings, please visit my blogspot and website at:

Monday, 7 February 2011

WAITING TO SAIL By Cecelia Lyden

acrylic on stretched canvas
On a beautiful, sunny, breezy morning I met with other plein air painters, some residents, others snowbirds like myself. We returned to a corner of the Fort Pierce Marina. It's always enjoyable to see different the styles and interpretations of the same same subject.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Alpacas by Julie Riker

8x10 oil

     My electric went out in the storm last night.  I woke to a freezing house and when I finally forced myself to get out of the warm bed I quickly grabbed my favorite alpaca sweater...the warmest sweater I own.  Alpaca is an amazing fiber.  It is softer, warmer, and lighter weight than sheep's wool.  All cozy in my alpaca sweater, I thought of this painting.  It is not a new painting, but I don't think I have posted it on any blogs before.

     I painted this at the Bent Pine Alpaca Farm in Mechanicsburg where I joined Ralph Hocker's class in a painting session.  This was painted entirely on location and is more of a gesture study of the animals who would not stand still for me, no matter that I asked nicely.  They are funny animals.  "Tuxedo"  is the black one who stood tall watching the rest of the group.  I remember it was a hot June day and the alpacas must have been miserable under all that warm fleece.  I watched them roll around on the ground as the farmer sprayed them with a garden hose to cool them off.  I am sure they were happy when shearing time came along!   

     I am happy for the gift of their wool...
                                                 ...and so happy that my electric is on again!