Thursday, 30 May 2013

Featured Artist - Vivian Sterste - Brandler

Today?  Outside? This is what you would see at my home, in the back of the old brownstone farm house, above.   And WELCOME!!!!!    My name is Vivi and I am very pleased to show you around!   To the right there sits a rather large, sturdy table made from heavy dark wooden banisters I found and equipped with a top which has become quite battered and stained with various paints, glazes and soils that were worked with during all kinds of weather and candle wax from late evenings spent gazing upwards at the plethora of stars in Barren's Valley.   My home is my studio.....and welcome to my little tour!

When people hear the expression "Plein Air" they most likely conjure an internal image of a painter painting outside with a minimal color palette and perhaps a pochade box or french easel.  We may have come to expect a classic sunset or glimpses of light hitting a field or river bed and that painting may be framed in a classic golden frame. (I have PLENTY of these and have done hundreds in my life already!)  In reality, this is a french term which means "in the open air", so I beg to have you consider stretching your imaginations just a bit.....just even once.....with me.....ok?    I think you might enjoy the ........S>>>T>>>R>>>E>>T>>C>>>H>>>!!!!!!!!!    ahh..... what a relief!

My dear mother had this terrible habit of doing whatever she pleased, whenever she pleased.  If that meant gardening after putting us to bed at 7 pm...IN THE SUMMER....she did.  If that meant painting "a plein air" after putting us to bed at 7 pm...IN THE SUMMER......she did.  If that meant swimming nude in the pool after putting us to bed at 7 pm....IN THE SUMMER....she did.  Well....considering I did NOT fall asleep like my sister....I spent a great deal of time peeking under the sheer curtains looking out the window at exactly what she was doing.  AND I WANTED TO.....ALSO.....DO.......what she did!    So she finally let me.....but not exactly.   While she gardened I wanted to sculpt, thus the carved rock faces above (circa 1960). While she painted outside, so did I.  And while she swam.....well I do not remember communal nude swimming....but it certainly made me want to do just that! Especially on those hot summer nights when it was STILL light outside when she put us to bed.  Oh yes, I forgot to mention.  It makes me chuckle. She finally caught me looking out the window and let me stay up, in my bed ONLY if I would look at art I fell in love with all the art....all around me......   bliss.......   :-)

Papa also drew.  Very well, I would say, for a classical pianist. In fact, he also encouraged me (cough cough - tolerated me) when I insisted to paint by his side.  Above is Papa's drawing of a home next to the Swedish Gate in Riga, Latvia.......below mine.  Not bad for a 4 year old.  Somehow I ended up with many more windows.....hmmmmmm was NEVER good at math!

My Mother's paintings are fantasies of outdoor delights.  I believe she was a very happy artist.  The Rudbekia painting above sits behind some of my pottery in my farmhome dining room.  My parents were my most important inspiration and I was steeped in art, classical music, theatre and opera from the time I could sit in my crib and listen.....   now back to this time!

Coming in my back door an old tack rack I found....(yes I am an antique/yard sale/trash picker and proud of it!) dons my San Diego Hat Co. paper and poly hat that I wear painting and gardening and pretty much doing whatever I do in the sun.   MUST protect from the sun if you seriously want to paint outside.  They also have umbrellas you can attach to your easels......  Oh.  the mirror.  What IS it?   Acorns bunches I found when I was painting near an oak tree...they were so cute I decided to make a ceramic mirror frame.....I also LOVE to make things from natural "objets" I find "en plein air".   Ug, I spoke French and Latvian before I spoke English.     Oh art and studios!   Let's go!

I spend a GREAT deal of time gardening so that I can sit outside and draw and paint in any season.  I suppose I am more like my Mamma than I thought I was........except she never drove!  Imagine that! The flowers above I drew from my garden.........sometimes I like to draw with a permanent marker and then paint in the colors and lights and shades..........I am such a coloring child!

This one should be fun!      Tomatoes! Grown in my garden, "certainement"!   Love, Love LOVE to paint oil, watercolor, pastels with water, fingerpaints.......:-)))   I also make sauce which I can-can.  Hahahaha....get it.  ;-)

"Atelier": - studio.  My ceramic studio....this green is too light....better?  phew.    I hope you can click and see this panoramic shot I took today of my clay "plays"  (Place... :-)    I do believe that I am bringing more to the idea of painting than just on a canvas.  I paint on anything I want to.....and if it works and if I like it great.....and if someone else likes it.....great....and if someone buys is good but I always miss my work.  Don't you?

These are some of the mugs I made for "Fleurir" a chocolate shop in Georgetown.  I actually painted them outside while I was gazing at my blooming irises and poppies!    To me, as I am thinking you are realizing, plein air is more than what meets the average eye.   I treat much of my pottery, my Majolica pieces, as painting grounds for designs and inspirations from nature.  And I actually love to work you tell me....plein air painting?  or not.....;-0!  

Some the way I have heard tell that people consider a painting being painted "en plein air" as having been painted at least 80% then where do you go?  I go up stairs into my attic studio where I have my easels and work lights and I can work without sunlight finishing OR starting a painting that will be worked on outside. Often I sketch on a canvas from smaller drawings I have done on location and will return with a very large canvas to paint lighting from a certain time of day.....once again....I like to change it up. attic was haunted, but he is much nicer now....... he was only rattling a wash basin and pitcher yesterday......

This is "Shear Joy"  A painting I began en plein air in Camp Hill for the Plein Air Festival this you can see it started raining furiously, so I finished the painting in my attic studio.....and yes I painted on the frame......once again.....Je suis une dissidente.......

Finally, at the end of the day I like to float up to my upstairs porch where I will often paint the very entertaining Barren's Valley sunsets...or not....sometimes I just like to sit and look at them. That's Buddy, my Golden,  laying on the floor......he is SUCH a good pal!

Finally, I would like to share my most recent piece, done in pastel and water.  This is "At Last I Will Be Free", painted entirely en plein air.  I was beginning a rather realistic rendering of dogwood blossoms when a bluebird flew within inches of my face.  I guess I am just not MEANT to go back to I now realize it is much more me to be that bird.....spontaneous and colorful...... BTW the title is from Paul Mc Cartney's song..."Bluebird".

I hope you have enjoyed the tour of my studios and to see where I primarily work.  If I posted photos of places I have painted, on: canvas, boards, paper, pottery, slabs of cement, bridges ;-) I could show you probably thousands of photos......another day.     Oh yes.  Stats.  I am a graduate of The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, Pa. and attended The Boston University School for Fine Arts. I graduated with dual  B>S> degrees in Art and Elementary Education from Lesley College, Cambridge, Mass.  I studied painting and drawing at the National Academy of Design in New York City and studied ceramics at Marywood College and studied and taught ceramics at Keystone University, both in north eastern Pennsylvania.  I have taught art K-12 in many private and public schools and have tutored and instructed individuals for many years. I was married for 32 years and I raised three lovely children.  I live alone, at my Barren's Vally Farm.  Now it's all my turn.

Victory Garden, a morning plein air, by Dianne Lorden

This morning, during my early rounds of our yard, I decided to create a pastel of this flower bed while the sun was still just peaking in. Armed with coffee and still in my PJs, I worked till my husband called me for breakfast (yes, spoiled) and then took a break. Of course, the light had moved along when I returned ... I declared myself done at 11:15 a.m.
The title, aside from being a nod to Memorial Day, reflects that this garden does indeed represent a victory. At one time, someone had planted it with many sun-loving perennials. But, it has languished in the shade for years and we've never seen any of them bloom. Recently, we've had to do a lot of tree removal. One of the outcomes has been the absolute miracle of what this flower bed has accomplished this spring! I'm so happy for the plants - especially the peonies and iris - for reaching there potential. I've only captured some of what grows here, which also includes hosta, everlasting peas, ferns and Solomon's Seal. The bed is situated along a national park fence. On the other side is a meadow and monuments: the only such location within the Borough of Gettysburg.
My website: South Mountain Sketchbook

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

"Cedar Run" by Debra Tritt Kreiger

8x10 acrylic on canvas
This is another painting completed during Camp Hill Plein Air. I had a nice shady spot to listen and see all the performances of nature. What caught my eye was the wonderful field of flowers blooming in the distance and all the rich colors reflecting in the water.

To contact me about the purchase this painting or see more of my work go to or you can shop in my store, Deb's Gifts.

a quick study by Dianne Lorden

The other evening was lovely, so I brought out only one small set of Nupastel - eight sticks - and sat down to make a pastel drawing of some of the pots near my deck. I worked about 35 minutes, struggling to create more colors than I had to work with. I also grabbed a piece of mulch off the ground to blend! Not too great. But this was a fun little exercise.
View my fine art at South Mountain Sketchbook

Monday, 27 May 2013

SVPAP members take awards at Camp Hill Plein Air 2013

Congratulations to Clare Klum for winning the Purchase Award in the Friday night competition, and to Beth Bathe, Claire Beadon Carnell, and Julie Riker who took awards in Saturday's Quick Draw.

Congratulations to all who participated in the event.  It was great to see the group represented at the festival by so many talented artists.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

EMERALD COVE, 11x14, oil by Sharon Benner

I painted at Codorus State Park, Hanover, Pa. the other day and decided to challenge myself with all the different greens in this cove near the sailboat launch area.  See more work at

Friday, 24 May 2013

Main St., Mechanicsburg

This pastel represents my first plein air event of the spring - last Saturday's wine walk in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The weather was cool and breezy and I didn't last the entire day, as I'd hoped. (Should have been dressed warmer; I was too optimistic!) Anyway, brought it home incomplete as some of the view was blocked by cars. I took some photos of the scene, from a different vantage point, to get around the cars. A few days later, when I was going to "fill in the blanks," I discovered that the photos I took (hastily) were of no help. Then I was stumped! Finally, I just put the cars in the painting. So, they are what was added afterward. I hadn't wanted cars in the scene, but they were actually kiind of fun.
My artwork/blog: South Mountain Sketchbook

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

"JUNE'S DELIGHT" Original Pastel painting by Clare Klaum

This was my second painting for the Camp Hill Plein Air Festival.  The lady who was the owner of the house was so sweet.  Her first name was June and she was delighted that I wanted to paint her front garden.  Her neighbor Sandy was a master gardener and had planned, planted and maintains her gardens.  They were both so gracious and accommodating.  It took me all day Thursday and Friday morning  to complete.  The weather was sunny and beautiful on Thursday and Friday.  On Friday I showed the finished painting to June and she loved it.  Friday afternoon  I got a call and June wanted to purchase my painting.  So I called the gallery and they were to put a sold sticker on it which ended up to be little red circle on the back of the painting. At the awards ceremony Friday evening the last award was the "Purchase Award" and to my surprise I won!  But, I had already sold the painting. What to do!  I found out that the benefactor who gives that award did not know that it was sold and once they did they decided to give me the award anyway because they loved the painting.

"PINK PROFUSION" Original Pastel painting by Clare Klaum

This was my first year to participate in the Camp Hill Plein Air Festival.
It was an exhilarating and exhausting experience!  This was my first painting that I did in Cecelia Lydens neighbors yard.  Her yard was just bursting with Springs blossoms! So hard to choose where to paint.  There were so many beautiful flowers.  I got a late start and completed the painting the next day when the weather was off and on drizzle.  But I remembered the sunshine from the day before. 

"The Conodoguinet" by Debra Tritt Kreiger

10"x8" Acrylic on canvas

This is one of the plein air paintings I did during Camp Hill plein air week. It was so peaceful and calm. I enjoyed my first plein air event, painting with friends old and new!

To contact me about the purchase this painting or see more of my work go to or you can shop in my store, Deb's Gifts.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

"At Last I Will Be Free"

This was one of my competition pieces for the Camp Hill Plein Air Festival last week. I created it while in Willow Park Camp Hill painting dogwood blossoms. It was a breezy rainy day and a bluebird flew within inches of my face! I love to capture a moment of joy in my work!  The title is a line from a Paul McCartney song: "Bluebird". I used Sennelier pastels that can actually be used like washes with water! Much fun!

Monday, 20 May 2013

An Original Plein Air Oil Painting
by Claire Beadon Carnell

'Spring Blossoms'
© Claire Beadon Carnell
8 x 10

On the first morning of painting in the Camp Hill
Plein Air Event, several artists gathered in the
beautiful yard of Cecelia Lyden's neighbor.  The
azaleas and dogwoods were in their glory, along with
many other flowers.  It was also very nice to finish
up around noon so we could go back to Cecelia's
for a delightful lunch in her gorgeous home
(Thank you, Cecelia!)

If you would like to see more of my work,
please visit my website or my blog. If you are
interested in purchasing any of my paintings you see
here on this blog, please contact me.

Claire Beadon Carnell
Member of:

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Larry Lerew Sketching For Fun!: Camp Hill Plein Air 2013

Larry Lerew Sketching For Fun!: Camp Hill Plein Air 2013: Just finished a week participating in Camp Hill Plein Air. Had a great time and met lots of friends. Title: "Roving Red" Size: 1...

Please click the link above in red to read about and see my paintings from the event.

Saturday, 18 May 2013


Two days of beautiful weather in a serene location made this plein air paintout a most pleasant experience.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Painting at Armstrong Valley Winery
On Mother's Day I was the only artist to represent SVPAP at the winery. They invited us back for their other two festival in July (13-14) and September (28-29). Hope we can make it next time. It was a sunny yet windy afternoon. I painted poppies and enjoyed the wine tasting. See everyone at the Camp Hill Festival!

Friday, 3 May 2013

"The Rockville Bridge" By Debra Tritt Kreiger

8x10 acrylic on canvas board

This was my first painting of the spring season. I was painting with the SVPAP from Fort Hunter. I was walking in the park looking for a good spot to paint and came upon a gentleman who had just taken a morning walk along the banks of the river. There was a flurry of activity from the seagulls on the river. He said they were feasting on the newly hatched may flies. That was the inspiration for this painting!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The hats and aprons have arrived!

They look great! and will be even better when seasoned with some paint splatters!

If you have ordered a hat and/or apron please contact me (Julie) to make arrangements to get them.
I will distribute to those artists who are attending the winery event on May 11 when I see you there, and will catch up with many of you at Plein Air Camp Hill, but if you would like your items sooner let me know.

Bill, Cecelia, and Larry modelling the new hats.

FORSYTHIA IN BLOOM, 9x12, oil by Sharon Benner

I painted this in the gardens at the Whareheim Mansion, home of the Hanover Historical Society.  See my work at