Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Tonight's Nocturnal paint out canceled due to threat of severe storms

The Conodoguinet creek is up and very muddy and water is still laying in the grass and debris laying around.  The paint out tonight is canceled and will be reschedule for late July (31st) for another nocturne paint out.  If you are interested in painting during the Blue Moon which will be in late July, please email me to let me know your're interested.
Here's the creek as of yesterday which is still a very pretty scene.

Linda Young Watercolors

Meet Jill Peckelun

After I volunteered for the Membership Coordinator position of SVPAP, Julie contacted me and reminded me that I had asked to do a “get to know me” blog on the website and suggested maybe this would be a good time to do that.  Cool. 

So I thought about giving bits of my art resume, my education, my shows, galleries, etc.  And then thought, “Oh, who cares?”   (Because if someone is really interested, they can read it on my website  www.jillpeckelun.com  Shameless self-promotion there.)  And if they are not, then it’s just mind-numbingly boring.  Instead, I think I’ll just chat a little about what it means to me to be an artist.

I think my best art is a little bit embarrassing, either because it unintentionally reveals something about me, or because I’ve taken some risks that I know may or may not be well received by way of color, brushwork, composition or subject matter.

For example, a few years ago I was in the Camp Hill Plein Air Event and I painted a trash bin.  It just looked so beautiful to me, stuffed to the brim, situated next to a cream and caramel colored building.  As I was painting it I thought to myself, why am I painting a trash bin?!!  But, I was enthralled and I always figure I live for those moments and I have to go with it.  I got second prize for that piece and someone bought it.  That time it worked out well all around.

Last year, I was having the time of my life painting a field.  It was a good size piece, 16 x 20” and I was just laughing out loud I was having so much fun.  Then the neighbor farmer passed by, took a look and laughed out loud too.  But, not in a good way.  And, then suddenly I wasn’t having quite as much fun.  As he left he said, “I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings when I laughed at your painting.”  I said not, but on the inside, I was pissed, thinking “I don’t tell him how to farm his fields, he should have a little more respect for my craft.  I’m going to sell this painting and make a lot of money, that’ll show him.  I hope it doesn’t hurt his feelings that I don’t care what he thinks.”  But, of course, the thing is that my own self-doubt was raised and I really thought, well maybe it’s not so good after all.  My gallery manager liked it, but it hasn’t sold.  Huh.

I’ve noticed that my brushstrokes really vary depending on my mood.  Once I was showing a piece to a gallery owner for his consideration and after a thoughtful pause, he turned to me and delicately asked, “By chance, were you angry when you painted this?”  It was just a small landscape, but the brushstrokes were like little knives spiking everywhere.  And, he was right.  I was furious when I painted that…not at the landscape, but at someone close to me.  He took the piece, but it didn’t sell and ultimately I trashed it.

I have noticed that when I’m really happy, exuberant in mood, my brushstrokes are big and bold and sloppy with juicy paint.  And, the colors are bright and clean and wonderful.  The more distressed I am personally at things that are beyond my control (life happens) the more controlled and rigid my brushstrokes get.  And, my colors change too, and not always in a good way.  Not at all something I try to do, but I can’t seem to paint any other way but what my mood dictates.  Although lately, I’ve tried to use the color and brushstrokes to lead me out of a sad mood by deliberately trying to paint loosely and with bright colors.  The success of that is still a work in progress. 

Our paintings are our diaries, aren’t they?  Maybe no one can really read them but us, but we remember everything of the day.  Happy painting everyone!  I hope to see you out there sometime.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Pear Tree & Pickets On-The-Spot Drawing by Larry Lerew

Got together with some friends at Bushman Farm on the Gettysburg Battlefield this morning to sketch and paint. Had a great time. This pear tree caught my attention near the farm house with a white picket fence behind. Reminded me of years ago when most farms had a pear tree just off the kitchen.
"Pear Tree & Pickets" by Larry Lerew
11 x 14" Charcoal, White Conte', and Black Acrylic
on Toned 70 lb. drawing paper

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Puddles by Julie Riker

10x8 oil

Yesterday's rain left us with a pleasant Sunday - cool and low humidity - and also a lot of water!  The birds enjoyed splashing around in these puddles as much as I enjoyed painting them.  They were putting on a show for me!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

LILIES GALORE By Cecelia Lyden

The lilies growing in my neighbor's yard attract me, my paints and camera every year. Each year there  are different varieties. Their colors contrast with the deep shade in their yard, and I chose to keep the background simple to emphasize that contrast.

Peachy by Julie Riker

8x10 oil

Friday was an unexpectedly beautiful day.  I wanted to take advantage since we are expected to have a rainy weekend. 
Once again I visited the Boyers' lovely garden.  There are a few lilies blooming, and I chose to focus on these vibrant peach flowers.  By next week many more of the lilies will be blooming - if the rain doesn't damage them.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Two Paintings from Tisha's

"Wrightsville After Rain", 4x12", oil
by Susan Benigni-Landis

"Sweet Susquehanna Valley", 8x10", oil
by Susan Benigni-Landis
In between the raindrops, last week's paint-out at Tisha's home proved to be a lovely day. Wonderful views, artists, and host! 

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Ladybells by Julie Riker

10x8 oil

Finished a client job yesterday... so (as is becoming my treat to myself for a job well done) I took the day off to paint for myself.  
Cecelia's neighbors have extended an open invitation to artists to paint in their gardens and I took advantage of the opportunity.  I chose to focus on these flowers, which I thought were larkspur, but found out through some friends are called Campanula, or "Ladybells".

This garden is full of possibilities for painting - a plein air haven.  I plan to visit next week when, hopefully, the lilies will be blooming.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Painting The Alley - Fredrick Quick Draw by Julie Riker

8x10 oil

Today I participated in the Quick Draw competition in Fredrick, MD.
I was set up and all ready to paint the alley when artist Stephen Doherty set up in front of me, so I added him to my composition.
Two hours is not much time to complete a painting - especially with figures - but I gave it a go.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015


"TISHA'S GARDEN" An Original Pastel Painting by Clare KIaum

Yesterday we were invited to paint at Tisha Sheldon's home.  She is a new member of SVPAP.  She has a beautiful home with gorgeous gardens and a magnificent view.  There were 5 of us, including Tisha, who painted there.
We had a brief shower right at noon so we took a lunch break.  Tisha had made us a delicious lunch!  What an unexpected surprise!  When I chose this spot, only one of the 5 Spirea bushes were still blooming.  The others had just finished.  So, I took artistic license and made them all blooming. I did two thirds of the painting there.  We had to leave at 2pm, so I finished it this morning in my studio.   
Thank you so much Tisha for a wonderful day.  I look forward to painting with you again. 

             To see more of my work please visit my website

Monday, 15 June 2015

OVERCAST MORN by Cecelia Lyden

The sky stayed overcast the morning I spent painting at Lindenwood. At least it didn't rain. I stayed near my car in case we had another downpour-annoying weather. Luckily there was this nice scene to paint near my car.

Saturday, 13 June 2015


oil/stretched canvas

I spied this clump of birch trees through the open gate to my friend, Shirley's, lovely garden. The gate framed the trees so nicely. I decided to paint them. Shirley showed the painting to the owner of the trees yeaterday; and he purchased it today. Thank you, Shirley.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Side Yard With A View by Julie Riker

8x8 oil

The collector who purchase one of my paintings from Plein Air Camp Hill told me of a property he owned on Front Street in Wormleysburg.  He suggested I stop by and take a look, perhaps do a painting, told me to  park in the back and walk around the side of the building.  I was delighted to find this amazing view directly across the river rom the capital.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Blushing Beauties by Julie Riker

This was painted last weekend at Lindenwood, the Harrisburg Symphony Showhouse.  The roses and many other flowers are in bloom now and the gardens are lovely.  "Blushing Beauties" will be available in the Susquehanna Valley Plein Air Painters gallery in the showhouse barn.

8x10 oil

This is the final week to visit the showhouse, open every day 10-4 and Thursday until 8 PM.  Directions and other information can be found at http://www.harrisburgsymphonyshowhouse.org

Monday, 8 June 2015

"The Hidden Window" by Debra Tritt Kreiger

8"x10" mixed water media on Arches watercolor board

 This is a plein air painting I did on the grounds of the Harrisburg Symphony Showhouse & Garden. I like to find these little hidden areas that most people just walk on by with out giving it much attention. I really like the way the early morning light was showing us this hidden window of the garage and the wonderful shadows cast on the white building. I will be dropping this painting off this week and you can purchase in the Susquehanna Valley Plein Air Painter Gallery.
 The showhouse is open thru 6/14/2015, at 210 E. Lisburn Rd, Mechanicsburg. Hours are Sunday - Saturday 10 am-4 pm, extended hours Thursdays 10 am - 8 pm.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

"COUNTRY GARDEN" An Original Pastel Painting by Clare Klaum

This painting was done day 2 of the Plein Air Camp Hill Festival.  A lovely couple, Linda & Dave, allowed me to paint in their gardens.  They live in an old Victorian house on the outskirts of Mechanicsburg and have spent many years cultivating and planting their gardens.  They love the primitive country look and their home and gardens reflect that. This was an old outhouse that they converted into a storage shed.  This was the day that there was a deluge of rain in the afternoon.  Fortunately I was able to escape to their screened in sun porch to continue my painting.  I had to finish it at home the next morning as we had a reception for Sponsors and Artists at the Civic club in Harrisburg Wednesday night. 

         To see more of my work please visit my website

Monday, 1 June 2015


 oil/stretched canvas

Painted during Plein Air Camp Hill-looking out my friend's open garden gate.

Dappled Alley by Julie Riker

9x12 oil

Here's another Camp Hill alley that I painted as part of the plein air event this past week.  This painting was purchased during the Friday night preview party.

To see more of my work please visit my website www.julieriker.com