Hi! I’ve been keeping pretty busy with my three little ones and managing my print store, but when I find time to paint I’ve been working on some paintings from a trip we took to Death Valley, California earlier this year.
I ran the Death Valley half marathon in February, and we caught the very beginning of the wildflower superbloom, a rare natural event that comes after just the right combination of rain and temperature. The race went along Hwy 190 near the Furnace Creek Ranch, and was one of the most beautiful I have ever done.
We also did some stargazing, since the site is far out in the desert and away from light pollution. My daughter was really hoping to see a scorpion, although we didn’t find any. It was a wonderful trip and I had lots of painting ideas when we got back.
Before starting, I painted a few quick practice studies on small canvases to try out some ideas. Each took about 10 minutes:
I started on the uppermost scene, a field of flowers at dawn. It’s not finished but here are a few progress shots:
Stay tuned! I’m hoping I’ll have this one finished soon.
I just made an update to my main site, which now has my Fireflies painting in the gallery. The Fireflies painting is also now in my Etsy store as a canvas print or digital photo print.
Here I am with my little guy at the opening reception at Pacific Art League earlier this month:
I painted this painting with him in the carrier on my chest as a newborn. Time flies!
We just got back from a road trip to two of California’s national parks; Sequoia and Death Valley. I’m looking forward to experimenting with some scenes we saw along the way.
My new firefly painting will be part of the Members’ exhibit next month at Pacific Art League in Palo Alto, CA. I’m hoping to make it to the opening reception on January 8. The painting will be part of the display from January 8-28.
This painting is in my Etsy store as a photo print or canvas print, and the original will be for sale through the Pacific Art League gallery. I’m having some technical difficulties updating my website right now, but I’ll get the new painting up on there soon.
Happy New Year!
Hi! I’ve been pretty busy with baby #3, but now that he’s coming out of the newborn phase I’m finding time to paint a little bit. Here’s a painting I’ve just completed:
Fireflies, 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © 2015 Kathryn Beals
Here’s a photo of me painting with my little guy from my Instagram:
You can watch a very quick demo of the process below, or click through to read the steps in more detail.
This month, my painting Still is at Pacific Art League gallery in Palo Alto, as part of their Landscapes, Seascapes and Urbanscapes juried show. We’re busy with the new baby so I wasn’t able to attend the opening reception last night, but I’m hoping to make the next one!
This painting was inspired by a backpacking trip to the Sequoia/Kings Canyon region of the Sierra Nevadas in California. We camped one night in the Big Five Lakes region of Sequoia National Park:
Still, 24″x 30″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
I took some artistic license with this painting composition, since we didn’t actually camp on this rock (we follow Leave No Trace principles and don’t set up our camp too close to water). Here’s the reference photo I used to make the painting, later that morning after the sunrise:
You can buy this painting in my Etsy shop as a digital print or canvas print. The original painting is for sale for $1000 through Pacific Art League.
I’ve been busy! Last week I dropped off my Yosemite snow painting for the Pacific Art League’s Anniversary Exhibit in Palo Alto, with my three day old baby in tow. We didn’t make it to the reception last Friday night, but the painting will be on display until September 24 and is for sale through the gallery. Posting here will likely continue to be light as we adjust to the new addition, but I’m still filling orders through my website and Etsy store.
Left: Outside the Pacific Art League gallery, with my painting in the front window
Right: Wander, 30″ x 40″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
Wander is for sale through the gallery for $1000, and is available as a photo print or canvas print in my Etsy store.
This post is long overdue, but here is a photo of my painting Beyond in the Pacific Art League gallery show earlier this summer. We couldn’t make it to the reception this time, but we stopped by the gallery with the kids. This is one of my favorite paintings and reminds me of summers on the lake near where I used to live in British Columbia.
Beyond, 24″ x 30″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
Next month at the gallery’s Anniversary Exhibit, I’ll be showing one of my largest pieces, Wander:
Wander, 30″ x 40″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
This is one of my more surreal ones, and it’s based on a winter camping trip in Yosemite where we snowshoed through a burned forest at midnight.
Beyond and Wander are available as canvas prints in my Etsy store. The original painting of Wander will be for sale through the Pacific Art League gallery for $1000 starting September 4. I’ll try to make it to the reception, although I may be busy with a newborn by then!
One of my very favorite paintings, Beyond, will be part of the Pacific Art League‘s member exhibition next month, starting July 3. The opening reception will be from 5:30-8pm in downtown Palo Alto. This painting is based on a memory of rowing around Echo Lake in British Columbia at nighttime in the summer. It really looked like this!
Beyond, 24″ x 30″ acrylic on canvas, copyright © Kathryn Beals
The original piece will be for sale through the gallery for $1000, and you can also find this painting in my Etsy shop as a digital print or canvas print. Here are some closeups of the canvas prints so you can see the detail:
My husband and I took a trip to Tofino, British Columbia this spring, and I’m looking forward to making several paintings from the trip. We both grew up in different areas of Vancouver island, and I have painted many scenes from this beautiful place. This trip, we went kayaking around Meares Island, hiked in Pacific Rim National Park, and did a lot of walking around Chesterman Beach.
I’m starting with this scene of Chesterman Beach, which I have painted before from a different angle. We stayed at the beautiful Wickanninish Inn, which you can see off in the distance on the right.
I started with my usual masking tape horizon, and started painting in the wet sand with Micaceous Iron Oxide:
I decided to enhance all the colors and go for an interesting sky, which I’ll probably still experiment with as the foreground takes shape. For the sky so far, I used mostly Smalt Hue and a bit of Anthraquinone Blue, mixed with Titanium White and Titan Buff.
I removed the masking tape and started painting the land on the right:
Then I painted in the rest of the land, and added the surf area in bright white:
At this point, the painting is still in progress. I’m not happy with the colors of the sky and water yet, but the shape is coming together and I’ll add some transparent layers until I get it where I want.
Here it is in gif format:
As a child and beginner painter, I started out in watercolor, but found my style when I tried acrylic on canvas for the first time. I’ve tried painting in oil and pastels (and have never been good at drawing) but I always come back to acrylic because I love the way it looks and feels on the canvas.
However, it’s always great to try a new medium. While visiting my family in Canada this month, I tried creating an image in wax, my mother’s medium of choice, and it was a great experience. She started me in her chosen method of melting crayon chunks on a canvas with a heat gun, and let me figure it out from there. I took photos of the process:
It was great to try a less controlled approach, since I usually struggle against overworking and adding too much detail when I’m painting. I did miss my brush, but I was able to influence the spread of color by tipping the canvas back and forth as I melted the wax.
I would call this one an abstract, but the general idea was to capture the old growth cedar forests near where I grew up on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. We just got back from a trip to Vancouver Island, and I’m looking forward to doing some new paintings of these trees in Tofino: