This month, I’m offering a new class: Field Journaling. While nature journals often reflect the inclinations of the journalist in response to the natural world (by incorporating poems, quotes, art, etc.), Field Journals narrow the focus to more of the qualitative and quantitative observations in an orderly way that invites additional inquiry. By noting patterns and connections, journalists can explore, ask great questions and devise ways to answer those questions. Whether you are a science major, citizen scientist, serious birder or curious person, Field Journaling is a time-honored way to hone your observation skills and record your personal discoveries.
In this class, we will jump right into the fun of exploration and notation. For inspiration, we will also look at some notable Field Journals that have been left by past biologists, archeologists and explorers in a variety of fields, as well as the methods they employed.
If you are interested in taking the class, here is the information for the first time it is being offered:
Field Journaling Workshop Instructor, Kelli Hertzler Wednesday March 30, 1:00 – 3:00 pm Frances Plecker Education Center & EJC Arboretum in Harrisonburg, VA
Tonight, I’ll be showing my Colors of the Blue Ridge series for the first time (along with several other pieces) at a gorgeous location, Joshua Wilton House in Harrisonburg. My very first art sale happened there more than twenty years ago while showing with a group. What an encouragement that sale was!
This time I show at JWH, I’ll have several dining rooms in which to display my art. Local photographer Erin Harrigan will have the front two rooms of the house. To prepare for the reception, I’ve made giclee prints and notecards to offer in addition to original pieces.
For the past six months, I’ve been working in a series exploring the view I have to the South from my home. More than twenty years of observing these mountains of the Shenandoah National Park and every day brings new sights. Two of my pieces from this series are below.
If you are local to Harrisonburg, you can see these and others at the Joshua Wilton House for the months of July, August and September 2019. I’ll be at a Meet the Artist event this Friday, July 5 from 4-5 pm. Light refreshments are provided and wine is available for $5 per glass. Stop in to say hello before you head into Harrisonburg for First Friday!
I love both painting and being outside, so painting en plein air should be right up my alley, right? It’s actually a bit of a stretch. I tend to do an enormous amount of planning before beginning a watercolor. The spontaneity of plein air with oil paint is a refreshing change of pace.
Another liberating factor to this adventure is that I’ve decided results don’t matter. (Much like nature journaling: the process is more important than the final result.) My goal is to become reacquainted with oil painting and if a few successful paintings happen by accident, that’s okay, too. (I ended up being pretty happy with most!)
Today, I found myself with unscheduled hours to myself after dropping my daughter off in a beautiful mountainous area near the Virginia/West Virginia border. I had many astounding mountain views to choose from on the drive back, but this one won out due to the subject matter, a great parking spot and a safe location to put up my easel off of the road. Chimney Rock is a striking geological formation and was well lit in the autumn sun. (A man that stopped by to chat informed me that it is the most photographed location in Rockingham County.)
The two photos above show the beginning of the painting session and the end (about two hours later). Shifting values and shadows are part of the plein air challenge. I included just a portion of the VFW building to the right because it helps to show scale and locals know the VFW is there! It seemed a lie to leave it out, although I did omit several structures.
My plein air education so far has included workshops with Stephen Dougherty at Rockfish Gap Community Center and Kevin Adams at Shenandoah National Park. Here are a few other attempts:
Big thanks to my mom! She loaned to me the red easel that appears in all of these photos. She also gave me cartons of canvases, countless tubes of paint, brushes and mediums. And encouragement. Thanks, Mom!
I treated myself to the BIG set of Prismacolor colored pencils – 150 colors! And some toned paper. Here is the result:
This is graphite, colored pencil and white charcoal pencil on gray toned paper. I love working on a toned ground and pulling highlights out of it, pushing the shadows back. That’s something I can’t do with transparent watercolor. The brilliant color I was able to get with colored pencil was a happy surprise.
The subject is from a hike with my children the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Knowing that hunters were out and about on the public land we – without our blaze orange – explored the stream bed right along the road. These stately rocks were on the hill above.
With 100 yards of the scene just described, this little hemlock is tucked in snugly between an oak and limestone boulders.
It’s amazing how many colors can be seen within gray rocks.
Both pieces are 11″ x 14″ matted, and are in 16″ x 20″ oak frames.
These are a few new watercolors currently hanging at the Rockfish Valley Community Center (until early September). They are all on the smallish side and priced between $90 – 125. Framed size is 14″ x 14″ for all except Sunset on Massanutten, framed at 16″ x 20″.
Sunset on Massanutten Watercolor Sold.
Sunrise over the Mountain. Watercolor Sold.
Mossy Forest III Watercolor Sold.
Spring Ascending the Mountain Watercolor Sold.
Spring in a Field Watercolor Available.
Mourning Dove Watercolor Sold.
To purchase, contact me directly or leave a check with Sara or Cathy at RVCC.