Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Floating Ice on the Susquehanna

8x10 plein air oil

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

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Receding Ice by Julie Riker

60 degrees today!! A few artist friends met at Fort Hunter to paint the receding ice.  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.

I painted this 6x8 study of the ice.

It was refreshing to be out painting again after months of cold grayness, and we all felt our spirits renewed.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quick and Delicious - 10 Minute Challenge

 oil on canvas
2 panels - 8x8 each

     This is my version of the 10 minute challenge for the Daily Paintworks Blog.  The challenge was to select a simple subject and paint for only 10 minutes in each small square section.  I took this challenge one step further by limiting my palette to just 3 colors plus white, and wiping my palette clean after each section so that I was mixing fresh color and not dipping into the mixtures I made for the previous section. I was strict with myself and put the brush down when the timer went off - resisting the urge to make any adjustments beyond the 10 minutes. 
     I highly recommend this as a fun challenge to all painters.  I think even doing 2 or 3 sections would be a great warm up exercise before tackling larger studio work.  It was a great practice in pacing, loosening up, and letting go of the need to refine everything.  I have taken many classes to try to loosen my style...but all I really had to do was to set a timer.
Visit to see the challenge results.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


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!