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Why we plein air

This is the second attempt. I went plein air painting with MVIS last Saturday. I had a great learning day. It had been awhile since I had been out, and there is always a re-learning curve for me. I forgot a few basics in my packing supplies. And I forgot a few basics in painting. I usually do a thumbnail to work out the composition. I didn’t do that. I usually ask myself what it is I’m attracted to. I thought I was interested in the sandbars, and the Kansas City skyline, but as I painted I became more interested in the industrial area. I left Kaw Point liking the paint quality and parts of the painting. I left feeling like I had learned some new things. So I went home, and did it again, while I could still FEEL the day and light. This is the second attempt. It is the same size as my plein air, same paint quality as my plein air, but it is NOT a plein air. And I could not have done this without the plein air. Plein airs don’t always work. Many artists give up because there are so many bad paintings to be made in front of people. But that is how you get to the good paintings. That is one reason why we plein air.

Kaw Point River Front Park, oil, 11x14, ©Chris Willey

Kaw Point River Front Park, oil, 11×14, ©Chris Willey

Sketch and Final Work

On the web, these look the same size, when in reality, the first is a small oil sketch, and the second is the larger studio piece. The midwest offers beautiful, vast vistas of rolling hills and skies (once you can get out of the vast suburbs).


Cumulus Sketch, oil, 12×12, ©Chris Willey

Cumulus Sketch, oil, 36x36, ©Chris Willey

Cumulus Clouds, oil, 36×36, ©Chris Willey

Larger Studio Piece of Nebraska Soy Field

Fall Morning Soy, oil, 36x36, ©Chris Willey

Fall Morning Soy, oil, 36×36, ©Chris Willey

Nebraska Fall Soy Field

While visiting my sister in Lincoln, NE, I ran across this beautiful soy field. It was just changing over to pinks, yellows and greens

October Soy Field, oil, 12x12, ©Chris Willey

October Soy Field, oil, 12×12, ©Chris Willey

Loose Park, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Loose Park Bridge -- October, oil, 11x14, ©Chris Willey

Loose Park Bridge — October, oil, 11×14, ©Chris Willey

Parkville Plein Air (October)

Quick Paint Winner. English Landing Meadow Bog, oil, 9×12, ©Chris Willey

Honorable Mention. Fall View -- National Golf Course Pond, oil, 11x14, ©Chris Willey

Honorable Mention. Fall View — National Golf Course Pond, oil, 11×14, ©Chris Willey


Fall National Golf Course, oil, 11×14, ©Chris Willey


Parkville Depot, oil, 9×12, ©Chris Willey

Brush Creek Art Walk

3 days of painting. 6 paintings. 5 with potential. 2 completed. Not bad.

Indians at the Nelson, oil, 11x14, ©Chris Willey

Indians at the Nelson, oil, 11×14, ©Chris Willey


Urban Marsh, oil, 11×14, ©Chris Willey

Gratitudes 7 and 8

Day 8

1. Had to get shots today. Glad they are over.

2. Have my artwork ready to turn in for the Brush Creek Artwalk

3. Had such a lovely breakfast at Eggcetera with my hubby

4. Another good studio day

5. Glad for the rain. My new plantings like it and my rain barrels.


Day 7

1. Glad to have a studio day

2. Lovely to have my weekly lunch with my sister Kathy

3. Oh my, what good dessert at Andres

4. Painting went well today

5. Beautiful day

Gratitudes day 4, 5, and 6

Day 6

1. Grateful for another day of beautiful painting weather

2. Grateful to have the stamina still to paint two paintings a day (I don’t have the stamina for 3. My back needs a rest between paintings)

3. Grateful for the beginning of fall – my favorite season/

4. Grateful for the comfort of home at the end of the day

5. Grateful that Brush Creek Art Walk is over. When it began I wished it were longer. By day three my body is grateful that it is not.

Day 5

1. Grateful for beautiful weather. This is perfect painting weather.

2. Grateful for some more decent paintings.

3. Grateful that I keep learning more about painting

4. Grateful that my husband is so supportive and takes neglect quite well.

5. Grateful for this day

Day 4

1. Grateful for the Brush Creek Art Walk. Excited to get out painting with all of the other artists.

2. Grateful for warm painting gloves, painting coat (an atrocious bright orange insulated zip hoodie)

3. Grateful that I got some decent work done.

4. Grateful for my warm house at the end of the day

5. While I was painting, the landscaper came by. Grateful to come home to my beautiful front yard. If only I could keep it that way.

5 Daily Gratitudes, Day 2 and 3

I’m already behind, so here are 10

1. Grateful for my friends Liz and Marcia, who both live in my neighborhood and get me out painting.

2. Grateful for the rain today and tonight. I just had the lawn aerated and seeded — now I don’t have to water.

3. Grateful for the beautiful weather today. It felt quite wonderful

4. Grateful for my friend Paula, who gets me to new restaurants.

5. Grateful for this very walkable neighborhood. It is a pleasure to run errands and get exercise at the same time

6. Grateful that I still can walk fast and furious. I’m usually ahead of everyone. My walking is my favorite exercise

7. Grateful for the beauty of Loose Park nearby. It is so easy to just drop in for a quick nature fix and a quick walk

8. Grateful for my house. I’ve lived in perfectly adequate shelters all my life, but this one I love.

9. Grateful for my studio space. I have great space.

10. Grateful for growth that I have experienced over the years. I hope it continues.