Plein Air Landscape painted at the Oregon Coast last weekend. It was lovely to be at the ocean.
My friend David Rosenak is a landscape painter who found himself working closer and closer and closer to home and realized he had a lifetime of paintings to make without leaving his property. When he first revealed this to me I thought it was a little odd, but perfect for him – see more about him by clicking here. I compared my practice at the time to his and I was attracted to the convenience of it but couldn’t see how it could ever work for me. I tend to want to paint everything I see, all the time, everywhere I go. But I struggle to get things done and finish what I start so, David’s method stayed in the back of my mind.
We got a dog two years ago and started taking her on walks along this ditch trail about half a mile from my house. It’s a wonderful walk. You see close mountains and distant ones, close and distant trees, houses, shacks, weeds, farmland — there are just endless compositions to experiment with. And there are never any other people down there. So I started painting there a lot and have made five paintings I’m pleased with in the last year.
These are the latest paintings are from the ditch trail. Painted last fall and late summer. The evening one was painted when my mom was sick and I didn’t fully realize she was dying, but I was extremely stressed out and painting this was a good way to take my mind off of things. The last one was painted in the month after she died. The reason I bring this up is that when I look at these paintings I travel emotionally to the joyful feeling I had while making them. Writing this post, my mental sequence was, “Wait, when did you make these? Was it before mom got sick?” And I realized it was during her illness and right after she died. It is kind of shocking, but somehow there is life and spark in being outside and making landscape paintings, despite this generally being a terribly tough time. However, I don’t think I would have been able to do it if I didn’t have this comfortable and easy location to go to. Since my mom’s death, I feel like staying home (or closer to home) all the time. I really miss her. I think as the spring comes I’ll feel a little less like a hermit. And I don’t know if I have more paintings to make down on this ditch trail. It’s impossible to commit to something like that. Time will tell. But I do like working where it’s comfortable and safe.
Both measure 20″ x 35″. Painted en plein air over a number of sessions.
I’ve mostly moved inside the studio for the winter – here are a couple of paintings from back in the fall.
I still can’t quite believe it, but my mother, Mariah Hegarty passed away at age 61 on September 15, 2016. She had a very aggressive cancer that overtook her very suddenly. She was a model of how to leave the world with grace and I’m so grateful for the time we had and that she was my mom.
My mom has always been such a supporter of me in life and as an artist. She introduced me to art and to making art when I was very young by having a great collection of beautifully illustrated children’s books and by not allowing me to have coloring books or television and providing me lots of paper and crayons to draw as much as I wanted. Both my parents encouraged me to experience and observe nature which is a vital part of being an artist and a student. My mom also taught me, especially at the end to forgive others and yourself, which frees you up to experiment and make mistakes. She always let me take all the art classes I could find and just allowed me to pursue what I was interested in.
She loved beauty and our home was always an amazingly beautiful place. It was never cluttered or crowded, but had old and natural things, nice light, natural fibers. Simple, straightforward beauty. She taught me that beauty is found everywhere and this profoundly affects my choice of subjects when I paint.
Mariah Michele Hegarty — 3/18/55 – 9/15/16
Every Place I Ever Lived
tore my heart with its beauty when I left.
My final week in Florida I steal away
to the beach morning and evening.
At dawn the long smooth waves are bolts
of pewter-colored silk shot with silver
folding and unfolding at my feet.
Dolphins pierce the liquid platinum
like dark needles. The pelicans
–those homely angels–
glide just above the wave caps,
their open-armed wings spread wide.
Splayed across the sand
treasures of the ocean’s generosity*
Each fractured shard, tumbled smooth-
edged and cloudy teaches me
there is nothing broken
that will not be transformed.
– Mariah Hegarty
Laurel at Huckleberry Design Studio created a beautiful ebook highlighting art you can buy through Etsy and she included my shop! She really is a fantastic designer and it’s very inspiring to see what she’s put together.
Check out the Ebook at huckleberrydesignstudio.com and use the code ARTISTGIFTCOPY to receive it free!
- Wednesdays in the Classroom at Ashland Art Center from 1:30 – 4:30, September 19, October 5 and 19
- Fridays in the Field from 9 am, September 23 and October 7
- $125 – materials not included, although I may be able to loan a plein air easel for the field sessions.
To sign up, follow this link or visit Ashland Art Center. They are open Daily 10:00am to 6:00 pm at 357 E. Main St, Ashland, OR 97520. 541-482-2772.
Phew! Three weeks of painting and connecting with other painters in New Hampshire with the Hudson River Fellows. Here is the fruit of my labor. These paintings are in completely random order. You can click on any image to see it more clearly.
We painted everyday and the bugs were ferocious. Early on I figured out that I could absolutely not paint in the sun, even with an umbrella, because if you are painting outside most of the day, you must be moderately comfortable or else it is just not possible to continue.
We were in the very beautiful, lush and green area of Jackson, New Hampshire, in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains. I also got to visit the Portland Museum of Art in Maine as well as the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum plus the Boston Public Library which has some really wonderful murals.
Anyway, I’ve been home a week and am still processing everything. I got off the plane and hit the ground running and have been spending my time catching up with family. Three weeks is a really long time to be away from home.
I’m sure glad I did it though! It was invaluable to be exposed to a different group of accomplished and hard working painters. They tended to be from the Grand Central Atelier and heavily influenced by the Hudson River Painters of the past. It may be obvious if you have seen my work that I don’t really focus on detail much, and while I may not change my ways, I could feel myself being stretched and influenced by the group, and that was truly valuable. Plus I discovered some really nice Hudson River paintings. There was an Asher B. Durand book floating around and we saw some of his paintings in the museum and they are really wonderful. I’m still a Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins and Edward Hopper girl at heart, but there’s room for some of these others too. And we shall see what kind of affect this has as time wears on.
So much work is out and about this summer! Yay!
Public House Ashland — Treat yourself to some amazing cocktails and small plates and view my New Landscapes. July 14 – September sometime.
Southern Oregon University Stevenson Union Gallery Ashland
Studio Sessions: Figures and Still Life
July – September
Smithfield Pub and Pies Ashland — A favorite place to go. They have really great pies, salads, pub trivia, music. English Football etc….
New Still Life and Landscapes
The Great Southern Oregon Paint Out Show at Paschal Winery — Talent, OR
I have a little landscape from the printout along with a number of other local artists.
Enjoy a relaxing glass of wine and a great view.
National Telephone Museum – New Hampshire
The Art of Conversation — a group of paintings that feature telephones, phone poles etc.
I’m showing landscapes with telephone poles.
June – October 2016
And by coincidence, I am getting ready to go to New Hampshire for the Hudson River Fellowship. As one of the fellows, I will be spending three weeks drawing, painting landscape in the historic Mount Washington State Park. So while in New Hampshire, I will check out the Telephone Museum.
So, have a great July and I’ll be posting images from the Fellowship when I get home.
This spring has been outstanding for painting outside. I’ve been experimenting with connecting my landscapes for a few years. Not perfect, as you can see, but would suffice to use as fodder for a larger studio piece, should I take that on. And they work individually.
This is my favorite place to paint right now. It’s a ditch trail by my house and I never see anyone there, plus it’s like 30 seconds away. Eventually I’ll probably make a 360 degree radius because it’s such a good place to paint.
I shouldn’t share my plans in case they don’t work out. But, whatever. 🙂
I’m teaching a short series on landscape painting this fall. It will consist of three classroom sessions and two field demos.
- Cover principles of drawing and painting the landscape including: atmospheric and linear perspective, how color works outdoors, composition, value, light effect, form, proportion and much, much more
- View slides of contemporary and past masterworks that demonstrate all the principles we discuss
- See a Demo of materials and methods in class as well as out in the field
- Critique student work and answer questions
Principles apply to both studio and plein air works. Class time will consist of lecture, demo and critique; students will work independently and bring their work in for feedback.
There will be two field days where students can observe me painting and ask questions or can paint as well. Locations of the field days will be announced later.
Wednesdays, September 21, October 5 and 19 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm in the Ashland Art Center Main Classroom and Field Days 9:00 am on Friday, September 23 and October 7 – Location to be announced.
Cost is $125 per student
To sign up: click here or pay at the Ashland Art Center front desk.
Ashland Art Center
357 E. Main St
Ashland, OR 97520