August 25, 2014

painting sneak peek

First, I just had to share the photo at left, which captures the temporary green we do get here in Prescott after monsoon season is well underway! The trees leaf out green in the spring of course, but the grass doesn't turn green until August. So different from what I'm used to, but I love it.

Early this summer, I took an inventory of my (very old) paint and such, and placed an order so I could finally get back to painting. It has been far too long since I did an actual painting on canvas, and I didn't want to wait any longer! I have done other types of painting projects in recent years, but painting pictures on canvas is entirely different and probably my favorite art form. You may recall I did some mini watercolor paintings a few summers ago, which you can see here, here, and here, which was a great way to stay connected to painting that year.

I picked out some photos I have taken of scenery around Arizona, and the first I chose to paint is a view from Route 66 in some open land between Seligman and Peach Springs from our road trip last fall (it's not based on the photos I shared in the blog post, it will be something new for you to see). I am working my way down on the canvas, here is a sneak peek at it, showing the sky and distant ridges. The full canvas is 18 x 24 inches. You'll have to wait for a future post to see the rest as it progresses!

work in progress: partial painting by Jennifer Kistler

It is slow going, and now I am waiting for another order that includes a special palette that should keep my paints wet a lot better. I love working in acrylics, but even when sprayed with water daily, my paints (including mixed colors I want to continue using in more painting sessions) just don't stay wet in my old butcher tray palette under plastic wrap. Even in monsoon season it is just too dry here! (maybe it's the altitude?) So I'm looking forward to less frustration with that. I am really enjoying painting again, and can't wait to share the finished piece!

August 20, 2014

the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon, Arizona
Welcome back! After taking a break from my blog this summer, I am looking forward to sharing some photos and art in the coming weeks. My boys are back in school and I am returning to the school year routine around here.

The last Friday before school started, we decided to drive up to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. It was stunning, vast, and everything I expected it to be. It is so big it's hard to even comprehend what you're looking at. The layers of rock were intriguing. While we spent far more time on the buses than I would have preferred (we did the long route to the west), we were able to get out and see the Canyon from several viewpoints. We visited in the middle of a gorgeous sunny day (with some scattered clouds that occasionally created interesting shadows), which was pleasant but did wash out the view some. So I know these aren't the most spectacular photos of the Grand Canyon, but they are mine! (all but the small one and the elk photo were taken with my DSLR camera, no editing except to crop and resize.)

On our way back, we ate dinner in the historic Route 66 town of Williams, so I can add that to my list of Route 66 places visited, cool! We ate in a vintage car-themed diner, and then browsed the gift shop next door where I found a Grand Canyon photo plate for the front of my truck (now that we live in Arizona where cars only have rear plates, it was an empty spot, and I finally found something I wanted to put there).

The Grand Canyon (south rim)

we saw several young elk along the road south of the Grand Canyon