Friday, August 26, 2011


From the shores of Ossipee Lake in southern New Hampshire you can hear the loons calling from across the water.
It is a beautiful haunting sound, one I don't often hear living here on the seacoast. 
5:45 PM.... Ossipee Lake, Study, 8x10 oil

I hitched a ride up to Ossipee Lake with my husband who was performing a music concert at a private beach on the lake. Last year I went with him to this same location to paint. 
6:45 PM...Storm Clearing Ossipee, Study, 8x10 oil

It was one of those perfect late summer days. Warm and sunny with a slight breeze on the water.  

Scattered thunderstorms were predicted for the White Mountains of New Hampshire and along the seacoast of Maine. 

As soon as we arrived I unloaded my painting gear and set it on a picnic table in a stand of pines near the water's edge while I walked around looking for a place to set up . 

Suddenly a gray mass of low clouds moved rapidly across the lake from the west.  It was a column of pouring rain.  

The sun was shinning where I was standing.  Several large rain drops fell for a few seconds.   Everyone on the beach stopped and stared as this bright double rainbow formed a short distance away.

The storm cleared out in a few minutes.  The sun lit up the departing clouds. 

I set up my easel and sketched in my first design.  This evening I had a plan to paint a series of paintings as the sun set and darkness descended on the lake. 

Planning was required for this. I set up in a location where I had a variety of scenes to paint. 

I premixed some of my colors so I could paint really fast, changing colors slightly as I went. I knew I would have enough daylight to finish two studies easily.

The sun began to drop as I was working on my second study. 

The light and colors were beautiful! 

As the sun set behind the White Mountains I made sure I had all my color groups in certain spots on my palette.  

As dusk arrived the lake became very quiet. The wind stopped and the mosquitoes attacked. I painted faster. 

A big camp fire was lighting up the beach. People gathered around and began to sing songs. The music drifted across the water. I could still see the difference between the colors on my palette...but they were beginning to look muted.  
7:45 PM....Camp Songs Study, 6x8 oil

The lavender sky reflected in the water. Lights came on in cottages across the lake. I took out my flash light and put it in my apron pocket. It would be needed soon. Now it was so dark I was almost painting by intuition. I knew where the colors were on my palette.  I could see the values of the paints and by shinning a flash light on my palette every few minutes I could make sure the colors I choose were correct.
8:15 PM... Lavender Evening Study, 6x8 oil

At 8:45 PM it was dark. All the colors I was using looked like gray values. I painted as if I was making a value painting of many grays. I checked my batch of mixed colors with my flash light every few minutes to make sure I was picking up the right color. A voice behind me in the dark asked "What are you doing? Painting?"  It was so dark he couldn't see the painting till I turned on the flash light.  I put in my finishing strokes and called it a night. By then the stars were twinkling in the sky.
Summer Lake Night Study, 6x8  oil


  1. Love those evening paintings. Well worth the effort. Keep them coming!

  2. Thanks Marian! I plan on doing more, esp. as we keep losing more daylight.