Day 1 - A prairie landscape

I am doing an 18 Day Painting Challenge which involves me reaching into a hat and pulling out a prompt, then going out into the studio early in the day to paint something that responds to it.  The very first one I pulled was "A prairie landscape".

I thought it was ironic that I picked the hardest one right off the top.  Landscapes are not generally my thing.  It is a muscle that I need to strengthen.

I knew somewhere in my deep cavernous photo files I had a collection of prairie landscape photos that I had taken one summer near my hometown of Kamsack, Saskatchewan.  It took me a few minutes to find them - I have way too many photo folders - but finding the one I wanted to do was immediate.

This is a Doukhobor Prayer Home south of Kamsack. Over the 50 years of my life I have driven by it thousands of times.  It was one of the landmarks that told us that we were getting close to town.  When I was little, its brick outer cladding was more intact and it was in a lot better shape.  The years have taken a toll on the structure, but it still stirs memories and a sense that home is near.

I did a quick sketch of the scene, then began laying down some base layers, imagining what the colours would be beneath the foliage and behind the clouds.  I then focused on the prayer home itself, being sure to add the orange-hued cladding that always set it apart from all the other dilapidated farm structures.  Finally, I brought in the trees, brushes and bright yellow canola field.

For not being a seasoned landscape painter, I was  pleased with the result.  This tiny painting - it is 8" x 10" - looks lovely, especially when I had it leaning up again our bookshelf in the living room.

All the paintings done as part of the 18 Day Painting Challenge will be available for purchase one of two ways.  If you really want one and want to pay the regular price for a painting of its size, you can contact me and we can make that happen.  Or, you can take your chances and wait until the end of the 18 Day Painting Challenge and participate in the online auction.  All proceeds from the sales will be going toward our effort to build another home for a poor family in Cambodia in November with Bracelets 4 Buildings.

The first of 18 is done and the adventure continues.  Thanks for following along.


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