Plein Air in Arizona

I have just returned from the Plein Air Conference and Expo (PACE 16) in Tucson Arizona! And what a wonderful experience it was.  I will be creating a few posts on this experience I am sure. There was so much to do and to take in.  


I met up with a few friends there Jane Hagen Freeman and Marilyn Wear.  Marilyn was a prize winner - was so exciting to be there to see her win!  We attended many daily sessions for interest and to help us hone our plein air skills.  I also met up with Poppy Balser from Nova Scotia!

Shideler Plein Air Arizona 2016

It was so hot there that my watercolours kept drying on the palette before I could get the paint to paper.  I persevered and managed to complete three sketches.  One of the most important lessons was the importance of first completing a value sketch to help plan your work.  We herd this a lot and frankly, you cannot hear it enough if you do not do this step.

I dod not keep all my value sketches for some reason as I quite liked them.  Below are a few of the ones that made it safely home.  The sketch on the bottom was be being distracted in one of the sessions - I love to sketch groups of people.

Sketches by Helen Shideler

And we got to visit with some pretty amazing artists

Marilyn, Jane and I with Frank Ebert
Thats me with Georgia Manseur




Roses for Valentines

I am currently working on another painting of roses

I started to think about it and realized just how many paintings of rose I have done.  Being Valentine's Day, I thought I would share some of the rose love with you . 

Water color roses by Helen Shideler

Roses for you and for me!

There are wild island roses from Prince Edward Island.  Roses form my father's garden a long time ago.  My friend Jeannie's climbing roses that I take reference photos of every chance I get.  Apparently horse manure makes great compost for roses.   Carpet roses that grew by our little pond. Past tense - a particularly hard winter did them in - so happy I painted them when I did.

Oh, and the white roses.  

These are so very special.  They grow at the back corner of our garden. Far away form people and pets.  This one wins as one of the loveliest and the thorniest.  Prickliest - is this even a word? The blooms open an antique white and get pinker as the blooms mature.  By late summer they are quite pink.  They fascinate me. 

Sneak Peek 

This is the rose I am currently painting.  Another one from Jeannie's garden.

WIP Helen Shideler - Roses in water colour