Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lilac Interlude

"Lilacs with Sleeping Dog" 9x12, oil

I mentioned in my last post that I'm waiting for the lupines to bloom.  They are blooming, but not quite enough to make for a good show.  So, I took a break yesterday and painted our lilac bush.  Saba, our Schipperke-mix, took a nap in the scene as I painted.  The moment seemed so typical of this season.  I felt like lying down beside her in the shade and breathing in the heady scent of lilacs and napping, too.

I painted this on a 9x12 sheet of hardboard from Judson's Plein Air Outfitters to which I applied one coat of Gamblin's PVA size followed by one coat of Golden Matte Medium.  This gives a clear coat that lets the warm, mid-value tone of the hardboard show through.  It's a nice color to paint against, and I like the somewhat rough and semi-absorbent surface for the marks it gives me.

I'll get to the lupines this week, promise.

In the meantime, I just want to remind you that I still have two spots left in my Acadia National Park (Maine) workshop, June 20-24.  This is my sixth year teaching, and over the years I've located the very best painting locations.  If you want an expert tour guide for plein air painting, I'm your man.  For more information and to register, visit

Also, I still have one place left in the Zion National Park retreat for April 16-22, 2012.  If want details, e-mail me at  $1000 gets you a room plus two meals a day and all the painting you can handle!  NOW FULL - waiting list only! (6/13/11)

I'll mention just one last time my Campobello Island workshops, which I'll be teaching all summer.  For full details, visit


daniela.. said...

Lovely painting, intriguing, and the tones and colors are just so perfect. Lucky you still get lilacs, the Blue Mountains west of Sydney a few years back boasted every color of lilac, beautiful old trees...maybe climate change has something to do with it.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thank you, Daniela!