Have you ever stopped on a whim to take in a fabulous view, then pulled out your painting gear to capture it on canvas? That may seem like a lot of effort, but Kathleen Weber seizes those moments with brush in hand.
Currently living in Rhode Island, Kathleen began her award-winning career in greeting card illustration and commercial art before making the move to freelance oil painting.
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Kathleen is best known for her urban scenes, still lifes and figures. . . but I was drawn to her captivating landscapes, most of which are in an 8” x 10” format.
Many of her landscape oil paintings are en plein air, and reading Kathleen’s blog reveals she paints on long trips, short trips and sometimes out of her parked car. Her paint brush seems to take the place of a camera.
Kathleen’s “on the move” style adds to her paintings’ personalities. She uses a wide brushstroke, in a quick manner, but still manages to add rich detail. For example, in the painting above, Kathleen uses chunky brushstrokes to give texture to a rocky cliff.
That texture actually becomes the painting’s focal point, reinforced by the light of the setting sun and the gentle reflection in the water below. All in all there’s a nice balance of hard and soft, and near and far, for the viewer’s eye to move around in.
Kathleen often uses muted, or darker colors of greens, browns and blues in her paintings. Muted does not mean dull, however. The careful placement of light reflecting on rock, water or plant materials makes her colors come alive.
I actually squinted when viewing the painting above, just because the sunlight sharply reflecting off the water indicated such a bright, cloudless day.
In this last painting Kathleen reinforced her main focal point (the trees in the background) by directing the crop rows towards it. She carefully chose her painting position in order to create that composition.
While painting en plein air can technically mean dropping your easel anywhere, it’s easy to see that Kathleen is always looking for the right viewpoint in the right light, with the best possible focal point.
I encourage all of you to experience Kathleen’s landscapes en plein air for yourself, by visiting her blog at weberstudio.blogspot.com.