Thursday, December 11, 2008

La Santisima Trinidad, Arroyo Seco, NM

La Santisima Trinidad, Arroyo Seco, NM
14x11 oil
(painted on location)

From the church's website: "The Holy Trinity church in Arroyo Seco is an excellent example of early 19th century historic mission churches of northern New Mexico. Dating from the 1830’s, its thick adobe walls, heavy pine vigas, hand-crafted corbels and original altar screen tell of the intense faith that motivated the early settlers who built it, using only the simplest of tools: their hands, wood and earth. "

Mid-morning in autumn was a wonderful time to set up on location and paint my reaction to this scene. There was so much to absorb outside that we didn't even think of going inside! The next time I'm in Arroyo Seco I'll be sure to stop by and see the altar screen.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Santuario de Chimayo

Santuario de Chimayo, Autumn
11x14 oil
(painted on location)

In early October of 2008 I was privileged to spend a day in Chimayo, New Mexico. After a deeply moving visit to the santuario, two friends and I set up our easels and painted in the warm sun. I chose to paint this side view under a tree next to a babbling stream. What a wonderful day.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sunrise on Chimney Rock in northern NM

During my stay at Ghost Ranch NM in Oct 2008, breakfast was served in the cafeteria at 7:30 a.m. sharp, so early rising was a must. That meant that I got to see the sunrise on the high desert every morning. I took this photograph during the 5 minutes when the sun was creeping over Kitchen Mesa to the east and casting its glow on Chimney Rock to the west. I can still feel the crisp, early-morning, autumn air on my just-washed face.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Visiting Walt Gonske's Studio

Lask week during my trip to Taos, New Mexico, I was fortunate enough to visit Walt Gonske's home, studio, and gallery. We had had a week of warm, dry weather so this day of gentle rain was a wonderful respite from the dust. This photo shows Walt's garden and portal; if you look through his work, you will find that he occasionally uses this view as the subject for his paintings. Walt was very gracious during our visit -- the High Desert Painters did this together -- and later we met for dinner in Taos.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fifth Annual Ghost Ranch NM Plein Air Paint Out

Members of the High Desert Painters met at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico for a seven day plein air paint out in the Abiqui, NM area during the second week of October 2008. Members participating included (top l to r) Judy Howells, Nita Harper, Coni Grant, Jana Van Wyk (bottom l to r) Ann Templeton and Janis Loverin. (Nelson Hubley is not pictured)
The paintings created during this event will be in the High Desert Painting group show entitled "Autumn at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico" which was curated by Ann Templeton. The show runs from November 6 through December 5, 2008 at
Be sure to view the show and the accompanying descriptions so that you too can experience the glory of the High Desert at Ghost Ranch New Mexico during the golden Autumn season!Opening for "Autumn at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico" will be held November 6, 2008.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My 5th October at Ghost Ranch, NM

I'm preparing for my next trip to paint on location out West. I'll be joining other members of the High Desert Painters for an 11 day painting trip to Ghost Ranch, NM and then Taos, NM. This will be my fifth October in a row at Ghost Ranch, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have found and experienced this place. Staying there is a painting retreat but it's even more a spiritual retreat. Something about the place feeds my soul. No tv, no cell phone service, no shopping, modest housing, simple meals at the cafeteria, a variety of skies and weather, the company of like-minded individuals, a chance to focus on a passion, getting out of your routine and comfort zone both physically and mentally - all these things combine to make it an amazing experience. And I can see the horizon all the time! Living in North Carolina with the dense forest all around me makes me feel claustrophobic at times. We have green trees everywhere. I used to love the privacy that the woods gave us but now I'm longing for open land and big skies.

Now that airlines are charging more for extra luggage and are checking the weight limit of bags carefully, I've begun travelling even lighter when I travel to paint. I've cut back on my painting gear and supplies and I've also cut back on the clothes I pack. In my next post I'll talk more about that. I'm also researching painting locations so that will be a good topic to share as well.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Along Boylan Avenue

Along Boyland Avenue 16x20 oil
This painting is from an April 2008 plein air event and Gallery Show that I participated in called Local Color Paint Out. This coming Saturday Sept 27 '08 there is another paint out event here in Cary, NC called Cary Gallery of Artists Paint Out. I'll be out there painting somewhere in our Cary downtown area! Look for me!

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Studio

I'm in the process of re-arranging my studio so I took a few photos to help me in the planning process. Consider this the "before" picture. This area will be devoted to painting -- with my paints and supplies stored in the shelves on the right. An electrician will be wiring this room and adding lots of daylight fluorescent lighting.
There's more area in the unfinished basement that I will use for canvas storage, etc. Next to the hallway above there's a large room that will be used for framing, more storage, and shipment staging.
Next to the unfinished area of the basement is this nice -- currently messy -- room with lots of north daylight and a killer view to our wooded back yard. I'm redoing this room and moving these art supplies to the unfinished area. Then I'll paint the room, add track lighting and bookshelves, and turn this room into a cozy library, office, and gallery.
Here's an exterior door off the patio leading to the finished area of the basement shown above. There's a second door to the right that goes into the unfinished area. Can't you just see the sign "Van Wyk Studio" on the door?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Verdant Fields

Verdant Fields 11x14 oil
A small farm nestled against the hills on the edge of verdant fields. I painted at Ann's studio while in Ruidoso, NM during a much needed rain storm that made music on the studio roof. The general composition was inspired by a photograph but the colors are the invention of my imagination.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rio Hondo, New Mexico

Rio Hondo 24x30 oil

As the day ends and the sun's rays are low in the sky, the cliffs and shadows along the Rio Hondo show magical colors, when you quiet your mind and look for them. This is the Rio Hondo near its juncture with the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hellroaring Creek, Yellowstone

HellRoaring Creek, Yellowstone 11x14 oil
During our family's visit to Yellowstone NP last summer, we hiked in the northern section and climbed down a steep passage into the Hellroaring Creek area. I snapped a photo looking down and painted this piece from that photograph.

This work will be entered into the "Bird's Eye View" themed show at the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC. I look forward to seeing how other artists interpreted this theme.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

First Place award

North Harrison Ave, Cary, NC 30x40 oil

I am pleased to share that "North Harrison Ave., Cary, N.C." won first place at the "New Beginnings" show in Raleigh, NC held at Crossroads Campus, Grace Christian School. This typical Carolina farmhouse is the lone remaining sign of the agricultural tradition in my area. It stills stands near our neighborhood, noticeably out-of-place on a new, busy 5 lane suburban road - a road that was a quiet country lane only a few short years ago. I painted this in early spring before the towering oak trees sprung their leaves.
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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

North of Taos, NM

North of Taos 8x10 oil on panel

I get out my work and have a show for myself before I have it publicly. I make up my own mind about it–how good or bad or indifferent it is. After that the critics can write what they please. I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.
- Georgia O'Keeffe

Monday, August 25, 2008

Along Lake Michigan Shore, the paintings

This is the view to the south along Lake Michigan; I was about 3/4th of a mile from the Holland State Park beach and Big Red lighthouse. And this is the painting I did, using a palette knife and limited palette (warm/cool of each primary plus white).
"Big Red" 8x10 oil
The sunsets along Lake Michigan are magical and here's one I managed to paint. First the photo, looking north:
and here's the painting:

"August Sunset on Lake Michigan" 8x10 oil

And I did another quick painting looking south - I love how this one turned out:

"Lake Michigan Shore" 8x10 oil

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Along Lake Michigan Shore

I spent a week along the Lake Michigan shore the second week of August 2008. We were blessed with wonderful weather and exciting variations in wind, waves, and sunsets. One evening I was able to time my arrival at the beach about 25 minutes before sunset, and I hurried down the stairs and set up my easel. Racing against the clock I spent a thrilling 40 minutes or so capturing all I saw, felt and touched with my eyes and barefeet. The final painting ended up capturing the light about 10 minutes before the actual setting of the sun. What a joy it was to have that experience and finish a satisfying painting!
I'll post the photo of the painting itself in a few days. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

On the Eastern Shore in Maryland

This past week I studied with Camille Przewodek near St. Michael's, Maryland. I learned that Camille is a wonderful teacher as well as an accomplished painter. The workshop was held at Maple Hall B&B on 10 acres along the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. I painted the study above on the fourth day of the workshop.
This was my first week painting with a palette knife and I found it very interesting. I loved being free from the turp and medium. And mixing clean colors is much easier when using the palette knife.
Even though we were under some massive trees during one of Camille's demos, the Maryland hot and humid weather took its toll. This photo is of (l to r) me, Camille, and Nita Harper. Hot weather aside, this area of the country is absolutely gorgeous. I hope to return and paint there again. Around every bend is another scene that makes you want to stop, get out, and paint. Right then, right away.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Local Color Gallery Paint Out, Raleigh, NC

"Boylan Avenue Afternoon"

"corner of Boylan Avenue and Hillborough Street"

On April 26, 2008 Jana Van Wyk participated in the Third Annual Local Color Gallery Paint Out in Raleigh, NC. This paint out is held in an 8 block area in the Boylan Avenue neighborhood of Raleigh near the gallery. The paint out was a great success, due in part to the wonderful weather. Jana completed two paintings; the show opens May 2, 2008 with a reception from 6pm-8pm. The show is part of the First Friday art walk in Raleigh.