Lean on Me – Fan Palms – Plein Air Oil Landscape Painting

“Lean on Me”
9 x 12 oil on canvas panel
(Fan Palms in Fallbrook, CA)

This friendly palm twosome caught my attention on Wednesday morning at the Libby Tolley workshop. Our assignment was to find a composition that interested us and to paint it in two hours before the light changed. The week got progressively cooler, with atmospheric mornings and more brilliant sunsets. Capturing the quality of cool morning light was one of the many enjoyable challenges we rose to. This painting represents the moment where the morning fog is just starting to burn off, when the sun catches the edge of the palm fronds. Close to the ground the mist still hovers and swirls. But higher up, the clouds are breaking up to reveal a brilliant blue sky.

More palms in other workshop paintings to come …

What I love about workshops – going somewhere new to paint – meeting other artists and making new friends – getting immediate critiques and suggestions about one’s work “in the moment” – the fun of experimenting and trying new solutions to common painting problems – seeing how other people paint a similar scene – feeling tired but satisfied at the end of the day.


  1. Leslie Saeta
    April 28, 2009

    What a wonderful composition! You really captured the feeling in this one. Well done!

  2. Marian Fortunati
    April 28, 2009

    I enjoy palms… looking forward to seeing more of your, Karen!

  3. Jo Castillo
    April 28, 2009

    Karen, this is lovely and fresh. I, too, will look forward to more palms.

  4. leslie heuer
    April 29, 2009

    karen this palm painting is lovely, so light. i just love it. i too love going to workshops, they are a bit scary at first (for me anyway) but then i settle in and allow myself to let it all go. i hope to attend one of libby’s workshops someday but need more groundwork, i am so rusty!

  5. Karen
    April 29, 2009

    Thanks, everyone. Workshops really challenge us to try new things and get out of our comfort zones, but it’s so good for us. Yes, I think you would like one of Libby’s workshops a lot. She’s a great teacher and really packs in the information.

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