Kim Casebeer won First Prize in the January/February bimonthly PleinAir Salon competition with an oil painting based on a location near her Topeka home. “It’s important to have a special place I can get to in five or 10 minutes when I need inspiration for a new painting,” she says. Find out more about the painting that is becoming Casebeer’s signature image.

The location that served as the basis for Kim Casebeer’s award-winning painting, “Chasing Light,” is handy for her plein air painting at any time of day or season of the year. “While it’s great to explore new places, I really depend on having a nearby site I can drive to in a few minutes and count on for inspiration,” says the Kansas artist. “This particular spot is high enough to provide views in several directions, so I can turn to paint different lighting and atmospheric conditions or I can just focus on the clouds overhead, as I did when creating this studio painting that is based on several of my outdoor paintings and compositional sketches.”

Casebeer has been making strides with her use of colors and textures in her landscapes, and she likes to begin drawing the shapes of a landscape with a thin combination of ultramarine blue and Gamblin’s Asphaltum, a transparent brownish-black pigment. “I draw the outlines of the major shapes and block in the shadow values, and then I establish some warm and cool grays,” she explains. “While the surface of the canvas is still wet, I add local colors and allow them to mix on the surface of the canvas rather than on the palette. I do that partially because I started as a pastel painter and worked with overlapping layers of color, and partially because I like the way the local colors can be worked into a wet surface.

“In recent years, I’ve also been painting with thicker, bolder strokes of oil color. I’m also experimenting with ways of adding more texture to my paintings, and I sometimes work on my plein air paintings when I get them into the studio and the oil colors haven’t completely dried.”

Discover more about Kim Casebeer in the feature article in upcoming July 2013 issue of PleinAir magazine. And for more information, visit

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