100 meadows project | no. 41-60

by | Nov 6, 2017 | Art, Artistic Endeavors, Oil Painting | 30 comments

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I can’t believe I’ve made it over the halfway mark in the #100meadows project!  When I started, I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t even make it this far, but now it looks like I will easily reach 100 and beyond.  I’m already thinking about what my next art challenge will be!

I still have a lot to learn, but it’s so encouraging to see how much improvement I’ve made just by daily discipline, practice, and reading up on oil landscape painting.

As usual, I’ll share each painting, some of my notes on them, as well as the inspiration picture.

No. 41

I was excited about painting another barn, but the shape and color of this barn had me a little apprehensive.  I like how the sky turned out and the overall color and composition, but this one ended up lacking value and depth, so it looks a little flat.  I’m planning to give this one another try!

No. 42

This one was a turning point for me, because it’s the first one I started with an underpainting sketch to work on composition and values before I added color.  It does so much to add depth, but the brown paint (raw umber in this case) also calmed down some of my colors, making them look more natural.

No. 43 & 44

I painted two versions of this barn and I’m glad I did!  It ended up being one of my most requested finished paintings so far.  It has more of a folk art feel, which wasn’t what I was initially going for, but I let it evolve that way and stuck with it.



No. 45 & 46

I originally didn’t think much of this picture, but it was actually a perfect one to paint.  The shadows add a lot of interest and it’s such a pretty sky.  Number 45 ended up being one of my favorites so far.

No. 47 & 48

I decided to take on this picture, because I’ve been scared of painting hay bales!  I tried to be more relaxed and leave some “chunkier” brush strokes.  My brother said the hay bales ended up looking like meatballs.  Hmm…

There were some victories for me, though.  I like the way I captured light coming through the trees and the shadows around the bales, especially on the second one.

No 49 & 50

I decided to paint these to push me into painting some fall foliage.  I played around with different brushes and strokes on these two, along with light and shadow.

No. 51 & 52

Number 51 ended up being another favorite of mine.  I love the ones with a strong focal point and perspective lines.  This one had great shadows in the field and that road disappearing into a clearing in the trees.  Number 52 ended up being a little more whimsical and has a sense of motion.

No. 53

I had been saving this picture until I felt confident to tackle it, but after the success of the road in 51, I decided it was time to try this curved road.  I loved painting this sky and just a hint of the distant mountains.  And I took a big step in painting detail in the foreground, too!  We have some blades of grass, people!

No. 54

By this point, I am totally hooked on underpaintings and I decided to play around with different colors.  I used Indian Yellow mixed with Gamboge to see if a rich yellow underpainting would lend a warm glow.  It definitely did!

No. 55 & 56

I tried another barn, two variations of it, for this pairing.  I find red barns to be a bit more of a challenge and the fall foliage in the distance was tricky for me.  I painted 55 with more time and detail and number 56 quicker and in fewer strokes.  I have found this to be a good exercise, so I can feel freer to experiment.

No. 57

I was so excited about this one, because of the blue bonnets in the field, but I didn’t take the time to do an underpainting and I feel like that shows.  I also struggled with the composition and flat light of this one, but I loved painting that blue field!


No. 58 & 59

Number 58 is another favorite of mine.  I loved painting the long shadows and I feel like I can see improvement in depth, color, and trees.  Number 59 was a loose version of the same picture and I love how that one turned out, too!

No. 60

And this is my very favorite one so far out of all of the 60.  I love the tree, the sky, the barn, and the field of flowers.  I’m also proud of the foreground, since that’s been such a struggle.  This one just came together for me.


In addition to those 20, I also painted a couple of studies from other paintings I found online.  These are copies of other artist’s work that I do for the purpose of learning, so they are not for sale.

The second barn is a study of an artist I admire, Heidi Malott

It’s fun to explore the style of other artists and to discover why I’m drawn to their work.  The hope is that as I see a subject through their interpretation, I can refine my own way of looking at the same subject.

Now, all of the paintings are dry and I’ll be varnishing them tomorrow, so the originals will be listed for sale soon.

Some are spoken for by the people who submitted the photos and I’m keeping a couple of my favorites, but the rest will be listed.

Until then, you can buy prints of all of them on Society6.


  1. Judi

    No 45 best sky.
    Hard to get scale right when painting small

  2. Linda

    Your paintings are just beautiful! Where on earth do you find the time to paint as much as you do with all the other things you have going on? You’re quite a talented person Marian!

  3. Lisa

    Marian, weeks ago I hoped to buy an original in your series 40-60, I even scheduled it in my calendar for the day you said you would list them. I’m from Canada and you had painted a scene from our east coast. I had no success figuring out where you were selling the originals. I looked under your Products tab here, but there were none beyond 40. And in your Society 6 shop it looked like there were prints only? Can you advise where exactly the originals will be and the payment method? I am really enjoying following your art journey – kudos to you for being fearless in trying new things. I admire your courage.

  4. Tori Carver

    These are all amazing…. #45, 53 and 58 are my favorites. I wonder if sketching with an oil pencil would work the same as underpainting? I used to really enjoy sketching with a pencil…sketching with a paint brush seems very intimidating.

  5. Kerry Sanders

    You have a real talent for fences and fence posts. The light and the wood, and the rustic, broken feel of them. Fence posts are your thing!

  6. Carla from Kansas

    The fence on #58 almost looks like a photograph it is so realistic. I (who have no eye for art at all) can see the improvement. Love following this.

  7. Babs

    Your paintings are amazing, we thought your hay bails were pumpkins, but were charming…. I would love to see some greeting cards made from some of them or a set of thank you cards in a nice box… you know the kind two cards each of four different prints….

  8. Cindy Jones

    I’m so enjoying your progress. The long shadows and colors in 58 are amazing. Next favorites are 42 and 60.

  9. Addie

    You get an idea, jump right in AND nail it!!!!! Who are you???? AMAZING!!!!

  10. mary

    Once I was visiting the Fine Arts Museum in Boston with an exhibit of Renoir with the hay stacks.
    In the middle of the room there were a bunch of little kids on a school trip sketching away sprawled
    all over the floor. Really a cute thing to see. They were excited about what they were doing. My
    husband turned to me and said “I like their pictures better than what is up on the wall.”
    Love your paintings!

  11. Nan, Odessa, DE

    Good job! Miss an ocean scene. Is there some planned with an ocean?
    Who is the red haired girl? Or where did the inspiration come from.
    She is my favorite!

  12. Marlyn Erskine

    58 is my favorite!

  13. Sandi F.

    I think your artwork is lovely and they make me feel so content and happy each time you reveal one! Have you ever considered having little note cards made from your art work? Keep up the good work.

  14. Karen K from Buffalo

    I hope #60 becomes a pillow!! You did a wonderful job on that one. When I opened my e-mail from you, I was in love!! You have come a long way in your painting (no, I don’t paint) & find even your trees are lovely. Keep it up & reach your dreams!

  15. Amy

    I want one of your paintings!! How do I sign up to get my name on a list to get one??!!

  16. Jeanie

    Wow!! my friend loves old barns and is always posing pic’s of them!! your work is awesome!!

  17. Amy

    You are good. I love them all! Beautiful job!

  18. Diane Ruebel

    MSS! Your images, colors, designs bespeak the beauty in the natural world. I love the way you are trusting the process of creation making me wonder if you have found a way to listen to and learn from God.

  19. Jane Allen

    I am enjoying seeing you paininting this design challenge. I can see the improvement in your skills and am encouraged to challenge myself. Look forward to seeing more landscapes.

  20. Bess

    Dear Miss Mustard Seed,
    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do a few more Christmas prints/paintings for Society 6 before Christmas! I love the two I bought last year and would LOVE another pair (or more) to decorate this year.

  21. Elizabeth

    No. 41 is wonderful as is. There’s no need to paint it again, unless you really want to. No. 45 floored me. When I looked at the closest cloud, I felt like it was directly above me, while the others were physically farther away, quite an accomplishment in 2D medium.

  22. Bonnie

    Oh MMS, you continue to amaze me as you grow. I love the barns and #’s 43 & 44 appear to have their mouth open waiting for the hay bales to roll right in to find a place out of the weather.

  23. Karen

    I see improvement with each addition. I’m so thankful you don’t have to have surgery!! I’ve been praising God for this answered prayer!!!

  24. Norma Rolader

    Awwww you have done a beautiful job on your meadow prints

  25. Vicki K

    Oh my goodness! #57 (the trees!, bluebonnets, fence, sky) and #58/59 (sheep, trees!, fence, sky) are OUTSTANDING for Realism for a student of the art of oil painting.. I am quite blown away by your talent! … (Keep in mind that if one side of an object is highlighted by the sun’s rays or any other light source, then it’s the other side that will have the shadows (hay bales)…. Love your skies, and the paintings that are the “best” in the genre. Wishing you GREAT success. Art cards blank inside should be a done deal!

  26. Rebecca Neustel

    I want prints of #42 & #60. They’re my favorites! Your skills are growing daily.

  27. Sandi Magle

    Dear Marian, this is such an interesting journey you are on, through these paintings. A quote from an early pioneer woman in the Northern Plains. “There is nothing but sky and grass, and grass and sky.

    An interesting technique you might try is under painting in metallic gold—this was used by my family’s paintings in Denmark to add luminosity to the landscapes and seascapes. Those oil paintings are gorgeous. Good luck with your endeavors, and transitions, we all need to to do that several times during our lives.

  28. Randa

    Your work is so beautiful and peaceful. I wish I had half the talent you have! The “meatballs” did make me chuckle a little, gotta love brothers! One little suggestion to help with those would be that the bottoms of round bales are actually pretty flat. Especially after they’ve been setting awhile. Trust me, I’ve got about a hundred setting right next to my house. Looking forward to the next set of paintings!

  29. Amy Darling

    #53 — Aran Islands in Ireland…thank you so much for painting my picture from our trip!! It looks beautiful!!

  30. Sherry

    How can I see your works that are available to purchase?


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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