Saturday, May 3, 2014

Plein Air - first time out

"Out of Town Villa" (Green Springs) Still in progress
8x8" oil on gessobord

I've been wanting to try my hand at plein air painting for a long time.  I even asked for and got a Coulter plein air easel for my birthday last May.  OK - Not so quick off the dime to get outside and paint!  Everyone who paints plein air always raves about painting while enjoying the great out-of-doors.  I was psyched to go out with a group today to paint Pink Lady's in a park nearby.  Our organizer, Elaine kindly scouted out the Pink Lady's yesterday fearing our storms this week hurt them.  They survived, but aren't out yet so we had to postpone until next week.  

After a rainy week, today was to beautiful to stay inside so I went over to Green Springs Horticultural Center and tried to paint the old farm house.  Green Springs was hopping with families picnicking and people out walking. They have a great paved path that loops around the property.  Lots of photographers enjoying all the flowers coming out.  I set up just off the path and was surprised that people asked me if it was OK to walk behind me and look at my painting.  The kids were funny.  They were so excited to watch. 

I'm happy with my first attempt, but will do a little tweaking in the studio.  I really struggled with getting the lights in.  I'll have to talk with others who have experience and see what the secret is to getting good lights.  I did a lot of scraping off paint.  I finally used a palette knife which helped a little bit. I did use a limited palette (for me).  I know its a must when painting outside to lighten the load.  It is surprising how heavy the supplies get so I still need to cut back even more the next time, but I was proud of myself.   I like to be prepared and usually carry everything but the kitchen sink.  I'm usually the go to person when anyone forgets something.  I did remember to take a hat and suntan lotion, but forgot water and wipes for my hands. Not sure why I always seem to get almost as much paint on me as on the canvas.  

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