Saturday, April 17, 2010
Now I understand why one should paint plein air
Last week I discovered a French plein air easel on sale at my local art shop and since I've been reading about the necessity of getting outside and painting from real life and frustrated with my attempts at landscapes I decided to treat myself to a late birthday present and purchased it. Like a kid with a new toy I made a list, packed my paints, bought a little folding chair and off I went in search of a private location to set up and try plein air painting for the first time. Very shy abouting painting publicly I drove up into the hills overlooking one of our large lakes and rounded the last corner into a parking lot full of cars! Climbing season has begun! I decided to head up the trail anyway and went off a little ways till I had a good view of the lake. Feeling excited but very awkward and full of anticipation I quickly set up, squeezed out paint onto my palette, grabbed a brush and took a big breath and started to paint. Immediately realized I'd forgotten my glasses, had no where to put down my brushes and the wind was not only whipping my hair around my face which didn't matter anyway as I couldn't see but it was also trying to blow my paper palette away. No worries, this was only a trial and after a half hour of loose easy brush strokes I packed up and headed home. The connection I felt with nature being out there with the wind in the trees, the birds singing and the feeling of peace and timelessness has made me want to go back and I look forward to the next adventure. Hopefully I'll be a little more organized next time.