Tuesday, August 30, 2016

plein air vs. studio painting

A good friend of mine convinced me to try plein air (outdoor) painting (again). This is only the second time I have tried this. I also painted a couple of paintings in Vermont two years ago (see posts from August 2014), but finished them in the studio.  I'm not sure I'm even going to bother finishing these two since I was so unhappy with them.

It was hot and sunny. My friend provided a big beach umbrella and I sat at a picnic table.  I didn't get the sense of the farm in my painting (in my opinion), or the colors. She even had some bugs get on her canvas.  I guess I am a little jealous of painters that can just put everything down so beautifully no matter where they paint. In the 2nd picture the Canada geese came out looking like ducks. Of course they were moving around quite a bit too which made it difficult for me to render them and I didn't have the right small brush with me. I tried to pack a limited amount of brushes and pigments in my pochade box not knowing how far we would have to walk. At some point I might try painting the pond again from one of my photos. There were corn stalks growing in the distance and I would like to try to show them better.

The top photo shows a view of the sunflowers.  The farm was having a fundraiser and invited artists to paint the sunflowers so there were a few of us out there. The fundraiser was for the Make a Wish Foundation and I was happy to make a donation to them. They are a good organization.

Meanwhile I bought a couple of small aluminum panels, 4" X 6" just to play with.  I liked the way the colors show up on the aluminum, but I don't think I would like to work on this surface on a larger painting.

I decided to try again with the sunflowers in my studio this time. I like this one a little better and think it would make a good background for a card with a nice verse. All of these paintings were done with water mixable oils. I think I will go back to acrylics for the next ones I try.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this hobby, but I will continue to learn. I've had some physical and emotional issues to deal with this year and we are now planning on moving from New Hampshire to Idaho next year to be closer to family. That will be a big change for me, but I will keep painting, maybe even start writing poems again. Trying to stay positive.

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