Here is my new Strada Easel and Kelty Redwing Pack. I love them, (a birthday present from my wonderful husband, Philip!). Click here to go to Strada Easel. The Kelty Redwing 44 Pack is recommended by Strada and they know what they are talking about. The pack is great and fits everything I need. Many thanks to Orleans Camera for helping me find the right tripod. Click here to go to Orleans Camera.
A spray with retouch varnish and I’m going to give this July scene another try. Even though this morning is barely 50º (degrees).
I wanted to use My Art Cocoon wet paint carrier with my Strada Easel. Since this wet paint carrier is wider than the easel’s metal support bracket, I wrapped a small bungee around the My Art Cocoon and the Strada cavas holder. Back to front.
The bungee hooks held nicely to the metal bracket at the top of the easel. I was able to paint and then carry my painting in my pack without any mishaps!
It’s hard to believe that at 6:30 a.m., the temperature is 39º this late in April! Being an optimist, I thought to myself, “if it were early March, I’d be thinking it was a pretty nice day!” The good news is that the blooms on the magnolia tree are a sign that spring is here!
After toning my 12 x 12 canvas panel, I decided to start painting the negative space with some sky color in the distance.
I’m only going to work with a few colors and hope I get a nice feeling.
I wanted to paint a group of blossoms with only a scattering showing details.
Toning my canvas is something I don’t always do. I did today and I like the way I could map out the light and dark areas for my composition.
I did have a mishap this morning… It was windy, and I didn’t take the time to weigh down my easel (you know where this is going!). After I picked up my stuff, and brushed off the sand and grass, it was time to pack up. The blossoms with have to be added another day. But, this was a great morning!
Although the title of this blog, Practice and Patience Plein Air, was thoughtfully chosen because it embodies our journey -this winter, I haven’t been able to practice as much.
The lesson of practice and patience was reinforced again last Saturday morning at Salt Pond Landing. Click here for Salt Pond Visitor Center information.
Because I haven’t been able to paint outdoors for a couple of months, I felt very rusty that first morning out and fumbled a bit getting everything set up. Frustration set in as as we attempted to capture the scene in front of us. Thankfully, it was the first really spring day of the season and just having the sun shining on our faces and on the water was a huge inspiration. As I wrote in my last post, I wanted to try a palette knife in place of a brush to practice layering color on the canvas. Combining this “foreign” technique ( although with my level of experience, all of the techniques could be considered foreign) with being rusty painting outside was daunting to say the least.
To overcome that feeling of “Oh brother, this is so hard” we decided when we were both finished to say prop the paintings on the rocks and to each say one thing that we liked about our own paintings and one thing that we liked about each others. Here are those paintings and a short transcript of what we said. We then packed up our stuff and hiked back to the car with smiles on our faces.
I said that I really liked the distance/perspective that Catherine painted in the left one and for the right one, I liked the building and the water. For mine, I liked the sky in both.
I love the use of Britt’s bold use of color, and for mine, I liked the wide brush stroke on the lower right of the painting, trying to suggest the curve in the shoreline. -Catherine
Trying to keep true to our motto and our recent experience that practice is everything, we decided to go out the very next day to paint a more challenging composition. Well… challenging it was.
And what this painting demonstrated is how even the ineffective results prove to be such learning and inspiring experiences. After this day, I had to travel away again and all the time I was on the plane, all I could think of was how I would have tried to change the perspective of this: remembering the horizon line, flattening out the rows of raspberry bushes, the garden, well actually repainting the whole scene.
What is redeeming though is that even these experiences of challenging scenes and unsatisfying attempts teach so much and reinforce the idea of continuing to practice.
There is a bonus to raising hens that lay different colored eggs, especially in April, and my first painting class with Maryalice Eizenberg, at the Creative Arts Center in Chatham, was also in April (2010).
My husband Philip emptied and cleaned a few eggs from our chickens, Molly (brown egg) and Fiona (blue egg), so I could bring them to class hoping the eggshells could be part of a still life.
Maryalice set up this sweet still life. A soft, stuffed, ducking in a straw basket, surrounded by yellow marshmallow “Peeps”, jelly beans, and my real eggshells. I hope the eggshells survived and are still being used in setting up still lifes at the art center! Fiona is no longer with us, but I still have this sweet painting with her beautiful, blue eggshells. -Catherine
People have asked if there is a polite way to approach a plein air artist while the artist is out painting.
Unless the artist is on a deadline to complete the painting, most artists will welcome your interest in their work. That being said, you can’t possibly know without breaking the artists concentration.
If you want to see the finished painting…
If you would like to see the finished painting, hand the artist your email address and request an image of the completed painting. Most artists will appreciate you being considerate of their work time and happily send you an image, or give you the name of a gallery where the painting will be exhibited. Hope this helps! – Catherine