My husband Philip is also the person who started me on my plein air journey…
On a trip traveling through the beautiful state of Vermont, Philip and I stopped along Lake Champlain. The view was amazing… Philip set up his easel and surprised me by setting up a pochade box on the picnic table for me. He said “don’t over think it, just have fun!” (smile).
Before I knew it, Philip started patiently and methodically cleaning his palette, he was in his element, outdoors and calm. In a short time, he had completed an amazing painting… Looking at my painting and looking at Philip’s, I didn’t feel intimidated, I felt exhausted, two hours had slipped by unnoticed… I was hooked. I wanted to learn everything I could about plein air painting.
I love coming across that painting. I will never rework or finish it. Some paintings like the one I painted that day are becoming my “travel journal” in oils. That day in Vermont, we painted together for the first time, and we still are… and this week we will be celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary!
I’m glad I found the courage to paint that day and catch “plein air fever” from Philip! -Catherine
“Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage, you cannot practice any of the other virtues consistently”. Maya Angelou
This year, one of my plein air painting goals is to try to work out of my “archive box” of unfinished paintings. To be able to say “TA-DA!” (smile). These paintings, for one reason or another, I brought home unfinished, they have potential… learning potential.
So, this year, before I revisit a plein air location, I riffle through my archive box of unfinished paintings, looking for one from the same location.
As I spray the painting with retouch varnish I ask myself what I liked about the painting and how I might improve it. I don’t concern myself with the weather or season changes… only to attempt to improve the painting.
Out of Archive Box came the Jonathan Young Windmill in Orleans.
Above is the painting I brought home September 2014.
Here is the painting after I reworked it yesterday, June 2015. It still might need work, but hopefully you’ll agree I improved it!
I find that being able to finish a painting in 2-3 hours outdoors is an amazing accomplishment. Until I can get myself up to that speed, this practice is the next best thing! -Catherine
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!