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
Of course, you can’t tell from this photo, but it was about 32 degrees this morning. We wanted to see what it is like painting in the COLD. We actually were able to last about 2 hours. As you can see we really bundle up with layers and then try to have everything all set before we go out – paint on the palette, handwarmers, and foot warmers.
I liked this flat bottom boat at Mill Pond Landing. Click here for link to Mill Pond Landing. The angle of the boat resting on the hill and the tree trunks made strong shadows. I was hoping to capture these shadows to give the impression that the boat was resting on a hill in my painting. I didn’t bother putting in the leaves. I am learning that there are times I just want to work on one aspect of a painting.
You don’t have to put everything that you see in front of you in your painting. My husband, Philip, always encourages me to “keep it simple!” This way I don’t put pressure on myself to complete a painting in one attempt. I can focus my attention on one or two challenges that day. -Catherine
This is the first time I set out to paint with my painting umbrella. No glare from the sun– extra sun protection for me! It was a windy day and I am glad I purchased an umbrella that has wind vents.
This umbrella has clamps and rotating arms. For me, that meant adjusting, readjusting, and fumbling (hilarious!)… no fault of the umbrella, it is a great design. Painting a boat in the water on a windy day is another challenge because the wind kept turning the boat around! Snow Shore Landing. -Catherine