Monday, August 26, 2013
Plein air the EASY way
I've finally found an easy way to do plein air—out in my garden! It takes me two trips to get everything down there—I use an old one-gallon bucket to carry all the little stuff. I have a pretty comfortable cloth folding chair and a small metal easel I've taken down and stashed under the overhang of the woodshed so I don't have to carry them down every time. I use two little plastic lawn furniture side tables, one on each side of my chair, to hold everything but the painting. When I'm done, I turn one of the tables upside down and set it on the other one, so neither gets fir sap dripped on it. Fir sap drips on everything out there, even me. Leaving the tables out where I set up means I can get my chair back in the same spot from one time to the next.
I wanted to try watercolor first, just to make it as easy as possible. It took me five sessions of about two hours each to get this one to where I can't make it any better.
The first day I felt very guilty and started telling myself I really should be working. I had to remind myself that I was working—learning how to paint plein air! After the first time that wasn't a problem. It's been wonderful just enjoying my garden for a change. I found that when I sit there long enough for the birds to ignore me, I start seeing the whole place come to life. The clouds blowing around, birds going about their business, an intermittent breeze moving through the treetops, different kinds of insects checking me and my gear out. I got to where I can ignore the weeds I see, look at my plants without thinking of things I need to do, and just enjoy painting.