Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Painting in the Great Outdoors

Today was the first day of this seasons Vistas and Vineyards painting “en plein aire” at local sites in the mid-valley. I have been so excited about this day!

I awoke this morning with a sinus headache. Oh, the joys of spring. This was nothing to sneeze at so I took some medication and packed my gear. I decided I would not set high expectations for my first day out. I just wanted to go, nothing more. Camera, chair, pencils, art sticks, paper, lunch, all loaded in the car and off I went.

I arrived at the park where our first paint out was scheduled and started looking around for a suitable site to work. I grabbed my camera and set out on foot up and down trails to find my inspiration. Alas, nothing was very inspiring, everything just looked green! Don't get me wrong I love living in Oregon and the Willamette Valley because it so green and lush but this spring has been very wet and damp especially after a long rainy winter. Everywhere I looked all I could see was green, green, and more green.

I got back into the car and drove to the opposite end of the park where I could find more natural scenes and less manicured grass. I finally found a grove of trees in a small ravine with yellow and purple wild flowers growing among the long grass. I parked my car and set up my chair and reached for my small sketch pad to work out my composition. Oops, no small sketch pad. It was not in my bag where I usually keep it. I must have used it over the winter and did not get it put back into my bag, darn. Luckily I found a small piece of scratch paper to use.

It was cold out and the sun was not going to break through the cloud cover, in fact it was beginning to look more and more like rain. Not to let this dampen my spirits I decided I could set in the back seat of my car and work instead of out in the rain and cold. I set my supplies on the seat next to me and began working. Hours went by. What time is it anyway? I looked at my cell phone for the time, I cannot see the hands on a watch anymore, much to my surprise it was nearly noon. At noon we usually meet as a group and critique our work and eat our lunch. I took a look at my work. It looks like crap! I decide to skip the group critique and see if I can salvage anything in my painting. My feet are cold.

Thirty minutes later I am getting nowhere with my painting, my feet are numb, my head is beginning to pound and I am getting hungry. I give up!

I did not get a "keeper" today but I did what I set out to do, I went.

I can't wait till next week!

1 comment:

Daniel said...

It's really amazing for me to find your art again. The works I saw of yours were in highschool, when we were both 17-18 years old!!! And to think you've done such a wonderful legacy of work throughout all these years. I'm just delighted to see your work, take it in and experience just a little of the journey you've been on for the last three decades.

Thanks, friend, for shining so brightly!
Dan