This time of year when the trees start to blossom is exciting! Last year I studied, sketched and painted lots of blooming trees and never felt satisfied. This year I started with a pink stripe on a square canvas and an orchard scene emerged that seemed to sum up all the scenes I had wanted to paint. Then I got out to Sauvie Island and painted with acrylics inside a just starting to bloom orchard on a rare sunny day. The air was filled with fresh scents and buzzing bees. Two weeks later I returned to the same spot to paint with oils, the first time I've used them plein air. It has been quite a few years since I handled oils and I wanted to compare them with acrylic. As expected, acrylics are fast drying which limits blending, while oils are slow, creamy, blendable, messy and smelly! For now, I'll continue with both media, sketching, plein air, using photo references and my imagination.