Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Plein Air

 Plein air painting is about the adventure of going out and discovering the perfect spot to paint, getting all your gear together, dealing with weather and whatever may happen.  On this clear day a few weeks ago, painting pal Vicki Zimmerman and I stopped at Coon Point on Sauvie Island.  It's across from the Sauvie Island dog kennels, so we were serenaded by continuous barking, but that did not subtract from the serenity of the place.  Since the temperature was expected to rise to the high 80's, we looked for a shady spot with a good view.  Half way down this steep grassy slope dragging my wheeled cart, I stopped while Vicki went onward close to the edge of the pond.  I'm thinking: ticks, mosquitoes, dragging the cart back uphill in the heat of the afternoon.  So we returned to the shady spot near the paved walkway.
 This is my painting after a few hours.  There is a background thin wash of raw sienna to give a warm glow to the white canvas board.  I decided to leave it as a sketch to capture the mood and colors and not rush to finish.  By the time I stopped, the shade had dwindled away, the light was glaring and it was hot!  I had only a cool lemony yellow with me and was not satisfied with the brightness of the yellow greens.
"Coon Point, Spring" oil, 12"x16"

Back in my studio, I added some warmer yellow and yellow-greens and worked on varying the tree trunks. At a recent Alla Prima discussion, the subject was variety, and someone quoted "same, same, no, no"!  I hope my trees are varied and graceful!  I left some edges unfinished to preserve the sketchy quality.

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