Saturday, June 23, 2007

Perils of Plein Air

Sketch by Lori Levin
Curious Shed by Lori Levin"Curious Shed"
9"x12" acrylic on panel

I watched videos of people painting outdoors many times. I've witnessed it as a passer by many times. However, I've only done it myself a few times. The few times I did it I was alone and hidden from other people and very close to my car. This time was different.

I went to the park last week and quickly sketched this old shed in someone's yard on the edge of the park. I liked how mysterious it looked. Due to the tree cover everything had a green cast. I did 4 sketches and have shared one with you as seen above though I changed the composition in the painting. I was excited to go back the next day and paint. Stamina, or lack there of, still requires that I do things in stages.

So the following day I happily walked through the park with my little painting supplies and folding chair. Like Superman changing in a phone booth I had everything ready to go in a flash. I had practiced in the comfort of my studio a few times so I wouldn't look like a complete fool in public. Right. I sit down and begin my session as a newly liberated painter of living nature. Masterpiece here I come.

Ok, nobody warned me that the birds beautiful songs would make me want to daydream. Not a soul mentioned how the ducks would find "my space" to be an interesting place to check out and beg for food. Let's not talk about the mosquito that had lots to say in my ear. I also won't mention the numerous ladies that came by to tell me about their very talented children that love to "do art". Basically, I was not prepared for the required focus of painting en plein air.

Needless to say I refused to come home with nothing. I worked feverishly so that the acrylics would not dry before I got to smoosh them around on the panel. In about 3 hours I finished the above painting. I felt as I had worked for 13. I was exhausted but in a good way. The experience was exhilarating and educational. I just love being outside and want to develop this skill so I can travel everywhere and paint the loveliness right in front of me. I have a long way to go before I'm comfortable with doing this but overall I don't see it as a bad start.

I have great hopes of making another attempt a painting at Riverview Beach Park in Pennsville, NJ this week. Feel free to stop by and tell me about your great Aunt Martha who does watercolors on Sundays.

1 comment:

KleoPatra said...

i laughed reading this... such a lovely picture too... both the sketch and the more involved painting... exhaustion the way you "earned" it is exhilarating and educational, you are so right. Thanks for taking us along on your ride into the great outdoors.