Saturday, February 2, 2013

There is a BUG Stuck in My Paint

I have been reading a book by Kevin Macpherson called "Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light and Color".  Mr. Macpherson is an accomplished En Plein Air painter.  (That is French for "In the Open Air")  This is an excellent book and I'm learning a lot about color, light and shadows from it's pages.

From someone who is a "Studio" artist, painting outside has a unique set of challenges as I experienced yesterday.  This style of painting is definitely something I want to learn and so I was very excited when my friend Lily asked me to accompany her along with few other artists with the Nevada Plein Air Group to Hemmenway Harbor at Lake Mead to spend a few hours painting in the fresh air.

I actually did learn a number of things and am anxious to improve my "En Plein Air" techniques.  The real truth is that yesterday I was basically pretending to paint and Lily is the real McCoy!  While she didn't finish her little 10 x 20 piece, she got a good portion of her painting completed and I was dually impressed. I spent a great deal of the time watching her ability to paint quickly so she could  catch the essence of the moment, not worrying about exact detail but rather reflection, light, color and shadows all come together so that she could catch the emotion rather than the exact image.

So different from painting on my beautiful new easel with all my supplies surrounding me and listening to either Willy Nelson or my new piano praise CD.  This will definitely take practice on my part but I'm anxious for the challenge of bugs stuck in wet paint, working in big floppy straw hats, dirt in my teeth and the sun in my eyes.

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