Painting in the Fresh Air

En Plein Air piece--painted while sitting on grass.  Burrrrr!
En Plein Air piece–painted while sitting on grass. Burrrrr!

One of my goals this year is to paint at least one piece a week en plein air–in layman’s terms–paint out in the air.

I didn’t get my business goals set until mid-January so my plein air pieces didn’t start until last week.  On Friday, January 30, at 11:30 a.m. I headed out.  It was a balmy 47 degrees here in the beautiful NW.  The sun was shining, mostly, and the birds thought it was spring.  A perfect day to paint.  Loading gear and dog into the car, I headed to a nearby field where I discovered I’d forgotten my tripod for the easel.  Fearing I might not come back if I went home I decided to just sit and paint.  The insulation between me and the cold, wet ground was a thin plastic bag meant for hauling my garbage home.  The perspective was not what I’d hoped but I made the best of it and while Bekkah, my dog, ran from one mole hill and mouse trail to another I captured the essence of the day, then decided to add her as well.

As you can see–it’s loose and thick with oil paint.  My goal when starting out, is to complete a piece within 45 minutes to an hour max.  This piece was done in about 50 minutes.  I’ve done only a few plein air pieces in my lifetime so I’m hoping to see an improvement throughout the year and look forward to sharing them with you each week.  Look for them on Wednesdays–currently that is the day I’ve blocked in time to paint in the great outdoors.

Actual painting size is 4 1/8″ X 6 1/2″ and does not include the white boarder.  The painting surface is gesso primed heavy art paper that I tape to a hardboard while I paint.  My palette:  Viridian green; ivory black; UM blue; Raw Umber; Cad Red; (Gamblin) Cad Yellow Medium; Raw Sienna and Titanium White.

reference for Mighty Hunter
Bekkah–the Mighty Hunter and gatherer

All these pieces will be for sale once dry and can be shipped.  Please contact me if you are interested.

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